McConnell Capitalizes on Gas Prices to Fundraise

Mitch McConnell is using his appearance on Fox News (haha. news. hahaha.) to scare the bejeezus out of us local yokels. Oh, and to raise money for his campaign that now faces that mean Democrat, Bruce Lunsford. Here’s a link to the goods. Fair warning: it’s to a fundraising page.

Did you know that mean Washington Democrats are responsible for high gas prices? Did you know they have the audacity to talk about what’s really going on rather than act like everything is peachy keen?

Blame the Democrats! Because we all know the fact that they don’t have a veto-proof majority or the opportunity to stop McConnell-style obstruction doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that Democrats can’t do anything.

Nancy Pelosi at Ford in Louisville Saturday

We reported a couple days ago that Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi would be in Louisville this weekend with Rep. John Yarmuth for several events.

Finally, we’ve confirmed that Pelosi will join Yarmuth at one of the Ford plant locations in Louisville for a closed door tour and roundtable discussion with Ford and labor leaders.

If you’re a member of the media? We hear media avail will follow the shindig at about 5:15.

Bruce Lunsford Will Pump Your Gas Again

In a continuation of his “On the Job” tour, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Bruce Lunsford will be in Mayfield tomorrow at Highway Oil pumping your gas. He’s using the event as a tool to raise awareness about the impact of outrageous fuel prices on (western) Kentucky families.

Lunsford held a similar event about a week ago in Richmond at College Food Mart which made a pretty big splash in the media. (Hey, any press is good press in our minds.)

All local media are invited to attend, beginning at 10 a.m. local time.

Wouldn’t you love to see Mitch McConnell pumping gas or working alongside commonfolk?

More on Mitch McConnell’s Money

We forgot to mention this in our original story about McConnell’s personal financial disclosure, but Senator Mitch McConnell’s assets grew by at least 40% while almost everyone else on earth got poor and starved to death. Oh, and Harry Reid is also in the same richie rich boat.

From The Hill:

Reid’s assets may have increased as much as $1.2 million. He has invested his wealth in an array of public and non-public assets, such as a Dow Jones Energy Index Fund and a healthcare sector index fund. His other assets include several mining claims and properties.

McConnell’s publicly traded investments grew by at least $600,000, or 40 percent. He reported public assets worth $1.5 million-$3.5 million in 2006. Those swelled to between $2.1 million and $7.8 million in 2007. He also reported a Washington property worth between $1 million and $5 million that stayed at the same value.

Despite their rising financial fortunes, Senate leaders say they still appreciate the economic struggles of the middle class. “American families are earning less today than five years ago and paying more for everyday necessities like a gallon of gas, heat for the home, and, of course, groceries,” Reid said on the Senate floor Monday. “And they’re paying more than ever for long-term needs like the goals of healthcare, college and retirement.

Saturday Update for Fancy Elitist Weekend Readers

Louisville ranks 48th when it comes to ability to weather an oil crisis. The ranking– which is calculated based on public transportation use, telecommuniting, bike and walk rates– puts the largest city in Kentucky behind Virginia Beach, Nashville, Indianapolis and Memphis. If it’s bad in the city, imagine how it will be out in the state. Yeah, excitement. We can’t contain ourselves. Wonder when the mainstream media will start talking about the real effects of a fuel crisis instead of just the price it costs to fill up the tank? [CNN]

Basically, Morgan Wilkins wants to piss everyone on earth off. She’s encouraging Kentuckians to fly the confederate flag. Basically, just, yeah. [Morgan Wilkins]

Life is awesome. Logging begins in Robinson Forest. Everyone is outraged. [H-L]

The Fayette County Jail. Federal whistleblower. Ruh ro. Cover-ups, lies, firings, indictments, white washings. This is going to be the biggest story to rock Lexington in a decade. Mainstream media: wake up because it’s about to get crazy. [KY Progress]

NBC’s Tim Russert died while taping voice-overs for his program yesterday. Read everyone’s statement about Russert, if that’s something you care to do. And read his story on MSNBC about how vigilance is needed on campaign claims so we can deal with big issues and not smears. [The Arena, MSBNC]

State Vehicle Abuse? You Be the Judge

This photo was taken on Thursday, June 5, 2008 in the parking lot of Beef O’Brady’s in Frankfort at 11:56 A.M.

The car in the photo is from the Frankfort Motor Pool. Motor Pool cars are for day trips. I.E., you go to a meeting and then come back. They’re available to state employees just like Avis or Hertz and they’re not assigned to an office or agency.

So why was it driven to a restaurant in Frankfort? Who needed a Frankfort Motor Pool vehicle to go to lunch in Frankfort? We’re not trying to harm anyone’s career but we can’t not point this out as an example.

Acccording to KRS 44.045, paragraph 2, state vehicles are for “official use only.” Read it for yourself.

Stopping at Target or Kroger on your way home isn’t an official use of a state vehicle, so no one is going to complain much about that if you aren’t abusing your privileges. But that sort of vehicle use still costs us taxpayers money. There are roughly 10,000 passenger vehicles that drive in excess of 90 million miles per year in the state fleet. If each of these vehicles are driven an extra five miles per week for short stops at the grocery, that’s 2.6 million additional miles per year. At $0.44 cents per mile that adds up to $1.144 million per year. That’s also an additional 144,000 or so gallons of fuel per year that doesn’t need to be purchased by the state.

We’ve got to change the way we do business in Kentucky. It doesn’t have to cost employees that much, so don’t freak out. But there’s no reason we should be using these vehicles for personal trips without paying for that use.