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AG Cameron asks FBI to investigate campaign contributions to Gov. Beshear, state Democratic Party

Kate Howard
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is the Republican nominee for Kentucky governor.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office asked the FBI on Thursday to investigate over $200,000 in donations to Democratic Governor Andy Beshear’s reelection campaign and the Kentucky Democratic Party connected to London, Kentucky Mayor Randall Weddle.

Earlier this week, the Kentucky Lantern reportedthat Beshear’s campaign and the Kentucky Democratic Party refunded a combined $202,000 in excess political contributions that came from donations connected to Weddle.

In a letter sent to the FBI’s Louisville field office Thursday, Deputy Attorney General Victor Maddox wrote that while the donations were made in the names of some of Weddle’s family members and by employees of a company he co-founded, those payments were charged to Weddle’s personal credit card.

Under Kentucky campaign finance law, individuals are only allowed to to give up to $2,100 per election to a candidate and $15,000 to a political party. Though “bundling” contributions from associated parties is common in Kentucky politics, donations have to be voluntary and money can’t come from a single source.

In a press conference Thursday, Beshear said he advises his campaigns to “follow the letter and spirit of every campaign finance law,” and to work directly with regulators should any issues arise.

“My understanding is that the campaign has met each of those requirements, worked directly with KREF, explaining everything they knew about the situation and worked to remedy it, again, directly with the regulator,” Beshear said.

Beshear did not answer questions about whether Weddle should be prosecuted for the donations.

In the letter to the FBI, Maddox wrote that the attorney general’s office cannot investigate the donations due to “controlling ethics opinions.”

Kentucky’s Executive Branch Ethics Commission has previously ruled that the attorney general cannot investigate a declared political opponent. Cameron, a Republican, is running against Beshear for governor in this year’s general election.

Hannah Saad is the Assistant News Director for WKMS. Originally from Michigan, Hannah earned her bachelor’s degree in news media from The University of Alabama in 2021. Hannah moved to western Kentucky in the summer of 2021 to start the next chapter of her life after graduation. Prior to joining WKMS in March 2023, Hannah was a news reporter at The Paducah Sun. Her goal at WKMS is to share the stories of the region from those who call it home. Outside of work, Hannah enjoys exploring local restaurants, sports photography, painting, and spending time with her fiancé and two dogs.