It’s Been A Major Week For Pension Scandals

You know how people at Kentucky Retirement Systems are always trying to give us crap? Interesting how that works. SAC Capital Advisors LP’s Michael Steinberg was arrested at his home today by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New York, agency spokesman Peter Donald said. [Bloomberg]

More than two years ahead of a potential gubernatorial bid, Democrat Crit Luallen reached out to the United Mine Workers of America on Thursday, giving assurances of her support for organized labor and coal. [H-L]

Yeah, about that, folks at KRS. U.S. prosecutors on Friday charged Michael Steinberg, a veteran portfolio manager with Steven A. Cohen’s $15 billion hedge fund, with engaging in insider trading in two technology stocks, the most senior SAC Capital Advisors employee to be charged in the government’s long-running probe. [Reuters]

Comment on Kentucky probably won’t suck tonight, as Ronnie Ellis will be a guest. 8:00 P.M. Eastern on KET. Other scheduled guests are Jack Brammer and Greg Hall. [KET]

After more than three years of clashing with the federal government, Westchester County may finally have to pay a price for its failures to comply with a residential desegregation court order: $7.4 million. [ProPublica]

Maybe you think human trafficking only happens in the big cities or on television. Some statistics might seem to back that up: since 2008 fewer than 20 human trafficking cases have been prosecuted in Kentucky. [Ronnie Ellis]

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will not be facing a challenge from actress Ashley Judd when he runs for reelection next year. Though he may be happy to have avoided the physical comparison — she, after all, played Marilyn Monroe in a movie, while he looks like an ancient sea turtle dressed in a $1,000 suit — the Kentucky Republican may miss having such an attractive target for his attack machine. [LA Times]

Officials in Elkhorn City have given final approval to a proposal to ban smoking in public places in the eastern Kentucky city. [WKYT]

A legislative funding priority of $180 million to renovate and expand the Kentucky International Convention Center topped a capital-improvement “wish list” discussed Thursday by the Kentucky State Fair Board. [C-J/AKN]

How is New Pope being different from Old Pope today? Well, a) he is neither a vampire nor a nazi. B) He’s refusing to live in the papal palace or wear the ruby slippers or have his chair above anybody else’s chair or even refer to himself as “pope.” And c) he is already pissing off the “traditionalists” in the Church who are stroking out because when he went to a youth prison on Holy Thursday to wash the feet of the poor (instead of washing priests‘ feet in the basilica, like a normal pope), he washed girl feet. (And Muslim feet.) [Wonkette]

Two Pike County men who employed contract coal miners have admitted to taking part in a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud a workers’ compensation provider. [H-L]

House Republicrats’ Final Weekly Videurtape

Do you have a sad for the House Republicans, since this is their final weekly video for a while?

They continue to believe they passed real pension reform, despite ignoring the root of the problems at Kentucky Retirement Systems. And they still believe obese, white, Christian males are being persecuted by the libruls because they have a serious case of the gay panic.

Welcome to the 1950s.

NAACP Calls For UK To Change Its Race Ways

The race relations battle continues between the University of Kentucky and the NAACP.

Let’s dig in to the March 7 letter from the NAACP to UK:

This letter is written in response to your letter dated January 14, 2013.

In the first paragraph you stated that you “furnished a University website that could be used to calculate the number of black students admitted in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008”. In examining the numbers located on the University of Kentucky’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness, it is unclear how many Blacks or African American students were admitted to the College of Medicine (COM). However, you have stated that there were a total of 52 “Black” students and 15 of those with the in-state residency status. It is clear that the number of African American students is minuscule. According to an article written in the Lexington Herald Leader, Black students make up 3 to 4 percent of the incoming medical class. The Lexington chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is very concerned about the low number of Blacks admitted into the College of Medicine. However, we are more concerned with the treatment of those students once they are admitted.

The second paragraph addressed the issue of treatment of these students by talking about their rate of dismissal, retention, and graduation within the COM. It is understandable that with the small number of Black students being admitted that if one or more leaves (for any reason) it would be an even smaller number that is illegal to publicize. We also want to protect the confidentiality of these students. However, the personal attack on the character and motivation of Dr. Lachin Hatemi for seeking answers to questions about the number of Blacks admitted and leaving the COM because of racism is unacceptable.

You’ll absolutely want to read the rest of this letter after the jump…

Read more…

Some Fun Placement Agent News For Kentucky

Oh, yes, it’s time for more Kentucky Retirement Systems placement agents fun:

What do Bill Clinton, Sylvester Stallone, Lynn Swann, Uma Thurman, Al Pachino, Lauren Bacal, the Lincoln bedroom, and a pole dancer have in common — the answer is placement agents.


While placement agents for the most part do not seem to have much investment background, they do seem to be the cool people who tend to hang out with politicians and celebrities.


The most colorful placement agent firm, hands down, is a small operation called Diamond Edge. Glen Sergeon, who collected around $5 million from private equity firms and hedge funds doing business with the Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS), used the money to buy a lavish 5th Avenue condo.

Forbes reported that in addition to Kentucky, Diamond Edge was involved in the New York Pay for Play scandal….

You’ll probably want to click here to read the rest in the Wall Street Journal.

See Richard Henderson Freak Out Over “Waship”

Richard Henderson had a spectacular meltdown a few days ago over all the libruls trying to prevent “waship,” whatever that means:

What Henderson doesn’t mention or has no clue about? Part of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which he referenced, was overturned as unconstitutional because it violated the 14th Amendment. And the whole mess was found unconstitutional as it applies to state and local governments.

So he’s advocating two things: “waship” (whatever that is) and something that’s already deemed unconstitutional.

Pee Alert: Ben Chandler Shopping His Name Around

Folks in a southern Kentucky town have formed a Neighborhood Watch after three suspicious fires occurred on one street. [H-L]

The Supreme Court’s ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act won’t just be a question of fairness for some 17,000 troops and military retirees, advocates say — it’s also a major pocketbook issue. [Politico]

Everything on the menu was “free” Wednesday: brown water, black water, chalky water and “water that you wouldn’t even give your dog.” [Richmond Register]

President Obama stumbled toward his endorsement of gay marriage. But gay rights groups say he was still a trendsetter. [The Hill]

The Legislative Ethics Commission is reporting that $4.2 million was spent on lobbying in Frankfort in January and February. That was about 10 percent more than the $3.8 million spent during the same period two years ago. [WLEX18]

In 1991, an unemployed printer named David Ranta was convicted of killing a Hasidic rabbi in Brooklyn. [ProPublica]

Democrat Crit Luallen is reaching out to the United Mine Workers of America more than two years ahead of a potential gubernatorial bid in 2015. [WBKO]

Defense Department civilian employees will have to take 14 days of unpaid leave this year instead of the 22 previously planned after Congress adjusted Pentagon funding in a measure signed by the president this week, an official said on Thursday. [Reuters]

A final verdict on the 2013 General Assembly will probably require years to see if a pension reform package works as promised. [Ronnie Ellis]

Former Sen. Wendell H. Ford is 88 years old, but still in full possession not only of his faculties but also of his role as the godfather of the Democratic Party in Kentucky. His conversation earlier this year with Ashley Judd may, in the end, have helped change the actress’s mind about running for the U.S. Senate in 2014. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said this week he wants to work with Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear to convince the Obama administration to grant a federal waiver to grow hemp. [CN|2]

As they explore possible fiscal deals, President Obama and Congressional Republicans have quietly raised the idea of broad systemic changes to Medicare that could produce significant savings and end the politically polarizing debate over Republican plans to privatize the insurance program for older Americans. [NY Times]

Who in their right mind would suggest Ben Chandler as a candidate for anything? There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell he could beat Mitch McConnell. Alison Grimes wants to run and she’s talking to all kinds of consultants and has been for several weeks. [C-J/AKN]