Fischer’s FEC Report: You’re Gonna Love This

Thanks to friends in Washington, D.C., we’ve gotten our hands on Greg Fischer’s first quarterly FEC report. Oh man. Where to begin?

Once we got over the fact that most of his money is just from rich family members and friends, we discovered that Fischer has $110,000 in funds he cannot use in the Primary, only in the General Election. So the reality is he has a whole lot less on-hand than his campaign has boasted. That is not fundraising strength.

He took out a strange $34,294.31 loan from Fidelity Investments to help get his contribution to the campaign over the $500,000 mark, raising the question of whether or not Fischer actually has enough liquidity when it comes to his own personal finances to drop more in. He apparently isn’t as wealthy and free with his money has he espoused in the run-up to reporting.

There were no disbursements to Dant Clayton Corp for all of the exploratory expenses he had– we were the first to report this months ago. Appears as if Greg Fischer’s campaign knowingly allowed his corporation to make a contribution to his campaign. You’ll recall that the issue was so major that the Republican Party filed an FEC complaint against Fischer as a result of our investigation. This is a big deal. If the Fischer campaign really believed it was insignificant as it alleged months ago, you’d see a reimbursement on the report like his camp said there would be.

It gets better. Juicy, juicy. Tons more after the jump…

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Party for Seven? That’ll be $50K

A quick and final update on the story we’ve been following with the Thunder party for legislators. Looks like those lobbyists who picked up the tab for the party paid around $50K and entertained seven, yes, seven, legislators.

Sounds like the attendance at a Doug Hawkins informational meeting on Dixie Highway in Louisville.

Great work by the C-J’s Joe Gerth in actually calling all the legislators and getting their takes on attending the party, including Louisville’s Gerald Neal, who passed on going after learning it was paid for by lobbyists, according to Gerth’s story.

Much more, including names of the two Democrats who ignorantly attended the soirée after the jump…

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FBI Investigates Fletcher Transportation Cabinet

The FBI is investigating the Fletcher administration’s highway construction award process. Tom Loftus reports that the federal probe “includes a look at whether the cabinet’s confidential cost estimates for contracts were leaked to bidders before bids were submitted.”

All of this comes in the wake of the resignation of James W. Rummage, a former chief district engineer under Fletcher.

James W. Rummage had worked for Fletcher, a Republican, as chief district engineer in District 7 since 2004. The district covers Fayette and 11 other counties. Before that he ran the neighboring District 9 for six years under Democratic Gov. Paul Patton.

Reached at his Morehead home Tuesday, Rummage said it was his decision to leave but wouldn’t say why. He wouldn’t comment on whether he had been interviewed by or provided information to the FBI.

“There’s nothing I can help you out with right now. There’s nothing I can say right now,” he said.

Long story short: this doesn’t smell pretty. Hold onto your hats, folks, because we hear there’s way more where this comes from.

The sound you hear is a couple Republicans complaining about this being front-page news. Like it wouldn’t be if Beshear’s crew was involved. Please.

FEC Begins Investigating Greg Fischer

So much for the slow news day. Like Shackleford says, the Federal Election Commission has no doubt begun their investigation into alleged campaign finance violations by Greg Fischer in the run up to announcing his bid for the U.S. Senate. Read all about that here, here and here.

You’ll recall that we detailed potential FEC violations throughout the first two weeks of January, prompting Louisville/Jefferson County Republican Party Chairman Jack Richardson to file a complaint against Fischer.

Take a peek at what FEC staffers have been researching today:


CLICK TO ENLARGE

Search terms galore like “Fischer FEC Violations” and various others. And before you ask, we did contact the FEC and they refuse to comment on “what may or may not be an ongoing investigation.” So. There you go.

Say No To Casinos Possibly Violating Law

Is 501(c)3 organization Say No To Casinos led by John Mark Hack and Kent Ostrander violating the law? Quite possibly.

A new complaint filed by a prominent figure in Kentucky politics (names and identifying information have been redacted to protect identities for the time being) before the Internal Revenue Service alleges the anti-casino group is involved in a political campaign and has engaged in excessive lobbying activities for the past three years.

Multiple examples of excessive lobbying can be found in media archives and archives from the Kentucky General Assembly from 2006, 2007 and 2008 by the Kentucky nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, Say No To Casinos . The organization’s website, http://www.saynocasino.com/, exhibits multiple examples of excessive lobbying.

From the organization’s first press release it is apparent the 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, Say No To Casinos are participating in excessive lobbying activities.

-SNIP-

Say No To Casinos spokesman, John Mark Hack, admits in a January 1, 2007 Lexington Herald Leader article on casino gaming that he participates in lobbying activities, he says John Mark Hack, spokesman for the coalition Say No to Casinos, said by his unofficial vote count, a gambling measure would not have nearly enough support to pass”, This is solid proof that he is in constant contact with members of the Kentucky General
Assembly in regards to casino gaming or gambling legislation in Kentucky.

-SNIP-

Say No To Casinos, has made multiple statements in the 2008 session of the Kentucky General Assembly in regards to their excessive lobbying activities and their mission to lobby against any casino and or gambling legislation in Kentucky.

View the full IRS complaint and supporting exhibits below:


BREAKING: RPK Files Complaint Against Bluegrass Freedom Fund, Beshear Camp

The Republican Party of Kentucky filed a complaint with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance against the Bluegrass Freedom Fund and the Beshear-Mongiardo gubernatorial campaign for allegedly violating Kentucky’s campaign finance laws.

From the RPK’s press release:

“As various news organizations have brought to light the facts surrounding the Bluegrass Freedom Fund and its million dollar contribution from casino boss William Yung, it has become increasingly apparent that this fund was merely a front-organization used to skirt the law to help Steve Beshear get elected,” said Robertson. “If KREF finds the Bluegrass Freedom Fund and the Beshear/Mongiardo Campaign knowingly violated campaign laws, I hope it will immediately refer this matter to the proper prosecutorial authorities.”

Peep the complaint and the 42 pages of supporting exhibits here:


You knew it would happen sooner or later. Bill Yung wasn’t going to get away with giving Steve Beshear $1million without a fight.

On a related note, the BFF is no more. The group’s chief fundraiser has left Kentucky and Achim Bergmann is now consulting with Bruce Lunsford.

UPDATE @ 5:12: KDP Chairwoman Jennifer Moore responds:

“This is a desperate and baseless attack by the Republican Party. The complaint makes accusations that have been proven false time and time again. Doesn’t Steve Robertson have anything better to do with his time these days?

“What a sad example of Republicans playing divisive political games rather than working with Democrats to better the lives of Kentuckians.”

Wait a minute. Where’s the proof nothing shady went down? We haven’t seen it. Seriously– the only thing that’s come out is pretty damning and that’s that Steve Beshear met with Bill Yung just days before he wrote a million dollar check to the BFF. Hrm. Yeah. Nothing to see here, move along.

And on that note, what the flip is up with Jennifer having lunch at Serafini with a boat load of casino lobbyists just before putting out this press release? The only thing Jennifer is doing is causing people like us to get suspicious.

We especially love this ironic quote:

She said the meeting had nothing to do with pending legislation before the General Assembly and no legislators attended the lunch.

UPDATE @ 7:10:

In a strange turn of events, capitol sign-in sheets for the governor’s office have disappeared for the day casino magnate Bill Yung visited with Steve Beshear– though Beshear’s office denies having met with him. Imagine that.

Also on a sign-in sheet for Jan. 9: Bill Yung, at 10:25 a.m., apparently for the governor’s officer. But representatives of Beshear’s office have denied meeting with the Northern Kentucky hotelier and casino owner.

Check Hebert’s story on WHAS11 tonight about the whole ordeal. Just gets nastier and nastier.

MySpace perverts hit Appalachia! World is ending!

SCHOOL BUS DRIVER CHARGED IN SOLICITATION

A Rowan County school bus driver was arrested and charged Tuesday with unlawful transaction with a minor in an alleged incident involving a teenage boy. State police said Gary L. Clark, 46, of Elk Lick Road, Morehead, had been in contact with the boy through a MySpace.com profile. Police said he solicited the boy to meet him Saturday and allegedly coerced him into getting into his vehicle. There, “inappropriate actions” occurred, but police declined to elaborate. Police seized computer equipment from Clark’s home. The boy is a Rowan County student but was not on Clark’s bus route.

Folks close to the bus driver are claiming the young boy harassed the driver and the driver was merely meeting him to resolve a dispute. Uh… why would anyone give a flip about settling a dispute from MySpace (of all places) with a child they don’t even know? Yeah…

And speaking of MySpace perverts (OH NOES! IT’S THE WORST THING EVER! NOTHING BUT PERVS!), Stephen George (not a MySpace pervert) wrote an interesting story about To Catch a Predator-style sting operations going down here in the Bluegrass. Make sure you read it all. We gagged and felt like Republicans after finishing it.

Watching it on TV, the whole scene is sad and pathetic: From his mother’s dark PT Cruiser emerges 26-year-old Dustin McPhetridge, struggling to move his weight to the cane in his left hand while locking the door with the keys in his right. He’s driven five hours to Bowling Green, Ky., to meet the girl who’s now standing at the door of a palatial suburban house, offering a sympathetic smile. McPhetridge has cerebral palsy, which is making the short walk from car to house quite awkward.

It’s the first time he’s met the girl in person; they’ve only chatted online. He’s probably stoked because he thinks the petite brunette, dressed like a standard post-9/11 mallrat with shorts that may not pass as a bikini bottom, is about to screw him. There is lubricant, a man’s electric razor and a digital camera in the PT Cruiser. He thinks his new friend is 13 years old.