Sarah and Gwen: the Two-Headed Monster

This blog is about everything involving Lexington, KY or anything else we feel like yapping about.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Political Mud Slinging or Water Company Vote Fraud?

Robert Moreland, a former candidate for the Urban County Council, has filed a complaint against Kentucky American Water alleging fraud and corporate interference in the 2002 city council elections. Moreland's 16-page complaint alleges that water company officials, their wives, and members of the marketing firm representing Kentucky American Water Company have violated state campaign finance laws. Together, these individuals contributed over 14,000 dollars to the council election. He also alleges that Governor Fletcher rewarded former Kentucky American president Roy Mundy for supporting anti-condemnation candidates by appointing him state vehicle regulation commissioner in July.

Water company officials maintain that the allegations are nothing more than a pre-election smear campaign. They argue that state campaign finance laws prohibit corporations from contributing directly or indirectly to a campaign but do not prohibit officials or their wives from making up to $1000 contributions to a candidate.

The governor's office has refused to comment about the allegations. However, our councilman, Bill Cegelka, has denied the allegations made by Moreland. He argues that accepting donations from water company officials as part of the $60,000 he raised for his election campaign was not in violation of the campaign finance law.

In the wake of last weeks allegations by Councilman Paul Brooks that Kentucky American Water Officials offered to run his campaign if he changed his vote on condemnation of the water company it is going to be interesting to see how seriously the Registry of Election Finance takes the investigation into Moreland's complaint. The registry gives defendants up to 20 days to respond to a complaint. The Registry has the authority to level penalties and fines against companies and individuals they deem in violation of the law. If they determine there was no violation of the law Mr. Moreland my find himself facing charges.


Blogger Sarah G said...

Considering the lack of funds many local Democratic candidates have, any large donations to their campaigns should be seen as suspicious. The City Council race may be nonpartisan, but the candidates usually aren't. And it's awfully hard to say 'no' to your new best buddy that bought you all that campaign literature.

2:48 PM  

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