Opportunistic Politics?

In light of the recent West End (in Louisville) decision to ban all alcohol sales (Hello, prohibition!), we’re republishing this piece in full from our sister site The ‘Ville Voice.

The wet-dry vote in western Louisville got plenty of media exposure for Cheri Bryant Hamilton of the Metro Council, whose district included the four affected precincts near Shawnee High School. Even before the vote was final, Mary Woolridge and Judy Green of neighboring districts were speculating about precincts upon which they could force a similar vote. It’s a pretty simple process — just get some signatures on petitions, force the vote, and shut down any business that doesn’t fly with your sense of moral values.

The logic in this case seems to be that if you can eliminate liquor sales, then crime problems will naturally go away. Both Woolridge and Green plan to have town hall meetings to discuss the issue as early as October in Districts 1 and 3. Some residents have said they’re frustrated with the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control office, which too easily grants liquor licenses, in their view.

“They were waiting to see how it turned out (in Shawnee) to see if they would go forward,” said Tony Hyatt, the Metro Council spokesperson.

Don’t be surprised if this becomes a raison d’etre for some Council members. Now that the body has figured out the popularity of banning nudity, smoking, dogs and…coming soon: trans fat, it won’t be long before more sinful activities get the boot. Maybe the Council could get some mileage from opposing gambling. That one’s not working too well for Ernie Fletcher, but if you could restrict to a precinct, it only takes a few hundred votes to win.

The Metro Council’s vision of civic duty seems to be moving toward removing from your life options that could potentially harm you, and it’s playing well with voters. Stephen George, in this week’s LEO, points out the dangers in having politicians making decisions to restrict your choices.

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If you’re completely in awe of the decision to ban the sale of alcohol in just one precinct in the state’s largest city– here are the full details from the Courier-Journal.

Coming up: The Intrepid Reporter tells the voters in District 5 what they’ve done.

Oh Snap Monday

Selling the GOP. Kentucky’s own Republican insider, Mike Duncan, is the latest Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Turns out he’s having a tough time developing a high profile even though he’s buds with Mitch McConnell. And Larry Forgy doesn’t like him. [H-L]

Try, try, try. Roger Alford tells the world about the downfall of Ernest Lee and his campaign to rid of the world of casinos. Steve Beshear makes an appearance but it’s not substantive. [AP]

More incorrect tripe. Malia Rulon still thinks Insight won’t be airing the anti-McConnell ads. She says she’s a Washington insider. Maybe someone should tell her? [Enquirer]

Remember Jim Bunning? The guy who freaks his shit anytime he hears the name “Osama”? The guy who said Daniel Mongiardo was a limp-wristed homosexualizer? Yeah? Joe Gerth remembers him and tells us all about how him not rushing to judge Wide Stance Larry Craig. Wonder if Jim could get any crazier? [C-J]

Ugh. MORE gamling. Apparently the horse racing industry is luring people away from Kentucky because the rewards are greater– thanks to casino gambling. We’ll be glad when this horse race is over so we don’t have to hear about it again. [KY Kurmudgeon]

Can YOU help us? Let’s see if you can. Your help is greatly needed.

101 Ways to Read the News

Fletcher switching gears? Ronnie Ellis suggests Ernest Lee could be moving on to social issues like Jesus, abortion, guns and THE GAYS. OMG!!11! The gays are coming! The gubnuh will save us! [Richmond Register]

Performance and transparency are a bitch. Kentucky Auditor Crit Luallen released a– get this– an audit (of all things) of the High-Tech Construction Pool and High-Tech Investment Pool. While the groups are allegedly funding quality projects? A commission established to monitor the effectiveness of new economic programs has not met since 2003. [Auditor]

Not surprising. The C-J reports home foreclosures in Kentucky will hit record highs. Jefferson County is projected to have 3,125 foreclosure auctions ordered by judges this year, up from last year’s record of 2,710. Bush’s economy is just wonderful. [C-J]

McConnell screws college kids again. The senator was one of just 11 Republicans voting against bringing down college costs. The College Cost Reduction Act of 2007 is the largest student aid investment since the GI Bill. The bill, which McConnell opposed, offers a debt forgiveness program that benefits nurses, teachers and law enforcement. [DSCC]

Almost got the story correct. Joe Gerth reports on the Insight-McConnell matter. He missed that Insight has contributed more than $17,000 to McConnell (far greater than the $10K he quotes). McConnell’s staff still insists that it matters that the iPod-like audio devices shipped to Afghanistan used encrypted audio files. It may come as a surprise to some non-geeks, but, uh, nearly all portable audio players– especially the iPod– use encrypted audio and it has no bearing on what the devices were used for. [C-J]

News that’s slipped by

Ernie freaks out, tells Stumbo the law isn’t the law. Apparently, violating the law (however controversial said law may be) in a partisan hack sort of way makes the law null and void. Greg’s taking him to court over the university trustee snafu. Let’s follow the law for a change, eh? [H-L]

The General came to Kentucky. Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, told a group of WWII vets in Louisville yesterday that we shouldn’t rule out bringing back the draft but said recruiting is sufficient to keep the military afloat. Pace neglected to mention that the draft wouldn’t just be about replenishing the rank and file. It’s also about forcing Americans to think about and deal with the situation at hand. If more than the poor had to fight, maybe we’d resolve this clusterfuck before 2050. [C-J]

Attempting to curb the power of corruption. Steve Beshear unveiled a proposal to limit a governor’s power to issue blanket pardons and make appointments to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission. Ernie Fletcher is, needless to say, pissed. [C-J]

Following up on a story we did last month. A judge has ordered the status quo on liquor sales until a suit on the retardo Gallatin County liquor ban can be heard. Businesses will be allowed to continue selling alcohol on Sundays until October 29. Note that elected officials in Gallatin County were afraid to speak about the issue. Where are you, Kenny French? We hear you’re playing both sides of the aisle. [Enquirer]

Breaking: AIPAC Fundraiser Moved

LEO‘s Managing Editor Stephen George just confirmed that Jewish Hospital has decided not to host the September 10th AIPAC fundraiser featuring controversial figure Dan Senor. Senor is affiliated with Fox News and the group Vets for Freedom.

A source with Jewish Hospital revealed to Page One earlier today that many physicians were upset about being invited to the event and expressed concern about its location. Though not confirmed, one surgical group allegedly threatened to cancel surgeries in protest.

Barbara Mackovich, spokesperson for Jewish Hospital, told George the event will instead be hosted at the Louisville home of Bill Yarmuth.

Yarmuth is the brother of U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY 3) and is CEO & President of the health care company Almost Family.

AIPAC Update

LEO (yes, we’re on a LEO kick today) published a story we initially broke about a Jewish Hospital-approved & hosted AIPAC fundraiser.

The final graph of the story is most interesting:

Barbara Mackovich, spokeswoman for Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Healthcare, said the nonprofit hospital has no political agenda, has never hosted a political event*, and is renting the group space to conduct its fundraiser**. She said the conference center is used for a variety of gatherings.

* Never hosted a political event? Hrm. Guess that explains away the multitude of political events we’ve been to that were hosted by, you guessed it, Jewish Hospital and the Jewish Hospital Foundation.

** Renting the space to AIPAC? Must be a huge, huge coincidence that the only invitees to the event happen to be physicians and moneyed individuals at Jewish Hospital.

Take a look at the invite here:

AIPAC Invite 1 AIPAC Invite 2 AIPAC Invite 3

Daily Scary Briefing Dept.

From the Everybody is Freaking Out About Gays in the Restroom Dept. Are you suffering from public-restroom closet-case gay-sex hysteria? Welcome to America’s newest freakout. ABC News can help! [ABC]

Rational thinking. Steve Beshear believes the decision of offering domestic partner benefits should be left up to universities. Who knew the gays shouldn’t be excluded from receiving health care benefits that they pay for? Or that we shouldn’t legislate discrimination? [WHAS11]

The story that won’t die. Everyone and their mother have to write about Attorney General Greg Stumbo opposing Fletcher’s illegal university appointees. This time it’s the Post. [CP]

Nickel and dimed. The US Dollar has fallen to another three-week low versus the Euro. Declined against all 16 major currencies. We have the amazing Bush housing plan to thank for it. That could never affect Kentucky, though, could it? [Bloomberg]

Making us proud. Former Court of Appeals Judge, now an attorney in Prestonsburg, David Barber tried to arrange a fight between his son and a boy who disagreed with him. Allegedly. [H-L]

Let’s play nice. And maybe tell the truth? The Glasgow Daily Times wonders why both sides of the aisle played nice for the special session. Then goes on to totally ignore the corruption that is the energy bill, praising the tons of jobs for our young people. Yeah, all 300 jobs for our young people! Yeah. That’s the issue we should be talking about when it comes to the special session all right. [GDT]

Southern circuit. Kentucky’s Hart-Lunsford Pictures is sponsoring a film series at the Kentucky Center. The Southern Tour of Independent Filmmakers kicks off the series with “Ritual Etchings” on Sept. 5th. If you’re near Louisville? You can’t beat $6.50. [Kentucky Center]