Update: AG Investigating Illegal Contributions

As reported on September 30, several candidates during the gubernatorial primary this year accepted what appear to be illegal campaign contributions. The Attorney General’s office is now investigating and the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance is finally examining its audit process.

The Courier-Journal discovered in September that Steve Henry, Ernie Fletcher and Anne Northup had received laundered money from family members and friends of donors who were looking for patronage. What makes things worse, though, is that some donors had no idea they’d made contributions (one donor’s daughter yelled and made her hang up the phone) while others had jobs barely paying them enough to eat let alone make campaign contributions.

Steve Beshear was also involved. He received $1,000 from a donor in Tennessee who said he was reimbursed by a cousin. Beshear, to his credit, returned the funds upon learning where the money came from. The other candidates wouldn’t dream of returning dirty money.

As unfortunate as this situation is– with laundered money and all– isn’t it a bit refreshing to have this information brought to light? Cleaning campaign finance up is a step in the right direction for Kentucky. We just wish people took it more seriously and wish the agencies responsible had more reach and manpower.

Candidates for Lt. Gov. Homophobic?

Sure seems like both Dan Mongiardo and Robbie Rudolph could be a bit afraid of the gays. Only one brought God into the mix of their anti-gay marriage rant during last night’s debate, though. We’ll let you guess who. You’re sure to be surprised.

Neither candidate believes gay couples– who pay for 100% of their domestic partner benefits— should be afforded health insurance? Everyone should have access to health care but gay people? What the?

Heads-up to the winners on November 6, 2007: You’ll be bringing us actual gay folk to the table to resolve this matter. It’s 2007. There’s no place for homophobia.

And we thought we’d seen the last of homophobia this campaign season.

Breaking: Campaign Finance Violations – Louisville Library

A complaint has been filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance against those responsible for the Libraries Yes! tax proposal in Louisville:

  • Craig Buthod, Director, Louisville Free Public Library
  • Mary Griffith, Chair, Louisville Free Public Library Foundation, Inc.
  • Louisville Free Public Library Foundation, Inc.
  • Libraries Yes!, PIC

The complaint, filed by general counsel of the anti-tax side, alleges four serious violations of Kentucky finance law/KRS 121 including:

  1. printing and distribution of yard signs without required disclaimers
  2. distribution of advocacy materials without proper disclaimers,
  3. use of government employees for campaign purposes on business time
  4. mailing materials which directly circumvent campaign finance reporting requirements as independent expenditures.

Click here for a copy of the complaint filed with KREF.

Sources tell us that Ernie Fletcher is expected to make a statement in opposition to the Library campaign. Sen. Dan Seum (R-Louisville) is also expected to introduce legislation further closing loopholes allowing government employees to work on campaigns during “company” time.

Developing. More to come.

Ernie Fletcher loves ABBA!

From the Intrepid Reporter Dept of Funny Crap

Occasionally one needs a laugh during a boring gubernatorial campaign. Herald-Leader to the rescue! The paper conducted a personality “pop quiz” among Ernie Fletcher and Steve Beshear not to be missed.

Some of our favorites:

Q: Who will win the next Super Bowl?
Fletcher: New England Patriots.
Beshear: I’m rooting for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Q: What actress should play your wife?
Fletcher: Ashley Judd.
Beshear: Kim Basinger.

Q: What three songs do you play most often?
Fletcher: Stranger by the Shore, Staying Alive, Take a Chance on Me.
Beshear: My Way, Amazing Grace, Misty.

Q: Who has the better mustache: Stan Lee or Richie Farmer?
Fletcher: Both are exceptional.
Beshear: Richie Farmer.

(Il)logical Conclusions:

Beshear rooting for the Bengals to win the superbowl may prove he’s completely detached from sports reality. Oh noes!

One of the candidates has seen Basic Instinct one too many times.

Ernie listens to ABBA! “Take a Chance on Me.” You can’t imagine Ernie breakin’ it down with his iPod Nano while listening to ABBA without hysterical laughter.

It’s absolutely creepy that the candidates have paid attention to mustaches. Just plain creepy.

Speaking Out: Olmstead Honors McConnell

Special to Page One from Harold Trainer, USAF RET

Next Friday night at the Henry Clay Hotel the Olmstead Conservancy, a supposedly non-political organization, will honor Senator McConnell.

Senator McConnell is an avid supporter of the Iraq War which has directly contributed to the deaths of almost 4,000 American military and several hundred thousand Iraqis.

The Conservancy’s honoring of McConnell gives support to a war that was a huge mistake, executed incompetently and continues to kill our military and Iraq civilians with no end in sight.

The Conservancy’s support for McConnell is a quid pro quo for McConnell’s federal funding for the Olmstead’s park projects. His ability to provide this funding is closely related to his support for Bush’s unjust war. This clearly makes the conservancy willing to ignore this terrible war in exchange for McConnell’s monetary favors.

Rumors on the Internets

More Crit Luallen for Senate rumors. She’s giving her non-denial smile to reporters these days when asked if she’ll run. And our source with the DSCC stands firm on what they’ve previously told us. We still hear money’s promised (as we reported here last month) and that she’ll receive preferential support.

Several people have told us over the past two weeks that Jack Conway is being readied to run for Jim Bunning’s seat in 2010. Couple this rumor with the fact that Ben Chandler has no desire to leave his cakewalk of a job and some ears are perking up all across the state.

Gov. Mark Warner will be in Louisville on October 30th for a lunchtime fundraiser hosted by Bruce Lunsford and a few others. The fundraiser– which is scheduled to take place at swanky restaurant Proof– will benefit Warner’s bid for U.S. Senate.

Many continue to trumpet stories of Heather French Henry running against Davis in KY-4. Beyond the fact that she’s a working mother and has said she won’t run: We don’t see her being able to escape her husband’s very real legal troubles. Or her own. And she has, you know, absolutely no experience beyond running a museum dedicated to her beauty pageant past.