Yarmuth: Kentucky Democrats need to repudiate alleged bribery scheme connected to Tim Longmeyer; ranks Bevin’s first 100 days in office

04/06/2016 09:56 AM

Kentucky’s lone federally elected Democrat is calling on members of his party to condemn the actions of former Personnel Cabinet Secretary Tim Longmeyer, who has been charged with bribery.

Longmeyer has been accused of participating in a kickback scheme with others to persuade Humana and Anthem to hire a consulting firm, identified as MC Squared Consulting, in return for more than $200,000. As the case moves forward, Yarmuth said Democrats, more than Republicans, need to strike down corruption in order to protect government.

“Tim’s been a friend of mine, you know we’ve worked together for 10 years or so, and what happened is just totally unfortunate, but it’s also unacceptable,” Yarmuth said. “I think as Democrats, as much as we like Tim personally, we’re the ones who believe that government is important — we’re the party of government. And we ought to be as aggressive in going after misconduct, fraud, waste — whatever it is, we ought to be more aggressive than Republicans are.

“I don’t think we should be out there defending him.”

The Louisville Democrat said that Democrats across the state can defend Longmeyer as a person, but they have to repudiate his alleged conduct in the Personnel Cabinet.

Yarmuth said if Democrats don’t take action against issues of misconduct, fraud, abuse and the like it will become a political issue for them.

“We have a greater obligation to clamp down on misconduct than Republicans do,” Yarmuth said. “They think government doesn’t work — they talk about these things and want to root out misconduct and so forth because they want to prove government doesn’t work very well. We need to do it because we want a government that works well.”

Rating the first months in office for Bevin

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has been in office four months now, and Yarmuth’s take on the first months and weeks is one of a rocky start.

“I certainly wouldn’t rate it highly,” Yarmuth said of Bevin’s start in elected office.

Kentucky’s only Democratic federal official said Bevin has spent too much time on “trivial things,” like his so-called selfie of the week contest on social media and the video of Bevin searching for members of the state House in the chamber while meetings were taking place in the Capitol Annex.

Another bone Yarmuth has to pick with Bevin is over healthcare.

“I think what he has done with the healthcare system dismantling the most successful program in the country and is already hurting a lot of Kentuckians,” Yarmuth said.

“He did it prematurely.”

After filing for re-election in the Secretary of State’s Office earlier this year, Yarmuth said that he met with Bevin for about 15 minutes in a “very pleasant conversation” devoid of policy issues.

Yarmuth said that he offered to discuss healthcare with the governor, but as of yet that conversation has not taken place.

Watch the interview below for Yarmuth’s take on the budget impasse

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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