Frankfort Democrats In Lock-Step w/Republicans On All Fronts

Kentucky lawmakers have proposed two marriage license forms, one designed for gay couples and another for straight couples. [H-L]

Donald Trump won New Hampshire with 35 percent of the vote on Tuesday, solidifying his place as the front-runner for the Republican 2016 presidential nomination when the party meets for its national convention in Ohio this summer. [HuffPo]

Meanwhile, in Louisville… Officials with the already financially strapped Waterfront Development Corp. fear they may not get the pledged $350,000 contribution from the third Gallopalooza program to help pay for putting special lighting on the Big Four Bridge. At the same time, they are trying to convince the General Assembly to restore more than $800,000 in state funding for the waterfront agency that was not included in the new budget that Gov. Matt Bevin recently announced. [C-J/AKN]

Attacks by “homegrown” Islamist extremists are among the most imminent security threats facing the United States in 2016, along with dangers posed overseas by Islamic State and cyber security concerns, the top U.S. intelligence official said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Acceptance of an $83,400 bid to create a conference room, four offices and an enlarged break room on the upper floor of Richmond City Hall failed in a 2-2 vote Tuesday night. [Richmond Register]

Congressional Republicans are re-evaluating Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign. [The Hill]

The Ashland mayoral candidates showed voters at their first joint-speaking engagement they are running three highly different campaigns. [Ashland Independent]

The US Justice Department is suing Ferguson, Missouri to force the city to adopt police reforms negotiated with the federal government. [BBC]

Visitors to Cave Run Lake could see some big changes in recreation opportunities in the next few years. [The Morehead News]

Donors to the nonprofit group Crossroads GPS, founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove, no longer have to worry about their identities being disclosed. After a five-year wait, the IRS has approved the organization’s application for tax-exempt status. [ProPublica]

Metcalfe County magistrates have received word the county will receive enough state grant funds to cover the cost to clean two illegal dumps, and voted during their meeting Tuesday night to advertise for bids to clean the dumps, according to Vickie Stephens, county treasurer. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In the run-up to their big presidential campaign moments, the big media players in Iowa and New Hampshire gave voters a useful online feature, an interactive calendar that let them track where candidates were appearing in person. [Politico]

Former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear says he is starting an advocacy group to oppose Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s plans to dismantle kynect and scale back the state’s Medicaid expansion. [H-L]

In a memorable scene in “The Big Short,” the Oscar-nominated 2015 movie about the financial crisis, a real estate agent shows the main characters around a desolate Florida subdivision. [HuffPo]

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Jimbo Ramsey’s Days Are Numbered

The Kentucky Senate signed off Thursday on a bill to exempt school and university construction from Kentucky’s prevailing wage law but House Speaker Greg Stumbo said it does not have a chance of winning passage in the Democratic-led House. [H-L]

A former federal regulator and Elizabeth Warren acolyte who has repeatedly questioned the Obama administration’s treatment of student loan borrowers just took a job with the Department of Education. [HuffPo]

Raising the stakes for University of Louisville President James Ramsey, two members of the board of trustees announced Thursday that they no longer support his presidency while the board’s chairman said he favors reducing the president’s powers. Don’t forget that Greenberg has never cared about Ramsey in the past. Not during any number of other scandals. Fascinating to see this turn. [C-J/AKN]

Hillary Clinton is attacking Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) from the right on healthcare ahead of next month’s Democratic caucuses in Iowa. []

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources invites the public to review a new document that when finalized will guide management of the state’s elk herd for years to come. [Richmond Register]

Nebraska President Barack Obama visited with a young family in the living room of their suburban house in Nebraska on Wednesday, the first stop on what the White House said would be a year-long tour to talk with Americans about fixing the nation’s polarized politics. [Reuters]

Morehead State President Wayne Andrews lifted his Powerball ticket in the air and joked with faculty that he’d only retire if he owned the winning lottery digits. [Ashland Independent]

Numerous attempts to restrict where transgender people can use the restroom have been proposed in recent years, but one Virginia lawmaker’s latest legislation might be the most vicious. He actually wants to fine transgender children $50 if they use what he deems to be the “wrong” restroom. [ThinkProgress]

The Rowan County Board of Education in a special meeting last week re-elected Rick Whelan as board chair. [The Morehead News]

You can thank Mitch McConnell for all of that senate gridlock. He loves to blame the Democrats but you know that’s not based in reality, no matter how bad they are. [Politico]

A second Glasgow attorney has filed to run for office for Kentucky’s 43rd Judicial District, which encompasses Barren and Metcalfe counties. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Hillary Clinton’s new barrage against Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential primary opponent she has all but ignored through most of her campaign, is having an effect — though probably not the one she intended. Sanders’s underdog campaign said it is seeing a surge of contributions as a direct result of the new attention it is getting from the Democratic front-runner, with money coming in at a clip nearly four times the average daily rate reported in the last quarter of 2015. [WaPo]

Kentucky junior U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is mad as hell about being excluded from the next Republican presidential debate, and on Thursday, Paul had one word for the media. [H-L]

The Republican National Committee has started preparing for a contested national convention, which would follow the primary season should no GOP candidate for president win enough delegates to secure the party’s nomination. [HuffPo]

Bevin Still Wants To Choke Medicaid

Your support is crucial if you want to see us continue. While other media outlets ignore scandals like those in Montgomery County, we’re shining the bright lights of transparency on issues that directly impact you across the Commonwealth. Love us or hate us, we’re putting in the time and effort to spend years reporting on issues from the pension crisis to government-sanctioned animal cruelty to educational corruption and we get real results. [Help Us!]

More than seven in 10 residents of Kentucky want their new governor, Matt Bevin, to keep the state’s expanded Medicaid program as it is, according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation. [H-L]

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has finally unleashed a verbal assault on the one rival he has so far spared. Trump also appeared to take a veiled shot at Cruz’s family background, suggesting Cruz might have trouble appealing to the state’s evangelical voters. “I do like Ted Cruz, but not a lot of evangelicals come out of Cuba,” he said of the country where Cruz’s father, an evangelical preacher, was born. [HuffPo]

When the Ohio River Bridges Project and Spaghetti Junction were redesigned in 2011 to trim $1.5 billion from the project budget, Louisville waterfront officials lost a chance to add up to 40 acres to Waterfront Park, widely viewed as a community gateway. [C-J/AKN]

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in an interview broadcast early Sunday that fellow GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslim travel into the U.S. was a distraction in the wake of the deadly attack in San Bernardino, Calif. [The Hill]

Recently, I spent a week in Germany studying the country’s energy transition. Elected officials and businesses there have committed the country to aggressive renewable energy goals during the past couple decades; meanwhile, they’ve also mandated phase-outs for nuclear and coal-fired power plants. [WFPL]

“PPL WORLD WIDE,” the Facebook post shouted, using text-speak for the word “people.” “FRANCES … IS HPV POSITIVE!” The public missive from January 2014 gave Frances’ full name, along with the revelation that she had human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease that can cause genital warts and cancer. It also included her date of birth and ended with a plea to friends: “PLZ HELP EXPOSE THIS HOE!” [ProPublica]

As Alfredo Escobar moved about art teacher Denise Discepoli’s classroom at Model Laboratory School, he greeted students’ questions with a warm smile and thought-provoking answers. [Richmond Register]

Rand Paul on Friday sided with Ben Carson, who blasted the GOP establishment after reports that party insiders had begun discussing how to handle a brokered convention in July. [Politico]

As other mountain towns struggle to keep what they still have, the city of Pikeville is proving it pays to make plans. [Ashland Independent]

US chemical giants Dow Chemical and DuPont have announced a plan to merge, in a deal valuing them at $130bn (£86bn). [BBC]

The Barren County Sheriff’s Office made its annual audit report available to the public this week, even before the Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts’ office posted it online. [Glasgow Daily Times]

This would have been an instructive Senate hearing for Turd Cruz to attend: “U.S. Strategy to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and U.S. Policy Toward Iraq and Syria.” [NY Times]

Hillview, a growing community of 8,000 people, is trying to plow new ground. It isn’t claiming an inability to pay the debt, which is about five times its annual budget, but an unwillingness. [H-L]

Congress appears to think the U.S. economy has improved so much that it’s time to turn the screws on American households. [HuffPo]

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Are Fayette County Schools Just Terrible?

In the 2013-2014 school year, Nicole Jenkins said, her then 8-year-old son witnessed a friend “being called the n-word on the school bus.” “Later that year,” Jenkins said, “he and a Hispanic friend were called the n-word. Finally, … he was called a baboon by a classmate” at Meadowthorpe Elementary School. [H-L]

After the Republican Party took a drubbing at the polls on Election Day 2012, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus ordered an autopsy. The party, the coroner’s report found a few months later, had alienated women and minorities and came off as plutocratic. [HuffPo]

Fire investigators have blamed the total loss of a General Electric warehouse on outdated Appliance Park equipment that failed when fire crews rushed to the scene April 3. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI on Friday announced the arrests in Oakland of two animal rights activists, Joseph Buddenberg and Nicole Kissane, and accused the pair of engaging in “domestic terrorism.” This comes less than a month after the FBI director said he does not consider Charleston Church murderer Dylann Roof a “terrorist.” The activists’ alleged crimes: “They released thousands of minks from farms around the country and vandalized various properties.” That’s it. Now they’re being prosecuted and explicitly vilified as “terrorists,” facing 10-year prison terms. [The Intercept]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that states must recognize same-sex marriages is roiling Kentucky and pulling in other parties who probably would rather stay out of the controversy. [Ronnie Ellis]

Consumers of organic foods are getting both more and less than they bargained for. On both counts, it’s not good. When will people quit it with pseudoscience and Ferd Berb wooery? Organic doesn’t equal magic and GMOs are not the devil. [Forbes]

This may be the funniest story of the entire 2015 campaign. [Kentucky New Era]

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is due to meet with senior military leaders on Thursday to map out his budget priorities for the coming year, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty announced at Monday night’s city council meeting the three finalists for the position of police chief. [Glasgow Daily Times]

All these articles act as if Rand really thought he had a shot at winning the presidency. And is it really a bad thing that he’s not trying to sell his rear end for campaign cash? Really? This all bodes extremely well for his U.S. Senate campaign. No, this doesn’t mean we’re fans. [Politico]

Seriously? This guy was arrested for shooting down a drone flying over his property? Most of you reading this would do the same damn thing and so would we. [WDRB]

Half of American adults had their personal information exposed to hackers last year alone. In a recent attack at the federal Office of Personnel Management, hackers stole the most sensitive personal data for 21.5 million people. [NY Times]

Lexington leaders from city government, education and business gathered Monday evening to announce their goal of obtaining accreditation from the National Safety Council as a “safe community.” [H-L]

After a group of GOP senators huddled Tuesday afternoon to discuss the recently released undercover “sting” videos of Planned Parenthood, Republicans unveiled legislation to strip the family planning provider of its federal funding. [HuffPo]

Jack Is No Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes

It’s no secret that we despise Jack Conway’s campaign people (his office staff is terrific, even if he doesn’t let them do their jobs). But it’s a stretch to compare Jack to Alison Grimes in her mind-bogglingly awful 2014 campaign. Conway had his own bad campaign in 2010 but he still doesn’t compare to the embarrassment that was Grimes. [H-L]

Decades after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling declared segregated schooling of black students unconstitutional, many American schools with high minority populations continue to receive fewer resources and provide an education that’s inferior to schools with large white populations. Kentucky’s in a terrible spot and Frankfort doesn’t care. [HuffPo]

In a push for better Internet service across Kentucky, state government is poised to become a large-scale owner of broadband infrastructure over the next four years, raising new questions about digital privacy and the potential for censorship or bureaucratic snooping. [C-J/AKN]

Leaked video reveals omissions in official account of police shooting. [The Intercept]

A woman who works in Washington, D.C., has accused a visiting Richmond Police officer of “catcalling.” [Richmond Register & Popville]

National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent attacked President Obama and gun safety advocates for calling attention to the deaths of children from guns, calling such efforts “The Big Lie” — a phrase associated with Nazi propaganda. [MMFA]

At a time when most states are restoring funding for higher education after the deep and sustained cuts of the recession, Kentucky has continued to reduce funding and lags behind in several funding categories, according to a new study. [Ashland Independent]

The mother of an 11-year-old girl from Kentucky who was shot dead by her father in a murder-suicide this week was on the phone with her and heard the child’s anguished last words moments before gunfire erupted on the other end of the line. [Daily Mail]

Barren County Schools is working to combat what is commonly called the “summer learning loss” or “summer slide” again this summer with its 21st Century Summer Camps. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The House is looking to use an overwhelming bipartisan vote to raise pressure on the Senate over a medical cures bill on which the upper chamber has been lagging. The House is moving forward on its 21st Century Cures measure, aimed at speeding up the FDA’s approval of new drugs and increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health. [The Hill]

Rowan County Fiscal Court is facing the possibility that the projected $15 million cost of a new jail might not be enough for the proposed 300-bed facility. [The Morehead News]

Of course the Republican National Committee is as backward and anti-gay as Kentucky Democrats. [ThinkProgress]

This is the extent of coverage that’s been provided to the Terry Holliday situation. No wonder people in Kentucky feel like they’ve been kept in the dark. [H-L]

President Barack Obama said that LGBT rights “are human rights” in a statement released Saturday to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. [HuffPo]

No Wonder Lil Randy’s Racist Dad Left Congress

Didn’t they try this same thing last year? Kentucky State University will drop a quarter of its students from enrollment for unpaid bills, some of which are as high as $40,000 and have lasted two years, the university announced Wednesday. [H-L]

As the Obama administration weighs whether it should try to manage the Islamic State, destroy it or follow it to the “gates of Hell,” endless news coverage and non-stop cable chatter have focused on the possibility of expanding the fight from Iraq to Syria. [HuffPo]

He was a philanthropic superstar who was once honored by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale with an award dubbed the “Nobel Prize for Goodness.” President Bill Clinton presented him with the nation’s top recognition for volunteers, the President’s Volunteer Action Award, in a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House. [C-J/AKN]

In hundreds of police departments across the country, the percentage of whites on the force is more than 30 percentage points higher than in the communities they serve, according to an analysis of a government survey of police departments. [NY Times]

In what appear to be his first public comments on civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following the fatal police shooting of an 18 year old man, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) urged Wednesday for people not to jump to any conclusions. [WHAS11]

A new George Washington University “Battleground” poll shows that, on the list of things that people think are wrong with this country, Obamacare actually ranks pretty low. As in behind-“other” low. [WaPo]

The Berea City Council heard the first reading of an ordinance that would slightly increase property taxes. But the rate would still increase revenue less than the 4 percent allowed without a referendum. [Richmond Register]

A federal judge has found oil giant BP Plc “grossly negligent” for its role in the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a ruling that could add billions of dollars in fines to the more than $42 billion in charges taken so far for the worst offshore disaster in U.S. history. [NBC News]

The road to building a safer Lynch was discussed by Police Chief James Fox at a recent meeting of the Lynch City Council. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Yep, we’re running this again. Last week’s guilty plea by former Iowa State Sen. Kent Sorenson wasn’t the end of the federal investigation into the 2012 Iowa caucus payola scandal — not by a longshot. No wonder Rand Paul’s racist dad left congress. [Open Secrets]

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, juggled an Ebola outbreak in Africa while traveling in Eastern Kentucky in August to learn about the region’s stark health disparities. We appreciate his accepting U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers’ invitation to … participate in events and discussions that drew more than 1,000 people, all while fielding worldwide calls and emails from those working to contain the deadly virus. After all that, the least Kentuckians can do is pay attention to what Frieden had to say, especially about what he called “the No. 1 cause of preventable death in this country” — smoking. [Times Leader]

Don’t miss Comment on Kentucky tonight at 8:00 P.M. Eastern on KET. Scheduled guests: Ronnie Ellis, John Stamper, Nick Storm. [KET]

It’s just what Central Kentuckians wanted on their televisions: More political ads. Both candidates in the 6th Congressional District started airing their first commercials of the fall campaign this week. [John Cheves]

Just days after an internal report found that the Republican Party is alienating female voters by opposing equal pay laws, the party attempted to reverse that trend in a tweet. [HuffPo]

Hey, Jerry Lundergan: There’s More Than Coal

With signs pointing to a potentially rocky road ahead in coal country, Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes sought to retool her coal message this week, injecting a populist strain into her pro-coal platform. [Sam Youngman]

The Republican National Committee is celebrating former President George W. Bush’s birthday this weekend by selling wistful “I Miss W.” t-shirts to its supporters. [HuffPo]

Staff reductions at the Oldham County Health Department will limit women’s cancer screening and family planning services starting Monday. [C-J/AKN]

Rand Paul is taking steps to shore up his perceived political vulnerabilities ahead of a possible presidential run in 2016. But we already know it won’t work for him. [The Hill]

After entering into executive session per KRS 61.810 (l) (c) at a recent special called meeting, members of the Harlan Fiscal Court returned and reported all county employees, salaried and hourly, may now request reimbursement for their cumulative vacation time on an annual basis. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

At the Native Roots Apothecary, a discreet marijuana shop in a grand old building in Denver’s busy 16th street shopping mall, business is so brisk that customers are given a number before taking a seat to wait their turn. [Reuters]

Kentucky Senate hopeful Alison Lundergan Grimes made a visit to Southeastern Kentucky this week as part of her eight-county jobs bus tour—one of her stops being at the local Treehouse Cafe and Bakery on Main Street in Hazard. [Hazard Herald]

After a ProPublica story, the military will exhume a grave in the Philippines that may hold the remains of Bud Kelder, an American POW whose family has long been fighting the Pentagon to get him home. [ProPublica]

Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes know a good place to look for votes when they see it. [Ronnie Ellis]

US billionaire publisher and influential conservative Richard Mellon Scaife has died aged 82. [BBC]

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who is seeking a sixth term, will address a Richmond Chamber of Commerce Business at Noon Luncheon, Friday, July 18. [Richmond Register]

Before immigrants get deported, they are sometimes held temporarily by local law enforcement at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. But cities across the country, most recently Philadelphia, are saying they will no longer fully cooperate with that plan. [NPR]

The $12 million contract to feed Kentucky’s 21,200 prison inmates is up for bid for the first time since a 2010 audit found significant problems with the state’s current contractor. [H-L]

The “super PAC to end all super PACs” reached a major fundraising goal on Friday in its quest to reduce the influence of money in politics. [HuffPo]