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Jesse Benton’s Gone But Daddy’s Bus Mess Isn’t

September 1st, 2014 · No Comments

It’s a three-day weekend. Don’t expect much beyond a roundup or two today.

The re-election campaign of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has gained momentum in the last month, propelled by huge leads over Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in Western and Eastern Kentucky and among men, according to a new Bluegrass Poll. [H-L]

Like we’ve been saying on Twitter… Privately, McConnell aides said that Benton had been sidelined for months in a reorganization of the campaign after the GOP primary season, and that former McConnell Chief of Staff Josh Holmes has been effectively in charge since. [HuffPo]

Louisville celebrated its multiculturalism with world music, food and fun Saturday at the 12th annual WorldFest on the Belvedere. [C-J/AKN]

Summers in the U.S. have been warming since the 1970s due to climate change, though it might not seem like it if you’re riding out this unusually cool August in the northeast and midwest. Hint: This is about Louisville. [Fast Company]

The day after his campaign manager quit in the wake of an expanding Iowa campaign bribery investigation, Mitch McConnell was posing for photos, shaking hands and riding in the Watermelon Festival Parade here. What he wasn’t doing was answering a reporter’s questions. [Ronnie Ellis]

Kentucky Democratic Senate nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes is facing fresh questions over her campaign bus as a new report reveals the company that owns it lacks the necessary permits required to operate it. [The Hill]

Nine weeks until election day, Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race remains close, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has improved his lead over Alison Lundergan Grimes in the latest WHAS11/Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll, from a two point lead one month ago to a four point lead today. [Joe Arnold]

A sinkhole that swallowed eight cars inside the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky will be filled even though it has become a tourist attraction that sharply increased attendance and revenue, the museum’s board decided on Saturday. [Reuters]

September is Bourbon Heritage Month in the Commonwealth of Kentucky! [External PDF]

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, announced his resignation late Friday, citing potential distractions over renewed attention to a scandal from the Iowa 2012 caucuses. [Politico]

Money taken each year in Kentucky during all robberies combined falls well short of the total amount of wages improperly withheld from Kentucky’s workers. The Kentucky Labor Cabinet collects an average of $4.5 million each year in wage restitution for employees, and that total far surpasses the average annual amount of $2 million taken during all robberies in the Commonwealth. [Press Release]

Five hundred people will learn tomorrow if they have won the chance to vent their frustration at world leaders over the global citizens stalemate over climate policy. [BBC]

Payday lenders in Kentucky are coming under increasing restrictions because of a pair of laws passed by the state and federal governments at the start of the decade. [H-L]

The U.N. racism watchdog urged the United States on Friday to halt the excessive use of force by police after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman touched off riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Minorities, particularly African Americans, are victims of disparities, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) said after examining the U.S. record. [HuffPo]

→ No CommentsTags: Alison Grimes · Corruption · Discrimination · Environment · Kentucky Business · Kentucky Tourism · Law Enforcement · Mitch McConnell · Polling · Senate · Wasted Money

Alison’s Camp Asleep At The Wheel Or What?

August 29th, 2014 · No Comments

Seriously — is her entire campaign team asleep at the wheel?

It hasn’t mentioned this scandal at all.

From Sam Youngman, the only person to score an interview with Benton:

Jesse Benton, the campaign manager for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, will resign his post as a bribery scandal from the 2012 presidential campaign threatens to envelop Benton and become a major distraction for McConnell’s campaign.

Benton told the Herald-Leader that he met with McConnell Friday afternoon and offered his resignation, which McConnell “reluctantly accepted.”

Benton said he offered his resignation, effective Saturday, with a “heavy heart.”

He maintained his innocence, faulting “inaccurate press accounts and unsubstantiated media rumors.”

They’ve gotta be snoozing because they’ve completely missed the opportunity to hang this around McConnell. Now the problem is gone and they can’t hold it against him.

So as bad as this is for McConnell on the embarrassment front, it’s possibly worse for Grimes for missing a major campaign opportunity.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

P.S. Click here to read Benton’s full statement.

→ No CommentsTags: Alison Grimes · Mitch McConnell · Senate

What’s Up With The Carroll County Sheriff?

August 29th, 2014 · No Comments

Federal regulators have proposed fines totaling $245,000 against two companies accused of violating environmental rules in Eastern Kentucky. [H-L]

The Asian American Journalists Association has called on Fox News to apologize for its recent segment on ISIS and the murder of US journalist James Foley. [HuffPo]

Paid attendance at the 2014 Kentucky State Fair, held down by heavy rains on several key days, dipped to the lowest level in 30 years, fair officials said in releasing the official count Friday morning. [C-J/AKN]

In the moonscape of Death Valley, one mystery stands out: boulders that seem to creep along the desert floor when nobody’s looking. Thanks to video and GPS, scientists now think they know why. [NPR]

A city employee has raised allegations of verbal and physical harassment by his direct supervisor in a recent letter to Flatwoods’ mayor and city council members. An eyewitness to at least one of the alleged incidents stepped forward this week to support his coworker’s allegations. [Ashland Independent]

A fault on Time Warner Cable’s network left its 11.4 million broadband internet subscribers without a connection. [BBC]

At least a half dozen Republican state House candidates say they are the targets of survey calls that have gone beyond message testing for Democrats and crossed into push-poll territory. The calls end with the statement that the poll has been conducted by Public Policy Polling, the Raleigh, North Carolina based polling firm that has typically conducted surveys for Democrats. [CN|Toot]

What is the Obama Administration trying to hide? Public access to the Senate report into the CIA’s detention and interrogation policies will have to wait a little longer it appears. [Politico]

Investigators of the Kentucky Division of Mine Safety and the Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement today cited a Letcher County man for illegally mining an estimated 700 tons of coal at a surface mine near Van in Letcher County. Bryan Lee Wagner of Red Fox was heading up the operation and is charged with mining without a permit and mining without a license. [Press Release]

Eric Holder’s Justice Department is coming under pressure to order sweeping changes to police operations in the United States. [The Hill]

A civil whistleblower lawsuit has been filed in court against Carroll County Sheriff Jamie Kinman. The suit, filed on Aug. 26, says one of Kinman’s deputies believes he’s been the target of retaliation for reporting allegations of planted drug evidence and other improprieties within the department. [WAVE3]

The federal probe that resulted in a guilty plea this week by a former Iowa state senator who was secretly paid to endorse two Republican presidential candidates in the 2012 campaign is ongoing — and could implicate the political operatives who were involved in routing payments to him, according to people familiar with the case. [WaPo]

The Republican Party of Kentucky has asked the state’s county clerks to review and verify the signatures that Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate David Patterson filed to get on the ballot. State GOP chairman Steve Robertson told the Herald-Leader on Thursday that Republicans found “clearly fictitious and fabricated names,” citing an example of a signature belonging to a purported voter named “Ben Dover” who listed his address as an obscene phrase. [Sam Youngman]

Marty McEwen was digging in the dirt on his dad’s North Texas property in May when the excavator suddenly hit something. That something turned out to be a six-foot tusk — of a mammoth that had walked the earth tens of thousands of years ago. [HuffPo]

→ No CommentsTags: Barack Obama · Campaign Finance · Corruption · Discrimination · Eastern Kentucky · Environment · Flashback · Humor · Kentucky Tourism · Law Enforcement · Mainstream Mistake · Mitch McConnell · Polling · Presidential Race · RPK · Senate


The Ultimate Yin-Yang Crisis For Jake In A Photo

August 29th, 2014 · 1 Comment

It’s Friday and we need a bunch of filler content that doesn’t cause brains to melt. The three-day weekend is almost here and there’s no sense in having complex thoughts.

This may be the most important photograph of Steve Beshear — ever:


He’s looking at cantaloupe, peaches and canary melon!

CANTALOUPE! And Steve Beshear. Our favorite and least favorite things in life.

→ 1 CommentTags: Frustration · Spotted · Steve Beshear

Alison Opens Up Door For Republican Response

August 29th, 2014 · No Comments

Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes has a new teevee ad and it’s pretty good:

But we’re not sure how much actual work she’s done in office. Because she’s been on the campaign trail every single day for more than a year.

How many DV cases has she handled? Or was that just a blurb so she could feature Kelly Flood (we think?) in some b-roll footage?

Also not sure what kind of businesses she’s been working with that aren’t owned by her daddy.

Recently, we had to get involved with a victim in a domestic situation when they couldn’t get the Secretary of State’s office to help them hide their address from some LLC filings. Nothing happened until we emailed Rob Haynes and pressed for action. Surely to goodness Alison doesn’t want us to detail that situation.

→ No CommentsTags: Alison Grimes · Hypocrisy

Looking Back At Powell’s Time In Union County

August 29th, 2014 · 3 Comments

For anyone who doubted Joshua Powell left a cushy job as Union County Schools superintendent to become superintendent of Montgomery County Schools for any reason other than to save face?

Here’s your proof.

First flash back to review his contract in Montgomery County.

Now look at the contract he had in Union County, which we obtained via open records request:


As you can see, not much different. Just a $10,000 pay bump… which doesn’t much matter when going from $130,000 to $140,000.

It’s another indication that the folks in Union County caught on to what was occurring with Powell and he needed an out.

You won’t believe the treasure trove of information flowing out of Union County. Or maybe you will.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Corruption · Education · Flashback · Investigation · Joshua Powell

Hal, Leslie & Papaw In The Same Photograph

August 29th, 2014 · 3 Comments

It’s been a minute since we’ve had a Hal Rogers caption contest, so here you go:


You know what to do.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Contest · Hal Rogers · Humor · Spotted · Steve Beshear


August 29th, 2014 · 2 Comments

The Transportation Lady was apparently disappeared by Leonard Lawson, so here’s a video of some guy in Jackson doing a thing:

→ 2 CommentsTags: Eastern Kentucky · Spotted

Maybe Rand Paul Is An Attention-Starved Baby

August 29th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Dennis Parrett, a Democratic state senator from Elizabethtown, is “definitely considering” running for state agriculture commissioner in 2015. [H-L]

Change of habit: how Seattle cops fought an addiction to locking up drug users. [HuffPo]

They may be friends of coal but to the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, they are Dirty Denier$ — politicians who are dismissing the mainstream science of climate change. [C-J/AKN]

Police associations are beginning a major lobbying push to protect their access to the military equipment that was used against demonstrators in Ferguson, Mo. [The Hill]

They say coal keeps the lights on in Kentucky, but with new regulations and changing habits, that light may be dimming. Now, there’s a major project designed to power new forms of energy in Kentucky. [WDRB]

Authorities on Wednesday disbanded what had been a command center in Ferguson, Missouri, for law enforcement responding to sometimes violent protests over the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer. [Reuters]

It may not be Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s “47 percent” moment. But the campaign of his Democratic opponent says a recording of McConnell’s comments to a group of conservative donors this past June show the five-term incumbent isn’t concerned with the problems of average Kentuckians. [Ronnie Ellis]

In just 80 years, some 2,000 square miles of its coastal landscape have turned to open water, wiping places off maps, bringing the Gulf of Mexico to the back door of New Orleans and posing a lethal threat to an energy and shipping corridor vital to the nation’s economy. [ProPublica]

Hazard-Perry County Chamber of Commerce members and other local community members gathered in the council chamber of Hazard City Hall Tuesday morning for the chamber’s monthly meeting, and to hear Mayor Nan Gorman’s state of the city address. [Hazard Herald]

A detailed report commissioned by two major Republican groups — including one backed by Karl Rove — paints a dismal picture for Republicans, concluding female voters view the party as “intolerant,” “lacking in compassion” and “stuck in the past.” [Politico]

It’d be nice if stories like this bothered to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent to lobby Jeff Hoover. Because then readers and listeners would know how much he’s been influenced. [WKYUFM]

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is really good at making news, and he did it again Wednesday night with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that, in part, attacked Hillary Clinton for being too hawkish on Syria. [WaPo]

Lexington’s financial backing could help Transylvania University transform its residential campus. On Thursday, the Urban County Council is scheduled to hear the first reading of a proposal for the city to issue $14.5 in industrial revenue bonds to finance two new dormitories. Under the deal, Transylvania must repay the debt using revenue generated by the dorms. [H-L]

In a local radio interview Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) gave a frank response when asked why he thinks his re-election race against Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is so competitive. [HuffPo]

→ 1 CommentTags: Eastern Kentucky · Education · Election 2015 · Environment · Law Enforcement · Mitch McConnell · Presidential Race · Rand Paul · UK

Morgan County Can Finally Take A Deep Breath

August 28th, 2014 · 1 Comment

U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey said the people of Morgan County deserved better than repeated acts of betrayal by the person they trusted to head county government. “This was not a one-time lapse in judgment. Mr. Conley essentially transformed the public office he held to a criminal enterprise in order to serve his own purposes,” Harvey said. Also – Mark Walter should tread lightly. [H-L]

Seeing an abandoned home can be a bit creepy. But seeing one that represents the decline of an entire way of life? That should elicit an even more solemn reaction. [HuffPo]

The company owned by Jerry Lundergan that is leasing a tour bus to the U.S. Senate campaign of his daughter, Alison Lundergan Grimes, does not appear to have the proper permits required to operate the charter bus. [C-J/AKN]

Some of America’s top corporations are parking profits overseas and ducking hundreds of billions in taxes. And how’s Congress responding? It’s rewarding them for ripping us off. [Rolling Stone]

State-certified local electrical inspector Michael Garlinger came to the Russell to tell the city council any current electrical inspections in play are illegal. [Ashland Independent]

A former Iowa state senator has pleaded guilty to federal charges that he accepted money from the Ron Paul 2012 presidential campaign to switch his endorsement from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who was also running for the GOP White House nomination. Neither Lori Pyeatt, Ron Paul’s granddaughter and the treasurer of his 2012 presidential campaign, nor Jesse Benton, who was Paul’s campaign manager (and is now manager of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign), had responded to requests for comment at the time this post was published. [Open Secrets]

The Glasgow school board voted 3-2 in favor of a 4 percent tax increase at a special-called meeting on Tuesday, following a public forum about the proposed tax rate. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Unlike Romney, what McConnell said to the Koch brothers are things he has said in public, and more importantly, his comments mirror positions he has publicly backed with actual Senate votes: opposition to Democrats’ plans to increase the minimum wage, extend unemployment insurance and make student loans more affordable through the tax system. [CNN]

With one exception, rates for Madison County property and taxing districts will remain the same for 2014. [Richmond Register]

Sorenson also confirms that Paul’s National Campaign Chairman, Jesse Benton, was aware of Kesari’s actions. After asking Fusaro if he thought the key players inside the upper echelons of the Ron Paul campaign knew of Kesari’s actions, Fusaro stated that he was confident that Benton knew. Sorenson quickly responds by saying, “Oh, I know Jesse knows. I know Jesse knows.” [Ruh Ro]

The Perry County Board of Education held its first meeting of the new school year last Thursday. Superintendent Jonathan Jett said he felt like things had gotten off to a great start. [Hazard Herald]

The FCC has announced that TWC must pay a $1.1 million penalty for failing to report a number of network outages to the Commission. [Consumerist]

Another proposed debate between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Democratic opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, appears to have died. [Sam Youngman]

Surveillance video from an Ohio Walmart shows that a man fatally shot by police earlier this month had his back to officers and was talking on a cell phone, an attorney for the man’s family says. [HuffPo]

→ 1 CommentTags: Alison Grimes · Campaign Finance · Congress · Corruption · Eastern Kentucky · Economy · Education · Flashback · Law Enforcement · Mitch McConnell · Presidential Race · Rand Paul · Taxes