Thursday, June 30, 2011

Just a $30 million political game, this time

One week ago, Kentucky state finance officials went to New York and spent $30 million on a bipartisan campaign stunt. You probably haven't heard anything about the nearly $400 million our state borrowed last week or the net loss of $30 million on restructuring of bonds for the sole purpose of making last year's state budget appear balanced. Want to know why?

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans in Frankfort care to draw attention to the fact that their self-congratulatory press conferences about how they set their differences aside and balanced the budget are based on you not knowing how much the charade is costing you.

We will never stop this kind of nonsense from repeating itself until we can draw attention to it and turn up the heat enough to make it stop. Kentucky Knows Best PAC blew the whistle Tuesday on how convicted felon state legislators are allowed to keep their fat pensions for life and already that issue has stirred Kentuckians to action.

With the state budget, the stakes are much higher and the need for sustained action is much greater.

Please forward this message as widely as you can and tell everyone you know that pretending to balance Kentucky's budget while borrowing and spending hundreds of millions of dollars is a fraud perpetrated against the people of Kentucky and that we have the power to make the politicians stop it. Working together, we can exercise that power.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Solving Kentucky's felon legislator problem

Kentucky has made national news today by paying a bloated legislative pension for life to former Beshear administration official and former State Rep. Steve Nunn. So the obvious question now is about preventing this from happening again.

That should be easy.

We just need to amend KRS 6.696 by striking the words "relating to his duties as a legislator" and the next time a former state legislator gets a huge pension boost via gubernatorial appointment and then gets convicted of a felony, taxpayers at least won't have to pay him a huge pension.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blago loses pension, Steve Nunn keeps his

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, found guilty of trying to sell President Barack Obama's old U.S. Senate seat, will lose his state pension due to the felony conviction. Former Kentucky State Representative Steve Nunn, however, gets to keep his state pension even after pleading guilty to murder earlier today.

Kentucky law states a lawmaker convicted of a felony loses his pension only if it is a felony "relating to his duties as a legislator." Nice loophole, I guess. Nunn is also a beneficiary of the 2005 legislative pension grab, though it could have been worse.

Kentucky Roll Call's Lowell Reese determined that Nunn's 2009 arrest saved taxpayers half a million dollars in pension benefits, but he will still be able to draw nearly $30,000 a year in prison.

cross-posted on Kentucky Knows Best.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Walking back Weiner's wild wages

Now that Congressman Anthony Weiner is taking his photography and social media skills home from his illustrious legislative career, the next thing to do is look at the fat government pension he gets.

Apparently his taxpayer-provided benefits are worth about a million dollars.

Today should be a great day to ask professional politicians to try to justify their pensions in order to get some of that money back.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

They must be joking update

The Lexington Herald Leader covered Governor Steve Beshear's big announcement today that he sold a 2.1 acre lot in Frankfort to Franklin County. Interesting spin here:

Of course if you are keeping score at home, the number that matters to you is not $78,750 or $7.4 million, but instead $30 million, which is what this bipartisan charade will cost you next week in the bond market.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

If Mitt Romney governed Kentucky...

Consider the interesting way in which Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is both against ObamaCare and for it on the campaign trail. It's kind of pathetic, really, and there is no way he is going to get away with it.

Too bad he is not a Democratic governor running for re-election in Kentucky. Steve Beshear appears to be getting a total pass for refusing to oppose implementation of the federal health care takeover while quietly seeking exemption from it.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The sincerest form of quackery

Anyone who remembers the mess Kentucky made of its health insurance market in 1994 forcing insurance companies to ignore pre-existing conditions should know enough to not expect much from ObamaCare's Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan.

Inexplicably, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear remembers, but stops short of doing enough to protect Kentuckians.