FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Registry of Election Finance found Thursday that Democrats Andy Beshear and Jack Conway accepted illegal third party contributions from the Tim Longmeyer bribery scheme, but did so unknowingly.
The registry’s board voted to accept the finding of staff auditors that Beshear’s 2015 campaign for attorney general got $4,000, and Conway’s 2015 campaign for governor got $2,000 in contributions from money illegally kicked back to the Longmeyer.
The unknowing acceptance of illegal contributions amounts to a minor violation of state campaign finance laws, and small fines against the campaign are likely to be recommended by staff for the registry’s board to consider at its next meeting in February.
Brad Bowman, spokesman for Beshear’s current campaign for the 2019 Democratic Party nomination for governor, attended the registry meeting and said such unintentional violations not unusual in large campaign’s such as Beshear’s in 2015 that raised about $3.5 million from about 7,000 contributors.
At issue in this matter was part of the money that Longmeyer collected in a kickback scheme while he was serving as secretary of the state Personnel Cabinet in the 2007-2015 administration of Beshear’s father, Gov. Steve Beshear.