Are The Democrats Sleepwalking Again?

From extreme narcissist Damon Thayer on Matt Bevin:

“I’ve met Matt a couple times, he’s obviously successful and a nice guy. But he’s a rookie engaging in a Don Quixote-like episode of jousting at windmills that ultimately will prove unsuccessful for him.”

Remember that fun?

Republicans were hitting Matt Bevin harder in the U.S. Senate primary than Jack Conway’s gubernatorial campaign has done in its entirety.

Should be a real WTF moment for Democrats who fear all of those non-merit jobs and board positions being lost to some delusional teabagger whims.

A Curious Moment In Montgomery Co

A new auditor is about to dig in at Montgomery County Schools and there’s speculation galore about where he ought to look.

We’ve reported for years (now that’s literal — more than two) about problems surrounding maintenance budgeting and spending. And today we’re sharing another tidbit that should send up red flags all over the place.

An email from Jacqui Johnston to Phil Rison pushing a man named David Walters (maintenance) out of the way:

That was right around the time Walters, et al, went to school board members and others (not confidentially) to report irregularities and alleged shenanigans they’d discovered and asked for help. Those shenanigans occurred during the period of time tons of cash was being spent on baseball field construction/renovation. Walters discovered there was all the sudden no money in his accounts but there was no explanation. Curious, eh?

After being aligned with Powell in the beginning, Walters, who sold Powell his home, did what was right. Then the Powell crew pushed Walters out.

Fascinating stuff, truly.

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More On Powell Supervising His Wife

Fired former Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell loves to beat a dead horse.

So let’s beat that horse along with him.

What was that, again, about him not supervising her?

From Jacqui Johnston:

Response from Powell:

The message Johnston ultimately sent to the auditor:

Fascinating how those little tidbits keep popping up now that Joshua Powell is out of the picture. He and his crew tried to hide things like this for so long it’s disgusting.

Bonus:

Phil Rison, the guy who attempted to ignore state law in forcing me to reveal confidential sources and discuss their information, caught helping the Powells keep track of everything.

Wanna help pay fees associated with fighting off these shysters? Click here. We will not allow them to identify our sources or retaliate against them.

Campaign Craziness Kicks Into Gear

HELP PROTECT OUR SOURCES! Stop the Montgomery County-Joshua Powell-Phil Rison insanity! [CLICK HERE]

Even while fighting blindness in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere this week, Republican presidential contender Rand Paul intensified political attacks against rivals in both parties, vowing to continue pressing billionaire businessman Donald Trump in particular as the Kentucky senator embraces the role as the GOP’s leading pit bull. [H-L]

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush said Tuesday that the government should have broad surveillance powers of Americans and private technology firms should cooperate better with intelligence agencies to help combat “evildoers.” [HuffPo]

In a high-profile report issued in 2010, then-state Auditor Crit Luallen rebuked Passport Health Plan for wasteful spending of Medicaid funds on things like lobbying, travel, public relations, donations and sponsorships. But in May of this year, Passport made a $25,000 contribution to the Democratic Governors Association, an organization which already this year has given $600,000 to a Democratic super PAC supporting the election of Attorney General Jack Conway as governor. [C-J/AKN]

Hanni Fakhoury, a senior staff counsel with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said courts have not yet settled the question of how specific or broad email search warrants should be, and this case is one of the most prominent illustrations of how users can fight back. [Mother Jones]

Seems like only yesterday Jack Conway and his people were touting a study indicating that testing welfare recipients was a waste of time and resources. Attorney General Jack Conway says he supports drug testing some welfare recipients in Kentucky, echoing the position of his Republican opponent. [WFPL]

Amid the horrors of war in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, it’s become easy to overlook Afghanistan. Remember Afghanistan? Back in the mid-2000s, it was known as the “forgotten war,” eclipsed by the bloodshed in Iraq. Now it’s overshadowed all over again. But there’s plenty of reason to pay attention. [NPR]

Two same-sex couples in this small eastern Kentucky county got everything they wanted in a ruling from a federal judge Monday, except for one sentence. [Ashland Independent]

Climate change is increasing the risk of severe ‘food shocks’ where crops fail and prices of staples rise rapidly around the world. [BBC]

Of course the racist rednecks are coming out of the woodwork at the state fair. [WAVE3]

Donald Trump’s immigration plan is huge in every aspect — including its price tag. Think $166 billion. And that’s on the low end. [Politico]

Just weeks after a Kentucky man gained national attention for shooting down a drone in his backyard, a state lawmaker is proposing new legislation. [WDRB]

As concerns rise about a security menace posed by rogue drone flights, U.S. government agencies are working with state and local police forces to develop high-tech systems to protect vulnerable sites, according to sources familiar with the matter. [Reuters]

Lyman T. Johnson was a grandson of slaves who grew up in the deeply segregated community of Columbia, Tenn. One day, his father, the principal of the segregated black school, sent him on an errand to the white school, where Johnson saw for the first time the truth of Jim Crow laws that created separate and unequal facilities. [H-L]

A year ago, after 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, police responded to even peaceful daytime protests in the St. Louis suburb by deploying attack dogs and tactical vehicles, pointing sniper rifles at peaceful protesters, arresting people for simply standing still on public sidewalks, flooding demonstrators with tear gas — often without warning — and shooting them with bean bags, wooden pellets and balls filled with pepper spray. [HuffPo]

Some Dumb Things In Montgomery Co.

Time for some MoCo tidbits… which will seem like an inside baseball rant. Happy Friday.

The new superintendent of Montgomery County Schools, Matthew Thompson, and his number two, Richard Culross, found themselves in the middle of a… problem this week.

Despite precedent set and initiatives taken by the school board, the two took it upon themselves to backslide all the way to the Joshua Powell heyday on the transparency front. They decided to stop accepting open records requests electronically (without consulting the board or the district’s attorney), started requiring people to physically appear to inspect records prior to receiving them and tried to begin charging ten cents per page for electronic documents. All to stall and dissuade.

On top of that fun stuff, Culross sent an insulting two-page letter to an individual who has been trying to obtain records from the district for more than a year. Records, I might add, that have been hidden at every turn by the Powell crew. Unfortunately for the district, the individual they’re trying to stonewall is in the midst of a lawsuit against Powell and the district and isn’t about to back down: Kelly Wallace.

State law says an agency can receive requests via fax (which no one on earth has in 2015) and snail mail. But the Attorney General has said plainly that agencies can choose to accept records requests electronically. Which the district and its attorney have done for nearly two years. In part because it’s more efficient and cheaper to work electronically.

The OAG also makes clear you can’t target someone filing records requests because you’re frustrated by them, embarrassed or otherwise miffed. Thompson’s office and some members of the board have said in no uncertain terms that they’re unhappy with Wallace. I’ve been hearing it for weeks. Then, bam, they do what Powell did and started to turn on Wallace, saying in a letter that their simple requests (and they are SIMPLE, despite what Thompson claims) are disrupting essential functions.

They’re doing silly things like claiming searches yield 250,000 pages. When we know the real number is closer to, say, 120 pages. Just like Joshua Powell and Jacqui Johnston have done repeatedly. In light of constant efforts to illegally redact and withhold public records, this is more than a little bit troubling.

It’s the dumbest thing in months.

But there’s good news.

In light of the Thompson/Culross stumble, members of the board tell me they hope to implement a policy regarding electronic records requests and fulfillment because it’s just common sense.

There’ll be no more stonewalling.

And the Wallaces have been (surprise!) invited to review and receive the records the district’s new administrators tried to play pat-a-cake with.

Fascinating how that works.

There’s a lot more where that came from. Including nearly seven weeks of information various people within the school district have submitted regarding Thompson and a plethora of… stumbles. Not the least of which are instances of him telling school board members one thing while doing another in practice. So it’s sure to get exciting.

Gonna do something I’ve rarely done, though, and that’s give the board time to correct a lot of problems as the school year has just begun. Because I don’t want to write about Montgomery County Schools beyond the end of 2015. Good grief.

You’ll love the stuff rolling out of Phil Rison’s due process hearing.

There’s a new lawsuit coming from Jim Dusso. Search the archives if the name doesn’t a ring a bell. More power to him.

Hopefully Everyone Goes To The State Fair

HELP PROTECT OUR SOURCES! Stop the Montgomery County-Joshua Powell-Phil Rison insanity! [CLICK HERE]

Former state lawmaker Steve Nunn’s inmate account, which includes some of the proceeds from his legislative pension, is subject to garnishment by the family of the woman he pleaded guilty to killing in 2009. We hear funds that friends and relatives place in his account for incidentals are also being taken. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton has told the AFL-CIO she wants to improve Social Security benefits for women and lower-income seniors, offering a glimpse of the Democratic presidential front-runner’s thinking on a topic she has rarely addressed on the campaign trail. [HuffPo]

Changes are in the works to make the 2015 Kentucky State Fair, which opens Thursday, a bigger draw by offering new promotions, discounts and a strong concert lineup. Maybe the fair folks could bother actually promoting the event for a change? It takes more than a Kroger and newspaper push to get people interested in 2015. [C-J/AKN]

Forensic archaeologists on Friday began excavating a highway embankment in eastern Pennsylvania, looking for more bones believed to be from impoverished victims of the worldwide Spanish flu pandemic in 1918. [Reuters]

In an effort to counter the cost of state mandated salary increases, the Berea Independent Board of Education unanimously voted to increase the local ad valorem tax and tax on real property to 89.1 cents per $100 of assessed value. [Richmond Register]

NASA reports this was the hottest July on record. So we are now in “bet the mortgage” territory that 2015 will be the hottest year in NASA’s 125-year temperature record. [ThinkProgress]

The tug of war between Big Run Landfill and area residents fed up with noxious odors coming from it is not over, even following the announcement Tuesday that the company will phase out the importation of out-of-state garbage by rail. [Ashland Independent]

A planet 100 light-years away resembles an infant version of Jupiter, astronomers say. [BBC]

A college professor and a local businessman have entered the race to replace Bill Redwine on the Rowan County Board of Education. [The Morehead News]

Two years after the United States deployed the Patriot missile defense system to Turkey, a NATO ally, the system will be withdrawn, the countries announced today. [NPR]

Federal Bureau of Investigation and Kentucky State Police personnel executed a search warrant at the Cave City dental practice office of Chris Steward on Monday morning, Steward’s attorney confirmed later in the evening. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Forget Donald Trump. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is the favorite to win the GOP presidential nomination, according to Paddy Power, the Irish betting site. Trump trails Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in Paddy Power’s rankings, though Trump might be the better bet. At 9-2 odds, a $100 bet on Trump would win $450. [The Hill]

The number of endorsements from local governments in Eastern Kentucky and elsewhere is growing for an idea to spend $1 billion over five years in an effort to help areas hurt by a sharp downturn in coal jobs. [H-L]

After forty years of rising income and wealth inequality, some of America’s rich seem worried that maybe things have gone too far. In a recent New York Times Op Ed (August 9), for example, Peter Georgescu, CEO emeritus of the multinational public relations firm, Young and Rubicon, wrote that he is “scared” of a backlash that might lead to social unrest or “oppressive taxes.” [HuffPo]

Maybe She’s Trying To Run For Office

Heather French Henry’s gig of playing veteran leader is basically just a re-hash of her husband’s past failed campaigns.

Right?

Get a load of the latest press release:

Free Gun Locks
for Military and Veterans
at State Fair Sunday

The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA) and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will be giving away gun locks to active-duty military service members and veterans on Military Appreciation Day at the Kentucky State Fair this Sunday, Aug. 23.

“We are happy to be able to provide these gun locks to veterans and military members,” said KDVA Commissioner Heather French Henry. “They know better than anyone the importance of gun safety. We are also passionate about decreasing the numbers of veterans who commit suicide each day and this is one way we can possibly help to do just that.”

Gun locks. Just like Steve.

It’s like she’s trying to ramp up her own failed campaign of some sort.

Gag.