Beshear Let Jones Off The Hook

1. Andy Beshear, who allegedly got his children’s elite private school to give him a sweetheart deal (hey, special treatment no one wants to talk about!), ought to be laughed out of Frankfort for not pressing Ray Jones to defend himself. 2. Glenn Hammond complaining that he, as a candidate, was followed or tracked by his opponent’s campaign is disingenuous beyond all belief. Because that’s what campaigns do. [H-L]

Justice Department prosecutors have dropped their case against a woman who laughed at now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing. Desiree Fairooz was scheduled to face trial for a second time next week, but a DOJ prosecutor entered a nolle prosequi filing in the case on Monday indicating the department is dismissing the charges. [HuffPo]

LMPD not only overreacted in the Highlands, there’s… more the story. We need to quit whitewashing people when they die. It sucks that Jason Spencer got murdered. But no more than it sucks when anyone else in this city gets gunned down. His life is not more important than my life or your own. His death does not erase his history as a public bigot. He was openly homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, classist and racist. He tried to excuse it all with the typical southern baptist bullshit but that’s what he was – a bigot. He’s white, though, and this is the Highlands we’re talking about, so everybody is freaking out. I’m just here to say fuck Jason Spencer’s bigotry. Mourn him if you want but fuck that bigotry. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI says racism motivated more than 57% of hate crimes in 2016. And nearly 18% of hate crimes were perpetrated against the LGBT community. Those are just the crimes that were reported and properly classified. [FBI]

Matt Bevin’s effort to pass his pension reform bill was already facing an uphill fight, given the feedback legislators heard during recent town hall forums as well as the House leadership shakeup brought on by a reported sexual harassment settlement involving former Majority Leader Jeff Hoover and three other state representatives. But for Pulaski County’s local legislators, it’s the actuarial analysis of what the proposed changes would do to the pension system for public school teachers that spells the biggest trouble for the bill. [Commonwealth Journal]

Rand Paul of Kentucky said he returned to work on Monday, more than a week after he suffered six broken ribs when tackled by a neighbor while mowing his lawn. [Reuters]

Louisville may soon join the list of cities that have a year-round farmer’s market. The Logan Street Market, backed by Mike Safai, is tentatively scheduled to open next year in the Shelby Park neighborhood. [WFPL]

Among the wealthy sophisticates who came and went from their seaside villas on the Spanish island of Mallorca, there was something that didn’t quite fit about the Russian who lived in a neoclassical mansion on the Avenida Portals Vells. [ProPublica]

The city of Ashland hit a snag in one of its two infrastructure projects along 29th Street, but still expects all work to be completed by May. [Ashland Independent]

Remember bump stocks? The previously obscure gun conversion kits, which turn semiautomatic rifles into weapons capable of firing long, deadly bursts, were the bane of the Capitol a month ago, after a gunman used the devices to kill 58 people and wound hundreds of others in Las Vegas. Lawmakers in both parties quickly vowed to ban them. Even the National Rifle Association appeared to endorse restrictions. [NY Times]

Assistant Barren County Attorney Mike Richardson has announced his candidacy for Barren County county attorney. [Glasgow Daily Times]

TL;DR: Fox News is making people dumber, scaring the shit out of old people and making it impossible for gullible people to determine fact from fiction. [WaPo]

Here’s Jack Brammer getting excited and acting like this will matter or change anything. Kentucky House Republican leaders said Friday that they expect to get a preliminary investigative report from a Louisville law firm in about 10 days regarding allegations of sexual harassment and secret settlements by Republican lawmakers. [H-L]

Better late than never? Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) is now calling on Roy Moore, the Republican running for Alabama’s open Senate seat, to withdraw his candidacy, telling reporters in Louisville on Monday that he believes the women who have accused Moore of sexual misconduct. [HuffPo]

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Yep, Kentucky Republicans Are Under FBI Investigation For Being Terrible

They didn’t “consult” Hoover but they absolutely kept him informed of what they were up to long before making it public. Leaders in the House Republican caucus announced in a statement on Saturday that they are launching an independent investigation into sexual harassment allegations swirling around House Speaker Jeff Hoover and other Republicans in the House. [H-L]

Spoiler alert: Matt Bevin’s Kentucky is at the center of this Hepatitis A surge and the Republican Party of Kentucky is in denial about it. You can see the data for yourself. [HuffPo]

The confidential sexual harassment settlement involving House Speaker Jeff Hoover also involves three other House Republicans, as well as Hoover’s chief of staff, sources tell Courier Journal. Rep. Jim DeCesare, of Rockfield; Rep. Brian Linder, of Dry Ridge: Rep. Michael Meredith, of Brownsville; and Ginger Wills, the chief of staff, also were parties to the settlement, according to the sources with knowledge of the deal who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal. [C-J/AKN]

From early in the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump swore he’d do away with the so-called carried-interest loophole, the notorious tax break that allows highly compensated private-equity managers, real estate investors and venture capitalists to be taxed at a much lower rate than other professionals. [ProPublica]

An emotional Jeff Hoover announced Sunday he’s stepping down as Speaker of the House in the wake of sexual harassment allegations but will retain his 83rd District seat. [Ronnie Ellis]

Republicans’ long-awaited tax bill, unveiled on Thursday, targets key renewable energy tax credits that have helped make clean energy a crucial high-wage job-creating sector in the United States. [ThinkProgress]

Teachers and state workers from Rowan County joined thousands of others at the state capitol in Frankfort to rally against the pension plan introduced by the governor last month. [The Morehead News]

Former US Republican President George Bush Sr has confirmed he voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, labelling Donald Trump a “blowhard” [BBC]

The FBI has confirmed it is looking into sexual harassment in the Kentucky state legislature. The news comes a day after House Speaker Jeff Hoover admitted to exchanging inappropriate text messages with a female staffer and resigned from his leadership position. [WFPL]

The president seethed with resentment, his party ducked for cover and the opposition chortled with glee. Lawyers counseled clients. Lawmakers tried to change the subject. Campaign veterans fretted that colleagues may be wearing a wire. And everyone wondered about a guy named George Papadopoulos. [NY Times]

Kentucky Educators have unveiled an alternative plan to Governor Matt Bevin’s pension reform bill. [WKYT]

Donald Trump promised to cut taxes for the middle class, but some would end up paying more under the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” according to a report released Friday night by Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, the official scorekeepers tasked with determining how much any tax legislation would add to the debt and how it would impact the poor, middle class and wealthy. [WaPo]

Just a reminder that melting dog turd Matt Bevin wasted your taxpayer dollars in an attempt to discriminate and push his own perverse “religious” beliefs. Now he’s left taxpayers on the hook for his legal bills. Matt Bevin’s office was ordered Monday to pay Planned Parenthood for its expenses after the Republican’s representatives were a no-show for a deposition in an abortion case. [H-L]

Over the past two years and up until at least August, Russian Twitter accounts masquerading as American people, news outlets and political groups regularly appeared in the articles published in many of the United States’ most famous media outlets. This wasn’t a matter of fake news; this was “real” news made a little less so. [HuffPo]

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Jeff Hoover: As Shitty As You Thought

Matt Bevin’s office violated Kentucky’s Open Records Act when it refused to provide an Arizona attorney with some of the emails it exchanged with the White House, according to a new ruling by Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office. [H-L]

You can’t fix this kind of stupid or this kind of dishonesty. Kellyanne Conway bashed political campaigns on Monday that “dig around with foreign nationals” to uncover dirt on their opponents. But three months ago, reports revealed Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign did just that. [HuffPo]

Unprofessional conduct? Haha. You should see the videos floating around of him at Six Flags Over Jesus recently – trash-talking UofL left and right. University of Louisville interim President Greg Postel accused former athletic director Tom Jurich of “ineffective management, divisive leadership and unprofessional conduct” that caused substantial damage to the school. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI’s predawn search of Paul Manafort’s northern Virginia home in July yielded important new evidence crucial to the indictment of Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and one of his close associates, according to the indictments. [Yahoo]

Told ya so about Jeff Hoover and other Republicans when this was all going down a couple years ago. Also, you *know* T. Clay is pushing this story out like crazy for the sake of publicity and it’s shady and unethical for Debby Yetter to withhold a name that is public record (I said it). Jeff Hoover has reached a confidential settlement over sexual harassment allegations by a woman who works on his legislative staff, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter. [More C-J/AKN]

A federal court has blocked Donald Trump in part from changing the military’s transgender policy as a case against his ban works its way through court. [The Hill]

It’s been 10 years since Kentucky judges received a raise, placing judicial salaries in the commonwealth 48th among the 50 states. [Ronnie Ellis]

The questions are straightforward, with public health implications that would seem impossible to shrug off. How many American women die each year from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth? How many of these deaths are preventable? How does the nation’s current rate of maternal mortality compare to the rate 10 or 20 or 30 years ago? [ProPublica]

Thomas Massie is a miserable, racist, homophobic scab and the Kentucky Democratic Party is fucking up by allowing him to win. [Ashland Independent]

Just in case you needed more proof that Republicans hate the working class. Here you go. [NY Times]

Kentucky’s public colleges and universities want more money, but Republican lawmakers say the best they can hope for is to break even. [Richmond Register]

Appalachia is apparently for real doomed. In case you weren’t aware already? Miners are refusing retraining because they’ve been duped into believing coal is coming back. It’s not. [Reuters]

There are at least a few surprises tucked into Republican Matt Bevin’s 505-page draft legislation that would overhaul the state’s public retirement systems. One is that a controversial 3 percent pay cut for school teachers and state and local government employees — which Bevin and top GOP lawmakers touted last week as critical in order to shore up the retiree health insurance funds — would not actually add any money to those funds. [H-L]

Richard Spencer, a leader of what he calls the “alt-right” and the man known to most as the “Nazi who got punched,” agreed to talk to HuffPost the night before his speech at the University of Florida in Gainesville last week. [HuffPo]

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Walls Are Closing In On Republicans

There was more sophistication in my last b.m. than Matt Bevin has ever encountered in his entire life. [H-L]

There may have been a brief moment Monday morning when the White House thought the week wouldn’t be so bad. The federal grand jury indictment unsealed against Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and his longtime associate Rick Gates, dealt with much of their lobbying work before the 2016 election. [HuffPo]

Dealing a major blow to efforts to curb supposedly frivolous malpractice claims, a judge has struck down a new Kentucky law creating medical review panels to screen such cases before they go to trial. New Republicans are the party of restricting your constitutional rights. [C-J/AKN]

Consider, if you will, these two indisputable facts. First, the United States is today more or less permanently engaged in hostilities in not one faraway place, but at least seven. Second, the vast majority of the American people could not care less. [Bill Moyers]

The city of Ashland is interviewing six candidates for its new top communications job after it received 20 applications. [Ashland Independent]

Here’s where a lot of that laundered money went. You’ll want to check the chart out. [CNBC]

The Democratic Minority Leader in the Kentucky House of Representatives still doesn’t know what’s in a proposed Republican measure to alter the benefit structure and strengthen financially the state’s public pension plans. [Ronnie Ellis]

Manafort’s business partner remained a key player in Trumpworld long after Manafort himself was forced out of the campaign over concerns about his work abroad. [TPM]

Matt Bevin began his sales pitch for pension reform Monday before 300 attending a public policy luncheon sponsored by Commerce Lexington. But his pitch reflected what he has said previously about the bill released Friday which would move most state employees into 401(a), defined contribution plans. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Heh. These people should visit Frankfort sometime. [NY Times]

Some Louisville residents in need of help with heating bills can now apply for aid through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – or LIHEAP. [WFPL]

To understand what the Trump administration faces as it tries to sharpen focus on the opioid epidemic, consider the “diseases of despair” that have hobbled the Appalachian region for the past two decades. [WaPo]

Get rekt, Ralph Alvarado! A new law aimed at limiting medical malpractice lawsuits in Kentucky is unconstitutional, Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled Monday. [H-L]

In an impassioned speech Saturday, Hillary Clinton laid into the Trump administration for its stance on LGBTQ rights, acknowledging that “tough battles” lie ahead for the queer community and other minority groups. [HuffPo]

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It’s Monday. Hold On Tight, Kids.

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

Part of Shitbird Matt Bevin’s controversial proposal to reshape Kentucky’s public retirement systems would require school teachers and state and local government employees to pay an additional 3 percent of their salaries into their retiree health insurance funds. [John Cheves]

Republican leaders support tax cuts adding trillions to the national debt now, but had dire warnings about it under the Obama administration. [HuffPo]

The pension reform bill was finally released to legislators late Friday, causing additional concerns to some critics of a framework for the bill released on Oct. 18 by Matt Bevin and top leaders of the General Assembly’s Republican majorities. [C-J/AKN]

A federal grand jury in Washington, DC, on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter. [CNN]

After seeing a slight decrease in drug overdose deaths in 2016, Madison County has surpassed last year’s total with just more than two months left in the year. [Richmond Register]

The realtor who helped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort buy the Virginia condo that was recently raided by the FBI testified last week before the federal grand jury hearing testimony in Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. [Politico]

The Ashland commission agreed to hire a consulting firm to study the city’s water system. [Ashland Independent]

Hold on to yer wig! Trump’s frustration at the investigations into his campaign’s ties with Russia boiled over on Sunday, as he sought to shift the focus to a litany of accusations against his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, as the special counsel inquiry was reportedly poised to produce its first indictment in the case. [NY Times]

Rowan County Fiscal Court agreed last week to join more than 35 other Kentucky counties in a lawsuit against opioid distributors. [The Morehead News]

The departure of Orangeshart Trump’s motorcade from his Sterling, Va., golf club on Saturday afternoon was chronicled as dutifully and minutely as the retreat of some great army. [WaPo]

The results of a study conducted by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Michael Baker International, a Louisville-based consulting firm, regarding the replacement of the Water Street tunnel were presented to community members and city officials Friday morning. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The New Republicans are overwhelmingly racist and it’s good to see them finally show their true colors. About 300 white nationalists and neo-Nazis held back-to-back rallies in two small Tennessee cities on Saturday to protest refugee resettlement in the state, which sued the federal government over the issue earlier this year. [Reuters]

In 2013, as an Alabama development company prepared to turn a farm at Nicholasville Road and Man o’ War Boulevard into an upscale shopping center called the Summit at Fritz Farm, the company decided that it would like some taxpayer help with complicated stormwater issues at the site. So Bayer Properties turned to tax increment financing, a program in Kentucky first set up in 2002 to improve blighted urban areas by luring developers with generous tax breaks. [Linda Blackford]

This is happening in the United States and Republicans are refusing to talk about it. More than 900 bodies have been authorized for cremation in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria ravaged the island on Sept. 20, the U.S. territory’s Department of Public Safety confirmed to HuffPost Saturday. Medical examiners overseeing the process do not appear to have conducted physical examinations of the bodies. [HuffPo]

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Overdoses Are Hitting Ashland Hard

The effort to preserve a 125-mile stretch of Pine Mountain that runs the length of southeastern Kentucky has taken a significant step forward with the purchase of nearly 2,000 acres, the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust announced Thursday. [H-L]

The public feud between Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Donald Trump continued to escalate on Tuesday. The GOP senator, who warned earlier this month that Trump’s behavior could lead to World War III, told CNN that he believes the president’s legacy will be the “debasement of our nation.” [HuffPo]

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has made its final decision for a new VA hospital in Louisville, and it is sticking with a 35-acre farmland site off Brownsboro Road. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S government issued a rare public warning that sophisticated hackers are targeting energy and industrial firms, the latest sign that cyber attacks present an increasing threat to the power industry and other public infrastructure. [Reuters]

A second person has announced her candidacy to become the next Barren County clerk, with incumbent Joanne London not seeking re-election. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Another lawmaker is asking insurers whether their policies have made it easier for patients to access cheaper, more addictive drugs over less addictive alternatives. Meanwhile, the insurance industry trade group pledged additional steps to combat inappropriate prescribing. [ProPublica]

Rowan County Fiscal Court made it clear during its monthly meeting on Tuesday that it did not support a rate increase proposed by Advanced Disposal, owner and operator of the county landfill. [The Morehead News]

This idiot. Speaking to reporters alongside Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló at the White House on Thursday, Trump gave the White House the highest possible marks for its response to Hurricane Maria. [ThinkProgress]

A plaque proclaiming Jefferson Davis as a hero and a patriot will be removed from Kentucky’s Capitol, the latest effort to alter Confederate monuments across the country following outbreaks of racially motivated violence. [Richmond Register]

After a series of high-profile police shootings, police departments across the nation turned to body cameras, hoping they would curb abuses. But a rigorous study released Friday shows that they have almost no effect on officer behavior. [NY Times]

An overdose awareness and prevention seminar is set for Thursday in downtown Ashland amid an overdose crisis that’s devastated the Tri-State and left at least 34 dead in Boyd County this year alone. [Ashland Independent]

These fools have no idea that it’s the media’s job to constantly question those in power – no matter what. Yet again, the White House has declared itself to be above question. [WaPo]

It was time. Long past time, actually. As the sun set Tuesday on a beautiful fall day, it also set on Lexington’s two most visible symbols of history rewritten. [Tom Eblen]

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) won’t run for re-election in 2018, The Arizona Republic first reported. Flake spoke about his decision on the Senate floor Tuesday, railing against the “appalling features of our current politics” and arguing that lawmakers should “never regard as normal the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals.” [HuffPo]

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RPK: Robbing Teachers & Other Retirees

The Republican Party of Kentucky has failed the Commonwealth. That group of fat, old, racist, homophobic, self-absorbed white guys is working to guarantee that the best workers are never again hired by state government. Killing pensions for workers is beyond absurd. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton drew parallels between Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump, calling the disgraced Hollywood mogul’s behavior “disgusting” and “heartbreaking” ― just like the person once caught on camera bragging about sexually assaulting women. [HuffPo]

A justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court says that the small state retirement plan for judges is in sound shape and should be left alone when lawmakers tackle pension reform. [C-J/AKN]

Sixty-six police officers were killed on the job by felons in 2016, up about 61 percent from 41 deaths a year ago, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Monday. [Reuters]

Royally screwing education – for fun. Matt Bevin was joined by legislators, education officials and community leaders Tuesday as he ceremonially signed House Bill 520 in the State Capitol Rotunda. [Richmond Register]

Last month, the Trump administration said it could not comply with a court order to disclose the names of people who met with the president at Mar-a-Lago in part because they do “not maintain any system for keeping track” of them. [ProPublica]

This project probably won’t end in disaster like it did in Montgomery County. Glasgow Independent Schools will be providing Chromebooks to all incoming freshman at Glasgow High School beginning next school year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

For several years now, a small cadre of conservatives have pushed to eliminate the so-called Johnson Amendment, the part of the IRS tax code that prohibits churches and other tax-exempt nonprofits from endorsing candidates. Supporters of its repeal often justify their position by claiming the issue is about “religious liberty,” arguing the law inhibits the freedom of faith leaders. [ThinkProgress]

The father of a man shot to death in in August 2016 in Harlan County has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit. [WKYT]

Donald Trump says his drug czar nominee has withdrawn, after he reportedly helped weaken government efforts to tackle the opioid crisis. [BBC]

Don’t worry – you don’t live there. Residents in three Louisville neighborhoods can begin signing up for Google Fiber ultra high speed internet. [WFPL]

An old rotary phone rings insistently. Visitors at a new exhibition at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights here in Santiago who pick up the receiver hear two men complain bitterly about the liberal news media “bleating” over the military coup that had toppled Salvador Allende, the Socialist president of Chile, five days earlier. [NY Times]

That initial burst of national attention has now died and she won’t be able to keep up with Barr’s fundraising. Retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath jumped out to a large financial lead in the Democratic primary to challenge Republican Andy Barr for his Central Kentucky congressional seat. [H-L]

A Republican congressional candidate from Florida has made some out-of-this-world claims. Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, one of nearly a dozen candidates hoping to win the U.S. House seat currently held by retiring Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, claims she was abducted by aliens who reminded her of Jesus Christ, according to newly resurfaced interviews. [HuffPo]

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