Conway gets heat for profanity in speech

jbrammer@herald-leader.comAugust 3, 2009 

  • FANCY FARM: Mongiardo & Conway

The U.S. Senate campaign of Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo wants Attorney General Jack Conway to apologize for the use of profanities in his speech Saturday at the Fancy Farm political picnic in far Western Kentucky.

"Daniel feels that the attorney general's profanities on the grounds of St. Jerome parish with church leaders and families there were completely inappropriate and Conway should extend an apology to everyone who was there," Mongiardo's campaign consultant Kim Geveden said Sunday.

But Conway's campaign manager, Mark Riddle, said there would be no apologies for the speech and Mongiardo should "apologize to Western Kentucky for distortions about Jack's family, record and vision of Kentucky."

During his Fancy Farm speech, Mongiardo described Conway as being with "the silver spoon crowd" and said Conway supported federal cap-and-trade legislation that would cap greenhouse gas emissions and allow companies that release less to sell their credits to more polluting companies.

Conway countered by saying he would never do anything to hurt Kentucky coal.

Mongiardo and Conway, the two top Democratic candidates in the 2010 U.S. Senate race, provided the most political sparks at the 129th annual Fancy Farm picnic sponsored by St. Jerome Catholic Church.

Conway, saying he was quoting former U.S. Sen. Wendell Ford of Owensboro, described himself as having a tough hide and was "one tough son of a bitch."

He also said Mongiardo "sure as hell can't speak the truth" and vowed never to take any "crap" from Republicans.

Several Fancy Farm officials and audience members said the language was inappropriate.

Geveden said Sunday he often has been to Fancy Farm picnics "and never heard such language there."

He also said he has heard and read that Wendell Ford often referred to his "tough hide" but never called himself "a son of a bitch."

"If Ford said that and they are quoting him, Conway and his people should produce it," Geveden said. "I've talked to a lot of Democrats today and no one could recall that."

Efforts to reach Ford for comment Sunday were not successful.

Regardless, Geveden said, "Conway's remarks at a church picnic were not appropriate for someone who wants to serve Kentucky in the U.S. Senate."

Asked if Conway will be using profanities on the campaign trail, Riddle said, "This campaign will come down to who has fought more and is the best on the issues. That is us.

"There were elevated comments from everyone at Fancy Farm, which is traditional."

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