Jack Conway forms leadership committee, JACK PAC, to help like-minded candidates

12/13/2012 03:19 PM

Attorney General Jack Conway now has a leadership PAC to raise and spend money that can be used to cover certain political expenses and help like-minded candidates.

The Justice and Action for the Commonwealth of Kentucky PAC or JACK PAC formed with a Frankfort P.O. Box address on Dec. 10, according to its filings with the Federal Election Commission.

Louisville-based accountant R. Wayne Stratton will serve as its treasurer. Stratton was the treasurer for Conway during his 2010 run for U.S. Senate and for his 2011 campaign for attorney general.

Conway’s spokeswoman, Allison Martin, declined to comment.

In a phone interview, Stratton said the PAC is designed to assist with any political expenses Conway might incur. Stratton said the committee probably could not be used to promote Conway for another office. The PAC also is designed as a political goodwill tool — to support candidates who have similar political perspectives to Conway.

Stratton said Conway called him 10-15 days ago to see if he would be willing to be the treasurer of the PAC. Stratton is a CPA with Jones, Nale and Mattingly in Louisville. He has supported many high-profile Democrats in the past, including Gov. Steve Beshear, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and former auditor Crit Luallen .

Conway, who is term-limited, has said he is interested in running for governor in 2015. Luallen, a close ally of Conway’s, also said she is looking at running for the job.

In terms of how this political action committee can be used to prepare for run for office, there are rules in Kentucky. The Kentucky General Assembly eliminated the ability of prospective candidates to form exploratory committees for governor in 2002. Those committees allowed a potential candidate to raise money to cover expenses, such as polling and travel reimbursements. But now a candidate for governor first must find a running mate to file with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance to raise and spend money related to a gubernatorial bid.

Former Democratic Lt. Gov. Steve Henry took heat in 2007 when former campaign aides claimed he improperly used his leftover federal campaign fund from his 1998 U.S. Senate race to cover expenses related to his preparation for a run for governor.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is 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 his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.


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