Legislative Ethics Are Not A Real Thing

Such a shame Legislative Ethics don’t exist in Kentucky. A Democratic lawmaker filed a complaint Wednesday with the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission, asking for an investigation into a sexual harassment settlement between four Republican lawmakers and a legislative employee who worked for them. [H-L]

On Oct. 14, 2016, then-GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence vehemently denied that the Trump campaign had any contact with WikiLeaks. It was shortly after that organization had released more emails from the Clinton campaign and other Democrats. [HuffPo]

The University of Louisville Foundation’s former chief financial officer claims in a new lawsuit that he was made the “fall guy” for “a wide variety of political, private and public interests” when he was fired in July. [C-J/AKN]

Six House Democrats on Wednesday launched the latest official effort to oust President Trump, introducing five new articles of impeachment revolving around the central theme that the president is a danger to the country. [The Hill]

A Richmond city commissioner is calling for action against hotels and motels in the city that are hotspots for criminal activity. [Richmond Register]

The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday told 29 states, cities or counties it believes they are violating a law prohibiting them from limiting information sharing with U.S. immigration officials, and it asked them for details on their compliance. [Reuters]

The forced removal of state prisoners from the Boyd County Detention Center could cause the county to lose as much as $700,000 in revenue this fiscal year, and the fiscal court is weighing budget cuts as a result. [Ashland Independent]

A senior official in charge of a federal loan guarantee program resigned after ProPublica reported his prior role in obtaining a guarantee under the same program as part of a deal that failed. [ProPublica]

The governing board for emergency communications in Barren and Metcalfe counties approved an agreement from South Central Rural Telephone Cooperative for additional security technology at the dispatch center in Glasgow on Tuesday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Republican and Democratic senators clashed on Wednesday over changes the Republicans made to their sweeping tax legislation late Tuesday night, as the momentum behind the tax overhaul showed no signs of slowing with votes expected in both chambers of Congress later this week. [NY Times]

A vote may come as soon as this week on Senate confirmation for Dingus Trump’s nominee to lead the Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA. The country’s top mine safety position has been vacant since January as coal mining fatalities have risen to a two-year high. Trump’s choice to fill the post is facing opposition from congressional Democrats and safety advocates. [WFPL]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s public suggestion that he may appoint a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton has alarmed current and former Justice Department officials who fear he will further politicize the embattled agency. [WaPo]

The Republican Party of Kentucky’s communications manbaby, Tres Watson, has been whining about this on social media. He’s taken every opportunity to spew homophobic bullshit since getting his new RPK job. So I’m taking every opportunity to identify him a bigot. You know how I know? Because I know him. And when these Republicans like Watson and Scott Jennings decide it’s cool to all of a sudden turn into bigots? I’m going to call their asses out. [H-L]

The American delegation to the United Nations climate talks has not held any press conferences, though White House energy and environment adviser George Banks will occasionally venture out to the snack bar beneath the U.S. delegate’s office. [HuffPo]

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Not Many Believe The “Investigation” Into Jeff Hoover Will Be Conducted Transparently And Honestly. Wonder Why???

She’s a mess from the days of Jamie Comer. She was deeply involved in the hemp scandal. So of course she’s knee-deep in this. [H-L]

Syria took a break on Tuesday from its gruesome six-year civil war to announce plans to sign the Paris climate agreement, leaving the United States as the only country to reject the emissions-cutting deal. [HuffPo]

A New York grand jury has returned an indictment for two of the men accused of conspiring to funnel money to the families of two University of Louisville basketball recruits as part of a federal probe into college basketball recruiting. [C-J/AKN]

Federal agents have seized records from a national company that solicits thousands of Americans to donate their bodies to science each year, then profits by dissecting the parts and distributing them for use by researchers and educators. [Reuters]

Barren County Schools Superintendent Bo Matthews traveled to Frankfort on Monday with other educational leaders for a joint press conference at Woodford County High School to present an alternative pension plan – called the Shared Responsibility Plan – to the one presented by the office of Matt Bevin, according to an email from Matthews to media outlets. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The violent altercation last week that left Senator Rand Paul nursing bruised lungs and broken ribs began over a landscaping dispute between the senator and his longtime next-door neighbor, according to neighbors and three Kentucky Republicans familiar with what transpired. [NY Times]

It was a short walk for Warren County Sheriff Jerry “Peanuts” Gaines as he filed the paperwork Wednesday to run for re-election to the office he has held since 1977. [BGDN]

Long-term methadone and buprenorphine maintenance are mainstays of heroin addiction treatment. These medications bind to the same opioid receptors in the brain as does heroin, reducing cravings for and use of the deadly drug. But a new study shows that an alternative to medications that substitute for heroin in the brain can be highly effective by blocking the drug’s effect on opioid receptors. [WaPo]

One of the General Assembly’s widely admired lawmakers, 27-year veteran Louisville Democrat Jim Wayne, announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election next year. [Ronnie Ellis]

A government watchdog found irregularities in a loan guarantee arranged by Gavin Clarkson for an Indian tribe. Now Clarkson is in charge of the program that is on the hook for the mess. [ProPublica]

Despite numerous failed legislative attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration is rolling out regulatory changes that are likely to clear the way for Kentucky’s plan to remake its Medicaid system. [WFPL]

Voters in the US state of Virginia have elected their first openly transgender state legislator. [BBC]

A Louisville law firm has launched its investigation of a sexual harassment scandal in the Kentucky House of Representatives, Republican leaders said Tuesday. [H-L]

No, you delusional Republicans, prayer isn’t going to stop mass shootings. [HuffPo]

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Yep, Kentucky Republicans Are Under FBI Investigation For Being Terrible

They didn’t “consult” Hoover but they absolutely kept him informed of what they were up to long before making it public. Leaders in the House Republican caucus announced in a statement on Saturday that they are launching an independent investigation into sexual harassment allegations swirling around House Speaker Jeff Hoover and other Republicans in the House. [H-L]

Spoiler alert: Matt Bevin’s Kentucky is at the center of this Hepatitis A surge and the Republican Party of Kentucky is in denial about it. You can see the data for yourself. [HuffPo]

The confidential sexual harassment settlement involving House Speaker Jeff Hoover also involves three other House Republicans, as well as Hoover’s chief of staff, sources tell Courier Journal. Rep. Jim DeCesare, of Rockfield; Rep. Brian Linder, of Dry Ridge: Rep. Michael Meredith, of Brownsville; and Ginger Wills, the chief of staff, also were parties to the settlement, according to the sources with knowledge of the deal who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal. [C-J/AKN]

From early in the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump swore he’d do away with the so-called carried-interest loophole, the notorious tax break that allows highly compensated private-equity managers, real estate investors and venture capitalists to be taxed at a much lower rate than other professionals. [ProPublica]

An emotional Jeff Hoover announced Sunday he’s stepping down as Speaker of the House in the wake of sexual harassment allegations but will retain his 83rd District seat. [Ronnie Ellis]

Republicans’ long-awaited tax bill, unveiled on Thursday, targets key renewable energy tax credits that have helped make clean energy a crucial high-wage job-creating sector in the United States. [ThinkProgress]

Teachers and state workers from Rowan County joined thousands of others at the state capitol in Frankfort to rally against the pension plan introduced by the governor last month. [The Morehead News]

Former US Republican President George Bush Sr has confirmed he voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, labelling Donald Trump a “blowhard” [BBC]

The FBI has confirmed it is looking into sexual harassment in the Kentucky state legislature. The news comes a day after House Speaker Jeff Hoover admitted to exchanging inappropriate text messages with a female staffer and resigned from his leadership position. [WFPL]

The president seethed with resentment, his party ducked for cover and the opposition chortled with glee. Lawyers counseled clients. Lawmakers tried to change the subject. Campaign veterans fretted that colleagues may be wearing a wire. And everyone wondered about a guy named George Papadopoulos. [NY Times]

Kentucky Educators have unveiled an alternative plan to Governor Matt Bevin’s pension reform bill. [WKYT]

Donald Trump promised to cut taxes for the middle class, but some would end up paying more under the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” according to a report released Friday night by Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, the official scorekeepers tasked with determining how much any tax legislation would add to the debt and how it would impact the poor, middle class and wealthy. [WaPo]

Just a reminder that melting dog turd Matt Bevin wasted your taxpayer dollars in an attempt to discriminate and push his own perverse “religious” beliefs. Now he’s left taxpayers on the hook for his legal bills. Matt Bevin’s office was ordered Monday to pay Planned Parenthood for its expenses after the Republican’s representatives were a no-show for a deposition in an abortion case. [H-L]

Over the past two years and up until at least August, Russian Twitter accounts masquerading as American people, news outlets and political groups regularly appeared in the articles published in many of the United States’ most famous media outlets. This wasn’t a matter of fake news; this was “real” news made a little less so. [HuffPo]

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Alison Appears To Be In A Big Pickle

Calling the claims against her “politically motivated and spurious,” Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes denied that she ever improperly obtained voter data or that she took inappropriate action in a contract with a state vendor. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Thursday formally declared a public health emergency for the opioid crisis, an action that has been more than two months in the making. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s a crazy-eyed hypocrite. The people he’s attacking? They’re the very people he originally sought for advice on the pension mess. His team even tried to lure me in for advice and connections on those in-the-know about KRS. Now they’re attacking them. Here’s hoping they all lose their asses over the next couple years. [C-J/AKN]

Last month, ProPublica published a deep examination of how struggling black Americans are much less likely to gain lasting relief from bankruptcy than their white peers. [ProPublica]

Hahahahaha! They think a living wage is ever going to be a thing in Louisville with folks like Greg Fischer and David Yates in charge. [WFPL]

Earlier this month at the Brooklyn Museum, scholar and MSNBC legal analyst Paul Butler joined Michelle Alexander, civil rights lawyer and author of The New Jim Crow, for a conversation about his latest book, Chokehold: Policing Black Men. As a former federal prosecutor, Butler uses his firsthand experience to demonstrate how the legal system is structured to target and criminalize black men. [Bill Moyers]

The Democratic Minority Leader in the Kentucky House of Representatives still doesn’t know what’s in a proposed Republican measure to alter the benefit structure and strengthen financially the state’s public pension plans. [Ronnie Ellis]

Senate Democrats have questioned whether Donald Trump’s nominee for a top EPA position is violating the law by working at the agency before being confirmed, and they are demanding more details about his duties. [NBC News]

With these folks involved, you know something shady’s afoot. The EastPark board of directors on Tuesday hammered down a deal to sell a massive plot of land to Braidy Industries, which said it will build a $1.3-billion aluminum mill. [Ashland Independent]

They’re worried this dipshit might get cranky if he’s away from home for too long – seriously. Leaders of more than a dozen countries will meet for a major summit in the Philippines in mid-November, but Donald Trump won’t be there. He is planning to skip it and leave the Philippines the day before. It’s a bad signal to send to the region, and it could undermine the overall goal of his Asia tour by calling American regional leadership into question. [WaPo]

The family court judge for Barren and Metcalfe counties who sought to pre-emptively recuse himself from all adoptions involving parents of the same gender is resigning, effective after Dec. 16. [Glasgow Daily Times]

More lip service from the orange idiot and his fellow New Nazi Republicans on the opioid front. [NY Times]

A state panel that disciplines judges has filed ethics charges against a Kentucky judge who objected to handling adoption cases involving gay parents. [H-L]

I was a racist cop. Years ago, I was helping a supervisor at a single-car crash. A black man collided head-on into a concrete divider, and died at the scene. I was detouring the ensnarled traffic when my corporal, who had been alongside the victim, shared an update. [HuffPo]

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Overdoses Are Hitting Ashland Hard

The effort to preserve a 125-mile stretch of Pine Mountain that runs the length of southeastern Kentucky has taken a significant step forward with the purchase of nearly 2,000 acres, the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust announced Thursday. [H-L]

The public feud between Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Donald Trump continued to escalate on Tuesday. The GOP senator, who warned earlier this month that Trump’s behavior could lead to World War III, told CNN that he believes the president’s legacy will be the “debasement of our nation.” [HuffPo]

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has made its final decision for a new VA hospital in Louisville, and it is sticking with a 35-acre farmland site off Brownsboro Road. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S government issued a rare public warning that sophisticated hackers are targeting energy and industrial firms, the latest sign that cyber attacks present an increasing threat to the power industry and other public infrastructure. [Reuters]

A second person has announced her candidacy to become the next Barren County clerk, with incumbent Joanne London not seeking re-election. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Another lawmaker is asking insurers whether their policies have made it easier for patients to access cheaper, more addictive drugs over less addictive alternatives. Meanwhile, the insurance industry trade group pledged additional steps to combat inappropriate prescribing. [ProPublica]

Rowan County Fiscal Court made it clear during its monthly meeting on Tuesday that it did not support a rate increase proposed by Advanced Disposal, owner and operator of the county landfill. [The Morehead News]

This idiot. Speaking to reporters alongside Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló at the White House on Thursday, Trump gave the White House the highest possible marks for its response to Hurricane Maria. [ThinkProgress]

A plaque proclaiming Jefferson Davis as a hero and a patriot will be removed from Kentucky’s Capitol, the latest effort to alter Confederate monuments across the country following outbreaks of racially motivated violence. [Richmond Register]

After a series of high-profile police shootings, police departments across the nation turned to body cameras, hoping they would curb abuses. But a rigorous study released Friday shows that they have almost no effect on officer behavior. [NY Times]

An overdose awareness and prevention seminar is set for Thursday in downtown Ashland amid an overdose crisis that’s devastated the Tri-State and left at least 34 dead in Boyd County this year alone. [Ashland Independent]

These fools have no idea that it’s the media’s job to constantly question those in power – no matter what. Yet again, the White House has declared itself to be above question. [WaPo]

It was time. Long past time, actually. As the sun set Tuesday on a beautiful fall day, it also set on Lexington’s two most visible symbols of history rewritten. [Tom Eblen]

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) won’t run for re-election in 2018, The Arizona Republic first reported. Flake spoke about his decision on the Senate floor Tuesday, railing against the “appalling features of our current politics” and arguing that lawmakers should “never regard as normal the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals.” [HuffPo]

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Republicans Ruin Everything They Touch

It may be true, as its title suggests, that the pension plan outlined last week by Matt Bevin and Republican legislative leaders is “keeping the promise.” But what promise and to whom? Certainly, it doesn’t keep a promise to current or future public workers and retirees that they will retire with financial security. [H-L]

Once upon a time, an insurgent candidate defeated Hillary Clinton, the most prepared potential president in U.S. history, after a nasty, close and historic race. [HuffPo]

Anyone deliberately ignorant enough to claim a soccer stadium in Louisville is going to push wages higher is an asshole. That’s not remotely based in reality. It’s not going to happen. If anything, they’ll hire the lowest common denominator for work and pay them the lowest rate that’s legally possible. It happens in every development in Louisville and it’s not changing any time soon. But this is Attica Scott, the woman who refused to answer questions about her residency when she initially ran for Metro Council. So it’s not surprising she’d put false hope out there to fluff up liberals in wealthy parts of the city. [C-J/AKN]

The two Honduran women told nearly identical stories to the immigration courts: Fear for their lives and for the lives of their children drove them to seek asylum in the United States. [Reuters]

State Librarian and Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) Commissioner Terry Manuel announced that Madison County Clerk Kenny Barger has received a grant totaling $17,302 from the KDLA to preserve and manage local government records. [Richmond Register]

It was about 10 a.m. on Aug. 12 when the melee erupted just north of Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia. [ProPublica]

It’s been 10 years since Kentucky judges received a raise, placing judicial salaries in the commonwealth 48th among the 50 states. [Ronnie Ellis]

With the White House under fire over its handling of the deaths of four U.S. soldiers in Niger, questions are rising about the deadly ambush. [ThinkProgress]

The Boyd County Public Library is operating on a $3.1 million budget and will likely have about $5 million in reserve this fiscal year. The library – like the school districts, volunteer fire departments and health department in Boyd County – is a special taxing district. The bulk of the library’s budget – 84 percent – is funded by property taxes. [Ashland Independent]

The Environmental Protection Agency has published a list of 10 toxic threats it will evaluate first under a law passed last year intended to crack down on hazardous chemicals. [NY Times]

Sometimes you have to wonder if the folks running Morehead State University know their ass from a hole in the ground. [The Morehead News]

Authoritarian bullshit. The White House flashed its authoritarian streak again on Friday when press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was “highly inappropriate” for journalists to fact-check a false claim by Chief of Staff John F. Kelly. [WaPo]

This sort of thing happened repeatedly in Montgomery County. I reported on it for a few years. Kids ‘escaped’ school on a regular basis, roamed around in traffic, you name it. It was a nightmare situation. Valarie Honeycutt Spears just twiddled her thumbs over those stories. [H-L]

For 27 years, Erwin Marks helped design military aircraft, missiles, drones and even solid rocket boosters for the space shuttle. The work was a good fit for Marks, who’d left the Navajo Nation to study design engineering technology at Brigham Young University in the 1980s. But after almost three decades, Marks had grown tired of the hiring and layoff cycles every few years as federal contracts were awarded and expired. [HuffPo]

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Flashback: A Nightmare At Woodsbend

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Kentuckians have yet to see the public employee pension “reform” bill that Matt Bevin and the General Assembly’s Republican majority hope to railroad into law during a special session this year that has yet to be scheduled. But Bevin and GOP leaders outlined their ideas at a Frankfort news conference Oct. 18 that left many questions unanswered. Among them: Where do they plan to get the money to pay down more than $30 billion in unfunded pension obligations? [Tome Eblen]

Multiple families of military service members killed in the line duty are now getting rush-delivered letters from Donald Trump, days after Trump claimed he had called the immediate families of all service members who had been killed since he took office in January. [HuffPo]

You’ll want to read this, Morgan Countians. A knock at the door after midnight brought the grim news that 17-year-old Dennis Buttry was dead. His mother collapsed at the news. Just days earlier, she received a letter reporting the boy had “arrived safely” at Woodsbend Boys Camp, a state center for juvenile offenders in Eastern Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) has become a flashpoint for Republicans running for Senate in 2018. [The Hill]

Sometimes Berea is a lovely center of artistic life and sometimes it comes off sounding like a barnyard full of backwoods yokels. A proposed dog park in the Harrison Court area of Berea drew a lot of opposition from area residents Thursday at a public forum. [Richmond Register]

Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday it would recall about 1.3 million vehicles in North America, including certain 2015-17 Ford F-150 and 2017 Ford Super Duty trucks, to add water shields to side door latches. [Reuters]

The Barren County School District has reasons to celebrate and reasons for concern Superintendent Bo Matthews shared during Tuesday night’s board meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A federal judge this week unsealed the source code for a software program developed by New York City’s crime lab, exposing to public scrutiny a disputed technique for analyzing complex DNA evidence. [ProPublica]

After 25 years of serving as the Raceland city attorney, James Lyon Jr. has announced his resignation due to a conflict with the City Council. In a resignation letter distributed on Friday Lyon explained his reasoning saying “the actions of council in refusing to take my advice and insisting on hiring separate counsel create an unworkable situation for me.” [Ashland Independent]

For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water. [NY Times]

The fix for Kentucky’s badly underfunded pension systems proposed by Matt Bevin and Republican legislative leaders is complex with a lot of moving parts. [Ronnie Ellis]

Don’t worry – Kentucky comes off looking and sounding terrible. For more than a decade, Kristin Page-Nei begged Montana lawmakers to raise cigarette prices. As a health advocate for the American Cancer Society, she watched year after year as other states increased their cigarette taxes and lowered their smoking rates. “What they’re doing is saving lives,” she kept saying. [WaPo]

Paul Prather’s an idiot who couches his bigotry – and it’s very much bigotry – in a shroud of faux religion. Here he is claiming landlords are being victimized by poor people. Someone slap some sense into this man. Good fucking grief. Calling himself a “christian” (no, you don’t get a capital C) and whining about how bad well-to-do folks like him have it. If it’s not this, he’s whining about non-white people, the gays or women. [H-L]

On a warm Wednesday evening here in late August, six minutes from where a Ferguson police officer had shot and killed an unarmed man three years prior, an armed man was pacing in front of his mother’s home, yelling at the cops. His left hand was on a gun in his waistband and his right hand was holding a cellphone. [HuffPo]

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