Kentucky gave $15M to a manufacturer. Now, one of its investors is raising money for Bevin
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Investor Charles Price hosted a lucrative fundraiser for Gov. Matt Bevin a few months after the governor announced that Braidy Industries, a company at which Price is a director, would receive an unusual $15 million state investment.
Price is listed as “sponsor” of a September fundraiser that raised $68,000 for Bevin’s 2015 gubernatorial campaign in reports filed Friday with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.
The event is one of the largest fundraisers for Bevin during the past year and raised nearly 10 percent of the total amount Bevin reported raising during the past year.
Bevin’s 2015 campaign committees were highly active through the past year, the reports show. The committees remain open because they still owe more than $4 million in loans to Bevin, who largely financed his own campaign.
Reports for Bevin’s primary and general election committees filed on Friday show that from Nov. 12, 2016, through Dec. 1, 2017, the committees raised $718,547 and spent $96,070. As of Dec. 1, they had a combined balance of $763,071 on hand.
The reports show no repayments to Bevin during the period. They do show the only remaining debts or obligations of the committees are loans from Bevin in 2015 totaling $4.12 million.
Braidy Industries is a privately held firm that Bevin announced last spring will build a $1.3 billion aluminum rolling mill near Ashland. Taxpayers own about 20 percent of the company thanks to the $15 million upfront investment orchestrated by Bevin in the final days of the 2017 legislative session.
Braidy founder Craig T. Bouchard, who owns another 20 percent, has identified Price as an investor but will not name others.
Price is the chief executive of Charah LLC, a Louisville-based company involved in recycling and disposing of waste from coal-fired power plants. He and his wife are listed in Friday’s report as each giving the maximum $2,000 to Bevin’s 2015 campaign, as are several other officials of Charah.
Bevin’s communications staff did not immediately return an email or phone call Monday morning seeking comment. Price did not immediately return a phone message left at Charah offices.
Price’s was not the only large fundraiser for the governor’s 2015 campaign. Reports show that on Dec. 1, the Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors sponsored an event in Frankfort that raised $79,050.
Other large fundraising events for Bevin during the year were hosted by Jim Ellis, a Louisville attorney, which raised $108,950; and Billy Harper, of Paducah, which raised $85,250.
The campaign’s expenses show the committee paid $5,000 per month in salary to its treasurer, plus about $835 per month for voter databases to a company called Nationbuilder in Los Angeles.
Other smaller expenses were paid for printing, postage, photography, catering and a valet service.
By Tom Loftus
Louisville Courier Journal