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.

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Waiting until a candidate has announced or until someone wins a primary is not a good excuse. Standing up today will help make it clear to our forthcoming candidate that their future constituency stands behind them and will help them fight the battle for the U.S. Senate. Don’t just play armchair commando with politics. Everyone spouting off about the future of the Commonwealth and the country should put their money where their mouth is today. Many of you have donated to bloggers just to bankroll their lifestyle in the recent past so why not step up to the plate? Come on!

Propaganda & Such. Corporate Newsmedia Hacks Dept.

Times. They’re changing. Internet ad sales are set to overtake print publications in just a couple years, according to The Guardian. That makes the internets– and websites like Page One with 299,055 unique visitors and 703,483 page views in November alone– the third largest advertising medium on the planet, just behind television and newspapers. [The Guardian]

Forget the next four years. Balancing the budget for the current fiscal year is a disastrous task. State agencies have requested $166 million in additional state fund for this year. The rainy day fund allegedly has $231.5 million but people like Harry Moberly suggest cuts so we don’t have to spend it. What? [C-J]

Mountaintop removal gets some attention. Rep. Harry Moberly (yet, same guy) and more than a dozen other lawmakers saw first-hand the damage bestowed upon a community during mountaintop removal of coal. From land overburden to health problems like cancer, it’s time to stop. And time for people in eastern Kentucky to stop freaking out any time the negatives of coal mining are discussed. [Richmond Register, H-L]

63rd house district candidates. The candidates for Kenton County’s seat in the house of representatives– Jon Draud’s old seat– are: Will Terwort, Kenton Co Republican Committee; Kelly White, former McConnell aide; Alecia Webb-Eddington, director of Kentucky’s Office of Homeland Security, producer of the hideous television ads. [Pat Crowley]

Weird, ignorant biases. The Courier-Journal (and David Hawpe? Someone.) is showing their ignorant bias against Louisville’s 8664 initiative to save the Waterfront and avoid major expansion of I-64. Regardless of one’s views (a couple of us here aren’t sold on the 8664 bit) of the proposal or understanding of the issues at hand, how is it a good thing for the state’s largest newspaper to say things like, “The merry band of 8664 supporters has taken the group’s nutty proposal to rip up one of the nation’s busiest thoroughfares further than anyone would have guessed. But enough is enough.”? What on earth? Folks at the C-J– who do everything to further Gannett’s corporate bottom line– need to retire with their ugly ties. [C-J]

What’s the Treasurer’s office do with its spare time? Why, sell unclaimed property on eBay, of course. Is this a task Todd Hollenbach will be able to handle? Will a family member have to be hired to get the job done? Hopefully all of those gold watches and silver liquer goblets sell quickly. [eBay]

Don’t forget to contribute. It’s your chance to be a part of the effort to ditch Mitch McConnell by contributing to his eventual opponent. Nearly everyone reading this, the thousands of you, can afford to part with a couple dollars, and if you’re not a democrat you’re at least anti-Mitch-minded. So pony up! [Page One]

Tuesday Update Dept: Make a Decision Edition

First: Noticed anyone back in action recycling our stories from days and days ago with no attribution? Yeah, we noticed too. The smelling salts worked! Imitation is the best form of flattery, right? Right?

Cozy wozy lobbyists. Whoda thunk it? John Y. Brown III and Hunter Bates on the same team. We talked about them joining lobbying forces ages ago but this Alessi story is quite a bit more telling. From exclusive meetings for clients with Democratic Party chairperson Jennifer Moore to future runs for office, it’s all there. Behold the power of money and the realization that it’s now necessary to spend it on Democrats. And, no, we’re not trashing anyone. We’re capitalists and heart money and ad revenue. [H-L]

Jonboy’s replacement. Ernest Lee has set the election date for Jon Draud’s replacement in the state house. Jan 8. Kenton County Republican and Democratic party officials will select the candidates to run in the election with the winner serving out the rest of the newly selected Education Commissioner’s term. [PolWatchers]

Everyone had sex with Larry Craig. Oh, and he’s a pervert. In case you didn’t know, go read all about it. All kinds of gays. All kinds of Larry soliciting everyone. When will it end? It needs to end! The wide stance is so over. Even though McConnell’s Bluegrass Committee gave Craig $10,000. It’s so over. [Idaho Statesman]

McConnell is a warmonger. Continually supportive of this clusterfuck of a war, McConnell is trying to tie uncompleted budget work to war funding. When will Democrats stand up to this mess? Why do we continually allow this crap to go down? Our country is at the very end of the dead end street and the Democrats have allowed this warmonger to build a brick wall. Oh, and Ted Kennedy is the devil or something. [AP, The Arena]

Piss or get off the pot! In case you missed it yesterday? We laid out some pros and cons and suggested any potential candidates in the U.S. Senate race against Mitch McConnel just flipping get in the race. The posturing and lack of action is getting old and it’s high time we stop holding this process hostage. Come on! [Page One]

Make the Decision: Get in or get out so we can come together

The time has come for potential Democratic candidates for the United States Senate to jump in the race. It’s now or never. An entire month has been wasted by the numerous potentials as they waffle back and forth. And on that note, now would be a good time to look at the basic (and less than scientific) pros and cons of them all.

Disclaimer: We’re a fan of all top-tier Democratic candidates and potential candidates. There has been some obvious and sometimes personal negative activity the past couple weeks coming from one camp in particular, but the actions and behaviors of supporters are not necessarily reflections of the type of person a candidate may be. We all need to keep that in mind because it’s necessary that we come to together in support of the eventual Democratic nominee to face Mitch McConnell in 2008. It’s imperative that the bickering stop today.

Pros? Cons? More after the jump.

Read moreMake the Decision: Get in or get out so we can come together

Stumbo: Baggage Not an Issue, Leading Horne, Luallen

That polling data we mentioned earlier? Turns out Greg Stumbo has received the memo and has spoken to Mark Hebert. Stumbo says he’s leading both Andrew Horne and Crit Luallen by a wide margin, is tied with Mitch McConnell in Louisville and that his baggage is unimportant to voters.

From Hebert’s blog:

The Attorney General says his pollster hasn’t compiled numbers from the rest of the state but the data from Jefferson County shows Stumbo in a tie with McConnell if the race were held today.

But according to Stumbo, the biggest news might be that poll respondents were unphased by the pollsters recounting of all of Stumbo’s personal baggage, which would surely come up during a campaign: his refusal to pay child support for a son born out of an extra marital affair; a car crash in which Stumbo claimed he wasn’t driving; the Kent Downey fiasco when Stumbo was Majority Floor Leader in the House. Stumbo says voters were told about all of the nasty things that might be thrown at him in a political race and it didn’t hurt his numbers. The reason, according to Stumbo, is that the incidents are “old news” and most voters have already been exposed to them.

And he says democrats view his office’s takedown of the Fletcher administration as a good thing that has sparked some momentum for their party. That’s why he’s leading Crit Luallen and Andrew Horne by a wide a margin in his poll…

Rumors in the Political World

Jeff DerouenPage One has learned that Auditor Crit Luallen’s Director of Communications and Deputy General Counsel, Jeff Derouen, will be leaving her staff to join Lieutenant Governor-Elect Daniel Mongiardo as his Chief of Staff.

Derouen, former Assistant Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney and Communications Director, is experienced and well-suited to head the office of Lt. Governor. An e-mail requesting confirmation of his move to Mongiardo’s staff had not been returned at the time of publication.

As chief spokesperson for the Auditor, Derouen is responsible for shaping Luallen’s image in the press and controlling the flow of information– a crucial job that probably wouldn’t change hands if a constitutional officer is seeking a more important governmental position. Could this transition of employment signal that Luallen is less serious about a race for U.S. Senate than has previously been discussed? Or is it a sign that Luallen has decided to seek higher office? We’re betting on the former.

More Political Rumor and Frankfort gossip after the jump

Read moreRumors in the Political World