Fear & McConnell in 2008

The spinmeisters are out in full force these days. But Danny Briscoe may be right that Democrats need to field a candidate who isn’t afraid of losing.

“The thing most complimentary you can say about Beshear is, having run twice statewide and lost and to come back and run a third time, it displays a lot of discipline and a lack of a fear of losing,” Briscoe said.

Just last week Andrew Horne told Ryan Alessi that he’s not afraid of losing.

“I’m not a politician. I am not afraid of losing. If I was worried about risk and danger, I woudn’t have joined the Marine Corps before I graduated high school. That’s not a concern for me,” he said. “I respond when my country needs me, not when it’s convenient.”

That’s just what needs to happen. A candidate like Horne needs to jump in the race instead of continually weighing their options like others seem to be doing. Some think traveling to D.C. and calling major donors are the only necessary motions to make at this stage of the game. But it’s a little late for testing the waters. You’re either in or you’re out. It’s time.

Oh. Contrary to Republican spin, Horne has never said he wants to “lose” the war in Iraq. Twisting words sure is fun.

Senate 08 Hopefuls & Awkward Commentary

Ryan Alessi has a great story today about potential senate contenders. A good read for a quick what-for in Democratic senatorial politics today. But we have to take issue with some of it.

Fischer didn’t return a call to his office, but his friend Matthew Barzun, a Louisville businessman and Democratic activist, said Fischer “is lining up support for a run.” He will make a formal announcement soon, Barzun added.

If the Browns of Louisville, who in the past have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for George Bush, think their Republican-lite friend Greg Fischer will be a good candidate purely because he has their financial backing, they’ll be squarely rejected. The Browns and other big name raisers need to think outside of their elite circle for a change. An honest change. Big business is not the answer.

Democratic leaders are insisting that the party isn’t panicking to find someone to take on McConnell, the U.S. Senate Republican leader who has shown some vulnerability in recent polling.

This is true. Democrats aren’t panicking to find a candidate because Democrats aren’t doing anything. Nothing at all. Aside from holding a fundraiser or two.

“There’s no question the Democratic Party will have a strong candidate in the race,” said U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, who took himself out of the party’s Senate sweepstakes weeks ago. “Who runs, I don’t think, is nearly as much of an issue as the political atmosphere and climate that exists.”

Ben Chandler is off his rocker if he doesn’t think the candidate we select matters. Greg Fischer, who has contributed to Republicans and never been active politically? Charlie Owen, a good man who absolutely couldn’t win or even hope to be a solid candidate because he’s never had the support necessary? Please. It matters. If we don’t run our strongest candidate– with no baggage– we have absolutely no hope of defeating Mitch McConnell.

Read moreSenate 08 Hopefuls & Awkward Commentary

Money & Such

Man. The sell-outs never give up, do they? Constantly recycling material from Page One and BlueGrassRoots.

Like we said, we’re not about back room deals. And we’re not about to rip someone else’s material off. We appreciate those who are honest. So thank you to those who know how to give props where props are due. We heart you.

Time to answer a couple questions again:

What kind of man is Andrew Horne? See for yourself. He smokes this man handily.

The money? Come on, people! Don’t act like the Democratic candidate opposing Mitch McConnell won’t be able to raise mad cash. Steve Beshear raised $7.07 million in his effort to defeat Ernie Fletcher. You read it correctly. Steve Beshear– Mr. Back-in-Frankfort-Again– raised $7.07 million. Beshear’s dedication paid off and everything he learned will be put to use in 2008.

Now, what was that again about a McConnell opponent not being able to raise money quickly in Kentucky?

Echo? What?

Crit’s Statement

From PolWatchersCrit Luallen’s official statement regarding the U.S. Senate:

“While I have been honored that so many respected state and national leaders have encouraged me to consider running for the United States Senate in 2008, I have no plans to enter the race. I have just been re-elected as State Auditor and look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Kentucky in that capacity. The polls show that Mitch McConnell is certainly vulnerable and Kentuckians are ready for a change. I am confident that Democrats will field a strong candidate next year.”

UPDATE: Ugh. We hit post too quickly and didn’t include the rest of what we had to say: Crit Luallen is to be commended for her leadership in Kentucky. She’s given a lot of great people the guidance they have needed to become the future leaders of our Commonwealth and the world. Without her dedication the past decade we’d be a lot worse for the wear.

We’re hopeful that with Criit’s announcement we’ll all move toward raising money for Mitch’s future opponent and toward coming together as a community that forces necessary change upon the Bluegrass. We have a remarkable opportunity and with the help of people like the Auditor– we’ll get there.

Andrew Horne is Preparing for Battle

He may, unfortunately, be waiting for Crit Luallen to announce that she’s decided to stop holding this process hostage– but Andrew Horne is finally admitting to the mainstream press that he’s preparing for battle. He’ll run for the United States Senate against Mitch McConnell. Something I’ve been waiting, patiently and quietly, for weeks to discuss: someone, anyone who is not a career politician. (To toot our own horn a bit: read Alessi’s feature story proving much of what we’ve reported the past few weeks.)

I’ll save my detailed thoughts on the matter for a later date. For now, suffice it to say that Andrew shouldn’t wait on Crit to make her announcement. She’s already wasted way too much time. Being a gentleman is fine and dandy but this is kind of, um, serious. The time for courtesy delays has come and gone.

As much as I like and support Greg Stumbo, it’s becoming more and more a reality that a victory for him is, though not impossible, unlikely. I won’t bother getting into the negatives.

It’s time for Kentucky to consider another option. A non-politician who doesn’t sell out.

A Horne candidacy is refreshing. Andrew is baggage-free. He can smoke Mitch in debate, on the war, on social matters, on government waste, on supporting RED CHINA, on screwing the country. He fought a tough political battle against John Yarmuth in 2006 and came out a political leader. He’s been in Kentucky’s trenches ever since. He’s the kind of guy average citizens love. And he’s the kind of person who’d best be able to represent the Commonwealth in Washington, D.C. Because he’s just like you and me.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Andrew and his wife Steph personally for two years and in that amount of time I’ve seen him prove himself in every situation imaginable. From leading Vote Vets and serving as a spokesperson for Democrats on a national front to getting to know everyone and walking door-to-door, he’s made it clear that he’s the right man for the job. While I’ve grown to love the Horne family as my own and don’t want to see them covered in McConnell mud? There’s no denying he has to give this a shot.

But enough about the personal. There are several concerns to address.

After the jump…

Read moreAndrew Horne is Preparing for Battle

Where are Our Leaders?

a rant from the Why Kentucky Can’t Have Nice Things Dept.

Why aren’t Democratic leaders like Steve Beshear getting involved in the race against Mitch McConnell? We’ve repeatedly said that it’s time to piss or get off the pot when it comes to potential candidates. But it’s really time for our leaders and elected officials within the Democratic Party to do the same thing.

Our leaders have been standing down and are all but reluctant to get involved in backing a candidate for U.S. Senate. Why is that? Why aren’t our leaders busily talking with our potential candidates and vowing support in the fight against Mitch? Where’s Jennifer Moore? Dan Mongiardo? If they won’t get involved in this race? It’s not worth it for any candidate to give it a shot.

This is the first test of the new Democratic leadership. They need to stand up. Right now. And get the ball rolling. It is imperative. Without backing from people like Beshear and John Yarmuth, money will be divided among political factions and contributions will be slow in the making. There won’t be necessary enthusiasm outside of the grassroots.

Which brings us to another point…

Read moreWhere are Our Leaders?

Senate Update: Another Luallen Advisor Leaving

Auditor Crit Luallen’s chief advisor and number one political man, Joe Meyer, is leaving her staff to become Policy Director in the Beshear-Mongiardo Administration. Meyer, many will recall, was ousted from the Kentucky Democratic Party’s State Central Executive Committee for leaking confidential information via the paid-for Bluegrass Report. Controversy aside, Meyer is a decisive and skilled political mind.

Meyer is the second high-level Luallen staffer and confidant to leave in as many weeks. We were the first to report Communications Director Jeff Derouen is leaving Luallen to serve as Dan Mongiardo’s Chief of Staff.

With the departure of Meyer a clear signal is being sent to Luallen supporters that she most likely won’t consider a U.S. Senate run– not without her #1 at her side. Could this be the clearing for other candidates to get in the race? Is Luallen giving up the hostage situation? And who will replace Derouen and Meyer?

Thoughts?

UPDATE: Crit’s definitely out. That’s what we hear. We’re just waiting on her announcement.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader reminds us that John Cubine, former Director of Finance for the Auditor, left Luallen’s staff in October to join Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry’s staff in the department of Policy & Budget. What’s up with all the high-level departures lately?

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Another reader reminds us that Ellen Hesen was a Luallen staffer. Crit’s former General counsel. She’s moved on to become Steve Beshear’s General Counsel. So four prominent staffers have parted ways with Crit.