Watch: 'Monsters' Ad Thrashes Kentucky Governor's Sex Felon Pardons

Credit: Club of Growth PAC

The Club for Growth PAC and its affiliated School Freedom Fund released a devastating “Monsters” video ad tying Kentucky’s Gov. Andrew G. Beshear to a sex felon he pardoned, James Hamlin, who was convicted of sodomizing a six-year-old child.

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“While this blatant disregard for public safety is disgusting and should leave you outraged, it unfortunately comes as no surprise that another radical Democrat put their pro-crime agenda over public well-being,” said School Freedom Fund President David McIntosh.


Hamlin was convicted of two charges: first-degree sodomy with someone under the age of 12 and incest with someone under 12. Hamlin was sentenced to 25 years for each conviction but was eligible for parole in 2039 and expected to be released in 2044, according to Kentucky’s inmate database

In 2023, three states have off-cycle gubernatorial elections: Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi. 

While all three are culturally conservative states, Louisiana and Kentucky have Democratic governors. In Kentucky, teachers and coal unions have been strong backers of Beshear despite the national Democratic Party waging a regulatory war against coal. In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards received strong backing from organized labor, but it was Republican intramural fighting that gave him his victories in 2015 and 2019. Bel Edwards is termed out, and Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry is leading in the polls in the Pelican State.

Beshear’s Republican opponent is Daniel J. Cameron, the commonwealth’s attorney general. The Club for Growth PAC endorsed Cameron July 31

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Despite Cameron’s emergence as a national conservative figure, polls have consistently shown Beshear with a comfortable lead

However, Cameron comes to the race with advantages. He played safety for the University of Louisville team that won the 2007 Orange Bowl; he has the support of the state's political doge and his former client, Senate Minority Leader A. Mitchell "Mitch" McConnell—and the support of President Donald J. Trump.

The last competitive race where Trump and McConnell supported the same former college athlete was Herschel Walker in his 2022 challenge to Sen. Raphael Warnock (D.-Ga.). Walker forced a runoff when the senator got less than 50 percent of the vote, but Walker lost the final with 49 percent of the vote to Warnock's 51 percent.  

The Republican Governors Association has also produced ads supporting Cameron, criticizing the governor for saying that gender-transition surgeries on minors would never happen in Kentucky though they were actually being performed at a University of Kentucky clinic.

McIntosh said Beshear’s pardon of Hamlin was consistent with the criminal justice policies of other Democrats.

“This consequence-free approach to criminal justice is a tenet of the extreme socialism being championed by the likes of Bernie Sanders and Gov. Phil Murphy at the Democratic Governors Association,” he said.

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“The silence from Beshear and his allies is a clear endorsement of the policies that are jeopardizing the lives of hard-working families,” he said. “What will it take for Beshear, Murphy, and others to admit the failure in policy and leadership?”

This ad is part of a series of ads the School Freedom Fund produced focused on the effect of Beshear’s pardons and commutations of criminals.

One of them told the story of Nathan Nickell, who was convicted of charges related to sex with a minor. The Club for Growth PAC ad said Nickell committed another assault in less than six months of Beshear granting him his release.

Another ad by the Club for Growth PAC dealt with Beshear’s release of Ashley Lewis, a convicted felon who pleaded guilty to her role in the killing of a 32-year-old father five days before Christmas.

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