Kentucky Democrats file complaint over governor’s tweet

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Democratic Party has filed an ethics complaint against Republican Gov. Matt Bevin for using his official Twitter account to support a GOP congressman’s re-election campaign.

Bevin called the complaint a “Pavlovian response by the lap dogs of the left” and said it “is an example of everything wrong with the modern world of politics.”

Bevin attended a rally with President Donald Trump on Saturday at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. Trump was in Kentucky campaigning for U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, who is in a tight race with Democrat Amy McGrath.

Bevin posted this to his official Twitter account on Saturday: “Here @eku with a packed house of men, women and children who love our @POTUS, @realdonaldtrump and are supporting @RepAndyBarr on November 6 ... #WeAreKy”. The tweet has since been deleted. An identical tweet was posted to Bevin’s campaign Twitter account.

On Tuesday, Kentucky Democratic Party chairman Ben Self announced he had filed a complaint against Bevin with the Executive Branch Ethics Commission. He cited state law that bans elected officials from using their “official position to secure or create privileges, exemptions, advantages, or treatment of himself or others in derogation of the public interest at large” and from using “state time, equipment, personnel, facilities, or other state resources for political campaign purposes.”

“It appears that Governor Bevin is misusing taxpayer resources. This should be of concern to the Commission given Bevin’s flippant attitude about wasteful spending,” Self wrote in the complaint.

Five people make up the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, and all of them are appointed by Bevin. The governor said Tuesday that he deleted the tweet from his official Twitter account on Monday “out of respect for the Executive Branch Ethics Commission staff, who have better things to do than to field mindless calls about issues like this.”

“The fact that people support and appreciate President Trump and Congressman Barr is too much for hyper-sensitive, liberal minds to handle,” Bevin said. “This is not an ethics violation. To imply that it is, is foolishness.”