TUESDAY Evening of Rain & Fundraising

We’ve mentioned the expulsion scandal at the University of Louisville’s School of Nursing a number of times recently. But we recently stumbled across the SON’s student handbook and honor code and can find nothing that Nina Yoder has violated. There’s a hearing before Judge Simpson on April 10th. [School of Nursing Docs]

Frank Simon calls youth service “socialist indoctrination” and compares Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler. [Barefoot & Progressive]

As Joe Sonka noted earlier, Chris Cillizza is sorely out of touch. Crit Luallen is not running for the U.S. Senate. But Jack Conway is. [The Fix via Sonka]

J. Marshall Hughes spent $407,464– $355,205 of his own money– on his losing campaign against Mike Reynolds. Reynolds spent $141,082– $53,000 of his own money. [Kentucky Gazette]

Steve Beshear signed an emergency regulation that extends the deadline for certain unemployed Kentuckians to receive assistance with the cost of health insurance. 65% of premiums will be subsidized for COBRA or state continuation premiums for up to 9 months for people involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009. Those eligible will pay 35% of their premiums. The remaining 65% will be reimbursable to the employer, insurer or health plan as a credit against certain employment taxes. COBRA enrollment periods for those laid off between September 1, 2008 and February 17, 2009 have been extended by 60 days. [Press Release]

David Sedaris will be in Louisville on Sunday, June 21st at 4:00 P.M. The Carmichael’s location on Frankfort Avenue will host a block party. [C-J]

United States Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced $79 million in Recovery Act funding for environmental cleanup in Kentucky. The money will be directed toward removal and disposal of large process equipment and for demolishing surplus chemical processing facilities in Paducah. [Environmental Management]

Governor Beshear appointed Margaret Plattner to serve as deputy commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veteran’s Affairs this morning. She’ll assist Ken Lucas in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the department and the coordination of 18 statewide field offices, health care outreach and cemetery services. [Press Release]

The beginning of the end: Jim Bunning says his fundraising is lousy. [C-J]

A University of Louisville researcher has published a study (he’s a faculty member with the Owensboro Cancer Research Program) indicating that a plant related to tobacco could be used as a preventive measure for HIV. [Business First]

Did You See Kentucky Tonight Last Night?

Kathy Stein and Chris Hartman spanked David Edmunds’ nancy little rear end last night on Kentucky Tonight.

We’ll give you a taste.

Here’s Kathy’s opener, our favorite moment when she made a “straw dog” comparison and when she told everyone to quit pandering:

See the rest of our selected highlights including David Edmunds, Tim “Gay Panic” Moore and Chris Hartman after the jump…

Read more…

Fancy Pants Ring Road Debacle: Take II

Remember the Ring Road debacle we told you about a couple weeks ago? Click here to read all about it.

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission issued Advisory Opinion 09-16 on March 27, 2009, amending Advisory Opinion 08-11, for Transportation Secretary Joe Prather. And it’s rather damning.

Here are the key opinions:

  1. May Transportation Cabinet officials other than the Secretary make decisions with respect to a highway project near real property owned by the Secretary?  YES
  2. In the event that discretionary decisions regarding the highway project near real property owned by the Secretary are referred to a neutral third party, may Transportation Cabinet employees provide technical expertise to the neutral third party?   YES
  3. May the Secretary of the Transportation Cabinet testify before Legislative committees regarding other projects named in the Six Year Road Plan?   YES
  4. May other Transportation Cabinet employees testify before Legislative committees regarding projects named in the Six Year Road plan if questions arise regarding the road project near real property owned by the Secretary?   YES
  5. Is it necessary for the Secretary and other Transportation Cabinet officials to abstain from matters related to other road projects that appear in the Six Year Road Plan and are in the same county as the real property owned by the Secretary?  NO

Puppies and rainbows, right? Yeah. Until you get further into the document and examine what the Commission had to say in detail. Here are some highlights:

You also request clarification of Advisory Opinion 08-11 addressing other property that you own near a road project. The Commission advised in that opinion that you and all employees under your direct or indirect supervision should abstain from any involvement in future discretionary decisions that might affect property values. You have complied with Advisory Opinion 08-11 by abstaining from making decisions affecting the property. You state that an employee in the Governor’s Office acts in your stead. However, the practical implications of precluding all Transportation Cabinet employees from being involved in the decisions affecting the project is that an employee in the Governor’s Office, who is not an engineer and has no expertise in road building, is making decisions on the project without the ability to obtain technical advice from Transportation Cabinet employees.


The issue before the Commission is how to manage the Secretary’s conflict of interest while maintaining to the extent possible, the Transportation Cabinet’s established process for building roads. You cannot be involved in making decisions regarding the project, and you have appropriately abstained in writing from action on official decisions relating to the properties. KRS 11A.020 (3) requires your superior to designate an impartial third party to make decisions on the matters included in your written abstention. Your supervisor is the Secretary of the Governor’s Cabinet, with whom you jointly own property and have other common business interests. The Governor, as supervisor of the Secretary of the Governor’s Cabinet, should designate someone who does not report to you and who also does not report to the Secretary of the Cabinet to make decisions regarding the road projects included in your written abstentions.

Read the entire ethics opinion by clicking here (PDF Link).

Read the rest of this ethics mess after the jump…

Read more…

Governor Beshear Violated Campaign Finance Law

Just wanted to remind you that Governor Steve Beshear violated both state and federal campaign finance law by announcing his endorsement of Daniel Mongiardo via the state government email system using his state-paid spokesperson Jay Blanton.


For your convenience, we’ve included a PDF of the email announcement sent out by the Governor’s office on Friday, March 27th. Click above to view the document.

If you can’t load PDF files, here’s the full text of the message:

Commonwealth of Kentucky

Office of the Governor

Contact: Jay Blanton

Jill Midkiff

Statement of Gov. Steve Beshear endorsing Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo for U.S. Senate

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 27, 2009)—“Our country and our Commonwealth face unprecedented economic challenges. Now, more than ever, we need strong representatives in Washington D.C. to give voice to Kentucky priorities and values. I believe that my Lieutenant Governor, Daniel Mongiardo, can be that voice and I endorse his candidacy for the United States Senate. As a doctor, state senator and, now, as Lieutenant Governor, Daniel has been a leader in the push for e-health technology, a priority he shares with President Barack Obama. Daniel has worked tirelessly to promote Kentucky through Adventure Tourism, a potential engine of economic growth worth hundreds of millions of dollars. And he has continued to be a strong voice for Kentucky’s role in solving the country’s energy challenges. Those concerns and priorities reflect Kentucky values. They also mirror the priorities being articulated by the Obama administration at this defining hour for our country. While I will miss the contributions that Daniel has brought to our team, I know he feels called to service in the U.S. Senate and I support his mission.”


See that? Straight from the Governor’s office. There is, of course, no disclaimer (which wouldn’t matter so much, really, in this instance since it’s illegal). And. Again. It’s FROM THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE!

It’s illegal to use your state government office or state government equipment/facilities to advocate the election or defeat of a candidate on the state or federal level. The Governor’s office is attempting to downplay this, saying (paraphrased), “so many people were asking, yadda yadda, this was the easiest way to get it out.” Unfortunately, it’s still illegal. And we call on the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance and the Federal Election Commission to investigate. The Office of the Attorney General should also dig its heels in, as Jack promised he would do, to investigate the potential abuse of the Governor’s office.

Reprimands should be issued. Fines should be paid. I-l-l-e-g-a-l. Pure and simple.

Mongiardo Campaign Almost Gets It Right

Whattya know? Daniel Mongirado’s U.S. Senate campaign finally added a paid-for-by disclaimer at the bottom of its latest email blast. Unfortunately, it’s not in a box and isn’t up to FEC specs. Either way, positive move.

But the folks who received the latest blast? They tell us that they’ve never provided email addresses to any candidate they’ve ever contributed to. And most people say they’ve never, ever supported Mongiardo. Every single person we heard from tell us that they did not provide their email information to the Beshear-Mongiardo campaign (to nix the obvious).

Wouldn’t try reading the entire letter if I were you, though. Especially if you’re someone who appreciates a bit of grammar comprehension. (It’s not even up to our level)…

Governor Beshear honored me last week by endorsing me for the United States Senate seat currently held by Jim Bunning. The Governor and I have worked closely together over the past year on health care, adventure tourism, and cleaning up the fiscal and ethical mess left behind by the last administration. I am honored to have his support.

Many people doubted that Steve Beshear and I could win a Democratic primary when we began our campaign in early 2007. Against a strong field, we did so without a runoff. Many people doubted that I could, as a relatively unknown State Senator, defeat U.S. Senator Jim Bunning in 2004. Most people thought I would not come close.

Despite challenging Bunning in 2004 when he had strong support from the incumbent Republican Governor, despite taking him on when he was running with President Bush at the height of his popularity, and despite being outspent by a margin of more than 2:1, we came within 1.5% of defeating Senator Bunning in 2004.

Read the rest after the jump…

Read more…

Stormy Tuesday Dept of Frankfort Time Wasting

Over the past few months, Dan Mongiardo’s 2010 Senate Primary campaign has been actively trying to silence several growing problems. Why can’t Mongiardo answer a few questions and why is Lee Murphy avoidant? What’s with the hypocrisy? [Barefoot & Progressive]

The FDIC told Republic Bank to get its act together or else. [Business First]

State House members plan to hold hearings on tax overhaul bills in preparation for an expected special session of the legislature. Don’t hold your breath, though, because tax reform will never happen in the Commonwealth. It’ll never get easier for the common man OR small business as long as these folks are in Frankfort. [Bluegrass Politics]

Giant Fontaine Ferry Park display coming to the Frazier Museum in May! [C-J]

The Southeast/Mid-Atlantic Regional Student Convergence will be at Western Kentucky University Saturday, April 4th & Sunday, April 5th. The “convergence” will help develop skills for those interested in increasing campus involvement and in communities on a global scale. [Americans for Informed Democracy]

Maybe the Governor’s plan for NASCAR and the Kentucky Speedway really is a waste of time. Or maybe they’re not footed in reality? What are your thoughts? [Stephenie Steitzer]

Mitch McConnell’s hypocrisy is quite ripe. [DailyKos]

David Williams and other Senate Republicans took their hatred of teachers unions out on Steve Neal. They didn’t bring his confirmation up in committee or on the floor. Purposefully. And Williams’ staff is spinning out of control for him. [C-J]

PETA’s public relations stunt in Louisville is an epic failure. Though, we knew what they were up to when they started attacking Michelle Jones on Consuming Louisville last week. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Want to save $1,000 on a solar installation? Hook up with Sustain and RegenEn Solar between now and April 22nd. Or have an eco audit conducted on your home and business to see what you can do to improve your world. [Sustain Stores & RegenEn]