FRANKFORT — Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear is trying to distance himself from the problems of Washington in his re-election campaign's newest television ad.
Meanwhile, a new independent expenditure group critical of Republican nominee David Williams is running the first negative TV ad of this fall's race for governor.
The new Beshear campaign ad shows photos of President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. An announcer says, "The mess in Washington has disappointed us all ... no leadership, just politics.
"But in Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear brought both parties together to balance budgets, slash spending and shrink government. And Kentucky just replenished its rainy-day fund."
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Beshear says Kentucky, under his leadership, has "tightened our belt in a fiscally responsible way."
The ad tries to address Williams' attempt to link Beshear with Obama, who is unpopular in the state.
The independent group's ad attacks Williams' public record, calling it "disturbing."
The ad blames Williams for killing the expansion of gambling through video lottery terminals at racetracks but notes he "racked up $36,000 in gambling losses in out-of-state casinos."
It also calls him "big spending" for buying a flat-screen TV for his office.
The ad is paid for by Kentucky Family Values.
Pure Politics, a news organization of Insight Communications, reported that the independent group has bought more than $110,000 in ads to run on cable networks in the Louisville and Lexington markets, starting Wednesday and running through August 21.
Pure Politics said the group's chairman is Russell Lloyd, who also is chairman of the 48th state legislative district for the Louisville-Jefferson County Democratic Party. He was not available for comment.
Williams said in an email that the ads "truly illustrate Steve Beshear's hyper-partisan, cynical nature."
"He wants everyone to believe he's above-the-fray while at the same time his allies are launching the first false and extremely negative attacks of this race," Williams said.
Gatewood Galbraith, a Lexington attorney who is an independent candidate for governor, has not run any TV ads in the race.