FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who has come under
attack in political ads by one of his Republican gubernatorial
opponents, is striking back.
In an ad that began running on Tuesday evening, the Fletcher
campaign portrays former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup as a ballpark
"From some we expected it. The ugly side of politics," a
narrator said as the camera pans a group of school-age bullies.
"Then, Anne Northup joined them," the camera focusing on a little
girl with pigtails. "But she's fought us before."
The narrator then says Northup has voted against school prayer
and for the largest tax increase in history.
"Now dropping in the polls, Anne's joined them in misleading
attacks on our governor," the narrator says. "But Kentucky's not
Northup campaign manager Michael Clingamen couldn't immediately
be reached for comment about the latest ad.
Northup unleashed her sharpest criticism yet of Gov. Ernie
Fletcher at a debate on Monday, charging that he hasn't been the
ethical governor he promised to be and that he has embellished his
"This administration has not been without scandal. Because of
that the Democrats are lined up to run against us," Northup said
during a televised debate on Monday.
Northup has made that a central issue in her campaign, airing
political ads that remind voters that Fletcher was indicted last
year on charges that he illegally rewarded political supporters
with protected state jobs.
That indictment was dismissed in a deal with prosecutors, but a
special grand jury later issued its findings in the case, saying
Fletcher had approved a "widespread and coordinated plan" to
skirt state hiring laws.
Fletcher said the investigation and resulting indictment were
Northup and Billy Harper, a wealthy Paducah businessman, entered
the race saying Fletcher has been damaged politically and that
Republicans need a stronger candidate to put up against Democrats
in the November election.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)