Some people thought there might be fireworks at a Republican forum in Adair County on Thursday night after a Herald-Leader story confirmed that a blogger contacted people associated with Hal Heiner's campaign for governor about an effort to discredit another candidate.
However, there were none.
Heiner, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, Louisville businessman Matt Bevin and former Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott answered questions for well over an hour, but no one mentioned the issue.
Bevin did put out a news release blasting Heiner over the communication tied to his campaign with a blogger trying to discredit Comer.
Bevin said in the release that Heiner's campaign had stooped to a "despicable level of personal libel."
"Hal Heiner has disqualified himself from being the GOP nominee for Governor," Bevin said in the release.
After the forum, Heiner declined comment about Bevin's release.
The issue came up in a story published Thursday in the Herald-Leader, in which Lexington blogger Michael Adams acknowledged he communicated with people associated with Heiner's gubernatorial campaign about Adams' efforts to discredit Comer.
For more than a year, Adams has used his blog and Tumblr account to accuse Comer of physically assaulting a woman Comer dated while a student at Western Kentucky University.
Adams said he had exchanged emails and met with Scott Crosbie, a former Lexington mayoral candidate and the husband of KC Crosbie, who is running for lieutenant governor on a ticket with Heiner.
Email messages obtained by the Herald-Leader show Adams contacted both Scott and KC Crosbie last fall. When interviewed at his home this week, Adams conceded that he had exchanged emails with the Crosbies and that he met Scott Crosbie at a restaurant in Lexington to discuss "a whole host of things (having to do) with Comer."
In December, Adams sent an email to leaders of county Republican parties about "Mr. Comer's domestic violence incident."
Two days after Adams sent that email, Scott Crosbie emailed Adams, asking, "Did you receive anymore feedback on that email you sent out to all R chairs?"
Adams conceded to the newspaper that he has no proof of the allegation about the assault.
Comer has adamantly denied the allegation.
On Tuesday, Comer said he was furious about Adams' connection to the Heiner campaign, calling it the most disgusting thing he'd seen in Kentucky political history.
Thursday, his comment was more low-key, consisting of a single paragraph.
"I am disappointed in Hal Heiner and KC Crosbie, but the Comer-McDaniel campaign is focused on discussing our ideas and achievements, winning the primary, uniting the Republican Party, and beating Jack Conway in November."
For his part, Heiner, a Louisville businessman, apologized for any role his campaign might have had in spreading the allegations, calling them undignified, un-Christian and the worst kind of politics.
"I personally apologize to Jamie Comer if anyone associated with my campaign is involved," Heiner said in a statement.
Heiner's campaign said the candidate was not aware that Scott Crosbie was in contact with Adams, and that Scott Crosbie did not report to Heiner or anyone else within the campaign what he learned from emailing and meeting with Adams.
The campaign also said KC Crosbie had no other contact with Adams beyond emails and a brief, informal meeting at the conclusion of an event in Clark County.