Unrest at the University of Kentucky

Note to our new readers from Fark and AlterNet: please visit our front page for the latest on Phelps.

We hear through the grapevine that University of Kentucky’s student body president Nick Phelps (a Republican and McConnell protégé, if it matters to you) sent out a nasty email from his official address spreading falsehoods and all-around racist garbage about presidential hopeful Barack Obama. You know the email. Extremist Muslim this, extremist Muslim that.

Causing quite the uproar on UK’s campus these days. Lots of unrest. Not looking pretty for Phelps or the rest of student government until the matter is dealt with.

Stay tuned…

UPDATE @ Noon:

Turns out the email was sent from a personal address to an official list serv that is paid for by a combination of student fees and taxpayer dollars. Your money at work, Kentuckians.

Reporters from the Herald-Leader are meeting with Phelps at 1:00 this afternoon. He’s saying his nasty falsehood of an email was merely a joke. So it’s not like the guy can claim the excuse that he was snowed into believing such ignorant tripe– he knew it was untrue and used his position in student government to spread hateful falsehoods.

We have obtained a copy of the original email sent by Phelps. It’s completely silly and unbecoming of anyone in a position of leadership to spread around.

UPDATE @ 3:00:

Via BGR, a College Democrat from UK has the following to add:

We are planning a sit-in tomorrow (we, meaning a bunch of the College Democrats) in the Student Government office. I don’t know how well it will go over, since the group that we discussed a course of action with last night seemed more worried about not offending anyone than actually doing anything. The most hateful thing is this: that we as a group of young progressives are too afraid of offending bigots and racists to demand that we all be treated with fairness and justice. And that is my University experience’s biggest failure of all.

UPDATE @ 8:00 P.M.:

Yet another update. UK’s student paper, The Kentucky Kernel, has a story about the situation with an interesting headline: SG president’s anti-Muslim e-mail draws fire: Phelps forwarded message blasting Barack Obama, Muslims to colleagues in SG office. Bunch of interesting comments from University officials and students.

Word also has it that dozens of students will be protesting tomorrow evening’s Student Government meeting at which Phelps will be present.

Peep the email after the jump…

Read moreUnrest at the University of Kentucky

Grandmotherly Senator Mortifies Kentucky Doctors

This is just too good to comment on. And it proves our point that Kentucky’s state institutions have no idea what the heck it takes to handle public relations.

Be sure to check out the comments below the main story. Lots of juicy one-liners about how wonderful Kentucky’s national reputation is.

UofL is just doing its part to make us all seem dumb and shoeless in the handling of three faculty members’ weird video non-endorsement of Mitch McConnell. Yay for perpetuating stereotypes of ignorance!

From Wonkette:

Senator Mitch McConnell is ruining the reputations of three University of Louisville physicians by providing video evidence that they said nice things about him, once. The victims of McConnell’s smear campaign were taped saying things like “I think Senator McConnell is very interested in the health and welfare of the people in the state of Kentucky.” And, for a few brief weeks in December and January, McConnell was showing this garbage on the teevee.

Oh Snap Monday. Springtime in February Edition.

Al Cross loves talking about Bruce Lunsford and absolutely loves coming up with little analogies for his political ambitions. “If Lunsford makes it through the primary, the extravagantly funded McConnell will make a piñata out of him and his record. But Lunsford is probably the only Democrat with the money and party support to make a piñata out of McConnell.” But Cross fails to recognize Bruce isn’t capable of using his money to eat McConnell up without giving McConnell the chance to rake in more than $30 million overnight. [C-J]

Larry Dale Keeling says Steve Beshear screwed up in the 30th Senate District race and “That “non-endorsement” endorsement Beshear gave Bruce Lunsford in the Senate primary was also a mistake. Lunsford’s wealth makes him the instant favorite in the race. All Beshear’s statement did was needlessly alienate supporters of other D candidates.” Woopsie daisy. [H-L]

Rep. John Yarmuth gave MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough an Article 1 button that he wore while interviewing spineless Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. No word on whether or not she was terrified of the button or if she hit her head on any desks. And Cathy Bailey is back from Latvia. What’s next on her plate? RPK power? [C-J]

Pat Crowley comes unhinged over a bridge in northern Kentucky and sticks it to Kentucky’s pitiful legislature, “State legislators and business leaders are way too complicit in this tired poor-mouthing. A stand needs to be made; no, Mr. President, senators and congressmen – do your jobs, meet your responsibilities and don’t hand off the most expensive infrastructure project in our region’s history to the locals.” [Enquirer]

Mitch McConnell sneakily used University of Louisville faculty to feign endorsements and no one is happy about it. Better yet, UofL faculty were stupid enough to say in a public record e-mail that they want make their little political nightmare disappear. Do none of our state institutions have quality public relations staff? [C-J]

And just for kicks. We know Mondays are awful. Why not enjoy your morning?

LEO Follows up With Heather Ryan

LEO’s Stephen George (who consistently goes the distance in the name of journalism– not just politically) went a little further than most mainstream press outlets in Kentucky in telling the story of Heather Ryan, the young mother who claims she was fired after confronting Senator Mitch McConnell at a Paducah commercial taping.

More on Ryan here, here and here.

From LEO:

Ryan has alleged that pressure from McConnell about this money, and how close an avid war protestor stood to its destination, played a part in her demise.

It was during that meeting — which she taped… — that board chairman Siska implied that McConnell’s staff wanted her gone.

“What they were thinking was that an employee from the building was doing this, and that concerned them because they have a connection to the building,” Siska said at the meeting. “… That someone would feel so negatively towards the Senator coming from this building. That’s what surprised them.”

“I’m confused about their concern,” Ryan replied. “Are they concerned because they thought I was a threat, or are they concerned because —”

“The way it was told to me is, they were shocked at the hatred that they felt coming from your daughter,” he said.

What was that about McConnell’s people not meddling in this mess again?

Read the rest in this week’s LEO…

Kentucky Legislature: Backward and Ignorant

Another scary gay post! Jake is spreading the gay all over the place. Please send all death threats directly to him. Clutter in the tips@ address inbox is no good.

In one of the most stupid moves by the Kentucky legislature in our lifetimes, the Senate voted in favor (30-5) of SB 112 that bans state universities and all government agencies from offering domestic partner benefits.

Sen. Ernesto Scorsone has it right when he says this kind of measure brings out the worst in all of us. It brings the biggest tools out of the shed. Tools led by Republican Senator Vernie McGaha (unfortunate name) of Russell Springs. McGaha says he is “quite proud” of his bill and stands strong for his convictions. So we hope for his sake he’s not one of the several rumored closeted Republicans in the state senate. We hope the same for his 30 friends who voted for the ban.

The bill is now on its way to the House where it’s expected to pass comfortably.

Next on their agenda? Making it illegal for businesses of any type to receive tax breaks or incentives from the state if they offer domestic partner benefits.

Every single elected official in Frankfort should feel completely ashamed.


Will Governor Beshear make good on his promise to use the veto pen?

Scandalous: Attack Mailer Strikes in the 30th

It’s getting down and dirty!

The Republican Party of Kentucky has dispatched a campaign mailer advocating the defeat of Democrat Scott Alexander in the 30th Senate District special election to be held February 5th. The mailer, as you’ll see below, can only be referred to as scathing. Quite possibly one of the strangest we’ve seen in years.

Take a look:

To beat it all, the mailer’s claims come from Alexander’s former Democratic opponent Roger Noe. Noe alleges collaboration between the governor, KDP, et al in “rigging” the election for Scott Alexander to gain the Democratic nomination. Nothing like having a Democrat to back up your Republican claims.

Scandalous! Which head will roll first in the 30th? Who wants to take bets?

Website Wars: Who Has the Best?

Kentucky’s announced (so far) candidates for U.S. Senate are making the rounds. From Pikeville to Paducah, they’re all over the place. One of the most important places for them to be is on George Dubya’s “internets” and for the most part that’s where they all are. To varying degrees, of course.

We thought it’d be fun to pay each site a visit to see who has the best grasp of these internets. Things aren’t as you’d expect.

Let’s jump right in.

Ranked by appearance and overall functionality

1. Greg Fischer

Greg Fischer’s web geeks really *get* it. His site is clean and appealing in the same way John Edwards’ site draws you in. It’s pretty. Soothing shades of blue and red combine well with easy-to-read typefaces. The fading family photo doesn’t hurt. Navigation is simple and at no point could a visitor to the site have difficulty finding what they need. Signing up for email updates couldn’t be easier, as the “GET UPDATES” field is featured prominently on the top of the page. Right where it needs to be. (Something Andrew Horne should have learned from 2006.)

Find out where the rest of the cards fall after the jump…

Read moreWebsite Wars: Who Has the Best?