By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT – The Kentucky Republican Party accused Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear on Monday of “lavish and selfish spending” by use of the state aircraft while Kentuckians suffer in a poor economy.
The GOP issued a news release and released a web video, noting that Beshear used a state plane to take his family to this year’s NCAA Final Four basketball tournament in Houston and used a state helicoper to get to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at the Kentucky Speedway.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reported in May that Beshear used a state plane in April to take his family to Houston, but the state Democratic Party picked up the $6,105 tab for the flight.
Beshear’s office has said the governor went to Speedway in his official duties.
The GOP also blamed Beshear for the massive traffic jams that marred the Speedway race and has promoted his challenger in the Nov. 8 general election, Republican Senate President David Williams, to call for legislative hearings in September on the traffic tie-up.
“Steve Beshear managed the NASCAR race like he manages the economy – leaving thousands of Kentuckians stuck with nowhere to go,” the video says. “Steve Beshear. Making Kentucky the worst managed state in America. But at least he’s having fun.”
Beshear’s re-election campaign had no immediate comment.
Kentucky GOP Chairman Steve Robertson said the video was released “in the spirit” of the upcoming Fancy Farm political picnic on Aug. 6 in the small community in Graves County.
The picnic traditionally kicks off the fall campaigns and is known for its political rhetoric.
Robertson called Beshear “a do-nothing governor enjoying the perks of the job while Kentucky families face real struggles in a crippling economy.”
He added: “This man has shirked and abdicated his responsibilities time and again, and the Republican Party will continue to ask that voters revoke his parking privileges at the Governor’s Mansion…and the Frankfort airport.”