This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

The Legislative Ethics Commission has all kinds of good information about the 650 registered lobbying groups in Kentucky that spent nearly $15.7 million on the General Assembly.

Let’s take a look at some of the big dogs:

  • Phillip Morris $199,751
  • Homophobic Law-Breaking Kentucky Farm Bureau $118,768
  • Reynolds American $107,613
  • National Tobacco Company $90,144
  • UST Public Affairs $80,000
  • Las Vegas Sands Corp $90,144
  • Keenland Association $159,369

Pretty interesting that the tobacco and casino lobbies spent nearly $850,000. Now you know why the tobacco tax increase was basically non-existent. And you also know how un-powerful the casino lobby happens to be.

Health care/insurance also spent nearly $930,000. No wonder we’ll never have health care reform in the Commonwealth.

(H/T to Tom Loftus)

ALERTA! Avert Your Eyes! Quick!

Senate Bill 79, the “avert your eyes” abortion bill, will be heard tomorrow in committee in the Senate. It’s likely to fly out of there and straight to the House.

Aren’t you excited to see how the fraidy cat Democrats in the the House vote? You know, the ones who are complaining that they made that hard tax vote and just need to have a pro-life vote this session.

SB 79/LM (BR 1379) – E. Tori, J. Westwood, K. Stine

AN ACT relating to abortion.

Create a new section of KRS Chapter 311 to specify how the phrase “individual, private setting” shall be interpreted in informed consent situations; create a new section of KRS Chapter 311 to require an ultrasound prior to an abortion; amend KRS 311.990 to provide a criminal penalty.

Feb 6-introduced in Senate
Feb 9-to Judiciary (S)
Feb 10-reassigned to Veterans, Military Affairs, & Public Protection (S)

It’s slightly hilarious that Greg Stumbo has put Governor Steve Beshear in this position of either: a) pissing off his liberal supporters by not vetoing the bill or b) pissing off his conservative western Kentucky supporters by vetoing it? It puts the gubnuh in a lose-lose situation.

In other news? Vetoing it would be a waste of time. It’d just get overridden in a heartbeat by the legislature.

Gonna be interesting to see how Kelly Flood stands up to this. She keeps telling members of the House and reporter-types that she’ll just “talk” to the conservative members of the legislature and will be able to keep anything like this from seeing the light of day. Boy, is she in for a shock.

Happy Early Valentine’s Day Updates N Such

Tomorrow is the most commercial of faux “holidays,” so, enjoy! Eat lots of bad candy, get drunk, have all kinds of babies. It’s the American way.

And on that note, we’re over and out for a couple days.

Here’s some stuff:

The University of Kentucky is doing a great job at poorly educating this mining engineering major. [KY Kernel]

The Herald-Leader editorial board’s piece calling Greg Stumbo out for his pure stupidity about pregnancy has gone national. Greg doesn’t realize that pregnancy is not a disability. [H-L]

Chris Cillizza now ranks the 2010 U.S. Senate race against Jim Bunning as #4 for the second week in a row. It is, indeed, a golden opportunity for Democrats. [Washington Post – The Fix]

Two great pieces of hilarity that are neither political nor appropriate for work. [Toothpaste For Dinner & Natalie Dee]

Oh, that $15,000 credit for homebuyers? Yeah, AXED from the “stimulus” bill. Thank you, Mitch McConnell, for screwing America again. [Consumer Reports]

In honor of next Tuesday, a federal appeals court overturned new mountaintop mining rules. [MSN’s Money Central]

Looks like Binack Ruhbama made a joke about Judd Gregg:

We’re pretty much stoked that Barry is cool with making fun of himself.

Letcher County Coroner Has Resigned

The Office of the Attorney General announced this morning Letcher County Coroner John Cornett is resigning as part of a plea agreement. Guilty on seven counts of doctor shopping– or, technically, unlawfully obtaining a prescription for a controlled substance by fraud.

His wife, Andrea, a nurse at Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital, also pleaded guilty to four counts of theft of a controlled substance. The couple were indicted in November 2008 after a KSP investigation.

He’s resigning from his elected office today and has been sentenced to pre-trial diversion for three years. Both Cornetts will undergo treatment.

Beshear Appoints Ken Lucas VA Commish

Governor Steve Beshear today appointed former U.S. Rep Ken Lucas to serve as Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veteran’s Affairs. He’ll be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Department as well as the coordination of 18 statewide field offices, health care outreach and cemetery services.

From the press release:

“Representative Lucas has committed himself to serving and protecting our state and nation, both as a commanding officer in the US Air Force and as an elected official,” said Governor Steve Beshear. “His outstanding record of leadership will prove to be an invaluable resource to the Kentucky Department of Veteran’s Affairs.”

Rep. Lucas will assume the position of Commissioner from retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Leslie “Les” Beavers, who has served the Commonwealth diligently since his first appointment in 1998.

For more information about the Kentucky Department of Veteran’s Affairs and services offered, click here.