Caucusing Seems Silly Without Rand

The federal government wants to get involved in a whistleblower lawsuit against Eastern Kentucky disability lawyer Eric C. Conn. [H-L]

New Hampshire Republican primary voters on Tuesday made official their choice for president of the United States: real estate mogul and reality television star Donald J. Trump. The businessman’s resounding victory amid a crowded field of more experienced and accomplished candidates is a stunning turn of events for a party that vowed just four years ago to be more inclusive to minorities after failing to unseat President Barack Obama in the bitter 2012 election. [HuffPo]

Look what’s happening in Louisville while Frankfort asshats try to kill internet expansion in the rest of the state. Google Fiber is making “very good progress” in assessing whether it can install a fiber-optics network in Louisville that would provide exceptionally quick Internet service, a top city official says. [C-J/AKN]

Tightening financial conditions and uncertainty over China pose risks to the U.S. recovery, but chances are slim the Federal Reserve would need to reverse the rate tightening cycle it began in December, Fed Chair Janet Yellen told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday. [Reuters]

As the Republican Party of Kentucky gears up to organize its presidential caucus this year, many Kentuckians have a lot of questions, as several have never participated in such an event. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Most women said they are opposed to having to register for the draft in a new Rasmussen Reports poll. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s first-ever presidential nominating caucus will be held Saturday, March 5, and it will bring Republicans from three counties to Morehead to cast ballots for a share of the state’s delegates to the party’s national convention. [The Morehead News]

The American Red Cross has failed to answer a congressman’s questions about deep cuts the charity has made to staff and local offices. [ProPublica]

Frankfort is a bunch of backward-ass hillbillies who’ll believe anything they hear on Fox News, apparently. The rhetoric in the state House over how to proceed on a bill to cut off state funding for Planned Parenthood got heated Tuesday with one lawmaker saying their services are “from the pit of hell.” [Ronnie Ellis]

The most carbon-intensive way to travel is also the one way that has escaped any kind of emissions standards — until now. On Monday, the environmental committee of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) approved a new set of guidelines, but they will take more than a decade to be fully enforced. [ThinkProgress]

Looks like things aren’t going so well in Bullitt County and special deputies are still a dumb idea. Investigators say a former Bullitt County Special Deputy has ties to a Mexican Cartel. WDRB traveled to the center of drug operations to investigate how authorities caught up with him and the other local men tied to the investigation. [WDRB]

Biologists say they have solved the riddle of how a tiny bacterium senses light and moves towards it: the entire organism acts like an eyeball. [BBC]

The funding request for the Appalachian Regional Commission is the largest in more than three decades, according to its co-chairman. [H-L]

The National Rifle Association came under increasing pressure Tuesday to distance itself from longtime NRA board member Ted Nugent, after he posted photos of prominent Jewish Americans who he claimed were “really behind gun control.” [HuffPo]

Ashland Is Taking Health Care Seriously

RUH RO. A federal grand jury in Lexington has subpoenaed records of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and her father Jerry Lundergan in an investigation that relates to the finances of her political campaigns in 2014 and 2015. [C-J/AKN]

Matt Bevin’s 2015 campaign collected more than $115,000 after he was elected, allowing about 150 donors — including Frankfort lobbyists, state employees, coal executives and business owners with an interest in state government — to help him pay off his creditors. Many wrote $1,000 checks during Bevin’s first month as governor. Some are recent converts, having financially backed Democratic nominee Jack Conway in last year’s general election, or Republican candidate James Comer in the GOP primary. Once the ballots were counted Nov. 3, they wrote their first checks to Bevin, the new Republican governor. [John Cheves]

A Saudi prince may have just beaten Donald Trump at a game of Twitter trolling. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said on Twitter that he’s bailed the billionaire out twice — and suggested the GOP presidential frontrunner might need his help a third time. [HuffPo]

Republican state Rep. David Floyd says he has decided not to seek another term in this year’s election. [More C-J/AKN]

This is why it’s super-easy to roll your eyes at bogus business creation statistics bandied about by people like Alison Grimes, Steve Beshear and Matt Bevin. The truth is that almost a quarter of American startups are not founded on brilliant new ideas, but on the desperation of men or women who can’t get a decent job. The majority of all American enterprises are solo ventures having zero payrolls, employing no one but the entrepreneur, and often quickly wasting away. [Bill Moyers]

“To fully recount all the injustices that have taken place in this case would nearly be overwhelming.” — from the 2011 state Court of Appeals opinion in Denver L. Stewart III v. Commonwealth of Kentucky. Denver Stewart has no trouble reciting those injustices. [WFPL]

The Koch brothers’ donor network spent close to $400 million last year, and is on its way to spending an unprecedented $889 million supporting right-wing politics and causes during the 2016 cycle. [The Hill]

The Kentucky Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing has introduced a new feature on their website that makes it easier for motorists to access their 2015 vehicle property taxes for the upcoming tax season. Now, individuals who normally would contact their county clerks for this information can access it directly online. [Click the Clicky]

Donald Trump finally put his money where his mouth is ― loaning his presidential campaign $10.8 million in the last three months of last year, accounting for 80 percent of all the cash he brought in, according to a report filed Sunday night with the Federal Election Commission. [Politico]

Passport Health Plan, Kentucky’s leading provider-sponsored, community-based Medicaid provider, will host a press conference [this] morning at the Muhammad Ali Center to make an important announcement regarding the company’s future and the delivery of Medicaid managed care services. [Press Release]

The US economy grew at an annualised rate of 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared with the same quarter a year ago, official figures show. [BBC]

Vaping in public places is now illegal in Ashland. The city’s board of commissioners amended Ashland’s anti-smoking ordinance Thursday after listening to arguments from both sides of the e-cigarette debate. Amy Jeffers, director of Pathways Regional Prevention Center, stood before the board and cited findings by a California-based study as she spoke out against “second-hand vaping.” [Ashland Independent]

The Obama administration announced plans to expand wage reporting requirements for private businesses on Friday, bolstering its efforts to narrow the longstanding U.S. gender wage gap. [Reuters]

Underground coal mines will ramp up testing for the dust that causes breathing problems and leads to black lung disease under a new federal rule taking effect Monday. [H-L]

Republicans have spent nearly six years promising to repeal Obamacare and, for most of that time, they have refused to acknowledge what that would mean for the millions who would lose their health insurance. [HuffPo]

Alvarado Pushed Frivolous Legislation

Should landlords be held responsible when their tenant’s (or tenants’) dog bites someone?

That’s a tough call because it would, if common sense comes into play, depend upon several variables and circumstances. Though, it certainly seems like Republican State Senator Ralph Alvarado is wasting time and taxpayer dollars on dog bites instead of dealing with what’s going on in his own backyard.

Because, as we all know, if there’s one thing Kentucky is overwhelmed with? It’s frivolous dog bite lawsuits.

From a Legislative Research Commission press release last week about SB 68:

Senate Bill 68, known as “the dog bite bill,” was introduced by Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester. He said it would protect landlords from being held liable when a negligent tenant’s canine bites someone. SB 68 would do this by amending the current statute to modify the definition of persons who would qualify as the owner of a dog.

Alvarado said the legislation was prompted by a 2012 Kentucky Supreme Court opinion that a landlord could be considered a dog owner of his tenant’s dog for the purposes of legal liability. He said that opinion puts unfair pressure on property owners who may not even know that a dog is living on their property.

What kind of negligent landlord/management company do you have to be to not know there’s a dog on the property you own or operate?

This legislation seems frivolous. The kind of frivolous Republicans love to scream about. If a landlord doesn’t allow dogs in their agreement with the tenant, it’s on the tenant for violating their agreement. If a landlord does allow well-behaved dogs, as everyone should (don’t be stupid – it’s 2016), every attorney we’ve spoken with says liability can be handled with simple clauses in a lease. When asked about the 2012 supreme court case, those familiar with it suggested it wouldn’t matter if a property owner wasn’t an absentee slumlord.

And if a landlord doesn’t require rental insurance to cover that sort of thing, they probably deserve to be sued.

It’s almost as if newbie legislator Ralph Alvarado only wants the little people to take personal responsibility – not anyone a notch above middle class. Landlords – people who tend to be keenly aware of liability – have the means to afford protection in the form of strong legalese-filled leases prepared by their attorneys. It’s unfortunately not rare for those folks to be some of the most notoriously negligent people in Kentucky.

Democratic State Senator Robin Webb has it right, along with her five colleagues who opposed the legislation:

“It would totally take the landlord out of any potential recovery, whether they knew, not knew, promoted, or encouraged any activity,” she said. “It would fully insulate the landlord regardless of conduct.”

‘Cause it’s common sense. If you rent out property, you should be involved enough to know what’s going on. Only a slumlord would be so disconnected and unaware.

Wondering what could have such an influence on Alvarado, a physician, to push him to so fervently back this legislation?

Just a taste:

  • Robert Gable – $200 – 2010 – real estate broker (ret)
  • Robert Gable – $1,000 – 2013 – real estate broker (ret)
  • Robert Gable – $1,000 – 2014 – real estate broker (ret)
  • Ralph Ruschell – $100 – 2010 – real estate developer
  • Charles Conley – $375 – 2010 – Pinnacle Management
  • Katherine Davis – $500 – realtor
  • Louisville Apartment PAC – $200 – 2010
  • W.L. Rouse – $1,000 – 2014 – real estate
  • Jim McGinnis – $1,000 – 2015 – property owner

More than $5,000 in contributions that we could track down in less than ten minutes at the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.

This isn’t meant to overlook Alvarado’s co-sponsors (Chris Girdler, Jared Carpenter, Dan Seum, Mike Wilson) who have also greatly profited from landlords. It’s just a look at Alvarado because he’s a freshman legislator.

Note: Here’s a zip file (155ish K in size) of some of the KREF data we reviewed for safe keeping.

Repubs Made Another Takeover Move

You think Republicans aren’t focused on doing everything they can to grab hold of power?

Check out this Tuesday press release from the Legislative Research Commission:

FRANKFORT – A bill that would move the governor’s race to even-numbered years passed out of the state Senate today by a 28-9 vote.

State Sen. Christian McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill, who introduced the legislation, known
as Senate Bill 10, said it would increase voter turnout by aligning state elections
with federal elections. He said voter turnout in Kentucky is usually 20 percent
higher in even-numbered years when there are federal elections.

“This measure carries with it many benefits but chief among them is what it does and
what it means to our democracy,” McDaniel said. “The death of our democracy is not
likely be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy,
indifference and undernourishment.”

McDaniel said SB 10 would also save Kentucky $3.5 million and its 120 counties more
than $14 million every four years by consolidating the dates elections are held.
That translate to $603,000 in saving for Kenton County, $173,000 in saving for Pike
County, $45,000 saving for Clay County and $1.3 million in saving for Jefferson
County.

State Sen. Robin L. Webb, D-Grayson, explained her vote against SB 10. She said
saving money on elections doesn’t strengthen democracy or increase citizen
involvement. “I think anything that suppresses voters, or suppresses elections, or
the disengagement of the populous isn’t good for democracy,” Webb said. “Therefore,
I vote no.”

If SB 10 passes the state House of Representatives, it would still require a vote of
the people since it’s in the form of a constitutional amendment.

Changing election cycles in Kentucky would almost guarantee Republicans win the governor’s mansion. Because Kentuckians are easier to scare in presidential election years. They turn out in droves to support the most hate-filled, half-literate fear mongers imaginable.

Where are the Democrats?

Missing in action, as usual.

Categories RPK

Julie Raque Adams: Bad For Women

What a mess she’s turned out to be.


JULIE RAQUE ADAMS

The Republican State Senator from Louisville recently sponsored Senate Bill 4, which passed the senate 32-5 (Warning: External PDF Link), requiring women have face-to-face meetings with a doctor 24 hours prior to having an abortion. Despite spending years portraying herself as someone who has the back of every woman out there. Despite consistently hinting that she supports a woman’s right to choose.

Check out what she had to say in a release:

“What this bill does not do is restrict a woman’s rights,” Adams said. “How could anyone consider the receiving of medical information as restrictive?”

For starters, Julie, it makes an already life-altering, borderline impossible decision even harder.

In cases where abortion is medically necessary yet there are insurance snags or delays (incorrect denials, mistakes, approval mishaps, Medicaid won’t cover it, et al), women would face more than a simple inconvenience. They would not only be faced with an in-person meeting that is essentially psychological torture, they’d likely have to come up with the funds to pay for the procedure in just 24 hours. Do you have any idea how expensive that is, Julie? Or does that matter to you? We already know the answer.

As if forcing women to have a telephone conversation with a health care provider 24 hours prior to an abortion isn’t bad enough, forcing them to see someone in-person 24 hours prior is an extreme burden. Many (most?) women in need of abortion access live far out in this largely rural state. That would mean they have to travel to, say, Louisville and come up with funds to pay for a night in a hotel. That would mean they miss two days of work. That means travel expenses. That means potentially paying for childcare if there’s already a child in the home.

Do you have any idea what that extra $200-$300 expense – on top of wage loss – does to a working family, Julie? Of course you don’t. You spend $26,000+ per year to put your kids in elite private schools despite having access to some of the best public schools in the country. You live your Hurstbourne Country Club life filled with nothing but upper class white people with $300,000+ in their checking accounts.

This is a 24-hour shaming period for women who have already likely spent a considerable amount of time coming to a terribly difficult decision.

State Senator Reggie Thomas of Lexington had it right in voting against SB 4. His reasoning? Women already understand what abortion entails.

Julie Raque Adams is a full-time soccer mom who doesn’t have to work to put food on her family’s table. It’s beyond time for Democrats to get their ducks in a row to take her out.

For the record, here are Adams’ colleagues who sponsored the bill in the senate:

Note that she’s the only woman. There was only one person of color and one Democrat. That means old, white Republican men are once again making the decisions for poor women in Kentucky. Julie’s the token.

She’s why Kentucky can’t have nice things.

Another Week Of Bevin Shenanigans?

Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt is looking for used coats to distribute to those in need. She announced Friday that Republic Bank & Trust had volunteered to collect coats at its Lexington branches. Chase Dry Cleaners on South Ashland Avenue will clean the coats before they are distributed. [H-L]

Diplomacy’s great promise is that one can never predict where discussions will lead once they have begun. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin is just like Ernie Fletcher. Always appointing and promoting corrupt good old boys. In fairness, that means he’s just like the current mess of Democrats in charge. And that’s not a good thing. [C-J/AKN]

This is what you get. Reap what you sow, you look-the-other-way-and-whistle, ignore-the-hate-spread-by-your-leaders, just-worried-bout-your-own-money motherfuckers. Trump voters are the illegitimate children you spawned while skullfucking a bald eagle atop a pile of Peggy Noonan columns and screaming, “I JUST REALLY BELIEVE IN SMALL GOVERNMENT!!!!!” [Click the Clicky]

Told ya Matt Bevin’s decision to kill Beshear’s effort on voting rights restoration was a disaster because Republicans in Frankfort are worse than Kentucky Democrats. [WFPL]

The United States on Saturday lifted sanctions against Iran and announced that four Americans held prisoner in the country will be returning home, in a whirlwind day of diplomacy that cements President Obama’s engagement with Iran as a pillar of his legacy. [The Hill]

Nicholasville photographer Walter Roycraft has been selected as the Kentucky Arts Council’s featured artist for January and February. [Richmond Register]

This Martin O’Malley thing seems dumb as hell. Once furniture is used or lived with, it greatly depreciates in value. [Reuters]

From grappling with more than 20 inches of snow that was dumped on roadways, to dealing with day-to-day concerns that arise when overseeing government entities, Barren County Judge-Executive Micheal Hale and Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty detailed Friday the struggles and successes of their inaugural years in office. [Glasgow Daily Times]

How a woman whose muscles disappeared discovered she shared a disease with a muscle-bound Olympic medalist. [ProPublica]

Mayor Jim Tom Trent said his first year in office was largely positive and he thinks more good things are coming in 2016. [The Morehead News]

For his first State of the Union address in his new role as Speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has invited a group of guests aimed at demonstrating that developing local organizations, rather than relying on government, is the solution to the problem of poverty in America. A ThinkProgress examination of the people Ryan has chosen to feature, however, shows that several have received significant government assistance for their nonprofits. [ThinkProgress]

Twelve incumbents have filed to run for the Lexington Urban County Council in the fall, but only one has a challenger. [H-L]

The Obama administration, in the first major review of the country’s coal program in three decades, on Friday ordered a pause on issuing coal-mining leases on federal land as part of new executive actions to fight climate change. [HuffPo]

You Probably Have a SOTU Hangover

Rand Paul’s struggling presidential campaign was dealt another setback Monday night when Fox Business Network announced that the Kentucky senator failed to meet the polling criteria to be included in this week’s primetime Republican presidential debate. [H-L]

Let’s get this straight. We spent the first several years of Barack Obama’s presidency obsessing about whether he was born in Kenya. Why? Because a large segment of the GOP electorate — spurred on by Donald Trump — splenetically asserted that Obama’s supposed foreign birth barred him from the White House. Merely to quell the rising political distemper, Obama was forced to release a long form birth certificate from Hawaii. [HuffPo]

Jeff Hoover ran his mouth and then nothing happened. He and his small circle of loud asshats are shooting themselves in the feet left and right. They had a group of progressive legislators ready to help them oust Greg Stumbo and ruined it. Getting the big head with Bevin probably wasn’t wise for Hoover. Republicans are privately outraged. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump thinks he has found Ted Cruz’s kryptonite. The Texas senator has been put on the defensive and off message since Trump began raising questions about his rival’s eligibility to serve as president. It’s an issue that resonates with GOP base voters, if few others. [The Hill]

Matt Bevin announced the appointment Friday of Adria Johnson as Commissioner of the Department for Community Based Services. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday voiced support for a legal challenge that could erode organized labor’s clout by depriving public-employee unions of millions of dollars in fees that many state laws force non-union members to pay. [Reuters]

Authorities say a man who was found dead behind a University of Kentucky apparel store had died of hypothermia brought on by cold overnight temperatures in downtown Lexington. [WHAS11]

As winter sets in around the country, thousands of the nation’s poor are struggling to keep the heat on thanks to intentional underfunding of a key federal progam(sic). [ThinkProgress]

The Center for Rural Development, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is providing tuition-free entrepreneurial and skills training opportunities for displaced coal miners in Knox, Harlan and Perry counties. [Harlan Daily Independent]

Mitch McConnell’s life mission is to do anything and everything to be a roadblock for President Barack Obama. Even if that means screwing over his constituents. Because most of them are too disconnected and scared to notice. [Politico]

A Louisville state senator has proposed requiring police departments to submit rape kits to the state testing lab within 30 days of receiving them. [WFPL]

A US-led coalition air strike has destroyed a bank used by the Islamic State group in the Iraqi city of Mosul. [BBC]

Fascinating how quickly Bam Carney tucked his tail between his legs after a little bit of public outrage. Bystanders who post pictures on social media from the scene of a wreck could face fines under a proposal before the Kentucky General Assembly. [H-L]

Solar is the energy employer of the future — or at least that’s how the numbers look today. A new report on the state of the solar industry out Tuesday from the nonprofit Solar Foundation shows that the number of jobs in the United States in the solar industry outpaced those in the oil and gas industries for the first time ever. [HuffPo]