Aug
01
2011

Is Gov. Steve Beshear (D, KY) extorting campaign contributions?

(Via Instapundit) That’s the rather bombshell allegation being made today; the gist is that Rodney Young (a retiring psychologist for the Department of Juvenile Justice has reported that his colleagues were the target of an attempt to extort $500 contributions to Steve Beshear’s re-election campaign, with the threat that they could lose their jobs if they did not so contribute. The major argument against this happening is that it would be EXTREMELY STUPID of anyone affiliated with the Governor to make this kind of threat; particularly considering the video found below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPIhLVO0C-o&feature=channel_video_title

For those without video access, that’s Steve Beshear promising that accountability begins at the top, and that he’s expecting all of his top staffers will be trained in ethics.

Well. All right, then.

Anyway, this letter (via WFPL News) sent to Kentucky GOP Chairman Steve Robertson goes into more details, including the name of the alleged bagman (Deputy Secretary Charles Geveden of the Justice & Public Safety department) and a list of allegedly targeted individuals; Robertson quickly made formal complaints to the relevant state agencies; Dr. Young (who is allegedly a Democrat) also directly contacted the Attorney General Jack Conway (D). At this time, the Beshear administration is calling this a “distraction,” but there’s been at least three people on Young’s list who can be confirmed as having made contributions to Beshear’s campaign, and it is apparently illegal for state employees to be specifically targeted as state employees for campaign contributions. Which makes one confirmation in particular (Patrick Sheridan) particularly worrisome; Dr. Sheridan apparently was specifically targeted.

If I had to guess, it would be that Geveden exceeded his authority, that somebody in the Beshear administration realized this after the fact, and they’re now trying their best to cover up after the fact. Unfortunately, what they’d be covering up in this case would be a felony; which means that the Attorney General really needs to get started on that investigation. Before people like Todd P’Pool – or, for that matter, GOP KY gubernatorial candidate David Williams – start adding that question to their list of ones that they’d like Conway and Beshear to answer. More about this as as we hear it…

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: Dagnabbit, Jim Geraghty! How are you managing to keep scooping me today!

2 Comments

  • Canthros says:

    I’m taking all that with a large grain of salt, but if it’s true, I’m not actually surprised. Frankfort’s had problems with waste, corruption and graft for ages. It was a standing joke two and a half decades ago, and we would not have gotten Fletcher except that his predecessor, Patten, screwed up so badly (and in a colorful enough way that the news couldn’t help themselves but to cover) as to make anybody affiliated with him practically radioactive. (And, then, there’s the merit hiring system Fletcher tripped all over …)

    I understand there are corruption problems in areas of the state that are predominantly Republican, too. Doesn’t seem like they’ve been running the state the last thirty- or forty-odd years, though.

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