Happy Special Election Day, Western Kentucky!

There’s a special election in Kentucky’s 32nd Senate District today. You voting? Not voting? Got stories to share about the day? Fill us in.

Nearly 50,000 Kentuckians are still without power. That’s right– 49,755. The power failure affected 35.7 percent of electrical customers in the state. [Press Release]

“An agreement in principle” was reached yesterday amongst House and Senate leaders on a tax bill that would impose a 6% sales tax on packaged alcohol and raise the cigarette tax by 30 cents. [C-J]

Really, this job losses chart is kinda terrifying. [Speaker.gov]

If you’re looking for a job or are hiring for open jobs within your company, join us at Job Jam on February 21. Francene put it all together and we’re sponsoring. The KDP may not put its money where it’s mouth is, but we certainly do. [Page One]

Jennifer Moore praised the KDP’s do-nothing Executive Director Jeremy Horton in a recent email, stating that he’s “been recognized across the country as one of the leaders in the implementation of grassroots strategies and has been approached to consider serving as an officer in the National Association of Democratic State Party Executive Directors.” Which makes zero sense when you find out that Horton refuses to work with people who disagree with him, went out of his way (beginning in 2007) to prevent long-time Democrats from party building and has done cartwheels trying to keep Democratic candidates he dislikes from having access to funds and voter file information. Oh, and don’t forget the times he threatened people who criticized him. [KDP is a Hot Mess]

Joe Sonka is poyyyyy-zuuuun. [Barefoot & Progressive]

A kind-hearted individual developed a website– for free– for State Senate candidate Mike Reynolds. The site was provided to the Kentucky Democratic Party ten days days ago and it still hasn’t been put online. The special election is literally today. The Party is still maintaining a silly Blogspot page. Leave it to the KDP to screw something else up. Nice job. [Mike Reynolds for Senate]

What happens when Daniel Mongiardo’s few supporters don’t like it when the facts about his major involvement in the anti-marriage fight that began in 2004? They start to attack people personally. Not even Republicans sink that low. And we’ll have no more of it. The more we’re slandered, libeled or all-around treated as if we’re second-class because we stand up against homophobia and homophobic apologists, the more we’ll talk about what we know. When you attack the messenger instead of the message, you’re proving exactly what you’re about and what you stand for. [Read all about it at Page One, More Page One & Barefoot & Progressive]

Oh Snap Monday! Please Hate The Gays

From the interesting and hilarious news department: We hear that two nights ago, Jim Bunning didn’t attend– as scheduled– a fundraising event for J. Marshall Hughes OR the Warren County Lincoln Dinner. How hilarious is that?

Who is surprised that Kentucky’s Catholic Bishops are bigots? Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Roger Joseph Foys of Covington, Ronald Gainer of Lexington and J. Michael Clark of Owensboro (an administrator) released a joint statement backing the Vatican for lifting the excommunication of Richard Williamson, a major holocaust denier. Specifically, he said as late as the day before his excommunication was lifted (by the current pope, a former Nazi Hitler Youth) that he did not believe Jews were gassed during the holocaust. These folks should stick to covering up pedophile sex scandals and leave the genocide of more than 6 million people to the rest of the world. [H-L]

The man who led John McCain’s presidential campaign office in Pueblo was arrested for child molestation. Those good, wholesome family values. [Crooks & Liars]

Join the Facebook movement to oppose Daniel Mongiardo’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Just say no to homophobia, mountaintop removal and Dr. Dan. [You Know You Wanna]

The Herald-Leader is kicking butt and taking names with failed Lexington Mayor Jim Dingle… er… Newberry. The CentrePointe project in Lexington has turned into a flustercuck of epic proportions and is embarrassing to follow. 91 condos at $1 million+ each? HAHAHA! What a disaster. Newberry’s career is over. Done. Finished. [H-L]

Ted Haggard had a… “toy”… and you probably want to go watch this mess, immediately, because it’s too vulgar for me to tell you about. Just wait til you find out the details of said “toy” and what happened with said “toy.” [Towleroad]

Speaking of the dirty homosexuals, how do you feel Gary “Tap Dat Ass” Tapp’s gay adoption ban? [Yeah, It’s Awesome]

What won’t Greg Stumbo and the rest of the brainwashed in Frankfort try to tax? We get taxing tobacco for health reasons. And we get the need for increased revenue. And we could even understand taxing alcohol. But why are we relying on this mess of constantly increasing taxes that don’t serve the state beyond solving a budgetary problem– temporarily– that the Governor and the rest of our elected crew are too damn lazy to fix? We’re hearing major rumblings that not even liberal Democrats want to vote for tax increases. [Ronnie Ellis]

Larry Summers slammed Mitch McConnell over his silly “history lesson” on ABC’s This Week Sunday. [Huffinton Post]

While the state falls apart, Frankfort is busy trying to waste our time on “drug control”… Nice. [H-L]

Stumbo Says Slots Bill On Back Burner

Just hitting the presses:

Mirroring statements by Gov. Steve Beshear, House Speaker Greg Stumbo said today that the state’s nearly half-billion-dollar budget shortfall is his first priority — and that his video lottery terminal bill is on the back burner.

Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said that his bill to allow slot-machine-like video lottery terminals at seven of the eight existing racetracks would not help solve an estimated $456 million shortfall and that adjusting the state budget to cover that is the first priority.

Pressed on the likelihood that slots would not be considered this session, Stumbo said, “I don’t know. We’ve obviously got our plate full right now.”

Imagine that!

Let’s say it together: “TOLD YA SO!”

Additional thought: Maybe next time the Governor’s crew, Greg Stumbo and the various entities pushing expanded gambling will bother to actually put on a public relations show and get the public hyped up about it? Regardless of where you stand on the gambling issue, you can’t argue that they did a good job promoting this. What an abysmal failure.

Wet Counties to Keep Alcohol Tax Revenue?

Steve Riggs has filed an amendment to House Bill 166 to allow wet counties to keep their alcohol tax revenue.

“I certainly respect the fact that many Kentuckians oppose local alcohol sales, but I also believe that they should not expect any benefit from them either,” said Rep. Riggs, D-Louisville. “Louisville, for example, doesn’t get any direct revenue from the coal severance tax because we don’t mine coal. The same principle should apply to alcohol sales. If this amendment becomes law, it would give us more resources to police underage drinking and DUIs. I think it’s common sense.”

“We have a very unfair situation that takes alcohol taxes from wet communities and gives them to dry communities,” Rep. Riggs added. “To remain consistent with their beliefs, dry counties should not desire alcohol money.”

Note: In 2008, alcohol taxes brought in $107 million in Kentucky. And we predict more counties will turn “wet” just a few heartbeats from now.

We love this idea. Your thoughts?

Thursday Morning Dept of Big Bone Lick

Will this nab the bacon lover? Feds are probing Pete Domenici for obstruction of justice in the U.S. Attorney firing scandal. Scott Jennings is sweating bacon grease over it all. [Talking Points Memo]

Big Bone Lick State Park in northern Kentucky has been named by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Natural Landmark, one of 582 in the United States. [State Parks]

While awesome that Jim Holbert payed one forward by sending this guy $20 after learning he was unemployed, it’s potentially illegal. It’s what we call vote buying. Reminder to Kentucky candidates: YOU CANNOT GIVE VOTERS MONEY OR ITEMS OF VALUE. Please read your campaign finance documentation and follow the law. Holbert, who is running against Hal Rogers, obviously meant well but isn’t cut out to be an elected official if we can’t be bothered to know the basic ins and outs of campaigning. [Firedoglake]

You may have your answer. Is David Williams getting a “review” a KERA in exchange for working with Steve Beshear on the budget? Looks like it. But we’d bet that’s not all he’s getting. [Mark Hebert]

The State House adopted rules preventing Leadership from serving on the Appropriations and Revenue Committee. But they’ll still participate in closed-door negotiations. Meaning absolutely nothing has changed at all. [Tony McVeigh]

Liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican, isn’t it a bit disconcerting that Frankfort is pushing to jack taxes up not because they’re for the betterment of society but because they’re running like dogs with its tail stuck between its legs? Jacking the cigarette tax up because you can’t balance a budget is, we hate to admit it as a bleeding heart, a damn shame. Toying with another alcohol tax because you again can’t get your act together? This is shameful. [H-L]

Buying a new home? The housing credit is now $15,000 or 10% of the home price spread over two years. Unlike the current $7,500 credit, this one doesn’t have to be repaid. How bout them apples? [NY Times]

The Kentucky Equine Education Project has started running radio ads in Louisville and Northern Kentucky in support of racetrack slot machines. [C-J]

And like Rick says? This digital television transition is kind of a mess. [The ‘Ville Voice]

If you’re like 99% of all Kentuckians and couldn’t stomach the Governor’s State of the Commonwealth address, read our liveblog highlights of the evening. Hope you enjoy the photograph we used of Steve Beshear. [Page One]

LIVE: Oh Noes – State of the Commonwealth

That’s right, ladies. We’re liveblogging Governor Steve Beshear’s fancy State of the Commonwealth address.

Festivities will begin promptly at 7:00 P.M. Eastern. So get ready to hit refresh about 20 times per minute. It’ll be fun. There’s likely to be lots of gamblin’ talk along with some jib-jabbering about cigarette taxes with little else.

We’re likely to be in rare form as tonight’s address takes place just before we get our weekly LOST watch party started. And you know we have all kinds of pent up bitterness and frustration as a result of the damn ice tsunami.

Are you ready?

7:00 – It’s starting. Blah.

Read all the livebloggy goodness after the jump!

Read moreLIVE: Oh Noes – State of the Commonwealth

Economic Recovery & Its Impact on Kentucky

The White House has released additional state-specific impacts of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. Details employment, infrastructure, education and health care gains from recovery.

Kentucky is on page 35 of the document. Click here for the White House PDF.

Let’s take a look at some highlights:

  • Creating or saving 50,700 jobs over the next two years.
  • Providing a making work pay tax cut of up to $1,000 for 1,620,000 workers and their families.
  • Making 72,000 families eligible for a new American Opportunity Tax Credit to make college affordable.
  • Offering an additional $100 per month in unemployment insurance benefits to 246,000 workers in Kentucky who have lost their jobs in this recession.
  • Providing funding sufficient to modernize at least 151 schools in Kentucky so our children have the labs, classrooms and libraries they need to compete in the 21st century economy.

Please actually read the document and its sources before complaining in the comment.

Your thoughts?