GOP groups target Rep. John Short in 92nd House District

10/22/2016 02:41 PM

The Republican Party of Kentucky and super PAC Kentuckians for Strong Leadership have launched a bevy of attacks against Democratic Rep. John Short, of Mallie, in an effort to bring the 92nd House District under GOP control.

The Republican Party has dropped a website targeting the lawmaker over being named in a 2012 vote-buying scheme in Magoffin County. Pure Politics first reported on Short being named in court documents in June.

In a phone interview with Short on Friday, the Democratic lawmaker said the GOP “are bad people” and they’re intentionally misinterpreting his positions and his involvement in an ongoing court case in his district.

“The people that made up these allegations, in my opinion are bad people,” he said. “They don’t mind trying to destroy me, my family, my gun business. They’re doing it all for their own political gain in my opinion.”

When asked directly if he ever had anything to do with buying votes, Short said no prosecutor or law enforcement agency has ever contacted or accused him of vote buying.

His mother called him “bawling her eyes out” about a mailer regarding FBI raids and criminal investigations, Short said.

“She’s 76 years old,” Short said. “She’s about as devout a Christian Baptist lady you’ll ever meet in your life. … I’ve never been investigated, I’ve never been accused — I was mentioned.”

On the website, the RPK also seeks to highlight Short’s votes in favor of a state-based healthcare exchange that is substantially similar to kynect, the former portal to health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

“Short supports Obamacare despite its devastating effects on Kentucky’s hard-working families – rising costs, canceled plans and fewer health care choices,” the website reads.

Short said the attack is an unfair look at his position on the issue. He said he supports the kynect exchange instituted by former Gov. Steve Beshear, and he said the working poor in his district will be hurt by Gov. Matt Bevin’s transition to the federal health exchange and Bevin’s proposed Medicaid transition.

“They said I voted for Obamacare twice. I don’t go to Washington, D.C., and vote,” he said. “I voted for kynect every time. I’ve never voted for Obamacare.”

RPK has also started a direct mail campaign and have taken out a full page newspaper advertisement in the region blasting Short for his connection to the vote buying scheme, and promoting his GOP challenger.

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership is also zeroing in on the vote-buying claims, citing an August 23, report from the Lexington Herald Leader

The KSL ad features Republican candidate retired Kentucky State Trooper John Blanton as the “better choice” for the people of the 92nd House District.

The ad is running on broadcast and cable in the eastern Kentucky district.

Meanwhile, Blanton has purchased $12,915 in television ad time on WYMT-TV through Election Day.

Short told Pure Politics he hopes Democrats hold control of the state House or else there will be “pure devastation” by right-to-work legislation.


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