Tuesday Morning Dept of Missing Chuck Olmstead

I’m down to a size 36 suit jacket. From a 48. Anyone need some fancy jackets that are barely worn? Maybe Martin Cothran could use them for some sort of Family Foundation ritual?

Very sad news. WHAS11’s Chuck Olmstead has passed away. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Want fancy hair? Get $10 off with Gerry at Twisted if you mention Jake. [Page One]

Five new folks were inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame. Tom Watson, Byron Crawford, Van Vance, Susan Allen and H. Harold Davis. [C-J]

Satellite phones for every Kentucky county? We think that’s a good idea. Wonder if Jim believes in sat phones? Will he bring in an expert to testify against them? Where does the Family Foundation stand on this abomination? [Bluegrass Politics]

Jerry Abramson is all about hiring some double-dippers. He has a history of getting people all kinds of money. Starting with his wife as a bank secretary in the 90s. [Mark Hebert]

University of Kentucky football coach Rich Brooks spoke in support of Joni Jenkins HB 383. Before it was gutted and put to death, that is. [Bluegrass Politics]

Did Lexmark stall SB 63, the e-waste bill introduced by Denise Harper-Angel? Leave it to the Kentucky Legislature to throw common sense out the window. [C-J]

More Americans say they have no religion. A study has found that the percentage of Christians has declined. Kinda ruins the argument for SB 68 and against gay marriage, eh? [MSNBC]

House Bill 444 has been ruined by the legislature. It was passed by the weirdly chosen state & local committee in the House and then pushed to the Senate. It’s a very weak database bill that actually ADDS costs for the consumer. Why won’t somebody in the Senate stand up to file stronger amendments to stop the nasty practices in the payday loan sharking industry? Is it because Steve Beshear’s number one team of supporters is the payday loan industry? We hear the Governor’s office killed it. [HB 444]

Check out the Kentucky Coalition for Responsible Lending. [Clicky Clicky]

Marty The Probable Gay doesn’t remember that Greg Stumbo only won his leadership race by 3 votes. So those of us who said he would lose? It’s pretty clear that there was solidity in that. Yes, Marty is probably a closet homosexual. Why else would the gays be his pet issue? We’re so ill-informed. [Martin Cothran]

The Louisville Jewish Community on SB 68

Jewish Community Relations Council of Louisville has spoken out against Senate Bill 68.

We’re printing the following letters, with permission:

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Louisville (CRC) sent a letter this past week to members of the Kentucky Legislature in opposition to Senate Bill, 68, the bill that places unreasonable restrictions on who may become adoptive or foster parents.

In its letter to the members of the legislature, the CRC Chairperson, Helene Kramer Longton wrote, “(t)he Jewish Community CRC opposes measures that discriminate against unmarried heterosexuals and against otherwise qualified parents based on sexual orientation. We have reviewed the language of SB 68. It is discriminatory on its face and does not serve the best interest of the commonwealth or children in need. Accordingly we ask for its defeat.” The CRC recognizes that passage of this bill comes at great social cost to the children who need adoptive or foster parents as well as to the adults who desire to provide homes for children in need. The bill will also financially burden the Commonwealth.

The bill is an approach that has been adopted in an extremely small number of states. The breadth of Kentucky’s bill is staggering, limiting the potential of foster and adoptive parenting of gay, lesbian and heterosexual couples, living together in as sexual relationship, but are not in a traditional marriage. How the state will police sexual activity is a big mystery. The practicalities and inconsistencies of enforcement of such a bill presents a myriad of unanswerable questions.

Read the rest after the jump…

Read moreThe Louisville Jewish Community on SB 68

Senator Gary Tapp Speaks to The Letter About His Anti-Gay Adoption Bill – You’ve Gotta Read This

Sometimes something we have to share is just too good for words. So we won’t taint this. Just read this conversation with Gary Tapp about Senate Hate Bill 68:

My Conversation with the “Child Care Expert”
by Bryan Gatewood

Published with permission from The Letter – March 2009 Issue

On a recent warm afternoon I went jogging round a local park. As luck would have it, while I was dodging flying debris in Seneca Park, Kentucky Senator Gary Tapp (Republican-Shelbyville) finally responded to my many phone calls to his office. The senator’s recent actions had me pretty stirred up, so when I recognized the Frankfort number, I interrupted my run and took his call.

Apparently Senator Tapp is a child care expert. Based upon his high level of expertise and extensive knowledge base, he has filed SB 68. The basic premise of this bill is that children, in Kentucky’s best interest, can only be parented by heterosexual married couples. According to Senate Bill 68, for purposes of relative placements, foster care, or adoption, courts in Kentucky should only be allowed to consider married couples. Anyone living with another adult with whom they engage in a sexual relationship to whom they are not legally married will not be considered if Senator Tapp’s bill passes. Yes, the term “sexual relationship” is included in the proposed law. This bill is essentially a copy of a bill that won approval in Arkansas last year.

Now, I don’t profess to be an expert like the good senator. After all, he is married, and he is a Republican, so I gladly stipulate that I cannot compete with those credentials.

My experience is much more limited. I am the adoptive parent of a special needs child born prematurely weighing one pound, thirteen ounces. I have also served as an attorney for abused and neglected children in the Jefferson Family Court for nearly ten years. I have been through foster care training. I have been in a relationship with another adult for eight years, and we are not married because Kentucky would not recognize our relationship.

In spite of my comparatively minuscule level of experience, I had some questions for the senator. Here’s a dramatic, although not verbatim, rendition of how my conversation with Senator Tapp went.

You have GOT to read the rest – and the transcript of the conversation with crazy Tapp – after the jump…

Read moreSenator Gary Tapp Speaks to The Letter About His Anti-Gay Adoption Bill – You’ve Gotta Read This

What Does Greg Stumbo Have to Hide?

House Bill 28 has been on the orders of the day since March 3rd.

Mar 2-posted for passage in the Regular Orders of the Day for Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Don’t you find it interesting that House leadership (oh, you know, Greg Stumbo… the man who famously/infamously sued the mother of his child for suggesting he was the father) has repeatedly pushed other legislation ahead of it? This isn’t an important piece of legislation because James Rhoades was denied access to be the father he wants to be– by the courts– but because many fathers (and mothers, even) and their children have also been denied access.

Marty Cothran claimed on February 27th on the Family Foundation’s website that “A competent leadership team does not let bills go for a vote that are not assured of passage: it makes them look like they’re not in charge.” Could Cothran be right? Or is Greg Stumbo working furiously to save face over past indiscretions and ridiculous behavior?

Why doesn’t the House leadership want to address issues like this that tons of Kentuckians face? Are they afraid to put their vote out there suggesting that a father should or should not have access to love and parent his child? Shouldn’t there be a debate about the right of a child to know its father, grandparents and other relatives? Don’t our Frankfort do-nothings always say there’s nothing more important than our children? Hiding behind the legislative process and hoping these issues disappear is not in the best interest of the Commonwealth.

If our elected officials in Frankfort bothered to examine national vital statistics reports on birthrates in Kentucky over the past five years, they just might realize 55,000+ kids are born in the Commonwealth each year. Out of those 55,000 or so children (according to K.G. Anderson’s article “How well does paternity confidence match actual paternity?”) at least two percent (2%) are fathered to men other than the mother’s husband. When that conservative number is considered, Kentucky lawmakers should still be able to recognize that some 1,200 children into these circumstances every year. It’s definitely not a rarity.

Shouldn’t the State House of Representatives, at the very least, deem this issue worthy of discussion? Last year the House passed similar legislation (HB 685) 95 to 1. So what’s the deal this year? What or who are they hiding from? The Catholic Conference and the Family Foundation?

86% of WHAS11’s January poll said they don’t think it’s right to deny a child the right to see its father. So, really, what’s the deal?

This is what we’re paying these folks for?

Governor Steve Beshear on Senate Bill 68

Much has been pondered about what Governor Steve Beshear will do if/when Senate Bill 68 gets to his desk. Will he sign it into law? Will he veto it, as he told various Fairness groups around the state he’d do during campaign 2007 (for any anti-gay legislation)?

We decided to ask the Governor exactly what he plans to do.

Here’s our question:

Would the Governor sign the legislation [SB 68] into law if it is passed by the House or would he veto it?

Here’s the response from Beshear’s spokesperson, Jay Blanton:

The governor believes our current laws are appropriate and don’t need to be changed with respect to adoption

The courts review adoptions on a case-by-case basis and act in the best interests of the child. That’s as it should be. That’s how it should remain.

So, the Governor won’t say whether or not he’ll veto the hate bill. But he doesn’t feel additional legislation is necessary.

That’s a good thing, right? Definitely could be more aggressive and show more transparent leadership by saying, “Yeah, I’ll veto that mess.” But this is a start. Right? Maybe?

Additionally, Greg Stumbo said this morning that SB 68 “isn’t on his radar” – which couldn’t be further from the truth – he’s received calls from the DNC chair and other high-profile individuals about the legislation. And David Williams didn’t say much, either.

UPDATE @ 11:24: And this from Debby Yetter:

Stumbo said Thursday night that he likely would assign the bill to the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by John Tilley, a lawyer and Hopkinsville Democrat who has served in the legislature since 2007. It’s Tilley’s first year as chairman, he took over after former judiciary chairwoman Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, moved to the Senate. So far, he’s viewed as fair and courteous but hasn’t really faced any of the tough social issues that sometimes come before the committee.

Stumbo didn’t predict how SB 68 would fare in the House but said he prefers the standard now used by the courts in deciding where to place a child and that is acting “in the best interests of the child.”

“I don’t see any reason to change it,” Stumbo said.

Looks like Stumbo & Beshear are using the same talking points, eh?

TGIF! SB68 Is Being Passed, State Still Broke

Last night Governor Steve Beshear released a statement about Kentucky’s road plan: “My administration has worked closely with leaders of both the House and Senate in this process, and I am pleased that the road plan is moving forward. I believe this plan appropriately uses federal stimulus dollars to get Kentuckians back to work. This plan also creates a state stimulus effort through the use of a $400 million bond issue. This newly available debt capacity, added to the federal stimulus money, allows us to invest in projects with long-term benefits for the commonwealth. Our financial experts have carefully analyzed this bond issue and are comfortable with the debt capacity limits. Our financial experts will work closely with the Transportation Cabinet to manage the new bond authorization within our existing debt affordability guidelines.” [Press Release]

Struggling with foreclosure? The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act comes at no cost to the taxpayer and was unveiled two days ago. The legislation makes it easier for lenders and homeowners to modify existing mortgages. People like Congressman John Yarmuth voted to support the plan. Because one in six Kentucky homeowners owes more money than their house is worth. [Financial Stability dot Gov]

Is anyone else surprised that Frankfort is more worried about the road plan than than the welfare of Kentucky families? We “can’t afford” (thanks, Governor) to keep kids in school until they’re 18, can’t afford to have life-saving knowledge for athletic programs and equipment in schools, can’t afford to have nurses in schools. But we can afford eleventy billion dollars in the road plan, can afford giving money to NASCAR and can afford incentives for companies paying $9 per hour without benefits. [Mark Hebert]

After all that hubbub Jim Gooch made over holding a hearing to investigate storm damage and the Public Service Commission, nothing happened. PSC officials showed up and only Robin Webb asked a question– one that had nothing to do with the hearing. Gooch didn’t ask a single question. And no one on the committee was educated about anything that reporters were able to familiarize themselves with rather quickly. Are you surprised that we have such ignorance running Frankfort? Another glaring reason for the ouster of embarrassment Jim Gooch. [More from Hebert]

Remember the ugly ZAP electric car? The company that promised to produce them in Kentucky is now dead in the water. [C-J]

Thanks to Debby Yetter, we have the names of the ten Senators who voted in support of SB68 (Neal and Clark were absent, though their votes clearly wouldn’t matter): Carol Gibson, DEMOCRAT Ray Jones, DEMOCRAT Mike Reynolds, DEMOCRAT Jerry Rhoads, John Schickel, Dan Seum, Katie Stine, Jack Westwood, Bob Stivers (who said he wanted to table the bill on several occasions because he “didn’t support wedge issues”) and Gary Tapp. [“>Debby Yetter]

The GOP’s battle over Jim Bunning has made the New York Times. [NY Times]

If you missed it: watch Jon Stewart take down CNBC. [Consumerist]

BREAKING: SB68 Approved by Senate Judiciary

Senate Judiciary just unanimously approved Senate Bill 68.

Only Gary Tapp and David Edmunds spoke.

The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote and then on to the State House after it’s approved.

Unless Greg Stumbo– who has been called by such major players as Bill Clinton and new DNC Chair Kaine– assigns this to a committee where it will die in the House, there’s no hope.

It’s time to contact Stumbo to let him know how you feel.

Home: (606) 886-9953 (don’t worry, he’s never at home)
Annex: (502) 564-2363
Capitol: (502) 564-3363

Let him know you stand against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Let him know you stand against making it illegal for gay Kentuckians to adopt children or become foster parents.

UPDATE:

I repeat: the bill cleared Senate Judiciary unanimously. That means these people voted for it:

Fairness-types around the state: Now that you know these alleged progressive Democrats voted in favor of discrimination, do you believe me when I tell you this could very easily make it into law?

Wake up.

For more information on Senate Bill 68:

Let the members of Senate Judiciary know what you think about them.

NOTE: Apparently a couple senators were absent from the committee meeting. Waiting on LRC to update its website.

Have confirmed that Gerald Neal and Perry Clark were not at the meeting, for whatever reason. Despite many complaints that the committee meeting was held secretively, we can find no evidence to prove that was the case.