Fancy Stuff Overheard in Frankfort Yesterday

  • We appreciate Keith Hall’s plug during the Democratic House Caucus meeting yesterday. Keith, you didn’t get our site right, it’s not “Bluegrass Page”, it’s “Page One.”T here’s more to come on you, Keith. So stay tuned. Your hometown paper isn’t through with you. Stop wasting taxpayer dollars, stop disappointing people back home, stop screwing the Commonwealth.
  • A related Hall funny: During his meltdown, he rambled about how legislators have to miss days all the time for illness, deaths and family issues. Someone interjected “ball games” but Keith didn’t even get it.
  • Senate President David Williams was overheard blaming Larry Clark for the failures of the legislative session. Something about Larry thinking he’s the new Speaker of the House?
  • We hear that Greg Stumbo, Ben Chandler, John Yarmuth, Crit Luallen and a slew of other big names are set to appear with Jack Conway when he announces his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

Thursday Afterno… Wait, Is Frankfort Quiet Yet?

What a day in Frankfort. No fireworks, no mess. Fun, fun.  And the Governor’s office, after some criticism, invited Rep. Joni Jenkins to a ceremonial signing of HB 383. Imagine that.

And to the douche(s) who slashed our tire and keyed the side of our Jeep? Try harder next time. It’s worth about as much as my iPhone.

Looks like Greg Stumbo wields more power than Steve Beshear. House Democrats voted not to consider additional legislation this session. So much for NASCAR and the bridges project– which will never come to fruition, so why bother, yadda yadda. [Bluegrass Politics]

In need of a serious laugh? Follow Fake Dr. Dan on Twitter. [Clicky Clicky]

Has anyone else noticed that the C-J has learned that you can jack up page views by adding ‘read more’ links to their stories? Maybe it’s because the numbers we received last month from Gannett are abysmal?  Maybe they’re finally joining us in the 21st century? [Just Wondering]

It’s true. Eric Cantor suffers from Keith Hall syndrome. [HuffPo]

If Cordish can’t afford to pay $50,000 in back rent in a downtown property, does it make sense for the mayor to give them $1.8 million to renovate a different downtown property? You know this mess is shady when Hal Heiner, Kelly Downard and Tina Ward-Pugh are all sponsoring ordinances to make it illegal. [C-J]

Receive Social Security or SSI benefits? Beginning in early May and continuing throughout the month, you’ll receive $250 in economic recovery payments. “These payments will provide much-needed help for Louisville seniors and disabled individuals to help make ends meet during the recession,” Congressman John Yarmuth said. “With $13 billion going to 50 million Americans, these payments will provide a necessary injection of capital into the economy. I commend the Social Security Administration and Commissioner Michael Astrue for coordinating these payments so efficiently.” [Press Release]

Why does Governor Steve Beshear hate Kentuckians? [Blue in the Bluegrass]

Daniel Mongiardo is leading the defense of corrupt and Appalachian-killing mountaintop removal practices. Now’s the time to support Kentuckians For The Commonwealth. Pony up. If you have a dollar? Give a dollar. If you have nothing? Save your pennies and then contribute. [KFTC Blog]

Peep the rest after the jump…

Read moreThursday Afterno… Wait, Is Frankfort Quiet Yet?

$25.3 Million More for Local Energy Improvements

The Obama Administration just announced an additional $25,382,500 for local energy efficiency improvements in Kentucky. The funds will come in the form of block grants to support jobs, cut energy bills and increase energy independence. This is in addition to the $123.4 million in funding announced on March 12th.

“These investments will save taxpayer dollars and create jobs in communities around the country,” said Vice President Biden. “Local leaders will have the flexibility in how they put these resources to work – but we will hold them accountable for making the investments quickly and wisely to spur the local economy and cut energy use.”

From a press release:

The funding will support energy audits and energy efficiency retrofits in residential and commercial buildings, the development and implementation of advanced building codes and inspections, and the creation of financial incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements. Other activities eligible for use of grant funds include transportation programs that conserve energy, projects to reduce and capture methane and other greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, renewable energy installations on government buildings, energy efficient traffic signals and street lights, deployment of Combined Heat and Power and district heating and cooling systems, and others.

To ensure accountability, the Department of Energy will require grant recipients to report on the number of jobs created or retained, energy saved, renewable energy capacity installed, greenhouse gas emissions reduced and funds leveraged. Funding is based on a formula that accounts for population and energy use.

Funding for state, city, and county governments in the state:

  • Kentucky – State Energy Office – $10,427,000
  • Bowling Green – City – $585,600
  • Covington – City – $188,500
  • Florence – City – $126,400
  • Frankfort – City – $132,100
  • Henderson – City – $123,100
  • Hopkinsville – City – $143,600
  • Lexington-Fayette – City – $2,753,800
  • Louisville/Jefferson – City – $7,000,000
  • Owensboro – City – $557,200
  • Richmond – City – $145,600
  • Boone – County – $368,100
  • Bullitt – County – $289,900
  • Campbell – County – $351,600
  • Hardin – County – $426,500
  • Kenton – County – $465,200
  • Laurel – County – $246,000
  • McCracken – County – $289,900
  • Oldham – County – $222,200
  • Pike – County – $282,800
  • Pulaski – County – $257,000

For more information on the grants, click here.

This is kind of a big deal.

It’s Thursday Morning. Frankfort Is Abuzz.

The court finally heard Robert Felner’s interview. The bits where he alleges he was held against his will by federal investigators. The recordings prove Felner never asked for an attorney. Felner even acknowledged that he knew he wasn’t under arrest. Moral of the story: these federal investigators are amazing and we can’t wait to thank them for their service in-person. [C-J]

What’s Hal Rogers’ congressional pork up to these days? [Macon Telegraph]

Jim Newberry is bad for Lexington. His latest stunt just confirms it. [Transform Lexington]

Jim Gooch would probably loves Iran because that country is considering the death penalty for offensive bloggers. [HuffPo]

That’s right – Steve Beshear is going up against John Yarmuth on mountaintop removal. And Steve Beshear will lose. At least among Democrats. [Mark Hebert]

Crazy Frank Simon has a you-know-what for abortion. So here’s his latest email blast: “House Speaker Greg Stumbo has told the media: “As I said on Monday, any action we take during these veto days will be entirely up to our caucus. This is extremely good news, but it is not our final answer – that will come tomorrow (Thursday, March 26) when the House Democratic Caucus meets to determine exactly what they want to do…” Maybe if Keith Hall can show up to work along with Hubie, Ancel, Tom Riner, Bullet Bob, Tommy Thompson, Jeff Greer, Tanya Pullin and Martha Jane King show up they can finally get this passed? [Email Blast]

This John Waltz guy says he’s officially announced his candidacy for the U.S. Congress in Kentucky’s fourth congressional district. [John Waltz]

The EPA clarified its ruling on mountaintop removal permits. EPA says it’s not holding or halting any mining permit applications. Interesting that Daniel Mongiardo and Steve Beshear are leading the fight FOR mountaintop removal. What’s next, the governor would sign anti-gay or woman-hating legislation into law? Talking out of both sides of your political mouth is awesome. [WKYT]

Speaking of mining, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted a new permit for a controversial eastern Kentucky mine just one day after the EPA announced concerns re: mountaintop removal. International Coal Group’s Thunder Ridge Mine. Quite interesting. [C-J]

Tuesday Morning Dept of Making the Cut

Congratulations to John Cheves on the new baby boy!

Cheves wasn’t one of the 50+ people cut yesterday at the Lexington Herald-Leader. [Mark Hebert]

Attention Governor Steve Beshear: 1,500 people gathered in Louisville last night to back a crackdown on payday loan sharks. You know, the industry that’s in your back pocket. [C-J]

More from the Courier-Journal: This is why you can’t have nice things, Kentucky. [C-J]

Eastern Kentucky’s problems are, indeed, deep and complicated. And the business climate in the region is definitely hurt by this crazy culture of corruption. [H-L]

Defending Dr. Dan (A Letter to Allah). Hahahaha. Pat Crowley commits the sin of omission and more. [LEO’s Fat Lip]

Will Congress finally approve regulating big tobacco’s influence? Mitch McConnell has accepted $390,000 from the industry. [t r u t h o u t]

The State House can’t consider any additional legislation this week but people like Gary Tapp are pushing to rewrite old legislation. Sure, it’s stupid to require a bar or lounge to have an entrance on the street. But is this the most important issue facing Kentucky? What a joke. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell still isn’t prepared to comment on the latest Treasury plan? [HuffPo]

Yesterday the Mine Safety and Health Administration shut down Double A Mining Inc. in Knott County for failing to pay about $314,000 in fines dating back to 2004. It’s actually incurred more than $480,000 in fines– but only those fines that are final orders of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission are involved. Can we expect more mines that ignore the rules to be shut down? [C-J]

News-Express Hits Keith Hall Again

The Appalachian News-Express has hit State Rep. Keith Hall again. This time in a scathing editorial about shirking his elected responsibilities and duties to watch basketball games in Florida.

Choice excerpts:

If a vote is cast in Florida, will anyone hear it?

W. Keith Hall has dropped the ball, and in a big way.

After it was found the 93rd District state representative played hooky from the state House on March 12 and 13, to take his family to the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Tampa, Fla., he said he took the trip only after having been told, “not a lot’s going to happen.”

-SNIP-

The members of the legislature are not gathered in Frankfort to simply push a “yea” or “nay” button, then go home. Hall and his fellow elected representatives are in Frankfort to discuss, confer and negotiate to gain support for measures which will positively impact the Commonwealth and their home areas.

This week, Hall lamented the fact that HB 433, a measure which would amend the state budget, and may result in a new elementary school for his home area of Phelps, had not yet passed.

Despite what Hall painted as a legislative impasse, the only sure thing is that Hall’s absence guaranteed the people he represents had no voice in the House on that issue or any other issue which impacted them.

-SNIP-

In January, this newspaper asked Hall his opinion on the role of Eastern Kentucky legislators now that much of the House leadership is made up of representatives of areas east of the Winchester Wall.

“We have a chance,” he said. “The mountain boys and girls have a chance to be the saviors of this state the next two years. And if we fail, we could be the goats.”

If his fellow Eastern legislators follow his lead, they are likely to be in the barnyard two years from now. And, if Hall continues in his cavalier attitude toward both the state House and his constituents, he may find himself there sooner.

Ouch.

If you have access to the online edition or can pick up a copy of the paper, make sure to give it a read. It’s nice that eastern Kentucky newspapers are holding their elected officials accountable as our statewide newspapers die a saddening death.