Yep, Bevin Tried To Bully Reporters

Because he’s still bitter about political government transparency.

And Ronnie Ellis brought the heat again.

Here he is saying what too many in Kentucky media are afraid to say:

Reporters aren’t at the top of Gov. Matt Bevin’s Christmas card list.

Nothing unusual about politicians who think life would be simpler without troublesome reporters. But most don’t go out of their way to poke the bear in the eye.

As Bevin sat down with reporters Tuesday afternoon for an embargoed preview of the budget he was to present to lawmakers, he first lectured us.


“And I’ll tell you this,” Bevin began. “We’re at the front end of the four years of working with each other and a lot of what that looks like and how it works will be determined by each of you.

“I’ll be very honest before we even start,” Bevin continued. “The amount of ink and time and energy that has been spent on rumors and – idiocy, frankly – is remarkable to me. And you’re better than that. You truly are.


“But truth be told,” to use one of his overused — and some would say ironic — phrases, Bevin isn’t very good with reporters.

As I listened Tuesday, I thought about the irony of a lecture on “professionalism” from someone whose ever-changing accounts of past actions and statements during the campaign created legitimate credibility problems with reporters.


Tuesday I also wondered if Bevin has heard the cliché about arguing with people who buy ink by the barrel.

Trust me when I say you’ll want to read the entire thing. Scathing for a journalist in Kentucky.

An example of why we believe Ellis is and always will be one of the best.

Let’s All Hang Our Heads For Rand

An oversight office and union organizations are challenging bankrupt Alpha Natural Resources’ proposal to give bonuses of up to $11.9 million to top employees even as it seeks to cut health and insurance benefits to some retirees. [H-L]

That awkward moment when your dad thinks your rival will best you in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) must have been pretty bummed when his father, former Congressman Ron Paul, admitted that it’s likely Donald Trump will become the GOP’s candidate for president. [HuffPo]

PEE ALERT! Louisville Metro Councilman Dan Johnson said he will file the necessary paperwork on Thursday to challenge state Rep. Denny Butler, the first Democratic member of the Kentucky House of Representatives to switch parties leading up to the 2016 legislative session. [C-J/AKN]

Look what’s happening in West Virginia with cable companies opposing broadband expansion. Unless they directly profit, of course. You can expect the same sort of freakout here in the Commonwealth once Google Fiber makes it to Louisville and the rest of the state starts get a whiff of it. [Charleston Gazette-Mail]

You can’t even live in an apartment in Lexington these days without getting shot. [WKYT]

The Navy on Wednesday launched its first carrier strike group powered partly by biofuel — a mix made from beef fat — calling it a milestone toward easing the military’s reliance on foreign oil. [The Hill]

Drunken drivers would have to wait 10 years for convictions to come off their records under a bill that cleared the state Senate on Wednesday, potentially increasing the number of repeat offenders and adding to the state’s local jail population. [Richmond Register]

Air quality regulators agreed on Wednesday to scrap a proposal to capture and burn off some of the methane spewing into the air from a subterranean pipeline rupture that has forced thousands of Los Angeles residents from their homes since October. [Reuters]

The Republican leader of the Senate warned state lawmakers Wednesday not to expect “a very pretty” budget proposal from new Republican Gov. Matt Bevin next week. [Ronnie Ellis]

Companies that have found a niche taking Obama-style digital campaigns to Europe fear a data dispute could sour their prospects. [Politico]

The Glasgow Daily Times filed a complaint with Glasgow’s mayor Wednesday, protesting the fact that a portion of a Monday evening disciplinary hearing for a police sergeant was closed to the public. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Kevin Schiller had no idea what hit him. With 21 years on the job, the building engineer for Macy’s department stores had been in and out of every nook and cranny of many of the retail giant’s Texas stores, including the storage room in the Macy’s in Denton, Texas. [NPR]

Can you believe that PeckrePointe mess is still going on in Lexington after all these years? [H-L]

Sarah The Quitter Palin gets dumber by the minute. You already knew that. This is just a reminder. [HuffPo]

Stay Safe During The Snowpocalypse!

Matt Bevin is asking state workers for their input on his budget plan. So he can promptly ignore their concerns. [H-L]

Vice President Joe Biden got visibly heated while discussing the importance of LGBT rights on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

Louisville has been dealing with this stupid mess for years. The JBS pork processing plant in Butchertown stepped out in front by agreeing to make sure all trucks using its large parking lot be equipped with California-compliant refrigeration units that limit soot and other toxic exhaust from burning diesel fuel. [C-J/AKN]

A BBC journalist with dual British-Iranian nationality has been prevented from flying to the US after falling foul of changes to visa rules. [BBC]

White ones, black ones, polkadot or pink ones, the Dressing Room doesn’t care, just as long as they can help residents in need. [Ashland Independent]

Big spending by campaigns and super PACs has clearly not translated into front-runner status for either Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, according to the latest data on cumulative advertising buys. [Politico]

Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty said he will decide by the end of business Friday whether to sustain the recommendation of the police chief he hired last year and fire a Glasgow Police Department sergeant who is charged with several administrative violations, all related to a seminude photo and text message exchange between two other officers that were later sent to him. [Glasgow Daily Times]

While Amnesty’s latest report doesn’t necessarily rule out the Peshmerga as reliable allies, it might cast a gray cloud over American’s political pandering. [ThinkProgress]

Just a reminder of what Julie Raque Adams has been doing to poor women in Kentucky. While she flits about Frankfort talking about how great she is for wealthy, Republican women? Poor people are suffering as a direct consequense of her imposing her antiquated religious beliefs on the Commonwealth. [Page One]

Attorney General Loretta Lynch defended President Obama’s recent executive actions on guns Wednesday in the face of fierce Republican criticism. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s state parks are offering assistance during the winter storm to people who may be stranded or otherwise need lodging. [WKYT & Press Releases]

Demonstrators from the Black Lives Matter movement interrupted the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ meeting on Wednesday, protesting the killing of a Chicago teenager by police and the lead-tainted water supply of Flint, Michigan. [Reuters]

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a bill that would crack down on Syrian and Iraqi refugees coming to the U.S. as the debate turned into a referendum on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his policies. [H-L]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… Researchers are now pretty certain there’s a ninth planet in the solar system. [HuffPo]

Tuesday Evening Dept Of Bitterness

Once again, bills have been filed in the Kentucky legislature that would provide a one-time death benefit to help the survivors of fallen employees of emergency medical services. The state pays a lump sum to the families of firefighters and police officers who die in the line of duty, but not to the survivors of EMS workers. Survivors of paramedics in Lexington are eligible for the benefits because they are part of the fire department. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton’s plan to stem her slide against Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary began to come into clear focus Sunday night in the fourth Democratic debate. [HuffPo]

A Jefferson County Public Schools board member is once again calling for the closure of the school that falls in the shadow of one of Kentucky’s largest coal-fired power plants and Louisville biggest source of industrial emissions. [C-J/AKN]

On Friday, the Obama administration announced a halt to new coal leases on federal land. In Wyoming, most of the federally-owned coal mines and revenue from coal leases pays for school construction. [NPR]

The McConathy Farm Rescue Team has rescued nearly 60 horses to date and recently took in seven horses between the ages of two and 10 from a farm in Lawrenceburg. [WKYT]

The Taliban were threatening on Tuesday to capture three key strategic districts in Afghanistan’s province of Helmand as fierce fighting with government forces stoked fears over the Islamist insurgents’ gains in their traditional heartland. [Reuters]

High pension liabilities were discussed during the presentation of the City of Ashland 2015 fiscal year audit — a problem cities all over Kentucky are having, according to officials. [Ashland Independent]

When news broke today that Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian would be freed from his longstanding imprisonment from Iran, it came as a welcome surprise to many reporters. But not, apparently, to some journalists at The Huffington Post, CNN, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. [Poynter]

Morehead State President Wayne Andrews lifted his Powerball ticket in the air and joked with faculty that he’d only retire if he owned the winning lottery digits. Andrews extinguished rumors he’s leaving the university and strategized ways to circumvent potential budget cuts on Wednesday during the 2016 MSU Spring Convocation at Button Auditorium. [The Morehead News]

A former Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden and wrote a bestselling book about the raid is now the subject of a widening federal criminal investigation into whether he used his position as an elite commando for personal profit while on active duty, according to two people familiar with the case. [The Intercept]

“I’m not here to lecture you,” said Beth Nimmo, the mother of slain Columbine High School student Rachel Scott, speaking to students at Knox Central High School on Friday, “I’m just here to talk to you as a mother…and I hope you can use this as an opportunity to step away from something that may be harmful to you, a mindset, an activity, or whatever that may be.” [Richmond Register]

Candidates for the Democratic race for the White House have clashed on gun control and healthcare in their liveliest TV debate so far. [BBC]

The National Book Critics Circle will honor famed Kentucky author Wendell Berry with a lifetime achievement awards and has named Lexington poet Ada Limón as one of 30 finalists in six categories for outstanding books of 2015, the group announced Monday. [H-L]

A group of Americans who went missing over the weekend in Iraq were kidnapped from their interpreter’s home in Baghdad, according to an Iraqi government intelligence official. [HuffPo]

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How Is Jim Ramsey Still In A Job?

Your support is crucial if you want to see us continue. While other media outlets ignore scandals like those in Montgomery County, we’re shining the bright lights of transparency on issues that directly impact you across the Commonwealth. Love us or hate us, we’re putting in the time and effort to spend years reporting on issues from the pension crisis to government-sanctioned animal cruelty to educational corruption and we get real results. [Help Us!]

With his first year as U.S. Senate Majority Leader drawing to a close, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that “by any objective standard, we’ve had a year of significant accomplishments.” [H-L]

The Department of Justice helped kill a bill intended to enhance transparency and refuses to release records on its efforts to block the legislation, the Freedom of the Press Foundation claims in court. [HuffPo]

It’s almost like Jim Ramsey is being purposefully more terrible than usual in order to set Jerry Abramson up to take over. Ramsey is making Abramson look less terrible. [C-J/AKN]

Kern County, California, where 95 percent of the state’s fracking takes place, is getting sued over a recent decision that did away with public notice and environmental review for oil and gas permits for the next 20 years. [ThinkProgress]

Undergraduates at Eastern Kentucky University and at colleges and universities throughout the Commonwealth now have another venue to showcase their scholarly and creative work. [Richmond Register]

For years, Jammie Nichols struggled with a drug habit that left the Florida mother reeling from blackouts, seizures, depression and poverty – and a decision to give one of her children up for adoption. [Reuters]

AK Steel Ashland Works will begin a four-phased mass layoff that will affect 633 at one of the region’s largest employers. [Ashland Independent]

The number of executions in the US in 2015 is the lowest in nearly 25 years, new figures reveal. [BBC]

The City of Glasgow’s budget is roughly where it would be expected at this point in the fiscal year, according to general figures provided at a meeting of the city council’s finance committee on Wednesday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

ObamaCare advocates are growing fearful that several key taxes frozen in Wednesday’s budget deal will never go into effect. [The Hill]

The Community Soup Kitchen will feed more than 1,000 persons next week, if enough volunteers show up to help with the Christmas dinner. [The Morehead News]

Academic learning is usually in the spotlight at school, but teaching elementary-age students “soft” skills like self-control and social skills might help in keeping at-risk kids out of criminal trouble in the future, a study finds. [NPR]

Lexington is so terrible that your kids are just straight up gonna be abducted at school. [H-L]

Apparently the deficit hawks flew south for the winter. At least that’s the conclusion that could be drawn from looking at the price tag for the package of bills unveiled early Wednesday morning to keep the government running and extend a bunch of tax breaks, many permanently. [HuffPo]

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Another Day, Another Bad Pension Story

The bad public pension news kept coming Wednesday, as the ailing Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System announced a $24.4 billion unfunded liability for 2015, up from $21.5 billion in 2014. If Kentucky devoted the next two-year state budget in its entirety to closing the gap between what KTRS has and what it owes its future retirees, it still would fall short. [H-L]

Dozens of people were killed in fighting at the airport in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar after an overnight attack by Taliban insurgents while a key district in neighboring Helmand province fell to the insurgents, officials said on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

Amid intensifying fears of terrorism and political calls to halt Syrian refugee resettlement, Louisville faith leaders gathered Tuesday to oppose those calls and show support for refugees. [C-J/AKN]

In an era of ever-shrinking statehouse coverage, one small chain of 130 suburban and small town newspapers is taking a few steps in the opposite direction. [CJR]

Great move on Matt Bevin’s part, maybe? Today, Governor Matt Bevin announced that State Representative John Tilley of Hopkinsville will serve as Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. Tilley is a former prosecutor who is nationally recognized for his work on criminal justice reform and drug policy. [Press Release]

A majority of U.S. young adults support sending ground troops to fight Islamic State militants, though fewer than on ein five would be willing to serve themselves, according to a Harvard University poll released on Thursday. [Reuters]

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has its legislative priorities for the upcoming session, many of which were items the chamber has been advocating for a number of years. [Richmond Register]

The Ku Klux Klan is using Donald Trump as a talking point in its outreach efforts. Stormfront, the most prominent American white supremacist website, is upgrading its servers in part to cope with a Trump traffic spike. And former Louisiana Rep. David Duke reports that the businessman has given more Americans cover to speak out loud about white nationalism than at any time since his own political campaigns in the 1990s. [Politico]

William Twyman of Cave City, former assistant superintendent of the Glasgow Independent School System, as well as a former principal and teacher for the school system, was elected vice chairman Wednesday of the Kentucky School Board Association. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Perhaps it was fitting. Donald Trump was touting his (now globally famous) proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. — and he was standing onstage at an event commemorating Pearl Harbor. [NPR]

At least four businesses in Montgomery County were raided Wednesday as part of a federal investigation. [WKYT]

During oral arguments in a pivotal affirmative action case on Wednesday morning, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia raised the suggestion that African American students might belong at less rigorous schools than their white peers and that perhaps the University of Texas should have fewer black students in its ranks. [Mother Jones]

After the recession of 2008, Kentucky lawmakers tried to protect K-12 schools from direct spending cuts, instead taking funding from other state agencies. [H-L]

Besieged Islamic State militants in the Iraqi city of Ramadi destroyed a lock on the Euphrates River that served as a bridge as government forces on Wednesday sought to cement their gains around the militant-held city west of Baghdad. [HuffPo]

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Bevin’s Gonna Magically Fix Everything

The Lexington Urban County Council voted unanimously Thursday to send a resolution to the state General Assembly supporting a 2 percent hotel and motel tax increase to pay for a $250 million overhaul and expansion of the downtown convention enter. [H-L]

The Senate voted on Wednesday to pass an overhaul of No Child Left Behind called the Every Student Succeeds Act. The move comes after the House of Representatives voted to pass the overhaul last week, and over eight years after the No Child Left Behind Act originally expired in 2007. [HuffPo]

Sworn in Tuesday as the commonwealth’s 62nd governor, Matthew Griswold Bevin called for Kentuckians to band together to fix the problems that keep the state ranked near the bottom in numerous areas. [C-J/AKN]

The top two Republican leaders in Congress on Tuesday denounced Donald Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States in a remarkable rebuke of the party’s presidential front-runner. [The Hill]

Rowan Fiscal Court on Tuesday had a special called meeting to negotiate a sale price for the Rowan County Detention Center and discuss the future of the old Sunnybrook golf course. [The Morehead News]

VICE News reporter and author Jason Leopold sometimes goes by another title: “FOIA terrorist.” Coined by a government official annoyed by the number of Freedom of Information Act requests Leopold had filed, the investigative journalist has proudly reclaimed the description and its bearing on his work by requesting documents from every imaginable government agency. [ProPublica]

At one time city officials thought the building across the street from city hall could easily be renovated so it could serve both as a senior citizen center and a maintenance facility, but now they have learned that renovation is not an option. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Turd Cruz invited a right-wing radio host to testify on climate science and he gave this insane rant. [ThinkProgress]

Erupting volcanos, rocket balloons and rotting meats were just some of the unusual science projects presented at Catlettsburg Elementary School Tuesday morning. [Ashland Independent]

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said he will never leave the 2016 race despite increasing calls for him to step aside. [BBC]

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The misery began around 4:30 a.m. with the sound of my 7-year-old thumping into the hallway. He had already been up once, complaining of a stomachache. This time, I scrambled out of bed and shushed him so he wouldn’t wake up his 2-year-old brother. He looked at me and moaned. Then he puked all over the floor. [NPR]

A University of Kentucky faculty group has penned an open letter to UK President Eli Capilouto urging him to look beyond a controversial mural to larger issues of race and inclusion. [H-L]

The U.S. Supreme Court split bitterly on the issue of affirmative action in public universities on Wednesday, casting doubt on whether considering race in college admissions will remain legal much longer. [HuffPo]