BGR hosts the 2007 Bluegrass Rooties

From BlueGrassRoots, “Ok, the votes have been tallied, the chads punched, the butterflies balloted. It’s time to document the highlights and lowlights, the heroes and villains of this foul year of our lord, 2007. Here are the winners of the 2007 Bluegrass Rooties!!!”

The original BGR has revealed the Rootie winners of 2007. Hilarious. With categories like Most Blatant Lie, Most Unintentionally Funny Moment, Phoniest Exploiter of Religion, Best Montana Blog, and Most Humiliating Representation of Kentucky. Hilarity ensues. You can only imagine that various electeds will be fuming for days to come… while the rest of us laugh.

Legal Defense Fund Transparency Two Months Late

Remember that legal defense fund of Ernie Fletcher’s that he so fervently refused to discuss? He’s due to report the names of contributors to that fund on January 10. A full two months after the election. A full two months after that information would have been useful.

Rep. Darryl Owens and others in Frankfort are now working toward legislation that would require great transparency and more frequent reporting of governors who establish defense funds. It’s something current governor Steve Beshear says he supports and something almost no one could argue against.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Governors who set up legal defense funds would be required to file periodic reports listing the donors and the amounts they contribute under a proposal that will go to lawmakers next month.

“I think people have a right to know who’s giving,” said state Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville, who is sponsoring the legislation. “This basically allows more transparency in terms of who is contributing.”

The proposal also would bar anyone who works for state government from contributing to such a fund, a move intended to prevent elected officials from pressuring people to give.

Owens’ proposal would require governors and other officeholders to report on a quarterly basis the names and contributions of those supporting legal defense funds. During election years the frequency and amount of reports would be doubled.

Is the southeastern Kentucky fix in?

Could the fix be in for the 30th State Senate district’s special election? That’s what Democrats in southeastern Kentucky are alleging.

Turns out just four Democrats will select the Party’s nominee for Senate and no one is happy about it.

And now the party’s nominee selection process is under fire, as some — including one of the potential candidates — are complaining that it allows just four people to make the decision.

But Noe and Harlan County Democratic Party Chairman Nancy Brock claim the selection process puts Noe at a disadvantage. And Brock said Beshear and Mongiardo are exerting influence to affect the process in Alexander’s favor.

“It’s coming from Frankfort,” Brock said last night. “Dr. Mongiardo has called people in our area asking them to vote for Scott Alexander…

Glass declined to directly address any accusations that Beshear has intervened in the process, saying only: “I’m sure that all potential candidates and supporters are contacting people on the committee. That’s how the process works.”

With Vicki Glass’ non-denial denials how can anyone be certain? Definitely does the Beshear Administration no favors when the press can so easily write stories like this.

While Beshear and Mongiardo are absolutely within their rights to exert influence on the election, might we suggest a little politicking that doesn’t rub people the wrong way? Ticking people off isn’t exactly the best way to get things started for the next four years.

New Year’s Eve Oh Snap Update Dept

Jim Cauley, Beshear’s campaign manager and Chief of Staff, to temporarily head the Governor’s Office of Local Development. Naturally, it only took an hour for blog commenters to start throwing wag the dog accusations. We suggest holding criticism for the actual commissioner who will be named to replace Cauley. [PolWatchers]

Railing on Kentucky’s budget crisis and Steve Beshear, I think, but never really making much sense. Complete with ominous tones. Something about how he needs to get his butt in gear and not screw anything up? As if things weren’t tough enough trying to establish an administration while “fixing” the budget in a month’s time. [C-J]

The Herald-Leader has started it’s week-long series of legislative previews. The first tackles Beshear and the quickly hacked together budget. AKA the budget is screwed and everyone is about to just explode from stress. Our glowing and vibrant economy is just perfect and happy because everyone is wealthy. Surely the free market can solve this one, too. [H-L, H-L]

The debate for casinos will hit the legislature on January 8. Guess we can count on not getting anything else accomplished in 2008. Flip-flopper Jody Richards refuses to speak to the press about it all– even in his home neck of the woods. Excitement abounds! [BG Daily News]

Road construction in Winchester near the Mountain Parkway has created a sense of urgency in documenting and preserving Native American history. Once again, the rich white man and his ignorant subordinates fight to ignore Kentucky’s true history. Thankfully there are people in this world who won’t let it be forgotten. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell & friends love to spend borrowed money on their supporters and David Hawpe love to write about it. Frankly, we think keeping our legislative body kosher and free of pork would be quite nice. But even conservative “think tanks” know it’s not going to happen. [C-J]

Ben Chandler on Progress, Iraq, Mexicans

Ben Chandler wrote a glowing op-ed for the Georgetown News-Graphic today. A glowing op-ed about himself and all of his caving to Republicans throughout 2007. Lots of talk of “crucial bills”. Terra-ism and Eye-rack.

Yep, Iraq. He actually mentioned it publicly. But failed to mention the many times he’s given in to Republican pressures. Or the dozens of times he’s literally run away from reporters and constituents questioning his blind support of the failed war.

This was one of many attempts by Congress over the course of the year to force the president to change direction in Iraq. Unfortunately, the president’s allies in the Senate blocked this measure and have pledged to support any presidential veto of similar efforts. Despite these roadblocks, I feel it is our moral duty in 2008 to continue pushing Iraqis to take control of their own country so American troops can focus their efforts on fighting terrorism, not policing a civil war.

He also mentioned the scary Mexicans who are terrifying him in Lexington. But what really takes the cake is his use of the term “progress.”

Despite the frustrations caused by the lack of progress on some of these most critical issues, I imagine that most of you will be pleasantly surprised by how much we have accomplished.

So is it just us or does anyone else wonder what on earth kind of “progress” Chandler is talking about? The only progressive thing we can find (though we psyched ourselves up and told ourselves we’d definitely be able to find something else) that Chandler could possibly be talking about is his support of the FAA reauthorization bill. Surely you remember it. It’s the piece of non-partisan, non-controversial legislation he jumped on when the timing was right after a plane crash last year.

Beshear Announces Special Election Date

Finally!

Governor Steve Beshear has issued the writ of election for the 30th district senate seat vacated by Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo and the 95th district house seat vacated by Brandon Spencer. The elections will take place on February 5, 2008. Nominations for candidates must be named by each party’s exec committee by January 8.

Spencer, you’ll recall, resigned from the State House in order for outgoing Attorney General Greg Stumbo to return to his old stomping ground. Rumors abound that Stumbo will becomeFloor Leader or Speaker of the house. We’re quietly hoping current Speaker Jody Richards steps aside in order for the latter to become a reality.