Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul took to Twitter to criticize his Democratic opponent for taking contributions from energy companies. Earlier today, Attorney General Jack Conway announced he had filed a motion to dismiss the pending rate increase requests made by Louisville Gas and Electric and its sister company Kentucky Utilities.
The state’s largest providers of natural gas and electricity have filed formal cases with the Kentucky Public Service Commission for the rate hike, but the attorney general believes that request should be suspended until the companies are sold.
The Paul campaign took the opportunity to slam Conway for being backed by utility companies while regulating them.
That was a very funny press conference our opponent had this morning. He’s now going to discontinue his practice of taking tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the people he helps regulate. That’s the difference between a career politician and most Americans — most of us would have known not to take the money in the first place.
During the hotly contested Democratic primary, Conway’s chief rival, Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo, brought similar criticisms to the campaign’s forefront. In May, Mongiardo filed an ethics complaint against Conway, claiming he “violated the public trust” and was receiving kickbacks for accepting campaign contributions from utility companies while approving millions in rate hikes.
It was an accusation the Conway campaign vehemently denied, pointing out his record as attorney general saved consumers more than $100 million from proposed hikes.
However, Conway did receive $10,000 in campaign contributions from Atmos Energy, a Texas-based natural gas company that serves parts of western and central Kentucky. And the attorney general’s staff was involved in negotiations with the company over a proposed $5.9 million rate increase.
Last week, WHAS-11 television reported Atmos Energy was awarded a 3 percent rate increase by the service commission.
The Conway campaign has yet to respond to our request for comment.