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Saturday, September 17, 2005

KY-Gov: Fletcher All Alone

Posted by DavidNYC

This story is really getting good. To give you the capsule background:

• A whole bunch of people on Republican Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher's staff were implicated in a major hiring scandal, centered around violations of the state's merit-based employment laws. Several were even indicted. I know, I know: Right now you're thinking, "Republicans? Cronyism? No way!" But believe it!

• Fletcher decided to do the upstanding thing in response: He pardoned everyone involved, declaring that the state Attorney General's investigation was (that old bugaboo) "politically motivated." A textbook move from the GOP playbook: Go on the offensive, and attack your opponents with no regard for the truth.

• Despite the pardons, the AG (Greg Stumbo) has kept up with his investigation - and when it involves Republicans, you know the corruption runs deep. E-mails filed with court documents to get a search warrant for the office of Fletcher's chief-of-staff indicate that it might go as high as Fletcher himself. Again, I know: You're shocked, shocked!

• With the walls closing in around him, Fletcher belatedly announced he was firing nine staffers. Heavens to Murgatroyd! Fletcher also called for the head of the state Republican party, one Darrell Brock, to resign. Another playbook-textbook: When you're under seige, find someone else to take the fall.

Only, not so fast. It seems like Fletcher just can't execute the standard Rove-issued plays. Today, the Kentucky Republican Party delivered a major "fuck you" to Ernie Fletcher: They refused to ask for Brock's resignation. That's pretty astounding, for a state party to utterly ignore the wishes of its governor. I mean, can you imagine Jeb Bush or Arnold Schwarzenegger or George Pataki being defied like that?

But it gets better: According to the Bluegrass Report, not a single prominent Kentucky Republican, such as Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, has got Fletcher's back. They are all leaving him to twist in the wind. He's about as isolated as John Rowland, former Connecticut Governor and current resident of the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, PA. If he doesn't resign soon, Fletcher will be the lamest of lame ducks - and also probably the most heavily investigated.

Loretto, incidentally, is about as far from the Connecticut capital, Hartford, as it is from Kentucky's capital of Frankfort. Funny, that.

(Hat tip, once again, to the BluegrassReport. Keep checking them out for great coverage of this unfolding scandal.)

Posted at 10:25 PM in Kentucky | Technorati


The biggest Democratic concern right now is that Fletcher won't run for re-election. He is that easy a candidate to beat because of all this. But even if it's someone else, any Republican candidate in 2007 will be tainted with this stink.

Looks like along with maybe Louisiana and Arkansas, Kentucky might avoid sliding into the red state column permanently.

Posted by: Sam Wise [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 10:56 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Fletcher is one and done. He's lost all power.

Posted by: Daniel [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2005 06:40 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment