Just some headlines for your Friday

We’re satisfied with all the funny stuff in the news this week so we’ll spare you the commentary today.

Fletcher still trails Beshear in polls and fundraising [Daily Times]

Massaging the Numbers [C-J]

Fletcher, Beshear head to Paducah for debate [H-L]

Business First offers a misleading story: Kentucky’s tax climate for biz ranks 36th nationwide [Business First]

McConnell Staffer Linked to Criticism of 12-year-old [Hebert]

Taking on the Family Foundation’s craziness: Domestic Partners [C-J]

More Republicans Outraged by Fletcherism [StraightNFlush]

Interesting Campaign Finance Tidbits

Richie Farmer took money from controversial Monsanto. 31 August 2007 – Monsanto Citizenship Fund – $1,000. If he’s any kind of respectable gentleman he’ll return that grand ASAP.

Leonard and Steven Lawson both gave $1,000 to Crit Luallen on September 20. Leonard is the controversial highway contractor who gives money to everyone– no matter what they’re running for– in hopes of landing the next highway contract. We’re glad to see he hasn’t changed his tune this year.

The man who has tried to sell us all on the Louisville arena– Jim Host attempted to disguise his $500 contribution on June 18th to Stan Lee by listing himself as W. Host. Nice try. Evens out the $500 contribution he gave Lee on 02/02 to $1,000.

In addition to Host? Indicted and pardoned Basil Turbyfill gave Lee $1,000 on 08/23. (He also gave $1,000 to Trey Grayson). Casino maven Bill Butler contributed $1,000 on 08/28 – does this mean Stan supports casino gaming? Strangely, Lee also took in a ton of $100.00 contributions from old campaign funds. 12 of them. What’s going on there?

There’s nothing too controversial about funds raised by Trey Grayson, much to the chagrin of folks who want him to lose. Just the typical Northern Kentucky donors. One interesting contribution to note is on June 5 by Jimmy LaSalvia in the amount of $250. LaSalvia, as many Kentuckians will recall, is part of the Log Cabin Republicans. We thought Grayson didn’t like the gays?

Who knew Brett Hall was still serving as Melinda Wheeler’s campaign manager? Still doesn’t explain why Fletcher’s campaign provided him with their e-mail database or why he’s sending out e-mail blasts for his blog. Brett and his son make up most of Wheeler’s disbursements.

Jim Patterson, former funding giant for the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth gave $1,000 to both Todd Hollenbach and Ernie Fletcher. This may not seem major to you but it’s worth noting that Patterson never took heat for his actions in the Kentucky press and Republicans and Democrats alike have embraced him with open arms. The man hasn’t once offered up an apology for funding the hateful group. That’s a shame because we hear he’s a good guy.

Jack Conway’s primary opponent Bob Bullock gave him $500 on August 16. Certainly the gentlemanly thing to do. Doesn’t happen frequently in other races. Paul & Judi Patton really ponied up: $1,500. And former Apprentice star (who Steve Henry tried to obtain as treasurer) Mark Lamkin contributed $250. Conway’s entire report reads like a who’s who of Kentucky. From Louisville to Prestonsburg. Talk about widespread support. Half of his contributors have probably never given to the same candidate before now.

And there’s nothing really notable in the Beshear report other than what has already been reported.

Did this put you to sleep?

We Report & Decide So You Don’t Have To

The truth sometimes isn’t pretty for the attacker. Billy Reed has a good story about Fletcher-supporting Judge Richard Revell denouncing Fletcher’s claims that Beshear is responsible for Kentucky Central’s downfall. [StraightNFlush]

Free rein chicken. The Courier-Journal takes on Stan Lee in a stinging editorial. And we quote their closing line, “He’s a big believer in prayer. Well, if he’s elected that may be just what Kentucky will need.” Ooooh snap. [C-J]

Hell on earth. Kentucky is so dry we’re probably going to burn to the ground. Nearly 230 fires in the past 30 days. Stop burning crap, people! This is serious. [News-Enterprise]

Money man starts a campaign. KREF Chair John Rogers is running for state senate against Republican Caucus Chair Richie Sanders, Jr. Wonder if KREF’s lack of action against blatant campaign finance violations the past several years will come back to haunt Rogers? [PolWatchers]

Somewhat deceptive? The AP sent a fundraising story to wire with a headline that is somewhat deceptive: “Beshear’s fundraising falls short of projection.” Alford was getting at the point that about $400k was an in-kind contribution from the KDP. Regardless, he still reported $5.3 million. Just as Fletcher reported his lesser amount. [H-L]

Speaking of campaign finance. Grayson raised $343k and has $328k on-hand. Hendrickson raised $8k and has $7k on-hand. This is the only horse race we’ve seen the entire cycle and the KDP is rolling in dough this year. Why haven’t they pushed funds into that race? KDP: No fewer than 35 people have called us in the past 12 hours to complain. We’re not trying to be negative but we hope there’s a good explanation. [PolWatchers]

Breaking: AG Fundraising Totals In

Oh man, oh man.

PolWatchers has the results (they haven’t yet hit the KREF site so we can pour through them) on the race for Attorney General between Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Stan Lee. At least as far as quarterly fundraising goes.

Wait for it.

Stan Lee raised $183,727.00 and spent $151,591.50. Has $34,835.50 on-hand.

Jack Conway raised $639,644 and spent $184,191.18. Has $455,452.82 on-hand.

Seriously. Dear Leader Stan Lee doesn’t stand a chance at this point. This solidifies it. Bye, Stan! We’ll miss your Breck Girl impersonations.

Fletcher’s Campaign Finance Realities

Campaign finance reports are a great way to determine where candidate loyalties exist. Thankfully, today we get to examine the reports of all candidates running for constitutional office in Kentucky.

Ever wondered specifically to whom Ernie Fletcher is beholden?

If ever one needed more evidence that Ernie Fletcher is in bed with big health and big health-aligned organizations, then take a look at his latest campaign finance report with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.

21 June 2007 – Citizens for “Affordable” Healthcare – $1,000
05 July 2007 – Amgen Political Action Committee – $1,000
11 July 2007 – First Health Group Corp PAC – $1,000
17 July 2007 – Schering-Plough Corp. Better Government Fund – $500
17 July 2007 – Epic Kentucky Pharmpac – $500
17 July 2007 – HCA Good Government Fund – $1,000
17 July 2007 – Lifepoint Hospitals Inc – $1,000
17 July 2007 – Kentucky Opticians Committee for Political Education – $1,000
01 August 2007 – Kentucky Society of Interventional Pain – $1,000
03 August 2007 – EDS PAC (for reference) – $1,000
15 August 2007 – Senior Care Inc. PAC – $1,000
16 August 2007 – Kentucky Dental PAC – $1,000
20 August 2007 – American Society of Interventional Pain – $1,000
28 August 2007 – Kentucky Academy of Audiology PAC – $1,000
16 September 2007 – Kindred Healthcare Inc PAC – $1,000
16 September 2007 – Sun Healthcare PAC – $1,000
16 September 2007 – National Health Corporation PAC – $1,000
22 September 2007 – Humana Kentucky PAC – $1,000
05 October 2007 – KSA-PAC – $1,000
05 October 2007 – Merk(sic) Employees PAC – $1,000

$19,000 received from mega health and the health insurance industry.

And what about big tobacco?

15 August 2007 – USTEAM PAC – $1,000

Or big energy?

28 August 2007 – E. On U.S. – $1,000
05 October 2007 – Atmos Energy PAC – $1,000

How about the casino/gaming industry that Fletcher so fervently says he opposes?

05 October 2007 – KY. Charitable Gaming Assoc. PAC – $970

Further, Fletcher is still in tight with casino maven Bill Butler. Even beyond his $100,000 casino fundraiser and multiple receipts over the years. On September 26, 2007 the Fletcher campaign paid Corporex Companies, LLC $63.55 for postage. What’s that? Bill & his company sent out a letter for Ernie?

Yeah.

Fletcher/RGA Illegal Coordination

To follow up on a story about Ernie Fletcher and alleged illegal coordination with the Republican Governors Association yesterday– you have got to check out this story in today’s New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Louisiana caught on to the RGA’s illegal coordination with Ernie Fletcher and they’re calling gubernatorial candidate Bobby Jindal out for it. Apparently, Jindal’s RGA-sponsored ads are just like Ernie Fletcher’s non-RGA ads– right down to the ‘I *Heart* UK’ artwork on the classroom wall.

The RGA is spinning this one:

Chris Schrimpf, a spokesman for the governor’s association, explained that the group sometimes uses “stock footage” in its commercials to save money on production costs. That would explain why the video looks strikingly similar to an education-themed ad that ran this spring on behalf of Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

Stock footage? Please, tell us, what big name production companies use stock footage as major as this? None. No one does it. Especially not Fred Davis. Especially not something so clearly produced for Ernie Fletcher.

Summer is over! FINALLY! For real this time!

$$$$$. Ernie Fletcher has raised $3.46 million and has $1.24 million on-hand. Steve Beshear has raised $5.31 million and has $1.68 million on-hand. What’s that sound? Why, it’s the cha-ching you hear coming from a challenger who has far out-raised an incumbent governor. The AP has pushed the story around the state. [C-J, Ledger Independent]

Not til next year. Everyone is reporting what we reported weeks ago. Crit is considering the Senate. Worst kept secret yet. Miraculously, the story has reappeared and everyone is shocked by the news? [Hebert]

Oh snap! Proponents of Louisville’s library tax are displaying some pretty weird behavior. Canceling public appearances left and right, lying to library staff. And Mayor Jerry Abramson (D-only when convenient) puts his foot in his mouth once again by breaking a campaign promise. Promises, promises kids! Don’t make em if you’re gonna break em. Oh, library tax opponents have hit the airwaves. [The ‘Ville Voice, YouTube]

Racism hits UK. After a controversial cartoon appeared in the University of Kentucky’s student newspaper? A threatening racist epithet was scrawled on the door of a black student’s dorm room. My, what an adult state we live in. [C-J]

Still striking. ARH nurses are still on strike throughout Eastern Kentucky and parts of West Virginia. This time the nurses have taken things to the capitol steps in WV. Not surprisingly, ARH still refuses to negotiate. [H-L]