The End is Nigh: Or what you missed this weekend

Thank goodness for terrible opponents. Jack Conway has an 18-point lead over Stan Lee in the latest polling. anyone surprised? We hope the Breck Girl is able to continue his career of hating everyone while raking in big insurance cash. [H-L]

Money talks. Mitch McConnell gives funds to company (SAE) he knows to be under investigation for bribery. A weapons company. How much money are we talking about here? $25 million. This from the guy who says money equals free speech. [H-L]

Nutjob in Elizabethtown? Who knew! Some guy wrote a letter to the editor about Steve Beshear loving gay money. And literally says (verbatim) that he “wants to kill more babies.” OMG. Go read it. You’ll pee yourself laughing. [News-Enterprise]

Commenters gone wild. An anonymous individual on Pat Crowley’s blog suggests Sally Denton’s Bluegrass Conspiracy is reason enough to paint all Democrats as more corrupt than Fletcher and other Republicans. Uh, maybe a handful of Democrats– some of whom are miraculously still in office and continually covering dirt up. All one really has to do is look back at the last eight years in the United States and then talk about corruption. [NKY Politics]

Budgetary hypocrisy. McConnell is going crazy over Democrats’ lack of action on the insane budget that’s being pushed through this year. He has the gall to accuse them of letting “the troops” down. Fails to mention he is one of the individuals responsible for sending “the troops” to Eye-Rack without body armor or any other basic protections. [C-J]

Ernie’s lights go out. Not only is Ernie Fletcher keen at preventing any sliver of honesty see the light of day? He’s busily telling the world his campaign can still turn the tide and win. For real. He thinks he can win. Nine days out and he seriously thinks he can win. [State-Journal]

Moment of truth. Ronnie Ellis expresses his weird bitterness over Fletcher’s impending loss. He “SHOULD” be winning, Ronnie? We get your point. But what the heck kind of journalism is that? [Daily Times]

Friday Daily Briefing Dept

Next year’s budget looks scary. The-gays-will-redecorate-your-condo scary.. Did you know the world will end? Kentucky’s budget is a disaster waiting to happen. [C-J]

Ernie can’t raise the skrilla. Only $261K raised for his 15-day pre-election report compared to $600k in 2003. Uncle Steve raised $1.09 million in the same period. That’s kind of a lot. [PolWatchers 1, 2]

Another OAG arrest. This is insane. The second arrest in the Attorney General’s office in as many days. Jason Moore was arrested the day before on DUI charges in Louisville. Now? George Seelig has been arrested for and charged with misdemeanor stalking. He was reportedly placed on administrative leave before the arrest. [WTVQ]

Pizza man ringing bells. John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s, will ring Nasdaq’s closing bell on Monday. The special event is to celebrate Papa John’s role in the release of Spider Man 3 on DVD. [Business First]

Mongiardo makes a joke. At a rally for Democrats in Central Kentucky Dan Mongiardo cracked a joke: he said he had a “novel idea” of communicating with the legislature. Stark difference with the Fletcher administration. And Robbie Rudolph says Republican momentum as returned. Guess he hasn’t seen the polls. [State-Journal]

Update: AG Investigating Illegal Contributions

As reported on September 30, several candidates during the gubernatorial primary this year accepted what appear to be illegal campaign contributions. The Attorney General’s office is now investigating and the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance is finally examining its audit process.

The Courier-Journal discovered in September that Steve Henry, Ernie Fletcher and Anne Northup had received laundered money from family members and friends of donors who were looking for patronage. What makes things worse, though, is that some donors had no idea they’d made contributions (one donor’s daughter yelled and made her hang up the phone) while others had jobs barely paying them enough to eat let alone make campaign contributions.

Steve Beshear was also involved. He received $1,000 from a donor in Tennessee who said he was reimbursed by a cousin. Beshear, to his credit, returned the funds upon learning where the money came from. The other candidates wouldn’t dream of returning dirty money.

As unfortunate as this situation is– with laundered money and all– isn’t it a bit refreshing to have this information brought to light? Cleaning campaign finance up is a step in the right direction for Kentucky. We just wish people took it more seriously and wish the agencies responsible had more reach and manpower.

Breaking: Campaign Finance Violations – Louisville Library

A complaint has been filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance against those responsible for the Libraries Yes! tax proposal in Louisville:

  • Craig Buthod, Director, Louisville Free Public Library
  • Mary Griffith, Chair, Louisville Free Public Library Foundation, Inc.
  • Louisville Free Public Library Foundation, Inc.
  • Libraries Yes!, PIC

The complaint, filed by general counsel of the anti-tax side, alleges four serious violations of Kentucky finance law/KRS 121 including:

  1. printing and distribution of yard signs without required disclaimers
  2. distribution of advocacy materials without proper disclaimers,
  3. use of government employees for campaign purposes on business time
  4. mailing materials which directly circumvent campaign finance reporting requirements as independent expenditures.

Click here for a copy of the complaint filed with KREF.

Sources tell us that Ernie Fletcher is expected to make a statement in opposition to the Library campaign. Sen. Dan Seum (R-Louisville) is also expected to introduce legislation further closing loopholes allowing government employees to work on campaigns during “company” time.

Developing. More to come.

Why Kentucky Can’t Have Nice Things Dept

Blast from the past. Candidate for Treasurer Todd Hollenbach takes his dad on the campaign trail. People all across the state remember him so it’s boding well for the name ID factor. [AP via H-L]

Tough choices ahead? Rep. Ben Chandler furthers the myth that all terra-ists are “Islamic fundamentalists.” He also says there’s no free lunch and that it’s time to tighten our belts. [State-Journal]

Weird omen. Somewhere in Kentucky lives a losing filly bred by Brereton Jones. The name? First Lady Glenna. No kidding. Talk about an omen for Ernie. [KHR]

Captain Obvious. Jim Bunning says Trey Grayson and Richie Farmer face tough races thanks to Ernie’s (ahem) “endeavors.” Rare moment of Bunning clarity. Don’t blink. [Daily Times]

Ship jumpers. More than 250 former Fletcher supporters have contributed and contributed heavily to Steve Beshear. Does anyone think they’ll regret their contribution come November 6? Not likely. [PolWatchers]

Didn’t take long. Even CBS and The Politico are on the McConnell child-hating snafu. Hating kids doesn’t work. [CBS]

Both sides. Letter writers in Elizabethtown highlight their hatred of all things Democratic and the vivid McConnell-Fletcher dishonesty. Takes all kinds. [News-Enterprise]

Source: Davis Under Investigation

It’s no secret that Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY4) has strong ties to disgraced Jack Abramoff, Bob Ney and Tom DeLay. He has taken $30,000 from DeLay’s ARMPAC, $4,000 from Ney and $11,000 from Duke Cunningham. It’s also no surprise that he’s been a strong supporter of weakened House ethics rules.

So is it surprising to learn that Davis is currently involved in an investigation for possibly accepting laundered campaign contributions?

An impeccable source close to the federal investigation tells us that while Rep. Davis hasn’t officially been accused of any wrongdoing, it “doesn’t look pretty.”

We haven’t been able to get anyone to speak on the record. What we did get, however, is a big fat “there’s no way we’ll discuss an ongoing investigation.”

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]