Jack Conway launches first negative nominee ad, hammering Matt Bevin over taxes

08/18/2015 04:38 PM

Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway launched the first negative ad from a gubernatorial nominee on Tuesday, hitting Republican Matt Bevin on seemingly every tax issue that has emerged this year and in last year’s U.S. Senate primary.

The 30-second spot, titled “30 Times,” begins with Bevin’s press conference upon launching his bid to unseat then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, telling reporters that he had “no tax delinquency problem, nor have I ever.”

The ad then transitions to reports of more than $100,000 owed by Bevin Brothers Manufacturing in East Hampton, Conn., earning the company a spot atop a listing of the region’s tax delinquents in May 2011.

“He’s been cited for failing to pay his personal taxes 30 times,” a male narrator says. “Now Bevin won’t release his tax returns. What’s he hiding?”

The spot can be viewed here:

The ad comes a week after the Democratic super PAC Kentucky Family Values released a 30-second TV spot with a similar theme alongside the same Bevin soundbite.

Bevin campaign manager Ben Hartman did not return phone and email messages seeking comment, but some of the ad’s claims have been previously dismissed by independent fact-checkers like FactCheck.org, which reported that Bevin paid off back taxes on his family’s bell-making business after assuming control of the company in August 2011.

FactCheck.org and others have also reported that Bevin’s late property tax payments on a Maine vacation home was the fault of a new mortgage company, with $6,244 in back taxes paid in full by February 2009.

However, WAVE-TV reported in June that Bevin had paid $1,006 in interest and fees for four late property tax payments on the Maine residence from 2002 through 2008 and $99 in interest and fees on six late property tax payments for an undeveloped lot in Louisiana from 2004 through 2010. In July, the news station reported that another Bevin company, Integrity Holdings, had paid $670 in interest and late fees for late property tax payments since 2009.

In response to both WAVE-TV pieces, Bevin’s campaign did not dispute the fees and penalties, but rather blamed Conway, and the Kentucky Democratic Party in July, for attempting to distract voters. Hartman, in June, told the TV station that the GOP nominee’s taxes are paid in full.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.


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