RPK Thinks It Can Wash Its Hands Of Johnson But That’s Not Going To Happen

RPK talked her into going away because all hell was about to break loose. The wife of a former Kentucky lawmaker who killed himself after facing sexual assault allegations has withdrawn from the GOP primary. Maybe her racist, child sex abuse-enabling, homophobic, literal Moonie ass will finally fade into obscurity. [H-L]

Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm that was hired for Trump’s 2016 election campaign, made headlines over the weekend for using data acquired from 50 million Facebook users to build “psychographic profiles” about voters without their knowledge. Undercover footage — shot between November 2017 and January 2018 — released by Britain’s Channel 4 News on Tuesday shows Mark Turnbull, managing director of Cambridge Analytica’s political division, bragging about how the company came up with the “Defeat Crooked Hillary” campaign and promoted it on social media. [HuffPo]

The city of Louisville has agreed to pay Kerry Porter $7.5 million for the 11 years he spent behind bars for a murder he did not commit — the latest in a string of huge settlements for wrongful arrest and incarceration. [C-J/AKN]

A science advocacy group urged the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday to reject a longstanding industry request to limit cyber attack protections at nuclear plants, a day after the Trump administration publicly blamed Moscow for hacking into nuclear power and other energy infrastructure. [Reuters]

Unless they alter their calendar, Kentucky state lawmakers are scheduled to take off Friday and Monday, then meet for two days to consider bills passed or amended by the opposite chamber. [Ronnie Ellis]

Retired U.S. Army general Barry McCaffrey says he can’t remain quiet any longer. Late Friday, the respected four-star general sounded an alarm about uncomfortably close relations between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, warning in a tweet that the U.S. president appears to be “for some unknown reason under the sway of Mr. Putin.” [ThinkProgress]

Catlettsburg Councilman Richard “Andy” Brown officially resigned Tuesday – 11 days after he pleaded guilty to drug charges and was subsequently arrested for allegedly violating his probation. [Ashland Independent]

That data firm tied to the Trump Campaign? It talked business with Russians. When the Russia question came up during a hearing at the British Parliament last month, Alexander Nix did not hesitate. But Mr. Nix’s business did have some dealings with Russian interests, according to company documents and interviews. [NY Times]

The search for a new provost at Morehead State University has been put on hold. President Jay Morgan and the search committee unanimously decided to suspend the search and re-advertise the position in September. [The Morehead News]

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony that he opposed a proposal for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign team to meet with Russians has been contradicted by three people who told Reuters they have spoken about the matter to investigators with Special Counsel Robert Mueller or congressional committees. [More Reuters]

Barren County is projected to be allotted nearly $1.6 million from the state’s Rural Secondary Road Program fund for the 2018-19 fiscal year that begins July 1. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Now a clue has emerged as to how Donald Trump’s son-in-law’s firm was able to move so fast: The Kushner Cos. routinely filed false paperwork with the city declaring it had zero rent-regulated tenants in dozens of buildings it owned across the city when, in fact, it had hundreds. [AP]

Billy Joe Miles, the Owensboro businessman and former University of Kentucky Board of Trustees chairman who turned his family’s seed company into one of Western Kentucky’s largest enterprises, has died. He was 78. [Linda Blackford]

Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted a bizarre and ominous defense of his widely criticized decision to congratulate Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who was re-elected(sic) on Sunday. [HuffPo]

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Attacking Teachers Is Totally Disgusting

The anti-solar energy bill that was narrowly passed by the House and is awaiting action in the Senate illustrates two weaknesses in Kentucky’s civic character: We try to cling to the past, and we tolerate dirty politics. [Tom Eblen]

Stormy Daniels, the porn star who alleges Donald Trump’s personal attorney paid her to keep silent about an affair with Trump, has been physically threatened, her lawyer said Friday. [HuffPo]

The University of Louisville repeatedly violated the Kentucky Open Records Act by denying records to Courier Journal reporters about scandals in the athletic department, the state attorney general’s office has found. [C-J/AKN]

Kentucky legislators passed a bill on Friday that seeks to tighten restrictions on child marriage, which advocates said is aimed at blocking weddings between younger girls and older men, a situation they say can lead to domestic violence. [Reuters]

For the first time in Kentucky, family court in six counties, including Jefferson, are allowing the public inside proceedings. The decision went into effect on Monday as a part of a new program. [WAVE3]

Here’s your duh moment of the day. A huge new study disproves everything Republicans have claimed about abortion. [ThinkProgress]

A bill that would overhaul the state’s workers’ compensation system continues to roll forward in the state legislature despite opposition from law enforcement and labor groups. [WFPL]

The attorney general for the state of Massachusetts is launching an investigation into alleged harvesting of Facebook profiles by a firm employed by Donald Trump’s election campaign. [BBC]

Matt Bevin proves once again that he’s one of the most ignorant people on the planet. If he wants to continue attacking teachers, he’s going to experience teachers dragging his ass out of office and running him out of the Commonwealth. [WKYT]

The building at 55 Savushkina St. on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, Russia, is unremarkable. It’s four stories high, made of concrete and shares a small parking lot with the apartment building next door. [NPR]

Horse Cave Mayor Randall Curry has fired Officer Larry Dale Martin and suspended police Chief Sean Henry and rookie police Officer Chris Trulock without pay. Officer David Graves was appointed interim police chief. [BGDN]

Foreign smugglers are trying to ship advanced American technologies — which can be used for weapons and spy equipment — to China, Russia and other adversaries at rates that outpace shadowy and illegal exports during the Cold War, according to United States officials and experts. [NY Times]

A proposal to overhaul Kentucky’s unemployment insurance program has been stripped of two controversial provisions that would have cut benefits for out-of-work Kentuckians as it progresses through the state legislature. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s bowling ball test for U.S. cars is just a goofy ad from years ago. [HuffPo]

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Don’t Forget What Matt Bevin Has Done

The Republican Party of Kentucky doesn’t care about first responders. This is yet more proof of their shameful efforts. If you support the current iteration of the RPK, you’re a monster. [H-L]

San Diego’s huge outbreak of hepatitis A ― a preventable but deadly virus that is spread through contact with human feces ― captured national media attention in September. Louisville, Kentucky, which is the latest city to face an outbreak, has 128 sick and one dead since declaring that outbreak in November 2017, health officials told HuffPost. [HuffPo]

Alleged pig-fucker and literal excuser of child sex abusers, Matt Bevin, is attacking teachers again. [C-J/AKN]

Yet more proof that modern Republicanism is a dangerous disease. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the federal government’s first responder to floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters, has eliminated references to climate change from its strategic planning document for the next four years. [NPR]

Amid calls across the nation for stricter gun control since the Feb. 14 shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 — and rampant resistance against such action — a Kentucky pro-firearm group continues working to eradicate any local gun regulations. [Richmond Register]

Former FBI official Andrew McCabe memorialized his interactions with Donald Trump in contemporaneous memos, two people familiar with the case said, and they could become a key piece of evidence in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe. [WaPo]

A special committee has been selected to help determine the next superintendent of Rowan County Schools. [The Morehead News]

As another U.S. government funding deadline looms, a huge spending bill is ground zero in the latest battle between Republicans and Democrats in Congress over Donald Trump’s push to toughen immigration policy. [Reuters]

On March 5, Caverna High School Principal Chase Goff posted a link on Twitter to an open letter he wrote to the Kentucky Legislature. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Yes, Donald Trump is really this stupid and this dishonest. [NY Times]

Eastern Kentucky teachers used their annual Kentucky Education Association Day of Learning trip to the Capitol Thursday to urge lawmakers to safeguard their pensions and insure adequate education funding in the state budget. [Ashland Independent]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday accepted the recommendations that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who took the reins of the agency during the turbulent days after the abrupt firing of James Comey, be terminated — two days before he was to retire and become eligible for full pension benefits. [NBC]

The Republican-led Kentucky House voted Monday to ban a common abortion procedure when women are at least 11 weeks into their pregnancies, brushing aside warnings that the restriction would embroil the state in another legal fight on the issue. [H-L]

Maybe Democrats need to develop some courage and shove this down Republicans’ throats. A Republican plan to shrink food stamp enrollment is in some serious trouble. [HuffPo]

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Rep. Chris Harris Is Right On Guns

It took 10 seconds Sunday to turn 46 years of Frankfort history into rubble. With a few booms, Capital Plaza Tower fell to the ground, sending out a plume of dust that coated nearby trees and clearing the skyline of the once-tallest building in Frankfort. [H-L]

A GOP member of the House Intelligence Committee is breaking ranks with his fellow Republicans over a contentious report released Monday on Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties to the campaign of Donald Trump. Rep. Tom Rooney told CNN that “there is evidence” the Russians worked to help Trump. [HuffPo]

Shame on Frankfort – specifically Republicans. Morehead State University student Chandra Burnett, 23, a longtime user of contact lenses, said it gets old going every year to the eye doctor and paying around $90 to have her prescription renewed, as required by Kentucky law. [C-J/AKN]

Entities like the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (John Arnold made billions at Enron), the American Legislative Exchange Council and their allies are engaged in a multifaceted, multistate campaign to gut traditional pensions. If the Kochs and their allies succeed in smashing and scattering these last remaining pension funds into millions of 401(k)s, they will do more than just undermine the retirement security of millions of Americans. They will silence their economic voice. The pension reform drive should be understood, at least in part, as a campaign of economic voter suppression. [NY Times]

Democratic Representative Chris Harris of Pike County said throughout his life — growing up in a holler, working in coal mines after high school and earning a law degree — he was surrounded by gun culture. But at a town hall forum in Louisville, both Harris and Senator Morgan McGarvey (D-Louisville) said Kentucky needs gun reform. [WFPL]

During an interview on Sunday’s edition of 60 Minutes, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos struggled to handle straightforward pushback about her plan to steer federal education dollars toward charter and private schools and away from traditional public schools. [ThinkProgress]

Just a reminder that the Livingston County Schools superintendent – Victor Zimmerman – is a shady-ass Joshua Powell wannabe. People like that need to be removed from office quickly. Don’t believe me? Check my decade of reporting on shysters like him. Get them out of education. [WPSD]

Donald Trump’s personal assistant, John McEntee, was escorted out of the White House on Monday, two senior administration officials said. The cause of the firing was an unspecified security issue, said a third White House official with knowledge of the situation. [WSJ]

No one disputes the need for an additional Family Court Judge in the 28th Circuit which serves Pulaski, Lincoln and Rockcastle counties. [Ronnie Ellis]

And then, of course, Tillerson told the truth about Russia while the White House continued denying it. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be replaced, Donald Trump announced Tuesday morning, after a year on the job which included frequent tension between the two men. Trump said he is nominating CIA director Mike Pompeo as Tillerson’s replacement, which requires confirmation by the Senate. [NPR]

Hold on to your wigs cause Frankfort is still trying to ruin solar energy in Kentucky. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Republicans make these wild claims about there being no evidence of collusion without interviewing any of the people indicted. Fascinating how Republican bullshit has gotten so dangerous and deliberately corrupt, isn’t it? [WaPo]

First Kroger customers, and now Waffle House patrons have been exposed to Hepatitis A during an outbreak in Kentucky. [H-L]

Oskar Groening, a former Nazi SS guard known as the “Bookkeeper of Auschwitz,” has reportedly died at age 96 without serving a day of his four-year prison sentence for being an accessory to murder. Groening, one of the last Nazi war criminals to face trial for the genocide of Europe’s Jews during World War II, died in a hospital last week, German media reported. [HuffPo]

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Greg Fischer: Still Fighting Transparency

House Republicans working to flesh out their recent promise of tax reform should heed the evidence that’s piling up in other states: Cutting income and business taxes, and offsetting the losses by raising sales taxes, is no magic economic elixir. It’s more a recipe for starving education, infrastructure and other public services and dishing up more budget crises. [H-L]

Last Saturday, in a private meeting with Republican donors who had gathered at his Mar-a-Lago estate, Donald Trump attacked yet again the basic foundations of American democracy. In his freewheeling and unscripted talk, a recording of which was obtained by CNN, Trump eventually focused his comments on President Xi Jinping of China. He noted Xi’s plan to abolish China’s presidential term limits, and lavished praise on this authoritarian grab at unrestricted power. [HuffPo]

Flashback to Greg Fischer claiming to be the most transparent mayor in Louisville history. Courier Journal is suing Louisville for refusing to release details on the incentives it offered to Amazon in return for the online retail giant building its second headquarters here. [C-J/AKN]

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act on two occasions, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) informed the Trump administration Tuesday. [The Hill]

Madison County is now officially the only community in Kentucky, and one of only seven nationwide, to be a Blueprint for Safety Community. [Richmond Register]

Migrants separated from their children after they were detained for illegally entering the United States filed a class action lawsuit on Friday, claiming there are “hundreds” of parents in the same situation, and that the Trump administration is violating their due process rights. [Reuters]

A Catlettsburg city councilman pleaded guilty to drug charges Friday and then was accused of almost immediately violating the terms of his probation by being under the influence of heroin, meth and other drugs. [Ashland Independent]

Coal ash — the residual byproduct of burning coal — is the second-largest form of waste in the entire country, with utilities producing more than 100 million tons of it each year. For decades, companies have dealt with all that coal ash by storing it in unlined pits or landfills. Now, new reporting data shows this has lead to the contamination of groundwater at coal-fired power plants across the country. [ThinkProgress]

Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks talked guns with Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce members this month. [The Morehead News]

The special counsel in the Russia investigation has learned of two conversations in recent months in which Donald Trump asked key witnesses about matters they discussed with investigators. [NY Times]

The Interapt Skills proposal is being downsized after it apparently became clear that the original price tag of nearly $1.9 million was going to be “too lofty a goal for our community at this point.” [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Social Security Administration’s acting commissioner had no authority to act after mid-November because the agency is in violation of a federal law regarding vacant positions, according to a report to the president. [WaPo]

A student accidentally shot himself in a classroom at Lexington’s Frederick Douglass High School with a “pocket-sized handgun” he took to school Friday, according to school district police and administrators. [H-L]

A top GOP fundraiser pitched Donald Trump last year on a plan to recruit a thousands-strong international Muslim army — to be advised by retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal — that would help the United Arab Emirates battle the Taliban and the Islamic State in Afghanistan, according to a leaked memo the fundraiser wrote documenting his meeting with the president. The army “would consist of two brigades (5,000 total troops) comprised of Muslim soldiers recruited from Arab and Islamic nations,” Elliott Broidy, a Republican National Committee deputy finance chair, wrote in the memo. [HuffPo]

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What Will The RPK Ruin This Week?

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

Thousands of people who own houseboats on Kentucky’s lakes don’t pay required property taxes, but lawmakers are pondering a measure that could ensure the luxury boats are on the tax rolls. [H-L]

The ACLU’s top voting rights lawyer faced down one of Donald Trump’s voter fraud commissioners in court on Friday, getting him to concede that he had shaky evidence of significant voter fraud in Kansas. [HuffPo]

Denise Brown is still a damn fool and she should be disbarred. A Jefferson County Family Court judge on Monday jailed a mother whose daughter refuses to go on weekend visits with her father, saying she fears her dad and doesn’t feel safe with him. Finding the mother in contempt of court, Judge Denise Brown ordered the mother to spend two days in jail and had threatened to return her to jail Friday if the 10-year-old refused to go to her father’s home for a visit this weekend. [C-J/AKN]

A key aide to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has been granted permission to make extra money moonlighting for private clients whose identities are being kept secret. [AP]

This wasn’t supposed to happen. Maybe in the House but not in the Senate. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s lawyer is trying to silence adult-film star Stormy Daniels, obtaining a secret restraining order in a private arbitration proceeding and warning that she will face penalties if she publicly discusses a relationship with the president, NBC News has learned. [NBC News]

Rural Johnson County Kentucky native Paul Castle remembers the first time he visited Chicago in his 20s. [Ashland Independent]

In January, after a long day at his London office, Christopher Steele, the former spy turned private investigator, was stepping off a commuter train in Farnham, where he lives, when one of his two phones rang. [New Yorker]

Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins has advised those running for office in the May 22 primary election that they can go against county ordinance and begin placing political posting signs earlier than 45 days before the election. [The Morehead News]

In a letter marked “Private & Confidential” to the hotel’s other owners, the businessman, Orestes Fintiklis, likened the Trumps to leeches who had attached to the property, “draining our last drops of blood,” according to a copy reviewed by The New York Times. [NY Times]

The Hart County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the theft of a car in Munfordville this week. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The U.S. Department of Justice formally submitted a regulation on Saturday to ban “bump stocks,” a modification to high-capacity rifles that lets them fire like an automatic weapon. [Reuters]

Republicanism is a disease. A measure pending in a House committee would repeal a rule that cost a state representative access to his luxury houseboat for a time after he allegedly did not pay fees to a marina. The legislator, Republican Rep. C. Wesley Morgan of Richmond, is a co-sponsor of House Bill 183, which is more broadly aimed at making sure owners of houseboats pay their property taxes. But one part of the bill would address a situation that has Morgan involved in litigation. [H-L]

When the NRA lunatics claim things should be left up to the states to decide? Well… here’s proof they don’t mean that. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Can’t Do Math, Apparently

For decades, people have sparred over the University of Kentucky’s Robinson Forest, a 15,000-acre block of ecologically diverse Appalachian woodland that serves as a living laboratory for how healthy forests can impact the water and animals that run through them. [Linda Blackford]

Striking teachers and other public employees in West Virginia have shut down schools across the state for more than a week, flooding the capitol in Charleston each day to rebuke their lawmakers. The workers are demanding significant raises to their stagnant pay and a clear plan to curb rising premiums in the state employee health care program. [HuffPo]

TL;DR: More of the same from the Republican Party of Kentucky. Line 3 on page 186 of the House budget bill goes a long way in explaining how the House committee could afford to restore so much funding that Bevin cut. It shows that a whopping $480 million will be transferred between now and the end of the next two-year budget period to general state spending from the Public Employees’ Health Plan. That’s about $280 million more than Bevin proposed taking from this fund, which has been tapped regularly over the past decade. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump has moved aggressively in his first year in office to roll back regulations he says have harmed America’s coal miners. But the industry itself remains mired in long-term decline, a downturn that one of Trump’s own government agencies predicts will only worsen over time. [The Hill]

Pregnant women in jail or prison could not be shackled during labor or child birth under a bill passed Monday by the state Senate. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump on Friday nominated a Dow Chemicals lawyer to head-up an Environmental Protection Agency unit that oversees hazardous waste disposal and chemical spills from toxic“Superfund” sites. [Reuters]

The Fairview Schools Board of Education placed the school district’s Superintendent, Michael Taylor, on suspension with pay Monday night but the reason for the suspension was not released. [Ashland Independent]

Mitch McConnell is still enabling genocide. Mitch McConnell, a longtime advocate for democracy in Myanmar and fan of Suu Kyi, has expressed his continued support in recent months despite the bloodshed in Rakhine state. “Publicly condemning Aung San Suu Kyi, the best hope for democratic reform in Burma, is simply not constructive,” the Republican senator said in September. [Politico]

Though details have yet to be announced, search warrants were executed at the Horse Cave Police Department on Monday as part of an ongoing federal investigation. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former European leaders who tried to bring Ukraine closer to Europe before a 2014 uprising there reacted with shock on Saturday after a federal indictment accused Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, of secretly paying former European officials some two million euros in 2012 and 2013 to lobby on the country’s behalf. [NY Times]

Four Republican lawmakers in Kentucky who signed a secret sexual harassment settlement last year are scheduled to participate in a hearing next month before a state ethics commission that could recommend they be removed from office. [WFPL]

The family real estate company once run by White House adviser Jared Kushner is in talks to buy out its partner in a Manhattan skyscraper that has been losing money for years. [WaPo]

Is Marty Cockring a pervert? Why else would he lobby against ending the practice of taking child brides? [H-L]

Survivors of last month’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, have delivered a blistering message to Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

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