Smooth Move: Wasting Business Leaders’ Time

Steve Beshear’s doing a little media tour, but it’s hard to figure out what he’s trying to accomplish.

Setting the stage for his upcoming bad budget news? Maybe. After listening to his speech this morning at GLI’s Capitol Connection event, we’re convinced his message is simply that he’s got a lot of problems and no solutions.

He spent the first half of his talk explaining what we already know all too well — the state is screwed with its $456 million shortfall, and he’s got no plans to raise more revenue. That’s right. He’s given up on casino gaming and won’t push for a cigarette tax unless he gets to a point where he really needs it. On this point, at least, the folks at our table reacted with disgust.

So, what did Beshear say? That we’ve got to get in survival mode. He thinks Obama is going to get us some infrastructure projects. Oh, here’s some good news! A lot of other states are having the same problems as we are, and some of them are in worse shape.

He’s not going to abandon families and businesses that need help, and we’re not going to hunker down and hide. We think that means he’s going to try to keep investing in education, economic development and workforce training. In short, he was long on platitudes, short on specifics. His answer to the question about a cigarette tax was so typical Beshear-ian.

“We may get there (to the point we need it), and if we get to that point, it’s an option to look at.”

Seriously. After spending 45 minutes bemoaning the state’s economy, he’s wondering if we’re going to get to the point of desperation in which we’ll need money from a cigarette tax. This from a man who campaigned on a soapbox about leadership. We don’t know about you, but waiting to see if we’re going to need it, a point at which it will be too late to do it, isn’t the kind of leadership we need.

Beshear is doing a series of media interviews this week. Here are links to a few of them: WHAS Radio, Courier-Journal, WHAS-TV, Kentucky Public Radio. and Fox41.

Monday Afternoon Update. Ed Whitfield’s Scared.

HAHAHA. Oh God. Politicker just suggested that the Enquirer find a chiropractor. Hahahaha. “They might need it to help straighten out the twisted mess they contorted themselves into with their endorsement of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.” Haha. Can’t breathe. Haha. [Politicker]

Larry Dale Keeling has a bunch of thoughts on the Lunsford-McConnell race, Steve Beshear’s anti-online gambling initiative and the importance of a cigarette tax. How stupid we were not to pass that tax. Seriously. [Larry Dale]

Is Chuck Schumer less of a gentleman (no, I didn’t call him one, so don’t give me grief, ladies) because he’s now going after Mitch McConnell? And the truth is finally out– there really WAS an agreement that Schumer wouldn’t go after McConnell! And you nancy-pants bitter butts didn’t believe me all those months ago. Wow. [Hotline]

Ed Whitfield is still a pussy. You can call and complain all you want. But it’s probably better to hit KET where it hurts: stop watching, stop visiting the website, start a campaign to shut the network down or whatever. And instead of freaking out over KET’s ridiculous decision to air the Whitfield video, Heather Ryan should lose her shit on him during her half-hour. Completely obliterate the Floridian before his taped statement. [Barefoot & Progressive, PolWatchers]

Garrison Keillor will broadcast “A Prairie Home Companion” live from the Louisville Palace on January 17. Event starts at 5:45 P.M. Tickets go on sale Friday, November 7 at noon at the Palace box office. $77, $57, $42. So… someone buy us tickets. [Louisville Palace]

Linda Belcher will take her husband, Larry Belcher’s, name on the ballot. Rep. Larry Belcher died last Monday on Interstate 65 when his truck drove into the back of a semi. [PolWatchers]

Some Stuff For a Great Friday Evening

Blah blah blah. We’re blowing this you-know-what in favor of starting the weekend early. Blah. So, ladies, enjoy yourselves and have fun doing stuff. Make sure you avoid as much of this as possible. And eat all kinds of treats for ladies.

KBYE!

Huge, huge step in the right direction by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. State vehicles will be equipped with GPS equipment. This will allow the state to track abuse, unauthorized use, excessive idling or speeding, engine troubles and safety. Finally, movement away from waste, fraud and abuse. [Mark Hebert]

The state’s chief highway engineer resigned over a conflict of interest. Gilbert Newman oversaw the widening of a road that touched property he owns. [PolWatchers]

Former Lexington Mayor Teresa Isaac’s aide pleaded guilty to official misconduct in the first degree. A case is still pending against another Isaac aide. The two were indicted in Fayette county last March for theft by unlawful taking over $300, a Class D felony. [Bluegrass Beat]

Own property in Jefferson, Oldham or Bullitt counties? Then get ready to pay higher property tax rates for school districts this fall. Cause you know you love paying taxes that only get squandered all over the place. [C-J]

In other news, Lexington continues to fall apart and suck hardcore. Check out the fancy shenanigans of Mayor Jim Dingleberry and the Webb family. Money talks, holmes, money talks. [Barefoot & Progressive]

It’s Thursday And We Miss The Office on TV

There was a crazy hot mess at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport last night. White powder (OH NOES!) and wires were coming from a bag in the cargo area of a plane so the entire world shut down for like three hundred hours. Turns out it was a portable dental kit that was dusty. FEAR. [Enquirer]

Steve Beshear told the Louisville Forum that he still supports raising the cigarette tax. And he continued to push for a public vote on casino gambling. [C-J]

Bill Nighbert is also the target of a Transportation Cabinet investigation. One of the people charged with investigating him is a man Nighbert once fired. This should be interesting. [H-L]

Do you know Lilly Ledbetter? Do you support fair and equal pay for women? Or do you support Mitch Mcconnell? You may want to educate yourself. [KY Women]

Democrat Doug Mullins dropped out of the 51st District State House race yesterday. This guarantees that Republican John Carney will win the seat. This means that only 30 of the 100 State House seats are being contested. Way to go, KDP! [PolWatchers]

Turns out Russia launched a coordinated cyber attack on Georgia before and during their physical attack on the country. Welcome to the 21st century, I guess. [NY Times by way of Barefoot & Progressive]

A few things from Politicker:

OMG. Sonny Landham to host a voter registration rally in Louisville’s West End? OMG. We can’t take it.  Will anyone ask him just how racist he is? [Trey Pollard]

Trey Grayson was selected to be a part of the RNC’s platform committee team. He’ll serve as co-chairman of the Guaranteeing Energy Independence and a Cleaner Environment subcommittee. [Trey Pollard]

And in other news, Politicker is definitely Republican. [Some Other Dude With An Ego Bigger Than Ours]

Monday Afternoon Update Dept of Kittehs and Other Matters Of Extreme Importance

ALERT! Famous racist and hardcore porn star Sonny Landham will be in Louisville this Saturday for a fancy scary movie festival! Everyone go tell him how excited you are about his unique brand of racism. [C-J]

Uh, homie, it’s only an exclusive if no one else knows about it. When the entire Commonwealth knows about something and the traditional media world has already covered something… that’s, you know, not exactly an exclusive. But it really is good that someone is focusing on King David these days. [BGR]

Tonight’s episode of Kentucky Tonight on KET will be all about taxes, the economy and the presidential election. Tonight’s guests are David Tandy, a Louisville Metro Councilcritter/lawyer/KDP Treasurer; Gail Russel, Louisville lawyer and RPKer; Bill Londrigan, president of the Kentucky AFL-CIO; Angela Leet, chair of Kentucky Women for McCain, meaning she’s president and sole member of that club. Send comments and questions to kytonight@ket.org. It airs at 8:00 P.M. Eastern. [Kentucky Tonight]

Joe has a very important video of a very important and exciting place right here in Bluegrass USA. Quite possibly the greatest and funniest place on earth. Contains monkeys. Go lookit. [Barefoot & Progressive]

Dee Dee Myers and Karl Rove are the big dog speakers at Northern Kentucky University’s Alumni Lecture Series. Their discussion will take place on October 9 at 6:00 P.M. Eastern in the ballroom of NKU’s Student Union. $40 admission for the general public, which is a little high-dollar for spinsters of their ilk. [Pat Crowley]

Grampa John McCain duz not undrstd techanogoly. Look! It’s John McCain kitteh! In other news, this cool person who once called me from an establishment resembling a steakhouse says Ceiling Cat approves. [Yes We Can]

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]