Afternoon Shenanigans – Why We’re Not At DNC

Need to answer a question we’ve been plagued with lately: We’re not at the DNC because we don’t want to be. More than $11,000 was pledged to pay our way. Since we’re not there, we’re obviously not collecting.

After Jennifer Moore ignorantly had our credentials revoked (she had the nerve to LIE about doing so) we were able to obtain them through the Clinton campaign. But after all the hoopla and horse shiz the Kentucky Democratic Party has pulled over the past two months? We decided we were burned out and couldn’t give two flips now that the nominee has been selected.

So we’ll leave the DNC coverage up to others.

Looking for fancy Democratic National Convention coverage in the mainstream media? Hit up the Courier-Journal’s blog that’s currently being populated by Joe Gerth and Jim Carroll. We hear Carolyn Tandy will also be blogging from the convention. [C-J’s Convention Blog]

A report from the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development recommends great state support for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Kentucky. Well, duh, we definitely need it. [Press Release]

The Obama campaign has announced its Kentucky director. Her name is Kenya McGruder. Metro Council Caucus Director. [Trey Pollard]

Mark Hebert ruined Joe Sonka’s entire life. He ruined it. Because he bought into a Republican meme. [Barefoot & Progressive]

Anne Northup is still pretending she’s the Jesus of low gas prices. Her campaign is spaming this video of some dude yammering on about drilling in ANWR. [The Tubes]

And in other very important news, Governor Steve Beshear designated September Kentucky Bourbon Heritage Month. We produced 937,865 barrels last year. The fancy alcohol is responsible for more than $3 billion in gross state product, 3,000 jobs and nearly $115 million in state and local taxes. [Press Release]

Kentucky Democratic Party Convention Update

I told you last night that Jeff Noble was being singled out and targeted by the powers that be. Whattya know? He was ousted from the KDP’s State Central Executive Committee. Read all about it HERE.

Here’s but an excerpt:

Jeff Noble // Jun 7, 2008 at 10:23 pm

Thanks for your entry.

I was defeated, but it took some work. The original ballot count for the 3rd District Committeeman was 79 Noble, 78 Longmeyer, and 74 Tandy. The ballots were tabulated and those results were entered on the official tally sheet and that tally was signed by John Sommers, the 46th LD Chair, who had been appointed as a teller. No other signatures appeared on the official tally sheet. The ballots were then sealed. Sommers reported the results as me having won. On the front of the folder in large letters was written Noble – Tim Longmeyer. Inside that folder was the tally sheet with Noble 79, Longmeyer 78, Tandy 74.

At some later point, Walker, who is an IT guy and young KDP staffer working in the tabulation room (and who is not really involved in this at all) was asked to turn the closed and sealed envelope of ballots and tally sheet over to Kerry Morgan, the KDP attorney appointed by KDP Chair Jennifer Moore, because it was believed the “scanner” had misread the results, which had showed me winning. Unbeknownst to me, attorney Morgan took the ballots to another room, opened them and “recounted” the ballots – three times according to her. No one to my knowledge other than attorney Morgan has any idea if the ballots she “recounted” were all of those originally reported or not. Sommers had already left knowing the results had been tabulated, ballots envelope and tally sheet sealed, and he had signed off on that tabulation and reported those sealed results, which again showed Tim Longmeyer and I as having the most votes, 78 and 79 respectively.

In attorney Morgan’s “recount” of the ballots, with no one there from my campaign or apparently anyone else’s to oversee or scrutinise the security of the ballots, the results – take a guess – changed dramatically. The new vote count showed 80 Tandy, 76 Longmeyer, and 74 Noble. At some point from the time John Sommers and Walker the IT guy sealed the ballots and the tally sheet showing my win and Longmeyer’s 2nd place finish to the point of Walker being told to turn the sealed ballots and tally sheet over to attorney Morgan, not only did I lose five votes, but Tandy picked up six, while Longmeyer lost 3.

Amazing.

Make sure you hit the link above to read Jeff’s full account of what took place.

And from another reader who was there for the embarrassing shenanigans:

The KDP conventioneers wrapped up the day with roll calls, affirmations, elections and sundry other tasks involved in making the political sausage. I am NOT saying it was a sausage festival….

Relatively unknown, but soon to be reckoned with, First Congressional District candidate Heather Ryan gave a passionate speech about her fight to unseat “Exxon” Eddie Whitfield (R-Florida) this November. She remarked that at a time of record gasoline prices, Whitfield’s half a million dollars in stock in Exxon and Chevron provide him with a handsome profit each time you fill your tank. She is definitely one to watch.

Bruce Lunsford followed Ryan to the podium, tripping up the stairs but preserving his dignity and laying out his case against Mitch McConnell. He took some of the air out of the room by telling Tales from the Crypt about a young woman who died of head trauma due to lack of health insurance and a couple who committed suicide after losing their home to foreclosure. New campaign slogan? “I see dead people?”

All in all, votes were cast, things were said, stuff was done and this spectator’s eyes glazed over at most of it.

Jennifer Moore needs to stand up on her own and distance herself from our corrupt governor ASAP. Every other Democrat in Kentucky needs offer Jennifer support and encourage her to do so. You should call the KDP in Frankfort at (502) 695-4828. While you’re on the phone, maybe you could ask the party’s executive director Jeremy Horton why he has a problem with Jeff Noble and the rest of us solid Democrats. (Also ask him why he’s had disparaging things to say about us, as well.)

Proud to be a Democrat yet? Who knew there would come a day when Kentucky would be wishing for Jerry Lundergan to once again be party chair while at the same time wishing for Ernie Fletcher to be governor again? (Interesting note: Lundergan once bailed the current governor’s political director out of personal bankruptcy only to have said political director turn on him not long after. The political director went on a witch hunt with the aid of Mark Nickolas and worked tirelessly to trash Lundergan. He succeeded. Scary when the truth comes out, eh?)

Wake up. We’ve got to save our Commonwealth from itself.

Update: We have spent (literally) the entire afternoon speaking to more than a dozen people involved in yesterday’s convention process and have determined that the ballots were never left alone with one singular person at any time and that Kerry Morgan was never alone with the ballots in question.

Those dozen or so people included folks involved in all aspects of the process. Many of them aren’t familiar with each other outside of convention and, well, aren’t friends. But they all gave us similar answers and responses that lead us to believe everything was sound and honest. (Trust me: We wanted to believe otherwise.)

In order to put this issue to rest, we think Jeff should quietly file an appeal. All ballots were initially scanned by computer (including ballots that have since been invalidated by hand recount) and may be reviewed. We’re not sure what the Party’s specific process is, but we’re confident Jeff Noble knows it by the book and will use his knowledge to help get answers.

Regardless of outcome, an appeal would resolve any concern anyone may have.

Yay politics!

Update Sunday Evening: Jeff just posted his take on things. Looks like he’ll appeal to settle things once and for all. Always a stickler for the process, he’s doing the right thing by saying he’ll be happy no matter the outcome. Good move on Jeff’s part.

Tuesday Updates. Day After Obama Edition.

We were poisoned by Terry McBrayer or whatever so posting may be a little light today. We have contracted some sort of ebola-like (okay, just a serious headcold and sinus infection) disease that is forcing us to fall asleep every five seconds. Word of advice: make sure you stockpile sugar-free Ricola the next time you get the crud. They’re magical little things.

Don’t miss our Obama live blogging from last night along with the photos we took. [Page One, Page One again]

McConnell’s job-approval rating remains below 50 percent but he’d still beat both Bruce Lunsford and Greg Fischer (by more than Lunsford, even) by double digits in the fall. Should be noted that it’s just 12-13 percent, even with an unknown, so that should send chills up Mitch’s spine. He’s officially quite vulnerable. Especially after having spent $6 million on the race so far and having such a terrible job-approval rating. [PolWatchers]

Note: Even the liberal media says McConnell is vulnerable.

The senate debate last night was apparently an unpleasant sight to behold. We’ll have more on that later today, along with video highlights and such. In the meantime, however, check out Deborah Yetter’s story on last night’s shenanigans. Along with a photo gallery from the debate. [C-J, C-J Photos]

Andy Barr of The Hill wrote that Greg Fischer has found his niche as the candidate of progressives and the liberal blogosphere. So. We have to ask: what liberal blogosphere? Only BlueGrassRoots has been all-out for Fischer and it’s just a couple people who occasionally post there who post on sites like Swing State Project and DailyKos, so it’s not like it’s widespread. We suggest national press types actually pay attention to the blogosphere before publishing information that is, you know, woah inaccurate. [The Hill]

Mark Hebert has the story on Republicans who are upset at Steve Beshear. Apparently they’re all pissed because Beshear said Dick Cheney should take Dubya on a hunting trip. And then Brett Hall gets all self-righteous, claiming that the Secret Service has even called Beshear’s office to investigate– which we hear isn’t true, after making some calls of our own. [Hebert, Brett Hall]

Yarmuth Announces Obama Kentucky Leadership

During a conference call a few moments ago, Rep. John Yarmuth (KY-03) announced Barack Obama’s Kentucky leadership team. But he didn’t do it on the call, the list was sent via email after everything wrapped up. Meaning we can’t yet tell you who’s on the list.

They are: We’ll have those names up in a few minutes.

UPDATE:

Finally have that fancy list. Here’s Barack Obama’s Kentucky Leadership Committee:

  • Former Louisville Councilman Bill Allison, Jefferson
  • Former Councilwoman Denise Bentley, Jefferson
  • Elizabethtown City Council Member, Anthony Bishop, Hardin
  • Former City Council Member George Brown, Fayette
  • Congressman Ben Chandler, Woodford
  • Mayor of Madisonville, Will Cox, Hopkins
  • State Representative Jim Glenn, Daviess
  • Former Franklin County Judge William Graham, Franklin
  • Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, Jefferson
  • Former State Senator Nicholas Kafoglis, Warren
  • Former State Senator David Karem, Jefferson
  • State Representative, Dennis Keene, Campbell
  • County Judge Executive Darrell Link, Grant
  • Former Congressman Ken Lucas, Boone
  • Former State Senator Michael Maloney, Fayette
  • Former Congressman Romano Mazzoli, Jefferson
  • State Representative Reginald Meeks, Jefferson
  • Former State Senator Danny Meyer, Oldham
  • Former Lexington Mayor Pam Miller, Fayette
  • Former State Treasurer Jonathan Miller, Fayette
  • State Senator Gerald Neal, Jefferson
  • County Judge Executive Billy O’Banion, Owen
  • Louisville Councilman Tom Owen, Jefferson
  • State Representative Darryl Owens, Jefferson
  • Former Circuit Judge Lewis Paisley, Fayette
  • State Representative Ruth Palumbo, Fayette
  • Former State Senator Georgia Powers, Jefferson
  • Campbell County Commissioner, Ken Rechtin, Campbell
  • State Senator Ernesto Scorsone, Fayette
  • Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, Jefferson
  • State Senator Tim Shaughnessy, Jefferson
  • County Commonwealth Attorney Gordie Shaw, Woodford
  • Bardstown City Council Member, Bill Sheckles, Nelson
  • Former Bowling Green Mayor Patsy Sloan, Warren
  • Louisville Councilman David Tandy, Jefferson
  • Councilman George Unseld, Jefferson
  • Former Congressman Mike Ward, Jefferson
  • State Representative Jim Wayne, Jefferson
  • State Representative Susan Westrom, Fayette
  • Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, Jefferson
  • Congressman John Yarmuth, Jefferson

During the call, Yarmuth said he doesn’t think Obama should concede Kentucky (even though he’ll likely lose the state) to Clinton but he thinks Clinton should drop out of the race on May 21. (We think Clinton should drop out now, since it’s impossible for her to catch up to Obama. And because her campaign team in Kentucky is wholly corrupt. Just in case you were wondering.)

The Obama campaign also announced the Western Kentucky endorsement of Madisonville Mayor Will Cox and that of Northern Kentucky State Rep. Dennis Keene.

Oh, and Obama’s camp says he won’t be in Kentucky this Friday due to scheduling conflicts. Though they say he could appear (thanks to Joe Arnold’s questioning) via video to address the crowd. Let’s just go ahead and say it: If Obama can’t show up in Kentucky at one of the most publicized events of the year, he doesn’t deserve to win in Kentucky. It’s embarrassing. There’s no reason he shouldn’t show up. None. Not after last night’s close race in Indiana.

Wednesday Updates. Huckabee Didn’t Pray Enough Edition.

Quite possibly the most awful and embarrassing thing ever took place in West Virginia and NOT Kentucky. Three cheers! [The Pittsburgh Channel]

Casino bill dead. Woops. Jody Richards says he’s worked hard at working hard and pretending to work hard at getting a casino bit on the ballot. Working hard is hard work! Jody would make such a great president or whatever Dubya is. [Hebert]

Mitch McConnell wants judicial nominees to be treated fairly? How about not trying to appoint some crazy SOBs who want to murder everyone with brown skin for a change? Just an idea that may help. Also, the whole ‘women are inferior’ crap should be tossed. That’d also help. [Team Mitch]

You must be under ten years of age to participate in the gubnuh’s Easter egg roll. So. Looks like we won’t be receiving goody bags, candy or anything this year. For real. Guess it’s time for someone here in the big city (or Frankfort or whatever) to start an adult Easter egg roll complete with gin, bourbon, chocolate and sofas to nap on. (HINT) [PolWatchers]

Say No to Casinos breaking the law? Probably. 501(c)3s can’t play politics. Ruh ro. [The Rural Democrat]

Exclusive: Fletcher & Beshear Take on Poverty

A few days ago Page One asked Kentucky’s gubernatorial candidates what they would do to eradicate poverty. We asked that the candidates respond with specific solutions for eradicating poverty without resorting to personal attacks and without bringing gambling into the discussion. We’re pretty sure there’s been enough bickering without any solid conversation about the issues facing Kentucky.

We know the respective campaigns are busy in their own right so we thank them greatly for taking time to respond. To keep things on equal footing we have decided to publish responses in full without any editing. Please read them for yourself and form your own opinion about who rose to the challenge of tackling one of the biggest problems in the state.

We have to be critical here. This in no way is a representation of our political preference and nothing should be considered an endorsement or denouncement of a candidacy. We’re not picking sides, but it’s obvious Ernie Fletcher’s campaign is addressing the poverty issue more seriously. Whether Steve Beshear has an actual agenda for addressing poverty is not clear from this response, and we’re open to hearing more from the campaign. Meanwhile, Fletcher’s folks put enough time and effort in that we’ve had to divide his response into three parts, with the rest to follow.

While only offering suggestions and not providing specific solutions for poverty itself, Beshear’s campaign has responded. Having plans for the state as a whole is a great thing. But lumping poverty in with the rest is part of the problem. Poverty will have to be specifically addressed without regard to those who aren’t suffering. We have no doubt that Steve Beshear can and will deal with poverty but we want to know what the heck he’ll do specifically. It doesn’t take much to put it in writing. Guess we have to remind ourselves that this is a campaign and getting too specific would require holding oneself accountable.

The Fletcher campaign has offered a three-part response to our question and we’ve published the first portion. To our surprise our concerns have actually been addressed. Or have begun to be addressed, anyway. The campaign deserves credit for doing so. Sure, a lot of this substance comes from Fletcher having been in office for four years (Beshear’s been an office holder, as well, and could have mentioned what he’s done in the past) and the campaign relies heavily on what it says he’s already accomplished. But the point here is that the campaign specifically addresses poverty and is beginning to offer specific solutions.

Both candidates teeter on the edge of generality almost as if they’re afraid to get their hands dirty. They have taken major steps, however, to move away from gambling and have begun to enter the territory of real issues facing real people. We hope this is a sign of things to come and look forward to both candidates dealing with the reality of life beyond casinos. Have to also congratulate the campaigns for thus far ignoring ridiculous wedge issues like gay marriage and gun ownership.

We hope Beshear’s running mate, Dr. Daniel Mongiardo, forces this issue to the forefront. Being a state senator from the poverty-stricken hills of eastern Kentucky gives him a unique perspective that needs to be more prominent in this race.

Responses after the jump.

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