Worst Gubernatorial Campaign Ever?

In their first public, joint appearance as candidates for governor, Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Matt Bevin traded only soft verbal blows, setting the scene for some potentially nasty campaign fights down the road. [H-L]

A website surfaced on Saturday containing a possible trove of photos of Dylann Roof and a racist manifesto explaining why he allegedly targeted Charleston, South Carolina, in a shooting this week that killed nine African-Americans. [HuffPo]

Louisville Metro Police officers and area youths held a frank conversation following a recent police shooting at a forum in the California Community Center on Thursday. [C-J/AKN]

The Confederate flag was adopted to represent a short-lived rebellion to extend and protect white supremacy and black slavery. [Vox]

Campbell District Court Judge Gregory T. Popovich is facing 15 days of suspension from the bench for misconduct. The Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission issued its findings Thursday evening, saying Popovich violated five canons of the state Code of Judicial Conduct. [Cincinnasti.com]

South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn (D) said on Sunday that he believes the Confederate flag stirs up memories of insurrection against the U.S. [The Hill]

Oh, god, the humor. House Speaker Greg Stumbo, (D-Prestonsburg), has announced the formation of the House Special Committee on Advanced Communications and Information Technology. Rep. Martha Jane King (D-Lewisburg) has been appointed to chair the committee, which will meet during the interim months of the General Assembly. [Berea Online]

Tensions are building inside and outside the white marble facade of the U.S. Supreme Court building as the nine justices prepare to issue major rulings on gay marriage and President Barack Obama’s healthcare law by the end of the month. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin told county officials from across the state gathered here for a conference there are “very distinct differences” between him and his Democratic opponent for governor, Jack Conway. [Ronnie Ellis]

With tears welling in her eyes, Hillary Clinton on Saturday delivered an emotional call to action after the Charleston church shooting, first vowing to fight for “common sense” gun reforms, then shifting to an assessment of racism in America. [Politico]

Moments before Rowan Fiscal Court adopted its operating budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year, Judge-Executive Walter Blevins suggested the county add a half percent occupational tax increase for one year. [The Morehead News]

The People v. the Coal Baron. Don Blankenship always knew exactly what he wanted during the years he ran Massey Energy, once the sixth-largest coal company in the United States. He had specific and emphatic ideas about how to operate mines, how to treat employees and how to deal with regulators. When he issued instructions, he wanted them followed to the letter, and this wasn’t just true about his business. [NY Times]

Educators from Maine and Virginia are among the finalists for Fayette County Public Schools superintendent. [H-L]

Russell Moore still thinks the religious right will win the battle against same-sex marriage. Oh, not at the Supreme Court later this month — like nearly everyone else, Moore is almost positive the right will lose there. But the long game… that, he says, could be a different story. [HuffPo]

It’s Mega KTRS Pee Alert Time Again

Yesterday, Steve Beshear put these people in charge of further wrecking the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System:

  • David Karem, former state senator and former chair of the Kentucky Board of Education
  • David Adkisson, CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
  • Mike Armstrong, executive director of the Kentucky School Boards Association
  • Jason Bailey, research and policy director for the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development
  • Mary Ann Blankenship, executive director of the Kentucky Education Association
  • State Budget Director Jane Driskell
  • Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen, who shall serve as a nonvoting member
  • Amanda Ellis, associate commissioner, Office of Next Generation Learners in the Kentucky Department of Education
  • Secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet Lori Flanery
  • Gary Harbin, executive secretary of the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System
  • State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach, who is also a board member of Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System
  • Secretary of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet Mary Lassiter
  • Secretary of the Personnel Cabinet Timothy Longmeyer
  • Roger Marcum, chairman of the Kentucky Board of Education
  • Brent McKim, Jefferson County Teachers’ Association president
  • Brigitte Blom Ramsey, executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence
  • Dr. Tom Shelton, executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents
  • Dr. Bob Wagoner, executive director of the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association
  • Wayne Young, executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators
  • Two members of the Kentucky State Senate designated by the President of the Senate
  • Two members of the Kentucky House of Representatives designated by the Speaker of the House.

Yep, half those people are directly responsible for a good amount of the educational scandals the state has faced the past few years. They’ve been tasked with coming up with solutions to part of the state’s pension nightmare. AKA, tasked with doing nothing/making the pension mess worse.

Jeff Hoover was having none of it:

Even though I have personally led the charge the past two years to address the crisis with the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System through an outside, comprehensive review, I am extremely disappointed Governor Beshear has chosen this response to such a serious situation.

Governor Beshear had a real opportunity to create an independent, non-partisan panel to give a thorough review of KTRS in an effort to make substantive recommendations to solidify the system. Instead the Governor chose to fill this task force with self-serving special interest groups that have been part of the problem, not part of the solution. During the last session House Democrats proposed $3.3 billion in pension obligation bonds for KTRS, which would have handed taxpayers the bill and crushed Kentucky’s economy for decades to come. Meanwhile an outside group recently advised investors to exercise caution in purchasing bonds in Kentucky because of our tremendous pension debt and sluggish economy in the Commonwealth.

I once again call for an independent panel with the foremost experts in areas like investments and actuarial audits to be appointed so we can deliver on our promise to teachers that they will have a stable retirement system for years to come.

Slap fight commence!

Fun Matt Bevin Conference Call Stuff

Or, how the Kentucky Democratic Party and Jack Conway couldn’t keep their immediate plans quiet.

Because on Monday, Matt Bevin’s campaign held a conference call. While, according to individuals on the call, it was disorganized? They were still aware (they contacted us several days before the ethics thing hit) of what the Dems were up to and held lengthy discussions about how to deal with the story the Dems pushed this week regarding Bevin.

In addition to rehashing issues that arose during the U.S. Senate primary last year, of course.

Come on, Dems. Stop allowing Bevin to get a heads-up. Stop giving him time to prepare.

Yes, absolutely, it’s still funny (scary?) watching his messy campaign struggle to respond either way. It’s much more fun to watch when the group is blindsided.

If we have to suffer through this gubernatorial campaign in the unbearable Kentucky humidity [we’d insert a bunch of teabagger jokes here… but it’s Friday]… the least you folks can do is provide the absolute best in campaign laughs.

Fun stuff: Bevin’s campaign is such a hot mess that it allegedly has no contact people named for any counties, only has campaign material printed with the May 19 primary date and has no plans to order new material until much later.