Here’s who gave to Beshear-Coleman inauguration committee

By: - January 4, 2024 9:02 am

Gov. Andy Beshear and his family participate in the Grand March a tradition of Kentucky inaugurations, in the Capitol, Dec. 12, 2023.(Kentucky Lantern photo by Arden Barnes)

FRANKFORT — Special interest political action committees and wealthy political donors provided the vast majority of $684,000 raised in the closing weeks of 2023 by the inauguration committee of Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jaqueline Coleman, according to a report filed Wednesday by the committee with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.

The report also lists about $464,000 in expenses paid by the committee, leaving it with a balance on hand of about $220,000 to cover any late bills. The balance on hand seems likely enough to pay any remaining bills. Beshear’s 2019 inauguration committee raised $604,000 and after paying all bills had about $40,000 left over which it gave to various charities.

Events surrounding the inauguration of the governor every four years are paid for by state government and the newly-elected governor’s inaugural committee. Generally, state government pays costs to conduct the big official event of swearing in the governor and lieutenant governor. The inaugural committee pays for the parties and any other unofficial costs.

Jim Gray, secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and chairman of the inaugural committee, declined to comment on the contributions or other details listed in the report.

Political action committees provided slightly more than half of the donations that filled the Beshear-Coleman inaugural committee’s coffers. The largest contribution was $30,000 from Elevance Health PAC, of Washington.

Political action committees of these eight groups contributed $25,000 each: 

  • Charter Spectrum Employees PAC, of Louisville; 
  • Deloitte PAC, of Washington; 
  • Molina Healthcare Inc., of Long Beach, California; 
  • United Health Group, of Washington; 
  • UPS PAC, of Atlanta; 
  • United Auto Works PAC, of Detroit; 
  • Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 502, of Louisville; 
  • Houchens PAC, of Louisville.

The largest individual contributor was Tim Robinson, of Louisa, the chief executive of Addiction Recovery Care, who is listed as giving $29,000. Beshear recognized Robinson, who was in the gallery, during his State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday night.

Lisa Lourie, a retiree from Wellington, Florida, and owner of Spy Coast Farm, gave $25,000. Cynthia Adkins, of Danville, West Virginia, who is also listed as being retired, gave $20,000.

The following donors are listed as having contributed $10,000 each: Lobbyist Bob Babbage, of Lexington; Laura Babbage, of Lexington; William P. Butler, of Covington, chief executive of Corporex; Todd Case, Louisa, owner of Todd Case Trucking; Pauletta Case, of Louisa, president of Rock Trucking; Charles Vinson, of Louisa, an environmental scientist employed by the state; Mark Workman, Paducah, an engineer with BFW Engineering; Chester Thomas, Hanson, a coal operator; William T. Young, of Lexington, president of WT Young; Barbara Young, of Lexington; Wayne Carlisle, of Newport.

Also, Barbara Banke, the chair of Jackson Family Wines in Santa Rosa, California, is listed as making an in-kind contribution worth $10,449.

The largest expenses listed in the report are: $105,595 to The Rental Depot; $95,654 to MSI Production Services; $57,700 in reimbursements to the state Parks Department; and $25,000 to Wasserman Music.

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Tom Loftus
Tom Loftus

Tom Loftus is a native of Cincinnati and a graduate of The Ohio State University. His long career in Kentucky journalism includes four years as Frankfort bureau chief for The Kentucky Post and 32 years as Frankfort bureau chief for The Courier Journal. He is a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame and a freelance reporter for the Kentucky Lantern.

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