Common Cause Files Ethics Complaint Against Senate President

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A government watchdog group has filed a complaint against Senate President David Williams, alleging he may have violated a state ethics code by asking lobbyists to help raise money for Republicans.

Common Cause of Kentucky filed the complaint today with the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission, a month after Williams met with about 40 lobbyists. He had asked them to help raise up to 50-thousand dollars each for Senate Republican campaigns next year.

Williams held the fundraiser in May at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, where lobbyists and others attending were asked to sign a "commitment form" pledging to raise or give five-thousand dollars, ten-thousand, 25-thousand or 50-thousand. The money was for the Republican Party of Kentucky Senate Trust or the Senate Republican Caucus Committee.

Richard Beliles, chairman of the watchdog group, asked the commission to inform lobbyists that a potential ethics violation exists.

A spokeswoman for Williams didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

Lobbyists are barred by law from giving to a legislator's campaign or to the Senate Republican Caucus Committee, which is controlled by G-O-P members of the Senate. But they may give to the Senate Trust, which is controlled by the state party. And their clients can give to either committee.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved


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