KY Democrats allege coordination in complaint against Terry Stephens, David Williams

10/28/2011 01:26 PM

*UPDATED:*The Kentucky Democratic Party formally alleged illegal campaign coordination in this year’s gubernatorial race official by filing a complaint with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance today.

Kentucky Democratic leaders first raised the issue in public statements after it was revealed that Terry Stephens, a Kentucky businessman and father-in-law to Republican gubernatorial nominee David Williams, was solely funding an outside Republican group called Restoring America.

Stephens and Williams’ campaign chairman denied any coordination in separate statements earlier this month. And in response to the KREF complaint, Williams’ campaign chair Donald Storm again denied any coordination.

“I have been assured that these charges are unfounded and untrue, and that the false, defamatory statements made by Daniel Logsdon in his individual capacity will be dealt with in due time,” Storm said in a statement. “…We expect the Registry to dismiss this complaint just as they did a nearly identical one in 2008.”

The case Storm is referring to is one made by the Republican Party of Kentucky against Beshear’s 2007 campaign governor and the Bluegrass Freedom Fund. KREF dismissed that case, which was based on the fact that the outside group and Beshear’s campaign shared the same donors.

Republicans argue that’s the same case the KDP is making now.

Restoring America has blanketed their TV ads across Kentucky, focusing mainly on attacks against Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat seeking re-election.

In the complaint, Kentucky Democratic Party chairman Dan Logsdon lists two reasons as evidence of coordination. First, that the group wasn’t set up before September 2011 and secondly, it didn’t focus on national issues, only the defeat of Beshear or support of Williams.

The complaint lists Restoring America Inc., the campaign group Restoring America, Stephens, Williams and Williams’ 2011 campaign as those involved in coordination.

Logsdon also points to Stephens’ funding of Restoring America as well as a Sept. 13 fundraiser Stephens held at his home for Williams as evidence of coordination.

You can read the entire complaint here: stephens_kref_complaint.pdf

The issue of coordination arose after Stephens disclosed he was Restoring America’s sole donor in order to get the group’s TV ads back on the air after Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate issued a restraining order taking them down.

Wingate ruled the ads were to be taken off the air because Restoring America did not list it’s contributors in it’s 32 day pre-election report.

After a failure of appeal to Kentucky’s Court of Appeals, Stephens then revealed himself as the donor and Wingate ended the restraining order.

Beshear’s campaign released its second ad about the issue today .

-Reporting by Kenny Colston


  • Bruce Layne wrote on October 29, 2011 04:59 PM :

    Despite some honorable intentions by a few well meaning people who are being exploited, the real purpose of campaign reform laws is to strengthen the incumbent advantage and reinforce the power of the entrenched establishment insiders of both of the Two Parties That Are One. The rules now prevent average Joe individuals from having much of a political voice, while the well connected fat cats can still dump a million or more corrupting dollars into any campaign they want to buy. Meanwhile, guys like Williams and Beshear use the campaign finance reporting requirements to keep tabs on who is donating to their opposition so they can deny plum state jobs or engage in other forms of political retaliation and intimidation.

    The establishment political cronies have efficient mechanisms in place to comply with the complex and time consuming campaign laws. Good luck to any individual who is fed up with politics as usual and decides to throw her hat in the ring. The campaign laws are so complex and tedious that a small independent campaign will spend all of its resources trying to read, understand and comply with the laws, and there will be no time, money or effort left over to do any actual campaigning. The campaign laws do almost nothing to prevent abuses by the powerful and well connected, but they’re a very powerful deterrent to anyone who would want to get involved in politics for all of the right reasons.

    As usual, the establishment and the career politicians benefit at the expense of third party reform challengers and reform challengers emerging within either of the two major parties.

    Campaign reform laws = oligarchy protection laws

    Did you really expect that the career politicians would pass campaign reform laws that would make it more difficult for them to run the crooked games they used to gain office?

  • bob wrote on October 31, 2011 08:15 AM :

    I’d bet if you dig deeper you’ll find ole Leoanard L. involved in funding this as well. Son-in-law or not, both Stephens and Lawson know they’ll get their money back ten fold with Williams as Senate leader. Same ole KY corrupt politicians owned by the these two and others.

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