While I grateful that Democrat Andy Beshear beat the corrupt Republican Governor Matt Bevin, Kentucky voters elected one of Moscow Mitch’s political cronies as state attorney general — one Daniel Cameron. When asked by the Courier-Journal if Cameron would investigate Bevin’s pardonfest, Cameron was Sphinxlike in his response:
FRANKFORT — Freshly sworn-in Kentucky Attorney General kept it close to the chest on Tuesday when asked if his office will look into former Gov. Matt Bevin’s controversial pardons and commutations.
“We’ll have occasions to look over the materials on a whole host of topics, and it's obviously something we'll look at,” Cameron told The Courier Journal in his first sit-down interview since taking office.
Bevin's choice to pardon or commute the sentences of more than 600 people after losing his reelection has rattled Kentuckians of different stripes and come under a microscope, particularly the pardon of convicted killer Patrick Baker, who was serving a 19-year sentence for homicide.
Baker is the brother of a Bevin political donor who held a campaign fundraiser for the now former governor in July 2018. Baker proclaimed he was innocent and framed by state police at a press conference on Tuesday.
Now, Cameron claims he is all for our local prosecutors and cops. And what do those local prosecutors think of Bevin’s pardons? I’m so glad you asked.
In a joint statement Tuesday, the Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Association and the County Attorneys’ Association scorched Bevin, saying the pardons represented “an absolute insult” to crime victims, their families and the rule of law.
“(Bevin) should be ashamed. His arbitrary, callous, and, in at least one case, seemingly corrupt decision to pardon many violent felons on his way out of office was an abuse of his power,” the statement said. “He substituted his questionable judgment over the collective wisdom of juries who heard the evidence, law enforcement officers who investigated the cases and prosecutors who sought justice for victims. The victims in these cases were ignored and silenced — victimized again by Matt Bevin. He owes them an apology, and his abuse of power should be investigated.”
Emboldened is my doing.
This should be a relatively easy call for Cameron, especially with a lot of pissed off Republicans calling for an investigation of Bevin’s pardons. And it is not like Cameron has some conflict of interest issues in his office.
Cameron, who is the state's chief law enforcement officer, has hired a number of lawyers who worked in the Bevin administration and who were directly involved in the pardon process, including former general counsel Stephen Pitt.
The attorney general dodged a question on whether he or those staffers would have to recuse themselves from any state investigation of Bevin.
Oh damn. My bad. Or I should say, “Cameron’s bad.”
To be honest, I cannot fathom why a Moscow Mitch crony would want to hire a bunch of Bevin supporters and lackies. Moscow Mitch is not a fan of Bevin. And it is not because Moscow Mitch frowns on corruption. Bevin ran against Moscow Mitch in the Republican Primary in 2014.
However, here we have Cameron already picking up some of Bevin’s crumbs. Therefore, I think it is safe to say that Cameron will never look into Bevin’s corruption, even if this move pisses off several other Republicans in the state.