Attorney General Jack Conway’s Monthly Column

On Thursday, in the wake of losing his case against Marathon, Jack Conway released his monthly column.

Dig in:

Spring has proved to be a tough time for many Kentucky families. Severe weather and flooding have damaged homes across the Commonwealth and left many struggling to make repairs.

During these difficult days, families have also struggled to fill their gas tanks. I would like to thank the many Kentuckians who contacted my office in the wake of the recent storms to report drastic spikes in gas prices. Some communities saw prices jump 30 cents; topping $4 a gallon.

On May 13, I filed a temporary injunction alleging that Marathon Petroleum drastically increased its prices during a time of emergency, in violation of Kentucky’s price-gouging statutes. Our request asked the court to require Marathon to lower its wholesale prices to levels before April 26 when Gov. Beshear declared a state of emergency.

I pursued this case to protect the best interests of consumers across the Commonwealth, who are hurting right now and many parts of the state saw an immediate decrease in prices at the pump. Although our request for a temporary injunction was denied, the judge was clear that his ruling did not affect the ongoing and underlying price-gouging case against Marathon.

Read the rest after the jump…

Read more…

Miss Helen Mountjoy & The Never-Ending Scandal

Laaaawd Jesus we thought we were done with the Owensboro Community & Technical College, Helen Mountjoy and all that drama.


Sorry! Bend over and grab those ankles, meemaw, because we’re about to wade back into the depths of crazy.

A cabinet official calling a university president – that was hired less than a year prior and hailed as terrific – as nuttier than a fruitcake and meaner than a snake? Really?

Oh, and Mountjoy’s husband is finally revealed as an attorney for one of the defendants. TOLD YOU SO.

Check out the latest from Monday’s Messenger-Inquirer:

Gastenveld said she told then-Chancellor Keith Bird that the welding instructors for Titan Contracting’s KY WINS welding training project were also Titan employees and that was a red flag for her.

She claims that Bird said her concerns had merit, but that state Education Cabinet Secretary Helen Mountjoy wanted the program to go forward. She suffered retaliation for raising the issue, she claims.

Mountjoy has told reporters that her only involvement in these issues was to talk to a Titan official who wanted to access state money for training. She said she referred him to Tonya Logsdon’s office at GRADD and Fiorella’s office at OCTC. She has said she does not recall having a conversation with Bird or any- one else at KCTCS or OCTC about the Titan project.


The two confirmed conversations they had with local and state leaders about Gastenveld’s leadership. They also confirmed their roles in writing a widely distributed and lengthy document alleged to represent decisions the college leader made, which they deemed not becoming for a KCTCS president.


The exhibits in the case include back-and-forth emails in which Fiorella receives encouragement from Helen Mountjoy, who was then secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Fiorella’s and Mountjoy’s husbands are law partners. Mountjoy left the Cabinet post Nov. 30, 2009.

On Jan. 22, 2009, Fiorella tells Mountjoy via email that she has heard a rumor that Gastenveld will be moving Fiorella to the southeast campus. Fiorella relays that she “continues to be given proactive sup- port and advice by our good colleagues. But I am uncertain as to how much intervention they will be able to effect with an irrational individual hell bent on self- destruction.”

In Mountjoy’s reply, she refers to Gastenveld as “nut- tier than a fruitcake and meaner than a snake.”

This is all just too crazy. So crazy that we’re not even going to bother to link to all the old Mountjoy stories.

But you know what really takes the coconut cake? YOU are paying for all of these shysters to defend their corruption. So far, KCTCS has spent $204,551.60 on the case through March 31. An additional $22,817.43 was spent hiding open records from the Messenger-Inquirer. KACo has also spent $22,974 on legal fees and an additional $3,080.90 on other expenses in the defense of Reid Haire.

We need a drink behind all this bidness.

Head – desk.

What Is It With Steve Beshear These Days?

Really, what happened to the Steve Beshear who said he cared about Kentucky? Where’s the man who promised he wouldn’t waste state resources by traipsing around the state using airplanes and helicopters for his own benefit?

On Saturday, the governor showed up an hour late to his own luncheon at the Mountain Laurel Festival.

The reason? He told the crowd he went to his niece’s graduation at Transylvania and then used the state helicopter to fly to the festival as quickly as possible.

What the living hell? He chose to do something personal and then used the state chopper to take him to what’s effectively a campaign event? After all the negative press surrounding the $85-$90K in plane usage the past few weeks? Really?

Menifee Student Wins Earth Day Photo Contest

Zackery Steven Smallwood, an eighth-grader in Menifee County, won the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s inaugural Earth Day photography contest. He “captured the earth” with his photograph of Broke Leg Falls in the Daniel Boone National Forest:


“This photo shows that sense of discovery you get, taking in everything around you, from high water falls to huge rock walls,” Zackery wrote in his summary. “Most children are so immersed in a world of video games that they do not know that such beautiful places as this exist, even when it is practically in their own backyard! If they do not just get out in nature, in the near future, these amazing places may be all but forgotten.”

You may view tons more student photographs here.

Oh Snap Monday! Lurry Dayul’s On Perma-Vacation

Larry Dale Keeling is rolling on out to pasture after 36 years of hollering and such. Which kinda sucks. He needs to continue foaming at the mouth because everybody really enjoys it. [H-L]

The New York Times wasn’t exactly kind to Rand Paul. And, yes, he really is still toying with a presidential run in 2012. So much for Kentucky ever having a senator who cares about Kentucky more than making a point, right? [NY Times]

Dan Choi was arrested in Moscow. What a shame. [Bilerico Project]

Humanity seems to be suffering from an acute case of stupidity. [Time]

For real. Here’s more about that from Jonathan Franzen. [NY Times]

Are fossil fuels fueling our severe weather? [H-L]

Have you read Joe Gerth’s piece about the gubernatorial race? We’re not so sure it was written in this plane of existence? As of today, of course Joe’s former boss is going to win. But it’s silly to act like a race in liberal New York has anything to do with Kentucky’s 2011 election. That’s almost as silly as the gays thinking gay marriage is going to be legalized in Kentucky any time soon. [C-J/AKN]

Mitch McConnell now denies that there’s a Republican split over Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan. What? [Politico]

And why did Congressional Quarterly let Mitch McConnell get away with a subtle but nefarious lie? [Crooks and Liars]

How much meth? So much meth. Because Kentucky’s meth problem is alive and well. People will complain that Jake fought agains the bogus sudafed bill in 3, 2… [WTVQ]

Rand Paul and the Tea Party (not the teabaggers?) are asking what the dilly is on privacy. [NPR]

The silence from Republican candidates on Medicare is deafening, to say the least. [WaPo]

Homophobe/tired old closet case (come on, nobody wears leather chaps if they’re not playing pat-a-cake with some biker bear) Pat Boone is yet again urging meemaw and poppop to accept the destruction of Medicare. [Wonkette]

The German government said it would phase out its nine remaining operating facilities over the next decade, in a move that will likely be popular with the German public. Will Republicans continue to push for more nuclear power in the US? [NY Times]

Judy Green Ruins Everything In Louisville, Amen

Former Secretary of State Trey Grayson wrote a column about his return to Harvard after a million years. [The Crimson]

Republican Party of Kentucky Chairman Steve Robertson questioned Jack Conway for the 24th Day: “The one thing you can always count on from Jack Conway is bad judgment…both professionally and politically,” said Robertson. “By now I’m fairly certain he will never answer any questions about this matter. But his silence will speak volumes to voters in November.” [Press Release]

United States Ambassador to Sweden Matthew Barzun looks back on his time in that country and discusses what it can teach the world about balance. [The Local]

FYI: When I say there’s a KRS investigation? It’s not about securities and funds. It’s about public corruption. [Just Saying]

Earlier today we started answering all kinds of questions surrounding questionable campaign contributions in the the wake of that KRS scandal. [Page One]

Of course everything good in Louisville gets covered by the paper in Lexington. The Louisville paper can’t be bothered. [H-L]

Paul Ryan had reason to be upset after a Democrat won Tuesday’s election in New York’s 26th Congressional District. He’s experienced quite a comedown. [NY Times]

Controversy over a lethal injection drug imported from India has put on hold the execution of a convicted killer in Nebraska. [Reuters]

Credit unions are remaking themselves in the image of payday loan sharks. Kentucky will bend over in 3, 2… [Center for Public Integrity]

Unka Dick Cheney has confirmed that Paul Ryan is, indeed, satan. Carry on about your business, folks. [Wonkette]

Really, this mess with Judy Green in Louisville is so far out there we can’t help but throw up a little in our mouths when ever it’s mentioned. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray’s liaison to the Urban County Council resigned her job. Maybe Jimmy’s learning that he shouldn’t have listened to the Beshear folks about who to hire and not to hire? [H-L]

A judge has ruled that corporations can give directly to federal candidates. Because corporations are people, too, you know. [HuffPo]

It’s still funny to use that Jack Conway is afraid to mention his opponent by name. Even funnier is the way he paraded around Churchill Downs telling everybody he had “terrible dirt on Todd Pee Pee.” Literally telling everybody who would listen but never being able to produce the juice. [Ryan Alessi]