Kentucky candidate ad features cop who wrote controversial police training slideshow
Republican gubernatorial candidate Kelly Craft features Alex Payne, the former deputy commissioner for the Kentucky State Police, in an ad accusing a primary opponent of supporting a ‘woke’ diversity agenda.
A new ad released by the campaign of Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Kelly Craft accuses her Republican primary opponent Daniel Cameron of allowing the Biden administration to promote a “woke” diversity agenda. The spot features an endorsement from Col. Alex Payne, a law enforcement official who previously authored “Warrior Values,” a state police training presentation later deemed inappropriate by the state government for being too inflammatory.
The ad for Craft, a Republican megadonor who served as former President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Canada and to the United Nations, seems to blame Cameron, Kentucky’s current attorney general, for a report issued in March by the U.S. Department of Justice that found a pattern of civil rights violations by the Louisville Metro Police Department. The city immediately agreed to negotiate a consent decree and implement reforms.
Cameron was not a party to the agreement, but told local TV station WHAS on April 25: “All I can say is what we have said in our office, which is that we appreciate and respect the work the Department of Justice has done. If there are issues, they need to be addressed. And the city of Louisville, I understand, and Mayor Greenberg are going to be working to address those issues.”
The spot’s narrator says: “Biden and his woke DOJ asked to take over the Louisville police department and Daniel Cameron let them, letting big government push their diversity agenda while crime skyrocketed. They failed Kentucky’s law enforcement. Kentucky needs a governor that will stand up for law enforcement. Kelly Craft is that leader.”
It shows Payne, the chief deputy sheriff of Bullitt County, in uniform, saying: “Kelly Craft will get us the staff and support that we need. … That’s why I’m supporting Kelly Craft.”
In 2020, the Louisville Courier Journal reported that while he was the deputy commissioner of the Kentucky State Police in the late 1990s, Payne had authored the “Warrior Values” training slideshow.
According to the Courier Journal, the slideshow included: “There is no more desperate, sacred task on the face of the Earth today than the training of warriors. The concentrated potential to confront evil and defend society in this room of people is incredible. If we had no engineers or no doctors for a generation, it would be difficult. But if we had no warriors, in a single generation we would be both damned and doomed.”
The slideshow also contains a version of a quote attributed to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee: “Private and public life are subject to the same rules. Truth and manliness will carry you through the world much better than policy, or tact, or expediency, or any other word that was ever devised to conceal a deviation from a straight line.”
In an email to the American Independent Foundation, Payne said of the quote, “This quote was utilized during a discussion of ethics and the importance of being a good human being first and foremost.”
The Courier Journal reported that one slide with the title “Violence of Action” said: “Ruthlessness without anger. Able to meet violence with greater violence. Controlled aggression without anger. Be the loving father, spouse, and friend as well as the ruthless killer.”
Another said, “If you believe nothing is worth the loss of a man then you set yourself up for failure and create unwillingness to commit to the fight.”
Payne said in his email that he wasn’t encouraging violence:
I did use the term “ruthless killer” in a class I taught to cadets called Warrior Values. The context in which the term was used in that presentation in no way shape, form or fashion encouraged cadets to become such. The class dealt with preparing the cadets for the possibility of having to deal with the psychological impacts of resolving critical incidents. In this case it was officer involved shootings. Where I instructed them that no matter how justified and reasonable the circumstances there will always be people who will refer to you as a “ruthless killer”. I then discussed those things in their lives they should hold near and dear to them and will help them through the tough times and I focused on Faith, Family and Friends.
Payne told the American Independent Foundation, “I stand by my training and the material I used in it and most importantly within the context it was utilized.”
The Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, which oversees the Kentucky State Police and other public safety agencies in the commonwealth, determined the training to be inappropriate in 2020.
“This administration does not condone the use of these materials at any time,” spokesperson Morgan Hall told the Courier Journal. “Governor Beshear’s office and the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet continue to swiftly and thoroughly review all training materials, take any corrective action necessary and inform the public.”
A Craft campaign spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.
Cameron too has touted support from law enforcement officials with checkered histories. In February, he included in a list of endorsements the names of at least six officers who have been accused of wrongdoing, including allegations of sexual harassment, professional retaliation, and mistreatment of jailed inmates.
When Craft was nominated to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 2019, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Democratic staff issued a report criticizing her tenure as ambassador to Canada, finding her to have spent a total equivalent of seven months out of the 20 during which she served in her home states of Kentucky and Oklahoma and accusing her of dereliction of duty.
Cameron, Craft, and several other Republicans will face off in the GOP primary, which ends on May 16. The winner will likely run against Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear in November, who faces only token primary opposition.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
GOP presidential hopefuls defend Donald Trump following federal indictment
Republicans hoping to beat Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination for president are coming to his defense.By Emily Singer - June 09, 2023
Rick Scott lies about history of endorsing in primaries
The Florida Republican falsely claimed on Wednesday that he doesn't endorse in primary elections.By Josh Israel - June 09, 2023
Mike Pence doesn’t mention anti-abortion views in video announcing presidential campaign
The former vice president has previously said abortion opponents 'must not rest and must not relent' until there are bans all across the country and abortion care is made 'unthinkable.'By Emily Singer - June 08, 2023