Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Best Governor In America?

Probably Mark Sanford. Expect him to be widely touted soon as a possible candidate for President in a weak '08 field.

Someone has to show America how to free itself from its addiction to government spending. Sanford is taking a lot of abuse at home for doing so on the state level. Keep an eye on him.

KY Department of Education Hates Sick Private School Kids

If your child gets hurt or sick and can't attend school, he or she can get private tutoring services at home, provided with taxpayer funds.

But this only applies to public school kids.

So let me get this straight: if you pay taxes to provide a public education for everyone's kids but your own and your child needs public school services in a pinch, you are out of luck.

Yes, that's right. Sends the wrong message unless the message is that they hate people who choose private schools, don't you think?

It's not like all private schoolers are millionaire Republicans.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Taxes In Kentucky: We're Number 44!

If the Bluegrass Policy Blog isn't part of your daily reading, it should be. Today they discuss state tax issues that seem to be too hard for either party in Frankfort to get right.

Here is the link to today's post. Important stuff.

UPDATE: Spoke with the folks at the Tax Foundation and learned that when they apply their current methodology to their 2004 survey, Kentucky was #33 then (prior to tax modernization). Not good.

Media Appearance

I'll be on WVLK-AM 590 this afternoon in Lexington on the Kruser and Krew program at 3:00 talking politics.

Doing Something About Health Care Costs

Democrats think socialized medicine is the answer. President Bush is doing this.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Republicans Starting To Come Around On Ports?

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) spoke in Lexington last night to 900 Republicans who spent at least $75 each to hear from the 2008 presidential hopeful.

Since Hillary Clinton wasn't involved, those many thousands of dollars should actually go to benefit Kentucky candidates.

Anyway, Ryan Alessi got the scoop when Frist told him he had been briefed on the UAE ports deal and that his concerns had been put to rest. I hesitate to add that this catches Senator Frist up with where Senator John McCain has been all week. The next GOP standard-bearer needs to be able to get these things right the first time and not succumb to liberal talking points. Security is not at issue with the ports deal. No amount of spin can change that fact. The spin only serves to energize the wacko left and to confuse too many of the rest of us. That is what we have seen this last week.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

More Democrat "Economic Development"

Fresh off their expensive pro-union "victories" in Frankfort, Democrats now return with Son of Wal-Mart Bill. This one would prohibit companies with more than 25,000 employees from firing employees without "good cause."

Just like the previous Wal-Mart bill, this is just to get the ball rolling. If they can force union job protection rules on companies with 25,000 employees, next year it will be 5,000 and on down until you can't fire a bad employee for any reason whatsoever.

As Republicans are trying to make Kentucky more competitive in the world that is whizzing past us, these folks are pulling hard in the other direction.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Bill Frist Coming To Lexington

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) will be in Lexington Saturday night to talk to the state GOP members gathered for the state Lincoln Day.

Frist is making his case for the White House. He will have to drive home that Republicans have a de facto minority in the Senate, and that one of the top problem votes is rival Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

The Joe Barrows Bill

Last year's HB 299 will become known as the Joe Barrows bill when he retires from the House this year and takes a much higher paying job with Greg Stumbo's AG office. This bill, which became law without Governor Fletcher's signature, will allow Barrows to become the first legislator to work three years at a state job and get a pension based on those three years' salary. This will be a major boon to Barrows and a huge cost to taxpayers.

Now This Is How You Report A Ballot Petition Screw-Up

The Lexington Herald-Leader went bonkers when their favored candidate for Lexington's 4th district council seat failed to obtain the required number of signatures on his ballot petition. Rather than blame the candidate who did not get enough signatures, they blamed his Republican opponent who did.

GOPUSA covers a candidate in Ohio who similarly failed to get the required number of signatures on his petition. Anyone who can't go out and get a few signatures to run for office has no business running.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Fly On The Wall

Heard recently at the Garrard County Courthouse:

"The people of Garrard county are kind of silly. A lot of them probably don't even know who the President of the United States is."

--Barry Peel, candidate for Garrard County Judge Executive

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Bush Sticks By Port Deal


Advice To Vote Buyers And Sellers: Move To Pennsylvania

As Kentucky's growing vote buying investigation continues, Democrats like indicted Senator Johnny Ray Turner may be wondering how future Dems will get elected.

Here's a plan: move to Pennsylvania, where Governor Ed Rendell will make sure undocumented voters can make their voices heard over and over. Of course, this might be a problem for Gov. Rendell.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Port Story Parallels KY Water Scare

Remember the phony stories after RWE bought KY American Water Co. that had evil Germans loading up their Benzes with our most precious resource and cackling triumphantly all the way back to Berlin?

Well, we are looking at the same nonsense on the issue of the six American ports being purchased by a company from the United Arab Emirates. Only now the politicians from both sides of the aisle are piling on the Bush administration.

Both parties screaming about this are wrong.

Arab ownership of U.S. ports is no more a threat than the end-of-the-world scenarios presented in the 1980's when Japanese investors were buying up New York real estate.

It is very simple. Terrorist infiltration of our ports won't be prevented by forcing American ownership. It is too easy to demagogue, so expect the issue to live on for a while, but this is much ado about nothing with regard to terrorism. It has a lot more to do with the value of foreign in-flows of capital. If we risk that, we face real self-inflicted harm. That is the greater danger here.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Terminator Returns

There is a new bill before Congress that would scrap the U.S. Tax Code and require Congress to come up with a new, fairer way to fund the federal government. It's called the Tax Code Termination Act.

So while the Left continues to celebrate killing off Social Security reform and tax reform, the efforts are quietly starting anew.

Stay tuned.

Liberals, Big Labor Attack Wal-Mart

Bob Damron sure was upset when fellow House members wanted to post the words "In God We Trust" in their in Frankfort chambers. He said the action wouldn't hold up in court.

He may be right about that, but his support for the clearly discriminatory and certainly unconstitutional Wal-Mart Bill -- they gave it the hilariously transparent Fair Share Health Care Act monicker -- suggests that he cares less about doing what is right than he does about cozying up to the big labor goons who have grown tired of trying to compete with non-union retailers in the real world. Instead they have turned to their liberal legislative cohorts.

Bob Damron keeps talking about how conservative he is. Hey Bob: jumping in bed with big unions and socialized medicine proponents isn't conservative.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Friday Funny, Wednesday Edition

A friend spotted a bumpersticker in Washington D.C.:

"I'd rather hunt with Dick Cheney than ride with Ted Kennedy"

Local version?

"I'd rather fly with Ernie Fletcher than develop land with Ed Worley"

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Democrats Win Special Elections

As expected, Democrats Perry Clark and Ron Weston won special elections today in Louisville.

Clark now goes to the Senate and Weston takes Clark's House seat he resigned from last month to run for the Senate.

Expect Kentucky Democrats to try to make this a rallying point moving toward the fall elections, despite their lack of new ideas.

Monday, February 13, 2006

PetitionGate Story Deepens

I called Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins this morning about the Julian Beard candidate petition story and got something I didn't expect.

There is more to the story than what you got from the Herald Leader on Saturday.

The water company fight from the last several years may raise its ugly head again in a possible lawsuit over Beard's incomplete petition to start his campaign for the Lexington 4th district council seat.

Lexington's requirement of 100 signatures on a ballot petition is unique in Kentucky. Meanwhile, several petition-related issues from the water company fight are pending resolution before the Kentucky Court of Appeals right now. So the need for 100 signatures could go away in the next few months when the court decision on repealed charter provisions comes down. And that would make Beard a legitimate candidate.

Or not.

The fact remains that Lexington's charter requires 100 signatures on petition to file for city office. And the charter specifies that signatures that are found on competing petitions are stricken from both. So current law leaves Mr. Beard without enough signatures to be a candidate.

But that isn't his only problem. If the law is changed and Beard is allowed on the ballot, he still has Mayor Teresa Isaac hanging around his neck. Beard is the Mayor's director of Economic Development.

Asked about the Mayor's divisive style, Beard said he didn't see the problem.

"She (Mayor Isaac) is extremely inclusive," Beard said.

It gets better.

Beard says the Mayor doesn't have a problem with the business community.

"She is exactly the opposite of anti-business," he said.

On the issue of a so-called "Living Wage" that would nearly double the federal minimum wage, Mr. Beard said "it's much more complex" than being for or against the issue. Under further questioning, though, he cleared the air.

"Yes, I'm for a 'Living Wage,'" Beard said.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Herald Leader Carries Liberal Water On Petition Issue

Liberal council "candidate" Julian Beard doesn't need a campaign spokesman this year. He has the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Beard got 112 signatures on his campaign petition to run for the Fourth district Urban County Council seat. He only needed 100. But the law says names that appear on two candidates' petitions for the same race must be voided on both. There were fifteen such signatures on both Beard's and Bill Roberts' petitions. That leaves Beard with an insufficient 97 signatures. End of story, right?

Enter the Herald-Leader.

The headline screams "Dirty Tricks." The story follows with a focus on the "allegation" that Roberts purposely sought out fifteen people in order to invalidate his opponent's application.

Whether he did or not only really matters to the bonehead who thought 112 names was enough to survive the inevitable mistakes and, of course, duplications. And it matters to a certain newspaper determined to revive their left-wing agenda in Lexington.

The real problem from their perspective is that Bill Roberts is the former two-term chairman of the Republican Party of Fayette county and not a liberal.

A companion story explored the immediate desire to prevent another "Beard" in future elections. It looks like they are now calling this provision in the law a "loophole."

Beard would have avoided this whole mess if he had just rounded up a couple hundred more comrades to sign his little petition. Since he didn't, he wants to fight the law after the fact.

From the first story we learn Beard does not plan to withdraw his illegitimate candidacy. His attorney is even quoted trying to goad Roberts into challenging his petition. Fayette county clerk Don Blevins is quoted in the second story as saying only that he thought the law invalidating duplicate signatures was unfair.

It is still the law Mr. Blevins. See that you follow it and send Mr. Beard packing. While I can't fathom the rationale for prolonging the 97=100 math from the locals, their desperation and disregard for inconvenient laws certainly is familiar.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Hottest Ticket In Town

A lot of attention will be centered on Madison county the evening of March 24. The Madison Republican Party Lincoln Day dinner is that night. Keynote speaker: Rep. Hal Rogers. Tickets are going fast.

Liberal Free-For-All In Committee Meeting

Tuesday's House Appropriation and Revenue committee meeting in Frankfort was a sight to behold. The hot topic was HB 506, Rep. Jim Wayne's Tax Increase Bill. Since no one in the MSM has reported on the festivities, here's a quick rundown:

--Rep. Wayne(D-Louisville) said "This is not radical legislation. What I am proposing is reasonable and modest." He was referring to his bill which is, according to LRC estimates, a $192 million tax increase. Rep. Wayne proceeded to get caught up in all the excitement and started quoting Wendell Berry's memorable economic philosophy: "Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy.” I am not making this up.

--Debra Miller of Ky. Youth Advocates said “The Earned Income Tax Credit is widely recognized as the number one poverty fighter at the federal level.”

--Rep. Mary Lou Marzian said "I don’t know how much longer we as a legislative body will sit here and talk about the budget being in the toilet. I’m prepared to vote on this bill today. We can take some bold steps and do something postive. It is time. The train has left. Be brave. Be courageous. Pass legislation that can help Kentucky families."

--Bill Stolte of Berea said “Many mornings I find myself asking myself, ‘Why am I here?’ You should ask why you are here."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Georgetown News-Graphic Pimps Charlie Hoffman

Calling it "media bias" just doesn't get it on this one.

Rep. Charlie Hoffman (D-Georgetown) will need all the help he can get in November after loudly supporting the labor union that constantly attacks workers at Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky. And now that he has signed on to the Attack Wal-Mart Bill, the paper does everything it can to obscure the issue in today's edition.

The story isn't available online, but the headline reads "Legislators consider bill on health care funding" and includes a picture of Rep. Hoffman with the following quote attributed to him: "Some of the so-called health care plans are just so the company can claim that they make those available, but the benefits are minimal." That's funny. Democrats in Frankfort wrote all the health plan mandates, including the bare bones version no one wants. So is Hoffman suggesting some kind of bill that would undo the damage his fellow Democrats did to the health insurance market with their 1994 HillaryCare initiative?

No, he wants to put a tax on Wal-Mart for hiring part-time workers.

To their credit, the News-Graphic does quote Republican Senator Damon Thayer on the issue, albeit way down in the story and without exploring his statement much. Kudos to Thayer for calling the bill what it is. "It's socialism," he said. Exactly.

So Hoffman wants to tax Wal-Mart shoppers extra because Wal-Mart doesn't pay, in his opinion, a fair share of health insurance costs. The way the bill is written, by the time Toyota adds another 1500 jobs in the state, Hoffman will be after them as well. The bill only applies to companies with 10,000 employees in the state.

Rep. Hoffman seems totally clueless about what is wrong with this bill. "I think it is well within the purview of government to increase the standard of living for its constituents," he said.

How do you figure that, sir? By killing part-time jobs or raising consumer prices? The Georgetown News-Graphic is doing no one any favors by propping up this guy.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Here Comes Right To Work!

Kentuckians overwhelmingly want Right to Work legislation in Kentucky. Union groups, the ACLU, and Democrats say they won't let it pass in Kentucky, but don't be too quick to buy their rhetoric just yet.

Wild liberal spin notwithstanding, Kentucky's competitiveness will be enhanced when we pull this unnecessary obstacle down.

Kentucky's Favorite Democrat

Here is a very interesting picture of Kentucky's Favorite Democrat: Hillary Clinton.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

KY House Majority Whip Barrows To Resign

Rep. Joe Barrows (D-Versailles) is going to resign his House seat at the end of the current session and join the Attorney General's office to increase his pension, sources in the AG's office said this weekend.

Barrows enlisted Carl Rollins to file late for his 56th district seat, both hoping Rollins would stand unopposed for the seat. Republican Kevin Locke, however, frustrated their scheme by filing on the last day as well.

Locke is well-regarded in the district and likely to beat either Democrat. Other Democrats are expected to seek greener pastures soon as their fragile majority in the House appears less likely to survive the November elections.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

We Need Truth-In-Hiring For Law Enforcement

In 2004, Rep. Stan Lee sponsored a bill that allowed employers to divulge information about former employees to prospective employers.

We need the same thing for our law enforcement agencies.

Most of our police officers in Kentucky serve valiantly and regularly go above and beyond the call of duty. But some of the few bad apples plague the system. The problems they present persist because they just bounce around from one department to another.

Public safety demands this be changed.

Currently, a problematic officer can leave his current position (or be fired) and go elsewhere. When the hiring agency calls for a reference, the former employer can only state the dates of employment. If the former employer tries to warn the prospective employer against making the hire, his agency would be open to legal action.

A truth-in-hiring law for law enforcement agencies would alleviate this potentially dangerous loophole in the system.

The "Hey, I Don't Have An Opponent" Act of 2006

Rep. Jim Wayne (D-The Hague) has filed a bill to raise taxes on everyone over $75,000 annual income and to give the money out in the form of an Earned Income Tax Credit. The bill would also have Kentucky ignore the federal phase-out of the Death Tax.

Dems Working The Felon Vote

Rep. Jesse Crenshaw (D-Lexington) and Rep. Tom Riner (D-Louisville) have competing bills to try to get convicted felons back in the voting booth.

Crenshaw's bill would allow all felons who have completed their sentence and probation to vote. The ACLU considers this a good bill and is encouraging their followers to support it. Their action alert says "a change in the Constitution would avoid any arbitrary use of the discretionary power, and instead provide certainty and predictability for those who have served their time." Sure, predictable as in predictable Democrat votes.

Rep. Riner's bill would simply allow anyone convicted of a felony to continue to vote. This would definitely open up a new avenue for Democrat prison vote buying in future elections. (Conjugal visits, anyone?)

And on the subject of conjugal visits, a Michigan legislator has filed a bill that would allow married prisoners to have conjugal visits in order to keep their families intact. How about suggesting people don't commit felonies in order to keep their families together?

Back in Kentucky: I just can't imagine why we want to allow more people who have been sitting around in prison trying to dream up ways to game the system to go out and vote for politicians of like mind.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Congressional GOP Determines Own Fate Today

In leadership elections today in Washington D.C., House Republicans pick a new Majority Leader. Reps. Anne Northup and Geoff Davis would do very well to select John Shadegg or even John Boehner. They have to know that Roy Blunt would not be a good choice.

My favorite is Shadegg. He is one of twenty five House Republicans who voted against the disastrous Medicare prescription drug bill.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bill Farmer: Ready For Debate

The race for Lexington Mayor was kicked into high gear today when the conservative candidate, Councilman Bill Farmer, challenged his opponents to join him in a series of twelve debates.

“Lexington needs a leader that will unite us and get everyone working together and through these public forums, the voters of Lexington will be able to learn more about my proposals to unite our city,” Farmer said.

Dude, I Need A Car

An incompetent mechanic has killed my car. I need a new one.

Any help?

I can't very well count on my contact with Ben Chandler to get a sweet JD Byrider deal like his regulators at OAG used to get, but I am looking for a dependable used car (I've been a Ford man for years, but will switch for the right car.)


Oh, and I will talk about the incompetent mechanic at some point after the upcoming legal proceedings.

Did Hillary Clinton Lie, Or Did She Steal KY Money?

Remember when Hillary Clinton came in to Louisville last December and Kentucky Democrats said she raised $600,000 for the state Dem party in one night?

Well, the Kentucky Democratic Party filed their finances yesterday and it shows they raised $598,723.58 in total contributions for the entire year of 2005. And that should include the big John Edwards, Max Cleland, and Joe Biden fundraisers in the state. Where did the money from Hillarypalooza go? Did she take it back to New York? Did she invest it in set-up cattle futures contracts?

Watching this one unwind will be a scream! Expect state Dem chair Jerry Lundergan's head to roll for Hillary this time.

It looks like KDP has wiped their press release archive of any mention of the big night, but they left this news story.

Tim Moore: A Leader To Watch

When Rep. Mike Weaver (D-Elizabethtown) gave up his seat in the state House for a run at Congress, Democrats had to know they were going to lose his old seat.

Tim Moore of Elizabethtown will not only win the seat, he will become a quick leader in Frankfort.

Keep your eye on Tim Moore in the 26th district. If the GOP has any more like him, the Democrats who have held us back for so long are in big trouble.