Surprise! The Beshears Hate Transparency & Accountability In Kentucky

A longtime champion of Kentucky’s government transparency laws retired Wednesday from Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office after she was reprimanded for speaking with a journalist. [John Cheves]

The 10,000th Syrian refugee to resettle in the U.S. this fiscal year arrived on Monday, the White House announced, following through on an ambitious plan by President Barack Obama to welcome more people from the country. [HuffPo]

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, are calling for the federal government to help deal with the burgeoning heroin epidemic. And they’re blaming U.S. Sen. Rand Paul for supporting a drug treatment bill that included no money to pay for it. [C-J/AKN]

The State Department said Monday it is concerned about Iran state media reports that the country has deployed an advanced missile defense system around its Fordow underground uranium facility. [The Hill]

This has got to be one of the dumbest moves yet from someone with the surname Beshear! Assistant Attorney General Amye Bensenhaver has retired “under considerable duress” after being reprimanded for speaking to a journalist without permission, creating yet another public relations issue for a government agency that has had more than its share in recent months. [Roger Alford]

Last year 35,092 people died in traffic crashes in the United States, a 7.2 percent year-on-year increase that runs counter to a five-decade trend of declining fatalities, the U.S. Transportation Department said. [Reuters]

Coal-producing states are preparing for arguments next month in the federal appeals court case known as West Virginia v. EPA, challenging the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. [WFPL]

Despite yet more evidence of trouble with the Red Cross’ disaster response — this time to floods in Louisiana — Apple, Amazon, T-Mobile, and many others have made the venerable charity the exclusive conduit for helping victims. [ProPublica]

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo said if Republican Gov. Matt Bevin threatened a Democratic lawmaker for refusing to switch parties he could be guilty of criminal behavior or an impeachable offense. [Ronnie Ellis]

Way to go, Appalachia. New analysis from the Clean Air Task Force shows that by 2025 America’s children will experience 750,000 asthma attacks each summer that will be directly attributable to the oil and gas industry. [ThinkProgress]

The battle for the last legislative chamber in the South still controlled by Democrats escalated over the weekend as Republicans announced they would boycott a special meeting this week, while the House Speaker publicly threatened to impeach the state’s Republican governor. [Richmond Register]

In 1988, a small-time drug dealer became the first man charged under a new, harsh drug law signed by then-President Ronald Reagan. Almost 30 years later, President Barack Obama granted a sentence commutation to Richard Van Winrow, a literal posterboy for the history of America’s drug war. [BBC]

A state environmental response team began taking more extensive soil samples Tuesday to test for higher-than-normal arsenic levels along a rural Montgomery County road. [H-L]

Taco trucks on every corner!? SIGN US UP! [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for Ting or Cricket and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets! [CLICK HERE]

Edelen & Trump Are On The Same Page

Matt Bevin doesn’t know how to stop running face-first into scandals. And they’re not even the good kind of scandals that involve corruption – they’re just embarrassing and dumb. Matt Bevin’s administration on Friday named a retired Texas official who oversaw a controversial 2008 raid on a polygamist sect, seizing more than 400 children without a court order, to run Kentucky’s troubled Department of Juvenile Justice. [John Cheves]

Emily Graeber sat on a plane, her long hair falling over her face, and pressed her nose against the window. Then she leaned back in her seat, trying not to cry. [HuffPo]

Jim Ramsey and his crew have been pulling these corrupt open records stunts for a decade. Want to find out former University of Louisville President James Ramsey’s new phone number and email address at the university’s foundation? Hope you have better luck than we did. [C-J/AKN]

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is marking the 53rd anniversary of the March on Washington with a call to action, saying too many Americans still face systemic racism and “constant assaults on their franchise.” [The Hill]

U.S. Senate candidate Jim Gray told a flock of rural Democrats on Saturday he’d deploy a four-point plan that would help rejuvenate a diminishing eastern Kentucky economy if elected. [Ashland Independent]

The turbulent months after the 9/11 attacks were notable for something that did not happen. Even though al-Qaeda had killed thousands of people and scored a direct hit on the Pentagon, hardly anyone in either political party blamed the Bush Administration for failing to defend the homeland. [ProPublica]

In another display of the changing political tides in Kentucky, only Republican office-holders spoke from the stage Thursday morning at the Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast, while Democrats found themselves on the outside, both figuratively and literally. [Ronnie Ellis]

President Barack Obama’s former campaign manager on Sunday called Donald Trump “a psychopath.” [Politico]

Late Friday afternoon, Glasgow Electric Plant Board Superintendent Billy Ray said that after an all-afternoon meeting with TVA, there was little new to report in the wake of receipt of two documents Thursday from the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It’s a common sight at public events – a long line for the the ladies’ loos and a short one for the men’s. [BBC]

As the district’s only Leader in Me school, Glenn Marshall Elementary School’s first school assembly focused on, naturally, leadership. The assembly explored how students in all grades can find the leaders in themselves this school year. [Richmond Register]

Emboldened by Donald J. Trump’s struggles in the presidential race, Democrats in Congress are laying the groundwork to expand the list of House Republicans they will target for defeat as part of an effort to slash the Republicans’ 30-seat majority and even reclaim control if Mr. Trump falls further. [NY Times]

One of the biggest investments held by the $14.9 billion Kentucky Retirement Systems is a hedge fund that’s also one of its worst performers — and yet the financially troubled agency is doubling down. [John Cheves]

Adam Edelen and Donald Trump are apparently birds of a feather. Surprise! [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for Ting or Cricket and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets! [CLICK HERE]

On Jeff Hoover’s Leadership Ability…

Lost? Tired of the Kentucky Democratic Party for quietly permitting homophobia to take root? Wondering when it’ll suss out all the corruption?

Don’t hold your breath for too long. And don’t put any faith into Republican Minority Leader Jeff Hoover, himself a transphobic, gay-panicked extremist, being a stellar Speaker of the House.

Here he was on February 13, 2016 sharing some home truths about bigot Donald Trump:

Then, ahem, pivoting on August 4, 2016 to praise Trump as a candidate helping Republicans win in Kentucky – hit the 4:00 mark:



Seems cowardly and hypocritical, doesn’t it? Because the new breed of Kentucky Republican is just that – cowardly and hypocritical. And extra-racist, gay-panicked, backward, afraid. Just what Kentucky needs! A mediocre white guy freaking out and flip-flopping every other day.

But it gets better.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled just under a year ago that Hoover was ineffective as counsel (in lay terms? inept) in a murder case.

Check it out:


CLICK TO ENLARGE — PDF

Excerpts, presented without comment:

Copley argues that his counsel was ineffective by failing to fully advise him regarding a defense of extreme emotional disturbance (EED). Kentucky Revised Statute[s] (KRS) 507.020(1)(a) provides that “a person shall not be guilty [of murder] if he acted under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance for which there was a reasonable explanation or excuse. . . .” It also provides that a person found to be acting under EED may be prosecuted for manslaughter.

There is a considerable difference in the penalties for murder and manslaughter.

-SNIP-

At the evidentiary hearing, trial counsel testified that he had considered the possibility of an EED defense. But he said that he did not think it was viable because of a letter1 that the Commonwealth would introduce. Counsel also relied heavily on Dr. Smith’s reluctance to testify regarding whether Copley had acted under EED. He also said that he had had “general discussions” with Copley regarding EED. Counsel did not remember Copley’s attempting suicide after he shot Pamela. He asserted that Copley asked him to negotiate a plea bargain in order to avoid subjecting his family to the ordeal of a trial.

Copley testified that counsel did not explain the viability of an EED defense to him. He did not think that he needed to inform counsel about the second suicide attempt because counsel should have known that fact from his medical records.

-SNIP-

Finally, he said that he entered the guilty plea because counsel led him to believe that no defenses were available to him.

We are persuaded that Copley received ineffective assistance. As noted above, the existence of EED is a question to be answered by a jury. From his testimony, it appears that counsel assumed the role of the jury.

-SNIP-

Trial counsel – and now the Commonwealth – have characterized Dr. Smith’s statement as a refusal to testify resulting from his review of the evidence and his examination of Copley. On the contrary, however, our review of the letter indicated that Dr. Smith believed that Copley was indeed suffering significant psychological disturbance at the time of the shooting. But he felt that he was precluded from delivering his opinion professionally because his examination was too far removed in time from the actual events.

-SNIP-

Significantly, the delay between the events and the psychological evaluation was the direct result of counsel’s actions in creating the temporal hiatus by ceasing all activity on the case while he waited for resolution of an interlocutory appeal from a motion to suppress evidence. And the appeal itself was unorthodox and meritless.

-SNIP-

We are not persuaded that Copley was given adequate information to make a meaningful choice between pleading guilty or going to trial.

-SNIP-

In summary, we conclude that Copley’s counsel provided ineffective representation by causing a delay in proceedings, which in turn allowed evidence to become stale; pre-empting the role of the jury by abandoning a defense merely because of contradictory evidence; and failing to provide Copley with adequate information to support a meaningful choice regarding the consequences of presenting an EED defense.

Hoover was his attorney (Warning: External PDF Link):

That’s the kind of guy Republicans have put in charge of their State House efforts.

Categories RPK

Kentucky Republicans Now Live In A Disconnected Extremist Fantasy Land

Yep, it’s a day of Republican Party of Kentucky insanity.

Here’s the latest dispatch from Old Dominionist End Timer Wingnut Freakout State Park:

1. Gay-panicked Republican Whitney Westerfield didn’t know that happened? How on earth can someone who doesn’t live in, say, New York City, not know that?

I haven’t been able to find a single Kentuckian today who was unaware. Not even city folk who don’t know the difference between sorghum and molasses.

2. It’s hilarious how the gay-panicked contingent and David Floyd, another Frankfort Republican, are hung up on the reality that not everyone is going to love their chosen (it’s a choice) religious beliefs.

3. Yes, Westerfield is extremely gay-panicked. Here he his promoting a notorious anti-gay bigot:

Along with some freaking out about how OH GOD THE BLACK PRESIDENT SENT MONEY TO THE BROWN FOREIGNERS OH GOD!!!1!

Spoiler alert: not exactly based in reality, just another wingnut fever dream.

HEAD-DESK.

KY Republicans Have Gone Full Bigot

Not only does Republican Minority Leader Jeff Hoover stand 100% behind racist bigot Donald Trump… but… here’s a treat I forgot to mention a while back.

I planned on running a story about how Kevin Bratcher has spent the entire spring and summer trying to insert himself everywhere, all over the state.

Here he is playing pat-a-cake with Ryan Quarles:

Here he is backing Matt Bevin on his bigoted, homophobic, transphobic and probably racist (because it involves Obama) mission of wasting your taxpayer dollars:

But here’s the best part. Bratcher posted Hoover’s statement in support of the Bevin bigotry – and check the comment Hoover left beneath it:

See that?

Let’s zoom in:

“One of the saddest days in memory for this country!”

How dare trans kids want to go to the restroom in peace without having their heads bashed in. How dare trans kids want to pee without Jeff Hoover making public statements about them being the cause for one of the saddest things in the country.

This is the sick shit the Republican Party of Kentucky has started to push the past couple years. The hate in their hearts is deep and dark. It’s who they are. It’s in every fiber of their being.

And if you support this kind of hate or excuse remarks like this without calling them out? You’re just as bad as the bigots.

Note: The right-wing talking point of the gays being “intolerant” of right-wing hatred is bullshit. Tolerance literally means freedom from bigotry.

High Hilarity Has Finally Come To 2016

Want a dose of extreme, far-right, neocon nonsense Republican political b.s.?

Here’s the latest insanity from Scott Jennings in A Kentucky Newspaper:

Gov. Matt Bevin (R) – Kentucky’s new chief magistrate has shaken up Frankfort and performed brilliantly in tackling the messes left behind by his predecessor, thrilling conservatives across the state. Bevin has banished a pervasive timidity that had taken hold on the first floor of the State Capitol and replaced it with a culture of fearlessness when it comes to using the full executive authority of his office. This has rankled Attorney General Andy Beshear and House Speaker Greg Stumbo, who are desperately trying to stop Bevin via the courts. To move even faster on his policy goals, Bevin could use the help of a Republican-controlled House of Representatives, and the picnic provides a great forum to make his case.

Performed brilliantly. Thrilling conservatives. Banished timidity.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

This is Republican insecurity at its best. It’s fun to see that when Jennings isn’t defending and promoting racist bigot Donald Trump, he’s pushing delusions about Matt Bevin. Or complaining about having to be politically correct in front of liberal thought police. All while getting more extreme and emboldened by the day.

What Matt Bevin has done is target people based on political partisanship. He’s gone after Jane Beshear, his people pushing to remove her name from buildings, going after a cancer charity she’s tied to. Because she’s married to former Governor Steve Beshear. Gov. Beshear no doubt turns a blind eye to extreme corruption from the likes of people like Tim Longmeyer and W. Keith Hall but that doesn’t mean his wife is satan.

Bevin used his personnel secretary, through the Republican Party’s staffers, to beg me to help them identify potentially corrupt Democrats from the Beshear Misadministration. His personnel secretary has gone so far as to dig through personnel records on a fishing expedition but has turned up nothing. If they were so good at rooting out corruption, they most certainly wouldn’t need me to help. They would have coughed something up by now.

The Bevin Flustercluck team has even come to me in search of material to use against Jim Ramsey. They were that dumb. Dumb enough not to realize it’s all been out there in the public eye for nearly a decade.

Matt Bevin has gone after the gays and transgender youth, using state tax dollars to fight against them. Because how dare a trans kind want to pee in the school restroom without getting the living crap beat out of them. How dare us gays want to do something like get married, hold down a job, have a place to live or receive medical care without being called a faggot and kicked to the curb. Yes, it’s appropriate for me to use “faggot” because, last I checked, I’m gay and am proud to discuss equality openly.

Matt Bevin has consistently denied climate change, despite mountains of evidence stacking up before him. While bending over graciously for coal baron campaign cash.

Matt Bevin has maligned the characters of those involved in racial justice movements with snide remarks. He’s focused on the “blue lives matter” and “all lives matter” malarkey (glad Biden brought that back) while ignoring the plight, whether he wants to admit it or not, of the black community. I mean, the man has children of color and publicly supports and praises Donald Trump. Yes, it’s appropriate to mention his kids because he parades them around, posts photos of them on social media and talks about them.

Matt Bevin has deliberately worked to dismantle the expansion of Medicaid. There is no way to deny that. None. Hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians have been put at-risk because of the man. He is not entitled to his own made-up facts on that one.

Matt Bevin is such an ill-prepared blowhard that he’s been dragged into court twice. Once for potentially illegally dissolving the University of Louisville Board of Trustees and once for dicking around with the Kentucky Retirement Systems. You can bet this will become a common theme.

Yet Scott Jennings wants to suggest Bevin is some brave warrior for humanity.

Can you imagine how much fun it’ll be to watch him sweat-yell into the microphone at Fancy Fart this year? Here’s hoping he doesn’t forget about the liberal thought police coming for his politically incorrect speech. Hope he doesn’t slip up and actually spew out a racial epithet, something disgustingly homophobic or a bit about women having small brains. Because that’s what they’re hollering about when they get mad about political correctness.

Maybe he’ll slip up and mention Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. You know, so the media can dredge up his role in the George W. Bush White House-RNC email scandal. Remember when he pleaded the Fifth or whatever? Seems like that’s ripe for the picking by Democrats.

I’ve got my popcorn ready.

Do You Have A Fun DNC Hangover?

The best part of this – or maybe the most terrifying – is that Republicans in Frankfort have worked hard to fight needle exchanges that prevent this sort of thing. Kentucky saw a dramatic increase in the rate of hepatitis C infections among women ages 15-44 in recent years, according to a new federal report that offers further evidence of growing problems in the state from intravenous drug use. [H-L]

Bernie Sanders again urged his supporters to rally behind presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, telling them it’s much easier to jeer and boo than it is to deal with the reality of Donald Trump as president. [HuffPo]

Eight years ago, Olivia Ann Morris Fuchs stood on the turf at what was then known as Invesco Field at Mile High and watched as other Hillary Clinton delegates gripped the backs of the chairs in front of them – some of them in tears – waiting for Barack Obama to accept the Democratic nomination for president. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama said in an interview broadcast Sunday that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s comments about NATO show he is unprepared to address issues of foreign policy. [The Hill]

While questions loom about the University of Louisville’s future, its new Board of Trustees met Thursday and took no significant action. And then they called of a special meeting on Tuesday. [WFPL]

An Alaska law requiring doctors to notify the parents of girls under the age of 18 seeking an abortion violates the state’s constitution and cannot be enforced, the state’s top court ruled on Friday. [Reuters]

A local Richmond man wants to say “thank you” to a Madison County Sheriff’s deputy who showed him an act of kindness. [Richmond Register]

A federal agency sends thousands of letters a year to health providers closing out complaints about HIPAA violations. Though the government could make those letters public, it doesn’t. ProPublica has started to do so. [ProPublica]

Boyd County Coroner’s Office issued a warning about a deadly batch of heroin circulating in the area on its Facebook page Friday night. The office reported eight overdoses and one death in the last 12 hours. [Ashland Independent]

Kevin Green’s lawyers were pleading with the governor for mercy. It was spring 2008, and Mr. Green, a 31-year-old who had shot and killed a grocery owner, was on Virginia’s death row. His woes, his lawyers said, dated to childhood; he was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, repeated three years of elementary school and never learned to tie his shoes. [NY Times]

Only linking to this because the headline mentions “hot mess” – a huge win on any account. [Glasgow Daily Times]

After a lengthy debate and a deal between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Party’s rules committee voted to created a “unity commission” that would dramatically limit the role of convention “superdelegates,” binding roughly two-thirds of them to the results of state primaries and caucuses. [WaPo]

Developer Dudley Webb has released the final renderings for the downtown CentrePointe project. [H-L]

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) labeled Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump a fraudulent plutocrat dividing the country by race, religion and gender to empower the oligarchy, in her speech Monday at the Democratic National Convention. [HuffPo]