Friday, May 11, 2007

Why Is This A Question?

From OSI Speaks:

The latest issue in the still mini (?) "slugfest" that pits Northup against Fletcher has the Northup campaign asking Fletcher to release the names of contributors to Fletcher's still secret legal defense fund, which was set up to help defray the legal bills from the merit system investigation. This time, Steve Pence has joined the call for openness, taking Fletcher to task in the process. "Republicans across the state need to know if this is the next looming scandal," Steve Pence is quoted as saying. "The public deserves to know whether anyone that is doing business with the state, that has a contract or is seeking a contract, or received a commission or appointment from the state, has donated to this secret legal fund," he continued.

Though state law doesn't require him to do so, Fletcher says he'll release the names "after Attorney General Greg Stumbo leaves office" in December, a suggestion which prompted Steve Pence to add: "He's afraid of what it will disclose. It's going to look bad."

Fletcher's campaign then questioned Northup's ethics over an organization she set up to help with developments for disadvantaged neighborhoods stating that "Anne Northup is the last person who should be preaching to anyone about ethics," which drew a retort from the Northup camp that "Ernie Fletcher is clearly desperate to change the subject...".

Today, the Fletchers released their income tax returns, showing they made just over $124,000.00 last year, and called on their opponents to do the same. There have been no responses yet from the Northup and Harper campaigns. Meanwhile, a new 527 organization, Working Families for Kentucky, has launched a new ad targeting the campaign of the Lunsford/Stumbo ticket for Bruce Lunsford's support of Fletcher's 2003 campaign, which Lunsford now says he "regrets". Watch the video.

So the question of whether to reveal or not to reveal the "secret" list ought to be answered in the affirmative, especially since Fletcher is in the revealing mode with his income tax returns and particularly if his opponents respond to his call by releasing their own income tax returns (though the two issues are mutually exclusive).

Otherwise, one wonders if he can overcome the inference that waiting until Stumbo leaves office (and after the November elections) to release the information suggests, as Steve Pence suggests, that "[h]e's afraid of what it will disclose [because] [i]t's going to look bad", while leaving the unwelcome impression that Fletcher is deathly afraid of Greg Stumbo.

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