Republican candidate for attorney general Todd P’Pool won’t return contributions from a for-profit university being investigated by the Kentucky attorney general’s office and lashed out at Democratic incumbent Jack Conway for calling on him to do so.
Last week, a former admissions officer at Spencerian College in Louisville, which is run by Sullivan University, accused school executives of urging employees to support P’Pool this November. Spencerian is among several for-profits that are currently being probed by the attorney general’s office and Conway’s office confirmed they have subpoenaed documents from the school.
Campaign finance records show Sullivan officials contributed $12,000 to the P’Pool campaign in April, but the GOP nominee has rejected calls by Conway’s campaign to return the money, adding the Hopkins County Attorney is putting a “for sale” sign on the attorney general’s office.
But P’Pool says the donations haven’t influenced his agenda and won’t have any bearing on his prosecuting of cases if elected this fall.
“Since the day I filed for this office up until today, right now my message has never changed and will not change. My principles are not for sale and when I’m in office I will uphold the rule of law and those folks who are violating the law will be prosecuted,” he says.
The chancellor at Sullivan University, A.R. Sullivan, has publicly defended the for-profit college system and called Conway’s investigation “a re-election sham.” And besides giving hefty contributions Sullivan hosted a fund-raiser for P’Pool last week as well.
Officially the P’Pool campaign hasn’t come out with a position on investigating for-profit colleges and has deemed the matter a low priority. Instead, P’Pool has emphasized his position on national issues such as his opposition to environmental regulations and President Obama’s health care law.
Asked if he’d object to an opponent taking contributions from a group being investigated, P’Pool echoed Sullivan’s sentiments that the attorney general is politicizing the investigation, adding Conway shouldn’t criticize funding sources after accepting $1,000 contribution from his brother, Matt, who was recently embroiled in a controversial narcotics investigation in Louisville.
“A real prosecutor would investigations confidential so it wouldn’t be played out in the public arena, but that’s not Jack Conway’s style. He likes to get his name in the newspaper and politicize investigations,” he says. “No shape or form will these contributions in anyway change my principles or agenda as Kentucky’s attorney general. And you know what? Jack Conway took a contribution from Matt Conway. If he wants to talk about contributions and how they affect, what’s the affect of the contribution from Matt Conway, who was under a felony drug investigation? He has no credibility whatsoever to make these assertions.”
The Conway campaign was unable to respond in time for this story.