Sports radio host says GOP forced him off air because he's a Mitch McConnell rival

Matt Jones is a sports radio host in Kentucky.

He’s also a potential rival of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as he ponders a bid to challenge the senior senator from Kentucky’s seat in 2020.

Jones says because of that fact, the Republican Party of Kentucky filed a Federal Election Commission complaint that prompted his iHeart Radio bosses to take him off the air.

Jones accused of FEC violations

Jones made the claim Wednesday night on the Kentucky Sports Radio website.

“Due to the Mitch McConnell complaint filed this morning with the FEC against me, iHeart Radio has asked that I not be on the show in the upcoming days,” Jones wrote. “The complaint is absolute nonsense and very disappointing from someone as powerful as McConnell.”

The Louisville Courier-Journal reported on the FEC complaint earlier Wednesday.

‘Mitch, please!’

The complaint claims that Jones’ radio show and funds raised for a pending tour to promote his upcoming book amount to corporate contributions to his campaign that Jones hasn’t reported, a violation of election regulations.

Jones’ book is titled “Mitch, Please! How Mitch McConnell Sold Out Kentucky (and America Too).”

A potential rival to Mitch McConnell's senate seat was taken off the air from his job as a sports radio host. (Bill Clark/Getty)
A potential rival to Mitch McConnell's senate seat was taken off the air from his job as a sports radio host. (Bill Clark/Getty)

State Republican Chairman J. McCauley Brown accused Jones of attempting “to conceal these violations” in a statement provided to the Courier-Journal.

“RPK's complaint is an important first step in stopping Jones' flagrant failure to comply with federal regulations, and we urge the FEC to deliver a swift and strong penalty," Brown said.

Jones calls complaint ‘frivolous’

Jones categorized the complaint as “frivolous” with the Courier-Journal since he’s not yet declared his intentions to run for office. He formed an exploratory committee in August, but hasn’t announced his candidacy.

“If I were a candidate, I still think the complaint would be frivolous," Jones told the Courier-Journal. “I think it's a really sad attempt by Mitch McConnell to keep me off the air.”

After he was taken off air, Jones accused McConnell of attacking his free speech rights in his statement.

“Nevertheless Senator McConnell has complained that having me on air is unfair, and the man who speaks often about the importance of free speech and the exchange of public ideas has decided to cut off mine.”

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