Ky. House races 2012: GOP leader Hoover lays out strategies, says Republicans to raise $750K

06/11/2012 12:23 PM

After toiling in the minority for decades, House Republicans say 2012 offers them a chance to get close or take control of the state’s lower chamber and are preparing their most cohesive strategy and fundraising efforts yet, their leader said.

With 41 Republicans in the 100-seat chamber, House Republicans would have to flip 10 seats in November to take control.

In an interview with Pure Politics, House Republican floor leader Jeff Hoover of Jamestown cited two issues that Republicans plan to use against Democrats. One is the first draft of the 2010 budget bill proposed by House Democrats and approved by all the Democrats except Rep. Jim Wayne of Louisville that included $1.1 billion in new bonds to pay for construction projects such as schools. Democrats said the projects would spur the economy, but Hoover said it was “would have increased Kentucky’s debt to the highest level in state history.” (3:00)

Secondly, Hoover said Republicans will criticize Democrats over an issue raised by the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, in which representatives from that group say Democratic leaders went back on their word. An article in the conference’s newsletter with the headline “Session marred by broken promise,” said House Democratic leaders promised to allow a bill to come to the floor that would require a face-to-face consulting between a doctor and a woman seeking to have an abortion. In exchange, House Democrats asked that no other amendments be placed on that bill, the article says.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, told Pure Politics in a statement that he was aware supporters of the informed consent bill were making a pitch for such a deal but said he wasn’t involved in it and didn’t make a commitment.

“I had been told that supporters were trying to get a clean bill, but I wasn’t the lead person in this discussion and don’t recall hearing anything official about its progress,” Stumbo said. “I never commit to vote for a bill until I see it, especially on this issue.”

Hoover said Republicans plan to link Democratic candidates to President Barack Obama (2:30 of the video). And he also responded to questions about the Democrats’ efforts to link Republicans to to Senate President David Williams (6:45).

House Republicans have been outspent exponentially in recent elections. For instance, in 2010, the House Democratic caucus raised more than $1 million in that election cycle. The House Republicans collected about $112,000.

As of the last finance report in December 2011, the House Republicans had $4,741 on hand. The House Democratic caucus had $543,250.

Hoover said the GOP caucus aims to get to get about $750,000 between the caucus fund and the Republican Party of Kentucky’s House trust fund.

“We have five fundraisers in the next two weeks scheduled,” he said. The House Republican caucus held one in Louisville Thursday night featuring remarks from Hoover, former state representative and now Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and Cathy Bailey, the former U.S. ambassador to Latvia for President George W. Bush.

Find out how much the caucus already has raised this year at (2:00 of the second video).

That segment begins with Hoover answering a question about whether Hoover could work across party lines, if the Republicans eventually gain control of the House sometime in the future.


Subscribe to email updates.

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