A Desperate Fletcher Vows to Release Document Damaging to Beshear

Please hold your laughter.

Ernie Fletcher’s re-election campaign is having a field day trying to spin the release of the Kentucky Central report as wholly negative for Steve Beshear. Try as they might, it’s not working.

The campaign’s latest e-mail blast spends seven paragraphs attempting to obfuscate the facts, accusing Beshear of making excuses and coming up with distortions. We’re no experts here, but we haven’t seen Beshear trying to spin this anywhere. The only thing Steve Beshear has said is that he felt he handled things appropriately.

End of the e-mail is the best: “A report providing documentary evidence refuting Steve Beshear’s claims will be provided tomorrow.” That’s right. The Fletcher campaign (ahem, Larry Forgy) thinks it can push out a document– from a campaign, no less– to refute what has already been examined and for the most part resolved.

Hoo boy. This should be entertaining.

Auditor: KDE Attendance Data Questionable

Auditor Crit Luallen’s office has released a review (PDF link) of the Kentucky Department of Education’s school attendance audit process. The review, requested by KDE, discovered that there is no system in place to assure accuracy in attendance data– leaving many problems undetected for as many as four years.

School attendance data are used help to determine General Fund appropriations for each school district in Kentucky. As the report points out, inaccurate (aka falsified? sloppy?) data could prevent districts in need from receiving the funds they’re actually due. With billions of dollars in play we hope the KDE is able to get their ducks in a row.

Warning: Nothing important will be discussed

Al Cross points out that (all) critical issues in the gubernatorial race are being ignored.

But the issue dominates the debate in the governor’s race, drowning out discussion of the challenges facing the state. What are the candidates’ budget priorities, with or without casinos? Shouldn’t we raise the cigarette tax again, now that Tennessee and Indiana have leapfrogged us? What other measures should we take to get us out of the Unhealthy States Club? How do we make health insurance more accessible? How and when will we face up to the huge pension liabilities of state and local governments, and give new employees different plans?

Should we use tolls and public-private partnerships to build major roads and bridges, or raise motor-fuels taxes? How do we get more Kentuckians to get college degrees, and keep college affordable? How do we fight drugs without expanding the criminal class? How do we protect the great heritage of our natural landscape? We need real answers to these questions, not useless name-calling.

Yeah, Al, we do need real answers to these questions.

Think we’ll ever get them?

Spotted: Does fame fade?

  • John Michael Montgomery (remember him?) goes on tour– at the Kentucky Poultry Farmers Association dinner. A resourceful Page One reader at the Galt House photographed a pleasantly plump Montgomery as he performed for Kentucky’s poultry crowd in Louisville late Saturday evening.
  • John Michael Montgomery

  • Also spotted at the event was Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer donning his often worn University of Kentucky polo shirt.
  • Hater-in-Chief Frank Simon spotted standing in line at Starbucks in Louisville’s Highlands neighborhood. Didn’t he realize the gays were all around him? Reader commented, “Dr. Frank seemed oblivious of the effeminate gentleman serving up his venti dark roast.”
  • Joan Osborne seen at Panera Bread on Richmond Road in Lexington.

See someone famous out and about? An elected official? Candidate? Maybe a prominent Kentuckian engaging in hilarious behavior? Let us know. We’ll make this a more regular feature as readers send in stories of their celeb sightings.

Oh Snap Monday

Dept of Freaking Out Over Kentucky Central. Another news agency opens their coverage of the Kentucky Central non-scandal with an introductory paragraph that could be considered critical of Beshear. Everyone continues to freak out over the Herald-Leader. What is it with people who can’t handle critical stories? [C-J]

600lb gorilla in the room: Ernest Lee. Crowley says that if Trey goes down it’s Ernie Fletcher’s fault. [Enquirer]

There’s still a race going on. Day 4 of the CNHI Gubernatorial reader forum takes on transparency with taxpayers’ money. We’re disappointed that both candidates have to continually bring up wedge issues. [Daily Times]

The deciding vote. 100+ union members took over Northern Kentucky Saturday. They spent their time canvassing two counties in support of Democratic candidates. Fletcher continues to oppose organized labor. [Enquirer]

Religious wars. Roger Alford explores the gubernatorial battle on Christian radio. We’ll let you guess which candidate is using wedge issues to scare that crowd. Also will leave it up to you to guess which candidate doesn’t know how to stop referring to himself in the third-person. [H-L]

Larry Forgy: Ready for the Loony Bin

That’s right. Judge William Graham has (hands down) the best sound bite of the entire gubernatorial race and it’s about Loony Larry Forgy, the man behind the curtain. “I’m starting to agree with some of my friends. Larry has just come completely unhinged and maybe he’s ready for the loony bin.” Check it out in the story below.

Mark Hebert did an excellent job reporting the facts of the Kentucky Central debacle last night. Will people try to demonize WHAS as they have Ryan Alessi? I mean, the station did use the headline of “Release of Secret Report Could Impact Campaign” along with tons of ominous language throughout the story like: “A political bombshell possibly rocking the Kentucky governor’s race” and “It does raise serious questions about the actions of his law firm and will likely put the Beshear campaign on its heels.” Come on, folks. It’s not like this is harming the Beshear candidacy in the least. Let’s give it a rest and watch as Fletcher’s ship continues to take on water.

Would have been nice if Forgy had been questioned about his tenure at Frost & Jacobs and the current hype he’s caused over the Kentucky Central report. Instead, Forgy made a fool of himself trashing Steve Beshear. And to Forgy: Steve Beshear is “gut shot,” Larry? Leaves us wondering if you’ve been smoking up with Gatewood lately.

To follow up on a post from earlier: reporter after reporter have contacted Page One to inform us that Forgy has been trumpeting this issue for weeks, making phone calls, begging people to listen to him make this a bigger deal than it is. So we have some evidence that he’s attempted to pull some strings.