Kentucky Democrats Differ on Holder Contempt Vote

The Democratic lawmakers in Kentucky's congressional delegation handled the contempt vote of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in the House very differently Thursday.

The House of Representatives voted 255-to-67 to hold Holder in contempt for failing to turnover key documents tied to the controversial “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation. But the Obama administration has said the Justice Department has turned over 7,000 pages to Congress and called the vote a “witch hunt.”

Over a dozen Democrats joined the Republican majority, including Sixth District Congressman Ben Chandler of Lexington. He said holding Holder in contempt was more about oversight than politics.

From Chandler's office:

“Throughout my time in Congress and as Attorney General of Kentucky, I have always supported the principle of public disclosure and been an advocate for open records regardless of which party is in power. I voted to hold Harriet Miers and Joshua Bolten in contempt while President Bush was in office, and even though some Republicans have turned this into a political circus, it is imperative that Congress is able to exercise its duties of oversight.”

But fellow Kentucky Democrat and Third District Congressman John Yarmuth was among the 100 lawmakers who walked off the House floor to boycott the vote. A Yarmuth spokesman pointed out that he did vote against the contempt citation when it was in the oversight committee last week.

Holder, who is the first African-American attorney general, is also first to be held in contempt by Congress.

The four GOP members of Kentucky’s congressional delegation backed the contempt vote.

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