Americans for Prosperity Kentucky focuses on school choice in anti-Conway Web ads

10/16/2015 12:42 PM

A group of Louisville residents are advocating for publicly funded charter schools in a pair of Web ads targeting Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway released by Americans for Prosperity’s Kentucky chapter.

The spots from the 501(c )(4) group — 60 and 30 seconds, respectively — focus on three African-American Louisville residents who say the state’s current public education system has failed them.

“Our school system’s more connected to Frankfort than they are to our homes,” said a man identified as Waymen, a father of five.

“Jack Conway, you say you believe in charter schools but you don’t believe that public money should go there,” he continued later in the minute-long ad. “But shouldn’t the money follow kids where the best education is available to them?”

Both ads include a phone number for Conway’s attorney general office, asking viewers to ask him to support school choice as other attorneys general have “because they know education equality means opportunity for all.”

The 60-second spot can be viewed here:

The 30-second ad can be viewed here:

The ad highlights one of several differences between Conway and Republican Matt Bevin in this year’s gubernatorial election. Charter school legislation has been passed by the GOP-led state Senate but gained no traction in the Democrat-led House.

Conway told Louisville radio station WFPL in August that he supported privately funded charter schools that do not divert public education money. Bevin, an advocate for school choice and a voucher funding program, said in the same report that education dollars “should follow the child.”

The issue is also a key part of AFP Kentucky’s field efforts this election cycle, which includes door-to-door outreach and a direct-mail campaign highlighting Conway’s stance on school choice.

“Frankfort has forced Kentucky kids into failing schools and we are calling on Attorney General Jack Conway to support funding for charter schools and education choices for families,” Julia Crigler, AFP Kentucky’s state director, said in a statement. “If career politicians can’t protect our children, then which interests are they protecting?

“Zip codes should not determine the future of Kentucky kids and we know providing more choices to families will create opportunity for all — education equality means jobs.”

Conway’s campaign said in response to the ads that the Democrat “is the only candidate in this race who has made improving and strengthening our public education system a central focus of his campaign.”

“While Jack has released an Education Plan that expands early learning programs for Kentucky’s most vulnerable children, Matt Bevin tells Kentucky families that early childhood education ‘serves no purpose,’ while also supporting a voucher plan that would drain funding from our public schools,” Conway campaign spokesman Daniel Kemp said in a statement.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.


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