More twists in GOP primary as Comer’s ex alleges abuse, McDaniel accuses blogger of threats

05/05/2015 12:00 AM

LEXINGTON — State Sen. Chris McDaniel wasted little time in targeting one of his fellow lieutenant governor candidates, KC Crosbie, during Monday evening’s debate on KET’s “Kentucky Tonight” for her link to a controversial blogger who accused Agriculture Commissioner James Comer of assaulting a woman.

McDaniel also accused the blogger, Lexington attorney Michael Adams, of threatening his 6- and 10-year-old daughters in email and Facebook messages months ago. He said he took the communications to Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders around December or January.

“That’s not the kind of politics Kentucky deserves, and frankly KC I’ve been appalled with what I have seen over the past several weeks relating to this,” the Taylor Mill Republican said in his opening remarks.

McDaniel, Comer’s running mate, had left KET studios about an hour later when The Courier-Journal published a report in which Comer’s alleged victim, a former girlfriend at Western Kentucky University, penned the newspaper a four-page letter saying Comer abused her physically and mentally during their two-year relationship.

The woman, Marilyn Thomas, said she wrote the letter after Adams publicly identified her on his blog and Comer was asked about the allegations by The Lexington Herald-Leader in a report on communication between Adams and Crosbie’s husband through email and a one-on-one meeting.

“Everything I did, everywhere I went, and everyone with whom I interacted had to be approved” by Comer, Thomas wrote, according to in The Courier-Journal. “Consequences were violent and swift otherwise.”

Comer’s attorney, Dick Plymale of Lexington, vehemently denied every allegation raised in the letter to The Courier-Journal, threatening to sue the newspaper if it published the report.

Her letter did not offer specifics, but Thomas wrote to The Courier-Journal that Comer became “enraged” after he learned she had used his name on a form at a Louisville abortion clinic listing him as an escort to drive her home. Thomas told the newspaper she kept a paper from the visit, but she did not have immediate access to it.

The Courier-Journal’s Joe Gerth spoke with Thomas’ college roommate, who said Comer dropped off Thomas at the dorm after an abortion in 1991. The newspaper also spoke with Thomas’ mother, who said Comer called her home early in the morning about 25 years ago after Thomas wrote that he called her parents at 2 a.m. to “make violent threats” against her.

“I couldn’t understand everything he was saying, but he said something about your daughter’s going to be killed,” Mary Rose Thomas said in the report.

Comer’s college roommate told The Courier-Journal he never saw Comer mistreat Thomas physically, nor had he heard anything of an abortion.

“That doesn’t sound like Jamie at all,” he said in the report.

During Monday’s debate, Crosbie avoided a back-and-forth argument with McDaniel on statewide television.

“Last week Hal Heiner responded on behalf of our campaign, and we’ve been out running a positive campaign,” she said. “… We’ve already talked about this issue.”

Crosbie generally reiterated her response when asked her thoughts on McDaniel bringing up the blogger in his opening remarks.

McDaniel, after the debate, said he received email and Facebook messages “making veiled threats to my daughters, specifically referencing that he was going to find my daughters who are 6 and 10.”

“And we found that very problematic, and so we turned that over to the commonwealth’s attorney who has convened a grand jury and has an ongoing investigation into that.”

Adams has posted to his Tumblr site what he identifies as emails sent to McDaniel, who said he has not seen the material, and Facebook exchanges with one of McDaniel’s relatives.

“There were several emails, there were Facebook messages, there were lots of things affiliated with it,” McDaniel said. “I’m not sure what’s on his blog.”

Adams could not be reached for comment.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.

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