LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - An independent group's attack ads that
depict Republican gubernatorial nominee David Williams as a
big-spending Frankfort politician and a gambler aren't sitting well
with his wife, who called them "disgusting."
One ad, paid for by the Kentucky Family Values PAC, criticizes
Williams for spending $17,000 to upgrade his Capitol Annex office,
including the purchase of a 60-inch television. Another claims
Williams rails against the evils of gambling by day but goes to
casinos at night.
"There's a whole lot better way they could spend their money
than to disparage somebody personally," Robyn Williams told
reporters at a Kentucky Farm Bureau breakfast in Louisville on
Thursday. "I think it's disgusting."
The remark came at a must-attend event for Kentucky political
candidates, an annual get-together that raises money for state
charities by auctioning a prize-winning ham, which was purchased
this year by Republic Bank for $600,000.
David Williams, who is trying to unseat Democratic Gov. Steve
Beshear, has been taking a thrashing from the independent political
group on Kentucky's airwaves over the past month.
The Williams campaign hasn't responded with spots of its own to
refute the attacks.
"I really don't think they're saying anything to respond to,"
David Williams told reporters Thursday. "And I'm not going to be
in the business of responding to every negative ad or mudslinging
that comes up."
Polls show David Williams trailing Beshear by more than 20
percentage points with more than two months remaining before the
Nov. 8 election.
The Williams campaign could get a boost Thursday evening with a
fundraiser headlined by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, giving some
hope to a candidate who has lost two campaign managers since the
"So, we feel very good about what's happening," David Williams
Both the Williams and Beshear campaigns have been closely
guarding fundraising information. As of June, the last time the
candidates filed campaign finance reports, Beshear had some $2.7
million in the bank, and Williams less than $100,000. But the
Williams campaign has had major fundraisers since then, including
one that generated more than $500,000.
"We have adequate resources to provide a vigorous campaign,"
David Williams said Thursday.
A third gubernatorial candidate, Lexington attorney Gatewood
Galbraith, is running as an independent, but has raised relatively
little campaign cash.
Beshear, who chose former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson as his
running mate, said he "feels good" about his fundraising and
"The numbers are all looking great right now," he told
reporters. "Jerry Abramson and I are working like we're 10 points
behind, and that's the way we'll run every day until Nov. 8.
Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Kentuckians are
fortunate to have candidates of the caliber of Beshear and David
Williams running for governor.
"Both of them are honest people, competent and qualified to
serve," Stumbo told reporters. "I believe that Gov. Beshear has
done a very good job of managing our state's resources over the
past four years and deserves another term, but that isn't to say
David Williams isn't qualified to be governor."
Stumbo also said it's too early to write David Williams off.
"There's a lot of this race to run," Stumbo said. "The
campaigns are just now getting in full gear, and we'll just see
Beshear, speaking to some 1,600 people who attended the ham
breakfast, boasted that he has balanced the state's budget nine
times since he took office in December 2007.
Beshear also reminded the crowd, made up largely of farmers and
political operatives, that he and his wife, Jane, have a small farm
in Clark County where they raise horses. "As the saying goes,
we've got manure under our nails," he said. "Jane mucks stalls
out at the farm, and I do the same thing sometimes in Frankfort."
Other speakers addressed the current political climate.
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader,
criticized Obama administration policies that he said have hurt the
national economy through overspending, over-borrowing and
"I'll say this for the president; he didn't inherit a good
situation," McConnell said. "No question about it. But I think
after two and half years it's fair to say he made it worse."
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky's junior senator, said both
Democrats and Republicans are to blame for the nation's fiscal
"It's not always one party's fault," he said. "It's not that
Democrats are inherently evil, or that Republicans are inherently
evil. There's blame to go around. To find a solution, we have to
get beyond the empty partisanship."
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)