Fletcher Fundraising Not an Issue?

Many are reporting Ernie Fletcher’s (rumored) dismal fundraising numbers. While his campaign bank account may be indicative of waning support, we don’t think it will matter so much when it comes solely to finances.

By mid-October 2003 the Republican Governors Association (RGA) had spent about $1 million in Kentucky. If there weren’t other competitive races (the vast majority went to MO and MS) at the time it would have spent more. 2007 is a different story since Kentucky’s is the only competitive race. Mississippi and Louisiana are likely already in the bag for Republicans. The fact that all eyes are on the Beshear-Fletcher race this year should send a message to the Bluegrass State: get ready for RGA money.

As of 06/30/2007, the RGA had received about $12 million in contributions (according to IRS reporting – PDF link) and had more than $8 million on hand. Which means it will pad Fletcher’s coffers with all the cash he could possibly need to keep up. No, it doesn’t mean these efforts will accomplish anything. But people are fooling themselves if they think the RGA isn’t going to try to hold on to the Kentucky governor’s mansion with every dime it can spare. Just take a look at the front page of its website and you will see just how important Fletcher is to them. They feature his first campaign commercial of the general election.

Democrats: If you want to win you may want to get off your high horse of feeling invincible and pay attention to your competition. Run like there’s not a 20-point lead because that’s certainly what the other guys are doing. Republicans: Nice job controlling the conversation. No one’s caught on yet. They probably never will. Both: If you aren’t working as hard as you possibly can this year… what could you possibly learn and put to use during the next election cycle?

Rumors in the oh snap box

Snap. McConnell swings, misses and attacks the messenger. Again. [Our Future]

The liberal, Jewish, gay, vegan media lies about our GOP-donor heroes. Katie Halper shares her open letter to corrupt mine operator Robert Murray. They must be feeding us lies! Because Murray is “one of them” just like noble, God-like Rudy Giuliani was “one of them” at Ground Zero. [Huffington Post]

From the Not Surprising Anyone Dept. Markos Moulitsas says Jim Bunning will probably retire in 2010. But says if he doesn’t, Ben Chandler will run against him. [dKos]

Biting him in the butt? As we reported, the Baze death penalty issue not over. Fletcher has apparently created a flap. Turns out some people *do* believe this is politically motivated. Are they making a mountain out of a mole hill? [H-L]

Mad as hell. The town Ernie filmed his first commercial in is pissed. Aurora, IL residents and elected officials sound off. [H-L]

Irony of ironies. Jim Bunning urged Ernie to put gambling on the ballot. Guess we know how that went. [WLKY]

Campaign Contributions Buy Fletcher Appointment?

Last week Governor Ernie Fletcher appointed Martin D. Harley of Lawrenceburg to the Anderson County Fiscal Court. Mr. Harley, a real estate investor and limousine service operator, will serve as the 2nd District magistrate while running for that office in the November election.

But that’s not where the story ends.

Martin Harley Contributed Over $14,000 to Republicans, Including $5,000 to Fletcher, Over $1,900 to Fletcher’s Brother, and $2,000 to State Republican Party

That’s right. He has contributed a total of $14,761.31 to state and federal candidates and committees, all of them Republican. Of this total:

  • Harley made five contributions totaling $5,000 to Fletcher’s congressional, gubernatorial and exploratory gubernatorial committees between 2000 and 2003
  • In 2004, Harley made ten (monetary and in-kind) contributions totaling $1,911.31 to Fletcher’s older brother, Harold Fletcher, Jr., in his campaign for state senate
  • Harley has also contributed a total of $2,000 to the Republican Party of Kentucky, and $1,925 to Mitch McConnell

Take a look:

Harley Contributions Screengrab

CLICK HERE to view details of all of Harley’s contributions. (Warning: PDF link)

There you have it. Yet another controversial appointment.

Is this what we’ve come to expect in Kentucky? Is this what we’re left with? Pony up the cash and you’re appointed to office. That’s the way the wind blows these days. welcome to the ongoing saga of political appointments of the Fletcher Administration.

New Ad: Instilling Fear in Kentuckians

Conservative group Freedom’s Watch today launched ads in Kentucky in support of the Iraq War.

In the ad, the group uses the mother of a solider killed in Iraq to tell viewers another 9/11 attack will occur if we change course.

See the ad for yourself:

The organization’s website says they’ll be spending $15 million through mid-September.

Call us crazy, but apparently some have forgotten that Iraq wasn’t responsible for what occured on September 11, 2001.

UPDATE: Ari Fleischer is heading the group. Here you may examine a chart of the ad buy. They’re spending over $260,000 in Louisville and Lexington alone.

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Steve Henry Presidential After All?

Henry - Thompson

He is if you compare him to potential candidate and Republican actor Fred Thompson. An FEC complaint has been filed against Thompson alleging he has raised far more than necessary to “test the waters.”

Note that it’s illegal to keep substantial amounts of money from the exploratory phase for use in an actual campaign. It’s also illegal for candidates “exploring” a race to refer to themselves as candidates.

Slipping by the Wayside

Is anyone following this? Attorneys for the fen-phen case in Kentucky stole $46million from their clients. Now they’re whining about being in jail. Maybe we could give this money to Peabody. [C-J]

No friend of the working man? Organized labor takes a jab at Fletcher. [AFL-CIO]

Blue dog or Bush dog? Ben Chandler gets added to the list after voting in favor of warrantless wiretapping. [DemocratsDotCom]

From the Wasted Opportunity Dept. Gallup Poll shows that for the first time since 1974, the Congressional approval rating has hit rock bottom. Only 18% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. Staggering 76% disapprove. And Nancy Pelosi eats babies. [Gallup]

Doling out dollars. Fletcher spends nearly $2million in Perry County for road paving (they call it asphalt rehabilitation). Which stretch of road, you wonder? Why, the Hal Rogers Parkway. Project is scheduled for completion on October 15. [KY]

Keeping them poor and sick. In case you didn’t know: Kentucky children who already don’t have health care will never get it. [WaPo]

Missing Free Media: Beshear? Fletcher?

FACT: A key plank of the Beshear-Mongiardo campaign is to quit the economic incentive giveaway game (aka corporate welfare) for out-of-state business. From Beshear’s Web site:

“It is time we shift our economic development approach away from luring out-of-state businesses and industries that don’t need help with the promise of tax reductions, abatements and direct grants, and instead grow our economy from within, putting Kentucky businesses first.”

So why is Beshear staying silent while the Special Session plays out in Frankfort, while Fletcher dominates the free media with his economic incentive plan for Peabody Coal? Why isn’t Beshear cozying up to the environmentalists and the few legislators who oppose the incentives?

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