Jon Draud & the Arrogance of Mr. Hot Wheels

“Hot Wheels” is the nickname radio host Francene has assigned to arrogant Board of Education chief Jon Draud.

While Draud got plenty of media attention yesterday at the state Board of Education meeting, today he granted a one-on-one to WHAS Radio’s Al Mayo.

We asked Mayo about Draud’s general mood — which you’d think might be contrite or even remorseful given the publicity given Draud’s decision to try to charge the state for a bunch of extras on his car. Draud told him that he didn’t do anything wrong, but that he was going to pay the difference in costs anyway.

What’s more, Draud said there “was no way anyone could force him to do it under state law,” and that his only regret was the way the story “blew up” in the media.

This wasn’t some ambush interview. Draud agreed to it, and had time to think about what he was going to say.


Let’s remind Mr. Hot Wheels that he’s a public servant, and let’s keep after him until we actually see him write a check for the $13,000 or so he says he’s going to pay for the GPS system and phone. Let’s remind him that regular folks, even public officials, found their way to their destinations before GPS systems were commonplace, and that they’re not a “safety” device.Mayo told us that when he asked Draud if the personal expenses were a bit extreme given the state’s budget deficit, arrogant Mr. Draud replied that the state’s budget problem wasn’t relevant to him.

Draud represents the worst example of conduct by a public official. Every time he opens his mouth, he digs a deeper ditch.

Draud Controversy Update & Other Outrage

Kentucky Education Comissioner Jon Draud let public scrutiny get the better of him and he has decided to reimburse the Commonwealth for the $13,000 in extras he willingly ordered for his fancy new Chrysler 300:

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Education Commissioner Jon Draud promised today to reimburse the state for $13,000 in extras he requested for his new state car.

After apologizing to the state board of education members this morning for the “rather controversial” situation involving his 2008 Chrysler 300, Draud approached them after noon and said he would work with officials to figure out how he could pay back the state.

Now for the outrage.

The interim president of the Council on Postsecondary Education – Dr. Richard Crofts – will make $25,416 per month.

$25,000 PER MONTH!

ALERT: We Love UofL Provost Willihnganz

In the ongoing saga of David Edmunds spreading his self loathing brand of homophobia, University of Louisville Provost Shirley C. Willinhnganz stood up by graciously stealing an idea from us and we couldn’t be more excited.

Willinhganz wrote a letter that was published in the Courier-Journal over the weekend that used our “Alert!” fear tactic to scare everyone into submission with a dose of reality.

David Edmunds of the Family Foundation recently wrote a piece that attacked the University of Louisville for decisions made to help our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, faculty and staff. Edmunds seemed bent on alerting the community to what he considers horrific practices and developments at U of L. So let’s look at these “alerts.” (For the record, we got this idea from PageOneKentucky.com.)

Alert: U of L has gay people. Yes we do. And straight people. Black people. White people. People of all races and ethnicities. Our commitment to diversity means that all kinds of people engage in their quest for knowledge and a better life by coming here. This is a good thing. Just as we learn from facts and data, we learn from each other. That learning is more effective and more meaningful if it happens in an environment of trust and tolerance. As President James Ramsey says, the University of Louisville, as well as the Louisville community, values diversity.

Go read the rest of the letter.

Gosh, we’re in love. Not only taking on one of the strangest self-haters in the Commonwealth but giving us known homosexuals (not Rick) free publicity! Where do we send the gift basket?! Okay, so we can’t afford a gift basket. But maybe a fancy card that plays tacky music.

Huge kudos to UofL and Provost Willihnganz for standing up for every student.

Mid-Afternoon Reminder & Caption Contest-y Thing

We have all kinds of important stuff to do for an hour or whatever. AKA our primary laptop is officially dead and we have to go refi our condo or something so we can get a new MacBook Pro. Since none of you richfolk will permanently “loan” us the $3K. (No, we can’t do a fund drive because we felt dirty enough begging for cash to go to the DNC– which we couldn’t even end up doing in good conscious. Plus there are starving kids all over.)

So we’d like to remind you of what’s wrong with Kentucky:


And what would an empty post be without a reminder of this:


And a funny caption contest to accompany everything?


Back in a bit.

It’s Wednesday. Hump Day. Hot Outside. Too Hot.

A tribute to David Edmunds. Not suitable for John McCain, the vapors brigade, Jody Richards, children or people who are awful prudes. Probably not entirely safe for work. You’ll love this junk, though. Yes, David and I are getting married in gay New York this weekend. [YouTube]

The reaction to probably homosexual David Edmunds is getting heated and entertaining. The Chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Louisville makes him sound quite ignorant and the co-chair of the Lambda Law Caucus at UofL says he’s trying to send us back into the Stone Age. Poor David. [C-J, C-J]

Ruh ro. Reaction to John McCain last night wasn’t the greatest. His handlers didn’t plan very well. Go watch the video at some other dirty liberal website. [DMKY]

Wait for this. It’s a good one. Jon Draud knew about the extra cost of his state vehicle and declined the opportunity to cut costs when he was given that option. We find all this out after his lying ass said he didn’t know anything about the cost of his huge, gas hog of a vehicle (Chrysler 300). What a tired, old hack. [C-J]

Way more fancy pants stuff after the jump…

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MAJOR ALERT: There are Gay People at UofL

Did you know? There are gay people at the University of Louisville! OH THE HORROR!

David Edmunds of the right-wing Family Foundation wrote an op-ed published in the Courier-Journal today screaming about how terrible it is that UofL opened an Office for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Services with a director who makes $67,207 per year. How scary is that?

GAYS ARE RECRUITING OUR COLLEGE KIDS AND WASTING OUR TAX DOLLARS!

At the same time U of L was raising tuition and pressuring lawmakers for more Kentucky tax dollars, it announced the brand new Office for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Services, complete with full-time director, Brian Buford, whose services command a cool $67,207 annually.

On May 12, U of L announced, “Buford also plans to review employee policies and benefits to make sure they’re consistent with the university’s diversity mission…Provide coordination and support for existing LGBT groups, such as commonGround.”

Does “coordinating and supporting” the political agenda of special interest groups like commonGround really warrant $67,207 of student and taxpayer money?

Edmunds ignorantly tries to paint the picture that rising tuition costs are the result of domestic partner benefits. Riiiight.

And he then goes on to freak out about an assistant professor’s interests in studying black drag queens:

According to U of L’s Web site, Kaila Story occupies the Audre Lorde Chair and details her areas of research: “Recently, I have been specifically investigating how the black male-bodied Drag Queen’s presence within queer ‘subcultures’ disrupts mainstream notions of what is considered natural and fixed signifiers of black femininity and/or womanhood.” (http://louisville.edu/a-s/ws/kaila.htm)

Maybe President Ramsey can explain exactly how studying “black male bodied drag queens” moves Kentucky forward.

How hilarious is all that? We couldn’t make it up if we tried.

Call me crazy, but… wouldn’t Edmunds’ argument be taken more seriously if he didn’t set off the old gaydar? Old boy is complaining more than Frank Simon and Stan Lee these days. Something is up with that. You don’t even hear Kentucky Republicans complaining about the gays anymore but a few folks like David Edmunds can’t let go.

Ed. Commissioner Jon Draud & His Fancy New Car

Education Commissioner Jon Draud. Remember him? Well, you better, because this is about to tick you completely off.

At a time when Kentucky faces serious budget problems and even more serious cuts and restrictions in the realm of education– we’re spending THOUSANDS of dollars for Jon Draud to drive a fancy new 2008 Chrysler 300. A Chrysler 300 with more than $13,000 in options added to its base price.

All while teachers from Georgetown to Glasgow are forced to forfeit classroom funds that were raised by students just to pay utility bills. That odor is one of hypocrisy and waste, boys and girls.

Take a look at the Courier-Journal’s story for details:

Jon Draud said the lease had expired on the previous car he had been driving, and the state came to him and asked what kind of car he wanted to drive.

He settled on a 2008 Chrysler 300, which has a base price of $18,101 with standard equipment. With the add-ons requested by Draud, the state ended up paying $30,697 for the car.

-SNIP-

Lisa Gross, spokeswoman for the state education department, said it has been cutting back on travel expenses in an effort to trim its operations budget by about 7 percent.

“We’ve encouraged our employees to try and use alternate ways, whether it be e-mail or setting up a video conference via the Internet … ,” she said. “We’ve also cut back on the number of people who travel, especially if it’s traveling out of state.”

Yeah, our sentiments exactly. Who in their right mind believes a V8 engine is required for a $150 navigation system? And who in their right mind believes we need to provide luxury automobiles for state employees? And that whole “large cars are safer” bit? Please.

Somebody has some explaining to do to the citizens of this Commonwealth and that explaining needs to happen RIGHT NOW!