KRS Needs Something Much Tougher

On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing in Washington on the growing scandal at Wells Fargo, one of the nation’s top lenders, which illegally charged customers $1.5 million in fees after it secretly opened two million sham accounts in their names. Among those socking Wells Fargo with a total of $185 million in fines is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal regulatory watchdog. [John Cheves]

Hundreds of the world’s leading scientists, including famed physicist Stephen Hawking, warn in an open letter Tuesday that a Donald Trump win in November would prove disastrous to global efforts against climate change. [HuffPo]

Domonique Greene wasn’t keen on public speaking but ambled down a church aisle on a recent Mother’s Day weekend to stand before more than 400 congregants. He paused to catch his breath amid sobs before announcing: “I need y’all’s prayers. I’m addicted to heroin. I fear I’m going to die if I don’t get help.” [C-J/AKN]

Police in Florida and other states are building up private DNA databases, in part by collecting voluntary samples from people not charged with — or even suspected of — any particular crime. [ProPublica]

What the KRS needs is not a piddly audit but a full-scale forensic accounting investigation. A Philadelphia-based consulting company has won a contract to review Kentucky’s struggling public pension systems. [Richmond Register]

If you’re a voter who cares about stopping climate change, you really need to read Donald Trump’s newest economic policy plan. [ThinkProgress]

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Tuesday awarded a $3,389,437 grant to the Ashland-Boyd County Airport Board in Worthington. The Airport Improvement Program, or AIP, funds will be used to construct a new taxiway at the Ashland Regional Airport. [Ashland Independent]

Former President George H.W. Bush is bucking his party’s presidential nominee and plans to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, according to a member of another famous political family, the Kennedys. [Politico]

A 4-2 passage of a municipal order sparked controversy during last Monday’s City Council meeting. The disagreement was about an order recommended by Mayor Jim Tom Trent to appoint Edna Schack to the Morehead-Rowan County-Lakeview Heights Joint Planning Commission. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump’s campaign is grappling with new allegations that the GOP nominee used his charitable foundation to pay personal expenses. [The Hil]

The two candidates vying to represent Barren County and one precinct in Warren County in the Kentucky House of Representatives were being measured Saturday by local farm families, as each answered the same set of five questions that had been provided to them a few weeks in advance. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Mylan NV faced new scrutiny over price hikes for its anti-allergy EpiPen on Tuesday, with U.S. lawmakers calling for a probe of oversight of the company’s rebates to government healthcare plans, while West Virginia said it was investigating whether Mylan defrauded its Medicaid department. [Reuters]

The League of Women Voters of Lexington has canceled more than half of the candidate forums it planned for early October because one person in each race — usually the incumbent — would not participate. [John Cheves]

Want to keep the government open? Want to fund the Zika response? The trucking industry and Republican allies in Congress say the price for that could be weakening rest rules for truck drivers, sources said. [HuffPo]

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Bevin, Too, Sells Popular Board Seats

PEE ALERT! Andy Barr says people are poor because they receive assistance. The fact that the Kentucky Democratic Party can’t rustle up someone to beat this halfwit is a searing indictment of the Party’s inability to do anything other than conduct insurance fraud schemes these days. If you think Candy Barr isn’t out of his league and just as terrible as people like Tim Longmeyer, take a look at his anti-poverty proposal. It involves gutting public education and ending the requirement that financial advisers disclose conflicts of interest to their clients. [John Cheves]

Despite the world’s string high-profile terror attacks this year, the economy remains at the top of American voters’ minds, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds. A 45 percent plurality name the economy as one of the two issues most important to them, ranking it first on a list of 10 topics. [HuffPo]

Surprise! A Kentucky Newspaper has finally realized heroin has taken over Eastern Kentucky. Growing up in the hardscrabble hills of Appalachia, Bobby Vaughn began popping painkillers at 15-years-old, sneaking them from his injured coal miner dad. That was the start of a three-decade-long addiction to any drug available: OxyContin, cocaine, meth – and beginning a year ago, heroin. [C-J/AKN]

Advisers say Donald Trump has lately been sullen and erratic in private and easily rattled by perceived slights, according to The New York Times. [The Hill]

After nine years of serving as director of the annual Ashland Independent School safety patrol trip, Maj. Mark McDowell is handing the reins over to Lt. Jason Moore. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on Thursday denied requests to stop classifying marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medical use, leaving users and businesses in limbo after many states have legalized it for medical or recreational purposes. [Reuters]

Rowan County soon could be host to Eastern Kentucky’s first microbrewery. That’s according to local businessman Steve Williams, who says he plans to have Scoreboard Pub and Microbrewery at 101 West Main Street open by next spring. [The Morehead News]

Courts are scrambling to rule on state election laws in time for the elections being held later this year. [ProPublica]

When Kentuckyana “Tuck” Jones, who seeks out rare treasures, collectibles and antiquities across the country, decided to open a museum featuring artifacts from across the world in a building on Mammoth Cave Road, he had less than $50 to his name. To raise money to fund the opening of the museum, he began trading collectibles. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Republican insiders are more convinced than Democrats that Donald Trump is so far behind Hillary Clinton that he can’t win in November. [Politico]

GE Lighting announced Thursday that it plans to close its Lexington Lamp Plant and Somerset Glass Plant by August 2017. [WKYT]

Donald Trump believes that running for president has been good for his bottom line. He said so under oath during a deposition he gave in a lawsuit stemming from a dispute over his soon-to-open Washington luxury hotel. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin appointed three people Friday to the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees, including one of Kentucky’s top Republican fundraisers. [H-L]

Some Republicans have argued that conservatives skeptical of Donald Trump should vote for him anyway, if only to prevent Hillary Clinton from nominating liberals to the Supreme Court. But the right’s leading legal scholars reject that idea: the risks of a President Trump would outweigh his influence on the high court. [HuffPo]

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Remember That Fun UofL Sex Scandal?

University of Kentucky officials have accused a former employee of defrauding the school of more than $220,000 since 2011. [H-L]

Scientists recently discovered three planets that they say have the right conditions to sustain life — and those planets are pretty close, by astronomical terms. [HuffPo]

As many legal experts had expected, a lawsuit has been dismissed in which University of Louisville students claimed Katina Powell’s book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules,” diminished the value of their education. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump faces an uphill climb to win a general election battle against Hillary Clinton, but there is a path for him to beat the former secretary of State. [The Hill]

Despite the overcast skies and unseasonable chill in the air, Gov. Matt Bevin was in a sunny mood Thursday. [Ronnie Ellis]

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday said the United States must move toward a cleaner energy future but not forget those who work in the coal industry. [Reuters]

Kentucky State Police has charged an Owsley County woman with murder Friday after two Owsley County residents were found deceased this morning at their residence. [Richmond Register]

A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine says medical errors should rank as the third-leading cause of death in the United States — and highlights how shortcomings in tracking vital statistics may hinder research and keep the problem out of the public eye. [ProPublica]

Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins said Thursday that Rowan Fiscal Court may need to change the way it writes its next check to support the Rowan County Fair. [The Morehead News]

While conversations surrounding decryption dominate the tech news cycle, the FBI is on the cusp of drastically increasing its hacking powers. [ThinkProgress]

Despite Gov. Matt Bevin’s 2 percent budget cuts to higher education’s current year of funding, Western Kentucky University’s Glasgow campus is safe from this round of cuts, according to Regional Chancellor Sally Ray. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Nestle extracted 36 million gallons of water from a national forest in California last year to sell as bottled water, even as Californians were ordered to cut their water use because of a historic drought in the state. [BBC]

Roger Brill, a Harrison County Tea Party activist, supported Republican Andy Barr’s first election to the U.S. House in 2012. He believed Barr was a young conservative who could remake Congress. [H-L]

Remember the House Select Committee on Benghazi? The ninth official probe into what really happened in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. consulate in eastern Libya? [HuffPo]

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Everyone’s In Awe Of The Conn Indictment

Scheduling problems, divided lawmakers and a social media tiff apparently torpedoed legislation to reform area development districts statewide. [H-L]

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to take action to stop U.S. companies from taking advantage of tax loopholes that allow them to avoid paying taxes. [HuffPo]

After fending off claims for years that he built one of the nation’s largest disability practices through manufactured evidence and doctors on the take, the law has finally caught up with “Mr. Social Security.” [C-J/AKN]

On Monday, the Supreme Court took on a case that could shake up rules about juror secrecy and force a conversation about racial bias in trials. [ThinkProgress]

Berea Municipal Utilities has received approval and funding from the federal Natural Resource Conservation Service to raise the height of the dam on its Owsley Fork Reservoir to expand its capacity by about 35 percent. [Richmond Register]

The Obama administration on Monday locked in a small payment increase for Medicare Advantage plans, though at a slightly lower rate than previously proposed. [The Hill]

Answer a simple question and you can potentially save a life — maybe several lives. [Ashland Independent]

The Obama administration on Monday unveiled new labels for broadband and mobile Internet service, aimed at helping the nation’s web users make price and service comparisons. [Reuters]

One Metcalfe County volunteer fire department is interested in securing grant funds for the purpose of building a new fire station. That is why officials with the Summer Shade Volunteer Fire Department are looking into applying for a Community Development Block Grant. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Last month The Atavist Magazine launched The Mastermind, a weekly series on a programmer turned crime kingpin. [ProPublica]

Western Kentucky University President Gary Ransdell will recommend using university reserve funds to make up for a cut in state funding, after an executive order by Gov. Matt Bevin cutting all public universities’ funding by 4.5 percent. [BGDN]

House Speaker Paul Ryan pushed back forcefully Monday on the notion that he would be a unity pick for the Republican Party at its convention. [Politico]

You get what you vote for, Kentucky. And you can thank the Democrats for giving you a horrible nominee. Matt Bevin is continuing his legal fight to close a Lexington abortion clinic. [H-L]

Ocean waves just might be the new frontier of renewable energy. Australia-based Carnegie Wave Energy Limited has created patented technology that converts the ocean’s energy into power and is able to remove minerals from the water. [HuffPo]

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Budget Boogeyman Is Coming In 3, 2…

Is anyone surprised? A year after state officials created a nationally recognized public-private partnership to build America’s best statewide broadband network, opponents are trying to kill it. Some telecom and cable companies that now provide Internet service around the state, along with several right-wing advocacy groups, are pushing legislators and Gov. Matt Bevin to rethink the project, called KentuckyWired. [H-L]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday issued the first decision in a series of class action cases this term that are widely viewed as attempts by business interests to shut the courthouse door to consumers and everyday plaintiffs. [HuffPo]

This is fascinating coming from the newspaper that asked its arts reporter to prove her position mattered. Arts leaders and advocates are hearing reports that the state budget Gov. Matt Bevin is planning to reveal on Tuesday would eliminate the Kentucky Arts Council, which has a budget of $3.3 million. [C-J/AKN]

Water authorities across the US are systematically distorting water tests to downplay the amount of lead in samples, risking a dangerous spread of the toxic water crisis that has gripped Flint, documents seen by the Guardian show. [The Guardian]

On Thursday, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin announced his administration would seek an extension to comply with upcoming federal carbon dioxide regulations from power plans. [WFPL]

A Democratic presidential forum scheduled at the 11th hour will give Hillary Clinton one last chance to make her case to the Iowa voters as some polls show rival Bernie Sanders overtaking her in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. [The Hill]

The snow didn’t keep U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Sixth District, from visiting Madison County on Wednesday. He addressed the Richmond Rotary Club and then toured the Hyster-Yale manufacturing plant in Berea. [Richmond Register]

Facing mounting bills and nervous creditors, U.S. farmers are beginning to sell off their crop stockpile – sometimes at a loss – and easing a months-long logjam prompted by the lowest grains prices in at least five years. [Reuters]

It’s become custom for Kentucky lawmakers to move at a near-glacial pace in the early days of a session until the filing deadline passes for legislative elections. [Ronnie Ellis]

A ProPublica analysis of political fundraising shows conservative House Republicans have less and less in common with their party’s leaders, whose donors sometimes more closely resemble those of Democrats. [ProPublica]

More than 7,000 Rowan Water Inc. customers received notice about a violation of a drinking water standard this week [The Morehead News]

Kentucky received $290 million in federal grants to build Kynect, of which $57 million has not yet been spent. Federal officials have suggested that the state should repay the $57 million. But surely a state that is willfully destroying an exchange that was working well should be forced to return the whole $290 million. [NY Times]

Preliminary estimates from a consulting firm hired by the city show the cost will be $175 to $200 million to build a fiber-optic network to increase sluggish Internet speeds and expand Internet access in Fayette County. [H-L]

President Vladimir Putin probably approved a plan by Russia’s FSB security service to kill former agent Alexander Litvinenko, who died three weeks after drinking tea laced with poison at a London hotel, a British judge said Thursday. [HuffPo]

KDP Needs To Clean House In Worst Way

Whatever Republican Matt Bevin has in mind for Kentucky’s health insurance reform efforts after he’s sworn in as governor Dec. 8, there are unlikely to be changes this winter while people enroll for their 2016 coverage. [H-L]

Ben Carson is truly crazier than anyone thought. Way crazier than Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

A daughter of “Breaking Cardinal Rules” author Katina Powell was cited for misdemeanor prostitution stemming from a 2014 incident, online court documents show. [C-J/AKN]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) has introduced legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act introduced Wednesday by Sanders would end the long-time federal prohibition on marijuana. This is the first Senate bill to propose legalizing recreational pot, according to marijuana advocates. [The Hill]

Kentucky Republicans didn’t settle for Matt Bevin’s win in the governor’s race; the GOP scored a major upset with Mike Harmon defeating Democratic incumbent auditor Adam Edelen. [Ronnie Ellis]

ProPublica and Frontline reopen the investigation into a death squad run by former South Vietnamese military men that killed journalists, torched businesses and intimidated those who challenged its dream of re-starting the Vietnam War — all on American soil. [ProPublica]

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 5:45 p.m. Tuesday that Phillip Jent of Cold Springs Hollow Road off Christy Creek Road had been shot in the chest by his brother, Robert Jent. [The Morehead News]

After years of denying that American troops will deploy to Syria, President Obama has changed course and decided to send troops to help in the fight against ISIS, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State. [ThinkProgress]

The city of Berea had a very good financial year, according to the results of a recent financial audit. During a council session Tuesday evening, Jerry Hensley and Heather Cochran told officials the city increased its net value during fiscal year 2014-2015 by approximately $5 million. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump has spent much of his presidential campaign bashing his GOP rivals as beholden to major donors, and, in recent weeks, he’s expanded his attacks to include three major donors in particular ― Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer and the Koch brothers. But POLITICO has learned that Trump or his surrogates have sought to build relationships ― if not support ― from all three, calling into question the billionaire real estate showman’s repeated assertions that, because of his wealth, he has no use for major donors. [Politico]

Democratic leaders met in Frankfort Wednesday morning to talk about how they lost the Governor’s race and three other statewide offices, only winning Attorney General and Secretary of State. [WKYT]

The Rosetta spacecraft discovers molecular oxygen in the cloud of gas surrounding Comet 67P prompting a rethink on the origins of the Solar System. [BBC]

Offering harsh words for fellow Democrats, Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones appeared to be of two minds Wednesday when discussing whether Tuesday’s enormous Republican victories in Kentucky will influence whether he runs for Congress. [H-L]

The U.S. electric sector is expected to hit its lowest carbon emissions since 1995 this year, partly due to the widespread closure of coal-powered power plants over the past five years, a Sierra Club report released Wednesday found. [HuffPo]

Interest In Matt Jones Grows By The Day

D.C. folks have reached out to ask about Matt Jones. Not once or twice but several times over the past few months.

If Jones decides to run against Candy Barr in the Sixth District, there’s going to be a lot of support for him. The kind of support Barr can’t afford to lose: voters aged 18-40ish. You know if he runs and does it right, no wussing out, no fears of mud slinging, stays honest about positions… you know he’ll clean up. Because a Democrat hasn’t run a straightforward race in that district in ages. I mean, who even ran against Barr in 2014?

Yes, yes, Elisabeth Jensen. But did you remember her name without struggling? Was it on the tip of your tongue? Did she have a team behind her that truly wanted to gut and skin Barr on the political battlefield? Nope. She was good but apparently not good enough to stick out in our minds.

“Oh, sure, it’s Democrats reaching out about radio boy!” You’re saying to yourself. But…. nope.

Republicans are also anxious over Matt Jones in a way that I haven’t seen since Ashley Judd contemplated running for office. That’s maybe a poor comparison because many of these Republicans would vote for Jones because they believe he’s genuine.

So… Could he do it? Could Jones beat Candy Barr? I think so. As long as he avoids the legacy Dems (the good old boys) in Frankfort. No Greg Stumbo, no Julian Carroll, none of the people worshipping at Wendell Ford’s grave. Those people need to be put out to pasture.

Pros:

  • He could raise a pretty penny. Anything he loses in the sixth he could make up for in the rest of the state.
  • Popular. Has that fancy radio program that all of the people who like sports things listen to.
  • Intelligent. He can spell, he knows the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Not a douche like Matt Bevin. Arrogant? Sure. When it comes to sports things. At least according to people turning a blind eye to everything Sexploitation University does (that’s UofL, if you haven’t been paying attention the last eight or so years). Just the kind of arrogance one needs to excel at politicking against a Washington mooch playing the role of faux countrified everyman wearing cowboy boots.
  • Brings in all the youngs and maybe some of the olds. The olds love people with conviction, people they feel like they can trust. Even though they love people who scare them waaaay more. Which is why I said SOME of the olds. Some of them.

Cons:

  • His radio show would probably die or suffer severely during a campaign and that would suck. For him and for listeners. If he wins, then what? People listen to the show to hear him. He could maybe do it in office but he’d also die from exhaustion.
  • He’d have to deal with Republicans coming for him. That’d be worse than UofL fans.
  • Jonathan Miller will probably try to hitch his wagon to him if he hasn’t already.
  • We’d have to hear about sports things for the duration of the campaign
  • It’s congress. What a horrible place. Running for re-election every two years is the devil.

Ugh. Never mind. Don’t do it, Matt. You’ll hate it and will probably die young from the stress.

Or do it. Because people like Candy Barr are so stupid and out-of-touch that they support folks Joshua Powell and still fear the gays. Just know that you’re gonna need to get a Xanax script.