Thursday, February 28, 2013

UK grad schools Jack Conway on 14th Amendment

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway wants to shut down RJ Bruner's Lexington moving company and send his 31 employees packing.

Wildcat Moving was fined thousands of dollars in 2011 by the state for operating a moving company without state permission. Bruner took a good look at the arbitrary and capricious state application process and the 2010 MBA graduate filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging violation of his Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the law.

He is right. And this week, United States District Judge Danny C. Reeves sided with him in refusing Conway's motion to dismiss his lawsuit. Kentucky law gives existing moving companies the right to veto new applicants wishing to join the marketplace.

At his next press conference, Conway should be forced to explain why he is fighting against this young Kentuckian and his small army of employees instead of fighting for them.

Senator Tom Buford's Senate Bill 132 would eliminate this process for companies moving "household goods" but leave it in place for those moving people. His bill needs to become law and then we should go back and strike the whole ridiculous idea of government deciding who gets to be a market participant and who doesn't.

Getting this right across the board would only help Kentucky consumers and providers of such absurdly over-regulated products and services as health care, financial services and labor.

Beshear attacks Kentucky dentists

More shocking mismanagement of Kentucky Medicaid Services (KMS) has come to light in which state officials are illegally attempting to bilk oral surgeons who treat poor, toothless Kentuckians. At issue is a service called alveoplasty performed for Medicaid patients after all their teeth have been removed.

In an attempt to shore up state finances, KMS has cut payments for alveoplasty services retroactively from 2006 to 2011 and demanded repayment from surgeons for work they performed during that time. Some Kentucky surgeons are looking at bills from the government for tens of thousands of dollars.

Of course, our surgeons are fighting back. We must join them in this because such outrageous actions threaten to further limit the availability of dental surgeons in Kentucky at reasonable prices -- or perhaps at any price at all. 

Please share this information with your elected representatives in Frankfort. Tell them to force recission of Department of Medicaid Services Internal Change Order 16402. Further, they should support Senate Bill 39, which will require greater scrutiny of the proposed Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare. If they are playing these flimflam games with Medicaid now, it will only get worse under a much larger program.

Kentucky sequestration exclamation

Amid the wall-to-wall freaking out over the federal "sequester," it's worth pointing out that Kentucky has had eleven sequesters since Governor Steve Beshear took office. Notice anything about spending in this chart?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mitch McConnell skewers himself

Sen. Mitch McConnell has never been a big fan of the Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative Washington D.C. group committed to replacing moderate Republicans with fiscal hawks.

It's about to get a whole lot worse for him.

The Club has released its 2012 Congressional Scorecard which shows Sen. McConnell with his lowest score since 2008.

Think bailouts.

The 2012 votes that could cost Sen. McConnell dearly in May 2012 include votes against cutting federal gas taxes and returning some highway programs to the states, voting against a fiscally conservative budget blueprint, voting against cuts to farm subsidies and loan guarantees. He also got dinged for voting in favor of a bloated spending bill for transportation programs, student loan and flood insurance subsidies and for voting to fund ObamaCare.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mary Lou Marzian bites Louisville Courier Journal

If the Louisville Courier Journal has a favorite Kentucky state legislator, it could well be Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, a left-wing politician of epic proportions. It is more than a little odd, then, to see her filing a resolution in Frankfort to muzzle our largest newspaper, a left-wing media outlet of epic proportions.

House Concurrent Resolution 6 would force media corporations to stop attempting to influence elections in Kentucky. That's not Rep. Marzian's intention, of course, but that's what you get when you don't think things through.

And she seriously didn't think this one through.

HCR 6 calls on Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and prohibit corporate political support through federal and state legislation.

A little thing called a "media exemption" jumps out as problematic here for fans of the Courier Journal. Banning corporate political speech nationally won't generally concern Gannett, the CJ's corporate parent, because federal election law exempts what it defines as "media" from such regulation, but Kentucky law contains no such loophole.  

That means Rep. Marzian can't shut off corporate political activity for Kentucky corporations she doesn't like without also silencing those she does like. 

A bipartisan trait of most politicians somehow prevents them from universally recognizing the value of absolute individual rights. Some like absolute gun rights but can't imagine missing an opportunity to prohibit ingestion of some substances. Others, like Marzian, like speech from friends supporting their worldview but can't endure thoughts from political opponents. Sometimes, amid all their infringing and prohibiting, these politicians get a little sloppy. This is one of those times.

Why don't these people just once, when faced with a choice between limiting freedom unevenly and promoting its unalienable aspects stop twisting themselves into pretzels to justify controlling people and just let freedom happen?

Kentucky's Constitution very unambiguously guarantees freedom of speech, promising "no law shall ever be made to restrain the right thereof." Rep. Marzian embarrasses herself attempting to use Section 150 of the Kentucky Constitution in her resolution to justify stifling political speech of corporations, when this section speaks to vote buying activity of both individuals and corporations. Is she saying she wants to muzzle private citizens in Kentucky as well as her hometown newspaper, which seems to never tire of endorsing her and her ideas?

I'd love for a Courier Journal reporter to ask her that.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Don't let Frankfort Republicans cave on this

Kentucky's Senate Republican caucus has agreed to approve all of Governor Steve Beshear's executive branch appointments this year in exchange for nothing, President Robert Stivers' office has confirmed.

This will not do. Kentucky conservatives have a great opportunity to fight back against this cave-in mentality and exposing Frankfort's ridiculous "new tone" nonsense, which is political speak for giving up the farm.

Of fifty one confirmation resolutions filed in the Senate so far, fifty of them are sponsored by members of the Senate Republican caucus. The one exception is Kentucky's point person for ObamaCare, Insurance Commissioner Sharon Clark. Republicans are understandably squeamish about publicly sponsoring re-confirmation of the bureaucrat behind Kentucky's illegally formed and funded ObamaCare scheme, but the fix is in for approval of Commissioner Clark in the late days of the session in hopes sexier issues will distract attention from this outrage.

Senate Republicans have made a deal with Beshear to the detriment of all Kentuckians just to play to the media theme of them being nice guys. Please call your Senator and demand that he or she publicly refuse to support confirmation of the person who has set us up for the massive federal takeover of our healthcare system.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Perjury for fun and profit in Lexington

Fayette County Prosecutor Charles "Sam" Finley apparently thought he was being cute in his court battle against a Lexington small business and it may get him in hot water.

Finley filed an 11th hour motion yesterday to appeal a judge's order for Lexington police to return tens of thousands of dollars in improperly confiscated inventory to Botany Bay, 932 Winchester Rd. Lexington Police have blatantly ignored orders from Judge Kim Wilkie to return the inventory -- which video evidence seems to indicate they have destroyed.

In Finley's motion, he claimed Judge Wilkie did not allow prosecutors and police to give supporting evidence for holding on to Botany Bay's inventory, much of which was taken despite not being specified -- even generally -- on a search warrant served last August. His claim, it turns out, was false. Judge Wilkie made that point abundantly clear in court.

Wilkie's ten minute dressing down of Finley in court this morning was a sight to behold. How this young kid, a 2011 graduate of NKU law school, thought he would get away with it is unimaginable.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hemp unanimously passes Senate panel

The funniest thing about hemp opponents' drubbing in today's Senate Agriculture Committee was Democrats who voted in favor of the hemp bill telling anyone who would listen that Governor Steve Beshear called and told them to vote no.

Industrial hemp in Kentucky has bipartisan support and its opponents risk looking very silly if they keep fighting it. Should be a fun issue in the 2014 elections for those "drug warriors" so anxiously engaged in keeping Kentuckians from producing such a beneficial product.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

"Some people" are right, Senator

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers got the state pension discussion off to a bad start when he told the Lane Report the General Assembly is not to blame for us having the worst funded fringe benefits in the nation.

"Some say the General Assembly caused the problem," Stivers told Ed Lane. He then explained that since he has been in leadership (2008), the legislature "has funded to the recommended or greater amount than the Kentucky Retirement System stipulated to the Senate as being the appropriate contribution -- each and every budget cycle."

Technically, Stivers' whole statement is true, but the only meaningful part is the bit about some people blaming legislators. The problem is not enough people are blaming legislators yet. Yes, since 2008 KRS has "stipulated to" the funding schedule passed in 2008 that requires legislators to fund an increasing portion of the the annual required contribution over 20 years, though the contribution never gets up to full funding until the twentieth year.

By then, it may be too late. The Senate's pension reform bill, SB 2, by the way, is basically another "too little, too late" effort that isn't terrible but also lacks the substance to end our pension crisis. Only better budgeting and more funding (and oversight) of KRS will do that now. 

UPDATE: Just got an email from Sen. Stivers' office clarifying that he meant to say the legislature has funded to the level requested by the Governor (and not KRS). And that's fine, but it and all the talking in the world won't solve what actions would have taken care of a long time ago. The public can be engaged effectively on this issue, Senator Stivers, but we are missing the opportunity.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Jim DeCesare, ObamaCare slayer

Kentucky Senator Julie Denton's anti-ObamaCare bills (SB 39 and SB 40) will have no trouble getting through the Senate, but Obamacrats in the House have promised a swift death to both of them in the House Health & Welfare Committee.

A discharge petition requiring signatures of twenty five House members could force the bills past leadership and onto the House floor for a vote, where lots of Democrats would be afraid to vote against them. Bowling Green Rep. Jim DeCesare was the first to bring the issue up today.

"We would have to let the bills languish in a committee for a little while, but then we could do (a discharge petition)," DeCesare said.

Please call the legislature at 502-564-8100 and thank Rep. DeCesare for his leadership on killing ObamaCare in Kentucky. He will then need 24 friends in the House to step forward. Any volunteers?

Monday, February 04, 2013

Kentucky spending orgy

Kentucky's Health Benefit Exchange has finally coughed up the Budget Narrative from their monster $182 million ObamaCare grant application that came through for them on January 17. In it, they describe the titles, duties and cost of 119 employees for the web site purportedly designed to make it easier for us to buy health insurance.

The average annual pay plus benefits for 119 employees comes out to $122,650. Nothing else these people have pulled could possibly better frame this issue for handling it correctly. It is past time to shut down ObamaCare in Kentucky. Please contact your representatives, local media and everyone you know and tell them about this so we can finish the job once and for all.

If you like getting information like this first, please consider clicking here and making a contribution to keep the effort going. Thanks for all you do.

Romney staffer still pimping ObamaCare

If Mitt Romney had been elected President, his chief of staff would have been former Utah Governor Michael Leavitt. Governor Leavitt has been a chief proponent of ObamaCare.

Late last week, Leavitt posted on his blog another sales pitch for state-run health benefit exchanges, complete with seriously questionable economic assumptions and ignoring the key fact that states who want out of ObamaCare need to decline to run their own exchange in order to avoid federal tax penalties.

The advisory board of Kentucky's health benefit exchange meets again on February 28, 2013 at 1:30 at 12 Mill Creek Park, Frankfort. Please make plans to attend if you can and bring friends to draw more attention to what these people are trying to spring on us. Attendees at previous meetings have found them to be a very eye-opening experience.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

A better "drugs" solution

I will be speaking at a rally in favor of medicinal marijuana on Wednesday at 1pm ET at the state capitol on Wednesday. We will be in room 149 in the capitol annex if we can all fit in there.

Please spread the word.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Frankfort's jig is up

Among the things I have been yelling about for years is the fake balanced budgets state government keeps patting itself on the back about and the pretense to revenue shortfalls. Sadly, state media members have been more loyal to politicians than to their readers or the truth on this front.

A small sign this may soon change came in the form of a front page article in Saturday's Lexington Herald Leader headlined "Kentucky's financial outlook lowered to 'negative' because of pension woes."

Deep in the article was a quote from Moody's, a ratings agency who isn't as susceptible to political spin.

"Kentucky's credit outlook is negative. While revenue growth has improved, the commonwealth's sizable budget deficits over the past few years led to a depletion of reserve balances and borrowing for budget relief."

Republicans and Democrats alike tell their constituents how hard they work each year to "balance the budget." It's baloney. Spread the word, please.

Read more here:

Friday, February 01, 2013

On WLAP 630 AM Lexington today

I will be a guest on the Matt Walsh Show with substitute host Tom Dupree today at 4:30 pm. We will be talking about a unique constitutional protection available to Kentuckians that we would do well to pay more attention to and that other states would do well to emulate.

You can listen by clicking here.