Tea partier Moffett spent more than he raised in quarter; Williams raised 80% of total in 1st event

01/07/2011 09:05 AM

While Republican candidate for governor Phil Moffett has campaigned on brining business principles to government, his campaign ran a deficit in the last fundraising quarter as it collected $20,651 but spent more than $31,500.

Of the Moffett campaign’s expenses last quarter, 76% of the money went to pay the salary of campaign manager, David Adams. Adams has received $36,800 of the $45,813 the campaign has spent in total since filing in August to raise money in the Republican primary.

Phil Moffett, Republican candidate for governor

Overall, Moffett and his running mate, state Rep. Mike Harmon of Boyle County, reported this week having a balance of $7,787. They remain still in the black largely because Moffett wrote his campaign a $30,000 check on Aug. 9.

Adams the campaign manager dismissed questions about whether running a deficit in the last fundraising quarter — between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 — undermines Moffett’s attempt to bill himself as the fiscal hawk who has pledged to slash state spending.

“It’s not government money,” Adams said of the campaign fund. “We’re raising money as fast as we can … No one ever said it was going to be easy.”

Adams said cutting back his salary until contributions pick up “has not been part of our discussions at all.”

Moffett’s list of donations over the last three months include:

  • $500 from Basil Turbyfill, former director of the office of personnel under former Gov. Ernie Fletcher. A grand jury indicted Turbyfill, among others, during an investigation into the administration’s hiring practices. Turbyfill last year paid $1,500 to settle an Executive Branch Ethics case left over from the 2005-2006 personnel probe.
  • and Lexington businesswoman Katherine Gornick of Theil Audio,
  • $1,000 from John Garen, a professor of economics at the University of Kentucky
  • $248 from Michael Maggard of Richmond, who was a prominent supporter of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul last year.
  • $1,000 each from Russell and Phyllis Sparks of Sparks Contractors, Inc. of Walton.


Much has been made recently of Moffett’s struggles to raise money in the GOP primary for governor, which so far features his ticket and that of state Senate President David Williams with running mate Richie Farmer, the state’s commissioner of agriculture. Adams told Pure Politics this week that some Republicans are concerned about donating to Moffett because they risk offending Williams.

Adams said the campaign is hopeful the fundraising is about to pick up.

“There’s stuff going on behind the scenes. We’re in the process of remedying the situation with regards to fundraising,” he said. “That’s all I can tell you.”

Moffett spent Wednesday and Thursday in Washington meeting with supporters of Paul, the new Kentucky Senator, Adams said. Moffett spoke to another tea party movement favorite, new Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Adams said.

Williams, meanwhile, raised nearly 80% the $647,021 he collected in the quarter from a single fundraiser — his kick-off event on Nov. 17 at the Lexington farm of homebuilders Don and Mira Ball.

The donations to the campaign of Williams and running mate Richie Farmer, the commissioner of agriculture, include:

  • $23,500 total from 26 physicians and employees of Pikeville Medical Center, including its president Walter May and his wife, Pam May, who is the hospital’s general counsel.
  • $12,000 total from 12 members of the Griffin family in Northern Kentucky who run Griffin Industries. The family has prominently supported Republicans, including the last Republican governor, Ernie Fletcher.


  • $5,000 total from five employees of Gaddie-Shamrock, which is partly owned by road contractor Leonard Lawson of Pikeville.
  • $1,000 from Greg May of Raccoon, chief operating officer of Utility Management Group, which is partly owned by Lawson


  • $2,000 total from Terry and Marion Forcht of Corbin. Terry Forcht is president of the Forcht group, which includes banks and insurance companies, and is a prominent fundraiser.
  • $1,000 from Robert Gable, the former Republican Party of Kentucky chairman and owner of the Stearns Company.
  • $1,000 from David Jones, founder of Humana in Louisville
  • $1,oo0 from Northern Kentucky businessman Bill Butler, CEO of Corporex


  • $1,000 from James Taylor, president of the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg. Williams has been an advocate for the college and made a controversial push in 2006 for state funds to be used to help build a new pharmacy school at the private college.


  • $1,000 from Bowling Green attorney J. Marshall Hughes. A grand jury indicted Hughes as part of the personnel investigation during the Fletcher administration even though Hughes was an unpaid advisor and not a state employee. Williams backed Hughes in a failed bid for the state Senate in 2009.
  • $1,000 from Dave Disponett, a retired builder from Lawrenceburg, who also was indicted with Hughes during the personnel probe. Both indictments were nullified by Fletcher’s pardons.
  • $1,000 from Donald Storm, retired Adjutant General of the Kentucky National Guard during Fletcher’s administration
  • $1,000 from Donnie Owens, a principal in Franklin County and husband of Laura Emberton Owens, a lobbyist with Advancement Strategies and former Education Cabinet Secretary in Fletcher’s administration.
  • $500 from Brad Cowgill, the former budget director during Fletcher’s administration


  • $500 from Larry Forgy, the Lexington lawyer and Republican candidate for governor in 1991 and 1995.
  • $1,000 from Tom Emberton, a former Republican lieutenant governor candidate
  • $500 from Mike Templeman, a former coal operator and former GOP candidate in last year’s Republican primary for Congress in the 6th District.


  • $100 from the campaign funds of state Rep. Jim DeCesare of Rockfield
  • $100 from the campaign fund of state Sen. Mike Wilson of Warren County
  • $200 from the campaign fund of state Sen. Damon Thayer of Georgetown
  • $100 from the campaign fund of state Rep. Addia Wuchner of Florence
  • $100 from the campaign fund of state Rep. Brad Montell of Shelbyville
  • $100 from the campaign fund of state Rep. Jamie Comer of Tompkinsville
  • $500 from state Sen. Dan Seum of Louisville
  • $300 from state Sen. Verie McGaha of Russell Springs


  • $2,000 total from Tim Couch, the former University of Kentucky and NFL quarterback, and his wife, Heather


Like Moffett, Williams loaned his campaign money to start, writing a $100,000 check in September.

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY FOR GOVERNOR FUNDRAISING


…………………….  RAISED IN QUARTER            SPENT IN QUARTER         BALANCE

Moffett/Harmon         $20,651                                  $31,552                      $7,787

Williams/Farmer        $647,021                                $68,703                     $641,658.57

……………………….  RAISED IN TOTAL                 SPENT IN TOTAL

Moffett/Harmon         $53,941  ($30,000 loan)       $45,814

Williams/Farmer        $753,196 ($100,000 loan)    $111,537

The filing deadline for the May 17 Republican and Democratic primaries is Jan. 25. It’s unclear whether any other GOP tickets will form by then.

- Ryan Alessi

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Subscribe to email updates.

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

TWEETS ABOUT KENTUCKY POLITICS