Saturday, May 17, 2003

Richards asks feds for fraud hotline

By Roger Alford
The Associated Press

PIKEVILLE - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jody Richards said Friday he wants federal authorities to run a hotline for voters to report improprieties they see during Tuesday's primary election.

The state already has a hotline, which is operated in the attorney general's office. But Richards questioned its credibility because Attorney General Ben Chandler is one of his opponents.

"While we make no allegation that the attorney general will handle any complaint in anything other than a usual and proper manner, we feel that in order to remove even the hint of a conflict of interest, we believe that a separate voter fraud hotline should be set up for next week's election," Richards said.

Richards, who is speaker of the Kentucky House, sent a letter Friday to federal prosecutors and the FBI asking for the hotline. He released that letter to the public Friday during a campaign stop in eastern Kentucky, where 18 people have been indicted on election fraud charges this year.

One of those indicted, Pikeville businessman Ross Harris, played host at a fundraiser in December that brought in $134,000 for Chandler's campaign. Harris pleaded innocent in U.S. District Court in Pikeville.

In the letter, Richards said he respects efforts Chandler has made to respond to allegations of election fraud. However, Richards said, people have expressed concern that their only means of reporting vote fraud is the state-run hotline.

Chandler said he supports Richards' idea for a federal hotline.

"I welcome any help we can get to combat voter fraud," he said during a campaign stop in Louisville. "It's very important that elections are clean."

Art museum 'free' policy begins today
No indictment in bar shooting
Voinovich feeling heat for tax vote
She was 'Here' - 2,340 times
Lunsford quits race for governor

Tristate A.M. Report
Ted Berry's message lives in new city park
Bengals, league sued over PBS
Truck ban on I-75 promoted
Obituary: Charles Squeri, built food service empire
West side will be featured
Calling top high school seniors
School celebrates birthday with song

McNUTT: Neighborhoods
Faith Matters: Panel will discuss race

Judge called 911 to get officer sent
Ricketts' daughter doubts beating
Two men jailed for Clermont house fire
Lebanon 'ramps up' phone installations
Nearby schools get extra classrooms

State to stay with cards for food
Flowers last sign of Case rampage
Court ends Ohio school funding case
Ohio Moments

Influential teacher is honored today
Grant Co. jailer on the defense after lawsuits
Four days to the primary, candidates stump in N.Ky.
Advocate for disabled winds up degree pursuit
Richards asks feds for fraud hotline
No bond for 2 in WKU death
Kentucky News Briefs
Kentucky obituaries