This week the Transportation Lady discusses the one-year anniversary of the Customer Service Center in the Kentucky Transportation Department of Vehicle Regulation:
Adam Edelen just announced his executive staff.
As we reported a while ago, Noted River Rock Expert Stephenie Steitzer will serve as Communications Director – the most important job in the office.
- Tom Bennett will be his Chief of Staff
- Will Carle (whoopsie?) – Deputy Chief of Staff
- Nathan Cryder – Senior Policy Advisor
- Libby Carlin will remain as Assistant Auditor of Public Accounts
- Brian Lykins will remain as Director of the Office of Technology and Special Audits
“I have carefully blended seasoned veterans of state government, two of whom have served in the Auditor’s office for many years, with a diverse group of professionals who will bring a fresh perspective,” Edelen said. “Our team is energized and ready to begin the work of auditing the accounts and financial transactions of the Commonwealth’s public agencies.”
Here’s Beshear’s statement:
“For the last several months, I have consulted with Attorney General Jack Conway, State Auditor Crit Luallen, officials from the University of Louisville and the proposed merger partners, health care and finance experts, and concerned citizens from across the Commonwealth on a proposal to merge University Hospital and Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Healthcare in Louisville with those owned or controlled by Catholic Health Initiatives in Kentucky, in order to create a statewide network of health care facilities.
University Hospital provides high-quality health care services, and I greatly appreciate their efforts to improve those services, improve the health status of Kentuckians and find ways to grow and expand the mission of the University health care system.
Significant legal and policy concerns have been raised about this proposed merger, including constitutional and public policy questions about the influence of a religious entity on a publicly-owned institution, especially regarding reproductive issues. In addition, if for some reason in the future the merger partners were forced to separate, the potential costs of that unwind could be significant and have a detrimental impact not only on University Hospital, but also on the taxpayers of this state.
However, most troubling to me is the loss of control of a public asset. University Hospital is a public asset with an important public mission, and if this merger were allowed to happen, U of L and the public would have only indirect and minority influence over the new statewide network’s affairs and its use of state assets. Many of these issues have been raised and analyzed in a report from Attorney General Jack Conway, who recommends not going forward with the merger.
U of L and the other merger partners have worked hard to address the concerns that have been raised, and I appreciate those efforts.
However, after exhaustive discussions and research, I have determined that this proposed transaction is not in the best interest of the Commonwealth and therefore should not move forward. In my opinion the risks to the public outweigh the potential benefits.
I understand that the changing health care industry has caused significant challenges for both University and Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Healthcare. I am committed to assisting both facilities in reaching our shared goals of providing quality care, especially to our poorest and most vulnerable citizens, as well as finding ways to ensure both facilities remain on strong financial footing. These hospitals provide critical services, and we stand ready to help them fulfill their missions and succeed in a changing health care economy.
Here’s Jack Conway’s:
“My staff and I conducted a thorough and comprehensive review of the proposed hospital merger. This presented an unprecedented combination of entities and a myriad of legal and public policy issues. Some of those issues were addressed by the parties, but many of them were not resolved. Of particular concern was the loss of control of a valuable state asset and the services it provides to the public.
It is my opinion that the Governor should not at this time approve the proposed new affiliation agreement and new lease. I support the University of Louisville and its mission, but it is a public agency with an obligation to inform and work with state government regarding the control of a public asset such as University Hospital.
I appreciate Gov. Beshear’s careful analysis of this merger, and I believe he ultimately made the appropriate decision on behalf of the Commonwealth’s interests.
I am committed to working with all parties to ensure that our hospitals continue to fulfill their missions as leading trauma centers, teaching hospitals and nationally renowned research facilities.”
This week Governor Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear spend X discussing Kentucky’s Save the Children child safety rating:
Does anyone in the Louisville metro area have warehouse space they’d be interested in providing to No Kill Louisville for its food bank? If so, please get in touch with Jake. [Contact Jake]
Is 2012 going to be a bumpy ride? Ronnie Ellis thinks so and he explains why. [Ashland Independent]
Ron Paul finally manned up (this time) to admit he had some responsibility for those ridiculous newsletters. [The Hill]
Leave it to the faux “family” folks in North Carolina to usurp Kentucky when it comes to hating the gays. Using sniper crosshairs to attack the gays. Cute. [HuffPo]
Here’s your first taste of the reality that even if a gambling amendment passes? The legislature may not be supportive of constitutionally guaranteeing gambling licenses to race tracks. [H-L]
Regardless of what happens today with the University of Louisville Hospital merger decision, Kentuckians will still be screwed. You already expect it, we know. [FOX41]
You’ve seen the corruption Greg Stumbo admits publicly he’ll do nothing about, right? Because it involves his friend, Keith Hall? The guy Crit Luallen fingered in a massive audit? The guy Jack Conway refuses to investigate? The guy the Ethics Commission fined and spanked? Yeah. [Page One]
Fresh off of making it clear that he’s protecting his friend, Keith Hall, Greg Stumbo decided to discuss the 2012 legislative session with the teevee folks. [WYMT]
Frankfort is still living in the dark ages, believing their pseudoephedrine legislation will solve the meth problem. Something that’s only really an issue in ten counties. And wouldn’t be if more than 30% of doctors and pharmacists actually used systems that already exist. But that’s the Kentucky way – raising costs to Medicaid, killing tax revenue and playing to fears. [C-J/AKN]
HAHA, are you still laughing over Michele Beard Bachmann’s staffers coming out of the closet for Overlord Ron Paul? She’s so crazy that the Paulbots can’t even back her. [Wonkette]
Don’t miss Comment on Kentucky tonight at 8:00 P.M. Eastern on KET. Scheduled guests: Ryan Alessi, Joe Arnold, Jack Brammer. Should be loosely entertaining, even though Ronnie Ellis won’t be there. [KET]
Students can’t afford real educations these days and they’re flocking to for-profit schools. So rather than actually help those folks, Jack Conway poked his head out of the turtle hole when it was politically beneficial for him. Now he’s back to not investigating Democrats and hating his critics. [HuffPo]
Crit Luallen isn’t running for the U.S. Senate and she isn’t going to run for governor. Her own current/former staffers say she’s just toying with things. [Ryan Alessi]
This month the State House Republicans are looking ahead to the 2012 legislative session:
Get ready for weekly horror music video updates throughout the session.
John Cheves brings the latest news that Greg Stumbo has – we know you’re so shocked – decided to take no action in the Keith Hal ethics scandal:
State Rep. Keith Hall, D-Phelps, will face no consequences for his recent ethics sanctions when the 2012 General Assembly convenes on Tuesday.
It was the strongest ethics penalty handed down to a Kentucky state lawmaker in more than a decade. The ethics commission notified House Speaker Greg Stumbo of its findings so he could take whatever action he considered appropriate, said executive director Anthony Wilhoit.
That would be nothing, Stumbo said in a prepared statement.
That is dripping with shiz because the House has taken much more drastic measures for much, much less:
However, such censures are rare. The last such case may have come in 1996, when the House ordered state Rep. Richard Turner, R-Tompkinsville, to publicly apologize and lose his seat on the appropriations committee for failing to report $3,000 he took from a lobbyist.
Jim Wayne has it right:
“But it’s important for us to publicly acknowledge that we have a member who crossed an ethical line. It reflects poorly on House leadership if we do nothing in a case that involves a House Democrat, one of our own, who’s from a district next to the House speaker’s,” Wayne said.
As does Steve Robertson:
Steve Robertson, chairman of the Kentucky Republican Party, said Stumbo aggressively chased misdemeanor offenses by Republicans when he was the Democratic attorney general investigating GOP Gov. Ernie Fletcher. Now that a member of his own political party has been caught in a case involving $171,000 in public funds, Stumbo prefers to drop it, Robertson said.
Click here to read the entire story from Cheves.
And then sit back and enjoy the good old boy crime syndicate. Because Jack Conway will likely take no action, either.