Ky. Gov. Beshear’s inauguration committee raised more than $300,000 from PACs
Health insurance companies, labor unions and businesses including Spectrum and UPS were among the top funders of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s inauguration ceremonies last month.
Beshear’s inaugural ceremonies cost at least $463,000, according to a filing of his inauguration committee Tuesday with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. Political action committees of various business and labor interests contributed more than $350,000 for that cause.
The Democratic governor was reelected to a second term in November. His inauguration committee is able to receive contributions of unlimited amounts from individuals and PACs to fund inaugural ceremonies at the Capitol, such as the parade, ceremonial swearing in and balls.
Beshear’s inauguration committee collected $684,100 of contributions in the two months following his reelection – a roughly even split coming from individuals and PACs. That amount is $80,000 greater than what Beshear raised for his first inauguration in 2019.
Political action committees are groups representing businesses, unions or advocacy groups that raise and spend money on elections and political causes.
There were 28 PACs collectively donating $351,500 to Beshear’s committee, while 68 individuals contributed $332,500.
The largest PAC contributor was Elevance, the health insurance company formerly known as Anthem, which contributed $30,000. The company recently lost a protracted legal battle to remain as one of the insurers contracted by the state to be a Medicaid managed care organization.
Contributing $25,000 each were the PACs of two health insurers who do have Medicaid MCO contracts with the state: Molina Healthcare and United Healthcare.
Labor unions were one of the major contributors to Beshear’s reelection campaign, but a smaller fraction of those that gave to his inauguration committee. Among them were the national PAC of the United Auto Workers and the local PAC for plumbers and pipefitters in Louisville, who each gave $25,000, and a regional PAC of carpenters that contributed $10,000.
Other business-related PACs giving $25,000 to Beshear’s committee included ones for UPS, Charter Spectrum, Deloitte and Houchens Industries.
The PAC of the Kentucky Hospital Association gave $15,000 to Beshear’s inaugural fund, while tobacco giant Altria contributed $10,000.
Among individual contributors to Beshear’s committee, the largest was Tim Robinson, the CEO of Addiction Recovery Care in Louisa, who gave $29,000.
Lisa Lourie, a horse breeder based in Florida and Kentucky, contributed $25,000 to the committee, while $20,000 was given by Cynthia Adkins of West Virginia, who listed her occupation as retired.
Among the individuals giving $10,000 to Beshear’s inauguration committee were lobbyist Bob Babbage and his wife Laura and several road contractors for the state, including Todd and Paulette Case of Todd Case Trucking and Mark Workman of BFW Engineering.
Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray is the chair of Beshear’s inauguration committee.
Beshear’s committee reported spending at least $463,643 by the end of December, with more than $220,000 left over.
The largest expenditures went to local event companies MSI Production Services and The Rental Depot, who were each paid roughly $100,000.
As for entertainment expenses, more than 20 high school bands were paid $500 each for participating in the inauguration parade.
Cellist and singer-songwriter Ben Sollee was paid $750 for his services, while Wasserman Music – the booking agency for singer-songwriter Tyler Childers – received $25,000. Childers performed a song at Beshear’s inauguration ceremony just before he was sworn into office.