For the first time since the story broke this weekend, Jack Conway could have been asked on live television to clarify his role in a recent criminal investigation concerning whether his brother was involved in drug trafficking.
But the moderator on Kentucky Educational Television never asked the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky the question.
A story in Louisville’s Courier-Journal broke the news this weekend that Conway’s brother, Matthew Conway, had been under investigation this summer by police. Charges were never brought, though police files show that several law enforcement agents and other sources leaked word of the investigation to both Jack Conway and his brother.
Questions since the story broke include whether Conway, the state’s attorney general, improperly broached the topic of investigation with his brother.
But during Monday night’s debate, moderator Bill Goodman asked Conway and his Republican opponent, Rand Paul, questions like: Who’s your favorite teacher? What’s your favorite state park? What’s your favorite work of fiction? Which Kentucky politician inspired you?
The Courier-Journal story from this weekend reported that Matthew Conway was tipped off about the drug probe by several law enforcement officials while the investigation was still going on. Jack Conway, according to the report, also heard about the investigation from an acquaintance and subsequently went on to call his brother and set up a meeting for him with an attorney.
In statements released through his campaign, Conway has denied any wrongdoing, claiming he didn’t tip his brother off, but rather first heard about the investigation from Matthew Conway, something not included in the Courier-Journal report.
Monday night’s debate was the last joint appearance for the two before next Tuesday’s election.
Other topics broached during the debate televised on Kentucky Educational Television:
— Conway said the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was not successful because it didn’t include accountability. Paul says it “was absolutely a failure,” and said remaining TARP funds should be used to pay down the deficit.
— On foreign policy, Conway says regional partners in the Middle East need to be used to help bear the costs for wars there. “We need to stay focused, focused, focused on this issue of nuclear proliferation,” he said. Paul said the county should only go to war “reluctantly.”
— On abortion, Paul says he supports a constitutional amendment outlawing it. Conway said abortion should be rare.
— Though they were told to keep the debate civil, Conway said the most painful minutes on MSNBC for him was watching Paul discuss the Civil Rights Act with Rachel Maddow earlier this year. Paul quickly responded that what was actually the most painful 20 minutes on MSNBC was hearing host Chris Matthews interrogate Conway on his recent ad questioning Paul’s religion.