Andy Beshear's allegiances questioned in latest ad from GOP group backing Westerfield

07/22/2015 12:48 PM

The Republican Attorneys General Association is keeping up their mid-July ad barrage against Democratic candidate Andy Beshear, seeking to bring attention to Beshear’s background.

In the ad, the group specifically targets who Beshear would represent as attorney general. The 30-second spot points to a lack of law enforcement experience for the candidate, who is an attorney with Louisville-based Stites and Harbison.

“How about the special interests bankrolling his campaign raising questions of ethics? Or the companies he’s worked for but would oversee as attorney general,” a narrator in the 30-second ad says.

When asked by Pure Politics and other media outlets, Beshear has refused to name clients he has represented that could potentially conflict with cases before the attorney general’s office, saying he would follow procedures outlined by the Kentucky Bar Association to ensure proper ethics.

Beshear has also noted that there have been other attorneys general in the state who have made the jump from private to public practice who have followed a similar procedure.

The RAGA ad, which is running primarily in the Lexington TV market, also focuses on a popular refrain tying the Democratic candidate to President Barack Obama.

“Beshear is an Obama supporter who has never prosecuted a single criminal and is bankrolled by special interests,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “We doubt this is what Kentucky wants in its next attorney general.”

Beshear’s campaign communications director Galia Slayen said the group is trying to distract from Republican nominee Whitney Westerfield’s record.

“These are more negative attacks from outside groups trying to distract from Whitney Westerfield’s record of suing hundreds of vulnerable Kentuckians on behalf of payday lenders and debt collectors,” Slayen said. “Andy will not let these out-of-state attacks distract from his priorities of preventing child abuse, stopping the spread of heroin, and protecting seniors from scams.”

Last week the campaign for Beshear attempted to have a similar ad from RAGA pulled from the airwaves. That ad stayed on the air and RAGA is using the same citations in its current spot.

Westerfield’s campaign manager Andy Hightower told Pure Politics that there is a “clear choice in this election.”

“No matter how much Andy and daddy Beshear wish it weren’t the truth, Whitney Westerfield has a strong record of protecting Kentuckians — putting criminals behind bars as a prosecutor and passing legislation to protect women from violence, fight the heroin abuse epidemic, and build character in troubled youth,” Hightower said. “Meanwhile, Governor Beshear wants his son in office to ensure his legacy of supporting President Obama’s policies in Kentucky.”

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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