Stan & Tim Have A Serious Case Of Gay Panic

After years of languishing in the Republican-led Senate, a constitutional amendment that would restore voting rights for most ex-felons appears poised to win legislative approval Wednesday at the behest of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. [Bluegrass Politics]

Billionaire retired investor Tom Steyer is planning a $100 million push to make climate change a key issue in the 2014 midterm elections. [HuffPo]

Two House Republicans on Tuesday urged Gov. Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway to appeal last week’s federal court ruling that struck down Kentucky’s ban on recognizing same-sex unions performed in other states. We’re pleased to see these two having another gay panic attack. He who doth protest too much, gurl, he who doth protest. [C-J/AKN]

Sweetheart deals hurt labor. Meddling by antiunion politicians was a factor in U.A.W.’s defeat, but that’s not the whole story. [NY Times]

What B.S. Just another instance of people who don’t understand something spreading their ignorant fear to the masses. This is why “Kentucky Public Retirees” is just a Facebook group that only helps hold the state back. A handful of people actually make the pension crisis worse. A state retiree group says bills to make public the names and pension check amounts of all members of the retirement system opens the door to major privacy issues for senior citizens. [CN|2]

Alison Grimes’ father, Jerry Lundergan, is both an asset and a risk to her candidacy in Kentucky. He’s playing a 1970s game in a 2014 world. Spoiler alert: his wife is the real star of the show that everybody loves but she eschews the limelight. Probably deserves more credit for Alison’s success than Jerry. [TIME]

Chris Tobe is a man who is currently playing the role of “bearer of bad news.” [WKYU]

A group supporting McConnell’s primary challenger faces backlash after blanketing the state. [The Hill]

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin on Tuesday gave yet another explanation for his signature on a 2009 letter to investors containing praise for the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP, saying it was applied digitally. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a new report on Tuesday on the impacts of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and $9 an hour. It found that a $10.10 minimum wage, implemented by 2016, would mean higher earnings for 16.5 million workers, resulting in $31 billion more in higher earnings. [ThinkProgress]

Facebook users in the area have recently been circulating graphic photos depicting a dog that was shot in the mouth earlier this month. After the death of the dog, the Perry County Sheriff’s Office is reaching out to the community for help in finding the person who is responsible. [Hazard Herald]

The Congressional Budget Office released a report Tuesday concluding that the Democrats’ proposal to raise the minimum wage would reduce poverty but also cost the economy jobs, providing fodder to both sides of the aisle. [HuffPo]

Proposed expansion of Berea’s anti-discrimination ordinance, increasing the power of the human rights commission, may go before the city council for discussion at next Tuesday’s work session. [Richmond Register]

Fracking is a disaster and the latest from Texas seems to back that up. Don’t let it fly by your radar without taking a look. [Weather.com]

Grimes Camp Excuses Falling On Deaf Ears

Is this the end for Matt Bevin? We love Elsie more than our luggage – even though her granddaughter’s campaign is as bad as Jack Conway’s 2010 bid against Aqua Butthole. “After he finishes with that Tea Party fellar, he will come after Alison with a vengeance,” Elsie Case, Grimes’ grandmother, told a Northern Kentucky audience Monday. [Sam Youngman]

Unemployment has retaken its place in Americans’ minds as the country’s biggest problem, according to a new Gallup poll published Monday. [HuffPo]

Charles Booker, a legislative employee who appeared in an online video of Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes’ campaign for the U.S. Senate, was fired Monday for violating a staff policy against partisan political activity. [C-J/AKN]

So let me ask two questions about the proposed deal. First, why would we even think about letting it go through? Second, when and why did we stop worrying about monopoly power? [NY Times]

From the annals of awful people you wish would just die already… Steve Nunn has filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea after he killed Amanda Ross in cold blood. [WKYT]

Rand Paul says Matt Bevin’s credibility has been hurt by revelations that the Republican challenger to Sen. Mitch McConnell praised the federal bailout of struggling banks several years ago. [AP]

At the same time U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell toured Eastern Kentucky lauding his work on the passage of the Farm Bill, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee told a crowd in Henry County that she forgot McConnell was even on the committee. [CN|2]

Unemployment is now the #1 problem in America, according to a new Gallup poll released Monday. [The Hill]

Jonathan Hurst and Jerry Lundergan knew better than to do this. They should not have put the guy at risk to lose his job. Making excuses and blaming Republicans proves they can be just as petty an smarmy as Mitch McConnell. Blaming Bob Stivers – butt toot he may be – is petty. Bobby Sherman is gone, so the good old days at the LRC are over. [WFPL]

In comparison with the rest of the developed world, the US has slower broadband speeds and higher broadband prices than just about anybody. [Reuters]

No, folks, hemp is not yet a thing in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It might be a thing in the future. It’s merely being studied via five pilot projects. There’s no need for cheerleading until hemp is in full swing production and the economic benefits are being realized. Until then, it’s just the Jamie Is Running For Governator Show. [H-L]

It’s not just a national embarrassment, it’s an international embarrassment. Way to go, snake people. [BBC]

What Homer Simpson can teach us about politics. The idea that pop culture is filled with parables and stories beneath the surface is nothing new. [WUWM]

Matt Bevin Law Breaking Continues In Silly Ways

Matt Bevin’s campaign is as laughably frustrating as the one run by Some Dude Named Bill Johnson.

The law breaking has gotten just as silly:


FROM TWITTER

Bevin’s folks are selectively choosing which laws they follow and are ignoring the fact that placing campaign signs on government property and in rights-of-way is illegal in Kentucky.

The same goes for Freedom Works:


FROM TWITTER

These tea people ignore campaign law every single election year in Kentucky, it seems. It’s a real shame they don’t respect this state’s right to govern campaign activity.

If a candidate can’t grasp the most basic, common sense portions of a state’s laws governing campaign activity, how on earth can they be expected to operate legally and ethically in elected office?

Rand Paul Has Resorted To Plagiarizing Lawsuits

Tea Party groups supporting Matt Bevin’s bid against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said they are satisfied with Bevin’s explanation for signing a document that praised the federal bank bailout of 2008. But lawyers who have worked with and against the Securities and Exchange Commission take issue with the explanation, expressing surprise and dismay that Bevin claimed to not have agreed with the content of a letter to investors that he signed. [Sam Youngman]

This U.S. Senate candidate from Texas (not Rand Paul) says Mitch McConnell looks and fights like a turtle. [HuffPo]

Go read this story from Jere Downs and take 100% of it to heart. This is Kentucky. Not some out-of-touch hype. Not some rich guy endorsement. Real. Honest. Everyday. We need to see more people speaking up like this. [C-J/AKN]

This is major in the pension corruption world. Greg Fischer, Jim Gray and the general assembly should take serious note. WNET, the New York City public television broadcaster, said Friday that it will return a $3.5 million grant it received to sponsor an ambitious project on public pensions amid charges that it solicited inappropriate underwriting for the series. [NY Times]

Bevin has some splainin to do. Remember the “I Love Lucy” show when an exasperated Ricky Ricardo would demand explanation for some caper of Lucy’s? [Ronnie Ellis]

For a brief, giddy moment, Sean Noble—a little-known former aide to an Arizona congressman—became one of the most important people in American politics. [ProPublica]

The Tennessee Valley Authority is hoping to open a $1 billion gas plant within three years in western Kentucky to replace its two oldest coal-fired facilities. [WKYT]

If PBS knows it’s inappropriate to take Arnold Foundation money, surely Greg Fischer, Jim Gray and Kentucky Retirement Systems should be running and screaming in a similar direction. [PBS]

Grimes’ campaign staff said she was too busy for an interview. With the Associated Press. Smooth move. [Ruh Ro Moment]

Emails appear to back the claim that Rand Paul plagiarized/stole his lawsuit. [WaPo]

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer announced Friday he’s giving the green light for a pilot project to grow industrial hemp in Kentucky and hopes to announce more details at event Monday. [Ryan Alessi]

Banks are no longer just financing heavy industry. They are actually buying it up and inventing bigger, bolder and scarier scams than ever. [Matt Taibbi]

Henry A. Tandy was one of many newly freed slaves who moved to Lexington at the end of the Civil War. He would leave marks on this city that are still visible, and his son would do the same in New York. [Tom Eblen]

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he voted to advance a clean debt-ceiling bill this week because his job is “to protect the country” when he can. [Politico]

Could Be Time To Stick A Fork In Matt Bevin

This is what generosity in Kentucky looks like! Dozens of people came through to help this family in need. Remember this when you have a bad day or get angry at Frankfort. The people who live in the Commonwealth are kind and generous. [They Did It]


SEE THE GENEROSITY FOR YOURSELF

An aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that McConnell “kept his promise to Kentuckians that he would not risk another government shutdown or default” when he voted Wednesday to help Democrats cut off debate on a bill to suspend the nation’s debt ceiling. [Sam Youngman]

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) leads his Democratic challenger, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D), by a single percentage point, according to a survey released Thursday by Republican pollster Wenzel Strategies. [HuffPo]

Hype-central (WAVE3 in Louisville) has spent a year yammering on about crime in one of the poorest areas in Kentucky. Not once has the station bothered to discuss or deal with why the area has drug problems, crime problems, homelessness. But this is why – extreme poverty. At least one media outlet gets it. At least some people in the mainstream have sense enough not to sensationalize. [C-J/AKN]

Those eager to dredge up the past would be wise at least to dredge it accurately. That’s Rand Paul they’re talking about. [Politico]

The gas line explosion in Adair County and the sinkhole collapse in Bowling Green were miles apart. But those events have renewed concerns about the controversial Bluegrass Pipeline project. [WDRB]

What do the jobless do when the benefits end? A look at what’s all too common in the United States today. [WaPo]

Don’t miss Comment on Kentucky tonight at 8:00 P.M. Eastern on KET. Scheduled guests: Sam Youngman, Tom Loftus, Nick Storm. [KET]

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says in a new interview that the Republican Party needs an overhaul rather than minor changes. [WaPo]

A same-sex couple was denied a marriage license Thursday and now they plan to take legal action against Kentucky. [WHAS11]

If you’re still wondering why the Bourke, et al decision from Judge Heyburn is so important, here you go. It’s a perfect illustration from Alabama. [SPLC]

A supervisor and employees at the state Highway Department garage in Lee County took part in odd acts of abuse on the job, including hitting workers in the testicles, pelting each other with rocks and deliberately damaging employees’ state-issued clothing with grease, according to a lawsuit and an internal investigation. [H-L]

To give you a sense of just how far down the right-wing rabbit hole you have to be in order for this ad to appeal to you: It opens by taking for granted the right-wing myth that the IRS, under Obama’s stewardship, has been targeting and intimidating conservatives. And it only gets better from there. [Salon]

Two bills scheduled for action in the Senate Thursday demonstrate the political and strategic sides of legislating. [Ronnie Ellis]

Now the Matt Bevin talking point is that he was being ironic with official government documents? [Weekly Standard]

A Key Point In Judge Heyburn's Bourke Opinion

On Wednesday, some of the biggest equality news in the nation broke. One of the most significant legal rulings yet was released by Judge Heyburn. Right here in Kentucky.

Of course, gay-panicked extremists in the legislature (along with people like Matt Bevin) immediately lost their marbles.

And everyday Kentuckians still wrestling with their ignorances opened up the floodgates.

For us, we still struggle with putting into words what this moment means.

But there’s a part of Heyburn’s ruling that really sticks out in our mind.

So let’s highlight it:

For years, many states had a tradition of segregation and even articulated reasons why it created a better, more stable society. Similarly, many states deprived women of their equal rights under the law, believing this to properly preserve our traditions. In time, even the most strident supporters of these views understood that they could not enforce their particular moral views to the detriment of another’s constitutional rights. Here as well, sometime in the not too distant future, the same understanding will come to pass.

A really significant moment for the nation. From Kentucky.

The Commonwealth is actually a leader in this moment.

Tough not to be stunned.

Woah: First Came Kentucky, Then Came Virginia

This is what generosity looks like in Kentucky. The family tell us they are speechless, grateful. So let’s help them hit their mark to bring his body home for a proper funeral. [GoFundMe]

The state Senate unanimously approved a bill Thursday to protect student digital data and allow local school boards and school councils to implement academic standards more rigorous than those set out by the state. [H-L]

A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, pointing not only to recent decisions that have struck down bans in other states but also to older rulings on a person’s right to marry. [HuffPo]

Sorry, teabaggers, but the facts aren’t a “smear” against Matt Bevin. A smear would be claiming he had an affair. A smear would be fabricating documents and alleging he signed them. Or alleging he’s a closet case. But that’s not what happened – actual documents, available to the public, allowed him to catch himself in a potential financial scandal. [C-J/AKN]

Labor contractors would be protected from some litigation under a bill that has cleared a Senate panel. If passed, the bill would insulate primary contractors from any liability for the illegal practices of their subcontractors. [WLEX18]

When President Obama signed the Farm Bill in Michigan on Friday afternoon, the “McConnell Hemp Provision” became the first Congressional action to roll back the prohibition on marijuana since World War II. [Esquire]

What a sad, tragic death in Estill County. This will probably ruin your day. [WKYT]

Remember how we first brought up Sarbanes-Oxley the other day with Matt Bevin? It’s as big a deal as we thought. [National Review]

The pipeline explosion that rocked rural Adair County early Thursday is the first “significant incident” involving a gas transmission line in Kentucky since 2012, according to federal safety records. But the operator of the pipeline is among the industry’s most penalized. [WDRB]

On Wednesday, a federal judge with deep ties to the Republican Party became the first in the South to rule in favor of gay marriage, offering the best proof yet that the balance in the nation’s long and contentious clash over how to define marriage has been tipped irrevocably in favor of gay rights. [TIME]

Yesterday Adam Edelen announced that Covington’s former finance director stole at least $793,000. [PDF Link]

Some gay-panicked folks in Washington, D.C. are in full meltdown mode. They fear the gays are taking over. [WaPo]

A Kentucky coal mine inspector is resigning amid state and federal inquiries about his relationship with state Rep. W. Keith Hall, D-Phelps. The end is nigh for Keith Hall’s political career whether he realizes it or not. And it has nothing to do with the person he’s been staying with in Frankfort, either. [John Cheves]

Five years ago, U.S. President Barack Obama and his Democratic Party had a crazy idea that maybe the richest nation in the history of the world should do something to make its fragmented, inequitable and very expensive health care system a little better. [HuffPo]