Tuesday Afternoon Dept of Who Will Win?

Special election predictions? Robin Webb or Jack Ditty?

Mitch McConnell loves cupcakes. [B&P]

Yeah, about the economy getting better and all that mess. It’s not, you know, actually happening. [San Jose Mercury News]

Something about this doesn’t pass the smell test. Can’t put my finger on it. [Check It]

Domestic terra-ist Randall Terry visited Louisville. [Amplify Your Voice]

Exit polling complaints in today’s special election. Asking for names and social security numbers. Most problems occurred in Carter & Lewis Counties – the areas in which Robin Webb has the strongest support base. Is anyone surprised? [Bluegrass Politics

23 GOP Senators will host a September fundraiser for Trey Grayson at National Republican Senatorial Committee headquarters. [Roll Call]

Biggest hypocrisy in decades: Dick Cheney accusing Barack Obama of politicizing the Justice Department. [HuffPo]

RPK’s Dirty Campaign Tactics in the 18th

Today’s special election in the 18th State Senate District has the Commonwealth achatter. Who will pull it off? Democrat Robin Webb or Republican Jack Ditty? Who knows? We just know there have been a ton of nasty attacks. We’ve examined the attacks from Democrats. Now let’s take a look at those from Republicans.

Beyond allegations of bused in canvassers staying at Kentucky Christian University in Grayson for free (isn’t that an illegal campaign contribution?), lots of apparent obfuscation about whether Ditty treats Medicaid patients (locals say he doesn’t), and the typical lies spewed from Frankfort hot heads, we thought it’d be interesting to examine mail pieces.

Like this attack piece from the Republican Party of Kentucky:

It first alleges that Robin Webb voted against providing health care to “seriously ill, uninsured” residents of Kentucky. That couldn’t be further from reality. House Bill 517 in the 2000 legislative session wasn’t a health care bill for the people. It was put forth by some of the most conservative members of the State House and protected HMOs. What the legislation did was remove the requirement for HMOs and physicians to cover their members/patients while hospitalized with a “hospitalist” – someone often more familiar with the hospital the patient is in than the patient’s primary care physician.

Funny how the RPK attacks Webb for allegedly working against health care while at the same time supporting health care reform pushed by President Barack Obama. Oooh, scary black man wants to give us all food stamps and gubmint cheese, right? Jesus H. Isn’t the fear-filled spin great?

Or what about this cute little mailer about supporting expanded gambling? The top Republicans in the state fly all over the country to gamble but continue to turn the other cheek. The plan Steve Beshear put forth may have given a monopoly to five businesses and it might have sucked, but at least he provided a plan (never mind that he couldn’t get it through – twice).

So scary! Gotta let the people decide.

Our favorite is this one:

It’s legitimate to attack Webb for missing more than 270 votes in the legislature. But what’s not legit is attacking her by using a one-sided story that appeared in the Ashland Daily Independent on September 6, 2007. A judge in Grayson said he couldn’t reach Webb via telephone after she failed to appear in court and said she could face sanctions. But the reporter writing the story didn’t bother to contact Webb to see why she didn’t show up. What if there was a family tragedy? What if she was legitimately unable to appear? I’d bet money Jack Ditty has missed at least one day of work.

All this is just water under the bridge, really, because you already know the RPK just randomly makes shiz up. (So does the KDP, and we attack that party regularly.) But it’s funny to see the RPK switch gears from attacking Webb to promote Jack Ditty as some wholesome, deified man:

Did you know? That awful gamblin’ will get you addicted, break up your home and cause you to lose all your money! That same gamblin’ that already exists within a 30 minute drive from the 18th District. But don’t worry, Dr. Ditty will protect you!

I know, I know. Asking the RPK to be honest during a campaign is like asking the KDP not to screw something up.

While I could complain all day, there is something painfully absent here. Is the RPK so disconnected that it couldn’t legitimately attack Webb? All the Repubs needed to do was examine everything she’d said during her tenure on the Judiciary Committee. Or all of her dozens of votes that could be considered anti-victim. WTF? Major campaign failure.

Monday Afternoon of Some Crap Here

National folks now think the Kentucky Senate race is sinking into the Republican realm. [FiveThirtyEight]

Is Rand Paul flipping insane? [The Daily Beast]

Cause Joe Gerth says whether or not he hates the gays and drugs will make all the difference in the world. [C-J]

Just not sure how you revisit a once-segregated park without revisiting sadness and such. [H-L]

The local government in Morehead has endorsed single-payer health care. [Clicky Clicky]

Long live the Louisville Times? [Fat Lip]

Lt. Dan a progressive? Horse shit. And Jack Conway needs to man up and grow a pair. He needs to start calling legislators to ask for their support. And he needs to start working in the West End of Louisville. Unless he does those things – and starts showing the gay-hater who is boss – he’s done. Also, enough with the bullshit canned answers. Both need to be real men and speak honestly. [Senate Guru]

Will Ben Chandler stop caving and stop being a weenie? Let’s hold our breath and see! [State-Journal]

The public option. What happened to it? [The Nation]

It’d be hot to get Jim Gooch into a pair of these. [Winkers]

It’s Time for Keith Hall to Come Clean

For a refresher on the Keith Hall – Mountain Water Board scandal:

  • Is Keith Hall In Potentially Unethical Hot Water? [June 25]
  • Keith Hall Responds to News-Express Story [June 25]
  • Oh Snap Monday! Keith Hall Outed by Stumbo [June 29]
  • The Keith Hall Scandal Still Lives On [July 1]
  • Fallout From the Keith Hall Scandal [June 2]
  • Not Letting the Keith Hall Scandal Go [July 6]
  • More Mountain Water Board Embarrassment? [July 10]
  • Inaugural Golden B.S. Award Winners [August 13]

From John Cheves:

When state Rep. Keith Hall, D-Phelps, steers millions of tax dollars to water and sewer line construction in his Pike County district, the money sometimes ends up in his own wallet.

Since taking office in 2000, Hall has earmarked millions in the state budget for Mountain Water District in Pikeville, including $8.1 million in the current budget, according to his own press release and interviews.

At the same time, the water district has paid Hall’s B.M.M. Inc. nearly $3.2 million to build sewer lines, according to district records.

More from Cheves:

During the special legislative session, an unidentified member of the Kentucky House slipped language into a budget bill to amend an obscure state law, allowing water district board members to live outside their district if they somehow still can be defined as customers of the district.

The change was an attempt to preserve the status quo for the private company that manages Mountain Water District, employs Hall’s son and gives sewer line construction projects to Hall.

No House member has stepped forward to claim authorship of the water district amendment. However, House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Hall is the one who promoted the change to him in private conversations.

The Appalachian News-Express’ Russ Cassady also did a front-page story (Cheves’ story is remarkably similar to Cassady’s – strange… edit: strange that a mainstream publication would also do a story on the matter, that is, because Hall likes to attack the N-E for harping on him…) on Friday that detailed the recent events and included a Mountain Water District timeline:

  • Sept. 2008: Audit shows Mountain Water District operated at $1.3M loss in 2007.
Oct. 2008: Board votes to renegotiate management contract with Utility Management Group, votes to end contract weeks later.
  • April 2009: Mountain Water District board votes 4-1 to retain contract with UMB; board member Earl Sullivan resigns.
  • April 2009: Public Service Commission begins investigation into eligibility of board chair Toni Akers and member Mike Litafik.
  • June 2009: PSC begins removal proceedings against Akers and Litafik.
  • June 2009: Mysterious measure approved with budget bill, changing requirements for water commissioners.
  • July 2009: PSC holds hearing to determine eligibility of Akers and Litafik; Kelsey Friend III appointed by judge-executive to fill Sullivan’s seat on water board
August 2009: PSC issues order removing Akers and Litafik from Mountain Water District Board of Commissioners

The News-Express also featured an editorial about the matter this weekend:

We do not rejoice in community-minded individuals no longer being allowed to serve. We only rejoice that the law was upheld and the interests of the public won out over the interests of the powerful few.

The shrouded actions of those responsible for trying to manipulate the laws to suit their own needs or desires are offensive. The powerful few, and their powerful friends, sought to bend the rules without giving thought to the public good or toward doing what is right. They tried to change laws governing hundreds of state agencies to affect two people in Pike County, a clear abuse of power.

Luckily, through hubris and stupidity, it appears that they failed. It’s a good thing because such ambiguous laws could have thrown utility boards into disarray across the state, and could have allowed these people to benefit from their dispicable actions. We look forward to the day this self-serving law expires from the books.

We also hope the day will come when those responsible for changing the law step forward to answer for what they have done. We would love to see a full investigation into their self-serving behavior.

And Keith Hall thinks this is just going away.

Oh Snap Monday! I’ve Returned to Wreak Havoc

I’m baaaack. Thanks to everyone for the much-needed and much-appreciated support. Will be a little slow as I adjust and catch up, but stick around anyway.

Aww, poor Ro… Rand Paul. He’s a failure, it seems. All the Paultards/Paulbots out there screamed from the rafters that he’d raise millions upon millions of dollars in a single day. Guess daddy’s name is only good for about $400K, eh?

We’d like to once again congratulate Ambassador Matthew Barzun. Check out the photos of his official meeting with the King of Sweden. [Swedish Embassy]

Huge slap in the face to Jerry Abramson over his despicable Cordish deal. Louisville’s Metro Councilcritters Jim King and Kelly Downard are presenting an ordinance to require companies receiving tax dollars to show auditors how the money was spent. Now they need to include language to show the public how money was spent. [C-J]

One woman did, indeed, take on King Coal. And she is winning. [Feministe]

Bachmann: No Government Control Over My Body! Freudian slip? [Talking Points Memo]

Joe Arnold says the Mongiardo campaign is desperate. [WHAS11]

All right for a prison riot in Boyle County. Fires and everything. [H-L]

Can’t make this up. Prosecutors want a judge to order a psych exam for Karen Sypher to see if she’s fit to stand trial for the alleged extortion of Rick Pitino. Lifetime movie, here we come! Guess Steve Pence isn’t running for mayor. [Andy Wolfson]

Creator of the death panel lies got reamed by Jon Stewart. [HuffPo]

Will Tyler Allen be a surprise upset in the mayoral race? [The ‘Ville Voice]

The special election is tomorrow for the 18th District State Senate seat. Will Robin Webb be able to pull it off? Or will the nasty attacks from Republicans and the unbelievable missteps from the Kentucky Democratic Party sink her?  The potential for political damage to Steve Beshear is major. [Bluegrass Politics]

Relying on Social Security payments? They could shrink for millions next year. [HuffPo]

TGIF! It’s Finally Friday & The State Fair Is On

The Governor’s office has attempted to white wash the appointment of a convicted felon to the WKCTC board. [West Kentucky Politics]

Fortunately, others in the western part of the state aren’t ignoring this issue. Despite the fact that they wouldn’t have known about the matter if they hadn’t read it on this site. Too bad they don’t attribute properly. [West Kentucky Star]

Toni Akers and Michael Litafik were removed from the Mountain Water Board by the Public Service Commission. Guess Keith Hall is sweating bullets right now, eh? The PSC determined that neither Akers nor Litafik directly owns any property that receives service from Mountain Water District. Therefore, they do not qualify as customers. The decision is effective immediately and is final. [Press Release]

Check out this interesting gallery of pictures from the ceremonial signing of the economic development bill in Owensboro. [Click the Clicky]

Attorney General Jack Conway named the 2009 Outstanding Commonwealth’s and County Attorneys. County Attorneys: Alan George, Woodford County Attorney since 1994 and Amy Milliken, Warren County Attorney since 2004. Commonwealth’s Attorneys: Doug Wright, 18th judicial circuit since 2005 until his tragic death in June, Tim Coleman, 38th judicial circuit. [Press Release]

The Republican Party of Kentucky demands that the gambling 527 responsible ACTUALLY, It’s the Kentucky Democratic Party – for the fraudulent ads against Jack Ditty release contributor records by noon today. The RPK is also demanding an apology from Robin Webb’s supporters. [Press Release]

Sadly, Kentucky schools aren’t ranking too hotly on any list these days. [U.S. News & World Report]

Trey Grayson has hired Nate Hodson to manage his U.S. Senate campaign. [Bluegrass Politics]

Grayson advisor and Obama attack machine Ted Jackson says Rand Paul’s poll strength isn’t legit. [Joe Arnold]

Conway didn’t create that task force because people like Lt. Dan and Papaw Steve stood against it. Funny how these guys talk out of both sides of their mouths. Maybe somebody could ask why Lt. Dan was kicked off of the two issue committees he’s built his campaign on – by his governor. [Joe Gerth]

Fighting the Prescription Drug Epidemic

Eastern Kentucky earned its reputation as the prescription pain-killer capital of the U.S. honestly. The problem has been the subject of media reports and political campaigns for years.

Today attorney general Jack Conway announced the formation of a task force, funded by a $50,000 federal grant, that could deter the epidemic.

“Prescription drug abuse has claimed far too many lives in Kentucky,” said General Conway. “While this is a problem that has shattered families across the country, Kentucky led the nation in the use of prescription drugs for non-medical purposes in 2008. Prescription drug overdoses claimed more than 480 lives in Kentucky last year. With this generous grant, we can now intensify our drug diversion investigations across the Commonwealth.”

Investigations will focus on doctor shopping, drug trafficking, overprescribing physicians and illegal out-of-state pharmacies.

The money comes from the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators. Kentucky’s is one of seven law enforcement agencies in the nation to receive NADDI seed grants in 2009.

Conway’s office is touting its efforts in combating drugs, releasing this list of actions taken since 2008:

  • Cases Opened: 257
  • Search Warrants:39
  • Arrests: 68/169 counts
  • Indictments: 41/238 counts
  • Participated in Drug Round-ups: 12
  • Prescription Drugs Seized: 4,397
  • Prescription Drug Diversion Training: Trained approximately 150 local law enforcement, prosecutors and health care professionals