Montgomery Co Mess Gets Crazier, Your Support Is Necessary

Phil Rison (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here), of Montgomery County infamy, and his attorney from KASA, Wayne Young (here, here, here, here, here), are attempting to include me on a witness list for his upcoming hearing. Yes, despite retiring so as not to be fired for everything he’s done (not allegedly — there’s video, audio, government documents from open records requests, police reports, Education Professional Standards Board investigation records, signed agreements), Rison is pushing ahead with a due process hearing. It’s what many people believe is KASA’s last ditch attempt to prevent superintendents from being fired by school boards. They’re also attempting to do this in other lawsuits.

Here’s the deal: I’m a journalist, like it or not, and have an established history.

I’m on the state government press list. I’m on the White House press list. Various campaigns recognize me as press. Other media outlets recognize me as press.

A taste in text:

  • Governor Steve Beshear
  • Governor Ernie Fletcher
  • The Family Foundation of Kentucky (yes, even them)
  • State Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen
  • Attorney General Jack Conway
  • Large PR firms
  • MSNBC
  • New York Times
  • Washington Post
  • Senator Mitch McConnell
  • Senator Rand Paul
  • Congressman John Yarmuth
  • Republican Party of Kentucky
  • Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Churchill Downs
  • Louisville Metro Council
  • Louisville Metro Government
  • Lexington Mayor Jim Gray
  • Education and Workforce Development Cabinet
  • Various judges
  • Kentucky State Police

A taste in pictures:





I don’t testify during hearings. I don’t give up confidential sources. There’s nothing you can do to compel that. There’s a shield law for a reason. I don’t and won’t answer your questions about who is or is not a source, what someone said or didn’t say, how someone did or didn’t tell me something or whether or not you know what you’re talking about.

Are you people that simple? Really?

As a journalist who protects sources? I will not be bullied by you backward-ass rednecks in the same way you’ve gone after Alice Anderson, Sharon Smith-Breiner, Michelle Henry, Amanda Reffitt, Kelly Johnson, Bill Morgan, Jennifer Hall, Kelly Wallace, Brian Wallace, Jim Dusso, Gene Heffington, Marcia Duanaway, Alicia Sneed, Michelle Williams and countless others.

But if you want to try make me the story? Want to try to blame me for reporting everything with documentation to back it up? I’ll stand up for the people you’ve wronged and an army of people will stand up with me. If you think I’m joking, watch what’s about to happen over the next couple months.

Folks can donate here (at the bottom of the page) if you want to confidentially help me fund a legal effort to shut that crap down. While there’s a shield law, it still requires legal action to shut it down. $5, $500, $2,000, whatever. I’ll send you a nerdy magnet for your support:











I’ve ignored their personal attacks for years. I’ve ignored their attempts to use homophobia in an attempt to undermine the evidence. But. Enough is enough.

Support here:





Or here.

Fancy Farm Sleepy Times In 3, 2…

Marshall County voters have chosen by a slim margin to allow alcohol sales for the first time since 1938. [H-L]

Sen. Bernie Sanders blasted Senate Republicans Wednesday for working to defund Planned Parenthood, calling it “an attack on women’s health.” [HuffPo]

When Gov. Steve Beshear replaced the Rev. Kevin Cosby on the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees last month, he did more than remove his only African-American appointment on the board. He also removed his only appointee who has not been a strong and steady contributor to Beshear’s political causes. Note: You’ll love seeing Terry Sebastian deliberately and purposefully lie to Tom Loftus. [C-J/AKN]

Could an excess of caution hurt Hillary Clinton? This query is coming to the fore again after she dodged a question on Tuesday over whether she supports or opposes building the Keystone XL Pipeline. It’s like watching the Grimes Campaign on a national stage. [The Hill]

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says food stamp benefits can be used at an increasing number of farmers’ markets in the state. Which means ignorant people in, say, West Liberty are going to scream about how all benefits recipients ought to be drug tested. [WLKY]

Some Republicans gleefully scripted Donald Trump’s political obituary in the wake of his scathing comments about Sen. John McCain’s military service earlier this month, hoping that his freewheeling presidential campaign had finally imploded. [Reuters]

Republican Matt Bevin said Tuesday that if elected governor he would not immediately end the state’s expansion of eligibility for the federal-state Medicaid program, contrary to what he said for months. [Al Cross]

In the US, poverty, deprivation and exploitation draw thousands of its own children down into a dark underworld that offers few ways out. [BBC]

Rowan County argued it is “immune from suit” and that a recent federal lawsuit against the county and its clerk Kim Davis fails to find fault with the county government since Davis decided not to issue marriage licenses last month. [Ashland Independent]

Senator Rand Paul is invested in a fund that would skyrocket in value if the United States economy were to default. He’d also like your vote for president. [The Nation]

Christopher D. Steward, a former Barren County magistrate, was served with an arrest warrant early Thursday morning and charged with third-degree terroristic threatening, fourth-degree assault (minor injury) and menacing, according to documents released by the Barren County Sheriff’s Office. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It’s not easy being the DEA these days. After an unprecedented losing streak on Capitol Hill, the once-untouchable Drug Enforcement Administration suffered last week what might be considered the ultimate indignity: A Senate panel, for the first time, voted in favor of legal, recreational marijuana. [Higdon/Politico]

Convenient that this AP story doesn’t mention that people dressed up as Native Americans will chase you for a fee. Because Kentucky can’t do anything without a touch of racism, apparently. [H-L]

Seven in 10 homeowners who apply for help under the federal government’s signature mortgage aid program are rejected, according to a government report released Wednesday. The program, called the Home Affordable Modification Program, is meant to help homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure stay in their homes by reducing their monthly mortgage. [HuffPo]

Paper Trail Raises Concern About Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday’s Recent Testimony

Remember when Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday pleaded ignorance of anything going on with fired former Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell?

Click here to review the deposition and related shenanigans if your memory is fuzzy.

Well…

Turns out there’s a paper trail that suggests Holliday knew more than he claimed. Check out this email from Holliday’s right-hand to an individual who went to him regarding the Powell mess. His name is Jim Dusso.


THE EMAIL

Text:

From: “Smith, Jody – Office of the Commissioner of Education”
Date: January 23, 2014 4:13:48 PM
To: “jimdusso
Subject: Meeting request

Hi Jim. I talked with Dr. Holliday and due to his schedule and the nature of your call, he would like for you to initially meet/talk with staff attorney Dave Wickersham. Our Associate Commissioner of Legal Services, Kevin Brown, may also be in attendance. You will find Mr. Wickersham to be kind and courteous, and most importantly, very knowledgeable and professional.
Shall I have David contact you? Or you may email him to set up a time to meet. His office is on the 1st floor of the Capital Plaza Tower, 500 Mero Street, Frankfort.

David.wickersham@education.ky.gov
Phone 502-564-4474, ext. 4833

If I can further help facilitate this meeting, let me know.
Thanks.

Jody Smith
Executive Secretary/Scheduler
Office of the Commissioner
Ky. Dept. of Education
502-564-3141 ext. 4806

Remember Dusso?

Dusso requested a meeting to discuss Powell’s directive for him (Dusso) to alter an employee’s evaluation.

Holliday’s secretary discussed it with him. Holliday knew darn well what was going on.

EKY Medicaid Fraud Mess Is Not Over

Told ya Jack’s probably gonna win. Conway, the Democratic nominee, leads Bevin 45 percent to 42 percent, with 13 percent of voters undecided. Curtis polled at 8 percent, leaving Conway with 43 percent and Bevin with 38 percent. [H-L]

The Kentucky Derby was very good for Churchill Downs, but Big Fish has been even better. The Louisville-based gambling and racetrack company announced late Wednesday that it had record revenue of more than $409 million in the quarter that ended June 30. [H-L]

There’s a simple, popular solution that Republican leaders in Congress could grab hold of to get themselves out of their embarrassing public fight over the highway bill, and President Barack Obama could help force them to do it. [HuffPo]

A federal judge has dismissed most of a whistleblower suit filed by two federal employees who alleged that Eastern Kentucky disability lawyer Eric Conn colluded with a judge to rig Social Security cases in favor of Conn and his clients. [C-J/AKN]

The Obama administration is poised to change some deadlines for states to comply with its climate rule for power plants when the regulation is made final. [The Hill]

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet will hold a public hearing on the Big Run Landfill permit renewal next month at the Boyd County Community Center. [Ashland Independent & Press Release]

Republican Donald Trump on Wednesday pushed back against a lawyer he had berated when she requested a break to pump breast milk for her infant, the latest controversial remark to emerge in his presidential campaign. [Reuters]

After several tense exchanges between Kentucky’s candidates for governor, Republican Matt Bevin during a media interview accused a WAVE 3 News reporter of working for his rival. [WAVE3]

Great news like this hits and inevitably some wingnut GMO-denier crawls out of the woodwork to yell. [ThinkProgress]

Rowan County has thrown bigoted hypocrite Kim Davis to the wolves. [WFPL]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… A human tooth dating to around 565,000 years ago has been found by a 16-year-old volunteer in France. [BBC]

His story made national headlines in less than 12 hours and a lot of people are standing behind the Bullitt County man who was arrested after shooting down a drone. [WDRB]

The United States is emerging as the world’s hog farm—the country where massive foreign meat companies like Brazil’s JBS and China’s WH Group (formerly Shuanghui) alight when they want to take advantage of rising global demand for pork. [Mother Jones]

Woodford County residents like the small-town atmosphere of where they live, but they say the lack of available goods and services is a major downside, according to the results of a countywide survey released Tuesday. [H-L]

A fight over an incarcerated Alabama woman’s ability to have an abortion took a strange turn as the state moved to terminate the woman’s parental rights in order to prevent her from accessing the procedure. [HuffPo]

Are Fayette County Schools Just Terrible?

In the 2013-2014 school year, Nicole Jenkins said, her then 8-year-old son witnessed a friend “being called the n-word on the school bus.” “Later that year,” Jenkins said, “he and a Hispanic friend were called the n-word. Finally, … he was called a baboon by a classmate” at Meadowthorpe Elementary School. [H-L]

After the Republican Party took a drubbing at the polls on Election Day 2012, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus ordered an autopsy. The party, the coroner’s report found a few months later, had alienated women and minorities and came off as plutocratic. [HuffPo]

Fire investigators have blamed the total loss of a General Electric warehouse on outdated Appliance Park equipment that failed when fire crews rushed to the scene April 3. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI on Friday announced the arrests in Oakland of two animal rights activists, Joseph Buddenberg and Nicole Kissane, and accused the pair of engaging in “domestic terrorism.” This comes less than a month after the FBI director said he does not consider Charleston Church murderer Dylann Roof a “terrorist.” The activists’ alleged crimes: “They released thousands of minks from farms around the country and vandalized various properties.” That’s it. Now they’re being prosecuted and explicitly vilified as “terrorists,” facing 10-year prison terms. [The Intercept]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that states must recognize same-sex marriages is roiling Kentucky and pulling in other parties who probably would rather stay out of the controversy. [Ronnie Ellis]

Consumers of organic foods are getting both more and less than they bargained for. On both counts, it’s not good. When will people quit it with pseudoscience and Ferd Berb wooery? Organic doesn’t equal magic and GMOs are not the devil. [Forbes]

This may be the funniest story of the entire 2015 campaign. [Kentucky New Era]

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is due to meet with senior military leaders on Thursday to map out his budget priorities for the coming year, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty announced at Monday night’s city council meeting the three finalists for the position of police chief. [Glasgow Daily Times]

All these articles act as if Rand really thought he had a shot at winning the presidency. And is it really a bad thing that he’s not trying to sell his rear end for campaign cash? Really? This all bodes extremely well for his U.S. Senate campaign. No, this doesn’t mean we’re fans. [Politico]

Seriously? This guy was arrested for shooting down a drone flying over his property? Most of you reading this would do the same damn thing and so would we. [WDRB]

Half of American adults had their personal information exposed to hackers last year alone. In a recent attack at the federal Office of Personnel Management, hackers stole the most sensitive personal data for 21.5 million people. [NY Times]

Lexington leaders from city government, education and business gathered Monday evening to announce their goal of obtaining accreditation from the National Safety Council as a “safe community.” [H-L]

After a group of GOP senators huddled Tuesday afternoon to discuss the recently released undercover “sting” videos of Planned Parenthood, Republicans unveiled legislation to strip the family planning provider of its federal funding. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin Gets More Lost By The Day

New TV ads in Kentucky’s race for governor focus not on the candidates but on Democratic President Barack Obama. [H-L]

A bill that critics say would make any significant new regulation all but impossible easily passed the House Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin has no idea who his opponent is. His campaign staff is so incompetent they aren’t even aware of the most basic opposition research. [C-J/AKN]

Civil libertarians are worried about an increasingly common form of domestic surveillance that has nothing to do with listening to your phone calls or reading your emails; it has to do with looking through your garbage. [The Intercept]

When a festival benefits the humane society, you can presume pets are welcome. [Richmond Register]

For seven years, a Wisconsin telecom consultant has waged an unsuccessful legal fight against AT&T, alleging that the company long defrauded a federal program by overcharging the nation’s schools and libraries for Internet and telephone services. Now an appeals court in the District of Columbia has given new life to his case. [ProPublica]

It’s not just Kentucky’s Legislative Research Commission that will pay to settle a sexual harassment suit brought by three LRC staffers. [Ronnie Ellis]

Rather than being an effective manifesto of all the arguments against recognizing same-sex relationships as marriages, it serves as a guide for just how weak this already-lost case is, and why continued fights — including the ongoing struggle over using “religious liberty” to justify anti-gay discrimination — will likely not prevail either. Some extremists in Frankfort have been talking about this book. [ThinkProgress]

Cave City Council met in closed session Monday during a special-called meeting to discuss real estate. Upon returning to open session, a motion was made to purchase “the real estate in question,” but the council voted 3-2 not to buy the land. [Glasgow Daily Times]

On the campaign trail, Jeb Bush has repeatedly emphasized his record overseeing Florida’s boom economy as the state’s governor. He says it’s an example of an economy that created a huge number of jobs and benefited the middle class — an example of what he could do as president. “I know how to do this,” he said in Maitland, Fla., on Monday. But according to interviews with economists and a review of data, Florida owed a substantial portion of its growth under Bush not to any state policies but to a massive and unsustainable housing bubble — one that ultimately benefited rich investors at the expense of middle-class families. [WaPo]

A grand jury has indicted Shepherdsville Mayor Scott Ellis on a misdemeanor criminal charge of solicitation to prostitution on July 28. [WHAS11]

A new study of veterans from the Vietnam War has troubling implications for troops who fought much more recently — in Afghanistan and Iraq. [NPR]

Courthouse Plaza Wednesday flared in the midday heat and fiery chants of a crowd that assembled in downtown Lexington to oppose Planned Parenthood and abortion. [H-L]

Russian government-backed hackers who penetrated high-profile U.S. government and defense industry computers this year used a method combining Twitter with data hidden in seemingly benign photographs, according to experts studying the campaign. [HuffPo]