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Herald-Leader: Time for Mongiardo to speak up about statements

October 15, 2009

Perhaps the most interest bit in state politics over the past few weeks has been the potentially embarrassing recordings of Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo, who is making a run for the U.S. Senate, that have been leaked out.

Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo

Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo

In three different postings on Youtube, Mongiardo is heard complaining about Gov. Steve Beshear sapping his fundraising dollars, saying he doesn’t need the job in the U.S. Senate and comparing his relationship with Beshear to being “married to a whore.”

Perhaps even more disturbing is Mongiardo’s comments that “a blowup” is coming for the Beshear administration on par with the scandals that plagued his predecessor, former Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

That’s an issue that the Herald-Leader focuses on in an editorial today, in which the newspaper calls for Mongiardo to speak up about any corruption or scandalous actions by the administration of which he is a part.

From the Herald-Leader

The Fletcher administration’s “blowup” was a raft of criminal indictments for violating state laws against political interference in hiring. What exactly was Mongiardo implying?

These recordings, for which no one has claimed responsibility, cut with a double edge. They make Mongiardo, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, look like a disloyal motormouth and ingrate. Beshear has endorsed his Senate bid.

They also can be heard as an administration insider, someone who should know, making accusations of corruption against Beshear.

Only Mongiardo can supply the context for his remarks. Only he can explain what he meant and why he said it. It seems to us he owes that much to taxpayers and voters.

If Mongiardo knows of something foul in the Beshear administration, he should speak up. He is, after all, asking voters for a position of trust. How can they trust him if he won’t come clean about what he says when he thinks no tape recorder is running?

Neither his campaign nor Mongiardo has denied that the lieutenant governor made the comments, and have said the comments were taken out of context.

As the Herald-Leader points out, it’s hard to imagine in what context Mongiardo’s comments would mean something different from what they mean at face value.

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