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Kentucky Coal Association Weighing Opening Annual Meeting To Media

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AP
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The president of the Kentucky Coal Association says both major candidates for governor are slated to attend a second closed-door meeting with industry executives, but pressure is mounting to make the event public.

Both Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Matt Bevin came under fire for attending a private KCA debate in Virginia back in June – and now a second scheduled appearance at the association’s annual October meeting is generating a similar chorus of criticism. But Conway tells reporters he would prefer the association open the doors to the media.

"I'm not saying anything in any meeting that I wouldn't say right here in this press gaggle," the Attorney General said Wednesday. "So I would have no qualms whatsoever - I hope it's open to the public. I'm assuming that whoever's in there is going to be recording it."

And KCA president Bill Bissett says media outlets have begun requesting access to the meeting, which will take place just a month out from the election.

"It's something that we've considered in the past. There really wasn't this level of interest, so I think we'll give it a hard look and make a decision. At this point it's going to be a decision by KCA staff and our membership of what we think is the best thing to do in this situation," he says.

Bissett adds that the KCA is not a state organization and is only one group among several that hold such closed-door gatherings.

The next public gubernatorial debate is scheduled for Sept. 15 at Bellarmine University.

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