Imes thinks negative stories in GOP gubernatorial primary could affect treasurer's race

05/14/2015 09:28 PM

As the hotly contested Republican primary for governor scoops up headlines, the three-way primary for state treasurer could also be impacted by the negative story lines.

State Rep. Kenny Imes, R-Mayfield, said there is the possibility that negative campaign tactics and allegations of abuse could turn off voters in the primary.

“If we’re turning voters off in this primary, and they’re saying, ‘What the heck. I can’t decide, you know, who’s being truthful or not about this.’ So, obviously that’s going to effect the down ticket slate,” he said.

As a current state lawmaker, Imes said he sees the inner workings of government and fears that mounting debt could effect future Kentuckians.

Lawmakers craft the state biennium budget with input from the executive branch, but Imes says there’s more that can be done from the treasurer.

“As a lawmaker you’re one of 100 or one of 138 legislators,” Imes said. “What I intend to do and what I want to do is to get the transparency of the treasurer’s office open and available.”

“The legislature meets 60 days or 30 days they do the appropriations in the 60-day thing for our two year cycle, but in the mean time lots of things happen in two years,” Imes said. “So, what I would like to do is be able to get the transparency there.”

Imes said individuals in the state should be able to check online and watch as the state issues personal service contracts, and he proposed a five-day waiting period before the state issues a check after posting the contract online.

Acknowledging there is legislative oversight to the contracts under the Government Contract Review Committee, Imes said he would like the treasurer to go a step further and also review contracts before the check clears the treasury. Currently master agreements, personal service contracts, grants and memoranda of agreements which require review of the legislative committee are posted online via the state’s transparency portal open door.

“It is an automated system now, but I just don’t think we have the review to be just running this stuff automatically,” Imes said.

With one candidate in the race running on a ticket to abolish the office, Imes says the treasurer is “one of the few safeguards that we’ve got.” If the office was shuttered Imes says the duties would fall under the Finance and Administration Cabinet, and thus the governor would also control the treasury via appointments.

Hear what Imes says about the pension systems and the lottery board starting at 7:30 in the interview below.

Imes faces Prestonsburg lawyer Allison Ball and former former Fayette County Judge-Executive Jon Larson in the May 19 primary.

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@twcnews.com.

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