Don Blandford

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Donald Blandford, a Democrat, was a longtime Kentucky state legislator. He served as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives until his indictment and conviction for bribery.

Blandford was a meat cutter (butcher) who lived in Philpot, Kentucky, and represented the 14th District in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1968 to 1993. In January 1985 Blandford unseated Speaker of the House Bobby H. Richardson to assume that office himself.

Blandford served as Speaker of the House for eight years, which at the time was a record. He played an essential role in the passage of major education reform legislation in 1990. He was considered a very strong, powerful and influential Speaker.

During the 1992 legislative session the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted an inquiry and sting operations involving members of the Kentucky House of Representatives and the Kentucky Senate, known as Operation Boptrot. Approximately 10% of the state's sitting legislators were indicted as a result, many for accepting paltry bribes of as low as $100. The probe snared members of both political parties. Blandford was the highest ranking legislator indicted (the Republican minority leader in the Senate was also indicted and convicted, as were other House members of both parties). Blandford accepted $500 in cash from former state representative Bill McBee, a lobbyist then representing a Kentucky racetrack. "Bless your heart," Blandford said when presented with the bribe....
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