Governor Steve Beshear's barnstorming trip across Kentucky last week is continuing to make headlines. The governor had defended his use of the state plane to campaign for his Medicaid budget fix, saying it was not related to his campaign for governor.
On Friday, the Lexington Herald-Leader's Jack Brammer reported that Beshear's gubernatorial camaign manager, Bill Hyers, acknowledged that Beshear attended a political event the first night of his barnstorming tour, and that the campaign would reimburse the state for the plane use related to that event:
In a telephone interview, Hyers said the event was in Louisa, but he declined to say whether it was a fund raiser.
He also said the Beshear campaign has reimbursed the state on previous occasions for use of the state plane, but Hyers was not immediately able to elaborate on previous reimbursements.
Now, the the National Review's Jim Geraghty has picked up on the story with the leading headline, "Governor Caught Using State Jet for Campaign Events."
The state plane, however, is not a jet. And, Beshear has not strayed from his original premise that the main purpose of the trip was to fulfill his duties as governor.
The Republican Party of Kentucky and the Senate President David Williams (R-Burkesville) had called for Beshear to reimburse the state.