Finally A List Kentucky Doesn’t Bottom Out!

Thank goodness Kentucky doesn’t bottom out this list of college-educated legislators.

Sixty-eight percent of Kentucky lawmakers with degrees went to in-state colleges, and most of the schools they attended were public.

The University of Kentucky, with 37, wins bragging rights for the most graduates in the legislature.

The next six, in order, are the University of Louisville, Western Kentucky University, Eastern Kentucky University, Northern Kentucky University, Morehead State and Murray State.

Click here to check Tony McVeigh’s story out.

The Cash Spent On Lobbying Will Sicken You

I waited a few days to discuss the latest lobbying numbers from Frankfort because we don’t want the story to get lost in the news cycle. Examining the ways people attempt to influence politics is, in our opinion, far too important to be glossed over.

In the first four months of 2011, $6.5 million was spent by some 660 (more than $6.1 million of which was spent on lobbyist compensation to 630 individuals) employers of lobbyists in Frankfort and $445,000 was spent by lobbyists themselves.

Not surprisingly, the highest-spending sector is health care. The total dropped stands at $1.5 million, some 23% of the total spent by all employers in Kentucky.

  • The Kentucky Hospital Association spent $56,000
  • Norton Healthcare spent $44,631
  • Baptist Healthcare System spent $42,800
  • St. Elizabeth Healthcare spent $28,182
  • Consumer Healthcare Products Association spent $67,333
  • Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America/PhRMA spent $23,362
  • Amgen spent $19,389
  • GlaxoSmithKline spent $18,500
  • American Pharmacy Cooperative spent $18,000
  • Pfizer spent $15,000
  • Kentucky Medical Association spent $71,415
  • All Things Good spent $65,000
  • Kentucky Optometric Association spent $61,604
  • Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians & Surgeons spent $26,000

Insurance companies spent big:

  • AmeriGroup Corp. spent $32,000
  • Humana spent $31,000
  • WellPoint-Anthem Blue Gross/Blue Shield spent $26,413
  • Kentucky Association of Health Plans spent $24,251
  • Nationwide Insurance spent $22,430

Utility and energy Interests also dropped large chunks of cash:

  • Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives spent $40,426
  • LG&E and KU Energy spent $28,543
  • Denbury Onshore LLC spent $26,999
  • EQT Corp. spent $22,400
  • Atmos Energy/Wester Kentucky Gas spent $20,000
  • Chesapeake Appalachia spent $18,000
  • EcoPower Generation spent $30,000

Coal spent big:

  • Coal Operators & Associates spent $24,900
  • Alpha Natural Resources spent $20,300
  • Peabody Energy spent $18,000
  • Western Kentucky Coal Association spent $16,441
  • Kentucky Coal Association spent $15,850

Public education and school-related lobbying:

  • Kentucky Education Association spent $44,680
  • Kentucky Association of School Administrators spent $36,750
  • Eastern Kentucky University spent $20,740
  • Kentucky Retired Teachers Association spent $20,553
  • Jefferson County Public Schools spent $18,935

For-profit schools spent big:

  • Kentucky Association of Career Colleges and Schools spent $36,000
  • National College spent $20,250
  • Education Management Corp. spent $20,000
  • Beckfield College spent $15,000
  • Connections Academy spent $12,000
  • Wireless Generation spent $10,000

Spent by the financial industry:

  • Kentucky Bankers Association spent $72,320
  • American International Group (AIG) spent $40,000
  • Community Financial Services Association of America spent $20,000
  • Kentucky Deferred Deposit Association spent $20,000
  • Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association spent $18,000

Here’s what manufacturers spent:

  • Kentucky Association of Manufacturers spent $47,723
  • Toyota spent $24,000
  • Hewlett-Packard spent $20,000
  • Microsoft spent $17,000
  • Rio Tinto Alcan spent $16,000
  • Lifesafer Interlock spent $15,000
  • Ford Motor Co. spent $13,165

Tobacco:

  • Altria spent $123,800
  • Swedish Match North America spent $34,650
  • National Tobacco Co. spent $30,000

Chambers of commerce and groups:

  • Kentucky Chamber of Commerce spent $99,479
  • Greater Louisville, Inc. spent $39,939
  • Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment spent $29,000

Transportation:

  • CSX spent $55,830
  • Paducah & Louisville Railway spent $16,000
  • Norfolk Southern spent $13,236
  • Transit Authority of River City spent $12,200
  • Mountain Enterprises spent $10,000
  • Project Coalition spent $10,000

Local governments and groups:

  • Kentucky League of Cities spent $37,414
  • Kentucky Association of Counties spent $36,492
  • Kentucky County Clerks Association spent $22,437
  • Kentucky Jailers Association spent $20,028
  • Kentucky Magistrates and Commissioners Association spent $16,404

Horsies:

  • Keeneland Association spent $44,073
  • Kentucky Downs spent $30,000
  • Churchill Downs spent $25,400
  • GTECH Corp. spent $18,000

Retail, restaurants, small business:

  • Kentucky Retail Federation spent $52,878
  • Houchens Industries spent $44,000
  • Yum! Brands spent $21,671
  • National Federation of Independent Business spent $18,532
  • Kentucky Automobile Dealers Association spent $18,212
  • Kentucky Restaurant Association spent $18,000

Booze:

  • Buffalo Trace Distillery spent $33,000
  • Kentucky Beer Wholesalers spent $24,000
  • Kentucky Distillers Association spent $17,678
  • Anheuser-Busch spent $16,668
  • Brown-Forman spent $15,000
  • Wine Institute spent $15,000
  • Jim Beam Brands & Maker’s Mark spent $14,491
  • Kentucky Malt Beverage Council spent $13,332

And check out the list of employers failing to file required reports with the Legislative Branch Ethics Commission:

  • American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky
  • Amteck of Kentucky
  • Associated Builders Contractors Kentuckiana
  • I Drive Safely
  • KY-881
  • Kentucky Fairness Alliance
  • Kentucky Sportsman’s Alliance
  • Kentucky Tax LIen Purchasers Association
  • Lexington Professional Firefighters
  • Pinnacle Entertainment
  • Save the Children
  • Transit Authority of River City

Does UK’s President Have A Medicare Problem?

A legal blog says the University of Kentucky’s new president – Eli Capilouto – has ties to Medicare fraud:

According to two whistleblower lawsuits, filed under the U.S. False Claims Act, UAB engaged in a research-fraud scheme involving hundreds of millions of dollars during much of the time Capilouto was a dean or provost at the school.

The lawsuits, filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Alabama, allege that UAB engaged in about $600 million worth of research fraud over at least a 10-year period. The Bush Justice Department settled the qui tam cases in 2005, while Capilouto was provost, for $3.4 million, which was less than one percent of the alleged fraud. Under the treble-damages provision of the False Claims Act, UAB could have been liable for approximately $1.5 billion.

-SNIP-

Allegations in the qui tam complaints involve misappropriation of funds from Medicare, Medicaid, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other federal entities. The government alleged that UAB submitted claims under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, which involves health insurance for the aged and disabled. UAB also allegedly defrauded a health-insurance program for military personnel and their dependents.

-SNIP-

As we noted earlier, part of the fraud involved a Social Security program for the aged and disabled. And what is CHAMPUS? Now known as TRICARE, it provides civilian health benefits for military personnel, military retirees, and their dependents.

In other words, UAB’s scheme involved bilking federal programs designed for the aged, the disabled, veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their dependents.

The University of Kentucky chose a president who was in the midst of all that? Have UK officials ever heard of “doing your homework”?

Click here to read it all.

Regardless of qualifications, it seems UK may not have, you know, bothered to investigate all of these messes.

New UK President Has Some Foes In Alabama

It seems Eli Capilouto, the new president at the University of Kentucky, isn’t loved by everybody in his old neck of the woods:

According to documents in federal court, Capilouto played a prominent role in discrimination lawsuits filed by veteran faculty members Glenn Feldman and Rosalia Scripa. In the Feldman case, Capilouto led an effort to unlawfully fire a tenured faculty member. In the Scripa case, Capilouto was behind an effort to falsify data on a salary study for female faculty members at UAB.

Public documents in the Feldman and Scripa cases indicate that Capilouto has the ethics of a sewer rat.

Sources also tell us that Capilouto played a prominent role in the hiring of some horrific deans at UAB, including David Klock at the School of Business and Doreen Harper at the School of Nursing. When it comes to hiring deans, Garrison/Capilouto apparently do not care one whit about scholarship, academic integrity, ability to manage people, interact with students and alumni, etc. It’s all about an alleged ability to bring in money, with any other consideration coming in a distant second. Garrison and Capilouto are the poster children for the rise of the “corporate university.”

-SNIP-

How Capilouto managed to snag the Kentucky presidency is beyond me. But UK took a major problem off UAB’s hands…

Click here to read the entire rant.

Sound familiar?

Here’s hoping this doesn’t turn out to be an issue for UK.

Selling Out For An Industry Pays Really Well

Every month we discuss lobbyist spending in Frankfort and every month you dry heave after you read about it. It’s that time again.

From May 1 to August 31, employers spent mega bucks lobbying in Frankfort:

  • Altria spent $90,818 on tobacco-related issues
  • Kentucky Chamber of Commerce spent $77,343
  • University Health Care, Inc., operating as Passport Health Plan (managed care Medicaid) spent $61,412
  • AmeriHealth Mercy, the company managing Passport, spent $10,773
  • Calgon Carbon Corp., which manufactures coal baked into activated carbon, spent $46,913
  • Keeneland Association spent $46,232 on instant racing
  • Houchens Industries spent $44,000 on grocery stores, road contracting, insurance and other business
  • ResCare, Inc. spent $40,289
  • Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, which recently paid Todd Eklof a settlement, spent $31,789
  • Home Builders Association of Kentucky spent $31,348
  • Tantus Tobacco spent $29,130
  • Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo) spent $29,018
  • Swedish Match North America, Inc. (Red Man chewing tobacco) spent $28,743
  • Kentucky Beer Wholesalers Association spent $28,000
  • Kentucky Hospital Association spent $27,317
  • Norton Healthcare, Inc. spent $26,694
  • Buffalo Trace Distillery spent $24,096
  • Brown-Forman Corp. spent $24,000
  • Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC spent $24,000
  • Green Rock Energy spent $22,839
  • LifePoint Hospitals, Inc. spent $21,794

Jeeeeeeez. I should leave this behind and become a lobbyist ASAP. Right? We all should.

Peep the rest after the jump…

Read moreSelling Out For An Industry Pays Really Well

University of Kentucky Board of Trustees Update

You know you love hearing from University of Kentucky Trustee Joe Peek.

So here are some excerpts from his latest email blast.

On outgoing President Lee Todd’s massive salary boost:

It’s said the quitters never prosper. Wrong again! At the recent (ro)BOT meeting, the trustees voted 17-2 in favor of a salary “reclassification” for outgoing UK President Todd. (The lone dissenters were me and Sheila Brothers, the staff trustee.) Even though I pointed out (more than once) that this reclassification had real implications for the UK budget, it had no impact on the “discussion.” For the record: Base salary, but not bonus, carries with it a 15% retirement contribution by UK, and the change is retroactive to this past year as well. (I know, only the chosen few at the top get UK to make their 5% contribution for them.) Second, President Todd’s retention incentive bonus that will be paid on his last day at UK is equal to his base, not total, compensation. So the cost to UK is at least several hundred thousand dollars. And, silly me, I thought UK was in a budget crisis and could not afford raises at this time. The fact that some of Todd’s “reclassification” was done in arrears is at least consistent with the way UK has been treating faculty and staff (who have been getting it in arrears for a long time).

The good news is that faculty and staff had a say in President Todd’s evaluation. Specifically, our 2000+ faculty had the opportunity to collectively provide a grand total of 1/22 of the input, the same as any one of the 20 individual trustees (and similarly for the staff).

But, just so you know, I am not going to just sit here quietly and take it. Actually, I would take it if it were offered, but, in any case, at the next (ro)BOT meeting, I am going to propose a motion that I receive a substantial raise because that will make it easier to hire my replacement when I resign or retire.

See what Peek had to say about Todd’s U.S. News & World Report hypocrisy after the jump…

Read moreUniversity of Kentucky Board of Trustees Update