Campaign week in review: Ads, endorsements, bus tours and 'no regrets'

04/29/2011 12:19 PM

If you’ve been sleeping under a rock this past week, well, don’t worry, we have you covered when it comes to political news you may have missed.

The week started with fund-raising report hangovers, but picked up steam with the start of a statewide bus tour, lots of talk about spending and nice hotel rooms, a Secretary of State candidate launching ads and, of course, lots of endorsements.

We’ll walk you through the highlights of each race.


We’ll start with the Democratic side of the gubernatorial races, where incumbent Gov. Steve Beshear spent most of his time declaring emergencies because of bad storms and flooding across Kentucky, especially in far western Kentucky.

The flooding was so bad that Beshear, a Democrat who is unopposed in the primary, sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for a major disaster declaration for the western part of the state. You can see the letter “here.”:Request for Major Disaster Declaration 4 28 11.pdf

On the Republican side, Senate President David Williams and running mate Richie Farmer kicked off a statewide bus tour using one of Williams’ favorite lines as a slogan: “lead, follow or get out of way.”

The tour kicked off in Louisville yesterday and continues up and down Interstate 65 today to Bowling Green and back. The campaign plans to travel statewide until the May 17 primary. You can see Pure Politics report on the bus tour’s kick off below.

At that kick-off event, Farmer downplayed reports of his spending as agriculture commissioner, saying he has “no regrets” about spending for hotels for a state high school basketball tournament and the State Fair.

While Williams and Farmer were rolling out of Louisville, one of their opponents, Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw, was rolling out some unusual endorsements.

Holsclaw received endorsements from three unions, the Jefferson County Teachers Association (JCTA), the United Brotherhood of Teamsters and the United Food and Commercial Workers. Those unions typically favor Democratic candidates.

But Holsclaw said she sees no foul play in the endorsements

Williams disagreed, saying the JCTA has consistently opposed him and his education bills in the Senate. He blamed the teachers union for holding back education in Louisville and pledged his would continue to fight for his education platform.

He also took a shot at the third GOP primary candidate, Phil Moffett, saying the unions picked the Republican most likely to challenge Williams in a primary and they didn’t pick the Louisville businessman.

Brent McKim, leader of the JCTA, said the endorsement of Holsclaw had nothing to do with their dislike of Williams. Instead, McKim said they endorsement Holsclaw because they saw her as being able to run the most efficient and effective governor’s office out of the three GOP choices.

And speaking of Moffett, his campaign received a slap on the wrist from the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, the Associated Press reports.

The attorney for KREF told the Moffett campaign to “cease and desist” any possible communications with the Western Representation PAC or else it could be in violation of state election finance law.

The Moffett campaign has been promoting statements by the PAC that it would spend $100,000 in the Republican primary for governor. And the PAC’s leader, former U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller of Alaska, spoke to a group of tea party members in Lawrenceburg, Ky. over the weekend.

The PAC is also running radio ads in support of Moffett in Bowling Green. But the Moffett campaign has repeatedly told Pure Politics that it has no direct contact with the Western Representation PAC.

And Moffett’s campaign manager, David Adams, told the AP that the letter from KREF is infringing on the campaign’s free speech rights.

Secretary of State

The biggest news in both primaries for secretary of state was the first radio ad hitting the airwaves come Monday. The ad, for Republican candidate Bill Johnson, will run statewide.

Johnson was also endorsed by the Louisville Tea Party on Thursday, two days after he appeared before the group for a candidate forum.

His primary opponent, Hilda Legg, spent most of her time fund-raising and continuing to appear at various forums.

On the Democratic side, Alison Lundergan Grimes and Elaine Walker continued on the trail as well, visiting some unfamiliar parts of the state. For Walker, it was a trip to Northern Kentucky and for Grimes, it was to Walker’s hometown of Bowling Green.

Walker, who is in the current secretary of state after being appointed in January, also received an endorsement from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ statewide union. She also held a kick-off rally in Bowling Green after voting absentee earlier this week.

Attorney General

Democratic candidate Jack Conway is running for his second term as attorney general and after spending not campaigning for much of the beginning of 2011, Conway finally rolled out an updated website for his re-election campaign.

The website has a different layout than what was used during Conway’s U.S. Senate campaign last year and it’s color scheme has changed just a tad. Instead of the bright yellow and blue Conway had been using, he’s switched to a darker navy blue and a gold, instead of a yellow.

Conway’s general election opponent (neither attorney general candidate has a primary), Hopkins County Attorney Todd P’Pool, continued to fund-raise heavily.

On Thursday night, P’Pool enlisted the help of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell for a fund-raiser in P’Pool’s hometown of Madisonville.


The only major news out of the auditor’s race was the endorsement Republican state Rep. Addia Wuchner picked up.

Wuchner, who is running against Lexington businessman John Kemper, received the endorsement of Hal and Sheila Heiner this week. Heiner is a former Louisville Metro Councilman and mayoral candidate.

Of course, Pure Politics had Wuchner and Kemper on for a debate on Thursday night’s show. You can view the debate here.


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