Casino Operator Spends $1 million-plus In Ky. Gov. Race

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A casino operator spent more than $1 million last year to help elect Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat who is pushing to legalize gambling in Kentucky.

The largest contribution by William Yung went to a Kentucky political group that ran television ads blasting Beshear's opponent in the race.

Yung contributed a third of the $3 million the Bluegrass Freedom Fund spent during the governor's race, according to a financial report filed with the Internal Revenue Service on Thursday. Yung heads Columbia Sussex, which operates casinos and hotels across the country.

Casino opponents in Kentucky reacted angrily on Friday.

"There is the very real possibility that this governor has been bought and paid for," said Kent Ostrander, head of the Kentucky Family Foundation, a Christian group that opposes casinos. "Our concern is that the governor might be listening only to the gambling industry and those who have contributed to his campaign."

Jim Cauley, Beshear's chief of staff who served as his campaign manager, said the anti-casino group was overreacting.
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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by voter Location: hazard on Feb 4, 2008 at 08:47 AM
    I not surprised, we've got us a real winner here for a gov., or should I say a real looser.
  • by Wow Location: RIchmond on Feb 3, 2008 at 12:41 AM
    Its always the so called christian groups that oppose progress in this state. Funny that they tend to be the least evolved of the population. Richmond has a pastor on its city committy and he sure isnt a representative of anyone I know. The "pharmasist" member even handed my mom 5mg of a drug I was prescribed .5mg of and almost killed me when I was 9. We settled out of court cause my dads an idiot. SO tell me how Im supposed to be justly represented?
  • by CASINO THUG BEASHEAR on Feb 2, 2008 at 08:23 PM
    Well my my who would have known god spare me.
  • by Chris Location: SE KY on Feb 2, 2008 at 10:57 AM
    So much for "ethics reform". Right off the bat Beshear fired some of Ernie's appointees, then had to quickly rehire them. Firing of another's appointees. Where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah. They tried to indict Fletcher for it. No big surprise that casino owners funded Steve's campaign.
  • by Diane Location: Mt. Sterling on Feb 2, 2008 at 08:49 AM
    So the gambling industry contributes heavily into the governors campaign and he gets elected...And gambling advocates expect nothing in return??? Since when in politics has that EVER been the case. The gambling industry does not invest unless there is a return. So the people in Kentucky need to realize that this Governor is going to ram gambling through our legislature and legalize it. All this posturing is just for show.
  • by David Location: Winchester on Feb 2, 2008 at 07:25 AM
    Beshear was financed by a casino owner, and now our budget has gone from a large surplus to a huge deficit and the Governor is making the case for gambling in the state. Looks like it's back to corruption, uhhhmmm, I mean business as usual in Frankfort.
  • by SUE Location: TN./KY BOARDER on Feb 2, 2008 at 05:15 AM
    BOY AM I GLAD I LIVE ON THE TN. SIDE...SOUNDS LIKE TO ME KY HAS BEEN BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY A BIG NAME CASINO OPERATOR...YOU ALL SHOULD HAVE GOT OUT AND VOTED FOR THE OTHER MAN....SORRY TO HEAR THIS...IT WILL BE THE SAME WAY ITS ALWAYS BEEN FOR KY. A FEW WILL GET RICH AND THE REST WILL BE POOR....

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