FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Ernie Fletcher has shifted the focus
of his latest television ad away from casino gambling, opting to
attack Democratic challenger Steve Beshear for his former law
firm's handling of a corporate bankruptcy case.
The shift comes on the heels of two media polls that show
Fletcher trailing Beshear by 17 to 20 percentage points despite a
series of gambling ads that have been airing daily across the state
for more than month.
In those ads, the Fletcher campaign had been criticizing
Beshear's proposal for a referendum that would allow voters to
change the state's constitution to allow casinos in Kentucky.
The latest ad, which began airing over the weekend, criticizes
Beshear and his former law firm, Stites & Harbison of Lexington,
for their role in the liquidation of the now defunct Kentucky
Central Life Insurance Co. Beshear's law firm was paid $21 million
over 15 years for assisting in the liquidation of Kentucky Central.
The huge corporation that owned citrus groves, hotels, Lexington
TV stations and $42 billion worth of life insurance policies was
overtaken with financial woes in the early 1990s, and Beshear's law
firm was hired to assist with its liquidation after it failed.
"I will take responsibility for what our law firm did in
Kentucky Central because we did one heck of a job," Beshear says
in the Fletcher ad, a clip taken from an appearance last month on
Kentucky Educational Television.