The once and possibly future attorney general Greg Stumbo made a stop in Somerset on Monday to connect with area Democrats and discuss issues, primarily his views on the opioid crisis.
He also took a few moments to address where he feels like his Republican opposition stands on the subject.
"The drug companies that we are asking to be held accountable are part of the 'Dark Money' that the Republican Party uses to try to influence these campaigns," he said.
He then turned his attention to his November opponent, Daniel Cameron, saying, "He has worked for Senator [Mitch] McConnell. He's been a lobbyist, and he's actually been a lobbyist for these large drug companies that I'm fighting with. So you can figure who's corner they're going to be into. He's actually been paid by Purdue Pharma and some of the large 'corporate criminals' as I call them."
The 'Dark Money' statement was in reference to allegations made during the primary campaign between Cameron and fellow Republican Wil Schroder, in which the Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), an out-of-state organization, paid for advertisement promoting Cameron over Schroder.
According to an article from the Herald Leader, JCN's funding comes from a nonprofit organization called the Wellspring Committee, which in turn received its funding from a "single mysterious donor" who has not been named.
As for Purdue Pharma and other companies which Stumbo points to when looking for the cause of the state's opioid crisis, Stumbo said that he wanted to finish what he started when he first went after those companies during his previous stint as attorney general from 2004 to 2008.
"I was the first attorney general in the nation to sue Purdue Pharma," he said.
He said he felt passionately about holding pharmaceutical companies accountable for introducing Oxycontin and other opioids into the state.
"I want to make them stand accountable for the actions that they took, that they deliberately injected these drugs into our state," Stumbo said. "I want to make them tell their stories to juries. … They did for profit. And we now know, because we've been able to discover a lot of records that they kept, that they knew exactly what they were doing."
He said that he has had too many phone calls from Kentucky citizens who have seen loved ones die from their addiction to what was once a highly prescribed medication.
"I will promise you, if you give me the opportunity, I will not let you down. I will not sleep. I will not rest until we bring [pharmaceutical companies] here to Kentucky, and they stand accountable in a court of law right here in our state."
Beyond the drug crisis, Stumbo addressed other hot-button issues, including one talked about recently - the passage by legislators of abortion bills which have been decried by current Attorney General Andy Beshear.
Stumbo himself said that he has several times voted in favor of pro-life bills, such as such as the parental consent bill and the informed consent bill that requires patients to have a consultation with their doctor 24 hours before the procedure.
That was as a representative, though, and as attorney general, Stumbo said that his job would not be to pass legislation but simply give opinions on whether a particular piece of legislation was constitutional or unconstitutional.
"I don't think that it's up to the attorney general to decide which laws they want to enforce and which they don't," Stumbo said. "The attorney general should be blind, as justice is blind, obey the law, and prosecute whoever it is that violates the law."