Steve Beshear

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Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear fulfilled another of his “week one” campaign promises on Thursday by signing an executive order to automatically restore voting rights to people with nonviolent felonies who have completed their sentences. He estimated the move would allow more than 140,000 people to vote.

There are an estimated 312,000 disenfranchised voters in Kentucky, which equates to about 7 percent of the population.

With this act, Beshear revived an issue his father, former Gov. Steve Beshear, attempted to settle near the end of his term. The elder Beshear’s executive order would have allowed nearly 180,000 people convicted of felonies to resume voting. But former Republican Gov. Matt Bevin who served between the Beshear governorships, quickly overturned that with his own executive order.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Gov.-elect Andy Beshear’s transition team will help craft his administration, and he’s stacked it with well-connected bureaucrats, legislators and longtime supporters of the Beshear family’s political campaigns.

Transition team members donated at least $358,000 to Beshear since his run for attorney general in 2015, according to state campaign finance records. About 80 percent of the 163 team members have donated to Beshear, either in this race against incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin or his 2015 campaign. At least 16 currently work for Andy Beshear as employees of the Office of the Attorney General.

Ryland Barton

Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear squared off in another gubernatorial debate Monday night, one of the last opportunities for voters to see the candidates make their cases before Election Day.

Bevin and Beshear bickered their way through the debate on KET, while moderator Renee Shaw repeatedly brought them back to substantive policy issues like how to raise more money for the state, how to address the state’s pension debt and whether to keep the state’s Medicaid expansion.

 


J. Tyler Franklin

The cost of Governor Bevin’s ongoing investigation of former Governor Steve Beshear’s administration has doubled to $1 million, with Kentucky taxpayers footing the bill.

Bevin initially approved a two-year, $500,000 contract for an Indianapolis law firm in 2016 to search for corruption in the Beshear administration.

The Herald-Leader reports the Bevin administration has now approved a two-year, $500,000 extension of the contract.

J. Tyler Franklin

Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says he’s “thrilled’ that three Republicans in the U.S. Senate voted against the latest attempt to repeal elements of the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats and three Republican senators — John McCain, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski — voted against the “skinny repeal” bill, dramatically preventing supporters from securing the 50 votes needed to pass it.

Beshear called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for leading the charge to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Lisa Autry

As the U.S. Senate this week voted to hold debate over repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear accused some Republican politicians of “religious hypocrisy.”

Beshear said some lawmakers have turned their backs on people who need health care. The former Democratic governor said it’s unfortunate that elected leaders take advantage of religion and use it as a political tool.

"When a politician running for office talks in religious terms people believe them and think that's a good person, and vote for them.  The problem is that a lot of these guys and gals preach like the prophets when they're running and govern like Pontius Pilate when they're serving," Beshear told WKU Public Radio. "What kind of Christian principles is it when you want to throw 22 million people off health care coverage? There may be problems with the Affordable Care Act, and we need to fix them, but the answer isn't to turn millions of people out of the health care they desperately need."

J. Tyler Franklin

In a new book, former Gov. Steve Beshear defends his administration’s approach to the Affordable Care Act, funding cuts to the state’s ailing pension systems and same-sex marriage.

The Democratic governor left office in 2015 and says his 361-page book “People Over Politics” is about bringing different political stripes together.

“I spent eight years as governor of Kentucky with divided government,” Beshear said. “I had a Republican Senate and Democratic House and I was a Democratic governor, but after elections were over with I was able to bring people together.”

Ryland Barton

The FBI is conducting an antitrust investigation into contractors working on road and construction projects with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

First reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader, the cabinet recently issued a notice for all contractors who work with the state to preserve contract data as a result of the investigation.

Cabinet employees are also required to preserve all data relating to state contracts dating back to 2010 — which means the scope of the investigation will include contracts made under Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration, as well as former Gov. Steve Beshear’s, who left office in 2015.

Stephen George

After President Donald Trump cited Gov. Matt Bevin’s claim that the Affordable Care Act is “unsustainable and collapsing” in Kentucky during his address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, former Kentucky governor Steve Beshear delivered the official Democratic response: Don’t dismantle Obamacare.

“You and your Republican allies in Congress seem determined to rip affordable health insurance away from millions of Americans who most need it,” Beshear said during his speech, which was broadcast from a diner in Lexington.

“Does the Affordable Care Act need some repairs? Sure it does,” Beshear said. “But so far, every Republican idea to replace the Affordable Care Act would reduce the number of Americans covered, despite your promises to the contrary.”

Democrats have tapped former Governor  Steve Beshear to deliver the party's response to President Donald Trump's address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, highlighting the Kentucky Democrat's efforts to expand health care coverage under the law Republicans are determined to repeal and replace.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made the announcement on Friday in which they also turned to immigration activist Astrid Silva to give the Spanish language response to Trump's speech. Silva is a so-called Dreamer who came to the country at the age of five as an illegal immigrant.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration has released a report alleging “endemic” coercion of state employees to make campaign contributions under former Gov. Steve Beshear.

The investigation is based on interviews with 16 political appointees — who remained anonymous — claiming that officials pressured them into make contributions to Democratic political candidates, primarily to the campaigns of gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway and Attorney General Andy Beshear.

The probe, conducted by Indianapolis law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister, construes that the practice was widespread across state government.

Office of Ky Governor

A $500,000 contract awarded by Kentucky's Republican governor to investigate his Democratic predecessor has survived a challenge in a state legislative committee.

Democrats on the Government Contract Review Committee failed to muster the five votes required to recommend canceling the contract, awarded to an Indiana law firm. It likely would not have mattered, as lawmakers can only recommend that the governor cancel the contract. Ultimately, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's administration has the final decision.

Bevin announced his intention to investigate former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear earlier this year, saying his staff had found numerous examples of corruption. The two governors have clashed over public pensions and health care policy since Bevin took office.

Democrats say the investigation will not be impartial because several of the attorneys hired have ties to the Republican Party.

Bevin Approves Contract to Probe Beshear Administration

Aug 2, 2016
Alix Mattingly

Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has approved a contract of up to $500,000 to an Indiana law firm to investigate his Democratic predecessor's administration.

According to media reports, the two-year contract was awarded to the Indianapolis office of the law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister. The contract says the firm will investigate possible violations of state spending rules and possible coercion of state workers for campaign donations.

Last spring, Bevin announced that his Finance and Administration Cabinet would oversee an investigation of what he called a "pay-to-play" method of conducting business during Beshear's administration. Beshear, who left office late last year after serving two terms, has said Bevin's accusations "have absolutely no basis in truth."

The Lexington Herald-Leader first reported the awarding of the contract.

Ryland Barton, WKU Public Radio

Former Gov. Steve Beshear has accused Gov. Matt Bevin of coercing state employees into helping pay off his campaign debt.

The allegations come a week after Bevin claimed that members of Beshear’s administration coerced state employees into making campaign contributions to Democrats.

Beshear said Bevin “started this food fight.”

“… By calling us liars, by criticizing my wife, and now by ginning up a political investigation to try and sully our reputation,” he said.

The feud extends back to when Bevin criticized Beshear’s appointment of then-First Lady Jane Beshear to the Kentucky Horse Park Commission.

Since then, the two governors have lobbed accusations at one another. Bevin has blamed Beshear for leaving the state in a “financial crisis,” creating the glitches in the new health benefit portal Benefind and shaking down state employees for campaign contributions.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin has launched an investigation into potential corruption under former Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration.

In a press conference Tuesday, Bevin alleged state employees were coerced into contributing to Democratic political campaigns, including those of Attorney General Andy Beshear and Bevin’s opponent in the governor’s race, former Attorney General Jack Conway.

Bevin said employees have come forward and said they were “essentially coerced” into making contributions and “they complied of fear of loss of their jobs or other retribution.”

“We have learned from many rank-and-file employees of closed-door demands by high level Beshear administration officials that they make contributions to Democratic candidates in the last election,” Bevin said.

Former Gov. Beshear’s secretary of the Personnel Cabinet, Tim Longmeyer, is currently under investigation for a kickback scheme that allegedly directed state contracts to a consulting firm in exchange for campaign donations and cash.

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