Matt Bevin Gets More Lost By The Day

New TV ads in Kentucky’s race for governor focus not on the candidates but on Democratic President Barack Obama. [H-L]

A bill that critics say would make any significant new regulation all but impossible easily passed the House Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin has no idea who his opponent is. His campaign staff is so incompetent they aren’t even aware of the most basic opposition research. [C-J/AKN]

Civil libertarians are worried about an increasingly common form of domestic surveillance that has nothing to do with listening to your phone calls or reading your emails; it has to do with looking through your garbage. [The Intercept]

When a festival benefits the humane society, you can presume pets are welcome. [Richmond Register]

For seven years, a Wisconsin telecom consultant has waged an unsuccessful legal fight against AT&T, alleging that the company long defrauded a federal program by overcharging the nation’s schools and libraries for Internet and telephone services. Now an appeals court in the District of Columbia has given new life to his case. [ProPublica]

It’s not just Kentucky’s Legislative Research Commission that will pay to settle a sexual harassment suit brought by three LRC staffers. [Ronnie Ellis]

Rather than being an effective manifesto of all the arguments against recognizing same-sex relationships as marriages, it serves as a guide for just how weak this already-lost case is, and why continued fights — including the ongoing struggle over using “religious liberty” to justify anti-gay discrimination — will likely not prevail either. Some extremists in Frankfort have been talking about this book. [ThinkProgress]

Cave City Council met in closed session Monday during a special-called meeting to discuss real estate. Upon returning to open session, a motion was made to purchase “the real estate in question,” but the council voted 3-2 not to buy the land. [Glasgow Daily Times]

On the campaign trail, Jeb Bush has repeatedly emphasized his record overseeing Florida’s boom economy as the state’s governor. He says it’s an example of an economy that created a huge number of jobs and benefited the middle class — an example of what he could do as president. “I know how to do this,” he said in Maitland, Fla., on Monday. But according to interviews with economists and a review of data, Florida owed a substantial portion of its growth under Bush not to any state policies but to a massive and unsustainable housing bubble — one that ultimately benefited rich investors at the expense of middle-class families. [WaPo]

A grand jury has indicted Shepherdsville Mayor Scott Ellis on a misdemeanor criminal charge of solicitation to prostitution on July 28. [WHAS11]

A new study of veterans from the Vietnam War has troubling implications for troops who fought much more recently — in Afghanistan and Iraq. [NPR]

Courthouse Plaza Wednesday flared in the midday heat and fiery chants of a crowd that assembled in downtown Lexington to oppose Planned Parenthood and abortion. [H-L]

Russian government-backed hackers who penetrated high-profile U.S. government and defense industry computers this year used a method combining Twitter with data hidden in seemingly benign photographs, according to experts studying the campaign. [HuffPo]

Thursday Evening Dept Of Awful

Democrats are pulling out the long knives, questioning Bevin’s commitment to agriculture and pressing the theme that Bevin “can’t be trusted.” During a conference call Wednesday morning organized by the Kentucky Democratic Party, one Kentucky farmer even made note of Bevin’s New Hampshire upbringing. [H-L]

Veterans were exposed to toxic chemicals and they’re accusing the VA of dragging its feet. [HuffPo]

West Virginia coal operator Jim Justice, who invited Gov. Steve Beshear to play a round of golf with the great Tiger Woods at Justice’s Greenbrier resort early this month, was the biggest contributor to the Kentucky Democratic Party last month. [C-J/AKN]

Hillary Clinton trails three top Republican presidential candidates in matchups in three key swing states — Iowa, Colorado and Virginia — a new Quinnipiac poll finds. [The Hill]

Rowan County resident Serena Smith has supported Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and her decision not to issue marriage licenses since the day protests began in late June. [Ashland Independent]

Michigan’s Wayne County, home to Detroit, is in a financial emergency due to chronic budget deficits and a big unfunded healthcare liability, a state-appointed review team announced on Tuesday. [Reuters]

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green, met Monday with constituents at a Glasgow restaurant. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Missouri cattle farmer Greg Fleshman became so concerned about keeping his local hospital open that in 2011 he joined its governing board. “I mean they’ve saved my dad’s life twice,” Fleshman says. “He had a heart attack and a stroke and they life-flighted him out of here both times.” Keeping the doors open at Putnam County Memorial Hospital in Unionville, Mo., seemed crucial to the community — but maybe an impossible task. [NPR]

Turns out Greg Fischer has another director-level hire with a drinking and driving in their city vehicle problem. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Though most states are slowing their emissions, the report shows eight states moving in the opposite direction, each seeing an increase in its emissions rate between 2008 and 2015. They include Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, Nebraska, Utah, Idaho and Alaska. [Climate Central]

The Casey County Fiscal Court says homophobic County Clerk Casey Davis is wrong. May be behind a paywall but the headline and sub-head will tell you everything you need to know. [Casey County News]

Logically, Iraqi refugees shouldn’t exist, according to Sen. Rand Paul, because the United States already “won” the Iraq War. In an interview with Boston Herald Radio this week, Paul attempted to justify why he wanted to restrict the number of refugees the United States takes in, particularly from certain areas of the world like the Middle East. [ThinkProgress]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court unanimously voted Tuesday to seek closure of Big Run Landfill. [More Ashland Independent]

With a little over one week left before funding for the nation’s transportation infrastructure dries up, the Senate has reached a deal on a multiyear bill, parting ways with the House. However, the bill immediately hit some bumps. [HuffPo]

Please accept my apologies for the caching issue that made the site appear to have stopped publication on July 16. Everything should be getting back to normal. If not, clear your browser’s cache and you should be good to go. [Jake]

Beshear Pushed Those Talking Points

Yesterday we criticized the Kentucky Democratic Party for getting petty with right-wing extremist Whitney Westerfield. Instead of hitting the Republican candidate for Attorney General on his voting record (hellurrrr? have you seen it?!), the KDP chose to run with unimportant matters from his early days as an attorney. Most people will never remember it.

But here’s how that ad came to be…

Roughly a month ago, Andy Beshear’s campaign shopped those talking points around to anyone who would listen. Campaign staffers demanded they not be identified as the source of the information, though. They were super-nervous about it.

The Herald-Leader turned it down.

The Courier-Journal turned it down.

A Democratic strategist (female, attorney based in Louisville) tried to pay me to run the story. I turned it down and you know I wanted her money to buy a bunch of Lemon Oreos.

Most everyone turned it down because it’s petty bullshit from a decade ago. Most everyone recognized that the Beshear Camp wanted a story to hit so they could use it as source material for a television spot. All without being fingered for slinging mud that isn’t even that muddy. No one would bite.

Until CN|Toot did what no one else thought was worthy of their time. Bam, you got that slightly funny and borderline homophobic/transphobic/whatever teevee spot. Wasting cash that other Democratic candidates desperately need to win in November. While leaving a bad taste in the mouth of anyone capable of spotting homophobia (or whatever you want to call it) from a mile away.

Don’t want to focus too much on CN|Toot because we’ve all been there. We’ve all been desperate for a story, desperate to develop a working relationship, desperate for eyes. Because this is really about Andy Beshear and his campaign. This incident speaks purely to his character and the tone he wants to set as the Commonwealth’s top law enforcement officer, top lawyer, top dog on the food chain.

Andy Beshear is likely to win in November. Most Republicans I’ve spoken with seem to think he’s gonna pull off a victory. But he’s setting an unfortunate precedent at a time when Kentucky is in desperate need of fresh, clean leadership. He is not offering fresh, clean anything.

I mean… you know it’s some b.s. when someone like me — with an established history of despising Whitney Westerfield — comes to his defense. No longer have much of a gag reflex (get it? throwing that out there for Kent Ostrander) but come on.

This is so dumb.

KDP Pushes Plan Of Personal Destruction, Ignores Issues

Sure, Whitney Westerfield is a disaster waiting to happen:

But what’s next? Attacking him for not being able to have a child biologically? NOTE: Dems have attempted to nudge us to attack Westerfiend because he and his wife adopted a child. How low is that? Even went so far as to claim he photoshopped an image of the child to appear white (he didn’t). Just plain disgusting stuff.

Come on, Democrats.

Hit him on his right-wing extremism, his homophobia, his anti-woman stances, the way he looks upon the poor, his xenophobia, his hatred of the natural environment.

This politics of personal destruction nonsense kick that KDP has been on the past few is bizarre and the opposite of progress.

It’s a funny spot but it’s why Kentucky can’t have nice things.

Too Much Gay To Handle This Early

If this is the worst thing Kentucky Democrats can come up with, they probably ought to just hand over the governor’s mansion. [H-L]

Kim Davis is officially a national embarrassment. [HuffPo]

The U.S. Army has spared Fort Knox in plans announced Thursday to cut it ranks by 40,000 troops as it downsizes from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and responds to budget constraints — and in fact the post will gain 67 soldiers. [C-J/AKN]

There’s reason to celebrate declines in deaths from colon cancer in the United States — unless you live in three areas that are still lagging behind, a new report finds. Hint: This is bad news for Kentucky. [CBS News]

Based on the first and middle names of the parties, Madison County Clerk Kenny Barger said Wednesday he believes his office has issued 12 marriage licenses for same-sex couples. [Richmond Register]

The Obama administration on Wednesday issued a new rule requiring cities to look for racial bias in their housing practices as part of a push to make neighborhoods more racially integrated. [Reuters]

Here’s yet another story about those homophobic, gay-panicked clerks. Nearly half of the state’s 120 county clerks are petitioning the governor for a special session to address “the religious liberty issue” regarding the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses, according to The Family Foundation in Lexington. [Ashland Independent]

Documenting the water crisis in the West, a photographer confronts distress, beauty and man’s complicity. [ProPublica]

The first marriage license issued in Barren County to a same-sex couple went to two Glasgow women who were married Wednesday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Nearly every headline about the U.S. government’s new report on polar bears echoes gloom and doom. [ThinkProgress]

See video of the failure here. Casey Davis, a Kentucky clerk of court who wants the state to issue marriage licenses online so he doesn’t have to, met with Gov. Steve Beshear Thursday to make his pitch in person. [WKYT]

Heroin use in the US has surged in the past decade as experts say people using opioid painkillers are increasingly turning to heroin as a cheaper high. [BBC]

Steve Beshear told Casey County Clerk Casey Davis Thursday that he should issue marriage licenses to every qualified person or resign. [H-L]

A bill to fund the Department of the Interior stalled Thursday after Republicans tried to add an amendment that would protect the Confederate flag in national cemeteries. [HuffPo]

Why Rand Will Never Be President…

Despite criticism from some city commissioners, Frankfort Mayor Bill May intends to pursue an independent investigation into the capital city’s police department in the wake of an ongoing investigation into a bourbon theft/steroid trafficking ring. [H-L]

The stupid is on high with presidential candidates. Mike Huckabee joined the growing pack of 2016 presidential candidates skeptical about climate science on Sunday. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Democratic Party benefited from a jolt of new out-of-state contributors in May – 14 executives of AT&T who combined gave $12,550 to the party in this crucial gubernatorial election year. [C-J/AKN]

GCHQ’s covert surveillance of two international human rights groups was illegal, the judicial tribunal responsible for handling complaints against the intelligence services has ruled. [The Guardian]

Members of the Richmond City Commission argued about funding for employee benefits and economic development in a Tuesday morning work session. But, they were all smiles in a called session Friday afternoon when the 2015-16 budget was adopted on final reading. [Richmond Register]

Many of the quotes attributed to the Founding Fathers in two of Rand Paul’s books are either fake, misquoted, or taken entirely out of context. [BuzzFeed]

Barren County Fiscal Court unanimously decided in a special-called meeting Friday to go back to the county’s former health insurance agent of record, Pedigo-Lessenberry Insurance Agency. [Glasgow Daily Times]

With the release of his encyclical “Laudato Si” on Thursday, Pope Francis made headlines for recognizing the threat of human-caused climate change. But the encyclical also called attention to the world’s oceans, affirming just how vital they are to “our common home.” [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky gubernatorial candidates Matt Bevin and Jack Conway lobbed barbs in their first joint public appearance on Friday. [WFPL]

The US State Department says the number of terror attacks around the world rose by a third in 2014 compared with the previous year. [BBC]

The Lexington Humane Society is asking for the public’s help in replacing their air conditioning unit. [WAVE3]

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Monday that the Confederate flag near the state Capitol should be moved, reversing an earlier position she had held and adding a powerful voice to the growing chorus of calls for the flag’s removal. [WaPo]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said Monday that police are working hard to determine what was behind multiple shootings Sunday night during a basketball tournament at Douglass Park. [H-L]

We’re looking at you, Rand Paul, because you’ve known about this guy for ages. The leader of a white supremacist group cited by Charleston church murder suspect Dylann Roof made $65,000 in donations to Republicans, including several to Republican presidential candidates, The Guardian newspaper reported Sunday night.[HuffPo & TPM]

Fun Matt Bevin Conference Call Stuff

Or, how the Kentucky Democratic Party and Jack Conway couldn’t keep their immediate plans quiet.

Because on Monday, Matt Bevin’s campaign held a conference call. While, according to individuals on the call, it was disorganized? They were still aware (they contacted us several days before the ethics thing hit) of what the Dems were up to and held lengthy discussions about how to deal with the story the Dems pushed this week regarding Bevin.

In addition to rehashing issues that arose during the U.S. Senate primary last year, of course.

Come on, Dems. Stop allowing Bevin to get a heads-up. Stop giving him time to prepare.

Yes, absolutely, it’s still funny (scary?) watching his messy campaign struggle to respond either way. It’s much more fun to watch when the group is blindsided.

If we have to suffer through this gubernatorial campaign in the unbearable Kentucky humidity [we’d insert a bunch of teabagger jokes here… but it’s Friday]… the least you folks can do is provide the absolute best in campaign laughs.

Fun stuff: Bevin’s campaign is such a hot mess that it allegedly has no contact people named for any counties, only has campaign material printed with the May 19 primary date and has no plans to order new material until much later.