Another Leonard Lawson Flashback

More Trouble For Henry

In ’03, ex-Miss America Heather French Henry used $50K from the Heather French Foundation for Veterans to publish a series of children’s books. The foundation’s biggest contributor that year was a non-profit tied to Leonard Lawson, “one of the state’s largest road contractors and most prolific political contributors.” At the time, Steve Henry (D) was in office as LG. Henry, through a spokesperson, said he had no contact with the Lawsons about the foundation. Heather’s books didn’t make money, and “now they are the subject of a lawsuit” in Jefferson Circuit Court [Sarah Vos, Herald-Leader, 5/13/2007]

Mark Hebert: The problem with secret money

Lawson’s company, Mountain Enterprises, appealed the state of Kentucky’s sales tax bill for $795,000 on the purchase of a $13,250,000 aircraft. After penalties and interest, the state revenue department said Mountain owed $965,000. As the appeal was headed to hearing, both sides agreed to a settlement that is undisclosed. One source familiar with the case told me it was for about half the original tax bill or close to $400,000. State law prohibits the release of that information so my sources number could not be confirmed.

The settlement occurred April 27, less than a month before election day. Lawson and his wife and son, who’s president of Mountain Enterprises, all gave $1000 to Fletcher’s campaign last year. There’s a legitimate question to be raised from this…..did the Lawsons get a sweetheart deal because they’re Fletcher supporters? Did the Lawsons recently give to Fletcher’s defense fund and, in return, get a break on their tax bill? Again, this appears on its face to be a routine, legitimate dispute over taxes owed that resulted in a settlement both parties could live with. But with Fletcher keeping the names and donations to his legal defense fund secret, who knows? [Clicky Clicky]

TGIF! John McCain’s Gonna Make It Rain!

Yesterday Bruce Lunsford released his eight-point energy plan, which we told you about here. But he also said that Mitch McConnell thinks Kentucky voters are stupid– which is probably true. And then Mitch’s crew wet their pants and had to respond. [Mark Hebert]

Governor Steve Beshear went on another one of his fancy town hall meetings in Winchester. Ryan Alessi was there and has the skinny on what went down. Sales tax holidays, light rail in central Kentucky (HAHA) and more. [H-L]

Remember Jon Draud? The new education commissioner who spent a hundred million dollars of state money on a fancy car so he would feel safe or whatever? It’s now for sale on eBay! And Draud told Kentucky Public Radio that he plans to buy the $31,000 car himself. And we thought he needed all those vacation days and perks because he was in the poor house. [Pat Crowley]

What did senile John McCain do while Barack Obama was busy living it up with a fancy speech in Germany? Why, he went to a German restaurant in Columbus, Ohio to complain about Obama’s trip. How embarrassing is that? [The Page]

Greg Stumbo told reporters that Democratic House leadership under Jody Richards failed to help Steve Beshear enough. Oh snap, it’s on. Jody Richards denied everything. And then Greg started talking about running for a leadership spot. Who wants to take bets that Larry Clark is crying on the phone to Steve Henry as we speak (type)? [C-J]

Mitch McConnell’s Ad Filled With Distortions

The Herald-Leader rips Mitch McConnell’s latest attack ad apart in an editorial. McConnell blames opponent Bruce Lunsford for high gas prices in the ad, which is reportedly responsible for serious health problems plaguing thinking people. Injuries from eye-rolling accidents are on the rise in Kentucky emergency rooms.

From the H-L:

Kentucky’s gas tax, 8 cents below the national average, is a negligible part of the price of gasoline.

-SNIP-

McConnell’s commercial is essentially dishonest.

But that’s not the worst of it.

-SNIP-

McConnell’s misleading ad isn’t unexpected. Manipulation has long been his strong suit, and the senior senator must be very pleased with the way his ad uses Lunsford’s own words against him.

But this dishonesty from McConnell is disappointing all the same. It’s a discredit to his lofty position and an insult to the people who have kept him in Washington for 24 years.

You may view the ad in question by clicking here.

The Courier-Journal also has an editorial today:

Sen. McConnell’s criticism is simply irrelevant. This is a Senate race, and most individual senators cannot influence fuel costs.

An exception would be Sen. McConnell himself as the Senate muscle of the Bush administration’s party. But Sen. McConnell has been President Bush’s enabler — declining to demand a coherent national energy policy, failing to push for effective alternative energy sources and clinging to the fiction that drilling for more oil in Alaska and offshore will produce meaningful relief.

A leader would tell the truth about oil. Kentucky, and America, will need someone other than Sen. McConnell to fill that role.

Monday Evening Update Dept of Crazy is Real

Please accept our apologies for being slow today. Too much business to handle, not enough hours in the day. Also, who is buying a new laptop for us? And who is gifting us a new iPhone?

Lunsford’s second quarter numbers are out and the McConnell camp is huffy. [PolWatchers]

Bill Cox quit as the state’s Revenue Commissioner over an “honest difference of opinion” with Beshear administration officials. Cox told Mark Hebert that he was promised Revenue would be elevated to cabinet status but it never happened. And some other juicy business. [Mark Hebert]

Governor Steve Beshear says Barack Obama has all kinds of work to do in Kentucky. Before any Democrats get all huffy, it’s, you know, the truth. Beshear said he hopes to get Obama to Kentucky several times throughout the general election campaign. [PolitickerKY]

This afternoon Andrew Horne sent an email blast on behalf of Bruce Lunsford that attacked Mitch McConnell’s reprehensible actions re: veterans and health care for vets. In 2008 he voted against the G.I. Bill. Last year he voted against legislation to give soldiers longer breaks between deployment. And he repeatedly votes against veterans’ health care programs like treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. [E-mail Blast]

Ryan Alessi has a Q&A with new Beshear Chief of Staff Adam Edelen. [H-L]

Looks like the mainstream media is now trying to keep up with us. WHAS11 has produced a story about some of the documents (related to the Felner-UofL investigation) we published this morning (we got them way before the media did). It’s mostly a rehashing of what we’ve written about for weeks. But check it out. [WHAS11]

Don’t forget our earlier story about Robert Felner and the University of Louisville. We published all kinds of material that is forcing the university to open up and forcing the mainstream media to finally pay attention. [Page One]

Oh Snap Monday! Everyone Hates Mitch Edition

Gay-hater and world renowned bigot Jesse Helms finally died. After 86 years of ruining the lives of everyone he could. He hated the homos, Martin Luther King, Jr. Naturally, king of the Republican hate mongers Mitch McConnell released a statement praising Helms as “a leading voice and courageous champion for the many causes he believed in” and “Senator Helms certainly was no bigot. He was a man, however, not into subtlety.” Nice. [ABC News and Houston Chronicle]

Mitch McConnell hates everybody with AIDS and wants them all to die. Especially if they’re in Africa. George W. Bush loves everybody with AIDS and wants to give them all kinds of money. [C-J]

According to Mitch McConnell, people in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas think oil rigs are pretty. He actually said that. In public. At the Commerce Lexington Public Affairs Luncheon on Tuesday. Like “pretty” has jack to do with expanded off-shore drilling in the United States. [PolitickerKY]

Lowell Reese, editor of the Kentucky Gazette, told Southern Political Report that he doesn’t know anybody who would consider Bruce Lunsford a liberal. Contrary to everything the McConnell campaign is spewing 24/7. Imagine that. [Southern Political Report]

The Courier-Journal editorial board must hate Mitch McConnell and David Williams. Check what the paper had to say about following the money while watching our state’s disadvantaged and disabled suffer neglect. “Real people are getting hurt, thanks to the no-new-tax marching orders that Sen. Mitch McConnell gave the General Assembly’s Republican majority when it took power, and that Senate President David Williams has followed.” [C-J]

Joe Roche wrote a nice, right-wing op-ed for the Herald-Leader about Eye-rack and how swimmingly swell things are going in that godforsaken country. Of course, he had to praise Mitch McConnell for “being central to our success” and for preventing Democrats from pulling out of Iraq 40 times. 40 separate instances of obstruction on Iraq! Roche says, “Were it not for McConnell, I’m not sure how Bush would have been able to maintain our success.” [H-L]

Remember Frank Simon confidant and right-winger who wants to abolish public education Jim Waters? Apparently he’s now an expert on free trade, Columbia and all things John Yarmuth and Ben Chandler. [Georgetown News Graphic]

Remember when Mitch McConnell blamed Bruce Lunsford for the negative (and true) attack ad the Sierra Club is running against him (McConnell)? Listen to the ad and then check out Trey Pollard’s well-researched debunking of everything the McConnell camp is spinning. He uses something called facts, apparently. [PolitickerKY]