Convicted Jury Tamperer Appointed to the Crime Victims Compensation Board and the Board of Claims

Man, Stephenie Steitzer is really hammering out the good stuff these days.  She has the story today about Jim Sullivan, a man convicted on a misdemeanor charge of attempting to tamper with a jury during the 1989 trial of Jerry Lundergan. (No, the issue here isn’t Jerry Lundergan– it’s Sullivan. Stay focused.)

Sullivan was appointed to the Crime Victims Compensation Board and receives $1,500 per month. He’s also Chairman of the Board of Claims and receives $5,000 per year to sit on the lottery board.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Steve Beshear has appointed a Frankfort man convicted 18 years ago on a misdemeanor charge of attempted jury tampering to the Crime Victims Compensation Board and the Board of Claims.

James F. Sullivan, who contributed to Beshear’s campaign last year, as did his wife, was appointed to the two boards effective July 1.

He also serves on the Kentucky Lottery board — appointed by former Gov. Ernie Fletcher, Beshear’s predecessor.

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Sullivan was in state government for more than 32 years before retiring in 2001 amid an investigation of the Kentucky Department of Vehicle Regulation regarding allegations of manipulation or alteration of driver records. Sullivan was the staff assistant to the department’s commissioner.

Make sure you read the rest.

Somebody needs to get us a nice seat on a PAYING board!

Oh Snap Monday! We’re All Gonna Go Broke

George W. Bush has something wrong with him. Is the man retarded? Republicans, please teach him how to save face. [Ditch Mitch]

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission is proceeding with the investigation of four Fletcher administration folks. Jim Adams, Basil Turbyfill, Dan Druen and Darrell Brock. [C-J]

It’s always interesting to read AP stories about things like the Felner investigation. Especially when the stories are hacked together with information that sometimes isn’t even fit for publication on a blog. [The Journal Times]

A Wisconsin paper really gets it. Most of a grant has been spent on Felner’s friends, $70K+ for himself and travel. All kinds of other money. Yadda yadda. It’s everything you’ve already read. But it’s better than the AP piece. [Journal Sentinel]

While Mitch McConnell raises all kinds of skrilla from special interests, Bruce Lunsford is walking a day in your shoes. I mean, for real. [Pat Crowley]

Was a mountaintop removal trip sabotaged? Ben Chandler and Norm Dicks were scheduled to tour eastern Kentucky on Saturday but never made it out of Washington. [News & Tribune]

Former White House Press Secretary and Fox Noise personality Tony Snow died at age 53. [WaPo]

Friday Afternoon Update Dept of Slowness

You thought Kentucky politicians were corrupt? Hoo boy! Charlie Rangel in New York is taking the cake these days. Naturally, corrupt Rangel is defending his corrupt and illegal activity. So fancy. [NY Times, City Room]

Who are the college students John McCain and Barack Obama will target? Marcus Carey actually hits the nail on the head with this one and it’s hilarious. [Bluegrass Bulletin]

The judicial and penal systems in Kentucky are broken and we’re all gonna die! [PolWatchers]

John McCain, Viagra, birth control, long, awkward pauses. Video! [Barefoot & Progressive]

Frankfort’s city manager said a $30,000 theft is a minor thing. Culture of corruption much? I’ve got a $30,000 VCR (with no remote) this asshat can buy. It’s a minor cost. [What’s Required]

Jesse Helms may be dead. But he’s so awful that he’s still ruining the whole world. [The Guardian]

Courier-Journal: Dropping the Ball on Felner Scandal in the Most Obvious Manner Possible

We cannot in good conscience hold back any longer. We have waited more than three weeks. The time to wake up is now.

Where is the Courier-Journal on the Robert Felner scandal at the University of Louisville? Why is the newspaper of record and the largest publication in the Commonwealth of Kentucky ignoring this huge, multi-million dollar scandal? I mean, we’ve literally been hand-feeding the paper. Doing the leg work for the C-J day in and day out. And nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing. Deadening, suspicious silence.

After yesterday’s revelation by WHAS11’s Adam Walser, Kenosha News’ Gary Kunich and this website the Courier-Journal’s education reporter is still silent on the issue. We have no reason to believe the C-J is in collusion with UofL on this matter and we have no reason to believe the paper has been silenced.

But it’s a good idea to mention this: After the CW Louisville was afraid to let us discuss the Felner scandal on television because the station management had gotten its feathers ruffled, we called every news room and reporter in Louisville (except WAVE3– the news director has way too much of an attitude with us) to find out if Felner’s attorney (now attorneys, plural) or anyone else had attempted to silence the story.

Everyone we spoke with assured us they had not been pressured and no one had expressed concern to them about reporting on or investigating the Felner scandal. The only red flag was Nancy Rodriguez of the C-J, who did, it must be noted, tell us that she had not been pressured. But she was very nervous about receiving a call re: Felner. It could have been because Rick is a big, bad, terrifying media critic but let’s get real. It’s likely because she didn’t want to put her tight relationships with UofL’s administration at risk and it doesn’t take much for people from all walks of life to assume as much. Nancy’s a good person and a great journalist, but enough is enough.

What’s Nancy writing about that keeps her too busy to focus on Felner? Why, writing fluff pieces about President Jim Ramsey’s decision to turn down his $113,000+ bonus for the year. It’s mighty admirable of Ramsey to turn down the giant bonus (Lee Todd at UK certainly didn’t), but he’s already making a $331,918 base salary in addition to at least $124,213 he receives from the university foundation. So we’re pretty sure a paltry $100K is chump change to him.

From Nancy’s story today:

At his own request, University of Louisville President James Ramsey won’t receive a raise or a bonus this year under a recommendation expected to be approved today by the university’s Board of Trustees.

Ramsey — who asked trustees not to give him additional money in light of tight budget constraints at the state and university level — will instead receive a lump-sum payment of $700, which other full-time faculty and staff members are receiving under this year’s university budget.

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“I don’t want this to be about me,” Ramsey added. “I don’t want this to be about what I get paid. I want this to be about the Univer- sity of Louisville and being what people expect it to be.”

We’re becoming more and more disappointed in the Courier-Journal each and every day. And there’s no reason to believe the same thing isn’t happening with the general public because subscriber rates are dropping like crazy and staff cuts are happening all over the place.

Where is the journalism our major newspaper is supposed to produce? Where is the investigation? Where is the openness and honesty about what is happening right before our very eyes? What is with this complacency?

Hump Day Update Dept of Lexington is Ruined

McConnell slips out the bathroom window? First Mitch McConnell says he’s a lot bigger than he used to be. Then we discover this gem buried in Stephenie Steitzer’s piece about Kentucky’s Senior Senator: McConnell indicated to a group of reporters at the end of the luncheon that he would grant interviews after he used the restroom. He slipped out another door instead. [The Arena]

Harry Reid is in a peepee contest with Mitch McConell over the AMT fix. Yeah. Those two. In a peepee contest. Never could have imagined that one, could we? We’re just glad they’re not afraid to fight it out in public. [The Hill]

All of Lexington is being bulldozed to the ground and the Webb family is ruining the lives of everybody. So. Everyone is moving to Louisville. And if you haven’t kept with with this retarded Centre Point project in Lexington, then you need to start reading what Joe Sonka has had to say. Because that project is effed up. [Barefoot & Progressive]

Democrats called for change at the Calloway County (Murray) Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. Heather Ryan and Bruce Lunsford were the big dog speakers of the evening, discussing just how out of touch Ed Whitfield and Mitch McConnell happen to be. Oh, and Jennifer Moore said the presidential primary was “contentious.” [Murray Ledger & Times]

The Courier-Journal stands up against critics, pointing out that the paper started its years-long investigation of no-bid transportation contractrs during the years of Governor Jones. Apparently (who knew?) everybody accuses the C-J of being against whatever, whenever. [C-J]

Hebert reports that Bill Cox is going to work for David Boswell’s congressional campaign and will serve as campaign manager. He also heard the same rumors we heard. [Mark Hebert]

Saturday Update For Lazy Bums Everywhere

Another Knott County Judge-Executive could be going to prison for vote buying! Second in a row! The best part is the dude could actually remain Judge-Executive WHILE IN PRISON so long as he is appealing. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell cast the deciding vote against legislation that would have prevented major Medicare cuts and reimbursement rates to physicians. Now everyone is going to die and it’s all McConnell’s fault. Not surprising, really, since he’s voted against Medicare funding at least 16 times and has taken more than $800,000 in contributions from the mega-insurance industry. So much for that $190 million Kentucky will lose in the first year alone. [DSCC]

The pig pit is stinky. And you know how Republicans love love love love pork. Mitch McConnell and Hal Rogers are all up on it and will never give pork up. So it looks like Boss Hog is going to be at odds with McCain for a while. Since it’s the weekend and you obviously have nothing better to do, you can search through the 2008 McConnell-Rogers earmarks database. [PolWatchers, Earmarks Database]

In case you missed it, Rasmussen says McConnell is ahead of Lunsford by 7 points. With a margin of error of 4.5 percent, we’re pretty sure it’s saying the same thing all the other polls are showing– this is a real race. And McConnell is STILL under 50. [The Arena]

Morgan Wilkins was at one point Keith Olbermann’s Worst Person in the World for her racist and bigoted behavior at the University of Michigan. That was while she was leaving her kid behind, of course. Now she says she’s using her military sign-on bonus to start a satirical newspaper or whatever instead of taking care of her kid with it. Anyway, we’ll never forget the photo of Morgan holding a sign that reads, “Isn’t the front of the front of the bus enough??” [Racist Photo]