Allegations that Matt Bevin and members of his administration are violating federal restrictions on political activity have resurfaced amid an ongoing dispute between Bevin and Ky. Attorney General Andy Beshear over health care policy.
Bevin’s Health Secretary, Adam Meier, issued a press release on June 12, 2019 from the Governor’s office attacking Beshear as “deceitful” and “dishonest”, mirroring the same language used by Bevin’s campaign in the upcoming gubernatorial election.
In a news column published in the Louisville Courier-Journal, Joseph Gerth alleges that this is likely a violation of the Hatch Act of 1939, which prohibits official government employees from interfering in political elections.
“Meier’s over-the-top press release smacks of politics in the worst way and could possibly violate the Hatch Act that says certain federal, state and local government employees aren’t allowed to use their positions to influence elections,” the column reads.
This new allegation of potentially illegal behavior is the latest example of Bevin misusing the power of his office as Governor for political benefit.
According to an article in the Associated Press, in 2016, Bevin “urged a group of preachers to embrace political speech at the pulpit by telling them not to fear a federal law that prohibits candidate endorsements by tax-exempt churches,” labeling the law as a “paper tiger.”
In a 2016 video uncovered on Youtube, Bevin urged religious organizations to break the 1954 tax law which bars churches from taking part in political elections, stating “Since 1954, do you know how many churches have lost their tax exempt status because of political speeches or preaching that has occurred? Zero! Zero!”
In November, Bevin — the least popular Governor in the United States currently– will be running against Attorney General Andy Beshear in his campaign for re-election.