Surprise! Matt Bevin’s House Is Worth Way More Than He Repeatedly Claimed

The Floyd County school district approved the sales recently of three buildings appraised at more than $1 million for just over $61,000, despite receiving bids previously that totaled more than $113,000. [H-L]

An attorney for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort told jurors during opening arguments in his tax and bank fraud trial on Tuesday that Manafort’s longtime aide Rick Gates ― now a witness for special counsel Robert Mueller ― is a liar who can’t be trusted. [HuffPo]

A property tax appeals board on Tuesday set the tax value of Gov. Matt Bevin’s Anchorage mansion and property at $2 million. The three-member board settled on a value between the $1.39 million that Bevin said the property is worth and the $2.9 million assessment released in April by the Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator. [C-J/AKN]

Democrats are pointing the finger at Russia over Facebook’s new disclosure of a political influence campaign ahead of the midterm elections. [The Hill]

Barren County’s unemployment rate rose from 4.1 percent in May to 4.8 percent in June, a study released by the state last week shows. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Get. Off. Facebook. Facebook Inc said on Tuesday it had identified a new coordinated political influence campaign to mislead its users and sow dissension among voters ahead of November’s U.S. congressional elections. [Reuters]

Eddie Blakeley, publisher of the Ashland Daily Independent since 2003, has resigned, effective Aug. 17, to become chief operating officer of Journal Inc. of Tupelo, Mississippi. [The Morehead News]

Since April, at least 69 people have been appointed or transferred to political jobs within the Trump administration with little or no fanfare. Here’s a look at some of them. [ProPublica]

A state law requiring Kentucky high school students to pass a civics test in order to graduate goes into effect this year. [Ashland Independent]

Spoiler alert: it’s a crime. In the days after the 2016 presidential election, Donald J. Trump’s advisers had an unequivocal message about contacts between Russians and members of the campaign team: There were none. [NY Times]

Rand Paul, who had publicly wavered as to whether he would support Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, endorsed him Monday. [Richmond Register]

Tad Devine, the architect of Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, who also worked closely with Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort as a political consultant in Ukraine, was the only witness to testify Tuesday after prosecution and defense attorneys made their opening statements. [WaPo]

Ashland Inc. on Tuesday announced that its headquarters are moving from Kentucky, where it has for nearly a century been a major corporate presence. [H-L]

More than 100 Americans die of opioid overdoses each day, but there’s one group for which the epidemic has been especially deadly: recently released inmates. [HuffPo]

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Matt. Bevin. Ruins. Literally. Everything.

An improvised explosive device made from a lighter went off and injured three people when a man at an estate sale picked it up, police said Friday. Additional components and explosive substances were found in a search of the house in the 700 block of Nakomi Drive where the estate sale was being held, said Lexington police Lt. Nathaniel Muller. [H-L]

Progressives are gaining influence within the Democratic Party and it’s starting to make some other Democrats anxious. [HuffPo]

For the second time in a week, officials with the administration of Matt Bevin have reversed themselves on a controversial change to the state’s Medicaid program. State Medicaid officials now say they will suspend patient copays of $1 to $50 abruptly enacted July 1. The copays caught health providers by surprise and caused alarm among patients who didn’t know about or understand the changes. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Democrats’ support for abortion rights grew in the last two years, but for most it will be a low priority in the November mid-term election compared with issues such as healthcare and the economy, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll shows. [Reuters]

Kentucky’s school system is ranked 20th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in a national report by WalletHub, a credit and personal finance website. [Ronnie Ellis]

A Central Brooklyn hospital featured in ProPublica and NPR’s “Lost Mothers” series for its high hemorrhage rate will serve as a pilot for quality reforms. [ProPublica]

Boyd County Clerk Debbie Jones’ office has received an $18,000 grant from the Kentucky Department of Library and Archives. [Ashland Independent]

Idiot. Idiot. Idiot. Donald Trump has said he has “no problem doing a shutdown” to pry funding from Congress for his planned border wall. [BBC]

Fatal drug overdoses increased by 11.5 percent in 2017, fueled by a continuing rise in fentanyl abuse, according to a report by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. [More Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration is considering bypassing Congress to grant a $100 billion tax cut mainly to the wealthy, a legally tenuous maneuver that would cut capital gains taxation and fulfill a long-held ambition of many investors and conservatives. [NY Times]

In order to comply with federal regulations, Kentucky will begin issuing a new state credential in the first few months of 2019, said Matt Henderson, commissioner of Kentucky’s Division of Vehicle Regulations, during the Glasgow Rotary Club meeting Thursday at the T.J. Health Pavilion Community Center. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Maria Butina, the Russian who reportedly infiltrated the National Rifle Association and became a popular figure in conservative circles in 2016, certainly earned her keep. The indictment issued last week states she worked closely with a Russian official, widely believed to be Russian Central Bank Deputy Gov. Alexander Torshin, to access and influence conservative organizations and politicians. [WaPo]

What was reported as an ATV crash Thursday in Perry County turned out to be violence, with an arrest made and two victims airlifted to hospitals with gunshot wounds. [H-L]

A former personnel chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is being investigated for sexual misconduct, including allegations that he hired women he met at bars and on dating websites in the hopes that they would become sexual partners for male employees. [HuffPo]

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Monday Morning Of Bevin Madness

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Wondering just how ignorant Kentuckians can be when it comes to immigration and politics? Here’s a good look. Hint: it’s racism. [H-L]

The separation of children from parents now taking place at the southern border is not new in American history. [HuffPo]

Smells like retaliation from the Bevin crew but who knows? [C-J/AKN]

Round two of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s dispute over the tax value of his home in a high-end Louisville suburb went before an appeals board Monday, as an appraiser defended his review of the property against arguments that his work led to an “overinflated” valuation. [AP]

Through the first six months of the year, there have been 23 confirmed drug-related deaths in Madison County. [Richmond Register]

Mr. Mueller wants to question the president about the tweets. His interest in them is the latest addition to a range of presidential actions he is investigating as a possible obstruction case. [WaPo]

Two industry-owned properties in the Boyd County School District were evaluated improperly for tax purpose and the district has to refund hundreds of thousands of dollars to each, according to district finance director Don Fleu. [Ashland Independent]

This is still racism. Donald Trump said on Sunday he would allow the federal government to shut down if Democrats do not fund his border wall and back immigration law changes, betting that maintaining a hard line will work in Republicans’ favor in November congressional elections. [Reuters]

Sanford Holbrook of Mt. Olivet has been appointed to the Morehead State University Board of Regents by Matt Bevin. [The Morehead News]

Settling an investigation by the state of Washington prompted by a ProPublica story, the social networking company said it would no longer allow advertisers to exclude users by any federally protected categories. [ProPublica]

Fancy Farm’s coming up and it will be disgusting and embarrassing for Kentucky, as it has been the past few years. Unless teachers show up in full force and raise absolute hell 24/7. If Scott Jennings can tell racist “jokes” at the picnic? Teachers can be as loud as they want to be. [Ronnie Ellis]

Some of the biggest winners from Donald Trump’s new tax law are corporate executives who have reaped gains as their companies buy back a record amount of stock, a practice that rewards shareholders by boosting the value of existing shares. [Politico]

Amy McGrath stood with a microphone in her hand on a hot July Saturday, making her pitch to a crowd that spilled out of two tailgate tents. [H-L]

Federal air marshals have been secretly tracking dozens of American travelers each day who aren’t listed on government watch lists or suspected of a crime. [HuffPo]

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Bevin: Still An Awful Human Being

Researchers from Duke University and the non-profits SkyTruth and Appalachian Voices released a first-of-its-kind study Wednesday showing the year-by-year impact of surface coal mining in Central Appalachia. [H-L]

Dangerous idiot. [HuffPo]

For the first time in weeks, Matt Bevin on Wednesday availed himself to questions from the capital press corps. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration must face a lawsuit by states and advocacy groups over its plan to ask people who are filling out the 2020 census form whether they are U.S. citizens, a federal judge ruled on Thursday. [Reuters]

Sporting a new beard, Matt Bevin took questions from reporters Wednesday for the first time in a month – but he remained coy about whether he’ll seek re-election next year and he wouldn’t say if he’ll attend this year’s Fancy Farm Picnic and political speaking. [Ronnie Ellis]

A Maryland judge is allowing a class action lawsuit against Jared Kushner’s family real estate company to proceed, in a ruling that denies most of the company’s arguments to dismiss the case over its treatment of tenants at large apartment complexes in the Baltimore area. [ProPublica]

A vote to double the payroll tax in the city of Raceland was postponed Wednesday night because there were not enough City Council members available to attend the meeting. [Ashland Independent]

Impeach the motherfucker already. The Trump administration will no longer publish public summaries of Donald Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders, US media report. [BBC]

The St. Claire Foundation’s recent 2018 Signature Event raised $23,000 to support St. Claire HealthCare’s efforts to relocate and upgrade our inpatient rehabilitation services with a state-of-the-art therapy gym and functional training space, including a home simulation environment. [The Morehead News]

For years, Trump has used Twitter as his go-to public relations weapon, mounting a barrage of attacks on celebrities and then political rivals even after advisers warned he could be creating legal problems for himself. [NY Times]

Fatal drug overdoses increased by 11.5 percent in 2017, fueled by a continuing rise in fentanyl abuse, according to a report by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. [More Ronnie Ellis]

In a ruling that some legal scholars say could be an important precedent nationally, a federal judge struck down a Florida law barring early-voting centers on college campuses. [WaPo]

One of the nation’s largest managers of off-campus student housing has discriminated against Kentucky children and families and is violating the federal Fair Housing Act, three fair housing groups allege in a federal lawsuit. [H-L]

A federal judge in New York ruled Thursday that a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s decision to add a question asking about citizenship to the 2020 census could advance, saying the challengers had shown enough evidence that the decision could have been driven by discrimination to move the case forward. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Screwed KY Charities

Every year, the Children’s Charity of the Bluegrass raises about $500,000 from its annual fundraising golf tournament. But under Kentucky’s new tax law, a 6 percent sales tax on numerous services also applies to all tickets sold for fundraisers that charities and churches put on. The organizers will have to decide if they will let participants pay the tax on tickets, or whether they will take the hit. [H-L]

A recording of then-candidate Donald Trump talking about a payment to a woman who claimed they’d had an affair is just one of a dozen audio files released to prosecutors last week, a court filing on Monday revealed. [HuffPo]

Mayor Greg Fischer won’t be able to keep his Kentucky Derby guests a secret for much longer if Democratic Metro Councilman Brent Ackerson has his way. [C-J/AKN]

Then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s staff sought to protect him from exposure to toxic formaldehyde from an office desk last year, emails show — just months before his top political aides blocked the release of a report on health dangers from the same chemical. [Politico]

Plans for a healing center and jail expansion have been scrapped less than two weeks after a proposed plan to build and finance each was presented during a special called fiscal court meeting on July 12. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, escalated his dispute with the president on Tuesday by releasing a secret recording of a conversation in which Mr. Trump appears to have knowledge about hush money payments to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump. [NY Times]

Greenup County leaders got an update on the KentuckyWired project recently with the goal for installation of fiber optic broadband connectivity infrastructure complete in the county by next year. [Ashland Independent]

The missed deadlines puzzled real estate experts, who said that for a long-established property company such as the Trump Organization, paying property taxes should be a routine task. [WaPo]

The Morehead Tourism Commission voted 4-0 Monday afternoon to earmark $25,000 for the Kentucky Folk Art Center for a one-year period. [The Morehead News]

Maria Marroquin Perdomo fretted as she waited with her 11-year-old son, Abisai, in the New Orleans International Airport. A day earlier, the mother and son had been reunited in Texas after being separated by U.S. immigration officials for more than a month, an ordeal that followed a harrowing journey from Honduras. [Reuters]

The company under contract to develop a parks and recreation master plan for Glasgow has drafted a document for the next steps in the process that it has shared with a local steering committee. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Hundreds of migrant parents are no longer in the US, government lawyers said, ahead of a deadline to reunite families. [BBC]

The quiet, observant and community-loving Hazel Arnold left behind an unexpected gift for animal lovers in her native Frankfort. Arnold, who died in January at age 93, left $150,000 to the Franklin County Humane Society. Those who knew Arnold said she had no pets, but her friends did and that’s all that mattered. [H-L]

Former FBI director and longtime Republican James Comey has urged Americans to vote for Democrats in November. [HuffPo]

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The KDP Is Ignoring Paul & Massie

If Kentucky’s most important newspaper can get this right, surely the Kentucky Democratic Party can get its ass in gear. Surely. Right? Okay, so let’s not hold our breath. The KDP won’t ever attempt to hold Rand Paul or Thomas Massie accountable. [H-L]

It’s called treason. Not only do congressional Republicans seem unwilling to criticize Donald Trump for sucking up to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, but some said they don’t see any problem at all. [HuffPo]

Andrew Massie doesn’t hate Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The activist-turned-heckler just thinks the Republican leader shouldn’t get one moment’s peace in public. [C-J/AKN]

Nothing about this is normal or okay. Russia announced it was ready to pursue agreements reached by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump “in the sphere of international security,” though the White House and Pentagon would not confirm any agreements had been made or offer any details. [CNN]

More than 60 percent of American children are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data. [Richmond Register]

Who lives in education deserts? More people than you think. Especially in Kentucky. [Chronicle of Higher Education]

The fate of a utility tax for Greenup County schools is in the hands of voters after the district’s board of education approved placing the issue on the November ballot Monday. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. Justice Department asked a federal court on Wednesday to detain alleged Russian agent Maria Butina pending her trial, saying she poses a serious flight risk and will likely appeal to people in the Russian government to assist her in fleeing. [Reuters]

A three-foot bicycle passing law passed by the 2018 Kentucky Legislature took effect July 14. [The Morehead News]

Military spending is up but aerospace and defense workers are scarce. [NY Times]

Rand Paul is a traitor and the Kentucky Democratic Party is just twiddling its thumbs. [WFPL]

Oralia Mendoza’s fatal mistake, it seems, was sharing her worries via text message. [WaPo]

You know where you’d have learned this information a couple weeks ago? My Twitter feed. [H-L]

Over the course of four days in June, Keylin says, U.S. Border Patrol guards would kick her body to keep her awake throughout the night. The 16-year-old, whose last name was redacted from court documents, told a lawyer that she would lie in fear on the cement floor of the Border Patrol station in Texas, surrounded by chain-link fence. She was separated from her mother, who had been held at gunpoint three times in Honduras, after they crossed the U.S. border. [HuffPo]

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Kentuckians Hate The Repub Tax Hike

Matt Bevin’s administration violated the law by limiting access to the Kentucky Capitol for members of the Poor People’s Campaign advocacy group, Attorney General Andy Beshear said Monday in a legal opinion. [H-L]

Families Belong Together rallies drew crowds dressed in white to cities big and small across the United States on Saturday to protest the Trump administration’s zero tolerance immigration policy. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul is not happy with the jail sentence of his neighbor, Rene Boucher, who attacked the senator last year over yard debris between their homes in Bowling Green. [C-J/AKN]

This investigation is not, primarily, an investigation into Donald Trump. It’s an investigation into people who attacked the United States. It’s time Republicans started acting like that matters. [Empty Wheel]

A quickly developed and implemented policy restricting access to the state Capitol by the Poor People’s Campaign was improperly formulated and illegal, according to an Attorney General’s opinion. [Ronnie Ellis]

Gross alert. Although he lacked federal appellate-court experience, usually a prerequisite for a Supreme Court justice, Thapar was one of four candidates, along with Thomas Hardiman, William Pryor and the eventual nominee, Neil Gorsuch, to be interviewed personally by the president. [SCOTUS Blog]

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has completed its review of the effect of federal corporate income tax reductions on the rates of Kentucky Power Co. and ordered further reductions of those rates. [Ashland Independent]

It’s impossible to see from the street, so you would never know it’s there. To get to St. George Cemetery, especially its oldest section, you have to make your way past branches and thorns, across the weathered hills and over downed trees. [ProPublica]

Within six months of receiving its latest Kentucky Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit from the state Division of Water, the Glasgow Water Co. is required to re-evaluate the levels of 13 elements that can be discharged to its wastewater treatment plant. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Javier Solana, a former secretary general of NATO who played a central role in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program when he was the European Union’s foreign policy chief, has been denied electronic authorization to enter the United States because of a visit to Iran in 2013. [NY Times]

Business owners affected by the tax hike say they’ve been unfairly targeted. [WFPL]

A federal investigation into Facebook’s sharing of data with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica has broadened to focus on the actions and statements of the tech giant and now involves multiple agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to people familiar with the official inquiries. Representatives for the FBI, the SEC and the Federal Trade Commission have joined the Department of Justice in its inquiries about the two companies and the sharing of personal information of 71 million Americans, suggesting the wide-ranging nature of the investigation, said five people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a probe that remains incomplete. [WaPo]

Mitch McConnell, who spent over a quarter century promoting human rights and democracy in Myanmar, is now the principal senator holding up fresh legislation pressuring the country to improve its treatment of the the country’s Rohingya population. [H-L]

The White House late Saturday issued a statement backing down from Donald Trump’s earlier tweet that said he had persuaded Saudi Arabia’s king to produce as much as 2 million additional barrels of oil a day to bring prices down. [HuffPo]

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