State Senate challenger's ad hits incumbent by claiming pensions will make lawmakers into 'millionaires'

10/29/2010 05:47 PM

Democratic state Senate candidate Don Blevins has launched an ad blaming Republican state Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr for supporting a pension increase for lawmakers.

What the two receive or will receive from their state pensions has been the main issue between the two as they tussle over the 12th state Senate district that covers southern and western Lexington.

Blevins, who collects a state pension as a retired Fayette County Clerk, has campaigned against Kerr for a 2005 vote that affected the state pension program. Kerr, a three-term state senator, has tried to dismiss the issue by claiming her pension isn’t that large and has criticized Blevins for trying to “triple-dip” with his pensions by adding a legislative pension.

A cn|2 poll of the race taken in late September showed Blevins up four points.

Blevins’ latest ad is blaming Kerr for her 2005 vote that allowed some lawmakers who had or have full-time jobs with the state to receive large pensions from the state.  Kentucky Roll Call outlined the issue in March, using examples of legislators who will collect large pensions in retirement.

Blevins’ commercial flashes the figure $168,000. That’s the amount that Democratic Rep. Harry Moberly, who is retiring this year from the legislature but earns a six-figure salary from the state through his job as a vice president at Eastern Kentucky University. While Blevins’ ad doesn’t directly say Kerr will earn a $168,000 pension, it is implied, which is misleading.

The ad quotes Kerr in an interview she did with cn|2 Politics in which she says her own pension is “paltry.” Her state pension would be based on her legislative salary in the $40,000 range.

Here’s Blevins’ ad:

-Reporting by Kenny Colston

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