Mongiardo calls out Conway on investment

jbrammer@herald-leader.comNovember 18, 2009 

FRANKFORT — Attorney General Jack Conway failed to report on a state Executive Branch Ethics Commission form an investment in a Texas energy company, his chief Democratic opponent in the U.S. Senate race, Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo, said Tuesday.

Conway reported in August with the U.S. Senate clerk that he had investments worth between $1 million and $5 million in Kinder Morgan Energy.

But Mongiardo's campaign said Conway did not list the stock purchase on a financial disclosure report filed in April with the state ethics commission. The state requires officials to list investments of at least $10,000.

"Jack Conway has serious questions to answer," Mongiardo spokesman Kim Geveden said in a telephone news conference.

Conway's campaign immediately released documents that showed Conway amended the state form in September and listed Kinder Morgan as an investment valued at more than $10,000.

In a letter to the ethics commission, Conway said he "discovered an oversight" after reviewing the personal financial disclosure form required by the U.S. Senate Ethics Committee.

He said he first invested in Kinder Morgan in February 2007, and its value was $22,653 at the end of 2007 and $20,546 at the end of 2008.

Conway's campaign said the bulk of Conway's investment in the Texas company came this year.

It also released copies of 2007 news stories that said Mongiardo, as a candidate for lieutenant governor, failed to disclose with two state agencies a financial interest he held in a $725,000 Frankfort apartment complex.

Mongiardo at the time said it was "just an oversight" on his part and that he was "a passive investor" in the apartments.

Besides raising the disclosure issue Tuesday, Geveden repeated earlier comments that Conway needs to explain why he has more than 90 percent of his wealth invested in a Texas energy company that advocates using natural gas to replace Kentucky coal.

Geveden noted a July article in the Houston Chronicle that quoted the head of Kinder Morgan, Richard Kinder, as saying "natural gas and nuclear are the only answers" to address climate change.

Conway has reportedly received $4,800 for his campaign from Sara Morgan, the wife of Kinder Morgan founder William V. Morgan.

Mongiardo says Conway supports 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 has countered by saying he would never do anything to hurt Kentucky coal.

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