Questions Surrounding Bank of Louisville? (It Stinks)

From the Herald-Leader:

June 14, 1993 — The Bank of Louisville sold the $15.5 million worth of securities for $6 million. Vance prepared the documents to arrange the complicated sale.

Feb. 28, 2002 — Under new ownership, the Bank of Louisville paid $27 million to settle the lawsuit brought by Kentucky Central to recoup the money lost in the securities sale.

Unless something illegal occurred, why would the Bank of Louisville have to pay a $27 million settlement? (That settlement includes principal, interest, legal fees and other costs related to the suit.) This is all being glossed over, left unanswered, never addressed.

The settlement, Louisvillians will remember, cleared the way for the bank’s 2002 sale to BB&T Corp. There was a lot of chatter in the media about the settlement but no one could ever get to the bottom of things.

This just doesn’t smell right. Could someone who knows more about the matter chime in?

There are also questions surrounding Rick Guillaume, former vice chairman and CEO of MidAmerica Bancorp (aka Bank of Louisville), and later president of BB&T’s Kentucky operations. Guillaume is a current and long-time Fletcher donor (though he’s supported Democrats like Jonathan Miller in the past) who was a key player during the $27 million settlement days.

From the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance:

GUILLAUME, RICK
Employer : BB & T BANK
Occupation : PRESIDENT
$500.00 on 01/28/2003
FLETCHER, ERNIE for
SLATE – STATEWIDE

GUILLAUME, RICK
Employer : BB & T BANK
Occupation : PRESIDENT
$1,000.00 on 06/02/2003
FLETCHER, ERNIE for

GUILLAUME, RICK
Employer : NA
Occupation : RETIRED
$900.00 on 04/07/2007
FLETCHER, ERNIE for
SLATE – STATEWIDE

What did/does Guillaume know about all this? Or are we grasping at straws here?

Kentucky Central Issue: Ignored by the Media

The media (for some reason) hasn’t picked up on it. But. What prominent supporter of Ernie Fletcher was an attorney with Frost & Jacobs during the Kentucky Central hubbub? Take a wild guess.

Larry Forgy. Forgy, who is alleged to have made a pretty penny working for Frost & Jacobs during the time frame focused upon as of late, went on to run for governor and has been a thorn in Kentucky’s side ever since. Most notably in his support for Fletcher and his recent attempts to push the Kentucky Central matter into the limelight.

Is Forgy the man behind the curtain? Is he, as Fletcher’s most prominent supporter, the fellow pulling the strings?

Would be wise for a reporter to find out.

Rather than demonize Ryan Alessi or trash any other reporter who may or may not have all the facts (or who may have had facts edited from their story)– we merely beg everyone to dig into the matter.

What is Larry Forgy’s role today? What involvement does he have?  Is he, as someone who potentially profited from his firm’s role in the Kentucky Central liquidation, attempting to capitalize on the non-scandal today?  We’ll see.

Exposed: Campaign Finance Shenanigans

Tom Loftus of the Courier-Journal uncovers all kinds of campaign finance law breaking. From being reimbursed by cousins to giving cash to candidates they don’t know for who knows what reason, the gubernatorial election is wrought with money laundering.

Yep, Steve Henry is involved.

Chesney contributed $1,000 to Democrat Steve Beshear, even though he said of the gubernatorial candidate, “I don’t even know the guy.”

So why donate to a candidate he doesn’t know, in a state where he doesn’t live?

“I was reimbursed,” he said, by a cousin who is a Beshear supporter.

Note: Beshear is returning that contribution.

Here’s some Henry action:

Opal Hodges of London, is listed as giving $1,000 to Fletcher and $1,000 to Henry.

But Opal Hodges said in a phone interview she did not make the contributions.

“No I didn’t,” she said. “Look, I don’t know nothing about it.”

After she told a reporter that her daughter takes care of her money, a female voice in the background said, “Hang the damn phone up. That’s enough. You’re talking to a … reporter.”

Even more Henry dirt and juicy Ernie Fletcher tidbits:

Lauren Eggers, 21, of Somerset, is listed by Henry as making a $500 contribution and by Northup as giving $1,000. She declined comment.

Her mother, Elaine Eggers, and said she wondered how her daughter could afford to give so much money to political candidates.

“I think she was doing it for other people, to be honest with you,” Elaine Eggers said. “I didn’t know where she could get a hold of that kind of money. Because she’s a waitress, part time.”

Hannah Moses, 24, a factory worker from Williamsburg who is a friend of Amber Dufour, according to her personal Internet page on MySpace, is listed by Fletcher as giving $1,000. She also declined comment.

But her father, Michael Moses, was dubious about the contribution.

“I can’t believe that. Not my kid. Not a thousand dollars. Come on, she works in a factory,” Michael Moses said. “She doesn’t know the difference between a Democrat and a Republican.”

Interesting to note that “Dufour’s father, Phillip Dufour, and Hodges’ husband, Gordon Hodges, work for Elmo Greer & Sons, one of the largest highway contractors in the state.”

What’s going on here? Does this mean people like Steve Henry and Ernie Fletcher are illegally cultivating campaign contributions? I know for a fact (personally) that Steve Henry has done it. He’s under investigation and likely to be indicted soon. But Ernie? If he’s guilty he ought to be writing checks to return to those contributors ASAP.

And about Ernie: One has to wonder if these same individuals have contributed to his legal defense fund.

How can so many people suffer from the Steve Henry Syndrome?

Candidates: If you’re not screening the people raising your funds, screening your contributors and verifying every cent you raise– you need to close up shop and walk away right now. This is serious business. And don’t act like it’s too much work because it most certainly is not.

This is shameful. Evidence that we need campaign finance reform now more than ever.

KY Farm Bureau Admits Discrimination, Media Ignores It

Todd Eklof, minister of Clifton Unitarian Church in Louisville, spoke to his congregation in late 2004 about the importance of putting an end to discrimination. He vowed to stop performing marriage and commitment ceremonies for all couples until the anti-gay marriage amendment passed in 2004 is overturned.

Kentucky Farm Bureau (Todd’s employer) didn’t like this stance and fired Eklof shortly thereafter. KFB has claimed in court documents for nearly three years that he was fired for attendance and performance issues, though Eklof has consistently been able to prove (via court documents that are publicly available, No. 05-CI-09390, Jefferson Circuit Court Division 8 ) otherwise. (Read the full story here)

Rev. Eklof’s luck changed in May of this year when Sam Moore, president of KFB at the time of Eklof’s dismissal and a current member of its Board of Directors, admitted under oath that Kentucky Farm Bureau fired Todd Ekloff for being supportive of gay marriage.

Page 29 of the deposition, lines 19 and 20, Moore says in response to the question of why Eklof was terminated, “The marriages, I think. I think that was the main thing.” Click here for the complete deposition.

Sam Moore - KFB Deposition



On September 4, 2007, Eklof sent a press release detailing the admission to every major press outlet in Kentucky. No one covered the story. Not so much as a mention. Kentucky Farm Bureau has one of the largest lobbying entourages in Frankfort and claims to be the “Voice of Kentucky Agriculture” and no one covered the story of admitted discrimination and violation of the Fairness Ordinance.

Where is the mainstream media? Why aren’t the Courier-Journal or Herald-Leader covering this matter? Where are the major television news operations? Why is the story being ignored? Could it have something to do with Kentucky Farm Bureau being one of the largest advertising forces in the state? Are news organizations afraid of losing advertising dollars as a result of coverage? KFB has been known to throw its weight around in the past and it seems likely that the same thing could be happening here. We’ll never know unless the media wakes up.

Further, why is Kentucky Farm Bureau, an organization solely in place to further the interests of farmers and agriculture, advocating against gay marriage in its policies handbook?


KFB Handbook



Everything about this story stinks. We’ll wait to see if the press ever touches it.

Still high on the Kentucky win?

Do they matter? Running mates aren’t really a factor in the race for governor. But Mongiardo’s more popular and has more positives than Rudolph. [H-L]

They want to vote. Some 82% of Kentuckians want the chance to to vote on (against) casino gaming. Ernie’s strategy of ‘casinos = the gays will eat your children’ has sorely backfired. [PolWatchers]

In case you missed it. Kentucky is the talk of the Nation. Namely, everyone’s drive to rid Mitch McConnell of his elected position. The piece about bluegrass grassroots activism opens with the story of Carol Trainer (an activist friend of ours in Louisville) being arrested on Memorial day for protesting the war. We still think Democratic Sheriff John Aubrey owes her an apology for that one. [Nation]

(Lex) VA fails on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Only VA medical center in the country to fail on four points. Things could be changing for the better in 2007. It’s about time the VA and military begin to recognize PTSD and treat it. Better late than never. [H-L]

Rep. John Yarmuth afraid of strippers. Or porn stars. For real– we would be, too! 21C hosted an event with Annie Sprinkle a week ago. She moved her breasts in time to classical music while wearing black opera gloves and folks could get into bed with her. John didn’t attend. [C-J]

Is Jim Bunning delusional? Kentuckians aren’t opposed to the Iraq war? Is he for real? He says very little communication from constituents is about Iraq. We’re beginning to believe the insanity rumors. [Enquirer]

We still need your help.

Again: Can you help us?

Page One is still looking for answers to a few questions. It’s imperative that we get to the bottom of something. We need your help and we’ll be hammering this matter for weeks to come.

We’re trying to locate a male, possibly now in his 40s, who resides in Louisville or the greater Louisville metro area. He’s from the Oldham/Henry/Trimble County area and his family owned Earl Floyd Ford in Bedford in the 1970s. This gentleman was in his twenties in the 1980s and worked in a downtown Louisville parking garage.

Can anyone help us? If you can, please shoot us an e-mail. Confidentiality is a must and we absolutely don’t want a discussion about the specifics in the comments.

If you’re a blogger: please consider posting a link to our plea.