Beshear campaign returning excess contributions from donor, Republicans seize on the incident
The contributions from family and business partners of London Mayor Randal Weddle – totaling $202,000 – were first reported by the Kentucky Lantern. Beshear’s campaign manager says that excess contributions are not, in and of themselves, unusual.
Kentucky Republicans, meanwhile, are hinting that there's a more to the story, accusing Beshear of accepting illegal campaign contributions and then “handing out $1.4 million in taxpayer money to the same donor.” They’re referring to a major transportation grant that was awarded to London and four other communities in May.
"Not only does this reek of campaign finance corruption, but it isn’t the first time Beshear has accepted illegal contributions," the Republican Party of Kentucky said in a statement.
Beshear’s team says the campaign and party have a mechanism in place to identify contributions exceeding the legal amount, and the excess dollars are being returned.
"The donors themselves raised the issue, and expressed the desire to properly remedy the situation," the Democrat's campaign manager said.
Update: Alex Floyd with the Beshear campaign says, "The Beshear Administration has a strong record of providing funding for transportation and infrastructure across Kentucky, including over $21 million in Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grants to 33 cities in 29 different counties – all of which are chosen by staff in the Transportation Cabinet. As usual, GOP political staff are making false, irresponsible accusations. These attacks are categorically false.”