Political campaign gets nasty after allegation against Beshear


by Adrianna Hopkins


Posted on August 1, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 2 at 7:47 AM

(WHAS11) - A state employee claims his boss, a man appointed by Governor Steve Beshear, called state employees and threatened their jobs if they didn't donate to the Beshear's re-election campaign.


"These are very serious allegations, there is a name signed to the allegations, it's pretty important,” said Steve Robertson, Chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky.


It’s a loaded letter signed by Rodney Young, a 27 year state employee with a PhD. He sent it to the Chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky with the goal of "...eliminating the now common practice of using state government as an extension of political campaigns."


If what this man claims is true, there could be major fallout and criminal charges.


"The letter certainly seemed to suggest that there was a systematic approach to use state employees as fodder for financial contributions to Beshear's election campaign,” said Robertson.


Young claims 13 employees of the Department of Juvenile Justice received a phone call from Charles Geveden, the Deputy Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. Young claims he did not receive a call, but heard complaints around his office and was told by co-workers they got a call from Geveden. This is all according to Young's letter. He says Geveden called non-merit state government employees and asked: "How much do you value your job?" Then Young says, Geveden told them to have a $500 check to Beshear's campaign on his desk by the end of the week or he allegedly told employees, "I may not be able to retain you."


Young claims these calls were made between Christmas 2010 and January 2011. And the Beshear-Abramson campaign says the fact this is just coming out in August, a day after the WHAS 11/Courier Journal Bluegrass Poll showed Beshear had a commanding 24 point lead over David Williams, should raise some red flags.


Matt Erwin released this statement saying: "...David Williams' campaign is in free fall and has resorted to gutter politics. This complaint is based on gossip and should be treated as the desperate and baseless political stunt that it is."


Robertson says he received the letter last week and the soonest he could act was this morning.


"To assert that a 27 year employee is gossiping... the timing is the timing. This gentleman decided to act,” said Robertson.


One employee listed in this letter by Rodney Young says he did not receive any calls along these lines.


Robertson says he sent this letter to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance and the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, and the Attorney Generals’ office. The Ethics Commission cannot confirm or deny whether they received the complaint. IF they received it, it will be discussed in their next meeting on September 19th. IF the committee deems it necessary, it will initiate an investigation. Once the results of the investigation are presented to the committee, the committee will decide whether to initiate charges.


A spokesperson for the The Attorney Generals’ office says they’ll process this according to investigative protocol and won't comment further on the matter.


WHAS 11 News contacted Charles Geveden for comment and never heard back. Several messages were left for the media relations contact at the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. Those calls were not returned. Attempts to reach Rodney Young directly were unsuccessful.


Click here to read Rodney Young's letter to Republican party of Ky. chairman