Gas Station Governing Just Doesn’t Work

Somebody needs to get this Sarah Palin painting for me ASAP! [OH GOD]

Gas Station Governor Steve Beshear’s approval rating has fallen to 39%. His disapproval is at 55%. Maybe the governor’s crew needs to start taking Kentucky seriously? Maybe they shouldn’t treat people so poorly and blow off everybody but the money men? Just a thought. [WHAS11/SurveyUSA]

What are you doing Saturday, December 5? Visiting the Louisville Slugger Museum, that’s what. Because the museum will give Metro United Way a portion of the admission proceeds that day. So. Get your family together and hop on down to Main Street. You know you need the exercise and time with your crew, anyway. [Just Do It]

The Gas Station Governor has a new thingy called the Southern Growth Policies Board. Jim Dingleberry likes it a lot. We got a press release about it and nearly fell asleep reading it. [Something Or Other]

Republican ruh ro moment: Communications Director of the Republican National Committee has unexpectedly resigned. [Roll Call]

How is it, again, that the spokesman for the Energy and Environment Cabinet doesn’t know the name of the mining company mining a particular location within his own state? Isn’t it kind of his job to know these things? Just beautiful. Especially when a mine worker gets killed. [AP via H-L]

This afternoon Attorney General Jack Conway’s office announced the arrest of 15 individuals accused of forging prescriptions for Oxycontin. Three in Fayette, two in Madison, one in Letcher, nine in Perry. [Press Release]

Time to support Mike Slaton for the 41st District State House seat against Tom “I Run a Church In My House For Tax Purposes” Riner. [Barefoot & Progressive]

ABC does not like those gay homosexuals to do gay homosexual things. [FEAR]

Diaper sex pervert Sen. David Vitter was spotted in the lingerie department at the Filene’s Basement I frequent in D.C.! Oh god. This is so scary. [Roll Call]

Officials: Census Worker’s Death a Suicide

State & Federal officials have ruled the death of U.S. Census worker Bill Sparkman a suicide.

Sparkman’s body was found duct taped and gagged in September near a cemetery in Clay County.

The sad press release says Sparkman held two life insurance policies that don’t cover suicide.

UPDATE: Bill Estep has more:

Instead, it took considerably more investigation to rule out homicide. Police even analyzed the ink on Sparkman’s chest to see how the letters were applied, in order to determine whether it was more likely that someone else wrote on him or he wrote on himself.

Tests indicated that the letters were applied from the bottom to the top — not the way an assailant facing Sparkman would write them. Police concluded that Sparkman wrote on himself, Rudzinski said.

Ultimately, there was no evidence to point to murder, she said.

Tests results showed that there was no DNA other than Sparkman’s on the rag in his mouth or on another rag found near his body. Those results, which police received only recently, were a pivotal development.

Other evidence also pointed to suicide as the manner of Sparkman’s death, police said.

For instance, there was no evidence that Sparkman had struggled with anyone. There were no wounds on his body, Rudzinski said.

Sad.

Another Update: Sorry. Forgot to include the press release.

(LONDON, KY) – The Kentucky State Police Post 11 in London, with the assistance of the FBI, the U.S. Forest Service, the State Medical Examiner’s Office and the Clay County Coroner’s Office, has concluded the investigation into the death of William E. Sparkman, Jr.

The investigation, based upon evidence and witness testimony, has concluded that Mr. Sparkman died during an intentional, self-inflicted act that was staged to appear as a homicide. While all the details of the investigation will not be released at this time, the unusual level of attention and speculation attributed to Mr. Sparkman’s death necessitates this release of information.

The investigation indicates that Mr. Sparkman died of asphyxiation/strangulation at the same location where he was discovered in Clay County, Ky.

Despite the fact that Mr. Sparkman was found hands, feet and mouth bound with duct tape, rope around his neck and the word “FED” written on his chest, analysis of the evidence determined Mr. Sparkman’s death was self-inflicted. A thorough examination of evidence from the scene, to include DNA testing, as well as examination of his vehicle and his residence resulted in the determination that Mr. Sparkman, alone, handled the key pieces of evidence with no indications of any other persons involved.

Witness statements, which are deemed credible, indicate Mr. Sparkman discussed ending his own life and these discussions matched details discovered during the course of the investigation. It was learned that Mr. Sparkman had discussed recent federal investigations and the perceived negative attitudes toward federal entities by some residents of Clay County. It was also discovered during the investigation that Mr. Sparkman had recently secured two life insurance policies for which payment for suicide was precluded.

All tips and leads, including those from the public, were thoroughly investigated but were found to be inconsistent with any known facts or evidence.

It is the conclusion of the Kentucky State Police, the FBI, the U.S. Forest Service, the State Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Clay County Coroner’s Office that Mr. Sparkman died in an intentional, self-inflicted act that was staged to appear as a homicide.

# # #

Tuesday Dept of a Three-Day Work Week

Quite possibly the most terrifying and amazing story I have ever read. Can’t wait to read his book. [MSNBC]

The Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is not happy with Jack Conway. [KCADP]

You won’t want to miss the story of the Courier-Journal sending a demand that I remove a photograph taken in a public space on a public sidewalk from a public street from my website. I love you, C-J, and all of your free publicity generated when you drum up silly fights like this. I consider this a great endorsement! [Page One]

One of Gannett’s own employees took note at yesterday’s hilarity. [Twatter]

Ruh or for Papaw? The Court of Appeals has ruled that a governor’s pardoning power is limited to criminal cases. The Executive Branch Ethics Commission is now free to pursue an ethics case against Basil Turbyfill. [Bluegrass Politics]

Yeah, this is just what Kentucky students need. Let’s count them present in class when they attend sports event during the school day. The dumbing down of America continues. [Amanda Van Benschoten]

Yes, Mike Slaton really is a formidable challenger to Tom Riner. And it doesn’t help that Riner has done an abysmal job as a legislator in the state house. Check out Slaton’s preview video. [YouTube]

What is it that Downtown Lexington needs? Other than, you know, no more parks built when the Webb Family and Mayor Newberry demolish an entire block. [H-L]

The Kentucky Department for Public Health and the Kentucky Pharmacists Association today announced a new mobile pharmacy unit has been purchased to provide pharmaceutical services during disasters and emergencies. This is great news for Kentucky! [Press Release]

If you’re a meth head in Kentucky, you should probably take note. They’re coming for you. [Gabe Bullard]

Latest From Attorney General Jack Conway

Here’s the latest column from Jack Conway:

Kentucky law enforcement struck a major blow against the prescription pill pipeline that exists between Kentucky and other states, particularly Florida.

On October 28-29, more than 300 arrests were made in 34 Kentucky counties on charges related to the illegal diversion of prescription pills. This marked the largest drug sweep in Kentucky’s history, and I am proud that my Drug Investigations Branch and statewide Prescription Drug Diversion Task Force were part of this unprecedented operation.

I am grateful to our partners- Kentucky State Police; the FBI; Operation Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education (UNITE); Appalachian High Intensity Drug Traffic Area (HIDTA); U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. I look forward to our continued involvement in this ongoing investigation into the illegal diversion of prescription pills in the Commonwealth.

My Drug Investigations Branch began working with Operation UNITE in July 2008 as part of this historic operation. I’m pleased to say that our investigation resulted in the arrest of 27 individuals in Powell and Menifee counties on nearly 50 counts of trafficking in a controlled substance, 1st and 2nd degree.

Read the rest after the jump…

Read moreLatest From Attorney General Jack Conway

Here Are Your Tuesday Evening Time Wasters

Longtime anchor woman Barbara Bailey is back at WKYT. Wait, does this constitute a violation of the Herald-Leader’s silly new terms of service? Heh. It’s just like a failing newspaper to get pissy over people promoting its content. [H-L]

Metro Animal Services didn’t realize there was no heat until three weeks ago? But furnaces for MAS were listed in a FEMA disaster claim? Gulbe is lying like crazy or somebody has some serious explaining to do. [Fox 41]

Remember Harlan Sheriff Deputy Roger Hall? The guy who plotted to kill Paul Browning, Jr as when he was running for sheriff? He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. [AP via H-L]

Why is it Lt. Dan can get a pig flu shot but pregnant women and children cannot? That makes tons of sense. [State Journal]

Educators tell legislators to back the you-know-what up or else. [More State Journal]

New Survey USA poll results in the U.S. Senate race will be released today. [Joe Arnold]

Watching Republicans fight over Rand Paul and Trey Grayson is tremendously entertaining. Put on your protective undergarment before wading in too deep. [Cyberhillbilly via Joe]

It’s awesome that the GOP has blocked an extension of unemployment benefits as nearly 200,000 lose their benefits just before the holidays. [HuffPo]

Papaw Beshear announced 34 new mine safety and permitting jobs. [H-L]

Operation Flamingo Road: Huge Success

Operation Flamingo Road, the largest drug roundup in Kentucky’s history, resulted in felony arrest warrants for 518 people. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies all took part in the three year effort.

“This type of investigation often involves the same violent criminal activity as any other investigation into organized drug trafficking. We can not forget the dedication and tireless effort put forth by KSP detectives, task force officers and troopers, local officers and federal agents,” emphasized KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer. “Without them, a round up of this magnitude would not have been possible.”

The Kentucky State Police obtained 327 of the arrest warrants issued in 33 counties.

To make it easier, just look at this fancy PDF released by the KSP:


CLICK TO ENLARGE (PDF LINK)

No matter how you cut it, the numbers are absolutely impressive.