There’s A Hepatitis Outbreak In Kentucky

A supervisor at a Western Kentucky coal mine has been fined $2,000 for falsifying a safety-inspection record. Daniel Couch Jr. also was placed on probation for two years, according to a court record. [H-L]

A group of about a dozen U.S. State Department officials have taken the unusual step of formally accusing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of violating a federal law designed to stop foreign militaries from enlisting child soldiers, according to internal government documents reviewed by Reuters. [HuffPo]

William McKee lunged between two men who were fighting. “Don’t do this here; there are children,” he said, standing within eyesight of families gathered at Shawnee Park last Thanksgiving. [C-J/AKN]

Jacksonville’s enforcement of pedestrian violations raises concerns that it’s another example of racial profiling. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office issues hundreds of pedestrian citations a year, drawing on an array of 28 separate statutes governing how people get around on foot in Florida’s most populous city. [ProPublica]

It was a busy Monday night in Berea as teachers, students, parents and administrators welcomed the newest “pirate” to captain Berea Community Schools. [Richmond Register]

After wrangling through the night, the 23rd conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change wrapped up early Saturday with modest accomplishments, paving the way to complete by next year the rules that will set the Paris agreement in motion. [NY Times]

The Boyd County Sheriff’s Department will increase its presence in north Boyd by creating a substation in Westwood. [Ashland Independent]

Now some nations are finding that even if they are frustrated by Donald Trump’s Washington, they can still prosper from robust relations with the California Republic and a constellation of like-minded U.S. cities, some of which are bigger than European countries. [WaPo]

Republican House leaders Wednesday announced that “procedural hurdles and a lack of cooperation by at least two people have hindered progress” of an investigation into charges of sexual harassment against former Speaker Jeff Hoover and three other Republican lawmakers. [Ronnie Ellis]

The United States in July 2019 will end a special status given to about 59,000 Haitian immigrants that protects them from deportation after a devastating 2010 earthquake, senior Trump administration officials said on Monday. [Reuters]

Kentucky health officials say they are seeing a dramatic rise in hepatitis A cases compared to recent years. The Kentucky Department for Public Health has identified hepatitis A with cases in multiple counties in Kentucky. [WFPL]

The entire world is laughing at Alabama and the United States. [BBC]

This will end poorly. Sam Gaskins is official in his bid to be a U.S. congressman, having filed to run for 1st District representative Wednesday in Frankfort. [H-L]

A former Justice Department official says that one of Donald Trump’s picks for a federal judgeship, Thomas Farr, did not tell the Senate Judiciary Committee the truth about his role in a notorious Senate campaign that tried to confuse and intimidate minority voters. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Republicans Sold Your Privacy Rights

Wondering how much money it took for Kentucky Republicans in Washington to sell your internet privacy?

According to The Verge – so you know it’s way more money than listed because they can’t even get peoples’ names correct – it didn’t take too much.

  • Thomas Massie: $2,750
  • Brett Guthrie: $81,500
  • Jamie Comer: $14,750
  • Hal Rogers: $12,500
  • Andy Barr: $28,400
  • Mitch McConnell: $251,110

That’s what the Republican Party of Kentucky supports. Minus Rand Paul. They support killing your privacy. Selling your private data to the highest campaign bidder.

They all deserve a square kick in the nuts next time you see them. Because they don’t care about individual liberty. They don’t believe in freedom. They never practice what they preach. Be it girlfriend-beating, paying for abortions or selling you out? That’s what those folks love to do. All while playing members of the church choir on teevee.

Floridian Ed Exxon Whitfield Bites Dust

FINALLY?

It’s not like he ever did anything in Congress.

Here’s what Tealuded Overlord Matt Bevin had to say on his resignation:

“Both personally and on behalf of the Commonwealth, I want to thank Congressman Ed Whitfield for his many years of service to our state and our nation. He has served the people of Kentucky’s first district admirably, and we wish him all the very best in the years ahead.

“I will issue a proclamation declaring that the special election to fill this vacancy will be held on the same date and time as the General Election, which is November 8, 2016.”

Entertaining stuff: Just under two years ago, Matt Bevin didn’t know who represented the First District and roughly four years ago thought, if I’m remembering correctly, that Steve Beshear worked in Washington, D.C.

So it’s fun watching him lie in a press release.

Will Whitfield ever show his face in Kentucky again?

Will he finally admit he lives in Floriduh?

Or will he remain in D.C. hoping and praying he doesn’t go to prison or whatever for something crazy?

Does anyone even care? (That one’s rhetorical…)

Transphobia Infects KY-01 Via Comer

Republican candidate for Kentucky’s First Congressional District, Jamie “I Didn’t Beat That Woman Or Pay For Her Abortion Even Though She Says I Did both” Comer is ratcheting up the pandering this year.

After spending years working with people like Holly Harris and making it clear he wasn’t a homophobe? He’s gone full gay panic. Full on transphobic bigot.

Check out this radio interview. Here’s a rough transcript of a portion:

Comer: “Some of the Congressmen…especially in the Obama Administration… are more concerned about transgender rights than the rights of working, middle-class people. So, I want to go to Washington and bring some common sense and some conservative values. I want to try to improve the business climate. And I believe there’s an opportunity in January, because we’re going to have a new president. There’s going to be a lot of new members of Congress. Like our Congressman retiring, and a lot of them are getting beat in primaries, so that shows the people are frustrated. They want new blood in Washington and I want to be a part of the new generation of leadership in Washington.”

You know how the scary transgenders are ruining everything with trying to use the restroom in safety.

WTF kind of stupid has infected the current crop of Republicans in Kentucky?

Democrats and outsiders have a prime opportunity to hit Jamie Comer on his new bigotry but no one has the guts to do it.

At least we can continue to point out that Jamie Comer and people like him have blood on their hands. As trans people are killed and attacked. As youth commit suicide all across Kentucky. The blame rests on their shoulders. The blood is on their hands. His hands.

Gross.

The Office Of The Attorney General Is Investigating Jamie Comer’s Campaign

The Office of the Attorney General is investigating Jamie Comer’s campaign. A former state trooper is on the case.

Here’s how I know…

A few weeks ago I was copied on an email someone sent to the investigator regarding Comer. Part of that email referred to me, because I’ve published quite a bit about Comer through the years:

I have copied him on this email. I don’t know his phone number.

So I responded:

Unfortunately … as a journalist, everything I know or have proved has already been published.

I’m afraid I can’t be of any assistance.

Because it’s pretty much common knowledge I’d publish anything provable about Jamie Comer in a heartbeat. Right?

So here’s the message that came from the aforementioned trooper (I’m making the decision not to reveal the investigator’s identity out of courtesy) later that day:

I am a investigator from the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General. I was wanting to interview you over some information that you had on the Comer campaign. Are you refusing to be interviewed?

See for yourself:


REDACTIONS TO HIDE IDENTIFYING INFORMATION

Refusing to be interviewed. PBBBT! Please.

If I had anything new on Comer, it’d be published.

I replied, advising that I won’t be interviewed, won’t give up sources, etc. Higher ups intervened at that point and I received an apology, which was appreciated.

But here’s the deal…

Should the OAG truly want to find out what the Comer Camp was up to? They ought to start digging into his lobbyist pals. The people who interfaced with his hemp promoters, the people who were responsible for his political action committee. And maybe his former chief of staff/attorney, Holly Harris. She’s the keeper of the secrets and has gone full-on radio silence with anyone questioning her about Comer.

People come to me with all kinds of information because I have a track record of protecting their identities. I have a moral and ethical obligation to do so. So maybe the OAG should cool it with getting accusatory. “[R]efusing to be interviewed” is hardly a great way to approach someone when you’re asking them for help. This does everything but instill confidence in Frankfort at a time when it is so desperately needed.

Sadly, not many in Kentucky would trust Andy Beshear’s office if it revealed anything on Comer. It’d be Greg Stumbo’s Fletcher 2.0. It’d be perceived as pure political retaliation. In light of the former Deputy Attorney General Tim Longmeyer awaiting a prison sentence, you know exactly how the Republican Party of Kentucky would play that out.

If they uncover anything, they ought to hand it off to the feds so there’s no perception of impropriety. Fortunately, from what I can tell, that’s already happening.

Jim Ramsey Dumpster Fire Burns On

Jim. Ramsey. Schadenfreude. [H-L]

Apple will not contribute funds or other resources for the Republican National Convention due to presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump’s prejudiced remarks, Politico reported on Saturday. [HuffPo]

This is what lobbyists can get you. Norton Healthcare has secured city agreement to issue up to $725 million in tax-exempt bonds, with much of the proceeds targeted for helping to pay for a long list of capital projects. [C-J/AKN]

Democrats want new funding in the legislative response to the opioid epidemic. [The Hill]

A write-in candidate is joining the race for Kentucky’s 1st District Congressional seat, held by retiring Congressman Ed Whitfield. [WKMS]

Although Sen. Rand Paul ended his presidential bid four months ago, a pro-Paul super PAC sounds particularly presidential in a new TV ad — this time, in slamming likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. [Public Integrity]

This should be filled with schadenfreude. Long-time Republican activist and public relations executive Scott Jennings will emcee this year’s Fancy Farm Picnic political speaking on Aug. 6. [Ronnie Ellis]

Gun control, homegrown extremism, homophobic violence and the war against Islamic State have all been highlighted by the Orlando nightclub massacre, but deadlock in Washington means major legislation will probably have to wait until after the November election. [The Guardian]

Eastern Kentucky – where you still can’t mention the LGBT community in a column about the deadliest firearm attack on the gay community in this country’s history. [Adam Black]

Funerals for two of the 49 victims killed in the shooting at a nightclub in Florida were marked by tense scenes on Saturday, as an impatient driver was accused of injuring two law enforcement officers and one burial took place under the watch of anti-gay protesters. [Reuters]

The “help wanted” sign was posted officially today by the Board of Directors of the Morehead-Rowan County Economic Development Council, Inc., with the publication of a vacancy notice in this issue of The Morehead News. [The Morehead News]

Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach. The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC’s system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin abolished the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees Friday and replaced it with a new board with four additional new members to oversee the state’s retirements systems. [H-L]

The moon was just rising over Half Dome, the setting sun reflected off its sheer granite face, as President Barack Obama and his family landed by helicopter in a meadow, the knee-high grass waving wildly while campers cheered. [HuffPo]

Comer’s Opponents Are Hitting Back

Remember that Jamie Comer email we published a week or two ago?

Turns out Comer’s opponents took note and the Paducah Sun wrote about it:

Two of the candidates running for the 1st District seat in the U.S. House jointly released a statement Monday calling for candidate James Comer to apologize for allegedly sending an email that insults their supporters.

Mike Pape and Jason Batts, who are running against Comer in the Republican primary, issued a statement alleging that Comer sent an email on March 27 that “insulted supporters of both the Pape and Batts campaigns.”

According to the press release, Comer wrote:

“A buddy of mine who is a pretty good political observer said that ‘Comer might be the only candidate who puts up any big signs because Michael Pape’s supporters are too old to physically put signs up and the Batts boy’s supporters don’t own any property to put any signs on! I only repeat that because that theory has a lot of merit!”

The release states that the email was “supplied directly to the Pape campaign.”

In a prepared response, Comer’s campaign did not acknowledge or deny sending the email. Neither side identified if the email was intended to be a personal communication or was sent more widely.

-SNIP-

In the release from Pape and Batts, Pape said: “This is yet another example of why James Comer is the typical establishment career politician. His arrogance insults the people who would be his constituents, and he thinks he can get away with it. We demand an apology to the people of our district.”

“Jamie Comer owes all the voters an apology,” said Jason Batts. “Calling Kentuckians poor and old is what we’d expect from a Washington politician. After 16 years running for one office after another, Jamie has forgotten the hard-working Kentuckians he’s trying to represent. His ignorant words are inexcusable.”

Ruh ro.