Tuesday is Cold Here in the Bluegrass!

What on earth did you people do to Kentucky while I was gone? It was nice when I left. Returned to freezing rain. What on earth!

But I’m grateful. It’s nothing like the crazy sandstorm I experienced near Winslow and on the Navajo reservation, the snow storm in Flagstaff or the 105 mile per hour winds in the Painted Desert.

Leaving for a while really makes you appreciate Kentucky.

Kentucky machine gun party-ers have mixed feelings about Nazis. And, no, this obviously is not what the “real” Kentucky is all about. Also, how is everyone in Kentucky so miserably obese? [Washington Independent by way of Wonkette]

Thank you, Courier-Journal Editorial Board! You’ve finally said what needs to be said. “The General Assembly session about which legislative leaders and Gov. Steve Beshear have been bragging was, in fact, largely a failure. In some instances, lawmakers did the wrong thing — for example by relaxing school accountability. In others, they did too little — for instance, by adopting a pitiably small revenue package while claiming to exhibit political courage.” [GO READ IT]

Daniel Mongiardo is still $180,000 away from being out of the red. [Barefoot & Progressive]

Like Joe says, other Democratic candidates for the United States Senate make Mongiardo’s numbers look anemic. [More B&P]

Republicans have hilarious (and actually honest) takes on this mess. [David Adams]

This either isn’t good news for bloggers in Phoenix or it’s not good news about Phoenix Police. [AZ Central]

Pretty sure the dean of the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine needs to pay attention to what these people have to say. [Page One Comments]

Really, Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson needs to get his act together. For the first time in 20 years, more and more dirt is going public and it’s not being ignored. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Thanks to the First Book contest, Kentucky children will receive 50,000 free books. Which they won’t be able to read, thanks to our legislature. [C-J]

Virginia is Not For Bar Owners

In Kentucky, where much of the world’s alcoholic beverages are manufactured, we have these dry counties, we have what are some of the nation’s highest alcohol taxes, we are always having elections in small communities on whether or not to allow local alcohol sales, and places where you can buy beer, but not other alcoholic  beverages. We have laws on the books regulating whether or not you can drink in the presence of dancing women.

But we’ve got nothing on Virginia.

More on Kelly Flood’s Illegal Frankfort Party

Just last week we told you Kelly Flood (who is still trying to ride Kathy Stein’s coattails, ref: Kentucky Tonight on Monday) held an illegal alcohol-fueled soiree in Frankfort– during the legislative session. A total waste of our tax dollars.

Now we’ve got a list of some folks who took part in the shindig:

The Kentucky State Police can now ask these legislators if alcohol was, indeed, inside Larry Clark’s capitol offices.

Feel free to contact the KSP if you’re inclined to do so. Our elected officials shouldn’t get to run amok throwing illegal alcohol parties on our dime. Enough is enough.

More names and details to follow.

State Govt Problems: Luallen Audit Part 2

Crit Luallen just released part two of her annual audit of State Government. And it’s a doozy.

The Auditor’s office has found that the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management failed to properly oversee a $1.8 million federal Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program grant for ten (10!) counties. And because of irregularities at the local level, the finding has been handed over to the Office of the Attorney General, FBI and the United States Department of Homeland Security.

As it turns out, failing to properly oversee the purchase of emergency response equipment can get you in a heap of trouble.

It the latest volume of the state government audit, auditors have 14 findings, which includes 3 instances of material non-compliance– which means an agency shows significant deficiencies in overseeing federal funds (2 in the Dept of Military Affairs and 1 in Transportation).

From the press release:

Auditors discovered the Laurel County CSEPP program was provided a $1,874,615 grant to allow the county’s CSEPP director to act as the purchasing agent for specific equipment for all 10 Kentucky CSEPP counties.

With chemical weapons housed at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Madison County, Central Kentucky counties receive federal dollars through CSEPP, which is administered through KyDEM under the Department of Military Affairs.

These counties include: Madison, Clark, Powell, Estill, Jackson, Rockcastle, Garrard, Fayette, Jessamine and Laurel.


The bid was ultimately awarded to PREP, a business owned by the business partner of the Laurel County CSEPP director. The business partner is now the director’s wife, according to the audit.

The more than $1.8 million expenditure handled by Laurel County’s CSEPP Director is 24 percent of Kentucky’s $7,856,193 annual CSEPP grant award.


The project included the acquisition of 40 specially equipped emergency response trailers, as well as additional equipment necessary to make the trailers operational, according to the audit, which found that these purchases took place without appropriate oversight by KyDEM.


[T]he project called for Homesteader brand trailers but PREP delivered 40 LA Cargo brand trailers.

Auditors note that questions were raised by one county CSEPP coordinator as to whether these trailers were “even new due to deteriorated conditions in some areas.”


According to the audit, county CSEPP officials brought their concerns about the equipment they received to monthly FEMA meetings; however, KyDEM and FEMA failed to initiate a formal investigation.

Head exploding yet?

Other audit findings include:

1.) KyDEM and Military Affairs did not comply with federal requirements concerning subrecipient single audits. Federal guidelines require subrecipients with $500,000 or more in funding to receive a single audit of its major federal programs.

During audit procedures performed on both CSEPP and Public Assistance grants, auditors found numerous instances where subrecipients were not asked to certify whether or not they were required to have a single audit or did not have their single audits reviewed.

This included 15 of 20 Public Assistance (grants for major disasters or emergencies declared by the President) subrecipients examined and nine of 10 counties receiving CSEPP grants. The 15 Public Assistance subrecipients received $388,807 in fiscal year 2008, while the CSEPP counties received $6.8 million in CSEPP grants, $41,766 in Public Assistance and $224,067 in other FEMA grants.

The audit recommends KyDEM revise its procedures to ensure that all subrecipients, regardless of type, are properly monitored, including providing single audits for review when applicable. This is a material non-compliance finding in the audit.

2.) The Transportation Cabinet should implement formal policies and procedures for subrecipient monitoring regarding grant awards from the Highway Planning and Construction Program.

This is a repeat finding from last year’s audit, though improvements have been made. Auditors were unable to review this list during last year’s audit because the Office of Local Programs did not maintain a subrecipient list. During last year’s audit, the Office of Local Programs was unable to readily identify its subrecipients or show documented evidence of its monitoring procedures.

In the current audit, auditors tested several sample areas for subrecipient monitoring and noted that being able to review subrecipient files for this office is an improvement; however, there are still issues with inadequate monitoring.

“Overall, we did not see sufficient evidence of monitoring occurring during the award period. Documented site visits, regular contact, reporting or other means of monitoring were not documented in the subrecipient files,” according to the audit.

3.) The audit also recommends that the Cabinet For Health And Family Services improve the security over Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Cards at local offices. An EBT card allows participates to access the Food Stamp Program. Auditors reviewed local offices in Casey, Fayette, Hardin, Jefferson, Lyon and Madison counties.

Report Volume II & Report of the Audit

When will we learn, Kentucky?

This Legislative Session Accomplished SO Much!


On Friday, Governor Steve Beshear, Greg Stumbo and David Williams released a joint statement:

“We have conferred throughout the day today about the remaining issues confronting this session, determined to end this process as we began it – with a spirit of cooperation and resolve to move forward.

This session began with a commitment to work together to address the significant issues confronting the commonwealth. Today, we are continuing to honor that commitment and move forward in a way that will create jobs and economic opportunities for more Kentuckians.”

So everything must be all puppies and rainbows, right? Even Reginald Meeks is acting like everything is a-okay. We raised taxes on several occasions and instead of working together, both sides of the aisle sold out for personal gain. It’s all good, right?

We’ve saved our budget and our economy and the state retirement system!

Oh, wait. We haven’t done anything of the sort. The KRS is in shambles, we have a potential crook running the retirement system (he’s triple-dipping and spending a heck of a ton of money on a conference filled with belly dancers and strippers):

You have to kind of admire a guy that can triple dip from a pot of money.

First Klausner makes hundreds of thousands of dollars from the KRS, he then makes money off of referral fees on class action (see Forbes) and finally, (and this is the best) he makes more money by charging hundreds of thousands to money managers (the talking heads in the video) to speak at the conference, where else are the speakers going to get access to a potential investors with billions of dollars to invest, like our own KRS Trustees.

So here are some things that Greg Stumbo, David Williams, Jonathan Miller, Steve Beshear, and all of the media should be looking at.

Why are four or five Trustees and perhaps staff, many with spouses and girlfriends, spending 3 and 4 days at the Hyatt on the state dime?

While Steve Beshear, Greg Stumbo and the legislature look in the other direction.

And people like Keith Hall shirked his duties as a State Representative to attend an SEC ball game.

It gets better…

Not only did we accomplish very little this legislative session (I’m sure to receive tons of calls after saying this, begging me to cut some slack and take one for the team for a change), but our legislators have redeveloped the good old boy system.

On Wednesday we told you that Kelly Flood was hosting a party to celebrate the end of the legislative session. We were told it’d be held in Speaker Pro-Tem Larry Clark’s suite, so we gave Kelly the benefit of the doubt and assumed that an alcohol-fueled shindig would take place at the Capitol Plaza Hotel where it’s a little more legal.

Turns out that’s not what happened. According to four legislators who attended the event, Kelly Flood’s party took place in Larry Clark’s office suite inside the Capitol Annex. There were boxes of alcohol– wine, beer, hard liquor. The Speaker of the House and dozens of others were in attendance. Not only did Flood and these legislators skip out on various committee meetings during the day to throw down, they broke the law. It’s illegal to take alcohol into the capitol and the annex. Illegal. And we hear the Kentucky State Police is poking around and considering an investigation, as they should.

We accomplished SO much in Frankfort.

(Oh, Kelly– Keep trashing me for reporting the facts. It’ll get your lying butt everywhere on the pages of this website, sweetie.)

TGIF! Frankfort Was a Waste of Time…

but the Governor’s office keeps harping on how “so much was accomplished” and “what a great session it was.”

We’re essentially at the end of the legislative session in Frankfort so now you may breathe a sigh of relief. And try as we might, we don’t see much accomplishment or progress. All yesterday we heard from legislators who were hot-headed and angry. We’re not sure if they were upset because:

  • Gambling was heard in Appropriations & Revenue after Greg Stumbo promised it was dead for the session
  • It’s beginning to sink in that the five members of House leadership took care of themselves in the road plan and HB 433
  • The Senate took all the road plan fixes out of HB 433 and now plan to kill the pork bill
  • The right-wingers are upset that promises made during the leadership race that led to the abortion and gay hate bills would be heard on the house floor haven’t come to fruition (and that’s led to a lot of PMSing)
  • The most important policy bill on education is being handled by four freshman with absolutely no experience while there are House members who have worked on the issues for years
  • Or the realization that David Williams is still running everything in Frankfort

This is EXPLOSIVE! The University of Louisville has another major problem on its hands. A nursing student was expelled after a post on her MySpace account, her freedom of speech violated. Nasty, nasty mess. The student filed a lawsuit yesterday and we broke the story last night. Check it all out and pray that UofL gets real leadership sometime soon. Heads-up to UofL… this is already a national issue. [Page One]

Westboro Baptist Church nuts protested against the scary ho-mo-sexuals near the University of Chicago and a group of students welcomed them with some hilarious dancing. I wish someone would gather 40 or 50 people like this to descend upon Frank Simon’s next meeting. [Absolutely Hilarious]

Joni Jenkins’ House Bill 383 regarding high school athletics passed the State Senate last night with her amendment. [HB 383 & Joe Gerth]

Hahaha! This was totally written about Jake. Or Stephen George. [Stuff White People Like – Moleskine Notebooks]

James Hammes of Lexington is being sought by the FBI in a money laundering case. He allegedly directed $4.6 million to his personal bank account over a five-year period while working for a Cincinnati Pepsi bottling company. [C-J]

Jason Nemes has finally resigned as director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. He’ll be practicing law at Dinsmore Shohl. [C-J]

Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry says he’s running again. Does he have a hope or has the curse of CentrePointe ruined his chances? We don’t think he should hold his breath. [Barefoot & Progressive]

Seven major topics to watch in Frankfort today. [Ryan Alessi]

The Louisville Peace Action Community will commemorate the 6th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq on Thursday, March 19 from 3:00 – 6:00 P.M. Courthouse steps at 6th & Jefferson in Louisville. A program featuring several speakers (and John Gage) will begin at 4:00 P.M. [LPAC]

Just to Make You Feel Better About Kentucky

We just spotted an amendment to House Bill 195, an act relating to the justice system and declaring an emergency, that will blow your mind.

Retain original provisions except amend KRS 64.090, relating to sheriffs, to add a $40 fee for service of domestic violence or emergency protective orders

Here are the specifics from the SCS, page 15:

For service of domestic violence or emergency protective orders, to be paid by the respondent … $40.00

(2) Sheriffs may charge and collect a fee of forty dollars ($40) from any person not requesting the service of the sheriff on behalf of the Commonwealth, any of its agencies, or the Department of Kentucky State Police for the services provided in subsection (1) of this section where a percentage, commission, or reasonable fee is not otherwise allowed. If a percentage, commission, or reasonable fee is allowed, that amount shall be paid. If payment is specified from a person other than the person who requested the service, then the person specified shall be responsible for payment.

Charging perpetrators of domestic violence $40 for protective orders.

Can you imagine? Actual progress in Kentucky!

So much for jeopardizing the Violence Against Women Act funding and making us look more ignorant and barefoot to the rest of the country.