Polls, Polls, Polls

Mark Hebert questions gubernatorial polls released by the AFL-CIO and Brett Hall.

Not surprisingly, he completely dismisses Hall’s “poll.”

Speaking from his position in the reality-based community, Hebert shares the not-so-shocking news that union-affiliated voters may actually favor Beshear. What’s not mentioned, though, is that organized labor will this year turn out more than 300,000 people to the polls. That pretty much seals the proverbial envelope, handing the race to Steve Beshear.

12 Days Out

Drinking & Driving. Assistant Attorney General Jason Moore was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. With an open container! What the? Even better: The dude’s car was found smashed into a light pole with a crushed fire hydrant beneath it. Come on, people! Drinking and driving? Killing yourself is fine and dandy but don’t try to kill everyone else in the process. We hope Moore gets the help he needs. [C-J]

Kind and generous? Billy Reed has a story about Steve Beshear that proves he’s as genuine as he says he is. Politics aside, character and personal behavior say a lot about a candidate and those two things almost never make it to print. [StraightNFlush]

In the spotlight. The Hill highlights Kentucky’s looming Democratic victories. Does it spell trouble for Congressional and Senate Republicans? They seem to think so and they state their case. [The Hill]

Gay hating. The Family Research Council says the evil Democrats want to help the devilish, nasty cross-dressers and the gays! OH NOES! The world will end if they’re not legally able to discriminate. Snap. [FRC]

Shocking the pants off of some. LEO endorsed Trey Grayson for Secretary of State over Democratic opponent Bruce Hendrickson. That gnashing of teeth sound you think you hear? It’s– we hate to say it– it’s the sound of Democrats effectively conceding the only horse race they’ve got in 2007. Interestingly, LEO offered no endorsement for Auditor or Treasurer. What’s up with that? [LEO]

Stan Lee: Oh Man

LEO’s Cary Stemle does a bang-up job imparting the ways of Stan Lee to his readers this week. From his obsession with hair to his faux talking point that Jack Conway is inexperienced, it’s all there. In quite possibly the funniest look at the race for Attorney General yet.

Lee, who seems to have a mild obsession with bodily traits, hair in particular, played on the rumors that Conway was/is gay, which appear to have been birthed when Conway lost a narrow race to then-U.S. Rep. Anne Northup in 2002. (The irony is made all the richer, of course, because the whispering campaign has Mitch McConnell’s imprint all over it, even while he himself is subject to rampant such rumors about his sexual persuasion.)

“I know how excited the media is about this race,” Lee intoned, “the city slicker vs. the country boy, the ultra lib-e-ral vs. the traditional conservative, the big-city trial lawyer vs. the simple country lawyer. “And listen, I know the differences don’t stop there — I’ve hearrrrd what many of you ladies have been saying — and some of you guyyys: Why, he is so young. He’s so handsome, that — those eyes. That smile, that hair …”

Kentucky isn’t burning anymore

30 days behind. Hendrickson and Grayson in a dead heat? They were a month ago according to the Lane Report. 37% – 37% with 22% undecided. Guess this is the race to watch after all. [Lane Report, PolWatchers]

His old self. Louisville Arena Committee Chairman Jim Host proves what a partisan hack he is, appearing in a radio ad for Ernie Fletcher’s reelection bid. To think this man parades around Louisville preaching that he’s not political. Please! [PolWatchers]

OMG. People wake up and begin questioning skyrocketing cost of higher education costs. Turns out people really do want to know what Beshear and Fletcher have to offer on that front and wish they’d hear more about it on the campaign trail. [C-J]

Standing up against the dark side. 200 health care workers protested outisde Carlyle Group Headquarters in D.C. Monday. Their cause? To highlight how the creepy group’s purchase of managed care facilities is screwing the world up. [FDL]

Status quo. Hebert and Survey USA have some interesting poll results – questions about the gays, gambling and education. And Beshear is still leading by 20 points. [Hebert, SUSA]

Combination of church and state. Working Families for Kentucky tries to use religion to try to turn voters away from Ernie Fletcher in the upcoming election. Their latest radio ad calls upon Christians to ask for the unvarnished truth. That’s fine and dandy but why do we have to bastardize religion by muddying it with politics? [PolWatchers]

Just for laughs: Be Larry Craig for Halloween.

Educational Disgrace

This Sunday the Kentucky Board of Education will meet to determine who their final nominees for Commissioner of Education will be. The nominees are rumored to be three individuals (all Republican), two of whom are current state legislators.

As David Adams of the Bluegrass Policy Blog reports the Board of Education is poised to rush their choice through the selection process just disasterously as they did Barbara Erwin. The entire Commonwealth of Kentucky is sitting idly by allowing to happen. The press isn’t saying anything and most bloggers are silent. So it’s time to speak up, people.

Is it too much to ask that the state Commissioner of Education be qualified to hold their job? Is it too much to ask that nominees for the job have experience leading a troubled department of education toward success? Seems those being considered are only qualified in the sense that they’re legislators or players in a political party. And that’s just not good enough for Kentucky.

Wake up!

Beshear Gaining Ground, 20-Point Lead

Mark Hebert reports that Steve Beshear is actually gaining ground on Ernie Fletcher. According to the report Beshear holds a 20-point lead sitting at 58%-38% over Fletcher.

Hebert shakes everyone (okay, only a few people still in denial) into reality with his closing statement, “According to Survey USA, the vast majority of Kentucky voters haven’t budged since May meaning something dramatic would have to happen in the next two weeks for Fletcher to have a chance.”

Leaves us wondering when Fletcher will ditch everything in order to maintain some semblance of being an adult.

Update: AG Investigating Illegal Contributions

As reported on September 30, several candidates during the gubernatorial primary this year accepted what appear to be illegal campaign contributions. The Attorney General’s office is now investigating and the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance is finally examining its audit process.

The Courier-Journal discovered in September that Steve Henry, Ernie Fletcher and Anne Northup had received laundered money from family members and friends of donors who were looking for patronage. What makes things worse, though, is that some donors had no idea they’d made contributions (one donor’s daughter yelled and made her hang up the phone) while others had jobs barely paying them enough to eat let alone make campaign contributions.

Steve Beshear was also involved. He received $1,000 from a donor in Tennessee who said he was reimbursed by a cousin. Beshear, to his credit, returned the funds upon learning where the money came from. The other candidates wouldn’t dream of returning dirty money.

As unfortunate as this situation is– with laundered money and all– isn’t it a bit refreshing to have this information brought to light? Cleaning campaign finance up is a step in the right direction for Kentucky. We just wish people took it more seriously and wish the agencies responsible had more reach and manpower.