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    State of Play

    Kentucky: Papers in Campaign Probe Sought

    State Capital Strategies
    Friday, June 26, 1998

    Kentucky Attorney General Ben Chandler asked a Franklin Circuit Court to disclose all the material considered by a special grand jury investigating the 1995 governor's race. The motion will be considered at a July 13 hearing. The material would include state police investigative files and previously secret statements made by 88 witnesses – including Democratic Gov. Paul Patton. The grand jury has focused on whether Patton's campaign colluded with the AFL-CIO, Teamsters, the Democratic Party and a black voter-education group to exceed campaign-spending limits. Patton denies that he or anyone under his direct control did anything wrong.

    Chandler, who is also a Democrat, said he's "not interested in getting anyone" and has "no political agenda" in pursuing full disclosure of the records as soon as possible. Patton, who narrowly defeated Republican Larry Forgy of Lexington in the 1995 election, said he supports Chandler's action. Citing a need for full disclosure, Forgy said he would ask the court to approve Chandler's motion.

    Frankfort attorney William E. Johnson, who has represented several grand jury witnesses affiliated with the AFL-CIO, expects some of his clients will oppose the disclosure.

    More State Political News From:
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    Arizona: Former TV Personality Hopes Viewers Are Voters


    Former television weathercaster Jim Howl says he can beat Gov. Jane Hull in the Republican primary because he is a familiar face to voters. His former viewers – whom he assumes are also voters – feel comfortable with him, Howl told reporters recently. Howl was dismissed from KTVK-TV in Phoenix, partially due to allegations that he had harassed female staffers. Howl said that he did not harass anyone, but that he may have used bad judgment when attempting to be funny.

    Colorado: Lt. Gov. Candidate Wants to Team With Owens

    State Sen. Jim Congrove, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, says his conservative views are in line with GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Owens. Congrove said he would like to "team up" with Owens in the party primaries. However, Owens's campaign wants to stay neutral in the race. Congrove faces Joe Rogers, who has also endorsed Owens, in the lieutenant governor primary.

    Colorado candidates for lieutenant governor and governor run separate until after the primary, when the two nominees are paired on the party's ticket. Sources report Owens' strategists are concerned about the initial "teaming up" proposal by Congrove. Owens has conservative views on abortion and gun control, but Owens could hurt his chances with moderate Republicans if he aligned with Congrove's more staunchly conservative reputation.

    Illinois: State Employees Send $700,000 to Candidate's Coffers


    Republican gubernatorial candidate and current Illinois Secretary of State George Ryan has received more than $700,000 in campaign contributions from state employees since 1994, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported recently. Union leaders in Illinois say they have not received any complaints about improper solicitation.

    Indiana: Gilroy's Campaign Web Page Draws Criticism

    Indiana Democratic Party Chair Joe Andrew complained to the Indiana University Board of Trustees that Republican Secretary of State Sue Anne Gilroy used a state-supported Internet server at Indiana University for part of her campaign web page. Andrews charges that Gilroy, who also heads the Indiana Election Commission, violated "one of the most basic tenants of state election law."

    Maine: Former Legislators Foiled in Comeback Attempts

    Maine voters rejected two key comeback efforts by legislators who were forced out two years ago under the state's new term-limit law. The law limits legislators to four consecutive two-year terms in a chamber. However, once they reach that threshold, they can run for seats in the opposite chamber. Former representatives Herb Adams and Roger Pouliot were defeated in the recent Democratic state Senate primary.

    Nevada: Union Dues Initiative Is Ruled Off the Ballot


    A Clark County District Judge ruled that a proposed labor union dues initiative, similar to one recently defeated in California, is unconstitutional and ordered the secretary of state not to place in on the November ballot.

    New York: 'Munsters' Grandpa Nominated by Green Party

    The governor's race took a new spin recently with the nomination of actor Al Lewis by the Green Party. Lewis is known best for his television role as "Grandpa" on the series "The Munsters." Lewis, a union activist, hopes to receive the required number of votes for the party to have an automatic spot on the state's ballot for the next four years. Party leaders still must collect 15,000 signatures for Lewis' candidacy to be legitimate.

    Lewis, 88, described himself as not the usual "good-ol' boy" found in New York politics, declaring he will make "shark meat" of his competitors in his attempts to dismantle state government.

    Pennsylvania: Third Try, New Party, for Luksik

    Peg Luksik hopes the third time is a charm in the governor's race. Luksik, a former Republican, is seeking the seat this year as a Constitutional Party candidate. Most political observers report that Republican Gov. Tom Ridge is the overwhelming favorite for reelection in the fall. But Luksik says conservatives will stick with her because Ridge didn't stick with them.

    Tennessee: State Employees Group Endorses Whitaker


    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Whitaker picked up a surprising endorsement from the Tennessee State Employees Association. About half of state government's 36,000 non-higher education employees are members of TSEA. Before the announcement, most political observers had given Whitaker long-shot chances of winning the election. The endorsement will likely mean a $15,000 contribution from TSEA's political action committee, said TSEA executive director Linda McCarty.

    Washington: State GOP Says TV Ad Was Valid

    The state GOP admits to illegally spending about $200,000 during the 1996 campaign. But the party will continue to fight charges by the Public Disclosure Commission that it misspent additional funds on a television ad. As part of a settlement agreement with the commission, the party agreed to pay a $5,000 fine and $1,000 in attorney fees. The party admitted it exceeded the limit on contributions to three legislative candidates, illegally paid consultants and made illegal contributions to PACs.

    Party officials will continue to fight charges that a $150,000 television ad attacking Democrat Gary Locke in his 1996 race for governor was illegal. The commercial attacked Locke for supporting a program to help prostitutes quit drugs and leave the business. The PDC says the ad directly helped GOP gubernatorial candidate Ellen Craswell and should be considered a contribution to her. The party says it was just a general ad attacking Locke and was not designed to help Craswell.

    Wyoming: Lobbyists Balk at Salary Disclosure Request


    Lobbyists are objecting to proposed rules requiring them to report their salaries. A new lobbyist disclosure law requires lobbyists to provide a list of their "sources of funding," according to Secretary of State Diana Ohman, who proposed the new rules.

    Ohman wants each lobbyist to provide entire salary, fees and retainers paid by employers or clients for lobbying during the legislative session. Former GOP state senator Dan Sullivan, who is now a lobbyist, says the legislature did not intend disclosure of specific salaries. Proponents of the rules say the new statute would be meaningless without the salary disclosure.

    © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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