Oh Snap Monday! Waking Up Early Stuff

Union-bashing is definitely disguised as concern for workers. You bet your booties it’s a McConnell ploy. [H-L]

The McConnell campaign sure likes to lose its shiz when the Lunsford campaign complains about anything. So it’s funny to watch the McConnell camp squirm over Lunsford’s latest campaign ad. [McConnell’s “Blog”]

WTVQ in Lexington has killed it’s 5:00 P.M. newscast. And people wonder why Lexington is losing its best and brightest by the truckload. [H-L]

The United States no longer bans entry to the country if you’re HIV positive. It only took until 2008 for us to lift the ban. [CBS News]

John Cheves has a great profile of Crit Luallen and the office of State Auditor that’s a must-read. She needs to run for governor in 2011. [H-L]

Jim Bunning’s staff is continuing to jump ship. Is this a sign that he won’t run in 2011? [C-J]

John Rogers Releases Ad, Gets Endorsements

John Rogers, a Democrat running for State Senate in the 9th District has released a new campaign ad. He rails against casinos and raising taxes, so it’s pretty clear he’s already running like he’s the nominee. Peep the ad after the jump.

And he’s picked up quite a few endorsements lately. Just this week he picked up an additional five labor unions: Glasgow United Steelworkers, Communications Workers Local 3301, Operating Engineers Local 181, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 502 and the Bowling Green Area American Postal Workers Local 453. All this comes just after picking up state AFL-CIO and United Auto Workers Local 2164 endorsements.

Endorsements obviously aren’t always an indiciation of who’ll be winning any particular race, but we’ve heard nothing out of Rogers’ opponents in the Democratic Primary. They are Horace F. Johnson and Steve Newberry. Pretty sure this one’s in the bag for Rogers.

View Rogers’ ad after the jump…

Read more…

UAW, AFL-CIO Endorse John Rogers for Senate

UAW Local 2164 and Kentucky’s AFL-CIO have both endorsed Democratic State Senate candidate John Rogers of Glasgow (9th Senatorial District). Rogers faces Horace F. Johnson and Steve Newberry in the May primary. Bob Bryant, David Givens and Jeff Jobe face off in the Republican primary. Republican Richie Sanders currently holds the seat.

According to a press release, UAW local President Eldon Renaud called Rogers “the most qualified candidate” in the race who “understands our need for affordable health care and job growth.”

And AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan recognized Rogers’ position on issues of importance to Kentuckians, “Our Committee on Political Education is pleased to announce John Rogers endorsement. We recognize John’s position on issues of critical importance to Kentucky’s hard working men and women: good jobs, the right to organize, health care for all, retirement security and education and training opportunities.”

Update: Newspaper Guild Ratifies Contract

To update yesterday’s story

The Lexington Newspaper Guild, which has been feuding with the Herald-Leader’s management team (and McClatchy), has ratified unanimously a five-year collective bargaining agreement.

According to a press release the contract will be retroactive to January 1, 2007 and was reached after a two-day meeting with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

From the release:

The major sticking points in negotiations were company proposals regarding paid time off and health insurance for part-time workers. Under the compromise agreed to by the Guild and Herald-Leader, part-time health insurance benefits will be protected until Jan. 1, 2010. After that date, the Herald-Leader may eliminate part-time health insurance so long as it provides the Guild with 90 days notice.

The Herald-Leader’s current paid time off (PTO) plan will be preserved until Jan. 1, 2010. After that time the Herald-Leader or Guild may renegotiate the PTO benefits. The company would have to reach agreement with the Guild or bargain to legal impasse to implement changes.

“While this is far from an ideal compromise, this is a compromise that we can live with,” Lexington Newspaper Guild president Brandon Ortiz said.

Under the compromise agreed to by the Guild and Herald-Leader, part-time health insurance benefits for part-timers employed on the date of the signing agreement will be protected until Jan. 1, 2010. After that date, the Herald-Leader may eliminate part-time health insurance for those employees so long as it provides the Guild with 90 days notice.

Rumors in the Political World

To follow up on an earlier post…

We hear that the UAW and UMWA endorsed all Democratic candidates last week. Beshear-Mongiardo for Governor/Lt. Gov., Bruce Hendrickson for Secretary of State, Jack Conway for Attorney General, Todd Hollenbach for Treasurer, Crit Luallen for Auditor.

This hasn’t been officially released but is confirmed by one campaign and two union officials.

Note: We’ll ignore David L. Williams, candidate for Agricultural Commissioner, just as the KDP has. Can’t put a crazy guy’s name in large print. Especially not after they’re arrested for threatening their own niece.

Absolute Power?

CBS affiliate KXMC in North Dakota begins to talk about John Cheves’ in-depth analysis of McConnell and his Labor Secretary wife.

The tragedy at the Crandall Canyon mine in Utah, where six men are currently trapped underground, has brought to light the partnership between Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his wife, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and how they are aligned against the interests of working people.

Speaking of the couple, they were both at today’s national meeting of the Fraternal Order of Police held in Louisville (along with Rep. John Yarmuth). Watch the video below to hear what they had to say.

You’ll remember that Democrats caved in a vote on August 4 approving the “Protect America Act”, thereby authorizing warrantless wiretapping. No more FISA court requirement. No more privacy. If you need a refresher or want a more complete understanding of the wiretap situation, check out Robert Parry’s latest.

Senator McConnell spoke about this very issue today. (See video) Did he get it wrong by incorrectly characterizing the wiretapping issue? He said, “To me, the idea that we were supposed to extend the Bill of Rights to a bunch of non-citizens overseas, let alone terrorists, wasn’t only dangerous, it was the height of stupidity.”

[flv:/video/McConnell-FOP-08132007.flv 320 240]
Note that there was no mention of rights as they relate to U.S. citizens. No mention that your communication with a friend in Chile will be tapped without a court order, either. Bruce Schreiner has more on today’s events.