Courier-Journal: Gov. Beshear’s campaign donors have opportunities to buy Derby tickets
Churchill Downs made 360 tickets to the Kentucky Derby available to Gov. Steve Beshear. The Courier-Journal reports 52 of those were used for official guests considering investing in the state of Kentucky. The remaining tickets were bought from the governor primarily by people who donated to Beshear’s re-election campaign and to the Democratic Party.
The Courier-Journal reports that in a statement, Kerri Richardson, spokeswoman for the governor’s office, said campaign contributions “have no influence on the state’s regulations, policies or actions.”
The tickets were initially purchased from Churchill Downs by the governor’s non-profit 1st Saturday in May. The state purchased the 52 it needed to entertain investors from the non-profit while the remaining tickets were purchased at face value through the non-profit by political donors and other supporters.
The Courier-Journal reports that, when interviewed, some of the contributors who purchased tickets did not know if their donations gave them the opportunity to purchase tickets.
The ethics commission for the state has said in the past and again recently that it does not believe using tickets for political supporters is advantageous for the state and is a practice that should be stopped.