Your ‘Lectric’s Gonna Cost More

Nine people were indicted Tuesday on charges of spiriting away what Kentucky authorities say was more bourbon whiskey than one person could drink in a lifetime. But, uh, we could definitely drink that in a lifetime. [H-L]

Defenders of the White House push for sweeping trade deals argue they include tough enforcement of labor standards. But a top union leader scoffed at such claims Tuesday, revealing that administration officials have said privately that they don’t consider even the killings of labor organizers to be violations of those pacts. [HuffPo]

A Franklin County grand jury indicted nine people Tuesday in connection with Kentucky whiskey thefts dating back to 2008, possibly including the notorious heist of 65 cases of Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve. [C-J/AKN]

Support for ObamaCare has climbed to its highest level in more than two years, according to a new Kaiser Health Tracking Poll released Tuesday. [The Hill]

Narrowly drawn voting precincts have been an issue for protecting secret ballots in Boyd County for awhile, according to Boyd County Clerk Debbie Jones. [Ashland Independent]

The United States needs disruptive new technologies, new ways of acquiring equipment and bandwidth, and closer ties with global allies to stay ahead of growing challenges in space from China, Russia and others, the head of U.S. Air Force Space Command told Reuters. [Reuters]

The Housing Authority of Glasgow made a payment to the city of Glasgow in lieu of property taxes Thursday morning during a meeting of the authority’s board of directors. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Nearly one in three black students attend a school that looks as if Brown v. Board of Education never happened. [ProPublica]

As Earth Day approaches, a new survey shows overwhelming support from Kentuckians for environmental education, but room for improvement in residents’ environmental literacy. The Survey of Kentuckians’ Environmental Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors from the Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KECC) reveals that while 96 percent of Kentuckians believed that environmental education should be taught in schools, some basic information, such as the primary source of water pollution in Kentucky, was unknown by the majority of survey respondents, according to KEEC Executive Director Elizabeth Schmitz. [Press Release]

Lindsey Graham and John McCain are “lapdogs” for President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, Rand Paul said Tuesday, at once firing back at recent remarks from the hawkish Republicans and seeking to distinguish his defense credentials. [Politico]

David Dickerson planned to keep an open mind about this year’s Republican gubernatorial primary. The former Republican Barren County Judge-Executive and businessman supported Matt Bevin in last year’s U.S. Senate primary won by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. Bevin is running for governor this time, along with Louisville developer Hal Heiner, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer from neighboring Monroe County and former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott of Pikeville. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to get health insurance or pay a penalty. To help coax people to buy a health plan, the federal government now subsidizes premiums for millions of Americans. [NPR]

Kentucky Utilities’ customers will pay more for their monthly electric bill while Louisville Electric & Gas customers will pay more for their gas bills according to a settlement reached Tuesday concerning the companies’ rate requests. [H-L]

Way to go, wingnuts. House Republicans advanced a measure on Tuesday that would reverse a Washington, D.C., law preventing employers from being able to fire individuals based on their personal reproductive health decisions. [HuffPo]

Better Late Than Never, Huh, Newsies?

Ruh ro, the newspaper finally started to cover what we’ve been reporting for two years. And this bit about the school board seeking permission to fire Joshua Powell only comes a couple weeks late. [H-L]

Luisa Cintron, 25, is sitting up as straight as she can, perched on the edge of the neatly made bed that doubles as a couch inside her dimly lit apartment. She is wearing a sweater and slacks, talking about the government program that she says changed her life, and trying — without much success — not to get distracted by the 4-year-old talking loudly about Batman in the next room. [HuffPo]

Here’s the deal: We all know Whitney Westerfield is just upset that Jack Conway doesn’t hate gay people. Whitney, insecure in his own life, body and existence, projects his perceived failures as a man onto Jack. It’s a real shame because it makes him look dumber than he really is. Folks can hate Jack all they want but he’s not a bigot. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama’s approval ratings have reached their highest mark in almost two years, according to a new poll from CNN/ORC. [The Hill]

Looks like the Harlan County Fiscal Court has a bit of a problem on its hands in the latest audit. [External PDF Link]

Looks like the damage the Robert Felner crony caused in Los Angeles is finally beginning to be cleaned up. [Reuters]

Annual unemployment rates were lower in all 120 Kentucky counties in 2014 than in 2013, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. [Press Release]

Over the past several weeks, Republicans—at least those running for president—seem to have discovered the vexing issues of income and wealth inequality. [Politico]

The man known as the Duct Tape Bandit pleaded guilty to robbery Friday under an agreement that will likely put him behind bars for close to 15 years, according to Boyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney David Justice. [Ashland Independent]

Most people can’t imagine living without smartphones or the Internet, let alone without electricity. But even today — even in the United States — there are still people who live without lights and refrigeration. [NPR]

Kentucky House of Representatives Speaker Greg Stumbo has appointed state Rep. Rita Smart, D-Richmond, as the co-chair of the General Assembly’s newly created Subcommittee on Tourism Development. [Richmond Register]

The St Louis Post-Dispatch has won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Ferguson shooting and unrest. [BBC]

A New York financier who stole millions of dollars from the Kentucky Retirement Systems will serve two to six years in prison. [H-L]

This time, Hillary Rodham Clinton wants to be on liberals’ good side. As a presidential candidate in 2008, she opposed gay marriage, equivocated on granting driver’s licenses to people who were living in the U.S. illegally and endured heavy criticism from rival Barack Obama over her stance on campaign finance. [HuffPo]

Comer Crew’s Fun Was On Full Display

Polls show former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott running a distant last in the four-way primary to become the Republican nominee for governor on May 19. [H-L]

Rand Paul lashed out Saturday at military hawks in the Republican Party in a clash over foreign policy dividing the packed GOP presidential field. [HuffPo]

Obamacare flooded into these remote Appalachian hills last year like the War on Poverty had a half-century earlier — another government program promising to save some of America’s most vulnerable citizens. [C-J/AKN]

Public health groups are urging newly minted Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to follow in her husband’s footsteps and take on Big Tobacco. This would never happen with Rand Paul because his top dog is the guy who fought on the wrong side of The Insider. [The Hill]

During the natural course of my job in the Genealogy and Local History room at the library, I am asked to help find a great number or things, such as pictures, documents, family members, etc. [Ashland Independent]

In the first legal test of the Obama administration’s plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, two of three federal judges hearing a challenge to the regulations on Thursday expressed skepticism about weighing in before they are formally adopted. [Reuters]

Child abuse prevention is a year-round effort, but the issue comes to the forefront during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Super PACS that get nearly all of their money from one donor quadrupled their share of overall fund-raising in 2014. [ProPublica]

Officials of Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC) Monday presented a report on the “BuildSmart Investment for Kentucky Competitiveness” to Morehead City Council. [The Morehead News]

The House on Wednesday with little fanfare passed legislation that would protect major donors like the Koch brothers and Tom Steyer from having to pay gift taxes on huge donations to secret money political groups. [Politico]

If Jamie Comer really wants to keep a conversation about infidelity out of the gubernatorial race… he probably out to make sure his staffers keep their extramarital affairs a little more quiet. The shenanigans witnessed at a Hardin County breakfast on Saturday were just crazy. [Deep Thoughts]

Any attempts to engineer the climate are likely to result in “different” climate change, rather than its elimination, new results suggest. [BBC]

Blake Nutter, 29, is a full-time volunteer at Bourbon County High School, showing new students around the school, helping to monitor the cafeteria, and assisting principals and teachers. [H-L]

World finance officials said Saturday they see a number of threats on the horizon for a global economy still clawing back from the deepest recession in seven decades, and a potential Greek debt default presents the most immediate risk. [HuffPo]

Jamie Comer & Jack Conway Agree

We hear through a couple of gayvines that Jamie Comer’s internal polling shows Hal Heiner leading the pack. Matt Bevin in second place. With Comer trailing them both by something like six (6!) points.

Jack Conway’s folks are quietly saying their polling also indicates Comer is in third place.

So it looks like the two definitely agree on something. That Jamie Comer is a third place candidate.

Of course, this could all just be rumor. But Comer’s campaign leakers have yet to mislead us.

Jim Holsinger’s Pals With Hal Heiner

A fire alarm forced the evacuation of the Fayette County Democratic Party’s awards dinner Tuesday night, but it didn’t stop gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway from finding the stump. [H-L]

Don’t listen to McConnell but pay attention to other Kentuckians. “Before you take advice about climate change from Senator McConnell please consider first what so many knowledgeable voices from the Bluegrass State are saying about climate change, and second how failing to act gives up your state’s right to set its own course of action toward a clean energy future,” states the letter spearheaded by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and signed by four other senators in the Democratic Conference. [HuffPo]

A Monday fundraiser in Lexington for gubernatorial candidate Hal Heiner and his running mate KC Crosbie will look like an Ernie Fletcher reunion. Complete with bigot Jim Holsinger — remember that guy? [C-J/AKN]

Tens of millions of dollars and counting. That’s how much the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has spent so far on a three-year campaign to improve the plight of low-wage retail and fast-food workers, an analysis of public filings shows. [Reuters]

After months of setbacks, frustrations and reformulations, the restaurant and microbrewery under development between Ashland’s signature bridges along Greenup Avenue took a major step forward Saturday with the delivery and initial installation of a batch of double-polished stainless steel equipment purpose-designed for the creation of craft beers. [Ashland Independent]

Campaigners in the Netherlands are taking the government to court for allegedly failing to protect its citizens from climate change. [BBC]

The Benham City Council took time during their meeting on Friday to discuss several items needing the panel’s attention, including an ordinance setting pay rates for city employees. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Presidential candidates are moving away from public financing. [NPR]

The Kentucky Valley Education Cooperative (KVEC) and Hazard Independent Schools have invited the public to attend an Action Research Summit at the Pikeville EXPO Center in Pikeville on April 21. The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. [Hazard Herald]

What does gun violence really cost? Apple’s worldwide revenue is $182 billion. The cost of gun violence is $229 billion. [Mother Jones]

Remember when media ignored the drugged-addled daughter of an elected official in Morehead stealing a man’s dog? Fascinating how that works. [WKYT]

Catholic officials announced on Tuesday plans for a landmark climate change-themed conference to be hosted at Vatican later this month, the latest in Pope Francis’ faith-rooted campaign to raise awareness about global warming. [Think Progress]

Johnny Bell can suck a frozen dog turd for the racist, sexist crap he’s allegedly done. [Bluegrass Politics]

A new poll reveals that public support for same-sex marriage is rising in all 50 states — including the ones that still haven’t legalized the institution for same-sex couples. [HuffPo]

Adam Pushes For Testing Rape Kits

As I watched the roll-out of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination last week, I thought I was about to see him announce that he was changing his party affiliation. [H-L]

The Islamic State group launched an offensive in Iraq’s western Anbar province on Wednesday, capturing three villages near the provincial capital of Ramadi where fierce clashes were underway between the extremists and government troops, residents said. [HuffPo]

The News Journal of Corbin reported Monday on an update by the Keeneland Association regarding the plans of the Lexington thoroughbred racing and auction company to build a quarter horse track near Interstate 75 that would have the slot-like historical horse racing. The story was full of interesting political bedfellows in what Keeneland apparently has decided will be called Thunder Gap. [C-J/AKN]

A major Appalachian coal mining company is laying off hundreds of workers in West Virginia and blaming the lost jobs on President Obama’s environmental policies. [The Hill]

Check out the photos of that gigantic boulder. It’s worth the click. [Ashland Independent]

Protesters in several U.S. cities blocked highways and swarmed police precincts, leading to at least two dozen arrests in demonstrations touched off by fresh cases of police violence against unarmed black men. [Reuters]

Adam Edelen on Wednesday launched a major initiative to count the number of untested sexual assault kits across the Commonwealth, as well as make recommendations for reforming how evidence in cases of sexual violence is handled in the future. [Press Release]

A federal judge got it wrong last week when he claimed President Barack Obama indicated that the changes he ordered to immigration policy late last year left immigration officials without discretion about how to handle specific cases, the Justice Department argued in a federal appeals court filing Tuesday. [Politico]

While casual statistics have been used to cast RTW in different lights, rigorous studies that examine RTW’s effect on states’ economies find no link between RTW and jobs. [External PDF Link]

US President Barack Obama offers Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi $200m in humanitarian aid on his first official visit to Washington. [BBC]

The Franklin County Sheriff is looking for anybody who may have purchased a barrel of high-priced, stolen bourbon. [WLEX18]

It was a day of demonstrations in cities across the nation on Tuesday. The turnout and tone of the protests, organized with the Black Lives Matter movement, were varied. [NPR]

Heads-up, again, to Montgomery County Schools. Western Kentucky suspended its swimming and diving programs for five years on Tuesday after the school and Bowling Green police found violations of Title IX sexual misconduct and assault, harassment and the student conduct code. [H-L]

Opponents of legalizing marijuana can’t be happy about several new polls released Tuesday. Majority support for making cannabis legal is holding steady, while young adults are legalization’s biggest fans. And that’s true both nationally and in several swing states. [HuffPo]

More From The Downward Republican Campaign Spiral Brought To You By Jamie Comer & Company

Here’s a laugh from last week:

The poll, by Triumph Campaigns, found that Heiner is backed by 33 percent of voters, while Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has the backing of 19 percent.

-SNIP-

The Bluegrass Poll, conducted by SurveyUSA for The Courier-Journal, WHAS, the Lexington Herald-Leader and WKYT, found that Heiner led with 28 percent of voters while Heiner and Bevin were tied at 20.

-SNIP-

Edwin King, Comer’s campaign manager, trashed the poll saying, “This is nothing but a push poll. We’ve talked to people across the state that received the poll.

“The pollster started with a negative statement about Commissioner Comer and Matt Bevin and a positive statement about Heiner. Heiner’s great wealth can buy him poll results but can’t buy him enough votes to win the primary,” King said in a statement.

Comer also criticized the Bluegrass Poll when it’s findings were announced.

-SNIP-

Brasell said the firm conducted the poll as part of a public relations campaign and wasn’t paid to do it. He also disputed that the poll was a “push poll” and shared the questionnaire he used.

“Where’s the push?” he asked.

Couple things.

1. If you’re gonna claim something is a push poll as a statewide campaign manager, you better have evidence to back it up or you’re going to sound like a fool. You can’t just regurgitate whatever line Jamie Comer feeds you and expect it to go over well.

2. There’s even more proof the McConnell crew have left Comer to wither on the vine. Justin Brasell is a former McConnell campaign manager.

It’s sad when you can’t get ahead of Hal Heiner — the man who lost to GREG FISCHER.