Politics & Government

Bevin: Lundergan indictment shows ‘rampant’ corruption of state Democratic Party

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin speaks at the Republican Party of Kentucky’s Lincoln Dinner at the Hilton Downtown in Lexington, Ky., Aug 25, 2018.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin speaks at the Republican Party of Kentucky’s Lincoln Dinner at the Hilton Downtown in Lexington, Ky., Aug 25, 2018. mdorsey@herald-leader.com

Gov. Matt Bevin said Saturday the indictments of former state Democratic Party chairman Jerry Lundergan and political consultant Dale Emmons show the longtime corruption of the Kentucky Democratic Party.

Bevin, a Republican, posted on his Twitter account that the indictments were “another example of the type of corruption that has been rampant in Kentucky for much of the past 100 years while a single political party had nearly (and at times entirely) unfettered control of everything ... KY voters have thrown them out for a reason.”

The governor included in his tweet a report by Lexington’s WKYT about the indictments, showing photos of Lundergan and his daughter, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is considering a possible bid next year for governor or attorney general.

Bevin has said he will seek another four-year term next year.

His reference to Democratic Party control of the state was about Democratic domination of state politics until 2016 when the GOP gained a majority in the state House for the first time since 1921. Republicans now control both the House and Senate and the governor’s office.

The Kentucky Democratic Party had no comment to Bevin’s comment, said party spokeswoman Marissa McNee.

Lundergan. 71, and Emmons, 66, were indicted Friday by a federal grand jury in Lexington for allegedly making illegal contributions to the 2014 U.S. Senate campaign of Grimes and then conspiring to cover them up.

Emmons was indicted on six counts and Lundergan was indicted on 10 counts after investigators found they “willingly and knowingly” made corporate contributions of more than $25,000 to Grimes’ campaign and then worked to cover up the contributions.

Lundergran’s attorney, J. Guthrie True of Frankfort, denied the allegations against his client. Emmons, who is a close friend of the Lundergan family, has not yet commented.

The Kentucky Republican Party on Friday tied the indictment to Grimes and called for her to recuse herself from her role as Kentucky’s chief elections officer during this November’s elections.

Grimes said the charges against her father were “a politically motivated complaint” that the Federal Election Commission already has investigated and dismissed. She added that he will be vindicated.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes denies abuse of power allegations by executive director of the State Board of Elections Jared Dearing Tuesday in Frankfort.

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