First Lady Did Not Donate To Cancer Research

Feb 28, 2012

FRANKFORT, Ky.  - Some people are calling on Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear to stop urging others to give contributions to breast cancer research if she's not going to make the same donation herself.

Beshear has urged people for two years to mark a box on their state income tax returns that supports research into breast cancer, but the Lexington Herald-Leader reports that she and her husband have not checked the box for the last two years, according to their 2010 tax returns.

Breast cancer survivor Diane L. Brumback participated in a news conference with Beshear last month urging taxpayers to check the box. Brumback told the newspaper that Beshear should stop telling others to take action "if she is not going to do as she says."

A spokeswoman for the Beshears said they make charitable contributions privately.

"On their 2010 tax return, you'll see they donated nearly $19,000 of their gross income - that's more than 11 percent of their before-tax income," said spokeswoman Kerri Richardson. "Not only do they donate money to many worthy causes, including those that support breast cancer research, but they give their time and energy to promoting those charities and non-profit organizations."

A state website for Beshear says the first lady is dedicated to fighting breast cancer and notes that she founded Horses and Hope, which provides education on breast cancer, screening and referral for treatment.

Brumback commended those efforts but said Beshear shouldn't urge others to check the donation box unless she's willing to do the same.