Attorney General Jack Conway shuts down political action committee as outside spenders eye governor's race

04/01/2015 03:15 PM

As outside spending groups prepare to ramp up their efforts in this year’s gubernatorial election, Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway quietly shuttered his Justice and Action for the Commonwealth of Kentucky political action committee, or JACK PAC, last month.

Termination paperwork for JACK PAC was filed with the Federal Election Commission March 11. Records show the group sold its email list to Conway’s gubernatorial campaign for $1,959 in its final receipt March 6 and, after covering expenses like website hosting and accounting services, donated its leftover $281 to the Kentucky Democratic Party.

“The PAC account had been inactive for a while, so it was closed,” Conway campaign spokesman Daniel Kemp said in an email to Pure Politics. “The remaining balance was donated to the party.”

Kemp said Conway does not plan to launch another PAC this election cycle. He formed JACK PAC in December 2012.

Conway’s decision to shut down JACK PAC comes as outside spending groups take sides in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

The Courier-Journal’s Joe Gerth reported Saturday that the Bluegrass Action Fund, backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, will emerge for Hal Heiner, a former member of the Louisville Metro Council and one-time mayoral candidate, while Kentuckians for Growth, Opportunity and Prosperity, which is backing Agriculture Commissioner James Comer in his gubernatorial bid, has bought some $22,000 in radio advertising Bowling Green, Somerset, Owensboro and Evansville, Ind.

JACK PAC had been active in the midterm election cycle, donating tens of thousands to Kentucky Democrats running for office.

Since its inception, the group gave nearly $35,000 to Democrats seeking the state House and $750 for those running for state Senate since 2013, plus $1,500 to Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes’ unsuccessful bid against U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last year, $1,625 to Conway’s 2010 Senate campaign, $1,000 to his attorney general campaign, $1,000 to former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden and $1,580 to the state party and its county affiliates, according to FEC records.

JACK PAC’s last flurry of donations came Sept. 24 and 25, FEC documents show.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers Kentucky politics and all the goings-on at the State Capitol. Kevin was born and raised in Frankfort so he grew up around politics and has always had the drive to follow the political process and hold lawmakers accountable. Before joining Spectrum News Kevin covered government and politics for The State Journal in Frankfort. You can watch Kevin’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135.

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