Rumors on the Internets

Beshear: The state budget is effed! Hide yer money in the freezer! Worst financials since the last Republican administration. [H-L]

ARH nurses strike is the end of the world. Patients not crossing the picket line, forcing layoffs and unit closures. [H-L]

More on Stumbo favoring the Kentucky House, more non-denial denials from Vicki Glass about a job for Brandon Spencer. [C-J]

David Williams sought change for road at close of business for Fletcher, Ernie’s biggest contributors stand to make mega bucks. [C-J]

Did you know comprehensive sex education is better than Bush abstinence-only quackery? [DMKY]

Elizabeth Tori an Indian Giver?

The Paducah Sun is reporting (subscription required, or read the AP story) that state Senator Elizabeth Tori (R-Etown) wrote a letter supporting the pardon of Harry Yonts, son of state Rep. Brent Yonts.

Sen. Elizabeth Tori, R-Elizabethtown, told The Paducah Sun she wrote a letter on Nov. 8 supporting a pardon for Harrison Yonts at the request of his father, state Rep. Brent Yonts. On Nov. 13, she sent another letter saying she had further reviewed the issues in the case and decided to take no position on it.

The catch? Tori later wrote a letter to Governor Fletcher withdrawing her support for a pardon. Tori says she made the decision after further review of the case. Which begs the question: Why did Senator Tori write a letter requesting a pardon before she knew what the heck she was talking about? Wouldn’t it be wise to know all the facts of a murder case before requesting a pardon? Woops.

Miller Wrongly Processed Raises, Questions Remain

Though Jonathan Miller said he didn’t do anything wrong while Treasurer, the Personnel Cabinet ruled yesterday that two giant raises for Brooke Parker— Miller’s former Deputy– were wrongly processed. But Miller gets the opportunity to correct his “mistakes” by providing Parker’s raises to her as bonuses. Yeah, bonuses. Bonuses that total about $25,000 over the past few years.

In today’s Herald-Leader (they used our photo) Miller is adamant that he did not give Parker undue favorable treatment. He went on with the same “personal business matters” line when referencing his relationship with Parker. And totally didn’t clear up the trip he took with Parker to Las Vegas right after dropping out of the gubernatorial primary.

Miller denied any suggestion that he gave Parker undue favorable treatment, but said he has relied on her input regarding “personal business” matters such as future job opportunities.

For instance, Parker accompanied Miller on a trip to Las Vegas between May 14 and 17, just after Miller dropped out of the Democratic primary for governor. When questioned about the trip by the Herald-Leader in October, Miller initially said he couldn’t remember whether Parker went with him.

“Those people who are aware of the close friendship that Brooke and my wife Lisa have find this laughable, but it’s not funny,” Miller said.

If Miller and Parker are just close friends… why is he continuing to allow the press and blogs like ours to question the specifics? Why didn’t he “remember” if Parker went to Vegas with him if it was such an important trip and he had nothing to hide? Why didn’t he tell Mark Hebert or the Herald-Leader whether or not he and Parker had separate hotel rooms? Instead of allowing “hurtful innuendo” to persist about Jonathan Miller and his alleged mistress, why not clear things up in one fell swoop? Why not put these years-long rumors to rest?

People can huff and puff all they want in order to make this story go away. They can call us. They can threaten us. They can foam at the mouth. But truth be told, it’s not going away until all questions are answered and everything is cleared up. The former Treasurer has been given the opportunity in three major news stories the past week to end the discussion he claims is harming his family… and he’s done nothing but cut and run. The longer Jonathan Miller and Brooke Parker continue to have high-level state government positions without quashing rumors of an affair with proof that nothing fishy is going on? The longer this drags out and becomes embarrassing for the new administration.

Anne Northup Unloads on Hawpe

You can only imagine how much pleasure former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup must have taken as she wrote a fiery letter to the Courier-Journal this week. She said the proverbial straw that unhinged her was a mention by David Hawpe in a Sunday column professing his fairness to Republican candidates. She must have been considering this rant, though, for some time. Like, for years.

We tend to believe Anne wrote this one herself, with no help from handlers or political advisors. It’s way too emotional to have gone through a thorough political vetting.

But we wonder why she, and other politicians, don’t do more public bitching about the way they’re treated in the media. There’s nothing in Northup’s letter that couldn’t have been said during her time in office or during a campaign. Sure, it would be tough to take on Hawpe and risk alienating voters. But wouldn’t it be interesting to have a winning political candidate open an acceptance speech with a line like this — “I just want to say to David Hawpe – I’m not taking any more of your crap.”

Northup started by calling Hawpe “abusive and dishonest” but it got better – or worse – from there. Her piece wasn’t so much about the unfavorable treatment she got in the paper, but about Hawpe’s out-of-print political activity, like ripping her in speeches and (allegedly) recruiting political opponents. She didn’t like the demanding e-mails he sent, requesting items that took up staff time and yet never became the subject of anything editorial.

Northup makes a convincing case against Hawpe. It will be interesting to see if Hawpe responds. His advantage in this war of words, of course, is that he always gets the last word.

Sidenote: What the hell are “conservative” values? And what politician doesn’t understand that news outlets have demanding deadlines? Jesus.

Basketball Players Get Special Treatment?

Surely you jest! And this time we’re not talking about free Escalades and Lexus SUVs.

Brandon Ortiz lays out a story we haven’t heard much about in a while.

Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael ruled that police were right in concealing the identity of a UK basketball star accused of raping Cynthia Wilson Smithers at Wildcat Lodge. The ruling comes after a 2006 opinion from the Attorney General supporting an open records request by the Herald-Leader in its attempt to cover the investigation.

Judge Ishmael wasn’t down with our sunshine laws, though, and claimed the OAG and H-L were being offensive for, you know, wanting access to public records. He says documents with redacted names are adequate for the purposes of scrutiny. We’re no lawyers but we’re not sure that’s a good argument. Well, not since he claimed UK’s basketball players aren’t public figures.

Aren’t UK’s basketball guys more well-known than Oprah in Kentucky? What on earth is the judge talking about?

Foaming Over Horne & Reason

A few people are so deluded they’re beyond right-wing. It’s those few individuals who are the most afraid of Andrew Horne. How’s that? He’s the only person they can talk about and it’s been less than a week since his announcement. Could call it swiftboating but those guys were much more intelligent.

Take a look at what we’re talking about.

They slink back to the 1800s to rationalize their unpatriotic behavior in trashing Andrew Horne’s military career. Blow smoke acting as if it’s all Andrew can talk about, which is as far as the truth as we can get. It’s more off the wall than suggesting Iran Contra hack Oliver North could ever be elected in the United States (as they do). Apparently calling a draft dodger a draft dodger is only appropriate for Republican use. And comparing a Marine to chicken salesman Colonel Sanders seems fine in their eyes.

What got them so fired up? A discussion of reason at VoteVets. It all leaves us wondering how these people function in life. Where’s the reason? Where’s the rationale? These fierce and early reactions make it seem like Mitch McConnell has something to be worried about.

Mitch on Job Descriptions & Iraq

Dear Mitch and his lackeys have had a lot to say about Iraq lately.

Did you know? Everything is smooth in Iraq and the war no longer matters. Oh, and Andrew Horne is a fake solder who can’t stop talking about his military experience. Let’s swiftboat him! Somebody call Bruce Lunsford’s friend Jim Patterson for a $10,000 contribution so we can get the truth out!

And from today’s C-J: