Friday, February 22, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: Did personnel investigation figure illegally contribute to Beshear?

(We have had information on this matter for a couple of weeks, but had not done anything with it. But when we saw a reference to this matter in an anonymous post on Brett Hall's blog, we decided to go ahead with this story to clear up the matter since some questions were raised on Hall's blog.)

Did one of the key figures involved in the personnel investigation that doomed Ernie Fletcher's gubernatorial administration make illegal contributions to Steve Beshear's campaign by funneling money to Beshear through his elderly mother?

There is evidence to indicate that this is the case.

The individual in question is a state employee from rural Kentucky whose name figured prominently in news stories about the merit system hiring probe that dominated Kentucky news from the spring of 2005 until Fletcher lost his re-election bid to Beshear in November of last year. We know his identity but are not revealing it at this time.

On Aug. 14, 2007, this employee contributed the maximum of $1,000 to Beshear's general election campaign.

About a month later, on Sept. 19, the employee's mother made a $500 contribution to Beshear. A few weeks later, on Oct. 3, she made another $500 contribution to Beshear, bringing her total to the statutorily allowable maximum of $1,00.

The lady in question lives with her son, is a very elderly widow, and is a lifelong Republican who, according to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance's searchable database, had never before made a political contribution.

Although we are not aware of any KREF or criminal investigations regarding this matter, we certainly believe that it looks suspicious and merits investigation by someone, either an official entity or by the press. The media made a big deal of shadow contributions made to Ernie Fletcher, Anne Northup and Steve Henry by the daughter of a highway construction contractor employee. Why shouldn't a similar big deal be made about shadow contributions made by the mother of one of Ernie Fletcher's harshest critics and a prominent figure in the personnel probe?


At 12:43 AM, February 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The employee referred to here is Ronald Easter who works for the state highway department in Jackson, right?. He is the one who got a $50,000 lump sum settlement and a big raise for claiming political discrimination against the Fletcher administration. Looks like we see where 2 grand of that settlement went.

At 1:11 PM, February 24, 2008, Blogger K-Pac II said...

We will neither confirm nor deny the comment above other than to say, "that's an interesting guess."

On what do you base your speculation?

At 9:33 PM, February 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've got to put up a post about the Mark Hebert inteview being discussed on Marc Carey's blog.

Hebert is on video record saying that he has been told that a faction of legislators in the House is essentially holding the horse track people hostage over the casino bill telling them "...if you give us the money, and you commit some money to all our candidates, that are Democrats, you know what? We'll back off this thing...we'll make it a little more friendly to you."

This is a big story!

At 8:55 PM, February 25, 2008, Anonymous Kentucky Pachyderm 2 said...

Anon, we're working on it!


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