State House Wants a New Speaker

Joe Gerth’s latest story about Jody Richards and the powerful rift among House leaders is a great read. And a good synopsis of what’s gone down in Frankfort the past several weeks.

Looks like there’s enough bitter blood to oust Larry Clark as Speaker Pro Tem and install Joni Jenkins and it sounds more and more like Greg Stumbo will be pushing Jody out as Speaker of the House. One can only hope, right?

Maybe we could finally move Kentucky forward without all of the bitter infighting and incompetence that House leadership has been responsible for the past, oh, forever.

From the C-J:

“That leadership is so divided and so split that there is a yearning in state government for somebody that can put it together and make it work,” said Senate Minority Leader Ed Worley, D-Richmond.
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Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Shively, appears poised to run for speaker pro tem, and Rep. John Will Stacy, D-West Liberty, for whip. Both are aligned with the Richards faction.
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Stumbo, of Prestonsburg, is unlikely to challenge Adkins for floor leader, but many members think he will wind up in the mix somewhere.
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But the budget negotiations may have hurt him (Richards). Several members — including normally low-key Democratic legislators such as Larry Belcher of Shepherdsville and Derrick Graham of Frankfort — complained on the House floor that leadership had failed them.

Late Friday Updates. Enjoy the Flooded Weekend

Greg Stumbo, whether you love him or hate him, is responsible for getting the state budget passed. Far be it from House leadership to ever recognize that bipartisanship like Stumbo has shown can, you know, get things done. Maybe if people like Jody Richards and Harry Moberly could stop fighting with everyone like little girls for a few days we could have actually had a budget that didn’t simultaneously piss everyone in the state off. [C-J]

Speaking of Greg Stumbo, Ralph Long lays out the case for making him the next Speaker of the House. We have to say that we agree with him 100%. Greg may have a flaws personal life, but who doesn’t? He’s just about the only Democratic Rep in the state house who has the balls to get anything done. Namely because he has absolutely nothing to lose and doesn’t care about losing it. Time for Jody to go. [Ralph Long]

Well-known politico Mike Bailey and his wife Kelly were profiled in Gannett’s faux weekly Velocity this week about their divided support of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Mike supports Obama, Kelly supports Clinton. The articles writer, Joanna Richards, did a great job writing about the hilarious political war going on in their household. [Velocity]

Tomorrow, Saturday, April 5 at 10:00 A.M. the Kentucky Democratic Party will begin the reorganization process by holding Precinct Conventions all over the state. Every registered Democrat is eligible to participate. One man, woman and youth (35 and under) will be elected to lead each precinct. Perfect opportunity to stand up and take over the KDP if you’re dissatisfied. If you aren’t sure where your precinct is located, hit the link. [Where do I vote?]

Democratic perennial candidate for U.S. Senate Kenneth Stepp just said in a comment on PolWatchers that he is surprised Andrew Horne endorsed Bruce Lunsford instead of him. All right for for being gung-ho and confident. [PolWatchers]

Greg Stumbo Makes His Power Grab

Like we’ve said dozens of times, Greg Stumbo is on his way back to power. The initiative he has taken to work hand-in-hand with Senate President David Williams on negotiating a budget is a prime example of his ability to maneuver and get things done.

Jody Richards and cat fighter Harry Moberly should be on the high alert.

Rep. Greg Stumbo made his way down to Senate President David Williams’ office Tuesday and they agreed to scuttle the budget deal Harry Moberly and Speaker Jody Richards had negotiated.

In the super-secret closed-door negotiations, Moberly seemed more interested in not giving in to Williams than in arranging the budget properly so as to collect matching federal funds to build Kentucky roads.

And should take Stumbo’s message about not voting for the budget to heart.

“I think so little of it, this will be the first time in 28 years that I’m not going to vote for the budget,” said Rep. Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg. “It’s a terrible document. It doesn’t adequately fund education, doesn’t adequately fund human services, it doesn’t do anything for our infrastructure.”

UPDATE: For the naysayers who question this story’s accuracy, we can personally confirm that the meeting took place. The C-J’s Arena has also reported that Williams and Stumbo have “talked.” In the same story the C-J writer claimed legislators who have spoken with Williams threatened to vote against the budget. Low and behold Stumbo made the above statement about voting against the budget after that story appeared.

It’s Thursday. Rain Ruins Everything Edition.

Beshear creating a new task force to help deal with the Fort Knox realignment. The Governor’s Task Force on Military Base Realignment will consist of only 11 members, down from Ernie Fletcher’s group of 30. [News-Enterprise]

Mitch McConnell is still serving as the chief obstructionist in the senate. And he’s still refusing individual up or down votes on nominees to fill the Federal Election Commission. Like it makes any sense to vote once for four people. You’d think a man as old as McConnell would know how to avoid childish games. [WaPo]

Greg Fischer wins an endorsement from a blogger, picks up one or two votes. We’re not sure how/why anyone thinks Greg Fischer can win a primary election, let alone the general, so we can only assume this “endorsement” is out of principle. [Swing State Project]

Another pee pee contest? Louisville Mayor Cheerleader Jerry Abramson and Gov. Steve Beshear are begging Senate President David Williams to form a conference committee from both the House and Senate to help get all kinds of cash to build some fancy bridges in Louisville. [PolWatchers]

Harry Moberly and David Williams are STILL fighting like two little girls at a Barbie birthday party. Here’s some advice to the both of them: get your lacy panties out of the twist they’re in and DO SOMETHING for a change. Get the g-d budget figured out and get it figured out NOW. If you can’t get your respective acts together long enough to resolve this budget mess, then the least you could do is act like adults. Using language like “smart ass” during the session shows just how low-class you really are. [The Arena]

The abortion bill is going nowhere. Maybe women really can make their own decisions? We’re not sure. But we still think C.J. Parrish knows what she’s talking about. [Hebert, C.J.’s Letter]

Tuesday Update. Closer to Friday than Yesterday.

It’s what you’ve all been waiting for – the endorsement of the year – after months of nail biting and bated breath. We totally don’t understand why someone off the street making an “endorsement” matters? Daniel Solzman has “endorsed” Bruce Lunsford for U.S. Senate. [Things that make you go hmm]

Heather French Henry gets a mention in the story about George Clooney’s shindig in Maysville but her husband doesn’t get mentioned for being the former Lt. Governor. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. [Enquirer]

The state senate approved a budget with no new taxes. Meaning we’ll never have a budget in Kentucky. Further restoring everyone’s great faith in Frankfort. Special session is on its way. [PolWatchers]

Don’t forget that former President Bill Clinton is all over Kentucky today. 10:30 rally at the Frankfort Convention Center. 12:15 veterans event at the Bourbon County Fairgrounds American Legion Building. 2:30 rally at Mason County High School. 5:45 rally at the Morehead Conference Center. Everyone go take all kinds of pictures as you fawn all over the big dog. [The Arena]

Steve Beshear is now wondering why he bothered to run for governor. His approval rating fell below 50% and more Kentuckians disapprove of him than approve. WHAS11/Survey USA polling data say 46% approve, 48% disapprove. Those same numbers were 52-38 in February, meaning there’s been a six percent drop in less than a month. Ruh ro. [Hebert, Crosstabs]

Special Session, Here We Come!

In a story about the jacked up House budget, Steve Beshear started talking about the possibility of a — wait for it — special session.

He said the options would be “a budget reduction order or — if it was bad enough — I assume we’d have to have a special session to address it.”

Can we afford a special session? Will our legislators refuse to accept payment? Will it be just like Ernest Lee’s silly Peabody session?

Are we just wasting more time than usual in Frankfort these days or what?

We thought we couldn’t get any more frustrated with the state’s capital.

Is it the weekend yet? Updates & Such.

Frankfort is playing all kinds of games with our $1,000,000,000,000,000 budget or whatever. Way too boring to write about. But if you have the intestinal fortitude to read about it? Then. Please let us know what you learn. [PolWatchers]

Ben Chandler tried to offer his 14-year-old daughter to Bill Gates. Creeeeeeeepy joke. Won’t be able to sleep after reading about it all. [Politico]

Lookit how leader-y Greg Stumbo is becoming in the State House: State Representative Greg Stumbo, (D) Prestonsburg, a former Attorney General, supports Kelly’s concept. “It’s not being soft on crime,” said Stumbo, “it’s being smart on crime.” Old orange hair’s days are numbered! [WTVQ]

Some folks (American Rights at Work) are woah fired up over Labor Secretary Elaine Chao’s alleged on-the-clock campaigning for her husband, Sen. Mitch McConnell. While we definitely believe Mitch & Elaine would totally whore out their marriage for zillions of dollars (hell, we’d do that! let’s get real, here), we just aren’t sure what to make of this. Go make up your own minds and tell us what you think. [Shame on Elaine]

This professor from Georgetown is a great photographer. Not sure how we found his site but we’ve been visiting every day for a while. Check it out. [Georgetown Professor]