Finger Pointing on Medco

Let’s point some fingers:

Louisville and the rest of Kentucky lost out on a major new employer because the Kentucky Pharmacy Board flat out failed to move on a regulation that would have made it possible for Medco Health Solutions Inc. to bring 1,300 jobs to the city. Instead, those jobs are going to Indiana, despite the fact that Kentucky’s incentive package was better ($30 million vs. $18.5 million). Pharmacy Board Executive Director Mike Burleson, according to the C-J, “didn’t realize how fast Medco needed the board to act.”

Burleson, appointed to his position in 2004 by Gov. Ernie Fletcher, told the C-J he wanted to protect the safety of patients. That was an extremely weak excuse, in the face of evidence to the contrary, for Kentucky’s slow pace in changing regulations that would have permitted Medco to operate here. Indiana’s board made the changes quickly without controversy.

Fletcher deserves some blame here, too. While Indiana’s Mitch Daniels was personally involved in negotiating with the company, Fletcher never talked with company officials. Expect more evidence of Fletcher gubernatorial incompetence to be made public, given that Fletcher spent the last year of his term fighting for his political life.

The Medco efforts by Kentucky economic development officials, it seems, were exemplary. It was an opportunity that doesn’t come along often, and Kentucky blew it, after a year’s effort, because of the incompetent actions of the Pharmacy Board.

Steve Beshear’s economic development message, during the campaign, was that too many incentives were being given to out-of-state companies, that the state needs to develop more in-state companies. That’s not the right solution, either. Beshear needs to make sure that this kind of mistake doesn’t happen during his watch. It’s a leadership issue. Daniels is a better leader than Fletcher. Indiana won. Kentucky lost. The contest was more important than any college rivalry.

Let’s hope Beshear replaces Burleson as E.D. of the Pharmacy Board, and insists that state government agencies get with the economic development program. When mistakes of this magnitude occur, heads must roll.

Rumors on the Internets: The News

She’s just a working girl. Heh. Julie McPeak, a Democrat and Fletcher panderer, is looking for a job. And is apparently afraid of Steve Beshear. [H-L]

Nothing slips by David Hawpe– unless it bores him. Fortunately, Mitch McConnell’s tripe about the MoveOn ad isn’t something that got by. He reminds us that Mitch’s poop actually stinks. Should also point out that McConnell’s disapproval rating is at an all-time high among Democrats in Kentucky. [C-J, DMKY]

The Hispanic business community catches on to Bunning’s ignorance, recognizes the importance of not giving any president unlimited power in preventing the truth to come out. [HB]

Evil liberals are evil for wanting evil health care for those who need it most. Apparently, providing care 99% of the free world provides is the downfall of society and the reason our country is going bankrupt. It has nothing to do, of course, with the trillions of dollars of debt the Bush administration has racked up. [KY Progress]

Polar ice caps aren’t melting– it’s made-up! At least that’s what a strong majority (62%) of those who approve of McConnell believe. Can’t let science get in the way of ignorance and hating the gays. When we grow up we want to base our political ideology on a knee-jerk reaction to a single issue, too! [SUSA]

Getting Something Right

Fletcher, Kentucky and the Appalachian Regional Commission finally get something right. We’re finally offering grants to develop adventure tourism in Eastern Kentucky!

The state is making $623,000 available for grants of about $20,000 each for counties to generate so-called adventure tourism, Gov. Ernie Fletcher announced Tuesday. The money can be used to plan facilities.

The tactic was adopted after a study by Pros Consulting of Dallas showed increased spending on such tourism in Eastern Kentucky could generate 132,000 new visitors annually and $54 million to $99 million in economic impact. The ventures could create as many as 1,500 jobs.

We are absolutely shocked (SHOCKED!) that the Commonwealth is recognizing what a gem we have in the Appalachian region.

Having been involved (Jake) in a long-term community development project with the Brushy Fork Institute in the 90s, we can say first-hand that adventure tourism in the Appalachians works. A group from Fayette County West Virginia developed a similar plan in their region that was met with great success.

Click Here to read the report.

Don’t blink! It’s Friday

Making a difference at home. Battling drug abuse just got a little easier in Pike County. Following on the heels of Hal Rogers’ Operation UNITE, the Office of Drug Control Policy has been established and it’s the first in the state. Communities are waking up to reality. [News-Express]

Sickening. From the WTF Dept. Modern-day slavery right at home. Human trafficking in Kentucky? Yeah. For real. [C-J]

Our thoughts are with Justice Mac. Kentucky’s first African American supreme court justice succumbs to cancer. [C-J]

Throwing jobs away. Kentucky’s jobless rate in July rose quite a bit. According to statistics, 1,200 jobs alone were lost in the educational and health services sector. Yeah, the economy’s golden! [C-J]