New Democratic chair gave to Republicans

McConnell, Fletcher benefited

jbrammer@herald-leader.comJune 22, 2010 

FRANKFORT — The newly appointed chairman and executive director of the Kentucky Democratic Party has contributed to campaigns of prominent Republicans in recent years, including U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and former Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

Records with the Federal Election Commission show that Daniel Logsdon, deputy chief of staff for Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear since September, gave $500 in September 2005 to McConnell's re-election committee.

Meanwhile, records with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance show he contributed $1,000 in March 2007 to Fletcher's unsuccessful re-election for governor and $250 in June 2007 to Republican Richie Farmer's successful bid for agriculture commissioner.

Logsdon acknowledged the GOP contributions Monday, noting he supervised local and state government affairs in Kentucky and Pennsylvania for Windstream Communications at the time.

"When I worked in the private sector, I worked with both Democrats and Republicans," he said. "My contributions reflect that."

In addition to his contributions to Republicans, records show Logsdon has donated to several Democrats, including $1,000 in 2008 to Barack Obama's presidential campaign and $500 to U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles.

Logsdon also has served as deputy treasurer for state Treasurer Jonathan Miller, a Democrat, and is the son of former state agriculture commissioner Ed Logsdon.

Daniel Logsdon said his contributions to Republicans were not mentioned Saturday when the 51-member state Democratic Central Executive Committee unanimously named him the party chairman and executive director, effective July 1, at Beshear's request.

Logsdon said he did not think it was necessary to discuss his contributions, because he had informed Beshear about the GOP contributions before he took a position in the administration.

"I feel strongly that my Democratic bona fides are irrefutable," he said, noting that he always has been registered as a Democrat.

Beshear said through party spokeswoman Barbara Hadley Smith that he knew Logsdon, as part of his previous job, contributed to candidates in both parties.

"Dan believes in the values of the Democratic Party and is committed to electing Democrats," Beshear said through Smith.

Five days after he joined Beshear's administration last September, Logsdon contributed $1,000 to Beshear's 2011 re-election efforts, records show.

Fayette County Democratic Party chair Brenda P. McClanahan, who is a member of the state executive committee, said she is "not surprised" Logsdon contributed to Republicans, "because so many people in the private sector give to both parties.

"I don't know why it would have any effect on his new job," she said.

McClanahan said there was no need for Logsdon to mention the issue to the committee Saturday.

"If the governor was satisfied with him, I think that was enough for committee members," she said.

Another committee member, Sen. Joey Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville, said he was not at the committee meeting Saturday, "but I imagine there'll be some people who will want to make an issue of his contributions."

"What I want to know is how he's going to raise money for the state Democratic Party and get us all back together," Pendleton said.

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