Kentucky Archive:

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

KY-02: New Internal Poll Shows Weaver Ahead

Posted by James L.

Via the Bluegrass Report comes a new DCCC/Kentucky Democratic Party poll on the 2nd district race between state legislator Mike Weaver and incumbent Republican Ron Lewis (Oct. 26-29; Sept. 22-25 in parens):

Mike Weaver (D): 46 (42)
Ron Lewis (R-Inc.): 43 (50)
MoE: ±4.9%

I've always figured that this race was a questionable longshot given the district's strong Republican lean (in federal votting patterns, not registration), but it appears that Weaver, a retired Lt. Colonel, has been able to gain traction in this district and is starting to bring registered Democrats home. The DCCC has put in nearly $200k into this district for stretch run attack ads against Lewis, but I wouldn't be surprised to see that number expand considerably in tonight's FEC filings. We might be able to steal one here.

Update: A few days ago, a Washington Post article quoted an anonymous Democratic "operative" calling the DCCC's support of Weaver "guilt money" to cleanse their consciences after cajoling Weaver into the race. I didn't buy it then (it's hard to imagine Rahm spending time worrying about people's hurt feelings when the same could be said about several other Democratic challengers this year), and I definitely don't buy it now. It seems as if some anonymous "operative" was attempting to throw off the NRCC from taking Weaver seriously (and I doubt they bought it, either, although you never know with the leakariffic culture of DC Democrats).

Posted at 04:19 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Kentucky | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, September 23, 2006

KY-04: Nailed!

Posted by James L.

I love it! Mark Nickolas does the dirty work and once again proves why the Bluegrass Report is one of the best state blogs in the biz. Today he digs up some dirt on the latest Geoff Davis TV ad, which features a handful of "Democrats" stating their support for the vulnerable Republican incumbent. One has to be suspect of the type of "Democrat" who would endorse Geoff Davis (a guy who bends over backwards to assist predatory lenders in their relentless quest to bleed the pockets of military families dry) over the infinitely superior Democratic candidate, former Rep. Ken Lucas. Well, surprise surprise, check out the story behind the first so-called Democrat endorsing Davis in his ad, a man billed as David Wallace, Attorney. It turns out that Wallace is none other than Davis' personal attorney!

The money quote, from a Dec. 2003 story on Davis:

His accountant, Ken Kinder, and his lawyer, David Wallace, each vouched for the information Davis provided and prepared a summary of the returns. Lucas is not running for re-election next year.

I'll let Mark take it over from here:

How sad is that??? Davis can't find enough Democrats willing to go on camera to endorse him that he has to slide in his own personal attorney without disclosing such.

Wonder how much Davis has paid Wallace and his law firm over the years?

Essentially, this means Wallace endorsed Davis, not because he is a Democrat, but because he has a financial relationship with Davis.

Pack your bags, wingnut...

In another post, Mark advises Davis that it's a "long trip back to Canada". I can tell you right now, that as a proud Canadian, we don't want Geoff Davis back! You guys can keep him! (But hopefully not in Congress.)

PS: Check out Ken Lucas' latest positive ad and line it up next to Davis' vacuous TV spot. No comparison.

Posted at 04:37 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Kentucky | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

KY-04: SUSA Shows Lucas (D) Edging Davis (R) Again

Posted by James L.

KY-04 (likely voters, August in parens):

Ken Lucas (D): 48 (44)
Geoff Davis (R-Inc.): 44 (46)
MoE: ±4.8%

Lucas held this conservative seat for three terms before stepping down to honor a term limits pledge in 2004 (how rare), and is back in the fore to put this race into play. Lucas never won by wide margins, but his moderate-to-conservative profile allowed him to make inroads in a district that is dominated by Democrats of a similar ideological stripe (Democrats edge Republicans in self-identification by 46-39 here according to this poll) but one that Cook now ranks at R+11.7. This race wouldn't be on the map without him, and for that, we should be grateful.

Posted at 06:35 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Kentucky | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

KY-04: Lucas Leads Davis By 9 Points

Posted by James L.

From the Bluegrass Report comes a new SUSA poll on Kentucky's 4th Congressional District race, where popular former Democratic Rep. Ken Lucas is challenging first-term incumbent Geoff Davis for his old seat after stepping down to honor a term limit pledge in 2004 (likely voters):

Ken Lucas (D): 50
Geoff Davis (R-Inc.): 41
Undecided: 8
MoE: ±4.7%

The results reinforce internal polling by the Lucas campaign back in February that showed the former congressman leading Davis by a ten point margin (47-37). Despite a significant cash disadvantage, Lucas is well positioned to pick off another Republican seat for the Democrats this November.

Posted at 04:26 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Kentucky | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

KY-Gov: Welcome to the People's Republic of Kentucky

Posted by DavidNYC

Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration is doing a great Glavlit impersonation:

I've gotten a handful of e-mails this morning already that has apparently been blocked to state computers by the Commonwealth Office of Technology. Readers in three different cabinets have e-mailed to tell me they get a "blocked" message when they try to access the site.

Nothing like a little censorship with your breakfast. Welcome to the People's Republic of Kentucky.

This story has gotten more and more amazing all day. Click the link to the BGR to read all of Mark's updates. I just can't for the life of me figure out what the Republican powers-that-be in KY think they have to gain from doing this. Do they sincerely think they can deny this information to government workers? And if this is payback, wow has it ever boomeranged. BGR has gotten a lot of attention thanks to this - it'll only become even bigger and better-known.

Posted at 01:34 PM in 2007 Elections, Kentucky | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

KY-Gov/Lt. Gov: Pence Abandons Fletcher, Won't Run In 2007

Posted by RBH

Guess it's time for the indicted Governor to find a new Lt. Gov

Lt. Gov. Steve Pence will announce Wednesday that he's not running for re-election with Gov. Ernie Fletcher next year and is resigning as the state's Justice Cabinet Secretary, Pence confirmed to the Herald-Leader.

Pence will remain in his elected post of lieutenant governor.

"I talked to the governor this evening and advised him I will not be a candidate for lieutenant governor in 2007," Pence said. "And I'm resigning as secretary of the cabinet effective Aug. 1."

He declined to answer more questions until a Capitol press conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Granted, I don't know how useful it is for Fletcher to have a Justice secretary. It would be like Tom DeLay having an ethics advisor.

Pence's contributions include riding Space Mountain after assuming the powers of Governor and being Fletcher's second choice (his first being bounced due to not being able to be a candidate for the job).

Fletcher will have to make the call to replace Pence. He should probably make the applicant pass a background check. After all, it would fulfill a strategy of having one really corrupt candidate and a less corrupt 'running mate'.

Although it should be noted that Fletcher is also very unpopular, with his disapprove numbers jumping to 65% after his indictment. That was just the "post-indictment nosedive," which means it could get much worse soon. (Then again, it should be noted that most politicians don't have their job approval go up after an indictment)

Either way, the rats are jumping ship from the SS Fletcher.

Posted at 12:55 AM in 2007 Elections, Culture of Corruption, Kentucky | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

KY, OR, PA Primary Results Open Thread

Posted by DavidNYC

Kentucky, Oregon and Pennsylvania all have primary elections today. The main events:

PA-08: Patricky Murphy vs. Andy Warren. I'm rooting strongly for Murphy.

KY-03: Andrew Horne vs. John Yarmuth. Horne, like Murphy, is also a Fighting Dem, but I don't really have a dog in this fight.

OR-Gov: Incumbent Ted Kulongoski faces a surprisingly strong primary challenge. This race hasn't been especially prominent on my radar, though from what I've read, it looks like Kulongoski will have a fight on his hands in November even if he prevails tonight.

Results: KY | OR | PA.

Posted at 09:37 PM in 2006 Elections, Kentucky, Oregon, Pennsylvania | Comments (19) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, May 11, 2006

KY-Gov: Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) Indicted

Posted by DavidNYC

From the Lexington Herald-Leader, via the BluegrassReport:

The special grand jury that’s been investigating state government hiring practices indicted Gov. Ernie Fletcher on three misdemeanors for conspiracy, official misconduct and political discrimination.

The jury also indicted former Transportation Cabinet official Sam Beverage for perjury, which is a felony.

And the jury also submitted to Franklin Circuit Judge William Graham 14 more indictments that are under seal.

Those indictments cover crimes that may have occurred before Aug. 29, 2005, when Fletcher pardoned all administration officials except himself.

Keep checking BluegrassReport for further updates.

Posted at 04:46 PM in 2007 Elections, Kentucky | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

KY-04: Internal Poll Puts Lucas Up 10

Posted by DavidNYC

Via Mark Nickolas at BluegrassReport (likely voters, no trendlines):

Lucas: 47
Davis: 37
Undecided: 16

Now this is the kind of margin you like to see in internal polls. I don't think Lucas would win by 10 points on election day, but I find the idea of him leading at this point eminently plausible. The poll's other questions are in line with independent numbers. Both George Bush and Gov. Ernie Fletcher's ratings are in negative territority (especially the latter) in both this district-wide poll and in national polls.

Beating an incumbent is almost always a monstrously difficulty task, though. Even in 1994, the year of the GOP landslide, only 15% of Democratic House incumbents lost. (There were 258 Dems in the 103rd Congress, but by my count, 33 did not seek re-election. Thirty-four incumbent Dems lost.) That's a figure you'll hear me repeat over and over this year. I think we'd be very lucky if we even hit half that total this year. Lucas has his work cut out for him, to be sure.

That said, I think he has just about every advantage a challenger could have: High name rec, personal popularity, a record to run on, a broad network of supporters, and a deeply unpopular KY GOP headed by a totally flailing and corrupt governor. KY-04 is definitely one of our top five takeover opportunities this year.

Posted at 04:36 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Kentucky | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, January 30, 2006

KY-04: Ken Lucas Is In!

Posted by DavidNYC

Fantastic news, friends: Former Rep. Ken Lucas is indeed running to reclaim his old seat, Kentucky's 4th Congressional District! This move automatically makes KY-04 a top-tier race this year. Also, kudos to Mark Nickolas and his grassroots Draft Ken Lucas effort. Keep your eyes on this district - it's gonna be a good one!

P.S. This also means we have candidates running in all six KY districts. In the four states whose deadlines have passed or are about to pass - IL, TX, WV & KY - there are Dems running in 59 of 60 spots. So far, that's excellent.

Posted at 03:59 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Kentucky | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, January 29, 2006

WV, KY & FEC: Some Filing Deadline Notes

Posted by DavidNYC

• WV's deadline was yesterday - 1/28. Two additional Dems have filed to run against Shelley Moore Capito. One, Mark Hunt, gave the Raelian cult half a million bucks to try to clone his son. The other, Richie Robb, just switched from the GOP - in fact, when you Google him, the first result is a campaign site which calls him a "Republican with Results." I'm sticking with Mike Callaghan on this one.

• WV's two Democratic reps, Alan Mollohan and Nick Rahall will have GOP challengers, but I'm not sure how serious either effort is. Sen. Robert Byrd also has a challenger, wealthy businessman John Raese, whom some people seem to think presents a credible foe. However, Raese is legally a resident of Florida and has also lost two statewide races before.

• Kentucky's filing deadline is Tuesday the 31st. The KY Secretary of State has a very good website, including a page which lists all candidates who have filed in a nice, clean, readable format. Mark Nickolas is hinting that Ken Lucas will file on Monday - if he doesn't, we may not have a candidate in KY-04. On the flip-side, no Republicans have filed to run against the popular Ben Chandler in KY-06. If Chandler is unopposed, that would be quite a statement - Bush won the district by 17 points. I personally think Chandler should consider taking on Fletcher again in 2007.

• The FEC filing deadline is also the 31st. The fourth quarter in an off-year is typically slow (winter holidays and all), but campaigns which did well will probably release some preliminary figures tomorrow or Tuesday (ie, before they are obligated to do so). In any event, the FEC will be cranking out the official figures before long.

Posted at 04:29 PM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Kentucky, West Virginia | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, December 15, 2005

KY-03: Col. Andrew Horne (D) Will Challenge Northup

Posted by DavidNYC

Anne Northup finally has a challenger. Via Roll Call (sub. req.):

Attorney and retired Marine Lt. Col. Andrew Horne (D) said Tuesday that he has decided to challenge Rep. Anne Northup (R-Ky.) in 2006, after being influenced by the experience of his friend and fellow Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett.

Horne, 44, was in Washington, D.C., this week and met with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) about the race Tuesday. He also began interviewing consultants to work on the contest.

Alright, a few thoughts. I'm excited to see that someone has finally decided to take on Northup. This district, as you know, went 51-49 for Kerry and 50-48 for Gore. And the fact that Rahm Emanuel is meeting with Horne suggests that his candidacy could be a very serious one. I am also thrilled to see so many Iraq war veterans run as Democrats, especially since our military's officer corps has a reputation for being staunchly Republican.

That said, it is pretty much impossible to judge how strong a candidate will be based solely on his or her service in our nation's armed forces. Most of the "Fighting Dems" now seeking office do not have prior public records. Like anyone who hasn't already held office, achieved some level of fame, or made a pile of cash, this means that they don't have name recognition, don't have any pre-existing organization to rely on, and probably don't have ready access to donors.

If the DCCC decides to back a particular candidate, that can change the calculus significantly. But the DCCC can't offer everyone a million bucks. So we're talking about a lot of people who are seeking to do one of the most difficult things in America political life - unseat an incumbent - and who may only have one advantage, ie, a sterling resume. It's not an inconsiderable advantage - there's no question, for instance, that being a Marine gave Paul Hackett a certain amount of instant credibility. But a great resume, without more, versus an entrenched incumbent is always going to be incredibly tough.

In any event, I look forward to learning more about Horne - he may indeed be the real deal. And if we want to even pretend to be competitive, we've got to at least put forth challengers in the 18 Republican-held Kerry districts.

Posted at 02:49 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Kentucky | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, December 01, 2005

KY-04: Draft Ken Lucas

Posted by DavidNYC

If you don't know who Ken Lucas is, he's the popular former congressman who used to represent Kentucky's 4th CD - and I say "popular" because he won re-election three times as a Democrat in a district that Bush carried 61-37 over Gore in 2000. In 2004, however, Lucas honored a self-imposed term limit pledge and chose not to run again.

Unfortunately, his replacement turned out to be a total Republican troglodyte (surprise) named Geoff Davis. Davis beat conservative Dem Nick Clooney, father of George, in something of a marquee race last year - but only by ten points. That's pretty far off Bush's victory margin (which I believe was better than his 2000 results). That tells me a conservative Democrat can do better than expected in this district.

And that's why Mark Nickolas, founder of the indispensible Bluegrass Report, has created a new website, Mark believes that Lucas could unseat Davis next year, and he's hoping to lure him out of retirement to do so. If you're interested in helping in this effort, click on over to Mark's site and sign up. It looks like he'll be organizing all manner of activities to help pursuade Lucas to get back in the game - and if Lucas does decide to run once more, Mark's team of grassroots volunteers will form a ready-made army.

Let me be totally clear on one thing: Lucas is a conservative guy. I'll wager that he's to the right of many of this site's readers, myself included. In fact, according to Prof. Keith Poole's highly respected rankings, Lucas was the fourth-most conservative Dem in the House in his final term. But I've always been a strong believer in big-tent politics, and when it comes to the House especially, we simply aren't going to gain a majority that consists of 250 Sherrod Browns or Pete Starks. It's going to take a diverse coalition of all kinds of Dems.

Let me put things another way: Geoff Davis has already shown himself to be one of the most conservative Republicans so far this year. If you want to know just how wretched he is, check out the left-hand sidebar on Mark's new site. But really, Davis's remarks on Rep. Murtha are about all you need to read to know how badly he's gotta be booted:

I think it's important to understand the political climate in which these shameful statements have been made. Ayman Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's deputy, as well as Abu Musab Zarqawi, have made it quite clear in their internal propaganda that they cannot win unless they can drive the Americans out. And they know that they can't do that there, so they've brought the battlefield to the halls of Congress. And, frankly, the liberal leadership have put politics ahead of sound, fiscal and national security policy. And what they have done is cooperated with our enemies and are emboldening our enemies.

So again I say, Ken Lucas might not conform to your idea of the ideal Democrat. But we're talking about a conservative House district in a red state, not a presidential nominee. No matter what, Lucas is better than Davis - and he can beat him. Let's do our best to help that happen.

Posted at 06:09 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Kentucky | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

KY-03: Do We Have a Challenger?

Posted by DavidNYC

Some potentially VERY exciting news out of Kentucky's third district. Just a few days ago, it looked like three different top-tier names had declined to run against incumbent Republican Anne Northup, even though her district offers favorable demographics to a Democratic challenger. However, Mark Nickolas of the BluegrassReport is hearing that one of the guys who had previously turned down a chance to run, State Sen. Gerald Neal, may have changed his mind.

Hopefully this bit of news will indeed turn out to be true. If so, I expect that Mark will fill us in with all the details we need to know about Sen. Neal.

Posted at 02:17 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Kentucky | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, November 17, 2005

KY-03: Democratic Recruiting Woes

Posted by DavidNYC

This is the kind of stuff I really hate to see. Kentucky's third district, which encompasses Louisville, is one of those rare CDs which went for Kerry (admittedly narrowly) but is held by a Republican. It should be a prime target for us. The current holder of that seat, Anne Northup, won re-election by just 52-48 in 2002, in fact. Though a weaker candidate got crushed last year, 2006 is shaping up to be the sort of year where a Republican incumbent with a recent history of winning narrowly in a lean-Dem district ought to be very, very endangered.

Unfortunately, two top potential challengers - including the guy who almost beat Northup three years ago, and the son of a former governor - have bowed out in the last week. And prior to all this, a state senator has also declined to run.

I know that running any kind of campaign is tough. And when you're running in a red state against an incumbent, it's even worse: It's brutal and expensive; you'll be the subject of endless cheap shots and unfair attacks, which the media will repeat, free of charge; and after countless days of making fundraising phone calls, you'll probably feel a bit demeaned. Plus your kids will probably wonder where you disappeared to for the better part of a year. Like I say, I have no illusions about how horribly hard this endeavour is.

But I also think that passing up this opportunity is one that these guys might really regret. No one is being asked to take on a suicide mission here. The DCCC itself is getting involved in recruitment, which suggests that they plan to offer financial support as well. The lay of the land here is favorable to us. Republicans nationwide are running away from Bush as fast as they can. And like I say, if 2006 is the big Dem year that everyone - even many on the right - are expecting, that'll be enough to nudge anyone over the top.

Superribbie had this seat all the way up at #11 on his first list of vulnerable GOP districts. Unfortunately, with no challenger, he had to remove it entirely with his second installation. It would be sad indeed if this state of affairs continues much longer. I hope some of the top names reconsider. It would be well worth their while.

Posted at 10:13 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Kentucky | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 20, 2005

KY-Gov: More Indictments in Hiring Scandal

Posted by DavidNYC

Texas isn't the only place where indictments are being handed up these days. Via BluegrassReport, a new development in the Kentucky state government hiring scandal:

A special grand jury investigating state hiring practices has indicted Kentucky Republican Party Treasurer Dave Disponett and party official J. Marshall Hughes on charges of criminal conspiracy and political discrimination.

The charges are the first outside of state government in the investigation that has been going on for months. Disponett and Hughes are close supporters of Gov. Ernie Fletcher and there names have appeared frequently in e-mail exchanges about job candidates.

Mark of Bluegrass says that the only people close to this scandal who remain unindicted are Governor Fletcher himself, Chief of Staff Stan Cave, and former general counsel (and current KY Supreme Court justice) John Roach. I'm thinking it's only a matter of time.

Posted at 03:55 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Kentucky | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

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 | Comments (2) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

KY-Gov: Walls Closing in Around Fletcher

Posted by DavidNYC

Embattled Kentucky Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher just fired nine staffers who have been involved in a major crony hiring scandal - all of whom he had recently pardoned:

Among those to be sacked are Richard Murgatroyd, Fletcher's deputy chief of staff and close friend. Fletcher said he would also ask the state Republican Party to oust Darrell Brock as its chairman. Brock used to be head of Fletcher's local development office.

Of course, with Republicans, accountability never goes all the way to the top, even in the face of indictments:

Except for Murgatroyd, though, Fletcher left the highest ranking members of his administration who were indicted in their jobs, notably acting Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert and deputy secretary Jim Adams.

But the walls are nevertheless closing in:

Fletcher and his supporters have accused Stumbo of pursuing the investigation for his own political agenda when there was no real wrongdoing.

Fletcher said he hoped to "bury the hatchet" with Stumbo and work together.

For Fletcher to say he wants to "bury the hatchet" in this case is the political equivalent of crying uncle. I think things are gonna get a lot worse for Fletcher & Co.

In any event, The BluegrassReport sums up Ernie Fletcher, flip-flopper extraordinaire, perfectly:

Governor Fletcher Version 1.0 (2003) -- Send me to Frankfort so that I can clean-up the mess and restore hope by bringing in people with rock solid values.

Governor Fletcher Version 2.0 (June 2005) -- This is all political witch hunt and the beginning of the 2007 governor's race. We didn't do anything wrong. All we did was level the playing field.

Governor Fletcher Version 3.0 (Today) -- "It is now clear to me that there were mistakes made by staff members who either did not understand - or appreciate - the spirit of the merit system rules. And it is now time for me to take action that I believe is appropriate for the circumstances at hand."

Hopefully Version 4.0 is right around the corner -- "I resign."

I look at this as just one more example of the utterly corrupt-to-the-bone state the modern Republican party finds itself in. Ethics really has got to be our big issue for 2006.

(Hat tip to BluegrassReport, as you might expect. They also have some thoughts on why Fletcher has chosen this moment to start caving.)

Posted at 06:18 PM in Culture of Corruption, Kentucky, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (3) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Kentucky: Ernie Fletcher Takes 5th Amendment

Posted by Bob Brigham

Lexington Herald-Leader:

Gov. Ernie Fletcher kissed his wife, Glenna, before heading into a grand jury room this morning.

Fletcher stayed in the room for 2 minutes and 18 seconds, then proceeded with his attorneys to the office of Franklin Circuit Judge William Graham.

At a news conference later at the Capitol, Fletcher said he gave the grand jury his name, address and occupation but did not answer any other questions.

He said he did invoke his 5th Amendment right against self incrimination.

Name, rank, and serial number? Lots more at Bluegrass Report.

Posted at 06:10 PM in Culture of Corruption, Kentucky, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Kentucky: Ernie Fletcher Pardons

Posted by Bob Brigham


Gov. Ernie Fletcher said it would be "inappropriate" right now to consider executive pardons for members of his administration who have been criminally charged in the attorney general's personnel investigation.


On the eve of an appearance before a grand jury investigating his administration's hiring practices, Gov. Ernie Fletcher granted a blanket pardon on Monday night to current and former aides charged in the inquiry.

Mr. Fletcher also said that although he would appear before the grand jury, he would not testify.

It was "inappropriate" five weeks ago and it stinks on the eve of Governor Fletcher's Grand Jury questioning. Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher should resign in shame. If he does not, he should be impeached and thrown out of office.

Posted at 12:35 AM in Culture of Corruption, Kentucky, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, August 29, 2005

Kentucky: Impeach Governor Ernie Fletcher

Posted by Bob Brigham

I was shocked to hear this was happening, but Governor Ernie Fletcher has abused his position by seeking to cover-up a corruption scandal before he testifies tomorrow. It is unknown whether Governor Fletcher will take the 5th, but it is certain that he has created a gigantic political scandal. Bluegrass Report has been the source on this and Bluegrass Report has a legal source who understands Section 77 of the Kentucky Constitution:

Section 77 relates to retrospective acts only -- the Governor is empowered to nullfy punishment. This was the ruling (dicta) of the Kentucky Supreme Court in Anderson v. Commonwealth, 107 S.W.3d 193 (Ky. 2003) -- opinion by Johnstone -- all concur! In the opinion (p. 196) the Court looked to the US Supreme Court's decision in Schick v. Reed, 419 U.S. 256 (1974) for guidance from the English common law in construing a President's power to pardon under Article II. The Schick Court observed that the Constitution gives "plenary authority to the President to "forgive" the convicted person in part or entirely." Id. at 266. The Governor just has no authority to pardon indicted persons because there is no fine to remit, no sentence to commute and no punishment imposed from which to grant a pardon or reprieve. There sure as hell is no authority to pardon persons who "might" be indicted!

No wonder serious legislators are talking about impeachment. And now, the suspects -- who were potentially illegally pardoned -- will be compelled to testify and can no longer take the fifth.

Posted at 09:23 PM in Activism, Culture of Corruption, Kentucky, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (2) | Technorati

Culture of Corruption -- Kentucky Style

Posted by Bob Brigham

From Bluegrass Report (source to follow on this):

Governor Ernie Fletcher has called a news conference for a major announcement regarding the merit hiring investigation. The conference is scheduled for 6 p.m. (EDT) tonight.

Reports from the media are inconsistent, but there is a consensus emerging that Fletcher is issuing pardons -- some say nine of them. Mark Hebert (WHAS-11 Louisville) and Bill Bryant (WKYT-27 Lexington) are both reporting online. Sources inside the investigation have told that they expect Fletcher will pardon himself as well.

Stay tuned as will be reporting on this development all evening if pardons are issued.

I hope some lawyers in bluegrass country are looking into impeachment, looking into recall. This is an obscene abuse of power. And the timing is disgusting, not just for trying to get it buried in the Katrina coverage, but because of what happens tomorrow:

Gov. Ernie Fletcher will appear Tuesday before a special grand jury investigating personnel actions in his administration.

At a court hearing today, Fletcher’s attorney, James Neal of Nashville, told Franklin Circuit Judge William L. Graham that he and Assistant Attorney General Scott Crawford-Sutherland had agreed that Fletcher would appear Tuesday. The deal also calls for the prosecutor to issue a new subpoena for records from the governor’s office, giving Fletcher and his attorney more time to respond.

Neal had filed a motion earlier in the day asking the judge to delay Fletcher’s grand jury appearance for a few days. Neal said he requested the delay because he had a medical appointment.

The judge accepted the agreement between Neal and Sutherland. Neal declined afterwards to say if Fletcher would answer the jury’s questions Tuesday or invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

stay tuned...

Posted at 06:38 PM in Culture of Corruption, Kentucky, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

KY-02: Moyer for Congress!

Posted by DavidNYC

Kentucky's second district is awfully red - it's an OH-02-like district (indeed, the two regions are separated by only around 100 miles). Of course, it's represented by a Republican (some nobody named Ron Lewis). But given Paul Hackett's success in OH-02, I think we seriously need to nominate this guy to run in KY-02:

The caption reads:

Bill Moyer, 73, wears a "Bullshit Protector" flap over his ear while President George W. Bush addresses the Veterans of Foreign Wars. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

Based on the stitching on Mr. Moyer's cap, it looks like he hails from Vine Grove, KY (that's where VFW Post 10281 is based), which is in Hardin County, which is in, of course, KY-02. Another undoubtedly straight-talking war veteran. Perfect!

Posted at 07:00 PM in Kentucky | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

DCCC: Health Insurance for the Troops

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the subscription-only Hotline:

Using Memorial Day as a backdrop, the DCCC went up in 12 CDs over the weekend to pick at Republicans for opposing military benefit expansion.

John Havens, who identifies himself as a retired adjutant general in the Missouri National Guard, says in the 60-second radio spot that "thousands of brave National Guard members and reservists" serving on active duty "lose the same health insurance other soldiers can count on" when they return home. An announcer, noting that Congress recently "defeated a plan to extend health coverage to members of the Guard, the Reserves and their families," mentions a Republican who opposed the plan and asks listeners to tell the member "he owes those who serve our nation more than Memorial Day speeches. "

The spot takes issue with the members for opposing a procedural motion to H.R. 1815 that would have expanded the TRICARE insurance program to National Guard members and Reservists.

The targets?

According to a DCCC spokeswoman, the spot airing in airing this week in a "strategic buy" covering the home districts of 12 GOP lawmakers: Vito Fossella (NY 13), Sam Graves (MO 06), John Hostettler (IN 08), Tim Murphy (PA 06), Bob Ney (OH 18), Richard Pombo (CA 11), Dave Reichert (WA 08), Rick Renzi (AZ 01), Rob Simmons (CT 02), Mike Sodrel (IN 09), Charles Taylor (NC 11) and Ed Whitfield (KY 01). Different versions of the spot mention each representative by name.

These 12 Representatives should be ashamed -- our troops deserve better.

Posted at 04:33 PM in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington | Comments (2) | Technorati

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