New Beshear Hire Lacking Experience?

F. Ryan Keith, 33, is rumored to be Governor Steve Beshear’s pick to serve as general counsel for the state Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.

The EPPC is the regulatory agency responsible for oversight of environmental law including mining, forestry, utilities, horse racing, some construction, alcoholic beverage control, et al. But Mr. Keith doesn’t seem to have any experience in that realm of legal service beyond a bit of work against government and regulatory agencies. His experience seems to be 100% political.

Keith’s bio on Stoll keenon Ogden’s website indicates his experience includes four years of practice in Washington, D.C. along with a clerkship with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

We’re not questioning his ability as an attorney or his credibility. But is he experienced enough for the job? Is there anyone more experienced who could be considered for the job?

Just wondering. Because, like most of the security community, we still can’t believe Adam Edelen is head of Homeland Security.

Let us know if we’re way off base here.

Almost Ready to See Our Shadow Update

Millionaires who hate Democrats and the Democrats who love them. Imagine that. A non-Page One blogger dishing the dirt. They’re moments away from receiving the wrath of those opposed to the truth. Beware. [Yellow Dog via BGR]

Scrapping the run-off? The house has joined the senate with a bill to get rid of the headache Kentucky almost faced in 2007. Almost no one believes a run-off is necessary. Insane that we had the provision in the first place. [PolWatchers]

Ben Chandler and Ernesto Scorsone hate America. The two opposites of Jim Gooch were part of a forum on global warming held at the University of Kentucky yesterday. [H-L]

Pay for play politics? Surely you jest! Beshear appointed John Paul Chappell to a district judgeship just days after he gave Scott Alexander $200 for the 30th district senate race. Just a coincidence? No clue. You decide. We just hope a judgeship would sell for a lot more than $200 if that’s what’s going on. [PolWatchers]

70-cent cigarette tax proposed (instead of 30-cents that’s hot discussion these days) to ease budget constraints. Kudos to the legislature for this move! Not only would Kentucky benefit financially, but overall health would improve tremendously as Ernie Fletcher has repeatedly said. Goodbye, teen smoking! [Courier-Journal]

Delving into the political nightmares of both the Democratic and Republican parties of recent days.  Both Ron Lewis and Steve Beshear are causing drama. [Hebert]

And in case you missed our fuming a couple days ago, get up-to-date on the state domestic partner benefits ban. Welcome to the 19th century, Kentucky! [H-L]

Oh Noes It’s Cold Roundup: Jake Has Returned!

David Williams calls Dan Mongiardo a bad boy. Alleging all kinds of threats toward officials in eastern Kentucky for not supporting Scott Alexander. Williams met with Attorney General Jack Conway today to discuss a possible investigation. Call us crazy but we see this going no where fast. [PolWatchers]

Speaking of David Williams, he and soon-to-be ousted Speaker of the House Jody Richards are pushing a plan to start the use of tolls to help finance Kentucky’s various bridge projects. Uh. That won’t go over too well. Taxing roadways in Kentucky? What? Have you ever driven on our crappy highways? Like anyone wants to pay for that nightmarish opportunity. [The Arena]

Hank List is back as deputy secretary of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet. The job he held from 2001-2003. List is also a former state representative and has worked for companies like the devil Louisville Gas & Electric. [Hebert]

There’s still no Democratic challenger for Stan Lee. The call for a candidate totally fell on deaf ears. Both the Kentucky Democratic Party and the House Democratic Caucus have dropped the ball. If Stan Lee is ever vulnerable, it’s now. But people seem pleased as punch to piss away an opportunity to elect a true leader. [BlueGrassRoots]

Stephen George, LEO’s excellent managing editor, turns our attention to a clip from Bill Maher’s HBO program that featured sex columnist Dan Savage reporting from the Huckabee campaign in South Carolina. Can you say hilarious? Always funny to send a scary, known homosexual to anti-gay land. Alert: put down your beverage. [General Sense of Outrage, The Stranger]

Daniel Essek for U.S. Senate?

Daniel Essek, a Ron Paul Republican and truck driver, has announced that he’s running for senate against Mitch McConnell. A noble but lost cause.

Check out his site here. While the site is in desperate need of the mo touch and a makeover (come on– it’s my first day almost back! let me have my gay joke), it’s filled with information. Contracts, issues, news, a blog, press releases, resume, budget information and a full welcome page. Lots to read up on.

And if you aren’t already raising an eyebrow, check this out. From a press release:

Mr. Essek also is in favor of alternate fuels, making America more energy independant, and reducing the amount of Foreign Oil. Although he does not believe Global Warming/Climate Change is a problem, he is in favor of reducing the amount of pollution generated by Carbon Based Fuels. He is against any form of Foreign Intrusion into the United States of any kind.

How exciting is that? Another Jim Gooch Republican still in denial about global warming.

MTR and the Preservation of Eastern Kentucky

Special to Page One by University of Kentucky student Robert Kahne

In my first year of college, I was introduced to the term “Mountaintop Removal.” Eric Reese, a professor at the University of Kentucky had recently released his book Lost Mountain. The book shows how a mountain, which was seen in its full majestic glory one year, had been totally decimated the very next year. The practice saddened me. When I was nine, I visited Pine Mountain Settlement School with my elementary school schoolmates where I was first exposed to mountain heritage and culture. While it seemed strange and different to me at that young age, as I grew, I appreciated it more and more. My Father hails from Ashland. While I understand it isn’t exactly “Eastern Kentucky” in the purest sense of the region, an appreciation for the mountains and an understanding of the sometimes very damaging practices involved in coal mining exists in my family.

So learning about how mountains were getting the tops blown off of them was not exactly something I was happy about. I joined Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, a citizen’s action group concerned with all sorts of social justice issues, including MTR. Over the years, I have helped organize I [heart] Mountains day in Frankfort, and have written letters to legislators and newspapers about my issues with the practice. All in all, I won’t lie; it’s been a frustrating process. It always seems like success is out of reach.

One thing really turned my frustration around: studying the 1988 Broad Form Deed Amendment campaign. I had to do a research project for my Kentucky Government and Politics class (a great class. If you’re a UK student, you ought to take it before you graduate).

More after the jump…

Read moreMTR and the Preservation of Eastern Kentucky

A Jim Gooch Funny

Ryan Alessi cracks us up again with his story about the opening of the 2008 General Assembly in Frankfort today.

With 60 degree temperatures in Frankfort, the biggest difference between the 2008 General Assembly in its infancy and past sessions is the weather.

“I think you would all agree that global warming has hit inside this room,” Richards quipped.

Rep. Jim Gooch, the House natural resources and environment committee chairman, who held a controversial hearing on that subject last fall didn’t look up from his paperwork to acknowledge Richards’ remark.

The denial of something so major and obvious has undoubtedly made it difficult for Jim Gooch to know when people are poking fun at his embarrassing presence in the state house.