This week the Kentucky Enquirer’s Pat Crowley made some state Republicans happy by writing about the heat Jonathan Miller is taking for working one political job (Democratic Party Chairman) while holding one political office (State Treasurer).
In doing so, Crowley gave Republican Party Chair Steve Robertson a soapbox on which to needle Miller, especially after Robertson gave up his own job in the Fletcher administration to run the party’s political operations. Robertson thinks Miller should give up his cushy treasurer’s post if he’s going to spend all his time helping get Steve Beshear elected governor.
Miller, who gave up his own run for governor to help Beshear win the May primary (in what some say was a pre-arranged deal for the KDP job), said he’s doing all the political work on his free time, pointing out the wall Miller says exists between the treasurer’s office and the KDP.
Then Miller said that if he’s being called into question, so should the Governor and his running mate, Robbie Rudolph, both of whom have jobs to do while they’re running for office. Melinda Wheeler, who’s running for treasurer as a Republican and famously vowed to work to eliminate the office, chimed in to Crowley that Miller is working full-time for the party and should quit the treasurer’s post.
Back and forth we go, but in this media skirmish, Miller certainly took a hit. Is he working full-time for the party, or just in his “free time”? If he wants to fight this fight, Miller should release information about where and how he’s spending his time, or resign as treasurer. Otherwise, he’d be well-advised to let the story die a natural death, and focus on other issues.
Nonetheless, Robertson’s attack is just another sign that the Republicans will be aggressive in the media during the campaign. They have to be, given that their man is so far behind in the polls. Democrats wisely recruited Vicki Glass to become the Beshear campaign’s spokesperson this week (she formerly did A.G. Greg Stumbo‘s P.R., so she’s quite familiar with Republican tactics).
One thing she’ll have to work on is keeping the state’s political writers from giving too much space to stories like this one.