Republican files complaint against Beshear-Abramson in response to one about Williams-Farmer

09/17/2010 05:47 PM

A day after a Louisville Democrat filed a complaint against the 2011 Republican gubernatorial slate of David Williams and Richie Farmer, a Lexington Republican filed a similar complaint about the Democratic ticket of Gov. Steve Beshear and Jerry Abramson.

The complaints to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance are nearly identical in sections and focus on whether the tickets violated campaign finance laws by spending money before the slates had officially filed their paperwork to run with the registry. The registry regulates campaign fundraising and spending for candidates running for state and local offices.

In the latest complaint, Jon Strom of Lexington alleges that Beshear and Abramson posted a video announcing their campaign on YouTube on July 19 before their letter was filed on the July 20. Strom also said in the complaint that at least one place where the campaign announced their candidacy required a “$75 fee” that would have needed to be spent in order to use the facility for a news conference. The complaint also alleges that no expenditures has been listed on financial records for the event at Berry Hill Mansion in Frankfort, which would have required the $75 fee.

“Steve Beshear may be used to side-stepping the rules of the Office of Governor, but he has puthimself back in the people’s arena now,” Strom said in a release. “Steve Beshear started out on the wrong foot by trying to pull the wool over Kentuckians’ eyes while he breaks the very laws he is sworn to uphold as Governor. I expect a complete and thorough investigation into this matter and I think the people of Kentucky deserve no less.”

Strom also declined an interview with cn|2 Politics outside of what was in his release.

“I don’t have much to say beyond what’s in the release,” Strom wrote in an e-mail. “ It speaks for itself. I’m a little busy this afternoon.”

Matt Osborne, spokesman for Beshear and Abramson’s campaign, told cn|2 Politics in a statement that the campaign followed the law.

“This allegation has no merit, and all of the expenditures were legally made, reported, and have also been audited by the Registry of Election Finance,” Osborne said in the statement.

On Thursday, former Jefferson County teacher’s union leader Steve Neal filed a complaint against Williams, the state Senate president and Farmer, the agricultural commissioner, alleging their campaign spent money on a website and a web video before officially filing a Letter of Intent to run with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. Today, Jon Strom has filed a nearly identical complaint.

Strom, in his news release, asked Neal to join in his complaint against Beshear-Abramson.

- Kenny Colston


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