Thursday, April 30, 2009

Grab your wallet alert

Gov. Steve Beshear on Thursday urged Kentuckians to "put aside the labels of Democrat and Republican and the historical rivalry between the executive branch and the legislative branch."

You know what that means.

Beshear suggested possible overspending in fiscal 2010 of up to $1 billion.

He continued:

"To solve this projected shortfall, we will have to do so again. I'm confident that we will. Working together, we must - and we will - search for creative solutions, make tough decisions and demonstrate firm resolve. Now is the time, once again, for Kentucky's leaders to come together for the good of this state."

Wouldn't it have been easier to just say "it's time to soak taxpayers again since we know Senate Republicans will go along with the plan?"

Biden gaffes, lies about planes and subways

Vice President Joe Biden started off his day on The Today Show telling America he would stay off airplanes and out of the subways because of the swine flu. His press secretary then quickly lied about what he said, hoping you wouldn't notice.

Biden said:
"I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now. It's not that it's going to Mexico, it's that you're in a confined aircraft. When one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft. That's me. I would not be at this point if I, if they, had another way of transportation, suggesting they ride the subway."

Minutes later, an email labeled "Statement from Vice President Biden's Spokesperson Elizabeth Alexander" arrived:
"The advice he is giving family members is the same advice the Administration is giving to all Americans: that they should avoid unnecessary air travel to and from Mexico. If they are sick, they should avoid airplanes and other confined public spaces, such as subways."

These people know we have the internet, right?

Of course, that is not at all what he said. It's probably always a good idea to keep Biden off television and away from microphones, especially now. There is no perfect way for the government to handle something like this current swine flu scare, but Biden just makes it worse. Scientists are working on treatments and the rest of us should be stocking up on food and firearms in case everyone is forced inside for an extended period.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

KY Senate losing one tax increase fighter

One of only six Kentucky state Senators to keep his promise earlier this year to oppose tax increases announced today he will not seek re-election in 2010.

Sen. Gary Tapp endorsed Shelby County's Paul Hornback to take his place in the Senate. Tapp ranked #5 in the Kentucky Club for Growth's fiscal responsibility ranking of state Senators.

Given the Senate's dismal record in the 2009 General Assembly, we can't afford to lose anyone else who can keep his word.

Educrats spin, Herald Leader bites

The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence put out a press release Tuesday as part of their continued effort to divert attention from their years-long effort to promote the discredited CATS testing program despite the facts.

"It will be similar to scoring the state department has used for years,” said Bob Sexton, the Prichard Committee’s executive director.

We know, Bob. That's precisely why the legislature voted unanimously just last month to stop wasting valuable time and money on CATS. Why are you wasting our time and your donors' money on the same silliness now?

Incidentally, the Lexington Herald Leader appears to have taken this stunt seriously. Funny.

The Bluegrass Institute's education analyst Richard Innes offered some much-needed perspective:
"Because the CATS’ aim was clearly faulty, legislators decided to relieve our teachers from its burden as much as possible while we develop a better set of education standards and a new test. That way, teachers can start to benefit right away from the latest developments in instructional research."

"But, facts never stopped die-hard CATS fans before. Now, those CATS fans would continue the myth and continue aiming our teachers in the wrong direction."

Some "Tea Party" perspective

For all the reckless borrowing and spending, broken campaign promises, tax increases, and promises of more to come, President Barack Obama still has a 52% approval rating in Kentucky, according to SurveyUSA. Despite providing an extra year of the same and more, Gov. Steve Beshear is still at 47%.

The effort to foment appropriate disgust for the policies and tactics of these two politicians and then turn it into action clearly has a long way to go.

Beshear following Mongiardo/Conway

Senate candidates Dan Mongiardo and Jack Conway have been sending out silly attention-seeking press releases for a while.

With today's announcement of $5 million to bail out Covington's housing market, Gov. Steve Beshear is pulling the same stunt. Again.

It would be great if they could take a timeout from all the crass politicking to reverse course on some of Beshear's broken campaign promises, or seriously address the pension problem, or to stop expanding ridiculous entitlement programs.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Which Senator will you support now?

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) said Tuesday he is going to officially leave the GOP. Now Sen. Mitch McConnell can stop giving him money and start helping, uh, members of his own caucus.

By the way, Sen. Jim Bunning weighed in:
"I am disappointed, but not surprised, by Senator Specter’s self-serving decision to switch parties at a time when his vote is so important to maintaining some balance of power here in Washington. The Senate Republican leadership’s coddling of Senator Specter shows just how far the Republican party has lost its way. Now is the time to stand for the core conservative values of less government and more freedom. Senator Specter has never been a reliable voice for the conservative values that Republicans like myself have spent our lives fighting for and I look forward to seeing him defeated in 2010 ."

Jack, be more nimble!

Just spotted: Attorney General Jack Conway sneaking around with indicted former Gov. Paul Patton chief of staff Andrew "Skipper" Martin at Heine Brothers Coffee on Chenoweth Lane in Louisville.

Martin escaped prosecution for helping Patton break campaign finance laws when Patton pardoned him in June of 2003.

Can't imagine what he was helping U.S. Senate candidate Conway cook up, can you?

Hopey changey update for Kentucky

President Barack Obama just sent out an email with a map showing the number of jobs "created or saved" by federal overspending on his watch.

Congrats Kentucky! Dear Leader says you have 48,000 extra jobs because of him.

Government "job creation" has been dubious for a long time, but we are really taking it to a whole new level.

Bunning: you'll be surprised

Sen. Jim Bunning said Tuesday morning his fundraising is going much better now than it did earlier in the year, but he didn't give specifics.

"I’ll quantify that on July 15 and you’ll be pleasantly surprised," Bunning said.

He also said he doesn't expect a primary challenge from Kentucky Senate President David Williams. Secretary of State Trey Grayson and Bowling Green physician Rand Paul have both expressed an interest in the race but have said they will not run against Bunning.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Round and round and round she goes...

As Frankfort's schemers work behind the scenes on some kind of tax reform, they can look at neighboring Tennessee like Missouri and Ohio have and consider eliminating income taxes. Or they can look at Illinois.

Gov. Pat Quinn wants to raise income taxes 50 percent.

Kentucky has to do something right after the disastrous 2009 legislative session of tax hikes and raids and spending sprees. Seriously. Eliminate the income tax now.

The old game of borrow and spend, replaced by the new game of tax, raid, and spend can't be allowed to continue. Tell your legislators to get their heads on straight and do what is best for Kentucky for a change.

Taking the low road to Montana?

Over the weekend Bluegrass Institute education analyst Richard Innes noticed two other education bloggers, Pritchard Blog and Kentucky School News and Commentary, weren't printing critical comments he left on their sites and he sought an explanation. Richard Day of KSN&C quickly explained he was having technical difficulties.

Susan Weston of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, however, just seems tired of getting difficult questions leading to conclusions other than that education bureaucrats need more money and fewer questions.

Seems like this dodging of tough questions and comments was the option blogger Mark Nickolas of Bluegrass Report took right before he escaped to Montana.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Winchester project cost inflated by politics

The Winchester Sun wants to know if readers support building a new $50 million high school in Clark County. Kentucky's Davis Bacon requirements complicate such a decision by requiring the payment of union wages for education-related projects.

Taxpayers needing better school facilities for their children shouldn't be handcuffed to political payoffs some elected officials arranged for their labor union friends. Sen. Damon Thayer's SB 145 would have saved taxpayer money by allowing parents to make the decision without the unions getting their cut.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Not what they call it, but what it does to us

Activists on both sides of the socialized medicine debate understand that when they talk about universal health care, what they mean is universal health insurance.

Columnist Thomas Sowell weighs in:
"That is where the difference between health care and medical care comes in. Medical care is what doctors can do for you. Health care includes what you do for yourself -- such as diet, exercise and lifestyle."

"If a doctor arrives on the scene to find you wiped out by a drug overdose or shot through the heart by some of your rougher companions, there may not be much that he can do except sign the death certificate."

"Even for things that take longer to do you in -- obesity, alcohol, cholesterol, tobacco -- doctors can tell you what to do or not do, but whether you follow their advice or not is what determines the outcome."

"Americans tend to be more obese, consume more drugs and have more homicides. None of that is going to change with "universal health care" because it isn't health care. It is medical care."

"When it comes to things where medical care itself makes the biggest difference -- cancer survival rates, for example -- Americans do much better than people in most other countries."

"No one who compares medical care in this country with medical care in other countries is likely to want to switch. But those who cannot be bothered with the facts may help destroy the best medical care in the world by falling for political rhetoric."

Read the rest here.

Getting government out of the health insurance business is the way to manage costs, just as Pres. Barack Obama and Gov. Steve Beshear are pushing hard in the other direction.

Potential Senate candidate coming to UK

University of Kentucky's Students for Liberty will host Dr. Rand Paul of Bowling Green Thursday April 30, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Memorial Hall to discuss "Liberty and the True Meaning of being a Republican."


There will be several meetings in central Kentucky next week to discuss where we go next with the Tea Party movement.

Call me for details.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Making it easy for Jim Gray

Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry seems almost to be purposely hastening the end of his political career with silly public statements like this:

Contracting out services in one clinic MIGHT make it run less slow, less inefficiently, and less over budget, but it is hardly "proof" of anything yet and certainly isn't any more so because the mayor ends his sentence with an exclamation point.

A Mitch slap coming from the other direction

Sen. Mitch McConnell's favored candidate in the 2010 Pennsylvania Senate race, Sen. Arlen Specter, is getting creamed in the polls amid calls for him to step down in favor of a new candidate.

Stop taxing income in Kentucky

Kentucky legislators will probably be back in Frankfort in late May to discuss tax reform. Meanwhile, Tennessee, a state with no income tax, continues to eat our lunch economically. And Missouri advanced a bill this week to get rid of their income tax.

Ohio is looking at exempting college graduates from state income taxation for five years. This is the kind of game-playing and manipulation Kentucky has traditionally used to pick winners and losers rather than incentivize income generation across the board.

As more of our neighbors figure out that taxing incomes hurts productivity, Kentucky is going to have to come around. Sooner would be better than later.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Party labels and bad politicians

Congressman Geoff Davis, in an interview with WLAP's Leland Conway, expressed frustration with citizen groups who don't support bad Republicans. He is going to have to get used to it.

Davis said:
"A lot of conservative groups like Club for Growth and others unfortunately spend all their time going after Republicans. As I've shared, it would be nice if they tried to defeat a liberal now and then."

The Club for Growth shouldn't have to spend any of their resources going after bad Republicans. Rep. Davis isn't one of those bad Republicans, but blind support for the party label won't advance conservatism.

Here's a little help from the archives:

This goofy rhetoric sounds familiar

Newspaper columnist Dana Milbank sounds like the auto industry executives bemoaning the end of the world as we know it without bailouts to return them to the lifestyles to which they had grown accustomed.

The idea that scrutiny of government would die without newspapers is a figment of some newspaper guy's imagination.

And besides, Kentucky already has a long (and silly) history of bailing out newspapers.

Think before you kiss your sister

Saving money by consolidating Kentucky's 120 counties into some smaller -- and less accountable -- number of governmental units is the public policy equivalent of kissing your sister.

Martin Cothran weighs in:
"The only thing that the consolidation of counties will do is to take the government of localities out of the localities themselves and place it in the hands of bureaucrats outside of the community being governed."

"Cothran's Rule of Government Efficiency plainly states, "There is No Such Thing." And one of corollaries of this Rule is: "The Bigger the Government Body, the More Inefficient It Is.""

Here's more.

Rooting out ways to save money on local government is a very worthwhile pursuit, but not at the expense of creating bigger government.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Choosing sides in 2010 Senate races

The Kentucky Club for Growth has made a name for itself calling out Republicans who go squishy on keeping government from growing out of control.

"According to CQ Moneyline, the following Senators have donated money to Arlen Specter's campaign:

Mitch McConnell
John Cornyn
Lamar Alexander
Orrin Hatch

It may be expected that the GOP Senate Leader would donate to incumbent GOP colleagues up for reelection. But McConnell was not listed as a donor in Jim Bunning's recent report, suggesting a different explanation may be needed."

More here.

Bunning says Dem primary helps him

Senator Jim Bunning just said the intense primary battle between Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo and Attorney General Jack Conway will make the 2010 race easier for him.

He said he has dropped his fundraising goal from $10 million to $7 million because he believes his opponents will spend much of their money going against each other.

Very interesting email

Just got the following message on Facebook:

Subject: Upcoming McConnell Protest - Read Disclosure though!

This group is made up of a diverse members that agree that Senator Bunning "was right" when he opposed the financial industry bailout. He really was and history will prove it!

It follows logically that Senator McConnell "was wrong" when he bowed to the financial industry and strong-armed the bailout.
I'm writing to let the Anti-McConnell crowd know about an upcoming protest of the Senator outside his speaking engagement at the upcoming U of L Brandeis School of Law Graduation on May 9th in Louisville.

However, I don't want to trick anyone...This protest is specifically targeted at Sen. McConnell's stance on the Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) which I'm pretty sure Sen. Bunning shares as he voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. and voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. So if you are responsible and progressive like me, despite Sen. Bunning's act of courage, I hope you'll be joining me in supporting Jack Conway for that Senate seat, as well as helping us protest McConnell at the event linked below.

If you are conservative when it comes to social justice, please forgive this heads up, and keep up the fight against stupid government bailouts! And if you're a Republican, please don't make it a partisan issue, you have many allies across the aisle that oppose corporate bailouts.

I'm not going to the protest, but I appreciate the approach. What do you think?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Movement marches on

Working on details for Freedom Rallies in Frankfort on May 23 and Lexington on July 4. The naysayers will only be right if we quit. So, guess what?

Keeping our kids safe on campus

A Missouri legislative bill that would allow college students with concealed carry permits to possess firearms on campus passed that state's House of Representatives last week.

Keeping a college campus gun-free just means the law-abiding citizens can't defend themselves and that armed predators can be emboldened. If the bad guys don't know who is armed, they will be much more likely to just stay away.

Kentucky law makes no such provisions for innocent citizens to protect themselves.

Jack in the (mail) box

Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo has sent out a steady stream of press releases reading like Twitter entries recently, publicizing his his every move since he declared himself a candidate for U.S. Senate.

Now his primary opponent seems to be doing the same thing. The latest: Attorney General Jack Conway went to the mail box.

It's going be a long spring watching these two use taxpayer resources to campaign against each other.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bailing out Big College next

The Obama Administration is threatening to turn 529 college savings plans into a federal version of the disastrous Kentucky's Affordable Prepaid Tuition program.

From a White House press release:

And these same people want to make healthcare affordable for everyone, too.

Leland Conway uncovers fear on "Big Left"

The Leftist Myth about the Tea Party Movement

By Leland Conway

First they accused us of racism. When that didn’t work, they said we were organized and funded by the Republican Party. When this was also found to be wrong, they pointed to a recent Homeland Security report and branded us “radical rightwing extremists” capable of any number of terrorist acts. The real story is that the left is terrified of a resurgence of the American spirit of individualism, patriotism and a renewed push for smaller government.

The tea party movement is not the brainchild of some well funded political organization. On the contrary, it is the natural reaction to one. For those who still cling to this argument, consider the following questions.

Where were you when George Soros and was funding much of the so-called “grass-roots” movement to elect Barack Obama as president? Where were you when ACORN was physically breaking into a foreclosed home that a bank had taken back from a perennial deadbeat member of their own group? Where were you when ACORN was paying people in cash and cigarettes to illegally register to vote multiple times?

If the tea party movement is funded by the wealthy Republican elite, then I’m still waiting for my check. So is the Reverend Dan Barnes of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Nicholasville who organized a protest on the courthouse lawn that drew more than 300 angry taxpayers. So is Mica Sims, a stay at home mom who’s fed up with over reaching government and spent her own money to organize an event that drew more than 500 in Lexington. So is Kelly Wallingford, a fed up business man and broadcaster in Richmond Kentucky who opened up his office parking lot for an event that drew more than 100 in Madison County as a prelude to Barry and Janie Spurlock's courthouse rally with 300 supporters.

Not a single one of these events was an "official" event of either major political party.

Sure, lots of Republicans showed up. But whether the media and the left want to acknowledge it, the Republican Party just happens to be full of, well, conservatives. Of course they came out in strong numbers to these events. That’s because Republicans also feel let down by their own party leadership who voted for this terrible spending rampage.

But there were a lot of angry Democrats, Libertarians and Independents at these events as well. I think that is what scares the Left so much. The reality is Obama won the election because Independents swung his way. He lured them with a lot of talk about fiscal responsibility, government transparency and cutting government waste. All promises which he has quickly broken.

Many on the left are trying to point to the "failed policies of the last eight years." This talking point is wearing thin, since those same Independents, and many Republicans have long ago acknowledged that Bush was too big a spender.

That’s why they have a very real reason to be worried about this movement. The only people who care about the "last eight years" argument are the liberal wing of the Democratic party – and there aren’t enough of them to keep congress or re-elect Barack Obama. The independent minded Republicans, Democrats and non-party affiliates see that, not only did President Bush make very poor moves on the economy over the last few months, but Obama made the same moves while stepping on the accelerator.

No, we’re not a Republican-funded bunch of "right wing extremists bent on terrorist acts" gathering at these tea parties. But we are a group of very legitimately angry Americans who see our personal wealth and freedoms disintegrating right before our eyes. That should strike terror into the hearts of the political Left.

Narrowing the focus in Lexington

Please join a discussion Thursday, April 23, at 6:30 pm about the need for school choice in Kentucky. We will be meeting at The Inn on Broadway in Lexington.

Bring a friend!

Friday, April 17, 2009

A unique chewing out

Can't stop this

Lexington's July 4 Freedom Rally has been scheduled for the Fayette County Courthouse Plaza. It will start at 3:30 pm.

Spread the word.

We will be promoting this event at Saturday's Bluegrass Tax Liberation Day.

A merit hiring mess of their own?

You may have missed a little "isolated accident" merit hiring story in the Louisville Courier Journal Thursday.

Sources report the underwater portion of this iceberg could play an interesting role in the Democratic primary race for the U.S. Senate as more merit hiring same-old in the Transportation Cabinet comes to light.

What say you, Attorney General Jack Conway?

Missing some Big Ed propaganda

Back in 2007, Kentucky's big newspapers picked up their pom poms and cheered on a state report using very questionable data to promote KERA reforms in our public schools.

The Bluegrass Institute's education analyst Richard Innes debunked that effort. The Kentucky Long Term Policy Research Center is back in 2009 with a very similar "report," but so far the Big Media effort appears to be missing.

Innes already did his part but, strangely, the Courier Journal and Herald Leader don't appear to be coming to the rescue with their traditional unquestioning support.

Come on, guys! Your bureaucrats need you.

With the death of the discredited CATS testing program last month, Big Education has had a rough spring in Kentucky.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Time to reopen the Worley file

Kentucky's Senate Minority Leader Ed Worley is about to get a primary opponent. A "conservative Democrat," Mike Cope of Madison County said his decision to run had a lot to do with Worley's considerable personal baggage.

Cope also expressed dismay with wild government spending and said he has opposed the bailouts.

Richmond April 11 Tea Party

Here is some video from last week's rally.

It's the reckless spending

Decide to do more

The splash made by yesterday's Tea Parties will mean nothing if we don't soon start planning more such events.

An easy next step, of course, is Saturday's Bluegrass Tax Liberation Day in Lexington.

But to continue to build support for smaller, more efficient, and less intrusive government, we need a game plan for May. And it doesn't have to bear any resemblance to the strategies employed in March or April.

Changing the name of the events may even be a good idea, if only to frustrate a weird point of attack by opponents. The most important points are that a grassroots movement won't build itself and if we don't build bigger and better events, we prove them right.

One idea: holding discussions based on educating friends and formulating strategy on a single issue. My first effort along these lines is an April 23 discussion on school choice at Lexington's Inn on Broadway.

If you'd like to attend, please see my contact information at the top of this page.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thanks, but no thanks, Congressman

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, a Congressman from Texas, weighed in on the Tax Day Tea Parties with the following statement:
"Today, millions of Americans are gathering at Tea Parties to stand up to higher taxes and out-of-control government spending. There is no better day than Tax Day to exercise our fundamental beliefs, particularly when it comes to the issue of government-forced payment. Liberty and freedom are values that our country was founded on, and Republicans in Congress will stand alongside those who demand a government that is accountable to its people. Those who dismiss this phenomenon as anything other than a grassroots revolt are the same people who have no problem taxing and spending other people’s hard-earned money under the guise of 'fairness.' The anger and frustration toward Washington politicians are a result of arrogance and disinterest in listening to the voters who elected them. While individuals like Tim Geithner, Charlie Rangel and a whole host of Democrat 'leaders' have been promoted despite egregious attempts to dodge the IRS, it should come as no surprise that honest taxpaying citizens feel the need to speak out."

I'm not buying it.

Since Rep. Sessions voted for the original bank bailout, he should know that we don't need his help.

Louisville Tea Party coverage

Fox 41 in Louisville did a good report on their city's event.

Click here to watch it.

CJ tactics take a turn for the worse

The last few weeks I have seen left-wing writers go from dismissive to beyond vulgar in their description of those of us who don't like our politicians' power growing by taking more of our money and giving it to their big donor groups with failed business models.

I'm talking, of course, about the Tea Party movement. Until a friend filled me in yesterday, I never thought of a tea bag as anything other than something with which to make tea. Turns out another use for the term "teabag" is as a verb; a rather homoerotic verb. Check out Urban Dictionary if you have to, but you will probably be sorry you did.

Anyway, the Louisville Courier Journal got in on the fun today, referring to "the anti-tax set's tea party and teabag talk."

My question: did a 250 word editorial really need to add "and teabag" to make clear the disdain they feel for people who disagree with them? Is the Courier Journal editorial board calling people who participate in Tea Parties homosexuals or are they trying to make some other kind of statement about what they think we do in the privacy of our bedrooms?

If the Louisville Courier Journal wanted to have a serious discussion about governmental functions, I would welcome it. If, at the very least, they intend to portray more than a flair for odious bathroom references, the editors should apologize for this latest offense.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Still not minding the store in Lexington

Disgraced former Lexington jail administrator Don Leach has been given permission by Director Ron Bishop to take three FCDC passenger vans on a five-day road trip to Louisville later this month.

How did you fit that into the budget, Mayor Newberry?

Pres. Barack Obama doesn't hear you yet

Here's the latest from the Teleprompter-in-Chief:
"To begin with, economists on both the left and right agree that the last thing a government should do in the middle of a recession is to cut back on spending. You see, when this recession began, many families sat around their kitchen table and tried to figure out where they could cut back. So do many businesses. That is a completely responsible and understandable reaction. But if every family in America cuts back, then no one is spending any money, which means there are more layoffs, and the economy gets even worse. That’s why the government has to step in and temporarily boost spending in order to stimulate demand. And that’s exactly what we’re doing right now."

This rationale for expanding government spending would only make sense if bureaucrats knew where economic equilibrium belonged all the time and knew how to get it there. Since they don't and can't, Obama's logic doesn't hold up.

Further, since Obama doesn't know where equilibrium is or how to get it any place in particular while he continues to insist on wasting our money trying to figure it out, we should probably all get together and talk about what we are going to do next.

How about Saturday in Lexington?

Awesome Tax Day video

Please watch and share this video by Kentuckian Caleb Brown.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pot v. Kettle

Kentucky Republicans are really going to have to do more than just say they are different.

Save money by axing Kentucky Treasurer

One funny part of Pat Crowley's recent profile of state Sen. Damon Thayer suggests Thayer may run for Treasurer in 2011.

Sen. Thayer is not going to run for the do-nothing Treasurer's office. He filed the bill in 2008 to shut down the office to save money.

Thayer's no-nonsense style might be an interesting fit for an Auditor's office traditionally misused as a political weapon, though.

Is honest transparency a political winner?

It's too early to tell what Gov. Steve Beshear's cynical approach to government spending transparency will cost him politically. Conventional wisdom certainly would suggest that simple lack of awareness will continue to allow him to get away with yet another broken campaign promise.

But if really Louisville rolls out a taxpayer's checkbook web site this summer that shows where the money is going and Beshear continues the shucking and jiving, the stark contrast might attract attention.

If Councilman Ken Fleming's obvious pride in leading Louisville toward openness and better taxpayer service is any indication, this issue isn't going away.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What happens when everything is a casino?

West Virginia's legislature on Friday sent a bill to their governor that would expand casino dependency past race tracks and on to a bankrupt resort in order to "save" it.

How long till they set up casinos at all the libraries and DMV offices to fund them? Is this getting a little ridiculous for anyone yet?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rolling through Richmond

Thanks to everyone who participated in a great Tea Party event in Richmond on Saturday!

I'll be back in Madison County on Wednesday, April 15 and in Fayette County the same day to speak to mid-day courthouse crowds. Hope to see you there.

Thanks to the Richmond Register!

It's great to see the Richmond Register newspaper promoting today's Tea Party in Richmond.

Leland Conway speaks to GOP breakfast

Since LBJ declared war on poverty in the 1960's we have spent more than $12 trillion on that effort and have seen the number of people in poverty increase."

"Ignorance is not the same thing as stupidity. Most people think like we do, they just don't know it."

"I think Americans by and large still believe in a culture of life and liberty."

"On Wednesday we will have another Tea Party downtown in Lexington and next Saturday we will have another one at Applebee's Ball Park. Some people are saying 'I thought they already had one in Lexington.' We did. And we will have another and another and and another and another until the politicians in Frankfort and Washington D.C. get the message."

"I believe in the depths of my soul this nation has a special purpose and that purpose is Liberty."

"Our nation was not meant to go down in socialism."

Stan Lee speaks about 2009 General Assembly

"In the midst of a recession, we voted to raise taxes on Kentuckians nearly $300 million."

"We passed a $1.2 billion road plan with over $600 million in new debt."

Rep. Lee mentioned that repealing prevailing wage would have saved the state "more than $120 million a year."

Said SB 1 was the most important bill passed in the General Assembly.

"We came back to Frankfort in June of 2008 to fix the problem of pensions. Then just a few months later we backed off of the little bit of good that we did in that Special Session."

"All the businesses who said 'stick it to alcohol and tobacco,' your business is next because we're coming back in June."

Friday, April 10, 2009

How media misreports government overspending

The state reported Friday morning that General Fund revenues are higher for March and for the first nine months of the current fiscal year.

That would seem to contradict the politicians' claims of revenue shortfall, wouldn't it? Well, you'd never get the idea that spending to much (rather than taxing us too little) is the problem if you depend on the Lexington Herald Leader and Louisville Courier Journal for your news.

Seeing words like "no growth" and "flat," one might get the mistaken impression that revenues have not continued to climb.

Try instead the Bluegrass Policy Blog, which got it right and even did the math for you. Click here to read the story on the Bluegrass Policy Blog.

Taking Richmond by storm

The Richmond Tea Party for Saturday, April 11, is all set. Should be a great time. Details are here. Check back for video coverage.

I am convinced that the key to these events is setting them up two at a time and to always be promoting the next event. A follow-up to Saturday's Richmond Tea Party will come next Wednesday, April 15 at noon at the Madison County courthouse.

Local political figures Kent Clark, Ed Worley, and Harry Moberly are NOT expected to attend.

Irony escapes another industry in transition

The Radio-Television News Directors Association gave WHAS11 in Louisville its prestigious Edward R. Murrow Investigative Reporting Award for covering a story we all read about first and best on PageOneKentucky blog.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Hoping for better from Karem

After failing to place a top teachers union official on the state school board last month, Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Thursday one of the authors of the Kentucky Education Reform Act, former Sen. David Karem.

With the end of CATS testing, Kentucky is headed in a new direction toward greater accountability in our schools. Hope Karem works with us and not against us.

While Kentucky sinks deeper into debt

Kentucky's debt problem is Frankfort's big secret. Meanwhile, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford keeps fighting back.

Doesn't stand for "fantastic"

The National Taxpayers Union released Thursday it's latest Congressional report card for tax and spending votes. Rep. Ben Chandler earned his fifth straight "F" grade.

Sen. Jim Bunning earned one of only nine "A" grades in the Senate. Read the whole report here.

Obama the Restructurer

The White House announced Thursday a plan to buy up thousands of cars for the federal government's fleet.

"I will continue to ensure that we are working to support the American auto industry during this difficult period of restructuring," President Barack Obama said.

While Obama continues "ensuring" with our money, of course, necessary restructuring is unnecessarily -- and expensively -- delayed.

Kentucky Tea Party List

I think this is all of them up to the April 15 events. Then comes the one at Applebee's Park in Lexington on April 18.


City: Richmond, KY
When: April 11, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Where: 128 Big Hill Ave
Notes: Event at Wallingford Broadcasting, parking across the street



City: Bowling Green, KY
When: April 15, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Where: 455 E. Main St.
Notes: Rally at Fountain Square Park and then proceed to the Warren County Justice Center.


City: Elizabethtown, KY
When: April 15, 4:00PM - 6:30PM
Where: Downtown Public Square


City: Frankfort, KY
When: April 15, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Where: Capitol Building, Front Steps


City: Lexington, KY
When: April 15, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Where: Fayette County Courthouse


City: Louisville, KY
When: April 15, 11:00am - 1:00pm
Where: Jefferson Square, 6th and Jefferson St.


City: Nicholasville, KY
When: April 15th, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Where: Jessamine County Courthouse


City: Owensboro, KY
When: April 15, 12:00 Noon
Where: City Hall


City: Paducah, KY
When: April 15, 5:30 pm
Where: Dolly McNutt Plaza, between Paducah’s City Hall and the McCracken County Court House


City: Richmond, KY
When: April 15th, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Where: Madison County Courthouse

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Replacing Hebert with everyone

Louisville's WHAS investigative reporter Mark Hebert, widely regarded as one of the best at digging up official secrets, is leaving his reporting job next month to go to work for University of Louisville.

In a comment on the PageOneKentucky blog, Lexington Herald Leader reporter John Cheves praised Hebert:
"So now we have one less watchdog keeping an eye on the Kentucky statehouse. Bad news for the citizens, good news for the crooks."

Of course, it doesn't have to be that way. If the media folks who are left got together and forced state government to put spending and contracts on the internet for everyone to see, citizens would be safer from the crooks.

You're kidding, right, Gov. Beshear?

Gov. Steve Beshear was out Wednesday afternoon pimping a DVD about avoiding fraud. From the press release:

We don't know (though I was sorely tempted to call and ask) if the DVD includes any information about protecting ourselves from politicians who lie about tax increases, efficiency studies, pension reform, spending transparency or who engage in counterproductive, excessive regulation and pander to labor unions at taxpayer expense. I doubt it, don't you?

Kentucky Tea Party just getting started

Last month's tea party in Lexington helped generate a lot of interest across the state in citizen activism.

It's just going to get bigger.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the Tax Day Tea Parties at lunchtime in towns across the state and nation on April 15. The big crowds so far have been weekend crowds. How many people will take time on a Wednesday to go to these rallies? I don't know. It might be a little discouraging for people who haven't done much -- or any -- such events.

I've organized and promoted several political events. Some have gone well and some have been complete flops. Some of the April 15 events may not be very big, but organizers will do well to focus instead on the people who do take the time to show up and get to work immediately on the next event.

In fact, it would probably be a good idea to plan another event immediately and promote it at the April 15 event.

By the way, I will emcee the Richmond Tea Party this Saturday, April 11 at 4:00 at Wallingford Broadcasting and will be back in Richmond on April 15 to speak at their Tax Day Tea Party.

At both, we will be promoting the April 18 Bluegrass Tax Liberation Day at Applebee's Park in Lexington.

See how that works?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Shut up and eat your stimulus, part two

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting Republicans who voted against the Spendulus bill by saying they oppose tax cuts.

Interestingly, these same people understood that borrowing money from the future to spread it around today is a bad idea as recently as two years ago.

All he needs is a "kick me" sign

The President of the United States shows the Saudis who is boss.

Speak up, Mayor Newberry

With less than two months before the start of a three-week federal trial against five former Fayette County jail officers accused of abusing inmates and conspiring to keep their activities quiet, it's worth mentioning again that Mayor Jim Newberry claimed last June to know who the other FBI targets are.

Maybe his 2010 election opponent could tell us something. Hello?

Monday, April 06, 2009

More Tea with Leland

Plan on making the trip to Richmond this Saturday, April 11, for a Tea Party featuring WLAP's Leland Conway. Starts at 4pm.

Details here.

Wonder if Gov. Rell would take pork IOU?

Ahead of Tuesday night's NCAA women's basketball championship game between University of Louisville and University of Connecticut, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear bet Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell a ham that U of L will win.

Given Gov. Beshear's broken promises about not raising taxes, cutting government waste, and making state spending more transparent, we have another, unexpected reason to hope the Cardinals win.

Mongiardo retires part of 2004 campaign debt

The breathless media coverage Monday about Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo raising $420,000 in the first quarter of this year to run for U.S. Senate misses one minor detail (click image to expand):

Politicians who don't understand why burying taxpayers in debt is bad may begin to get the picture when they have to hit up donors to finance a six year old campaign bill.

Obama bows to international outrage

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Leland does the math

Obamanomics 101
By Leland Conway

Uh-oh, the ideological left is bragging about President Obama’s big “middle class” tax cut that has just taken effect. Specifically, they are touting what they think it will do for Kentucky. One left leaning website made the optimistic claim that the thirteen additional dollars per week we’ll start seeing in our paychecks will put $800 million dollars back into Kentucky’s economy this year.

On its surface, the potential for an $800 million dollar economic boon sounds like a big deal, until you actually do the math.

First, the legislature in Frankfort just raised cigarette and alcohol taxes. The talking heads parroted the numbers given to them by politicians bragging that it will raise an additional $180 million in tax revenue. So we can cut that optimistic cash infusion from $800 million down to $620 million.

Then, the legislature in Frankfort raised the gas tax. They will tell you that this was not a tax increase, that they merely “froze” the rate at its current level. Don’t buy it. According to Kentucky law, the gas tax was supposed to be a percentage fixed to the wholesale price. Now that gas prices have dropped, they changed the law to their advantage. When prices go back up, and President Obama promises that they will, they’ll just “unfreeze” it again and continue to reap the benefits. Legislators boasted that this shenanigan would bring in an additional $120 million dollars in revenue. Now we can lower our tax cut projection to $500 million.

Next, the federal government is seriously considering cap and trade legislation to wage war against mythical global warming. The U.S. Department of Energy’s own estimates put the lower end cost of this dangerous legislation to each family at $700 additional dollars per year. (In reality, the higher energy costs and other charges will actually cost the average American family upwards of $3100 additional dollars per year.) Using the same whacked out math formula that the aforementioned liberal website used to arrive at the $800 million dollar cash infusion, we can now assume a cost to the commonwealth of an additional $840 million if cap and trade legislation passes. That makes the “middle class” tax cut now worth negative $340 million to Kentuckians.


Don’t blame me; I’m simply using their own math formula and government estimates – which are both overly optimistic. But I’m not done yet. As TV Salesman Billy Mays would say “But wait, there’s more!”

What they are claiming is a tax cut, is actually not a tax cut at all. It’s a tax credit. There is a big difference. A tax cut gives us some of our money back – end of story. This tax credit is actually considered by the government to be taxable income next year for some people. So after they’ve drained our pockets and given us a measly $13 per week, they’ll tax it back. Wow…a tax on a tax cut. Can this get any better?

Using their math formula again, that’s another $80 million dollar hit. Suddenly, Obama’s economic policies which some are claiming will give Kentuckians back $800 million dollars of their own hard earned money, has become a net $420 million dollar loss. Wow.

What started out as bragging about a tax cut becomes a complete charade when you take into account the real effect of Obamanomics, especially here in Kentucky, where we stand to be hit hardest by Obama’s anti-coal rhetoric and coinciding soaring energy costs. Bottom line folks, hold onto your wallets. President Obama, Congress and the Kentucky Legislature are going to cut our taxes until we can’t afford to live.

Tea Party revolution won't be televised

If you can't get the mainstream media to cover your political movement, you just might have to do the job yourself.

Click here to see one outstanding example.

There are more Tea Parties coming. See here and here. Please help spread the word!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Gotta be kidding alert

As hard as it is to believe, some people think President Barack Obama isn't far enough to the left.

Good question

Here is a letter to the editor of the Lexington Herald Leader in Saturday's paper.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Congressman Mike Pence

U.S. Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) said Rep. Brett Guthrie -- who introduced him -- is the first freshman congressman to chair a subcommittee in the House since Richard Nixon.

Pence thanked Bunning for standing up to the bailouts.

"I'm encouraged. I believe we are on the verge of a great American awakening."

"We walked away from our principles and the American people walked away from us."

"We need to be willing to fight for freedom and free markets."

He got a big applause when he said not one Republican voted for Obama's budget.

"We lost the vote, but I think we won the argument."

"We can't ask hard working families who played by the rules and paid their mortgages to bailout the irresponsible ones."

"The American people don't want to know 'what's in it for me,' they want to know what's in it for America."

Pence talked about a man who had lost his job but came to thank Pence the next day for voting against the banking bailout. He quoted the man as saying "I can get another job, but I can't get another country."

"This administration is poised to take away the rights of health care workers who oppose abortions."

"We've got to recognize that our current crisis is more than economic and financial. It's a moral crisis."

"If the foundations of personal responsibility fail, how can our nation stand?"

"The good and great people of this nation will rally to our cause."

Rousing speech. Very well recieved.

Trey Grayson speaks

Secretary of State Trey Grayson began his speech by thanking Senator Jim Bunning, calling him a mentor and friend, and wishing him well in his 2010 race.

Jim Bunning speaks

Sen. Jim Bunning said "Believe me, the bailout plans are not helping the economy get back on track. They are not."

"It's a mess and the new Secretary of the Treasury is making it a bigger mess. And the Chairman of the Federal Reserve is out of control."

Bunning is giving an economics lecture like he did in Richmond and the audience is hanging on every word. (I'm really not exaggerating.)

Bunning got applause while explaining that the Obama Spendathon is not going to help.

Bunning explained that the Obama cap and trade tax on energy will increase costs for everyone.

"You all know me pretty well and how I vote in the U.S. Senate. I'm not anyone's puppet. I'm my own man."

(Pretty big applause here.)

"I am running for a third term in the United States Senate. I know it will be a battle but I am ready for the fight of my life. I vow to you I will do my darndest to represent you in the manner you deserve to be represented and I will do my darndest to kick Danny Mongiardo's butt."

Great speech. Wrong butt.

David Williams speaks

Senate President David Williams started out speaking about the education initiatives that have come out of the Senate the last few years. Got wide applause when he mentioned getting rid of the bogus CATS program.

Williams said he understands that a lot of people are unhappy with the Senate's actions during the last budget. Then he ran off the same list of tax cuts over the last few years that he has talked about in other venues. Nice tactic, but doesn't really help much since we have continued spending well beyond our means.

He's also using the same line about being on the campaign bus next year for the U.S. Senate race but not knowing in what capacity he will be on the bus, an obvious plug for his rumored primary challenge to Sen. Bunning.

Williams got polite applause from the audience when he finished speaking.

Innes takes on the establishment and wins

The Bluegrass Institute's Richard Innes has been one of the primary drivers behind starting to clear the deadwood out of our education bureaucracy in Kentucky.

His latest posts (here and here) are definitely worth checking out if you care about improving Kentucky's public schools.

Jefferson Co. Lincoln Dinner

I'm in Louisville for the GOP Lincoln Dinner. Should be interesting. Stay tuned for updates.

Sen. Mitch McConnell sent the same stupid letter he has sent to every other Lincoln Dinner I've been to this year congratulating Kentucky Republicans for keeping taxes low in Frankfort. It's way past time to update your letter, Senator.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

As Obama spends, we brew tea

I will be on the Kruser Radio Show (WVLK 590 AM) Friday at 12:30 talking about the upcoming Bluegrass Tax Liberation Day in Lexington and the April 11 Tea Party in Richmond.

Also trying to get something going in Frankfort, Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, and in Eastern Kentucky.

This is in addition to the various Tax Day Tea Parties on April 15.

Another federal investigation for Jim Newberry

Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry gets pretty squeamish when someone tries to ask him about the waste, fraud, and abuse going on at the Fayette County Detention Center.
Looks like he has another one creeping and crawling his way.
Jail officials have been notified of an Internal Revenue Service probe into the facility related to illegal inmate labor practices. Newberry continues to have no comment.
Lexington jail Director Ron Bishop keeps tightening his inner circle for closed door meetings, but he still hasn't found my best source.

Now they care about money

The Lexington Herald Leader sat on their hands while Kentucky governments spent us to the brink (here and here, just for starters), but when the self-sufficient and profitable University of Kentucky Athletic Department spends a few bucks to get the best available coach in the nation, they run an online poll like this:

It bears repeating that John Calipari isn't being paid with taxpayer dollars. Some of our bureaucrats and politicians who are paid far less waste much more.
Incidentally, a online poll suggests very strongly that a national audience gives the Calipari hire a thumbs up. The Herald Leader's great ideas like making government bigger and diminishing Kentucky's business competitiveness can't begin to compare to this kind of return on investment.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Sign the petition

Free trade makes people freer, wealthier, and promotes peace.

Great essay and free trade petition right here. Check it out and sign it!

Thanks a lot, Ben and John!

Remember back in January when Reps. Ben Chandler and John Yarmuth voted to expand SCHIP by raising the federal cigarette tax?

We don't have any idea yet how much the government expansion will cost us, but we have an idea about the damage our two guys will do to Kentucky's state budget.

It is April Fools, but this very unfunny joke is on all the rest of us.

Another wild homeschool story

A family from Germany is seeking political asylum in Tennessee so they can homeschool their children, a practice that's been illegal in their home country since Hitler made it so in 1937.

They might have come to Kentucky for our still-substantial homeschooling freedoms. But our political, tax, and fiscal situations make us less stable than our neighbors to the south.

Thanks to NightWriter for passing this along.