The Office Of The Attorney General Is Investigating Jamie Comer’s Campaign

The Office of the Attorney General is investigating Jamie Comer’s campaign. A former state trooper is on the case.

Here’s how I know…

A few weeks ago I was copied on an email someone sent to the investigator regarding Comer. Part of that email referred to me, because I’ve published quite a bit about Comer through the years:

I have copied him on this email. I don’t know his phone number.

So I responded:

Unfortunately … as a journalist, everything I know or have proved has already been published.

I’m afraid I can’t be of any assistance.

Because it’s pretty much common knowledge I’d publish anything provable about Jamie Comer in a heartbeat. Right?

So here’s the message that came from the aforementioned trooper (I’m making the decision not to reveal the investigator’s identity out of courtesy) later that day:

I am a investigator from the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General. I was wanting to interview you over some information that you had on the Comer campaign. Are you refusing to be interviewed?

See for yourself:


REDACTIONS TO HIDE IDENTIFYING INFORMATION

Refusing to be interviewed. PBBBT! Please.

If I had anything new on Comer, it’d be published.

I replied, advising that I won’t be interviewed, won’t give up sources, etc. Higher ups intervened at that point and I received an apology, which was appreciated.

But here’s the deal…

Should the OAG truly want to find out what the Comer Camp was up to? They ought to start digging into his lobbyist pals. The people who interfaced with his hemp promoters, the people who were responsible for his political action committee. And maybe his former chief of staff/attorney, Holly Harris. She’s the keeper of the secrets and has gone full-on radio silence with anyone questioning her about Comer.

People come to me with all kinds of information because I have a track record of protecting their identities. I have a moral and ethical obligation to do so. So maybe the OAG should cool it with getting accusatory. “[R]efusing to be interviewed” is hardly a great way to approach someone when you’re asking them for help. This does everything but instill confidence in Frankfort at a time when it is so desperately needed.

Sadly, not many in Kentucky would trust Andy Beshear’s office if it revealed anything on Comer. It’d be Greg Stumbo’s Fletcher 2.0. It’d be perceived as pure political retaliation. In light of the former Deputy Attorney General Tim Longmeyer awaiting a prison sentence, you know exactly how the Republican Party of Kentucky would play that out.

If they uncover anything, they ought to hand it off to the feds so there’s no perception of impropriety. Fortunately, from what I can tell, that’s already happening.

Jim Ramsey Dumpster Fire Burns On

Jim. Ramsey. Schadenfreude. [H-L]

Apple will not contribute funds or other resources for the Republican National Convention due to presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump’s prejudiced remarks, Politico reported on Saturday. [HuffPo]

This is what lobbyists can get you. Norton Healthcare has secured city agreement to issue up to $725 million in tax-exempt bonds, with much of the proceeds targeted for helping to pay for a long list of capital projects. [C-J/AKN]

Democrats want new funding in the legislative response to the opioid epidemic. [The Hill]

A write-in candidate is joining the race for Kentucky’s 1st District Congressional seat, held by retiring Congressman Ed Whitfield. [WKMS]

Although Sen. Rand Paul ended his presidential bid four months ago, a pro-Paul super PAC sounds particularly presidential in a new TV ad — this time, in slamming likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. [Public Integrity]

This should be filled with schadenfreude. Long-time Republican activist and public relations executive Scott Jennings will emcee this year’s Fancy Farm Picnic political speaking on Aug. 6. [Ronnie Ellis]

Gun control, homegrown extremism, homophobic violence and the war against Islamic State have all been highlighted by the Orlando nightclub massacre, but deadlock in Washington means major legislation will probably have to wait until after the November election. [The Guardian]

Eastern Kentucky – where you still can’t mention the LGBT community in a column about the deadliest firearm attack on the gay community in this country’s history. [Adam Black]

Funerals for two of the 49 victims killed in the shooting at a nightclub in Florida were marked by tense scenes on Saturday, as an impatient driver was accused of injuring two law enforcement officers and one burial took place under the watch of anti-gay protesters. [Reuters]

The “help wanted” sign was posted officially today by the Board of Directors of the Morehead-Rowan County Economic Development Council, Inc., with the publication of a vacancy notice in this issue of The Morehead News. [The Morehead News]

Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach. The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC’s system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin abolished the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees Friday and replaced it with a new board with four additional new members to oversee the state’s retirements systems. [H-L]

The moon was just rising over Half Dome, the setting sun reflected off its sheer granite face, as President Barack Obama and his family landed by helicopter in a meadow, the knee-high grass waving wildly while campers cheered. [HuffPo]

Comer’s Opponents Are Hitting Back

Remember that Jamie Comer email we published a week or two ago?

Turns out Comer’s opponents took note and the Paducah Sun wrote about it:

Two of the candidates running for the 1st District seat in the U.S. House jointly released a statement Monday calling for candidate James Comer to apologize for allegedly sending an email that insults their supporters.

Mike Pape and Jason Batts, who are running against Comer in the Republican primary, issued a statement alleging that Comer sent an email on March 27 that “insulted supporters of both the Pape and Batts campaigns.”

According to the press release, Comer wrote:

“A buddy of mine who is a pretty good political observer said that ‘Comer might be the only candidate who puts up any big signs because Michael Pape’s supporters are too old to physically put signs up and the Batts boy’s supporters don’t own any property to put any signs on! I only repeat that because that theory has a lot of merit!”

The release states that the email was “supplied directly to the Pape campaign.”

In a prepared response, Comer’s campaign did not acknowledge or deny sending the email. Neither side identified if the email was intended to be a personal communication or was sent more widely.

-SNIP-

In the release from Pape and Batts, Pape said: “This is yet another example of why James Comer is the typical establishment career politician. His arrogance insults the people who would be his constituents, and he thinks he can get away with it. We demand an apology to the people of our district.”

“Jamie Comer owes all the voters an apology,” said Jason Batts. “Calling Kentuckians poor and old is what we’d expect from a Washington politician. After 16 years running for one office after another, Jamie has forgotten the hard-working Kentuckians he’s trying to represent. His ignorant words are inexcusable.”

Ruh ro.

Sporadic, Long-Winded Jamie Comer Mess

Jamie Comer is back at it with the insanely long campaign update emails.

Check this out from a week or two ago:

From: James Comer
Date: March 27, 2016 at 9:25:18 PM CDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Team Comer Organizational Leaders Weekly Update

Easter marks the 52 day point before the Primary –and if this coming week is as good as last week– then we are set to really close this race out in a very strong manner. 400 Comer for Congress 4×4 signs are up all across the district with another 350 set to go up this week; last week’s fundraisers in Cadiz, Edmonton and Paducah all exceeded our goals; and I can really start to feel the momentum build for our Primary Election.

Thanks to everyone who already put signs up and will put some up next week. It’s very exciting traveling through the district seeing our signs and our signs only! People are really talking in the counties where the signage is already up, which is exactly what our goal was for the signs. This race has been extremely quiet and the signs are really the first indication of an upcoming election to the average voter. We are definitely winning the sign war! A buddy of mine who is a pretty good political observer said that “Comer might be the only candidate who puts up any big signs because Michael Pape’s supporters are too old to physically put signs up and the Batts boy’s supporters don’t own any property to put any signs on!” I only repeat that because that theory has a lot of merit! (Hopefully everyone knows by now I like to ad a little humor to these emails because I know how painfully boring they are to read!) Once we have put all of our signs up at the end of this week, we will shift to the next phase of the campaign.

As I’ve said over and over, March is all about fundraising. I did not push fundraising until this month so that when we went into more competitive areas like Paducah and Hopkinsville the potential donors would realize that by March our campaign was going to win. Most donors do not want to invest in a campaign with little chance to win. I felt like we would be standing out by March. That patience paid off last week because we nailed down some of the biggest names in Paducah and Hopkinsville. March 31 is the last day to donate to get a name on the next fundraising report which is for the entire first quarter. Money is important obviously for the paid advertising, but amount raised is also important because the more donors that I have and money I report raising, the less likely a Washington DC outside group will come in on behalf of our opposition. That is why we have worked so hard to report a good fundraising number. Because of your hard work to help me raise money, I am confident that we are on track to report a very credible number for the quarter. (I absolutely hate asking for money and I know that most of you do as well, so I want everyone to know how much I really appreciate all the asks on behalf of our campaign!)

Last Monday I began the day in Hopkinsville at Roundies Café –my new favorite restaurant in Christian Co. Owner Brandon Garnett got a few of our key people in Christian Co together to talk strategy and enjoy some good home cooking. After a few stops in Hopkinsville with local media, I traveled to Cadiz for our Hopkinsville/Cadiz Fundraiser at Seven Springs Farms. Brian Lacefield emceed the very nice event and I was introduced by one of my agriculture heroes –Wayne Hunt. The fundraiser was outstanding and exceeded our goal. In fact, we probably raised close to the same amount in Christian Co that Michael Pape raised in his home county! I want to especially thank Brian Lacefield, Michael Oliver, Brandon Garnett, Alana Baker, Bart Peters, Brad Bolinger and Joseph Sisk for being the host committee who overcame many obstacles in helping us achieve such a successful fundraising mark in a very competitive and challenging area of the district. Many key players in the area like former KY Chamber of Commerce President Elizabeth McCoy were in attendance and donated.

Tuesday was focused on Metcalfe Co. I attended the Metcalfe Co Chamber Breakfast early Tuesday morning and spent the rest of the day around Edmonton. Tuesday evening was our Metcalfe Co Fundraiser which was also attended by some very prominent democrats from Barren Co. This event was a huge success and raised some very good money. I really appreciate Mark Linkous and Tommy Garrett for putting the nice event together and Edmonton Mayor Howard Garrett for introducing me to the crowd. Retired Court of Appeals Chief Judge Tom Emberton who is one of my all-time favorite political figures was there and maxed out to the campaign. Also every Republican elected official in Metcalfe Co is openly supporting our campaign. If we can get the vote out, Metcalfe Co could be one of our best counties.

Wednesday my brother Chad and I met up with Clinton Circuit Clerk Jake Staton and put up a bunch of signs in Cumberland, Adair, Metcalfe and Monroe Counties and delivered several more which were put up towards the end of last week. The signs are really making a difference, and I appreciate everyone who is helping get the signs up. Caroline Cash has more signs in the West and Tiffany Kessler has more in the East if anyone else has some prime locations.

Thursday was our big Paducah Fundraiser. TJ, Aniston and I traveled to Paducah to attend the event hosted by US Bank President Bill Jones and his lovely wife Theresa. The event was literally a who’s who of Paducah. We had a ton of hosts listed on the invitation and every single host attended and donated exactly what they pledged –a feat that seldom happens in political fundraising! I am excited about our organization in Paducah. TJ and I really enjoy campaigning in Paducah. McCracken will probably be the largest county in terms of Republican primary voters (unless Monroe Co can exceed a 50% turnout again) and we have been spending a lot of time campaigning in McCracken Co. I really appreciate Bill Jones, Bill Bartleman, Jason Siener, Martie Wies, David Mast, Daniel Jones, Cory Hicks, Michael Dale Harris, Jessica Rudy, and Cindy Cash for being the host committee and getting everyone to show up and donate. For the primary, we will raise over $50,000 in McCracken Co from over 100 quality donors. Those are strong numbers for a Congressional race.

Friday was one of the most encouraging days I’ve had the entire campaign. I met up in Greenville with my old WKU college buddy Darrin Benton who just happens to be a Republican Magistrate in Muhlenberg Co. He had a group of farmers gathered for a meeting in the Muhlenberg Co Farm Bureau Office then we traveled around the county to campaign with key Republicans all over the county. Darrin hosted a meet-n-greet lunch in Greenville which was attended by a slew of people from Muhlenberg Co. We had a tremendous reception in Muhlenberg, and I feel that we are in a position to do okay in Muhlenberg Co this May if my closing message resonates with the voters. From Greenville, I traveled to the small Ohio Co town of Fordsville to campaign with Charlie Mattingly. Charlie had a very effective afternoon planned out for us in the Fordsville area, and I feel like we gained a lot of ground in Ohio Co. The amount of attention I am paying to Ohio Co seems to be resonating with the local voters. Ohio has the potential to be the second largest Republican turnout county on May 17 in the western portion of the district. If it isn’t second, it will be third behind Christian Co. Ohio Co is a top priority for me in this election.

Saturday and Sunday TJ and I campaigned around home in Tompkinsville. We are opening up our official Comer for Congress Campaign Headquarters in Tompkinsville on Monday April 4. We are having an open house (which is simply a time for people to stop by and see TJ, me and the kids, as well as meet Caroline and Tiffany and to get a bumper sticker and yard sign) from 10:00 – 5:00 CST. At approximately noon, we will have a ribbon cutting ceremony for a photo op with the local media. In addition to campaign supplies, we will have four phones for volunteers to make calls across the district. These phones will be installed and ready to use on April 17. The numbers of every likely Republican primary voter in the 1st District will already be programmed into the phones. If we get enough volunteers, we should be able to personally connect with a majority of voters in the district. I am using local volunteers who have known me my entire life to make the calls to combat the negative calls that the Batts and Pape campaign paid staff are already making. Remember, I got over 95% of the vote in Monroe Co in the primary for Governor with the highest percentage turnout in the state last May. These are the people who know me best and nobody can make a better sales pitch on my behalf than my friends, relatives, and neighbors in Monroe Co.

In addition to my campaign stops and the signs going up, we also had volunteers begin door knocking this past week. Corey Elder led a group of volunteers in Graves and McCracken Counties to begin knocking on doors to personally meet the voters and leave campaign material with them. Big signs go up, then door knocking initiates, then the paid advertising starts, then yard signs go out, and then the phone calling will be in full swing….that is how we are going to close this race out.

Next week will be spent primarily in the eastern portion of the district. I have some fundraising meetings in Louisville and Lexington with some major Republican donors that we scheduled to happen before the March 31 cutoff date. I will physically be in most of the eastern counties this week checking in with people and placing up a few more signs. I have a ton of phone calls to make from lists that you all have emailed me, and I have to write hundreds of thank you letters to our donors for the past quarter that we will try to get in the mail late next week. TJ, the kids, and I will also be taking some new pictures for our upcoming mailers and new campaign material.

TJ and I thank you so much for everything you are doing to help us win this election,

Jamie

James R. Comer
Candidate for U.S. Congress – KY1
comer@jamescomer.com

Attached to the email was an invitation to his Monroe County campaign headquarters:

Now, it’s okay to let your eyes roll back in your head.

Too Late. He Already Broke It, Papaw Beshear.

Controversial Floyd County lawyer Eric C. Conn was arrested Monday by the FBI on an undisclosed federal charge, according to the Pike County Detention Center. [H-L]

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant on Tuesday signed into law a measure affording wide protections for actions considered discriminatory by gay rights activists. [HuffPo]

In a video entitled “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It,” an advocacy group founded by former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear blasts current Gov. Matt Bevin over widespread disruptions in health coverage and other public benefits through a new state system called Benefind. [C-J/AKN]

Medicare has been overpaying more than $260 million a year, including bills from hospices for inpatient care that patients did not need, investigators said. [NY Times]

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has announced that federal inspectors issued 146 citations and six orders during special impact inspections at 10 coal mines and five metal and nonmetal mines in February. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

For decades, Fairfax County has been a national model for suburban living, a place of good governance and elite schools that educate children from some of the country’s richest neighborhoods. But Virginia’s largest municipality is fraying around the edges. [WaPo]

Two Lawrence County residents were shot and killed Saturday and police arrested an alleged suspect. [Ashland Independent]

Edward Blum is the godfather of white rights litigation in the Supreme Court. He spearheaded the litigation in Shelby County v. Holder, which convinced five conservative justices to strike down much of the Voting Rights Act. And he played a similar role in a major challenge to affirmative action currently pending before the Supreme Court. As I have previously noted, “Blum has probably done more than anyone who does not sit on the Supreme Court to dismantle America’s civil rights laws.” [ThinkProgress]

Like Kentucky’s other public higher education campuses, the current year budget cut ordered by Gov. Matt Bevin is having an impact at the Rowan Campus of Maysville Community and Technical College. [The Morehead News]

Senate Republicans are returning to Washington with time running out on their hopes of getting anything done in the second year of their majority. [The Hill]

Before you start thinking this story about Jamie Comer opening a campaign headquarters is big news? Remember that this story about a new Taco Bell opening was also featured as a big deal in the paper. [GDT More GDT]

With a seat vacant possibly until next year, the U.S. Supreme Court is accepting fewer cases and seeking compromises as it tries to avoid being hamstrung by 4-4 deadlocks on such contentious issues as abortion, birth control and immigration. [Reuters]

The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet has determined that the Bluegrass Area Development District must repay the state $898,525 for money misspent from 2010 to 2013. [H-L]

Let’s face it: in times of war, the Constitution tends to take a beating. With the safety or survival of the nation said to be at risk, the basic law of the land — otherwise considered sacrosanct — becomes nonbinding, subject to being waived at the whim of government authorities who are impatient, scared, panicky, or just plain pissed off. [HuffPo]

Jamie Comer Is Still Horrible, Disgusting

Failed gubernatorial candidate Jamie Comer still talks a big game and still comes out stinking like a hog lot in the August humidity:

I had success in defeating the Obama Administration in Federal Court when they tried to derail my Industrial Hemp Pilot Project, and I spent every day promoting Kentucky Agriculture and telling about all the great things that family farmers do.

He’s still claiming that he did that. Reality? Holly Harris did it. Jamie tried to wuss out at every turn. But after a less-than-professional pep talk from someone on the phone, Holly hauled ass into court and made it happen.

But here’s the best part – where he advocates FOR animal cruelty by attacking poor, dumb, delusional, corrupt Ed Whitfield for the one good thing he stands for:

WHR – Rep. Whitfield has been extremely detrimental to agriculture and more specifically the Tennessee Walking Horse. Can you give us your thoughts on Rep. Whitfield?

JC – I can say with 100% confidence, Ed Whitfield is an animal rights activist who has many positions that are detrimental to Kentucky agriculture. I spent many hours battling with his beloved HSUS and trying to keep them from negatively influencing our Livestock Care Standards Commission, spooking my board appointed Kentucky State Veterinarian, or spinning negative stories about our poultry, swine, dairy cattle, or equine industry. Having said that, I am 100% supportive of the Tennessee Walking Horse Industry. I believe that the Tennessee Walking Horse breeders have been victimized by HSUS, and I will be a strong voice in Washington, DC in support of the industry. I will be the exact opposite of Whitfield. If I win, the industry will replace the worst member in Congress with one of the best with respect to Tennessee Walking Horse issues.

From allegedly abusing Marilyn Thomas to advocating for animal cruelty. Wow. This man sure knows how to make himself look good.

Because Comer is one of the most angry and bitter people on the planet, check out how he attacked one of his opponents:

My biggest competition in this race is Ed Whitfield’s District Director Michael Pape. Pape has been Whitfield’s top employee and sidekick in Kentucky from the very beginning over the past 21 years that Whitfield has served in Congress. Ed Whitfield signed Pape’s filing papers, endorsed Pape, and is on the phone daily raising money for Michael Pape. HSUS and their donor base is strongly supporting Michael Pape. Whoever wins the primary in two months will be the next Congressman. So there is no backup plan if Pape wins. If anyone wants to replace an enemy to the industry with a friend, then now is the only time to do it, and I am the only candidate who can defeat Whitfield’s attempt to pass his seat down to his hand picked successor and loyal follower.

As if being supported by a sitting congressman and opposing animal cruelty is a bad thing.

Still need more laughs? Here’s Comer claiming to have McConnell’s support:

I am strongly supported by Sen. Mitch McConnell who has been a close friend of the Walking Horse Industry.

Spoiler alert: McConnell’s family members, former chiefs of staff, current staffers, campaign officials, friends and colleagues opposed and continue to oppose Jamie Comer. There are but a few hangers-on who try to keep the peace so they can score federal contracts should Comer get elected. Beyond that? The McConnell crew has been consistent for two years in feeding me Comer material and they’ll continue to do so.

In case anyone forgot? Holly Harris left Jamie Comer’s campaign once allegations of abuse were borderline substantiated. Then he, along with his lobbyist pal, Riggs Lewis, started telling people (myself included) she was a miserable drunk in an attempt to damage her and minimize the negative impact of her departure. At that point, the McConnell folks were ready to have the man disappeared. They have not changed their tune.

Jamie Comer’s gotta be one of the worst people I’ve encountered in Kentucky politics. He’s disgusting.

HEAD-DESK.

BONUS!

As if we aren’t already blessed with tons of Frankfort schadenfreude, here’s known horse abuser Democratic State Sen. Robin Webb praising Jamie Comer:


Birds of a feather flock together.

A Republican Angerbear Blind Item

Guess which Republican candidate allegedly (cough) threatened one of Ed Whitfield’s field reps with a lawsuit and/or ethics complaint for sharing a link to one of Page One’s stories on Facebook.

No really, guess.

Occurred on the rep’s own time, not using government equipment or services, etc.

But the candidate freaked out. Called Whitfield himself. Didn’t use a campaign staffer.

It’s almost as if a certain candidate’s cracking under the pressure of campaigning.

Probably not wise to threaten a sitting congressman, no matter how disgraced, when one is seeking to replace him.