Republicans allege double-agent plot in Kentucky House race

Republicans yesterday charged that a campaign worker for Kentucky 3rd District Democratic challenger John Yarmuth used fake information in an attempt to volunteer for Yarmuth’s opponent, Rep. Anne Northup (R).

Northup’s staffers foiled the worker’s alleged double-agent plot, according to a letter sent to Yarmuth and the media by Northup’s campaign manager.

The letter says Robert Kahne, a 19-year-old University of Kentucky student who is identified in several places on the Internet as vice president of the school’s College Democrats, used the name “Bobby Conn” along with a fake phone number and address. The letter claims Kahne “began taking materials off of our front desk.”

It also makes note of an online journal entry from early May in which Kahne writes about killing Republicans. In his next entry, dated two days later, he apologizes for the comments and says he didn’t mean them.

Yarmuth’s campaign manager, Dan Borsch, said Kahne was a volunteer and not an employee of the campaign, as the letter contends, though he was once paid $100 “just to be around more frequently.” Yarmuth’s campaign denied any knowledge of Kahne’s actions and said he will no longer be involved with the campaign.

“This behavior was, and is, inappropriate,” Borsch said in a statement. “We strongly disavow this young man’s actions and the words he has written.

“We sincerely regret that this incident has occurred. Having been made aware of this situation, appropriate action has been taken immediately. Having resolved this matter, it is time for an honest discussion of the serious issues facing our community and our country.”

Borsch declined to address specifics of the letter or to provide contact information for Kahne. Kahne did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment by press time.

On the LiveJournal website the letter refers to, Kahne writes, “I HATE REPUBLICANS. yes. hate. i hate them. all of them. i wish we could have a liberal inquisition and do like the spanish, where we would go up to people and say ‘Are you a Republican?’ and then if they said yes, we would kill them. with swords of course, guns would be illegal.”

In the letter, Northup’s campaign manager, Patrick Neely, accuses Yarmuth of a “Nixonian dirty trick” and says the journal entry has created an “uneasy atmosphere amongst our campaign staff.”

He says that Northup’s staffers recognized Kahne from a link with a picture of him on Yarmuth’s campaign website and that in his application Kahne provided his real e-mail address, which includes his real first initial and last name.