Another Montgomery Co. Corruption Reality Check

During the July 17 meeting of the Montgomery County School board, a member of that board asked for a topic of discussion be added to the agenda for the August 7 meeting.

That topic? A healthy talk regarding superintendent Joshua Powell’s attorney and the exorbitant fees being paid.

Now, board chair Kenney Gulley and Powell’s Executive Administrative Assistant, Cindy Kincaid, are claiming that didn’t take place and that the topic can’t be discussed during Thursday’s meeting.

Unfortunately for them? We have proof:




Would appear that the powers that be are once again attempting to fleece the taxpayers. You’d think the general manager of a respected farm supply company would have enough sense not to pull stunts like this. He knows that any discussion of Powell’s attorney and the associated costs will result in mass public outrage.

All of Montgomery County should show up in protest, to say the least.

Take hidden cameras, audio recording equipment, make your voice heard.

Just be prepared — Powell and crew will likely panic and have the sheriff there to intimidate you. The sheriff whose son got caught up in the iPad mess, of course.

But don’t let that stop you. Demand answers. You deserve them.

Edelen Already Hyping His Non-Accomplishments

The only person who right now believes Adam Edelen could win a U.S. Senate race in 2016 is Adam Edelen. [H-L]

The U.S. Congress approved $225 million in emergency funding for Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system on Friday, sending the measure to President Barack Obama to be signed into law. That’s right — your tax dollars are paying for this nonsense. [HuffPo]

You wonder how long Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul can keep balancing on his head the two spinning plates of a possible re-election campaign in 2016 and a possible Republican presidential bid in 2016. [C-J/AKN]

Attorney General Eric Holder is calling on states to be more transparent about the drug cocktails used in executions in the wake of a series of botched lethal injections that have renewed a national debate over the death penalty. [Reuters]

Eastern Kentucky University athletics has received its largest-ever single gift. President Michael Benson announced Friday that Donald R. and Irene Dizney, of Ocala, Fla., have committed a lead cash gift toward a $15 million multi-purpose facility to replace the grandstands on the east side of Roy Kidd Stadium. [Richmond Register]

It has been more than five years since the Senate began investigating the CIA’s detainee program, a period marked by White House indecisiveness, Republican opposition, and what we now know was CIA snooping. [ProPublica]

Two cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been confirmed in Barren County, and tests have been submitted to confirm the source. [Glasgow Daily Times]

States and cities have been investing billions of pension money dollars in hedge funds. That’s costing a lot of money in fees, and experts say the pensions don’t have much to show for it. [NPR]

One of the nation’s largest coal producers said Thursday it expects to lay off 1,100 workers at 11 southern West Virginia surface coal mines by mid-October, citing dismal markets and federal regulation. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

John Brennan said CIA employees would never snoop on congressional staffers investigating its use of torture. New revelations show that’s what they did. [Mother Jones]

Bridget Richardson of Bowling Green said she was prepared this school year for school supply expenses. [BGDN]

In backlash against Common Core, lawmakers in 12 states are rewriting their academic standards. [WaPo]

With a spate of botched executions across the country this year looming over their discussion, Kentucky lawmakers are revisiting some fundamental questions about the death penalty, including whether the state should keep it on the books. [H-L]

No one on the Supreme Court objected publicly when the justices voted to let Arizona proceed with the execution of Joseph Wood, who unsuccessfully sought information about the drugs that would be used to kill him. [HuffPo]

Coursey Will Have A Tough Time At Fancy Farm

It appears that Brian Linder might be one of the dumbest people in Frankfort. And that’s saying a lot. [H-L]

Republican senators blocked an election-year bill Wednesday to limit tax breaks for U.S. companies that move operations overseas. The bill would have prohibited companies from deducting expenses related to moving their operations to a foreign country. It also would have offered tax credits to companies that move operations to the U.S. from a foreign country. [HuffPo]

Two-thirds of Kentucky voters say U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes have an obligation to the people of Kentucky to debate each other. [C-J/AKN]

Several new surveys show voter interest is low, anti-incumbent sentiment is high, and voters from both parties are questioning whether their elected leaders should return to Congress next year. [NPR]

Want to read the most scandalous Louisville Metro Animal Services story yet? Have at it. The worst in eight years of our LMAS coverage. Everyone from Greg Fischer on down are to blame and should be prosecuted. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is seeking to blaze a path for marijuana reform in the Senate with legislation that would officially legalize state medical marijuana programs and whittle away at federal drug possession penalties. [US News]

Democratic Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo on Wednesday questioned the constitutionality of state incentives for a Noah’s Ark tourist attraction in Grant County. [Ronnie Ellis]

Failing to adequately reduce the carbon pollution that contributes to climate change could cost the United States economy $150 billion a year, according to an analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisers. [NY Times]

Rep. John Yarmuth on the VA compromise: “I’m pleased Congress was able to come together to begin addressing the crisis in our VA medical system. This legislation is a strong first step, but there is more work to be done to ensure every veteran gets the care they need, when they need it.” [Press Release]

A new poll shows that Americans are pretty sympathetic when it comes to the influx of young illegal immigrants from Central America. [WaPo]

Don’t miss Comment on Kentucky tonight because scheduled guests are: Ronnie Ellis, Sam Youngman, Joe Gerth. Live from Fancy Farm. 8:00 P.M. Eastern on KET. [KET]

While McConnell’s 2-point lead is within the poll’s 4-point margin of error, making it a statistical tie, it marks a consistent decline in support for Grimes in the Bluegrass Poll, which showed her up 4 percent in February and 1 percent in May. [The Hill]

Rand Paul went into the defensive, whiny-ass titty-baby mode he always goes into when anyone calls him out for saying something stupid. [Wonkette]

Here’s a solid preview of Fancy Farm 2014 from Sam Youngman. Alison Grimes has the most at stake. [H-L]

A high-powered Washington lobbying firm representing the government of Alberta, Canada, made $17,000 in donations to senators it was courting for support of the Keystone XL pipeline. [HuffPo]

School Boards Insurance Trust: Disaster Time

Really, Frankfort, giving the Ark Park loonies millions more? [H-L]

Pushing back against new Environmental Protection Agency standards limiting carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, Alabama officials gathered Monday to argue that the new federal policy flouted the Almighty’s will by regulating a God-given resource. [HuffPo]

Coal companies owned by a major political supporter of Gov. Steve Beshear are under serious scrutiny for failing to comply with basic strip-mining reclamation regulations in Kentucky and four other states. [C-J/AKN]

This week is Congress’s last before summer recess, which is often when a flurry of bills are pushed through Congress. [NPR]

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport once again has the highest average airfare among the top 100 airports in the lower 48 states. [Business First]

The continuing fight over how to handle tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors arriving at the Texas border from across Central America is not the first time federal and state officials have struggled with the human and political consequences of an unexpected surge in those arriving in the United States from troubled neighbors. [NY Times]

The controversy about City Manager Ben Bitter’s moving expenses revealed a division in the Ashland Board of City Commissioners. [Ashland Independent]

Agriculture is under attack – or at least that’s what proponents of an upcoming Missouri ballot measure are telling voters. [WaPo]

Twenty-two miners were killed in accidents during the first half of 2014, compared to 18 in the first half of 2013 and 19 for the same period in 2012. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

New federal data, obtained by ProPublica under the Freedom of Information Act, shows nearly 1 million insurance transactions since mid-April. [ProPublica]

Here’s what’s not up for debate: Eastern Kentucky coal production has plummeted over the past several years. [WFPL]

The White House announced that federal agencies have cut their greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent since 2008 — roughly equivalent to permanently taking 1.8 million cars off the road. [Think Progress]

Some school districts have started getting bills over the past couple of weeks to help offset insurance claims against the failed Kentucky School Boards Insurance Trust. [H-L]

While Republican voters tend to align with the National Rifle Association in opposing new gun restrictions, they are sharply at odds with the nation’s largest gun lobby when it comes to restrictions based on domestic violence. [HuffPo]

Remember When Stumbo Tried To Ignore MSU?

Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes only leads women by ONE PERCENT. That’s at least an 11-point drop in six months. What the living hell are Jonathan Hurst and Jerry Lundergan doing over there to lose women so hard?! [WHAS11 More WHAS11]

When people talk about diversifying an Eastern Kentucky economy dominated for a century by coal mining and poverty, they often don’t aim very high: low-wage factories and corporate call centers. But you can see another possibility at Morehead State University’s Space Science Center. [Tom Eblen]

More from the Department of Things Ken Ham Doesn’t Understand. Some 70 million years ago, three tyrannosaurs stalked together across a mud flat in Canada, possibly searching for prey. [HuffPo]

Have you seen the latest publicity stunt from the Fairness Campaing? A total waste of resources and Chris Hartman ought to be ashamed. [C-J/AKN]

With stores near military bases across the country, the retailer USA Discounters offers easy credit to service members. But when those loans go bad, the company uses the local courts near its Virginia headquarters to file suits by the thousands. [ProPublica]

Kentucky is pushing to digitize court records and eventually make them more accessible to the public. [WLEX18]

Despite a ban on high-interest car title loans, the nation’s largest title lender has opened 26 Instaloan stores in Florida, offering a refashioned version of the loans that effectively charge the same sky-high rates the law was designed to stop. [ProPublica]

For months, law enforcement in Central Kentucky have explained that much of the drug problem is coming from the north. [WKYT]

Russian authorities are suggested to organizers of an LGBT pride parade in St. Petersburg, Russia that they hold this year’s event in a landfill, representing just the latest in the country’s ongoing effort to humiliate the community. [Think Progress]

We’re just days away from the annual Fancy Farm Picnic and political free-for-all which used to be the “official” beginning of fall campaigns in Kentucky. [Ronnie Ellis]

BuzzFart fired someone for plagiarism but that never happens in Kentucky when folks plagiarize content from this site. [NY Times]

Demand is up, and cattle are selling for record prices. At the same time, corn prices are down and fuel prices have stabilized. [Richmond Register]

After 20 years in their house, Jaime and Juana Coronel lost it to foreclosure when Jaime’s landscaping work dried up in the recession and the couple fell behind on payments. [WaPo]

The group seeking to build a proposed Noah’s Ark theme park in Grant County is once again seeking approval of tax incentives. [H-L]

Check out this Republican who is employing campaign tactics just like Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes. [HuffPo]

Conway Uses Office For Campaign Promotion

Well, it’s official, Jack Conway is back to using state government resources to campaign for governor:


FROM A PRESS RELEASE

So now the wealthy progressives in Louisville who aren’t keen on supporting Jack can see what he’s up to. Fun and games with your money.

Anyone who thought that would be an event one should promote with taxpayer dollars with the state government system ought to be immediately fired.

Arnett? Martin? Jenkins? Bueller? No thinkies going on in Frankfort today?

Montgomery Co. Topix Witch Hunt Just A Ruse

Remember when Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell started his Topix/lawsuit witch hunt? He claimed people posting factual information was “terrorism” and “stalking” in an attempt to drum up anxiety over nothing. He, with this pals on the school board, pushed for $5,000 in taxpayer funds to be used to hunt down IP addresses (which he’ll never get for $5,000).

It was all the rage in Lexington television hype at the time.

But here’s the deal: no legal proceedings have begun — at all — and no IP addresses have been obtained, as previously claimed by Powell (and even KEA reps).

How do we know that? Joshua Powell signed an open records request telling a Montgomery County resident just that:


CLICK TO ENLARGE

Text of the letter:

Re: Response to Open Records Request for Documents

Dear Mr. Walters:

This correspondence is sent in response to your open records request received July 11, 2014.

There are no court documents related to any suit to obtain IP addresses from social media websites. At this time, the district has not incurred any cost for legal fees related to pursuing potential suit against social media websites. Additionally, some documents may not be subject to open records laws due to being protected by attorney-client privilege.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Joshua E. Powell

He told on himself.

And spoiler alert: nope, attorney-client privilege likely isn’t a solid defense for withholding public records. Walters should appeal to the Office of the Attorney General posthaste.

More on the issue: Powell claims that employees have been maliciously attacked and stalked. But… another spoiler alert… if anyone was being stalked, they could call the police. The individuals “stalking” would have been identified quite easily. That didn’t occur. Why wait months/years to go after a stalker? Why would Mike Owsley, Powell’s attorney, go along with that? He wouldn’t. That’s clearly a fabrication and a half.

Board chair Kenney Gulley issued a statement to the Mt. Sterling Advocate at the time (this link) about taking bullying very seriously and striving to protect both students and staff. But… uh… if they took it seriously, they would have filed suit by now or started legal proceedings.

If bullying were truly taken seriously, the board would do something about Powell and crew harassing, bullying, intimidating and retaliating against Jennifer Hall for being a whistleblower on multiple fronts.

Despite claims at a recent board meeting that objectives have been reached? This all appears to be another psychological game of Powell’s in an attempt to perpetuate fear and unrest among his critics.

No wonder Montgomery County Schools are in a full-on meltdown.