Rumors on the Internets Briefing Dept

Job hunt. Ernie Fletcher says he’s leaning toward work in the private sector after leaving helm as governor. Specifically, he says he’s likely to practice medicine again but doesn’t rule out work in the federal sector. Maybe Ernie could be Attorney General? Maybe he could replace Condi? [H-L]

Completely disgraceful. What’s it say about our country when veterans can’t get help from the VA and are unable to obtain health insurance on their own? It says we’re living in the dark ages with nothing but making a profit in the “free market” on the mind. Yay, America! Let’s send everyone to Iraq and refuse them care upon their return. [C-J]

Ugh. Embarrassing. Here in Kentucky we can’t get our crap together. We’re so focused on posturing and chest pounding that we fudge facts for historical displays in our Capitol. Like… getting major dates wrong for our motto and the Star Spangled Banner. [H-L]

What happened to Ernest? An editorial in The Enquirer begs the question of what happened to Ernie Fletcher? “In the end, Fletcher played to people’s prejudices and made himself into a caricature. Where was the classy, eloquent man I saw in his concession speech Tuesday night?” We’re still wondering who came up with his stupid campaign ideas, as well. [Enquirer]

Worthy failure. Pulling out the gay card late in the political game no longer works in Kentucky. Reference: The past few weeks. John Cheves has a bit to say about the matter. Something about fewer than 10% of voters (about four people) giving a flip about hating anyone. [H-L]

Kentuckians are fat and unhealthy. Nothing new, right? Right? Right. According to the latest study by the United Health Foundation, Kentucky ranks 43rd on the healthy charts. That’s just seven steps up from worst. Some day leaders in the Bluegrass that there’s more to public health than stagnation and rhetoric about caring for the children. Some day they’ll take action to improve our beautiful Bluegrass. [Business First]

9/11! 9/11! Rudy Giuliani is holding a fundraiser in Lexington on December 5 to benefit his campaign and the Republican Party of Kentucky. Isn’t that exciting? 9udy 11iuliani himself will be parading around Bluegrass. Wonder if Bernie Kerik will be at his side? [PolWatchers]

Al Cross in the Luallen camp? He says to look for recently re-elected Auditor Crit Luallen to be Mitch McConnell’s Democratic opponent. Why? Because she doesn’t scare easily. Call us crazy, but wouldn’t she have to beat several well-funded, tough folks in a primary to be his opponent? [C-J]

Lowered expectations. Fletcher’s campaign finally admits everything they did was illogical. Oh, and that things were laid back because “the expectations were lower”– for real! My, how losing allows people to open up with the truth. [H-L]

Beshear Names First Open LGBT to Transition Team

Ernesto ScorsoneGet ready for it!

Governor-elect Steve Beshear is making history. The kind of history that will send wingnut haters and Frank Simon into oblivion while they foam at the mouth.

Steve Beshear has appointed the first (at least the first to be open about it) gay dude to his transition team: current state senator Ernesto Scorsone. Scorsone, according to a press release, will help select and transition the new Secretary of the Transportation Cabinet.

Wow! Hello, progress and diversity!

Update: As we’ve been repeatedly told this A.M. Ernesto is just part of the transition team– not a cabinet sec– still a big step. Thanks for correcting us, folks! (We seriously got EIGHTY e-mails about it. ha.)

Update: Hollenbach Afraid to Denounce Simon

We’ve heard through the grapevine (okay, okay– via KDP, the Hollenbach camp and a Hollenbach supporter– they’ve all confirmed it) that Todd Hollenbach has had a difficult time dealing with his endorsement from Frank Simon and the Freedom’s Heritage Forum. Apparently BlueGrassRoots, Blue in the Bluegrass and Page One struck a nerve talking about the matter.

Our three sources say independently that Hollenbach wrote a letter to Simon (though the Simon group says it hasn’t yet received anything) disclaiming his endorsement as long as Simon stands for intolerance and exclusion. But there’s an interesting sticking point: Todd sent the letter insisting it remain confidential. He’s also asked a few people in the media to keep the letter confidential– that is, when they ask for proof that he’s denounced Simon he’s afraid of on-the-record discussion. (We saw a copy as confirmation from one campaign source but won’t be publishing it. Don’t ask.)

So what’s that tell you? Todd Hollenbach took a lot of heat for the endorsement but is afraid to publicly distance himself from Frank Simon.

Why would he be afraid to publicly distance himself from hatred and discrimination? It’s completely beyond us. We want nothing more than to publish proof that Todd has done the right thing but it doesn’t seem likely to happen.

Oh, and Todd: You have our number. You could have called us instead of having multiple people call with curses and threats. Way to be adult, folks.

Frank Simon Scares Louisville’s West End

Rev. Jerry StephensonFrank Simon (you know him from equating libraries and gays with the anti-christ) and Rev. Jerry Stephenson (you may know him from his gay-hating radio show) of Midwest Church of Christ are the two men behind ads airing on WLLV and WGTK radio in Louisville’s west end. The ads include a dialog between two gentlemen discussing Steve Beshear’s terrifying support of the gays. The ad directs listeners to Fairness.org just as the misleading robocalls did yesterday.

Joe Gerth has the scoop.

The Rev. Jerry Stephenson, chairman of the Values Coalition U.S.A., said his organization was part of a group that aired a radio advertisement over the weekend and yesterday that pointed out C-FAIR’s endorsement of Beshear.

The group, African Americans for Morality & Justice, was airing the ad on urban-format radio stations in Louisville and a conservative talk radio station. According to Greg Kramer, an advertising manager at WGTK radio in Louisville, conservative activist Frank Simon’s name also appears on paperwork relating to the ad.

“We live in the United States of America, and a person has a right to practice homosexuality if that’s what they choose to do,” he said. “The problem is the homosexual community is attacking our faith community.”

This quote from Jimmy LaSalvia really sums things up quite nicely:

“It’s a foregone conclusion that Gov. Fletcher is going to lose decidedly tomorrow, and these anti-gay campaign tactics are not going to save his campaign,” said Jimmy Lasalvia, president of the Kentucky chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group that favors gay rights. “It’s just pathetic,” he said of the attacks on Beshear.

We promise we won’t always be on a homophobia kick but Fletcher’s decision to castigate the gays and use us as a scary campaign wedge issue sealed the deal.

To update the robocall story from yesterday: We’re close to determining the source of the calls. And contrary to what Kentucky Registry of Election Finance has unfortunately told some people, it is illegal not to have a disclaimer on electronic advertisements. That includes telephone calls advocating the election or defeat of a candidate. Cite: KRS 121.190(1); 32 KAR 2:110. We remind the culprits that they’re required to file their independent expenditure with the KREF.

Steve Beshear Sells Out at the Last Minute

The Beshear-Mongiardo campaign has pulled an Ernie Fletcher. At the last minute Beshear has been sucked into a hate-filled Republican trap and has responded to negative robocalls like a sucker.

The response? This anti-gay rant from Rev. John Dunaway, former president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention:

I’m Rev. John Dunaway. The negative calls you’ve received about Steve Beshear are not true. Ernie Fletcher has been spreading lies to scare you. Don’t fall for those last minute dirty tricks.

Steve Beshear was raised in a family of preachers and [inaudible] values grounded in his faith. Steve believes marriage should be between a man and a woman and he believes we need a governor who will put the people of Kentucky first.

Please join me in voting tomorrow for Steve Beshear for governor.

Paid for by Beshear-Mongiardo for Governor. 502.607.8600.

Listen here:

[audio:http://pageonekentucky.com/audio/beshear_response_call.mp3]

How is this a necessary response?

This comes after Jonathan Miller and others told me via e-mail (about two weeks ago) that Steve Beshear was not homophobic and had no discriminatory bones in his body. If he’s not afraid of the gays– why produce this junk that legitimizes desperate activity and send it out to thousands of Kentuckians across the Commonwealth? Why give in to the Republican playbook of scare tactics?

This response is out of fear and is nothing more than homophobic behavior. Democratic politics could do without it. The call was unnecessary and there’s no excuse for it. It has no bearing on this election.

Breaking: Fletcher’s Illegal Anti-Gay Robocalls – UPDATED

BlueGrassRoots is reporting that robocalls are being made across the state today originating from a pro-gay organization that doesn’t exist. The calls allegedly are in support of Steve Beshear. Regular readers may be aware that this sort of activity is highly illegal and a blatant violation of campaign finance law.

KRS 121.015(7)(c),(12) identifies independent expenditures as being made without coordination, consultation or cooperation with candidates or campaigns. If we find that calls are being made in coordination with Fletcher in any way, you can bet a Kentucky Registry of Election Finance complaint will be promptly filed.

Further, independent expenditures are subject to KREF filing requirements and must report directly to the Registry. If an organization or individual isn’t properly reporting to KREF, that’s another complaint waiting to happen.

Do these fools have no morals or boundaries when it comes to hate and ignorance? Fletcher’s gay sidekicks should be ashamed.

Note to readers: Please send us an audio clip or transcript of the calls.

UPDATE 12:25: Via BlueGrassRoots we have the audio of the call:

[audio:http://pageonekentucky.com/audio/gayrobocall.mp3]

Transcript:

“For the first time in 20 years the homosexual lobby proudly endorses a Kentucky candidate for governor, Steve Beshear. Beshear is receiving major support from out-of-state gay activists and has publicly committed to same-gender relationships, employment of more homosexuals in state government including teachers, and support for homosexual adoption of children.

If you believe these rights are fair please vote for Steve Beshear for governor. Visit Fairness.org.”

Note that the ad does NOT include legally required “Paid for by” language. The call leads recipients to believe it’s from Fairness.org, which is an absolute lie. This is a blatant violation of campaign finance law.

UPDATE 1:20: PolWatchers has an update to this ongoing story with quotes from Beshear, Fletcher and the Fairness Campaign. Seems no one wants to take credit for the illegal call, but Fletcher’s spokesperson Jason Keller made it a point to call Beshear out for being gay-friendly, “Certainly there’s a fair question to be asked there.” Pot calling kettle?

UPDATE 4:15: We’ve received reports that the robocall originates from a telephone number owned by Lee Murphy of Poli-Tech Consulting – an organization that works only for Democrats in Kentucky – including Dan Mongiardo’s 2004 campaign. I spoke to Mr. Murphy moments ago and he confirms that he’s absolutely not involved, saying he “would never work against a Democrat” and that he’s actually friends with Mongiardo.

So where does this leave us? It appears a Republican or anti-Beshear lackey has an ax to grind and is wrongly claiming Poli-Tech is behind the robocall.

Someone is trying to cover up their tracks.

Stay tuned. More to come.

Oh Snap. The One More Day Dept of Propaganda.

The end is extremely effing nigh and no hope remains. The final day for Ernest Lee’s campaign is sure to be filled with reality crashing down around him. But don’t get too excited, Democrats, you got lucky this year by having a horrible opponent. Learn something from it. [C-J]

Nowhere near reality. Turns out Stan Lee’s tirade about 287(g) saving the world from Mexicans barely pays for training and nothing else. Training doesn’t do much to curb illegal immigration when there’s no money to actually do something about it. [H-L]

Resurgence. The Washington Post says Democrats are resurging in Kentucky. Buncha problems with the story, though, because Louisville is not Northern Kentucky and Crit Luallen and Ben Chandler are not the only potential McConnell challengers in 2008. We’re also not certain who those “prominent Democrats” are who “opted out” of the gubernatorial primary. Who? Jerry Abramson? Brereton Jones? Please. [WaPo]

Catching up. The Herald-Leader and Courier-Journal play catch-up with with us on the Ernest Lee & Pat Boone gay-hater party. Oh, how scary Kentucky would be if the gays were everywhere. Maybe mullets and mom jeans would finally go out of style. The horrors! [PolWatchers, C-J]

Faux breaking news. Just this weekend WHAS11 claimed credit for the story about bigoted Pat Boone’s robo call in support of Ernest Lee Fletcher. Yet another story we broke which WHAS claims as its own. We’d link to their story but there’s no way to navigate their terrible website. Imagine that. The station that allows right-wing racists to post their video but not us has claimed credit for our story. Thanks to three WHAS11 reporters for pointing this out.