Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Senate still wants to tax your allergies

Kentucky Senator Robert Stivers filed Senate Bill 3 today as part of the continuing effort to force allergy sufferers to get a doctor's prescription before they can buy allergy medicine containing pseudoephedrine.

"Snot tax" supporters claim that limiting access to allergy and cold medicine by innocent people will help with the drug problem in the state.

It might be interesting to see this come to a vote to learn where the players are on the issue.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Obama declares war on Tea Party

You may not want to hear anything Barack Obama has to say between now and election day. But Obama feels the same way about you -- and he controls the IRS, which gives him the upper hand in trying to shut you up.

And, of course, he is now abusing that power.

Obama is using the Internal Revenue Service to prevent citizen groups from forming 501(c)(4) corporations. This effectively limits individual citizens' ability to associate and petition the government for redress of grievances as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

If you are a member of the Kentucky 912 Project, Obama has you in his crosshairs right now. The Kentucky 912 Project is comparing notes with other liberty groups across the country and have found dozens whose applications for 501(c)(4) status have been denied or revoked by the IRS.

In case you were looking for another reason to support dismantling the IRS, you can now include ending the ability of an out of control president using federal power to take your voice away.

This is a great example of an issue that you don't have to be directly affected by to understand that we must stand with our friends in their time of need before we find ourselves standing alone against such tyranny.

Please read up on this issue and tell everyone you know.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kentucky casino bill sleeps with fishes

It was pretty easy to see this coming.

Kentucky can't create a casino bill that generates income for the state and expands revenue at the racetracks sufficiently to gain the votes to pass the legislature.

And this afternoon, the bill they put up failed on the Senate floor.

Maybe next year they will try something different. But if they can't reconcile the vast differences between those who want most of the revenue to go to tracks and those who want most of the revenue to go to the state, then those who just oppose casinos don't have to do much other than sit back and watch the circus.

And now that it is over for 2012, let's hope we can do something serious about spending less in the budget than revenues will cover.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tea Party rocks the rotunda

I will be on the Leland Conway radio show Tuesday at 3:50 pm ET talking about Wednesday's Tea Party rally in Frankfort.

You can listen online at wlap.com or on Lexington radio at 630 AM. The Facebook event page is here.

See you Wednesday at 10:30 am ET in the capitol rotunda.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Tea Party pulls it all together

We've had tea party events in Kentucky focused on federal issues and tea party events focused on state issues,  but on Wednesday we will have federal candidates drawing attention to a state issue.

The juxtaposition is creating significant interest.

On February 22 at 10:30 am ET at the state capitol's rotunda, confirmed speakers Alecia Webb-Edgington, Gary Moore and Thomas Massie, 4th district congressional candidates, and 6th district congressional candidate Andy Barr join state legislators and others to draw attention to state government overspending and debt.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Leland Conway rallies for debt ceiling

WLAP talk personality Leland Conway will speak to a tea party rally in support of a state debt ceiling in Frankfort next week.

The rally will be held at the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday, February 22 at 10:30 am ET. The public is invited to attend.

The tea party has been pushing hard for a mandated limit on state debt since last fall. The state Senate has named this issue their highest priority with Senate Bill 1.

Please spread the word about this event. Click here to go the Facebook page.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Left coast state bites Obama

Oregon hasn't voted for a Republican presidential candidate in almost thirty years. But earlier this week a bipartisan coalition of state House members turned on President Barack Obama by voting to refuse to set up a state-run health insurance exchange, a key component of ObamaCare.

If they can do that there, it stands to reason our guys and gals in Frankfort can figure it out, too.

The Oregonian reports, however, that some legislators there are determined to keep drinking the Kool-Aid.

"Democrats protested that the exchange would be funded by federal money as well as insurance fees, and would not affect the state budget."

This is just the latest example of politicians who haven't read something they are voting on that will cost taxpayers money. The bulk of the ObamaCare federal money goes away in 2016 and the impact on state budgets will be substantial. In any case, it is ridiculously false to claim that there will be no impact on state budgets. Even Nancy Pelosi isn't trying that one.

Kentucky politicians would do very well to get out in front of this one.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Big Tea Party advance today

Nine months ago, Kentucky's state Senate President openly mocked tea partiers who wanted to limit the state's debt. On Wednesday, the Senate's top priority -- Senate Bill 1 -- was announced as, you guessed it, a state debt ceiling bill.

The bill prohibits the accumulation of any additional general fund appropriation-supported debt when the ratio of that debt exceeds six percent of general fund appropriated revenues. An exception in the bill for "emergency" situations requires a request by the governor and approval of majorities of both chambers of the legislature.

The current debt ratio is over six percent.

I'd prefer to see the ratio set lower -- like five percent -- and I'd prefer to do without the "emergency" escape hatch. But if it takes giving some on these two points to get the bill through, it looks like a step in the right direction.

If we can keep them below six percent, we can go for five percent later. And get ready to resist any bogus "emergency" debt bills.

This is a great issue for House candidates to start making noise about right away.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tea party should demand a refund

Kentucky's legislative redistricting has been a disaster because of incumbent politicians seeking first to protect their turf. The shenanigans have caused some challenger candidates to file multiple times as the district boundaries have changed.

And the boundaries could change yet again.

The legislature should move immediately to refund any filing fees for candidates who have had to file more than once. While they are at it, they should refund fees to any candidate who decides not to run when the final lines are established.

I know the idea is to frustrate anyone who wants to come into the process from the outside in hopes he or she will just go away. This abuse of the public is exactly the type of thing we must fight against.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Extend Bush tax cuts now

On January 13, 2013, the Bush tax cuts are set to expire and taxes will go up for most Americans. Making them permanent should be an immediate priority for all presidential and congressional candidates, even those proposing to drop rates lower.

Lower rates are for next year. Right now is the time to prevent January 1 from being Tax Increase Day 2013. Even if Republicans liberate the White House and the Senate, there will certainly be enough Democrats in the Senate to filibuster against a bill to keep rates where they are now.

Representatives Ben Chandler and John Yarmuth have shown themselves to be untrustworthy on taxes already. They should hear from us every day between now and election day on extending the Bush tax cuts. Kentucky's Republican members of Congress should get the same earful at least until the House passes such a bill.

Showing taxpayers what they could buy with the money Obama and the Democrats want to take from them on New Year's Day would make an interesting campaign message.

Only one way to get more cosponsors

Kentucky House Bill 26, the welfare drug testing bill, has sixty cosponsors. The only way to get more names on a bill in Frankfort is to propose naming a bridge after a war hero.

Rep. Tom Burch is locking up the bill in the House Health and Welfare Committee with complaints which prove only that he hasn't bothered to read the bill.

Please call your legislators and ask them to tell Rep. Burch to read the bill and then to pass it out of the committee he chairs.

Friday, February 10, 2012

TEA time in Kentucky

The final, official list of Kentucky state House candidates includes at least two dozen very serious Tea Party Republican candidates.

One name to watch is Jessamine County's Matt Lockett.

Lockett faces House Majority Caucus Leader Bob Damron in the 39th House district.

Damron just voted to move the largest concentration of Republicans in Jessamine County out of the Sixth Congressional district so Rep. Ben Chandler might be more likely to carry water for Washington D.C. Democrats for the rest of his life.

Unfortunately for Damron, those conservative voters are back in Bob's district after he and Speaker Greg Stumbo botched the redistricting process for the state House.

Bob has also raised the ire of Americans for Tax Reform after he failed to keep his promise on their Taxpayer Protection Pledge when he voted to raise taxes.

Why isn't Kentucky Tebowing?

Long-time fans of Tim Tebow know that he was a home-schooled kid who, under Florida law, was allowed to play football at a public high school. That's how he came to the attention of the Florida Gators and, ultimately, became an NFL throwing-and-praying sensation.

The issue should come to the attention of Kentucky's General Assembly now because Virginia is close to passing its own "Tebow law" which would give that state's homeschool students access to sports teams their tax dollars are already paying for.

Yes, doing this dredges up tough questions about sports eligibility and recruiting but sorting them out is a small price to pay for restoring lost taxpayer rights to homeschoolers who choose to exercise them. And Kentucky public school students would benefit from a glimpse into the homeschool world.

Of course, maybe that is what "Big Ed" is afraid of in Kentucky. It's way past time to fundamentally alter the way we view utilization of our public education dollars. Putting the focus on serving children rather than protecting bureaucratic turf has to start someplace. Let's start here.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

After Indiana victory, Right to Work comes here

Supporters of freedom from forced unionism in Kentucky workplaces are mapping out a strategy to make Kentucky a Right to Work state within six to eight years.

In Right to Work states, an individual can't be forced to join a union in order to get or keep a job.

Union dues are often used to support left wing causes and candidates, in opposition to the interests of most Kentuckians. Indiana became the only rust belt state to go Right to Work on February 1.

This law is particularly necessary in Kentucky because of special protections granted labor unions such as prevailing wage laws which artificially inflate the cost of public construction projects.

New job growth in Indiana as a result of Right to Work should help the effort to end forced unionism in Kentucky.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Richie Farmer: how low can we set the bar?

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer made international news last week when it was revealed that he applied for unemployment benefits after his two terms in office ended in December.

Well, you won't believe this.

Apparently Richie got the rejection letter all the rest of us knew would be coming. And then he filed an appeal.

Kentucky has a long tradition of colorful characters running for -- and serving in -- political office. As long as name recognition is a key determinant of electoral success, we may have a tough time upgrading the quality of our candidates and officeholders. But if this sad tale doesn't motivate us to give less money and less power to our government, I don't know what will.

Still not kicking the right butts

On Wednesday morning, the Kentucky Senate Health and Welfare Committee will spend a significant amount of time on "Medicaid managed care provider problems." There are a lot of them.

The state Medicaid program is a serious mess. This comes after Gov. Steve Beshear spent the first three years of his first term "studying" managed care in Medicaid and just the last few months hurriedly putting it into place.

And now he and his friends are frantically trying to pretend ObamaCare won't make it much worse.

Let's define marriage as between free people

A federal appeals court in San Francisco today said states can't define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Two things should happen as this issue makes its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. First, the "Johnson Amendment" which allows the Internal Revenue Service to limit the freedom of speech of churches should be repealed. Then we should repeal all taxes on income in order to end government involvement in both the exercise of religion and the definition of marriage.

The left will not allow those two things to happen, of course. They would rather keep the same-sex marriage activists busy supporting Democratic candidates than risk being consistent on the protection of individual freedom in America.

Meanwhile, churches and socially conservative people will continue to resist efforts of the left to take for themselves another weapon against those who don't accept their agendas.

Rep. Damron, call the Governor

Speaking on the Jack Pattie show this morning, House Majority Caucus Leader Bob Damron said the state of Kentucky is waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on ObamaCare before setting up the federal law's health insurance exchange bureaucracy.

This is false.

Governor Beshear, while denying to state reporters that he is working to create the ObamaCare infrastructure in Kentucky, has accepted millions of federal dollars for that purpose and has informed the National Conference of State Legislatures that he is using the state's Division of Certificate Need to implement by executive order what the legislature is too chicken to pass or kill in public.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Steve Beshear's lips still moving

Governor Steve Beshear is still denying to Frankfort reporters that he is working to sneak an ObamaCare health insurance exchange past the legislature.

Stopping ObamaCare in Kentucky should not be very difficult at all.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Is this the Seinfeld legislature?

The 2012 Kentucky General Assembly has been pretty underwhelming so far. One sign this might be the "session about nothing" is that four bills to remove an unpopular, expensive and, frankly embarrasssing legislative pension provision haven't even gotten as much as a committee hearing.

And it's not like they have been busy taking on other issues of substance.

Please call your lawmakers and ask them to pass HB 117, SB 26, HB 65 or SB 28.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

What, no more politician cake?

Caleb Brown at the Bluegrass Institute points out former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer's application for unemployment insurance at the end of his term lays bare an ugly fact -- we train our political class to not think past the next election.

Of course, these are the same people who piled a record amount of debt on us in 2011.

Glauber: stop Beshear on ObamaCare

The failure of Kentucky's legislature to protect against exploding costs of ObamaCare could be the most expensive story of the 2012 General Assembly, 26th district House of Representatives candidate David Glauber said.

"Governor Steve Beshear is working to advance the federal healthcare law by executive order and without the approval of the legislature," Glauber said. "If he did ask, even the House Democrats would surely refuse him in an election year. If we don't stop the federal law, in 2016 our already unaffordable state Medicaid expenses will skyrocket."

"We need a bill to prohibit Governor Beshear from creating a state health insurance exchange under the ObamaCare law without input from the legislature," Glauber said.