Twin stories in Kentucky's two largest papers suggest another Stumbo "smoking gun" in his investigation of merit hiring activities in the Fletcher Administration.
Tom Loftis even writes a totally bogus lead sentence in his story that had to please Stumbo. Loftis said:
"A field representative reported to Gov. Ernie Fletcher in May 2004 that progress was being made to replace Democrats in state civil service jobs, according to documents filed by prosecutors Tuesday."
This is totally untrue. The field representative, Willard Hansford, said in a May 7, 2004 report:
"Constituents are ready to fill vacant merit positions and replace Democrats in both merit and non-merit positions."
You can read the report for yourself here. In the heavily-Republican 5th district, I would imagine there were many hundreds of Republican constituents who were "ready" to have a fair shot at jobs they had been shut out of for a generation.
The Herald-Leader's Jack Brammer printed the same quote from Mr. Hansford's report, but followed it up with this statement:
"The state merit law protects rank-and-file state workers from personnel actions based on politics."
This gives the misleading impression that something was happening against the law. Mr. Hansford was only reporting on what the constituents in his area wanted. He was doing his job. Only the most blindly partisan Democrats will choose not to see the truth in this.