A New Problem For Potential McConnell Challenger

Political unknown Matt Bevin denies any role in that big time investment scandal:

Matt Bevin, who may challenge Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), is distancing himself from improper activities that took place at an investment company where he worked a decade ago.

Bevin, a New Hampshire native, was virtually unknown in Kentucky political circles until a few weeks ago when he began reaching out to Tea Party leaders to explore a race against McConnell in the 2014 Republican primary.

Some of the initial reviews of Bevin among conservative activists have been positive, but as they begin to dig into his record Bevin will have to address his role at a company that was penalized hundreds of millions of dollars for its role in a market-timing scheme from 2001 to 2003.

Since he’s a potential primary challenger of Mitch McConnell, that story and his role at Invesco are significant. Though, probably not for the reason you’re thinking.

It’ll be a big deal because Invesco is one of the firms Kentucky Retirement Systems invests in.

Anyone who thinks McConnell’s crew won’t try to weave a story out of that is delusional.

Bright Spots: Kentucky’s National Historic Landmarks

The campaign arm of the congressional GOP is moving to reboot its polling operation after a messy 2012 cycle, the first concrete remedy taken by the Republican side since candidates and outside groups were left stunned on Election Day by results that their internal data never came close to predicting. [Politico]

A federal appeals court will hear arguments on whether prayer should be allowed at the start of public meetings. [H-L]

Matt Bevin, who may challenge Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), is distancing himself from improper activities that took place at an investment company where he worked a decade ago. [The Hill]

Claudie Rusk squinted as she pointed her black handgun toward the silhouette target, summoning the lessons she’d just learned on grip, safety and targeting. The 64-year-old grandmother squeezed off 20 rounds that hit more than missed, good enough to pass her skills test during a daylong training class that Kentucky requires to obtain a concealed deadly weapon license. [C-J/AKN]

A Florida mayor has apologised to an elderly woman forcibly removed from a train for singing, local media report. Emma Anderson, 82, was singing religious songs on a commuter train in southern Florida on 20 February. [BBC]

Well, at least the tone has improved. Predictably, the 2013 General Assembly reached the final scheduled day for passing bills and suddenly lawmakers snapped into action, passing a flurry of bills in rapid succession. [Ronnie Ellis]

Abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s struggle to help roughly 70 slaves escape to freedom using the Underground Railroad was remembered on Saturday at the groundbreaking of a Maryland state park in her honor. [Reuters]

Earlier today, the White House and Department of the Interior announced that two sites in Kentucky have been named National Historic Landmarks: Camp Nelson Historic and Archeological District in Jessamine County and George T. Staff Distillery in Franklin County. [Press Release]

Since this month marks the ten-year anniversary of the War to Soothe George W. Bush’s Daddy Issues… it’s time for a children’s treasury of people you never wanted to think about ever again. [Wonkette]

Last fall, the Murray Human Rights Commission decided to focus on updating its 35 year old human rights ordinance and address the ongoing issue of bullying. In January, the commission launched the Murray Bully Free Community Education Campaign. [WKMS]

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky launched a nationwide conversation last week with his 13-hour filibuster of the president’s nominee to lead the CIA. Paul vowed to keep talking until the White House clarified whether it has authority to kill U.S. citizens on American soil with drones. [NPR]

A woman was found dead in a car in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart in Somerset on Saturday. [H-L]

No, It’s Not A $100,000 Anti-McConnell Media Buy

The Associated Press is horribly mistaken: The Progressive Change Campaign Committee began airing the spot Monday, spending what it said is $100,000 on both ads. What the group said: his ad will bring our campaign aimed at Mitch McConnell to $100,000. Meaning in total, over all, for everything they’ve ever done on McConnell. [H-L]

Details on the latest anti-McConnell ad buy: $12 spent on the buy, $4,806 in D.C., $2,000 in Bowling Green, $5,350 in Paducah. [Tiny Buy]

Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says he was instructed when he joined the administration not to “acknowledge” the existence of America’s drones program. [Politico]

It didn’t take long after a Senate committee approved Senate Bill 129 last week for tea party and gun rights proponents to take to social media to say that those who had voted for the gun-rights measure had not violated the U.S. Constitution [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Monday condemned racially charged language used by a federal prosecutor in Texas. The justice, appointed to the court by President Barack Obama in 2009, took the relatively unusual step of writing a statement to accompany the nine-member Supreme Court’s announcement that it would not take up a criminal case. [HuffPo]

Morehead’s former tourism director, indicted in September for embezzling nearly $75,000 from a sister organization she also headed, pleaded guilty Thursday to a reduced charge. [Ashland Independent]

Hey Rand Paul, what are you ranting and raving about today? Oh nothing, just wanking off about the best way to destroy public education (or what’s left of it) no big deal. [Wonkette]

Jennifer Lawrence won the leading actress Oscar for “Silver Linings Playbook.” Making Kentucky proud. [WKYT]

Why Mitch McConnell isn’t worried about that Bevin guy: go read this article. Contributing to Greg Fischer’s mayoral campaign after understanding his politics from his U.S. Senate run doesn’t help matters. [The Hill]

This is why we still need the Voting Rights Act. Though, a handful of mouth-breathing bigots will say otherwise. [WaPo]

Because there obviously aren’t more important issues facing Lexington than ugly road signs. The days are numbered for those gaudy banners that have been sprouting up like dandelions along Lexington’s major commercial roads. [H-L]

Obsess all you’d like about President Obama’s nomination of Mary Jo White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. Who heads the agency is vital, but important fights in Washington are happening in quiet rooms, away from the media gaze. [ProPublica]

Day 89385298 Of Pension Disaster, Frankfort Blinks

McKee Mayor John Tompkins said Wednesday that he is resigning his second job as a Jackson County school bus driver because he unknowingly left a 5-year-old student on a bus. Tompkins said he did not see the child, who had curled up in a seat and fallen asleep, before Tompkins ended his route for the day. [H-L]

The National Rifle Association’s political action committee raised $1.1 million in January, according to the committee’s latest filing with the Federal Election Commission. [Politico]

Do-nothing Republicans and Democrats in Frankfort continue to act like these little stunts will help the pension disaster. Future state legislators would get no state-funded pensions under a bill approved by the Senate State and Local Government Committee on Wednesday. [C-J/AKN]

More than half of Congress has turned over since the last time the House and Senate tried to move legislation to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. [The Hill]

When Jamie Teabagger was running for office, he was terrified of Louisville Metro Animal Services and said he’d never get involved in a mess like that. Interesting turn of events. [WDRB]

More Americans than expected filed new claims for jobless aid last week and consumer prices were flat in January, supporting the argument for the Federal Reserve to maintain its very accommodative monetary policy stance. [Reuters]

On February 11, 2013, U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) and Governor Steve Beshear joined federal, state and local officials to announce a unique $29.3 million funding effort to help Morgan County rebuild from the disastrous storm and tornado damage suffered in March 2012. [Salyersville Independent]

The White House has vowed to fight foreign theft of US trade secrets, a day after a report linked China’s military to prolific cyber-theft. The administration’s strategy document warned that such activity threatened US economic and national security. [BBC]

Rand Paul isn’t sure if Louisville businessman Matthew Bevin would pose a problem for Mitch McConnell in a primary election. [WFPL]

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned that the automatic spending cuts due to hit the Pentagon and other branches of government next week will damage U.S. national security. In a letter to Congress, he said those cuts would put the military on a path toward a “hollow force.” But the warnings don’t appear to be moving the needle with lawmakers or the American public. [NPR]

Eastern Kentucky University President Doug Whitlock made an unsuccessful attempt to persuade Madison County’s legislative delegation to support rewriting of legislation that funded the $37 million facility and continues to provide $200,000 annually in operating funds. [Richmond Register]

Republicans would bear more of the blame for a failure to reach a deal on the looming federal spending cuts known as the sequester, but most Americans are tuned out of the debate and many don’t oppose allowing the cuts to go into effect. [WaPo]

Frankfort Can’t Even Help Our Military Folks Vote

Police changed the investigation into the death of a former eastern Kentucky mayor whose body was found inside his burned home to murder after preliminary autopsy results indicated he died of a single gunshot wound. [H-L]

In his State of the Union address, President Obama returned to a point he’d made on election night: The need to do something about long voting lines. Obama announced his plan for a commission to “improve the voting experience in America.” [ProPublica]

A dispute over emailing completed ballots has fractured the bipartisan support behind a bill designed to simplify voting for Kentucky military personnel overseas. [C-J/AKN]

President Barack Obama intends to nominate air quality expert Gina McCarthy to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz to head the Department of Energy as early as this week, according to a source familiar with the process. [Reuters]

Former Lexington Police Chief Anthany Beatty says he is considering a mayoral run. He’d have a super-tough time beating Jim Gray. [WKYT]

You know who won’t be too serious a challenger to Mitch McConnell? Matt Bevin. The real tea party spent about five minutes googling him – something teevee people couldn’t do (they were too busy being excited about Ashley Judd on Twitter) – and discovered the whole being an investment banker, a former prep schooler, someone who takes state and federal funds to rebuild his business thing. [Not In His Dreams]

Hemp, subject of much speculation in Kentucky and nationally, got only a passing mention in a five-year strategic plan for agriculture that was announced Tuesday. But it probably will get much more attention next week in the House Agriculture and Small Business Committee. [H-L]

Whine whine whine bitch bitch bitch it is Fox Nation, and they are never going to get over the SHOCKING MALFEASANCE that was Candy Crowley’s LIEBRUL LYING LIES in the presidential debate — you remember the one? [Wonkette]

Kentucky’s fen-phen scandal, the state’s biggest legal fraud case, has taken another sordid turn. A lawyer who was hired to help collect a $42 million judgment for the victims injured by the diet drug has been indicted for conspiring to distribute synthetic marijuana and bankrolling the operation to the tune of $100,000. [C-J/AKN]

The prospects of passing an important part of President Barack Obama’s gun control agenda improved a bit on Tuesday when a House Republican announced his support for universal background checks for firearm purchases. [HuffPo]

Papaw Is Pretending To Be Flat-Earther For Votes

According to the White House, 81,005 Kentuckians stand to lose unemployment benefits. [Press Release (Warning: External PDF)]

Giant Pussy Ben Chandler says Kentucky will suffer without earmarks. He’s also suddenly very upset with Barack Obama. [Ryan Alessi]

Passport may be hiring a new leader, but Papaw Steve Ark Park Beshear says more changes are necessary as he demands additional resignations. Too little, too late. [H-L]

Papaw is threatening to pull the Medicaid contract from Passport. Everyone I’ve spoken with believes that’s an idle threat. [Ronnie Ellis]

Maybe all of Mitch McConnell’s staffers are jumping ship because he’s playing pat-a-cake with things like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? (No, we’re not serious.)  [Salon]

Some Kentucky films are going big at the Sundance Film Festival this year. [The ‘Ville Voice]

OH NOES!!1! There might be some aliens coming to get you, meemaw! All your white women? Better call Dougie Hawkins, cause the borg menz are coming. [MSNBC & WIRED]

Bi-partisanship? Not in Mitch McConnell’s world. Because it’s all about him. Never working with others. Ever. For any reason. [The Hill]

Teabaggers are hypocrites. They requested more than $1 billion in earmarks this year. [HuffPo]

The prison task force is set to present new legislation on January 19. [Linda Blackford]

Dr. Robert Bevins, a toxicologist at Georgetown, wrote Papaw Steve Beshear a letter. You should read it. [His Site via Joe]