Kentucky Gov. Office: Mongiardo Endorsement Legal

by Rick Howlett on April 2, 2009

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

Did a recent political endorsement issued by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear violate state and federal campaign laws? Page One, a political blog in Louisville, says it did, but the governor’s office disagrees.

Last Friday, Governor Steve Beshear endorsed Lt. Governor Dan Mongiardo’s Democratic campaign for the U-S Senate seat currently held by Republican Jim Bunning. But the endorsement was issued through state email on official letterhead.

Beshear spokesman Jay Blanton sees nothing wrong with that. “The governor’s office has been asked the question several times about his stance on that race and that question is asked in his capacity as governor. And he was responding in his capacity as governor,” Blanton said.

The Kentucky Registry of Election Finance referred Kentucky Public Radio to the Federal Election Commission, which sees no violation of federal campaign laws. The attorney general’s office says use of state letterhead may raise ethical questions, but that’s a matter for the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, which has received no complaints.

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