Morning Newsletter

Kentucky Democratic party sending money to Ohio

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Democratic Central Executive Committee has transferred $350,000 over the past month to Ohio where President Barack Obama is in a tight race with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

A financial disclosure report filed Saturday with the Federal Election Commission shows three separate transfers to the Ohio Democratic Party between Sept. 18 and Sept. 27. Two were for $100,000 and one was for $150,000.

Ohio is a presidential battleground state while Kentucky is not in play because Romney is the overwhelming favorite.

Obama is an unpopular political figure in Kentucky and fared poorly in the state in 2008. Sen. John McCain carried the state with 57 percent of the vote to Obama's 41 percent. And in this year's May primary, 42 percent of Democrats marked their presidential ballots "uncommitted" even though Obama was the only Democrat in the race.

Fund transfers like the one from Kentucky to Ohio aren't uncommon between state parties, whether Democrat or Republican.

"In this particular transaction, the Ohio Democratic Party transferred a similar amount to the Kentucky Democratic Party state fund, a fact that will be reflected when the party files our report with the state," said Kentucky Democratic Party spokesman Matt Erwin. "The KDP has, in the past, engaged in similar exchanges with other state Democratic parties. These transactions are advantageous for the party as other state parties pay a small premium for assisting with such exchanges, helping bolster the KDP's ability to provide resources to our candidates."

Kentucky Republican Chairman Steve Robertson criticized the fund transfer, saying Kentucky voters from both major parties have concerns about Obama's policies on a variety of issues, including enforcement of the administration's environmental rules that have been blamed for shutting down Appalachian coal mines.

"It shows the Kentucky Democratic leaders' commitment to the re-election of Barack Obama, a president who is hurting Kentucky's economy, a president that Kentucky voters are going to overwhelmingly reject," Robertson said.