Campaign 2010

May 12, 2006

Fletcher Indicted: Will Congressional Republicans Return Tainted Campaign Cash?

DCCC Press

May 12, 2006

Fletcher Indicted: Will Congressional Republicans Return Tainted Campaign Cash?

Gov. Ernie Fletcher has Doled out Over a Hundred Thousand Dollars to Republicans in Congress and Republican Committees, Following his Indictment, Republicans Should do the Right Thing and Return Fletcher’s Donations

$105,500: Amount of money Governor Ernie Fletcher has given to Republicans in Congress and the National Republican Congressional Committee

  • NRCC $62,000
  • Geoff Davis KY-04 $2,000
  • Anne Northup KY-03 $2,000
  • Ed Whitfield KY-01 $1,000
  • Full list below

Home State Support

Congresswoman Anne Northup: “Fletcher has ‘many good ideas’ to help solve the ‘long-term, difficult problems’ facing Kentucky, Northup said.” [Louisville Courier-Journal, October 14, 2005]

Congressman Ron Lewis: “Lewis believes Fletcher "will be re-elected and should be re-elected," [Louisville Courier-Journal, October 14, 2005]

Congressman Geoff Davis: “The congressman is pleased with Fletcher's overall performance.” [Louisville Courier-Journal, October 14, 2005]

Washington, D.C.) – Late yesterday, a grand jury indicted Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher on misdemeanor charges relating to cronyism and his hiring of political supporters for state jobs. He was charged with conspiracy, official misconduct and violating a prohibition against political discrimination for basing his hiring and firing decisions based on those supportive of his agenda. Fletcher has given to more than 30 congressional Republicans in more than 20 states and has even supported the National Republican Congressional Committee. Now that he has been indicted, these Republican beneficiaries should do the right thing for the families they represent and return Fletcher’s tainted money.

Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher has allegedly followed Tom DeLay’s example and giving out key government posts to cronies and firing those that didn’t play along. After the indictment of Tom DeLay and the guilty pleas of Jack Abramoff, when most of the congressional Republicans who took tainted campaign cash from them returned the money or donated the funds to charity.

“After the Fletcher indictment and corruption and it is time that Republicans in Congress did the right thing and returned Ernie Fletcher’s dirty money,” said Bill Burton, communications director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Governor Fletcher once ran on a clean government platform but today he was indicted for illegally hiring political supporters for state jobs. In a week that also saw the guilty plea of Neil Volz, Bob Ney’s former chief of staff, and in a year when so many top Republicans have been involved in scandal after scandal, American families have had enough. It’s time for a change.”

Cronyism – Not Just a Washington Problem Anymore:

Fletcher Indicted on Charges of Conspiracy for Cronyism. According to published reports, a grand jury today indicted Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher on misdemeanor charges. He is accused of cronyism by illegally rewarding political supporters with state jobs. The official charges are conspiracy, official misconduct and violating a prohibition against political discrimination. The grand jury has been investigating Fletcher for nearly a year. [Associated Press, 5/11/06]

Fletcher Administration Gave Civil Service Jobs to Political Supporters. An ongoing investigation into whether Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Administration gave civil service jobs, by law protected from political influence, to political supporters has resulted in nine indictments of current or former administration officials. Those indicted include Fletcher’s deputy chief of staff and former deputy transportation secretary, Dan Murgatroyd, the state Republican Party Chairman and formerly commissioner of the Governor’s Office for Local Development, Darrell Brock, Jr. as well as Fletcher’s personnel adviser and his deputy personnel secretary. [Louisville Courier-Journal, 8/17/05; 7/7/05; 7/12/05]

Fletcher Pardoned Indicted Officials, Said He Would Refuse to Answer Questions. On August 30, Fletcher announced a blanket pardon for everyone who had been or might be charged in the investigation of personnel practices in his administration. Fletcher made his announcement under the capitol dome to a crowd of supporters and political appointees. He said that the pardon would not cover himself and that he would refuse to answer questions when he faced a grand jury. A subpoena for all of Fletcher’s records possibly relating to hiring since the beginning of his administration was also filed. After weeks of plummeting public opinion, Fletcher fired four of the indicted officials from his administration and called for the resignation of Darrell Brock, a former administration official who had been indicted, from his position as Kentucky Republican Party Chairman. The Kentucky Republican Party’s Executive Committee declined to vote on removing Brock. [Associated Press, 8/30/05; Courier-Journal, 9/18/05]

One of Nine Indicted Officials Indicted Again for Violating Whistleblower Act. A special grand jury indicted Bill Nighbert, the acting state Transportation Secretary for violating the Whistleblower Act. Nighbert was one of nine officials indicted by a grand jury and then pardoned by Fletcher in the personnel abuse investigation. According to the indictment, Nighbert denied a job performance bonus for Missy McCray, a personnel officer in the Transportation Department, after she had reported violations of personnel laws and testified before the grand jury, violating the Whistleblower Act. Nighbert also threatened McCray, saying, “I probably would have come back there and socked you in the mouth,” if it had been 20 years earlier. Nighbert would not comment, but his lawyer said he had done nothing wrong and that he would still be covered by Fletcher’s indictment. [Lexington Herald-Leader, 9/21/05]

Governor Fletcher’s Beneficiaries

  • NRCC $62,000
  • Jeb Bradley NH-01 $1,000
  • Ginny Brown-Waite FL-05 $2,000
  • Max Burns GA-08 $1,000
  • Shelley Moore Capito WV-02 $2,000
  • Chris Chocola IN-02 $1,000
  • Tom Cole OK-04 $1,000
  • Geoff Davis KY-04 $2,000
  • Mike Ferguson NJ-07 $2,000
  • Mark Foley FL-16 $1,000
  • Randy Forbes VA-04 2,000
  • Jim Gerlach PA-06 $1,500
  • Phil Gingrey GA-11 $1,000
  • Sam Graves MO-06 $1,000
  • Robin Hayes NC-08 $3,000
  • Nancy Johnson CT-05 $1,000
  • Tim Johnson IL-15 $1,000
  • John Kline MN-02 $1,000
  • Tom Latham IA-04 $1,000
  • Anne Northup KY-03 $2,000
  • Steve Pearce NM-02 $1,500
  • Jon Porter NV-03 $2,000
  • Dennis Rehberg MT-AL $1,000
  • Rick Renzi AZ-01 $1,000
  • Mike Rogers AL-03 $1,000
  • Mike Rogers MI-08 $1,000
  • John Shimkus IL-19 $1,000
  • Rob Simmons CT-02 $2,000
  • Mark Souder IN-03 $1,000
  • John Sullivan OK-01 $1,000
  • Lee Terry NE-02 $1,500
  • Ed Whitfield KY-01 $1,000
  • Heather Wilson NM-01 $1,000