Read This Bourbon Bill Release Rant Thing

Wow. I can’t get anyone to give me specifics, other than to provide this release that I received at 7:59 from the House Democrats in Frankfort.

It’s a hot mess and a pee alert all in one. Just. Wow.

Here it is, unedited:

Compromise Offered on Distiller’s Bill
Compromise Rejected, House Votes Down H.B. 6

In a move to continue discussions and fully understand the consequences of a bourbon bill (H.B. 6) pushed by the distiller’s association in Kentucky, House members offered a compromise proposal that was flatly rejected by the parties involved.

Our primary goal during this week’s special session was to keep this state operating and to pass a budget to avert a government shutdown in July.  There is much confusion surrounding the consequences of H.B. 6 which is why the legislation did not move forward during the regular session of the General Assembly.  As a result of intense lobbying, an unnecessary amount of time and energy was spent on the sampling issue this week.

The decisions the General Assembly makes in the budget about the level of funding for state programs all have a direct impact on the daily lives of Kentuckians.  It is on that issue that we should have spent our time and energy.  Instead, in my view we focused entirely too much on how to address alcohol sampling. We did not feel that this issue should have been placed on the call for the session when it was obvious that there was not an agreement between the House and Senate about the bill.

Passage of the sampling bill would allow Kentucky distillers to promote their products at September’s World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park.  Although the Kentucky Distillers Association consistently stated that the Games were the main reason for the bill, in fact, the bill would have been the most significant expansion of alcohol sampling in the history of Kentucky.  The House offered a compromise to allow for sampling at the Equestrian Games, but that wasn’t enough. It became clear that the goals of the industry were broader, and therefore, it would require more time be spent to fully understand this issue and the possible consequences upon the industry in general.

Existing law already allows retail package liquor stores to provide promotional samples of distilled spirits and wine on their premises, and distillers and small farm wineries can also have sampling events at their premises. The legislation as introduced in both the House and Senate would have allowed distillers and small farm wineries to provide samples of their products at locations away from their licensed locations, and their employees could pour the samples.  This was a very broad sampling bill that I think could have had unintended consequences.  It may have hindered efficient regulation of alcoholic beverages. It could have resulted in the excessive proliferation of alcohol and diminished public safety due to potential increases in the number of impaired drivers. It may have had a negative economic impact to small restaurants and stores in districts like mine and in others around the state.  This issue is worthy of intense scrutiny and cannot and should not be rushed.

If there had been a meaningful pre-session discussion about the bill, maybe an agreement could have been reached.   But none of that took place.  In fact, some of the bill’s supporters resorted to heavy-handed, divisive tactics that had the result of creating controversy surrounding the bill during a short special session, exactly the wrong time for that to happen on any issue.

Working in good faith, The House Committee on Licensing and Occupations offered a compromise on the legislation that the Distillers Association would not accept.  This compromise would have allowed sampling events to take place in a controlled environment, in limited locations around Kentucky where alcohol is already available.  These provisions would have received more votes in the House because members would have been comfortable with greater control over the number and location of sampling events held.  But the Distillers Association rejected the compromise, and the original bill ultimately failed on its own merits.

Historically I have always supported the alcohol industry in its role as an ambassador for Kentucky products, Kentucky companies and Kentucky workers.  That will not change. I believe there is opportunity going forward to resolve this issue, but it will be important that the alcohol industry speak with a unified voice in its advocacy.  Its advocates must re-establish trust and credibility and it must offer honest, fact-based arguments.  Under those circumstances, I think in the future a reasonable compromise can be reached on this important issue.

-30-

The real reason this didn’t pass? Because Larry Clark and Susan “Chicken Rant” Westrom hate each other. And there’s just enough people in the House who hate both of them to not give a shiz.

Meanwhile, Jody Richards appears to be making a grab at Speaker Pro-Tem, the position Clark currently holds in the House. Frankfort’s abuzz.

UPDATE: You see this shiz?


Laughing. As he tries to single-handedly screw over one of Kentucky’s most important industries.

And the bourbon industry isn’t spending money against him RIGHT NOW? Insane.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader just pointed out that Larry sponsored the bourbon bill during the regular session. Seriously, bourbon industry, it’s time for you to take action.

Please Enjoy Your Fancy Three-Day Weekend

Hahaha. You folks were foaming at the mouth when I poked fun of Rand Paul’s love of the gold amero. And whattya know? There’s video. [Joe Arnold]

Today the Transportation Cabinet put out a big press release (with attached, wasteful Word document of the same thing available in the release) about the “2010 Kentucky Official Highway Map.” The release included links to four radio actualities but no links, images or specifics about the actual map. And that, folks, is part of the reason our Commonwealth’s transportation system is stuck in the dark ages. [Press Release]

Rand Paul just wants to ship all the brown babies back to foreignerland. [B&P]

Former mayoral candidate Fairdale Bigfoot enjoys risotto and has some advice on dealing with the boss at a dinner party. [TPM]

Some interesting theories about Michelangelo’s alleged secret message in the Sistine Chapel. [HuffPo]

Some nutbag who wrote an all-caps email to Jim Bunning is facing criminal charges. It’d be a cooler story if the message was conveyed via paper, written in Sharpie pressed down so hard the marker burst. [Linda Blackford]

What? Marcus Carey still isn’t telling you that he’s probably just bitter because his son was on the payroll of Jim Bunning and lost his job? Surely not! Marcus the teabagger. Whodathunkit. [Marcus Still Foaming]

If you like tennis, here’s your chance to give back in Louisville on the weekend of July 4th. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Don’t miss Comment on Kentucky tonight on KET at 8:00 P.M. Eastern. Scheduled guests: Jack Brammer, Owen Covington and Debby Yetter. [Press Release]

Mining companies probably shouldn’t alert employees to surprise inspections. [C-J]

Some Memorial Day Celebrations In Kentucky

Memorial Day is May 31st and you should attend a celebration in your area.

Here’s a list of events, courtesy the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs:

  • Kentucky Veterans Cemetery North: KVCN’s Memorial Day Event will take place at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, May 31. It will honor all the veterans and dependents interred since the cemetery opened on August 22, 2008. The guest speaker will be CSM Monty Lash, incoming 7th BDE Command Sergeant Major, Fort Knox. Colors will be posted and retired by the Grant County Veterans Honor Guard. Music by the Williamstown Choir.  Wreaths will be laid by family members of deceased veterans. Refreshments will be provided by the Ladies Auxiliary American Legion Post 24, Georgetown. The cemetery is located at 205 Eibeck Lane at the Williamstown exit off I-75.
  • Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West: KVCW’s Memorial Day Ceremonies begin at 11 a.m. (Central), Monday May 31. The ceremony is sponsored by VFW Post 1913, John Brame, Commander.  The guest speaker will by Dr. Dennis Swain, a Vietnam War Air Force veteran.  KVCW also sends a special thank you to The Fort Campbell American Legion Auxiliary Unit 233 for donation of all flags for the flag plaza, and to the VFW Post 1913 for replacing the U.S. Flag.  The cemetery is located at 5817 Fort Campbell Boulevard in Hopkinsville.
  • Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central: KVCC’s Memorial Day Ceremony begins at 2 p.m. on Monday, May 31. The ceremony is sponsored by VFW Post 10281 from Vine Grove.  The guest speaker will be Colonel Jarrold Reeves, Deputy Cmdr. 3d Sustainment Cmd. Ft. Knox. The First Battalion, 26th Infantry will be the honor guard.  Ms. Kentucky hopeful Jessica Caruso will sing the National Anthem.  VFW Post 10281 will dedicate a memorial stone for the scattering garden and place a memorial wreath. The cemetery is located at 2501 North Dixie Boulevard, Radcliff.
  • Thomson-Hood Veterans Center, Wilmore: THVC’s Memorial Day ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 31. The guest speaker will be Wayne Sparks.  There will be a Final Roll Call for our Thomson-Hood Veterans who have passed away since May 2009.
  • Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center, Hazard: EKVC’s Memorial Day Wreath Dedication will be held at the Paul E. Patton Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center at 2:00 p.m. on Memorial Day, May 31st.  Johnny Couch, President of the Hazard VFW, will be the guest speaker.  The Memorial Wreath will be placed by one of EKVC’s residents, a WWII Veteran who is 96 years old.
  • Western Kentucky Veterans Center, Hanson: WKVC’s Memorial Day Program will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 21.  Hopkins County Central High School Junior ROTC Air Force Cadets will perform the service, including posting of the colors by an Honor Guard, Pledge of Allegiance and reading poems written by the cadets.  There will be a slide show of the residents of WKVC who have passed since Memorial Day 2009 and the hanging of a wreath, concluding with TAPS and TAPS Echo.

Big State House Republican Flip-Flop

Isn’t it hilarious to watch State House Republicans change their minds? The Republican Party fought hard against the appliance rebate program, from which 34,000 Kentuckians benefited, but have seemingly taken part in a giant flip-flop.

Take a look at a blurb in the May 25, 2010 edition of “The House Republican Era” newsletter:


CLICK TO ENLARGE

Isn’t that cute? Promoting the stimulus! Republicans. Promoting the stimulus.

Wonder how many tea partiers who abhor these government programs will be shocked by this Republican turn-about?

Corruption Zone In Lexington Turns Into Nightmare

Hoo boy. Jim Newberry is up a creek:

Gray shot right back into the fraud assessment report, asking Johnston when he wrote it. He explained that he did so in 2008, and then brought it up once more in 2009, with no one showing any concern over it. Gray then asked him how many times in his career he had taken this drastic step of making a fraud assessment report. In all of his years, these were the only two times. It was a rare step, which again highlights how important he thought this fraud was. Martin asked what type of fraud this was, and Johnston again answered that he couldn’t do so without fear of legal action against him.

Then another big twist happened. George Myers stepped in and revealed that he is a member of the internal audit board, and he said that this complaint was never brought to them and he’s never seen it. He wanted to know why (speaking towards one of Newberry’s staff) this was never brought to his attention.

-SNIP-

Lawless then asked about KLC insurance details from Johnston, and he started going into detail about brokers, services and premiums, as the Newberry lackeys had a look of horror on their faces.

-SNIP-

Then another Newberry lackey stepped up from the back of the room and called Johnston a liar. His name is Tom Sweeney. And yes… he works with the Kentucky League of Cities. Yeah.

You just need to read it all because it gets much, much worse…

Oh, and Newberry campaign folks? You may want to stop making allegations to random people in Lexington that a couple bloggers are on the payroll of Jim Gray and Jack Conway. Attacking and demeaning the messenger only strengthens the resolve to oust corruption.

You Should Read Rand Paul’s Lips

Rand Paul, in his own words, in an October 28, 2003 letter to the editor appearing in the Kentucky Post:

“Politics 101: The closer you get to an election, the closer you should scrutinize all candidates’ promises.  Or, “read my lips” but also watch my hands as I may lift your wallet while simultaneously promising not to steal.
 
Politicans are notorious for easy and sometimes glib promises before elections, followed by slippery retractions and explanations afterward.”

And how.

Schadenfreude:




Ruh ro.