Tim Longmeyer, a former deputy attorney general under Andy Beshear who pleaded guilty to political bribery charges, has officially become a talking point in the general election for Kentucky governor.
The Republican Governors Association launched a television ad Monday criticizing Beshear, the Democratic nominee for governor for his association with Longmeyer, who accepted at least $1,000 in bribes while working under Beshear and another $200,000 in bribes when he was secretary of the Personnel Cabinet under former Gov. Steve Beshear, Andy Beshear’s dad.
The ad, which will air statewide, features several news anchors talking about Longmeyer after he was indicted for accepting bribes.
“Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office covered in scandal,” a narrator says. “Beshear’s top aide took bribes for state business. Then used the dirty money to give Beshear thousands in illegal campaign cash. Bribery and betrayal. Kickbacks and corruption. Politician Andy Beshear can’t be trusted.”
Longmeyer donated $4,000 to Beshear’s 2015 attorney general campaign directly, but it is unknown how much he contributed overall because he allegedly used straw donors. Beshear donated about $14,000 remaining in his campaign fund after the election to Common Cause Kentucky, an government ethics watchdog.
Federal authorities have said there is no evidence that Andy Beshear knew of Longmeyer’s bribery scheme prior to the charges being filed. Longmeyer pleaded guilty in April 2016 to receiving $203,500 in cash and illegal campaign contributions from Lexington consulting company MC Squared in 2014 and 2015. He was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison.
This isn’t a new line of attack against Beshear. In the Democratic primary election, former state Auditor Adam Edelen used a similar tactic in attack ads.
In an interview with the Herald-Leader in April, Beshear said he considered Longmeyer’s actions a betrayal of trust and pointed to his appointment of a special prosecutor who convicted Longmeyer under state charges.
“It’s how we react when that’s uncovered that I think shows people who we really are,” Beshear said at the time.
Longmeyer has long been a political flash point between Beshear and Gov. Matt Bevin, who is seeking reelection. On the day Longmeyer pled guilty to accepting bribes, Bevin launched an investigation into former Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration, inflaming a political feud between the two families.
The investigation yielded a report that contained relatively little new information, but the Bevin administration says it is working on a second report.
This is the second attack ad the Republican Governors Association as launched against Beshear. Speaking in Morehead Monday morning, Beshear addressed the attacks by saying Bevin couldn’t run on his own record.
“He’s already on the air with negative ads and do you know why? Because he knows he can’t win on his record,” Beshear said. “He’s going to hide behind every negative attack, he’s going to hide behind the president. He’s going to hide behind anybody he can because he knows he is wrong for Kentucky and we know he’s wrong for Kentucky, too.“