Fletcher's Political Scandal Haunts Re-Election Campaign

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A political scandal that plagued Gov.
Ernie Fletcher for the past two years continues to haunt him in his
bid for re-election.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Beshear blasted
Fletcher on Wednesday, charging that the first Republican governor
in more than 30 years broke his promise to "clean up the mess" in
Frankfort.

"Ernie Fletcher promised to clean up Frankfort and put an end
to waste, fraud and abuse," Beshear said in one of his harshest
campaign speeches yet, delivered in the Capitol. "Yet from almost
day one, the governor and his administration have been plagued by
allegations of scandal and corruption."

Fletcher countered during an appearance later in Louisville that
he has been the target of a "political witch hunt." Fletcher said
Beshear is raising the issue because he couldn't attack him on
matters that are most important to Kentuckians.

The governor took credit for lowering taxes for most
Kentuckians, increasing education funding and revamping Medicaid
health benefits for the poor and elderly.

"We've done exactly what we told the folks we would do,"
Fletcher said during the stop in Louisville where he outlined his
plan to help more elderly Kentuckians live on their own rather than
in nursing homes.


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