Kemper returns donations from public officials, calls on Edelen to do the same

10/20/2011 10:07 AM

Republican candidate for auditor John Kemper this week said he returned donations his campaign received from state officials he would potentially have to audit if elected Nov. 8 and called on his Democratic opponent to do the same.

It was Kemper’s latest move in his ongoing debate with Edelen over the issue of how a state auditor can accept campaign donations from state employees or local officials who would be subject of audits.

Kemper’s campaign returned $1,195 to five officials: state workers, a judge and local officials. Kemper called on his opponent, Democratic candidate Adam Edelen to do the same.

According to the Kemper campaign, Edelen has received $74,324 from state and local officials and another $34,861 from lobbyists.

“Adam Edelen has exchanged the last bit of his credibility as an independent or impartial agent on behalf of taxpayers for an embarrassing glut of campaign cash from individuals and agents who have vested interests in maintaining the status quo in Frankfort,” Kemper said.

Edelen is the former chief of staff to Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and many of Beshear’s cabinet secretaries and lawmakers have donated to Edelen. The Democrat also holds a large fundraising advantage over Kemper. Edelen had about $540,000 on hand as of Oct. 7 compared to about $10,000 for Kemper. .

In response, Edelen’s campaign stood firm in not returning the donations as Edelen said during a KET debate with Kemper on Oct. 10.

“…He was criticizing Adam for taking contributions from state employees—less than 10% of his fundraising total—while doing the same thing himself,” Nathan Cryder, a spokesman for Edelen said in a statement. “It was only when the media pointed out his hypocrisy that he decided to return it. So it’s clear that Mr. Kemper’s is simply trying to distract from the fact that he is fundamentally unfit to be state auditor.”

-Reporting by Kenny Colston


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.