2:21pm

Wed May 4, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Washington Post Says Farmer a "Liability"

The campaign woes continue for Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer, who is featured in a Washington Post story for being a drag on the gubernatorial ticket with state Senate President David Williams, R-Burkseville, in the upcoming Republican primary.

Going over Farmer’s campaign troubles, the piece quotes state political observers who rip the former Mr. Basketball for being … well, dumb.

From The Fix:

Richie Farmer was supposed to be the media-friendly one…But with the GOP primary approaching on May 17, it’s Farmer who’s attracting all the negative attention from the press.

“Richie Farmer owes his electoral success to his former career as a University of Kentucky basketball player,” said Transylvania University professor Don Dugi. “He certainly doesn’t owe it to his intellectual prowess. He’s about as dumb as a brick.”

Also in the piece, former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson says Williams selecting Farmer was initially thought of as good choice because of his “rock star” status as a former University of Kentucky basketball player, however, that comes with “rock star baggage” on the campaign trail.

What on earth could he mean?

From the Herald-Leader:

Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer failed to report or pay taxes on his personal use of a state vehicle for the past six years, despite repeated warnings from state auditors, according to public records

Farmer will get amended wage and tax statements and have an undetermined sum of money deducted from his paychecks in coming months to compensate retroactively for his past failure to pay, said his spokesman, Bill Clary.

On Monday, a lawyer for the state auditor’s office, Robert McBeath, wrote to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the Kentucky Revenue Department to advise them of Farmer’s “failure … to report fringe benefits associated with personal use of state-assigned vehicles.”