Geoff Davis: Putting Payday Loan Sharks Before Troops

It’s a remarkable time in the United States. Veterans Day just behind us. Hundreds of thousands still in Iraq. Veterans from all walks of life without access to health care. Thousands of active duty military families crumbling beneath financial strain and looming economic disaster. So it’s a good time to remind you that Northern Kentucky’s Geoff Davis (R KY-4)— a man of the military cloth himself– stood and is still standing up against our military in favor of despicable payday loan sharking.

An estimated 20% of our military men and women are forced to rely upon payday borrowing costing them over $80 million in fees every year. They’re often being charged more than 400% interest rates that lock them into a lifelong cycle of debt.

A KPBS program in San Diego called Full Focus featuring Rear Admiral Len Hering discussed the state of predatory lending and the military. Here are some excerpts:



Click here to view the full episode or watch others.

Read moreGeoff Davis: Putting Payday Loan Sharks Before Troops

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]

Interesting Campaign Finance Tidbits

Richie Farmer took money from controversial Monsanto. 31 August 2007 – Monsanto Citizenship Fund – $1,000. If he’s any kind of respectable gentleman he’ll return that grand ASAP.

Leonard and Steven Lawson both gave $1,000 to Crit Luallen on September 20. Leonard is the controversial highway contractor who gives money to everyone– no matter what they’re running for– in hopes of landing the next highway contract. We’re glad to see he hasn’t changed his tune this year.

The man who has tried to sell us all on the Louisville arena– Jim Host attempted to disguise his $500 contribution on June 18th to Stan Lee by listing himself as W. Host. Nice try. Evens out the $500 contribution he gave Lee on 02/02 to $1,000.

In addition to Host? Indicted and pardoned Basil Turbyfill gave Lee $1,000 on 08/23. (He also gave $1,000 to Trey Grayson). Casino maven Bill Butler contributed $1,000 on 08/28 – does this mean Stan supports casino gaming? Strangely, Lee also took in a ton of $100.00 contributions from old campaign funds. 12 of them. What’s going on there?

There’s nothing too controversial about funds raised by Trey Grayson, much to the chagrin of folks who want him to lose. Just the typical Northern Kentucky donors. One interesting contribution to note is on June 5 by Jimmy LaSalvia in the amount of $250. LaSalvia, as many Kentuckians will recall, is part of the Log Cabin Republicans. We thought Grayson didn’t like the gays?

Who knew Brett Hall was still serving as Melinda Wheeler’s campaign manager? Still doesn’t explain why Fletcher’s campaign provided him with their e-mail database or why he’s sending out e-mail blasts for his blog. Brett and his son make up most of Wheeler’s disbursements.

Jim Patterson, former funding giant for the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth gave $1,000 to both Todd Hollenbach and Ernie Fletcher. This may not seem major to you but it’s worth noting that Patterson never took heat for his actions in the Kentucky press and Republicans and Democrats alike have embraced him with open arms. The man hasn’t once offered up an apology for funding the hateful group. That’s a shame because we hear he’s a good guy.

Jack Conway’s primary opponent Bob Bullock gave him $500 on August 16. Certainly the gentlemanly thing to do. Doesn’t happen frequently in other races. Paul & Judi Patton really ponied up: $1,500. And former Apprentice star (who Steve Henry tried to obtain as treasurer) Mark Lamkin contributed $250. Conway’s entire report reads like a who’s who of Kentucky. From Louisville to Prestonsburg. Talk about widespread support. Half of his contributors have probably never given to the same candidate before now.

And there’s nothing really notable in the Beshear report other than what has already been reported.

Did this put you to sleep?

Pat Crowley: What’s going on here?

We’re usually fans of Pat Crowley because he’s one of the few people who actually reports in Northern Kentucky.

But today? Seems like he’s using his column to promote the crazy Vets for Freedom group whether he means to or not. Here’s the headline and the first couple paragraphs of his column:

Vets for Freedom to rally in support of Iraq efforts

Vets for Freedom, a group that backs the war in Iraq, is hosting a town hall meeting at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Walton National Guard post near Interstate 75 in Walton.

The organization describes itself as “a nonpartisan organization established by combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan” with a mission to “educate the American public about the importance of achieving success in these conflicts.”

For more information log on to www.vetsforfreedom.org/.

Where’s his usual journalistic desire to question everything? VFF gets described as a nonpartisan organization with no mention to the contrary. Like it’s copied and pasted directly from a press release.

No mention that the group is heavily tied to Bush’s PR firm.

No mention of VFF’s Executive Director Pete Hegseth and his mission to cover up and make excuses for the outrageous soldier suicide rate while it’s the highest that it’s been in the U.S. Army in more than 26 years.

Now’s the perfect time to re-watch Andrew Horne’s appearance on Live with Dan Abrams from August 16th. Horne was on with Hegseth to discuss soldier suicide rates. Hegseth did his level best to spin the facts with no success, the entire time trying to refute the Army’s figures on suicide.




Far cry from educating the public about the importance of achieving success in Iraq, eh?

We hope Pat follows up on the Vets for Freedom visit to Kentucky without allowing the group’s controversial and questionable past to slip by the wayside.

AIPAC: Another story that won’t die

Turns out Bill Yarmuth has changed his mind and won’t be hosting an AIPAC fundraiser at his home. Hebert has some details.

Rep. John Yarmuth’s office said the event has not been moved to his brother Bill’s home. News to us, since Jewish Hospital’s spokeswoman told Stephen George that’s where it would take place. And people close to Yarmuth confirmed the details with Page One. Guess the ramifications of hosting an event with controversial Dan Senor knocked some sense into someone?

For future reference: if you’re a staffer for a member of the United States Congress you can e-mail us if details change, if you have something to dispute or need to disseminate information. We know you read us.

Breaking: AIPAC Fundraiser Moved

LEO‘s Managing Editor Stephen George just confirmed that Jewish Hospital has decided not to host the September 10th AIPAC fundraiser featuring controversial figure Dan Senor. Senor is affiliated with Fox News and the group Vets for Freedom.

A source with Jewish Hospital revealed to Page One earlier today that many physicians were upset about being invited to the event and expressed concern about its location. Though not confirmed, one surgical group allegedly threatened to cancel surgeries in protest.

Barbara Mackovich, spokesperson for Jewish Hospital, told George the event will instead be hosted at the Louisville home of Bill Yarmuth.

Yarmuth is the brother of U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY 3) and is CEO & President of the health care company Almost Family.

AIPAC Update

LEO (yes, we’re on a LEO kick today) published a story we initially broke about a Jewish Hospital-approved & hosted AIPAC fundraiser.

The final graph of the story is most interesting:

Barbara Mackovich, spokeswoman for Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Healthcare, said the nonprofit hospital has no political agenda, has never hosted a political event*, and is renting the group space to conduct its fundraiser**. She said the conference center is used for a variety of gatherings.

* Never hosted a political event? Hrm. Guess that explains away the multitude of political events we’ve been to that were hosted by, you guessed it, Jewish Hospital and the Jewish Hospital Foundation.

** Renting the space to AIPAC? Must be a huge, huge coincidence that the only invitees to the event happen to be physicians and moneyed individuals at Jewish Hospital.

Take a look at the invite here:

AIPAC Invite 1 AIPAC Invite 2 AIPAC Invite 3