Ky. Family Values going to bat for Speaker Stumbo, others on TV airwaves in final days of campaign season

11/04/2016 11:27 AM

A Democratic super PAC is springing to House Speaker Greg Stumbo’s defense on the television airwaves, spending tens of thousands of dollars in the final days of this year’s election cycle.

Federal Communications Commission records show Kentucky Family Values, backed primarily by labor and teachers’ unions, reserved $63,400 in air time on WSAZ-TV in Huntington, W.Va., from Oct. 28 through Tuesday.

The late spending comes after the Washington, D.C.-based Republican State Leadership Committee pumped six figures in attack ads against Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, in his 95th House District covering Floyd County and part of Pike.

David Contarino, senior advisor for Kentucky Family Values, called Stumbo “the number one target of out-of-state corporate special interests.”

“We think he’s the cornerstone, as a lot of our guys are, to protecting good jobs, good wages, good schools, affordable health care, so we decided to go in there to support his efforts,” Contarino told Pure Politics.

“Most specifically, there’s a guy who has stood up for eastern Kentucky and protected eastern Kentucky when Matt Bevin vetoed bringing coal severance money back, talked about how eastern Kentucky didn’t need the resources that it was getting, and so if we don’t have a strong speaker and strong leaders like John Short, Fitz Steele, Rocky (Adkins), Cluster Howard and so many others, this governor’s going to leave them high and dry.”

Gov. Matt Bevin’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The super PAC has also started spending on TV advertising in other districts after primarily focusing on field, radio and digital efforts earlier in this campaign season.

FCC records, some of which include a corresponding House district, show Kentucky Family Values has bought:

  • $79,205 on WKYT-TV in Lexington Oct. 29 through Tuesday
  • $25,375 on WEHT-TV in Evansville, Ind., Oct. 28 through Tuesday in the 7th House District held by Rep. Suzanne Miles, R-Owensboro
  • $20,120 on WYMT-TV in Hazard Oct. 28 through Tuesday
  • $10,800 on WTVW-TV in Evansville, Ind., Oct. 28 through Tuesday in the 12th House District held by Democrat-turned-Republican Rep. Jim Gooch, of Providence
  • $480 on Lexington’s WTVQ-TV Friday through Tuesday
  • An undisclosed amount on WTVF-TV in Nashville supporting Rep. Martha Jane King, D-Lewisburg

King has been “a particular victim of scurrilous and just preposterous attacks” in her re-election campaign and “deserves support as a strong, good legislator,” Contarino said, referencing recent advertising from Republican super PAC Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, which has received sizable contributions from in-state and out-of-state donors including the RSLC, and the state GOP.

“So we’ve invested in that race as well,” he said.

The group reported spending $37,104 on radio advertising in King’s 16th House District covering Logan, Todd and part of Warren counties, according to Kentucky Registry of Election Finance records filed in early October.

Contarino declined to discuss specifics of other districts in which ads are airing when asked specifically about Kentucky Family Values’ ad on WYMT-TV and generally about other television buys made by the super PAC, saying the group “doesn’t discuss specific TV buys.”

“You could throw a dart at the map and there’s a pretty good chance we’re going to be involved,” he said. “… I think we’re up in 19 or 20 races where we’re currently invested in various activities and programs, so it’s quite a year.”

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers Kentucky politics and all the goings-on at the State Capitol. Kevin was born and raised in Frankfort so he grew up around politics and has always had the drive to follow the political process and hold lawmakers accountable. Before joining Spectrum News Kevin covered government and politics for The State Journal in Frankfort. You can watch Kevin’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135.

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