Democratic Super PAC refuses to release back up for claim in ad against GOP special election candidate

11/25/2013 05:30 PM

UPDATED WITH NEW DEVELOPMENT: The chairman for the Democratic Kentucky Family Values PAC is refusing to release the citations for a key claim in a new radio advertisement running in the special election in western Kentucky’s 7th House District.

The ad is aimed at Republican candidate Suzanne Miles and says her “family’s businesses got $2.5 million in federal handouts.”

Cary Blankenship, the chairman for the Kentucky Family Values PAC, refused to tell Pure Politics how the group arrived at the $2.5 million figure. Four times Blankenship said he “doesn’t discuss strategy” when asked directly about the facts behind the claims of the ad.

Blakenship is listed as an assistant professor of history at Centre College.

Miles is running in the special election to replace former Rep. John Arnold, D-Sturgis, who resigned his seat in September amid allegations that he sexual harassed legislative staffers. Miles, a constituent services representative for Republican U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, faces Democrat Kim Humphrey in the Dec. 10 special election for the 7th House seat, which covers southern Daviess County, part of Henderson and all of Union counties.

It remains unclear to what $2.5 million in federal “handouts” is referring.

Miles’ father is Billy Joe Miles, a farmer and seed company owner who did receive $1.12 million in farm subsidies from 1995-2012, according to a search of the Environmental Working Group database. Other Owensboro farmers with the last name Miles also received some subsidies.

The $2.5 million figure also happens to be the amount Owensboro Health received in federal grants to help launch a cancer center at a time when Miles was on the hospital’s board. But again, Blankenship wouldn’t say where the figure came from.

UPDATE 8:21 p.m.: An automated telephone poll paid for by the Kentucky Family Values received by voters in the district Monday night tested respondents opinion on $14 million in earmarks directed by Guthrie, including that “$2 million in federal funds were earmarked for Suzanne Miles’ father’s business while she worked for Guthrie’s office.”(The poll also tested voters’ opinions of Guthrie, President Barack Obama, Gov. Steve Beshear, Republicans and Democrats in Congress, the tea party and the Kentucky legislature, according to an audio recording of the poll provided to Pure Politics.)

The ad is currently running on WBKR radio out of Owensboro. The order for the ad originated from Townsquare Media based in Evansville, Ind., but neither station had additional information about the ad and referred questions to the agency that purchased the ad time, Katz Media out of Philadelphia, Penn.

Katz listed a contact person in the event of problems with any advertising. That contact, Aisha Pinkney, said she couldn’t offer any information about citation for the claims and referred further questions to her supervisor. The supervisor from Katz Media did not respond.

Below is the full transcript of the Kentucky Family Radio spot:

“Sometimes when it rains it pours. Have you heard of Suzanne Miles, she is the political insider who already gets a government salary as a congressional staffer. That’s right we pay her to work for the worst Congress in history. Now this same Suzanne Miles wants to go to Frankfort as our State Representative and she says if elected she will still keep her congressional staff job. One person two government paychecks. Now we learn that Suzanne Miles family’s businesses got 2.5 million dollars in federal handouts. $2.5 million dollars, one person two government paychecks, sometimes when it rains it really pours. We cannot afford Suzanne Miles, in the special election for state legislature on Tuesday December 10th say no to Suzanne Miles. Tell the political insiders their all wet. Paid for by Kentucky Family Values.”

This isn’t the first time an ad by Kentucky Family Values has come under fire. Western Kentucky radio stations pulled an last year against Republican Richard Heath because of claims it made about a business that wasn’t run by Heath but by his brother.

Miles is a former dress shop owner who has worked as a constituent services representative for Guthrie since he took office in 2009. And Humphrey is a former Union County economic development official who now works for Alliance Coal’s operation in Union County.

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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