Why Kentucky Can’t Have Nice Things

Billy’s Earworm. On his new StraigtnFlush web site, journalist Billy Reed hammers the Fletcher Administration for its “hell bent determination to throw money at Peabody.” A month ago, even Dems agreed that attracting the Peabody plant would be good for the state. But as Billy points out, it ain’t so good for the environment, and its not the economic windfall some envisioned. And he brings up the $62 million gift to e.On US that the state is providing to move some equipment across the street to make way for the flawed Louisville Arena project. [StraightNFlush]

Death by Meeting? Looks like the H-L’s John Stamper and Jack Brammer were the only media members hanging with lawmakers in Frankfort for a five and a half hour meeting – its result – plans for another meeting. Despite lawmakers’ comments afterward, the two sides are quibbling over something. Could it be that the Supreme Ruler of Kentucky, desperate to bring a social issue (a la the marriage amendment) to the table in a special session, is holding out because he wants Dems to talk about his silly domestic partner proposal? Is it coincidence that the anti-gay kooks lined up chairs in the Capitol Annex and tried to get in the meeting? Does everything Fletcher attempts reek of desperation? [H-L/PolWatchers]

Correction: Al Mayo of WHAS Radio informs us that several others were present, including: Mr. Mayo, Tony McVeigh, Tom Loftus, Joe Biesk. Our apologies.

Lesson #1 for the Kentucky Board of Education: Do what Jefferson County did and actually hire a head honcho who is qualified and capable. Is it possible to compare Sheldon Berman with Barbara Erwin? We won’t even attempt it. The state Board may learn a lot about leadership and education by reading Berman’s letter. [C-J]

JERRY!
From the WTF Dept: Jerry, Esq. What did the King of All Things Mayoral say is his greatest challenge? Get ready for it: “Absorbing the diversity of immigrants coming in from all over the world.” For real. [The Ville Voice]

Bringing Fame to Kentucky

Grace is GoneThe non-political side of Bruce Lunsford (love him or hate him, your political opinions aside) and his Kentucky-based production company, with business partner Ed Hart, has snagged Clint Eastwood to compose the soundtrack for their new flick, “Grace is Gone.”

We bring it up because the movie is about a father (John Cusack) faced with telling his daughters that their mother was killed in Iraq. Since it won the audience award at Sundance earlier this year, the wingnuts may go crazy over it. You know how they love the hippy movies dealing with the realities of this righteous bloodbath.

Exclusive: Michael Kelley to face Geoff Davis in KY-4

Davis not looking like such a shoo-in anymore?

Page One has learned there is a challenger for 4th District Congressman Geoff Davis (R), something that may surprise readers of the Kentucky Enquirer. In his Sunday column, Pat Crowley wrote that no candidate has stepped forward to face Rep. Davis in 2008. Specifically, “Kentucky Democrats struggle to even name any potential challengers to Davis.” We like Pat’s reporting, but we’ve learned Dr. Michael Kelley of Oldham County filed for 2008 candidacy just a few weeks ago, and is set to face Rep. Davis come the fall.

Side Note: Crowley reports Heather French Henry is the only name to surface as a potential challenger, despite, well, many factors. Sources say Henry has repeatedly informed Democratic Party insiders that she will not run for U.S. Congress for career-related reasons and, honestly, why would someone with as solid a career as the former Miss America give that up to run for office?

Our sources say Kelley will not be a candidate just for candidacy’s sake— he won’t be the sacrificial lamb— that he’ll have support similar to that of Ken Lucas in 2006. If you remember the horde of commercials purchased on behalf of Lucas (and the $1.5Million the FEC says he raised that year) you realize this could potentially be big bucks— and aid— for Kelley.

According to a contact at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, “Kelley will garner strong support from the state and national party because he’s not a career politician. He’s not your average hack from Halliburton. He has a simple plan that hits home with the voters and he connects with people on a personal level that career-types like Davis cannot.”

Kelley FamilyPage One sat down with Kelley earlier this month. We’d like to share a portion of the interview with more to come later in the year.

Michael Kelley, 41, is a family man and lifelong Kentuckian. He’s been married to his wife, Gretchen, for eleven years and they have four children together. Three daughters and one son, ages 5, 6, 9, and 10. He is a self-described country physician who graduated from the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine in 1993. In 1997 he joined a small medical practice and as a direct result has become concerned about the flaws in the American health care system. Dr. Kelley is also strongly opposed to Republican-led efforts to prolong the war in Iraq.

The cornerstones of Michael’s plan, which will be released in coming weeks, are as follows:

Read more

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.

Oh Snap Monday

Thou Shalt Not — Al Cross calls out the Gubnuh, he’s bearing false witness against Beshear by saying he wants to take away your guns. Nevermind that the facts don’t support Ernie’s charges. (Yeah, we’re a little biased toward the truth on this one) [C-J]

Girls Left Out? Ellen Goodman says all political bloggers are pasty white guys. Ladies, show some initiative, would you! Don’t you realize you don’t exist if Ellen doesn’t know about you? It’s an Arianna-only world, apparently. As you can see, starting a blog is as easy as… [C-J by way of Boston Globe]

The War at Home – Mitch McConnell is getting some love from veterans – one group is airing ads supporting him for sending 3,680 soldiers, and counting, to their deaths in Iraq. Vets for Freedom? Is this another Swiftboat Vets for Truth? Kentucky’s Andrew Horne chimes in. [H-L]

Treasuring One Less Office – Melinda Wheeler makes her case for getting rid of the treasurer’s office, without mentioning her criticism of the current office holder. Will the News-Enterprise give her opponent, Todd Hollenbach, a chance to respond or is this a free campaign ad? [News-Enterprise]

David Adams (the guy with the best one-liners ever. seriously.) of Kentucky Progress condemns Kos’ take that he had something to do with Chandler’s victory and Harold Ford, Jr. alleges the site Markos Moulitsas operates is but a platform for anti-semitism. [KY Progress, dailyKos]

Bush’s Brain tucks tail and runs. He “just thinks it’s time”… since his rump is on the line. Now everything will be puppies and rainbows, right? RIGHT? [WSJ]

Turning the Page

It’s fitting that on a day when so many Kentucky children are heading back to school, Page One publishes its first post. We’re starting something totally new, and we think you’re going to like it.

If you’re passionate about politics, Page One promises a daily dose of it at a time when we need it most here in Kentucky. Our state’s thickening plot includes an ever-widening cast of characters opening up the throttle as the governor’s race heads for home in November. Between our own quirky opinions and those of the experts we’re going to call on to contribute to Page One, we promise to make it worth every bit of your computer’s bookmark to come see what’s on Page One every day.

Electeds

This is an entrepreneurial venture, so we’ll be coming up with ways to make an unobtrusive profit. But what we really want to do is wedge our way into the conversation about politics in Kentucky, providing an alternative to the mainstream media and all those bloggers you see listed in our links to the right. And that’s where you come in.

The site is designed to not only inform, but to be an open forum. Have a take? Share it with the blogosphere right here. Video? We’ll take it. A great picture? We’ll publish it. Spot an elected official doing something unscrupulous? We want to talk about it. Want to rake the Guv over the coals on the coal plant? Think the $500 million Beshear’s promising from gaming is a long shot? This is the place to say so.

So here it is… Let’s get it started. Register and get involved.