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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Democratic Party Spent $85,000 For Beshear’s Plane Use

A report in the Lexington Herald-Leader reveals Governor Steve Beshear used a state plane to take his family to the 2011 NCAA Final Four basketball tournament in Houston.

The Kentucky Democratic Party reimbursed the state $6,105 for the flight and has spent almost $85,000 to cover the cost of similar flights since the governor took office.

From the Herald-Leader:

Since Beshear became governor in December 2008, he has made much use of state aircraft for political and non-governmental purposes — but not at state expense.

(SNIP)

Beshear initially said his trips to nine Kentucky cities were not related to his re-election campaign. After an inquiry by the newspaper, Beshear’s campaign manager, Bill Hyers, acknowledged the governor had “a political event” in Louisa and would follow his administration’s policy to reimburse the state for any non-governmental use of state aircraft.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

KDP Renews Call That Farmer Reimburse State for Luxury Suites

Criticisms of Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer and his use of state money continue despite him donating portions of his salary to charity.

On Tuesday, Farmer, who is running for lieutenant governor in the Republican primary, apologized for refusing to participate in furlough days, which helped fill the state’s budget deficit.

The Kentucky Democratic Party is pleased with that decision, but has ratcheted up its rhetoric that the former Mr. Basketball reimburse the state for spending over $1,500 for a four-night stay at a luxury hotel during a basketball tournament.

Democratic Party spokesman Matt Erwin says everyone in state government is making sacrifices and Farmer should return that money as well.

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Kentucky Democratic Party Chair To Step Down

By Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky Public Radio has learned the Kentucky Democratic Party will soon have a new chairman. Charlie Moore, who has held the post since March 2009, is stepping down.

The 61-year old Union County lawyer tells KPR he’s needed back home for personal and professional reasons. “When I took this volunteer position, I explained that I would not be able to stay much more than a year, and I’ve already stayed longer than that.”

The Kentucky Democratic Party’s State Central Executive Committee is scheduled to meet Saturday in Frankfort to choose Moore’s successor. Gov. Beshear’s deputy chief of staff Daniel Logsdon is reportedly the governor’s choice for the position.

(Photo from Kentucky Democratic Party)

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Local News

New KDP Executive Director Is On The Job

The Kentucky Democratic Party’s new executive director is in his first week in the position. Kyle Cox is a 33-year-old native of Indiana.

“I’ve been working on campaigns for a long time, predominantly in the south, and Kentucky is like home to me,” says Cox. “I grew up in southern Indiana, was raised on a farm in Indiana, and have been working for elected officials in places like Kentucky since I was really little.”

Cox, an Indiana University graduate, says he wants to increase the power of the party up to the 2010 elections.

He says one challenge facing the party is the economy, since it relies on donations.