Reporter Accosted at Annual Lincoln Dinner

Really, Republicans? You’re this bitter over the librul media? Some guy named J.D. Sparks violently accosted LEO Weekly reporter Jonathan Meador – who was properly ticketed and credentialed to attend the Lincoln Day Dinner on Saturday – repeatedly.

Read all about it here and see the video below:

What’s funny, really is that Sparks refused to reveal who he worked for or who he was with. Because he knew his behavior was out of line.

We just spoke via telephone with RPK Communications Director Andi Johnson who said that Sparks wasn’t employed by the RPK, wasn’t a volunteer and wasn’t authorized to act in any official capacity. And you can see Sparks’ name tag in the video (our observation) – he was just a regular guest at the event. So before everyone jumps to conclusions, Sparks wasn’t there in any official capacity and he acted on his own accord. We’ve had a working relationship with Andi for nearly years and she has never been dishonest with us. We have every reason to believe the RPK is not to be blamed in this situation.

So everything is on Sparks, who did a crazy stupid thing. Which begs the question: why would anyone do something so stupid if they really care about rescuing their political party? And if this is the same JD Sparks who is the Executive Vice President of CinTel Corporation, why would he put his professional reputation at risk? What a shame.

Sparks has not only tarnished his Party’s name but he’s now made all reporters, bloggers and anyone who would typically give the tired ideology of the GOP any legitimacy think twice about doing so.

Of note: LEO Editor Stephen George tells us that the paper plans to file charges against Sparks on Wednesday.

RPK’s FEC Complaint Against Lunsford Dismissed

Remember when the Republican Party of Kentucky filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Bruce Lunsford for appearing on the CW’s morning show in 2008 (here’s the original story about Bruce’s appearance)? Surely you remember. Because the RPK ignored Michael Cassaro’s appearance and then hypocritically allowed Republican Anne Northup to appear on the show.

Anyway, here’s a refresher on the RPK’s hypocritical complaints:

Silly, right? Right.

The FEC seems to think so, as it has dismissed the complaint.

Here’s an excerpt of the FEC’s decision:

The purpose of the “stand-by-your-ad” requirements is to “hold candidates personally responsible and accountable for their advertisements.” See MUR 5432 (Summers-O’Neal) Statement of Reasons of Vice Chairman Toner and Commissioners McDonald and Weintraub (Citing Sen. Wyden, Cong. Record, S2174, Mar. 20, 2002). Neither the legislative history nor the Explanation and Justification published in the Federal Register mention or address the issue of a live broadcast. See Disclaimers, et. al., 67 Fed. Reg. 76962 (Dec. 13, 2002). When the statute and subsequent regulation were drafted, it is likely that the issue of a candidate appearing on a live unscripted interview was not contemplated since a statement of approval would be superfluous, and the absence of a “stand-by-your-ad” statement would not result in any diminishment of candidate accountability for what was said. While there was neither a written nor an oral “stand-by-your-ad” disclaimer by the candidate in this case, Lunsford, who spontaneously answered questions during the entire live broadcast, in effect approved of and took responsibility for his answers. Thus, Lunsford’s appearance on the television program in question effectively satisfied the spirit of the “stand-by-your-ad” requirements, if not the requirements themselves.

This case also involved a de minimus amount. See Statement of Policy Regarding Commission Action in Matters at the Initital Stage in the Enforcement Process, 72 Fed. Reg. 12545, 12545-6 (Mar. 16, 2007).

Therefore, the Commission has decided to dismiss the complaint and has closed the file.

Click here (Warning: PDF Link) to read the entire document from the FEC.

There you have it.

Maybe the matter would have had legs if there wasn’t the very apparent hypocrisy going on involving the Republicans themselves making appearances on the very same program doing the very same thing.

More on Tomorrow’s Special Senate Election

We know it’s a lost cause to write about shenanigans in the 32nd Senate District re: tomorrow’s special election. But we’re doing it anyway.

Several people in Bowling Green have informed us of multiple instances of Republican J. Marshall Hughes playing his State senate and law office ads back-to-back. It wouldn’t be a totally shady deal if his ads for the law firm were anything less than completely personality driven. They’re always about not driving drunk and never the typical litigious law firm stuff that personal injury attorneys usually favor.

All over the 32nd there are tons of billboards to that effect, as well, and it makes us think that he’s using his business to get an advantage on his campaign advertising budget in a big way. And that’s a potential campaign finance disaster waiting to eat him alive. That is, if Kentucky Democrats had half a lick of sense enough to follow through with anything. In-kind contributions have to be reported and corporate contributions are illegal.

He’ll win by 20 billion+ votes tomorrow. The kicker, though, is that if it weren’t for Hughes’ radio and television spots and his law firm effectively serving as a personality cult, Mike Reynolds could likely win. Most of the voters canvassers are speaking with (75%) are supportive of Reynolds. Unfortunately they don’t plan on turning out to vote because they don’t think anybody has the money to beat Hughes.

February 10th – Senate Special Election

Did you know? There’s a special election going on in the 32nd State Senate District.

On the Democratic side: Mike Reynolds. Fourth generation resident of Warren County. He, according to Jennifer Moore’s latest email blast, has experience and character. But we have been unable to find any information about the guy and the fancy, almost-non-existent KDP is no help. He’s apparently a businessman, attorney and community activist. Son of State Supreme Court Justice Charles Reynolds. Member of the Bowling Green Rotary Club, American Legion Post 23 and the Knights of Columbus Council 1315.

On the Republican side: J. Marshall Hughes of television commercial fame. He’s the voice of his law firm, Hughes & Coleman. He was involved in Ernie Fletcher’s fancy scandal, was indicted, and word on the street is it’s not harming him in the 32nd District.

Our impression is that Hughes is likely to win, despite his involvement in the Fletcher debacle. Which is, uh, pretty much common sense for anyone paying attention, right? Doesn’t take much to realize his millions spent on television over the past however many years is instant name i.d.

Thoughts? Opinions on the race? Will Jennifer lose another Senate seat? Drop your dirt in the comments, kids.

Kentucky Republicans Always Seem Divisive

Really, what is it with Kentucky Republicans that forces them to be divisive and disconnected? The Young Republican “Federation” is hosting a peculiar “Republican-friendly” inaugural event in Louisville that’s billed as “The Grand New Party Gala.” It’s cute that they’re trying to reinvent themselves and all. But it’s kinda hard to do that when you exclude non-Republicans in your promotional material and use an event like the inauguration of a new president as a fundraiser.

In an email blast this morning they reminded us of their party at the Seelbach Hilton tonight and mentioned auction items like “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for McCain” and “O No” merchandise.

Way to remain bitter and keep up the appearance of ignorance. Staying away from inclusive, celebratory events to wallow in your own self-pity. Good way to move your party forward.

ANYWAY, if you’re not pent up and bitter, hop over to our all-inclusive, non-partisan celebration at the Henry Clay from 4:00 – 10:00. It’s free and you aren’t required to be young or professional. And if you can’t make it, enter to win some fancy green products that will help you do your part to change the world and the way we live.

RPK Calls for Adam Edelen’s Resignation

The Republican Party of Kentucky just put out a statement calling for the resignation of Governor Steve Beshear’s Chief of Staff, Adam Edelen.

Here’s what Steve Robertson, RPK Chair, had to say:

“This Administration came to office on the promise to “clean up Frankfort” and strictly follow personnel and hiring laws in state government.

Emails on state government servers now prove that the Governor’s Chief of Staff Adam Edelen was behind the illegal hiring of Ralph Coldiron at an inflated salary. Edelen conducted personal business using state government resources and then unilaterally hired his business partner at an illegal and unjustified salary.

In order to protect Edelen, a spokesman for the Governor now claims the Governor was ‘unaware of the law’ but is silent as to whether the Governor was aware of Edelen’s activities. Ignorance of the law is not a defense to breaking it.

I now call on Adam Edelen to resign his position and the Attorney General’s office to launch an immediate investigation into Edelen’s illegal activity.”

First, the facts. Adam Edelen didn’t technically authorize (we don’t know what we did behind the scenes) Ralph Coldiron’s hiring. He didn’t sign the documents. And he didn’t approve or ask for Coldiron’s salary increase (that we can prove with public records). That’s apparently Coldiron’s doing, as he listed the salary he wanted to receive on his employment documents.

The emails Robertson mentions don’t prove anything. They only raise suspicion that Edelen was responsible. Fact of the matter is Edelen wasn’t at Homeland Security when Coldiron was hired. Thomas Preston is the guy at Homeland who hired him.

And if the governor’s office was unaware of the requirement that a board set and approve Coldiron’s salary, why had every appointment in recent memory been handled in the same manner? Why did the Fletcher Administration handle appointments the same way?

Admittedly, they’re all connected and this reeks of impropriety. But to call for Edelen’s resignation? That’s silly. Issue a public apology for causing a headache? Sure. But resign? Silly and a waste of time.

The governor’s office (and we’re obviously no fans of dishonest Steve Beshear or the hypocritical crap Edelen has pulled lately) went out of its way to resolve this problem. The governor issued an order that more information than required by law would be necessary on financial disclosure forms. And Coldiron resigned. It’d be a different story if no action had been taken.

All that said, Adam Edelen needs to seize this moment and finally right the governor’s sinking ship. He can no longer allow the governor or anyone in the administration to say one thing while very publicly doing another. The petty politicking and bad-mouthing needs to stop. They need to stop meddling in with the House and Senate during this time of crisis and focus on running the executive office of the governor once and for all.

And playing bloggers (wonder who Jake could mean here?) against the press (Joe Gerth)? Yeah, that needs to stop. Because this story still has serious legs.

Otherwise problems like these will continue to plague the administration and Edelen’s political future.

P.S. It’d also be great if the governor’s office hadn’t repeatedly told me that Jennifer Moore was out at the Kentucky Democratic Party after the messes she caused– and that Jeremy Horton would be gone– only to deny it to the press, allowing Moore to remain for months. Because those actions certainly spoke louder than their words, directly harming the governor’s standing among Kentucky Democrats.

Comment Tonight, Tonight on Monday

Guests for tonight’s Comment on Kentucky:

  • Pat Crowley, Kentucky Enquirer
  • Mark Hebert, WHAS11
  • Greg Stotlemyer, WTVQ

Kentucky Tonight guests on Monday:

  • Trey Grayson, Secretary of State
  • Jonathan Miller, Finance & Administration Secretary
  • Steve Robertson, Chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky
  • Tim Longmeyer, Chairman of the Louisville-Jefferson County Democratic Party