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In Oct. 25-31, 2007 issue
By Greg Wells, Times Journal Managing Editor

As the Beshear-Mongiardo campaign kicked into gear after their strong primary win they immediately began highlighting ethics questions regarding the administration of Ernie Fletcher.

The candidate was also talking about what legalized casino style gambling could do for the state. Beshear has said that expanded gambling in Kentucky would keep money in the state that is presently crossing state lines and would bring taxes in to government coffers.

Throughout this campaign they have re-told the story of a long and partisan battle over the hiring practices of the administration, especially in the transportation cabinet.

He has asked Fletcher during debates why if he had nothing to hide he "took the 5th" when taken before the grand jury and why he pardoned 14 of his people after they were indicted.

For its part, the Beshear campaign has had to deal with constant attacks from Fletcher over the gambling issue and allegations that the legal firm he worked at may have done something 12 years ago that was unethical or at least unsavory during a large case.

Neither charges nor criminal investigations have been noted by either campaign involving those allegations.

He has picked up the endorsement of the major daily papers in Kentucky and has been leading in the polls since the race began.

He has also picked up some endorsements from Republican politicians around the state.

Among the proposals Beshear has put forward during his campaign is an expansion of health care coverage for Kentuckians. He proposes to fund a prescription plan for senior citizens.

Breshear advocates funding research into alternative energy sources and providing incentive grants to attract those and other businesses to Kentucky.

He has also come out in favor of expanding ATV Trails in the Commonwealth to attract what he terms "adventure tourism." He includes in that package proposals to encourage hunting fishing and wildlife sanctuaries in Kentucky.

He has also proposed faith-based marriage promotion programs and improve the quality of intervention when family ties break down by beefing up domestic violence programs and aggressively pursuing those guilty of non-support of their children.

One of the more common themes in the speeches of late has been that of working more across party lines.

"A good idea is a good idea it doesn't matter if it is from a Republican or a Democrat," he has said repeatedly.

His attempts to reach across party lines would seem to be spreading into the electorate, as polls have held him as a favorite by about 10 to 20 points since the race began.

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