Thursday, November 17, 2011

What will Kentucky Senate GOP do?

Last year at this time, Kentucky's Senate Republicans put up a comprehensive agenda in an ambitious if transparent attempt to give Senate President David Williams some conservative credentials.

Now that Williams is no longer a candidate for governor, will Senate Republicans move in 2012 to show that 2011 was more than a campaign stunt?

Despite some calls for Williams to step down, he remains the President of the Senate. He says that he will be a better Senate President. We sure need one.

He could start by showing up for the redistricting discussion. House Speaker Greg Stumbo has shown his hand, which appears to show that he wants Congressman Hal Rogers' job. And the congressional delegation seems to be playing the same game. Williams will do well to propose a more balanced plan. And the sooner, the better.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Will Mike Cherry show up in 2012?

With Democratic Sen. Dennis Parrett's pre-filing yesterday of a bill to clean up the David Williams pension scandal, only one caucus of the General Assembly has failed to show interest in the effort.

House Republican Ron Crimm and Senate Republican Jimmy Higdon previously filed similar bills to what the Senate has passed the last two years. House Democrats failed to respond both times, choosing instead to keep the issue on the table as Senate President Williams ran for governor.

In fact, Rep. Mike Cherry filed such a bill in the 2011 session but didn't even call it up for discussion in his own committee.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Will Gary Johnson sue WKYT and WLKY?

Presidential candidate Gary Johnson filed a campaign finance complaint against CBS with the Federal Election Commission today, claiming that by excluding him from its televised debate the network contributed illegally to his opponents.

CBS will claim exemption from the rules under the federal media exemption, but Johnson has made a good point. He's polling even with Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum. If they can receive the significant value of inclusion in a prime time nationally televised debate but he can't, are our federal campaign finance laws really providing equal protection to all citizens? Why not?

Incidentally, Kentucky doesn't have a media exemption. Perhaps Johnson should file his complaint against the CBS affiliates here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Industrial hemp won last Tuesday

Overlooked in much of the post-election punditry is the increasing support for industrial hemp as a cash crop in Kentucky.

When conservative candidates started campaigning on hemp cultivation last fall, establishment politicos attempted to capitalize on common misperceptions about hemp to scare people.

The election of James Comer as Agriculture Commissioner could well change that. Comer campaigned in support of hemp and now has the opportunity to lead on an issue whose time has come.

There is already one bill pre-filed to support growth of hemp in Kentucky. Expect there to be more.

Let the unwinding of ObamaCare begin

The U.S. Supreme Court just announced a ruling on the constitutionality of ObamaCare will probably come in June 2012.

Kentucky can move to protect ourselves somewhat from the unpredictable nature of the Court. Let's begin by sending back the federal money delivered to Frankfort to begin implementation of ObamaCare. And then let's repeal Kentucky's Certificate of Need laws.

Lots more to do before June, but that's a start.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ken Moellman didn't beat K.C. Crosbie

The front page of the Lexington Herald Leader on Saturday exclaimed in large letters that Kentucky tea partiers didn't accept blame for GOP losses this week. And we don't, but that will not deter the establishment types eager to hang K.C. Crosbie's narrow loss in the Treasurer's race around the Tea Party's neck.

The issue first came up earlier in the year when Tea Party Republican candidates Phil Moffett and John Kemper signed Libertarian candidate Ken Moellman's ballot petition. Changing Kentucky's ballot access laws to end the artificial GOP/Democrat duopoly will be a great Republican issue when the party grasps the idea that the real enemy is a system that limits voters' voices by limiting their choices. If you need a refresher on the concept, watch the movie Miracle on 34th Street.

The bottom line is 843,028 people voted in Kentucky's latest election and only 806,590 cast a ballot in the Treasurer's race. That's more than enough apathy to have made up K.C.'s 17,497 vote deficit in the race.

That's also not as far-fetched as the assumption all of Moellman's 37,261 votes would have gone to Crosbie. Moellman campaigned on shutting down the Treasurer's office, just as GOP nominee Melinda Wheeler did four years ago. Crosbie campaigned on doing more with the office.

If the Crosbie loss turns into another excuse for the GOP establishment to flog tea partiers for holding onto their principles, then nothing good will come of this. If, instead, Republicans show openness to ideas (and, more importantly, confidence in their own) by championing the repeal of bogus ballot access hurdles for people who are not Republicans or Democrats, a step toward solidifying support for the small government ideals we claim to support will have been made.

I'm not holding my breath. Are you?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Et tu, John David Dyche?

Establishment politicians are really, really big on loyalty-for-its-own-sake, especially when things aren't going well for them. So it was extraordinary to see Louisville Courier Journal columnist John David Dyche call on Senate President David Williams to step down.

Should be interesting...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Newt Gingrich gets the third thing wrong

If you think Rick Perry forgetting the name of the Energy Department was an unforgivable sin, click here.

Why David Williams lost

Senate President David Williams said he lost because he is unpopular and not because of his conservative message. He is half right and this is the most important point of the election.

David Williams lacked the popular support to get elected governor because he betrayed conservative principles over and over and over again and demonstrated great wrath against anyone who dared call him on it.

Predictably, some people want us to believe conservative principles lost on Tuesday. Others just want to blame the Tea Party. But the only way we fail now is if we stop pushing for smaller government and less political power concentrated in the hands of a small number of professional politicians.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Don't let Hal Rogers do this

Congressional redistricting hasn't gotten the coverage it deserves and now we know why. Rep. Ben Chandler has worked out a quiet deal to trade some of his Republican voters to Rep. Hal Rogers' 5th district and in exchange will gain enough Democrats to solidify his otherwise shaky hold on the central Kentucky seat.

Their scheme has to be approved by the General Assembly. Call your state Representative and Senator and tell them the purpose of redistricting is to ensure better representation for the people and not safer seats for professional politicians.

Steve Nunn Pension Act of 2012

Convicted murderer (and former state Rep.) Steve Nunn gets to keep his legislative pension while serving his life sentence without the possibility of parole.

His pension is enhanced by a little goody legislative leaders rammed through late in the 2005 session.

While we are looking for bipartisan agreement, getting rid of legislative pensions would surely be a fine place to start.

An unfortunate lack of differentiation

Republicans win when they show themselves to be substantially different than their opponents. Looking forward to 2012, the GOP needs more people who will stand up against the status quo all the time and not just right before a general election.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

One election night number

One number tells the story of election night: 444.

That's the number of votes separating Senate President David Williams from the worst candidate on the ballot, Agriculture Commissioner candidate Bob Farmer.

Meanwhile, Farmer's opponent James Comer outpolled Williams' opponent Gov. Steve Beshear by 56,052 votes. That's way more than enough ticket-splitting to deny Williams a governor's pension.

I hope this puts to rest any ideas Williams had of taking control of the Republican Party of Kentucky in the new year. He would do well to go to the Senate and put action behind some of his newly discovered conservative campaign talking points.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Kentucky "a bit stranger"

The Wall Street Journal Online takes a look at Kentucky's gubernatorial race this morning and you can watch the video by clicking here.

Kim Strassel refers to Kentucky as "a bit stranger" than other states in an interesting if imprecise analysis. Trying to make sense of an Obama-supporting Democrat crushing a Republican in a state that rejects Obama overwhelmingly without understanding what a horrible candidate David Williams, though, would be a challenge for anyone.

The key point to take away from this race is that Kentucky Republicans who try to run a budget-busting legislator who claims to be a budget-cutter should expect to lose to a Democrat who plays the same game.

Monday, November 07, 2011

David Williams' Budget Buddha

Kentucky's GOP gubernatorial nominee David Williams wasted most of last week attacking Steve Beshear's Christian faith in a manner reminiscent of Jack Conway's desperate Hail Mary against Rand Paul last year.

So, how is he spending the last day of the campaign? By attacking Beshear on the state budget.

This line of attack is years too late to have any credibility at all. Williams voted for every one of nine budget bills Beshear signed into law, approving every dime of excessive debt and the failure to seriously address our state's fiscal issues. Our state budget should have been the most important issue throughout the fall election, but after years of silent complicity Williams was forced to mostly avoid the subject. The state budget has to be more than a little statue whose belly Republicans rub the day before an election for good luck. Job number one for conservative Kentuckians in 2012 and beyond will be to get establishment politicians to either understand that or get out of the way. If you'd like to support Kentucky Knows Best PAC in this effort, please donate whatever you can by clicking here. Thanks for all that you do.

Did Sarah Palin just define Kentucky for 2011?

I was off by a few days when I hinted last week about a big endorsement in Kentucky's Attorney General race. By now you have surely heard about Sarah Palin endorsing Todd P'Pool, invoking national and state issues the Democrat incumbent has failed to address.

I think 2011 in Kentucky is about to become the Year of the Ticket-Splitter.

Sarah Palin knows Kentucky Senate President David Williams. He was state chairman of Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. So on Friday when Palin weighed in the Kentucky elections, she endorsed Attorney General candidate Todd P'Pool.

The most telling move of the whole race came next when Attorney General Jack Conway responded by digging up an email endorsement from Howard Dean.

In 2007, two down-ballot Republicans won despite the top of the ticket falling by nearly twenty points. I think there is a good chance we will see three or more Republicans win tomorrow despite Williams losing by more than twenty. Not that Sarah Palin caused this to happen, but she has proven herself to be pretty good at sizing up a political situation. With this one move, she may have defined the 2011 Kentucky general election.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

David Williams' Hindu Hat Trick

In the last week of the biggest race of his political career, Kentucky Senate President David Williams managed to make national news by showing everyone that Jack Conway doesn't have a monopoly on ridiculous attacks against an opponent's religious beliefs.

The next day Williams made it a two-fer, complaining that Governor Steve Beshear showed more respect for Hindus in Elizabethtown than he did for the state Christmas Tree in Frankfort.

And now, via the Courier Journal, we know Williams went for the trifecta on Friday by talking to a Hindu leader in Maryland without apologizing and specifically accusing Beshear of praying to Hindu gods.

And the only real issue, misuse of taxpayer funds for "economic development" got short shrift just like legislative pensions, state debt and all the other issues ignored by the bickering combatants.

Good grief. Beshear and Williams are going to need a lot of help addressing Kentucky's desperate fiscal woes in 2012.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Kentucky isn't last on this list, yet

The American Medical Association quietly released a study ranking state health insurance markets last week and Kentucky wasn't among the ten worst.

Our state's flirtation with socialized medicine two decades ago -- and the subsequent backlash -- may have a lot to do with that. But as ObamaCare kicks in and all states become as bad as Massachusetts, we will have only ourselves to blame. Frankfort's bipartisan lack of resistance to ObamaCare's growing tentacles has put us all at risk.

Kentucky should return immediately all the strings-attached federal cash related to ObamaCare implementation and stop applying for more. It's easy to understand why Gov. Steve Beshear doesn't get this simple concept. Such failure is hard-wired into his political ideology. But career moderate Senate President David Williams' acquiescence on this and other issues should go a long way in explaining his inability to turn primary election intimidation into general election traction.

Drive a status quo protector crazy

Phil Moffett has completed a radio advertisement for Kentucky Auditor candidate John Kemper. Please help put it on the air by contributing whatever you can to the campaign. Click here.

John is running against Gov. Steve Beshear's former chief of staff.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

How much polytheism will $20 million buy?

Lost in this week's Aqua Hindu debacle in Kentucky is the leap of faith Gov. Steve Beshear and Senate President David Williams both took by supporting $20 million in tax "incentives" for India-based Flex Films to set up a facility in Elizabethtown.

Rather than accusing Beshear of worshipping multiple Hindu gods, Williams should have stuck with the valid criticism that Kentucky's economic development program serves as proof our taxes are too high.

Kentucky taxpayers will provide up to $20 million in tax relief to Flex Films, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Throw Kentucky home schoolers a bone

Kentucky state Rep. Rick Nelson pre-filed a bill to raise the minimum high school grade point average eligibility for KEES scholarships from 2.5 to 3.0. The bill also raises the minimum eligibility for awards based on ACT scores from 15 to 18 and shifts more money to higher awards for ACT scores and lowers the amounts based on grades.

This shift in focus from somewhat more subjective grades to ACT scores is a good move. The legislature should go one step further and give awards to home schoolers with good ACT scores.

As public school budgets get much tighter, public schools who get creative very quickly will be the only ones adequately serving the public. Standards-based learning that doesn't punish students who are ready to move on is a big piece of the puzzle.

David Williams doubles down on Aqua Hindu

Kentucky gubernatorial candidate David Williams is refusing to move on from his Aqua Hindu gambit this afternoon, putting out the following statement:

Statement of David Williams on Gov. Beshear’s Participation in Hindu Religious Ceremony

“To be clear, I very much support economic development and strongly believe in freedom of religion. What I cannot understand is why Governor Beshear has a long pattern of opposing outward displays of the Christian faith such as Christmas trees, prayers before high school football games, and posting the 10 Commandments but apparently has no problem personally participating in displays of non-Christian religions.

“I see nothing wrong with a governor attending a religious gathering and respecting other cultures. But for him to engage and participate in a Hindu religious ceremony where prayers are being offered to gods in which he does not believe is not only disrespectful of Hinduism but stands in direct opposition to his own expressed Christian faith which recognizes but one God. It also flies in the face of his previous record of stamping out religious displays in governmental settings, which all happened to be Christian in nature.”

Bringing up the Beshear Holiday Tree debacle isn't a bad idea, but this late and in conjunction with this dust up, it does nothing to prevent Williams from getting wiped out next Tuesday and taking some good down ticket candidates with him. It will take Kentucky Republicans significant time and effort to recover from the damage caused by Williams' disastrous campaign.

David Williams goes Aqua Hindu

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway sparked national bipartisan outrage attacking Senator Rand Paul's faith a year ago. Senate President David Williams seems determined to spend the last week of his losing gubernatorial campaign explaining that he doesn't actually hate Hindus after pulling the same kind of stunt yesterday.

Williams has spent years voting in lockstep with Beshear on bad budget bills and getting rolled by Beshear on Williams' own pension grab and assisting Beshear in borrowing billions of dollars for their excessive spending.

Beshear is a terrible candidate and doesn't deserve to win. Until Williams went "Aqua Hindu" yesterday, he was trying, albeit ineffectively, to make the case that he isn't as bad as Beshear. Even if Williams is saying some of the right things now, this dumb stunt helps Kentuckians remember Williams would indeed be worse, if only because his newly found conservativism on the campaign trail camouflages what a terrible politician he is.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Phil Moffett scholarship bill

Kentucky state Rep. Brad Montell pre-filed a bill on Tuesday that would allow donors to school choice scholarship programs to receive a state tax credit for donations providing tuition assistance for Kentucky schoolchildren.

Bluegrass Institute CEO Phil Moffett has already demonstrated the effectiveness of helping low-income students flee failing schools.

John Kemper catches Crit Luallen hiding

Kentucky Auditor Crit Luallen is refusing to release an audit report detailing flagrant examples of wasteful spending by Perry County Sheriff Les Burgett, Auditor candidate John Kemper found.

"These Frankfort politicians cover for each other at election time, with Sheriff Burgett out campaigning for my opponent," Kemper said. "I think a Kentucky Auditor should be removed from office for a trick like this. Crit Luallen should apologize immediately and show the people of Kentucky what she is hiding. And my opponent should have to say what he knows about this. What a disgrace. Getting rid of this garbage is exactly why I am running for Auditor."

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cleaning up David Williams' pension mess

Kentucky state Rep. Ron Crimm and Sen. Jimmy Higdon have pre-filed bills (here and here) to help undo the damage caused by HB 299 from 2005, the legislative pension scandal bill. That bill, championed by Senate President David Williams helped weaken Williams' case for defeating Governor Steve Beshear.

In one week, Williams will be tempted to blame the Tea Party for his loss in the election. It won't work.

What Obama wants to hear from you

Today is the last day for public comment on President Barack Obama's proposed rules for state health insurance exchanges.

What you will find if you go to the site to comment, though, is little more than Obama's proposals, a closed (and empty) comments section and a dead link. Click here to see for yourself.

And if you haven't heard, Kentucky's political leadership in both parties is already engaged in limiting our ability to sidestep this mess.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Big endorsement for P'Pool coming Monday

Kentucky Republican Attorney General candidate Todd P'Pool will be getting a major endorsement on Monday, which should bring significant attention to the national implications of his race.

P'Pool has campaigned effectively in opposition to his opponent's support for ObamaCare and the EPA's war on coal. Unfortunately, Governor Steve Beshear is cruising to victory and most observers expect that to negatively impact the races of other Republicans on the November 8 ballot.

Crit Luallen still playing Frankfort games

Kentucky state Auditor Crit Luallen is sitting on a potentially embarrassing audit report of Perry County Sheriff Les Burgett's office.

Sources inside the Auditor's office say the report was due out early last week, but that its release has been inexplicably delayed.

Luallen has already endorsed fellow Frankfort insider Adam Edelen to succeed her in office. Edelen faces Tea Party Republican John Kemper in the November 8 election.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Another attempt to criminalize Tea Party

Frankfort's political establishment continues to pull every possible dirty trick to stop grassroots political activists from knocking them off their perch and cleaning up their mess once and for all. The latest effort could criminalize door-to-door campaigning, an activity at which Tea Partiers are becoming particularly effective across the state.

State Rep. Dennis Keene has pre-filed, HB 63, a bill which would make attaching fliers to voters' front doors a Class A misdemeanor. On top of Kentucky's ridiculous and unconstitutional campaign finance laws, fining citizens for campaigning door-to-door can't be tolerated in a society that prides itself on the freedoms of its citizenry.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Rand Paul endorses John Kemper

Sen. Rand Paul has endorsed candidate for Auditor of Public Accounts John Kemper in the November 8 election.

"As a Kentuckian, a conservative and a constant thorn in the side of the political status quo, I fully support John Kemper for Kentucky state Auditor," Sen. Paul said.

"At times, Frankfort can be a lot like Washington. The political class believes it knows what is best and doesn't listen to the voice of the people. I can tell you John Kemper would fight the establishment in Frankfort. Fight it every day. And he would bring honesty and transparency to our state finances."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Florida, watch Kentucky on welfare abuse

Florida's drug testing of welfare recipients law has been in the news this week because a judge there stopped the testing, saying the law is unconstitutional.

The judge is right, but Floridians eager to reduce welfare abuse need only look to Kentucky State Representative Lonnie Napier for guidance.

Florida's law indiscriminately drug tests all welfare recipients. Drug testing of welfare recipients can only work if there is probable cause to suspect drug use. And remember, this only affects people who are on public assistance.

Rep. Napier's bill not only orders drug tests for welfare recipients suspected likely to test positive, it also removes benefits from people who refuse to be tested. Should the Kentucky bill be enacted, it's likely very few tests will actually be given because those targeted will just not show up to be tested and will then be dropped from the rolls.

Florida's law not only fails the constitutional test, it fails the common sense test by wasting lots of money testing everyone on welfare. Resistance to Napier's bill is strong in Kentucky's dysfunctional legislature, but Florida would do very well to follow his lead.

And then hopefully their results will help us change Frankfort.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Kentucky's dumber than usual governor's race

Despite having millions of dollars at their disposal, the Beshear/Williams lovefest this fall has been a pretty disheartening affair. And Kentuckians will be paying a price for it for some time to come.

I understand that not everyone is a policy wonk and that races such as this are often turned on emotional appeals rather than rational debate, but in a time of real crisis such as this people are looking for real answers and that opportunity has been missed.

Governor Steve Beshear's message is that he has done a good job managing the state's finances (which is demonstrably false) and that David Williams has blocked his two great ideas, casino gambling and raising the school drop-out age to eighteen. Beshear has also lied about creating (or saving) lots of jobs and is now charging Williams with campaign finance violations.

Senate President David Williams' primary message is that Beshear isn't a leader, doesn't have a plan and that he (Williams) will be a "bold" governor. But nearly all of Williams' economic policy positions have shifted too much over time to be taken seriously now. Williams has also tried to pin campaign finance violations on Beshear.

Politicians often talk about "campaign finance violations" when they have nothing else to say.

The most important issues in this election would be our state's fiscal situation and the economy if we had candidates with credibility. Since we don't, we are stuck watching these two campaigns squabble over how they are funding their television ads.

Gatewood Galbraith is right when he says now is the perfect time for Kentucky to go in a different direction with a different kind of governor. He hasn't managed to capture the tiger even by the tail, though, for a variety of reasons not worth getting into here.

The bottom line is Beshear will win re-election handily and for all the wrong reasons while Williams goes back into the Senate with a higher profile. That may not work out very well for him, though.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Do you feel protected now?

A Frankfort judge agreed today to let Restoring America air its tv ads supporting Senate President David Williams after Williams' father-in-law divulged that he has given $2.3 million to independent groups to promote Williams' gubernatorial campaign.

So according to the geniuses who thought up Kentucky's ridiculous campaign finance laws, you weren't protected on Monday when you didn't know who was paying for the ads, but you are now because you know.

Feel better?

Campaign finance restrictions are a charade and don't benefit the political process or protect any citizens. The genie is out of the bottle after the Citizens United case and it is just going to get more bizarre. We should beat the rush and repeal all of our campaign finance laws. Then we can turn our focus completely to the quality of candidates' positions and stop twiddling our thumbs watching this garbage.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Panicked Democrat attacks Tea Party

The former chief of staff to Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear made a stump speech for him today and flipped out talking about the Tea Party.

As reported on, Adam Edelen said "the Republican Party in Kentucky has been completely taken over by the tea party. What that means for us, the Democratic Party is the mainstream party reflecting the mainstream values of Kentucky voters of any party in Kentucky."

What is it with these guys? All the Tea Party wants is smaller government, balanced budgets and to be left alone. Faced with enormous and growing government deficits and bureaucratic encroachment on our rights and in our lives far beyond anything allowed by any constitution on the federal or state level, the mainstream is becoming more tea party every day.

I take it that Mr. Edelen's answer to his Tea Party Republican opponent John Kemper's modest and very mainstream request from earlier today is no.

John Kemper leads the way

Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts candidate John Kemper took the unprecedented step today of returning all campaign contributions from government officials who he may have to audit and then challenged his opponent to do the same.

Democratic candidate Adam Edelen was last seen hiding under his desk.

Edelen has run his campaign so far as the ultimate insider: a former chief of staff to Governor Steve Beshear with aspirations to higher office himself.

Edelen may return all his contributions in an attempt to eschew conflicts of interest he would face as Auditor, but he can't run away now from this power play he and Beshear so carefully engineered for themselves.

Kentuckians need to be able to depend on their Auditor to keep government officials accountable. Even when it means taking on the Governor. No one seriously believes John Kemper's insider opponent has any interest in doing that.

John Kemper is Kentucky's only chance to have an independent auditor for the next four years.

The Shut Up and Work Act of 2012

Leaders of the Kentucky legislature waste time in even-year legislative sessions for two painfully obvious reasons, both of which hurt Kentuckians.

The spans the month of January and involves politicians taking up as few controversial issues as possible in order to get past the candidate filing deadline without attracting opponents who might unseat them. The second follows toward the end of the session when leaders write the state budget in secret as time runs out and without appropriate public scrutiny.

A potential help to the problem of paying legislators to lollygag around wasting time and money and protecting their political backsides comes in the form of a proposed constitutional amendment from Sen. Jimmy Higdon.

The bill will be SB 22 in the 2012 session. It proposes to change the 60 day budget session into a 30 day budget session. We could surely do with a lot less of watching our politicians kill time with self-congratulatory speechifying. They have one job to do in even-numbered years and that is to pass a budget. They should focus on that and nothing else until it is done. Cutting the time for the budget sessions in half would surely encourage more of them to shut up and work.

The gubernatorial candidates would do well to weigh in on this bill right away.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Todd P'pool, don't take the bait!

An independent expenditure group supporting Senate President David Williams' gubernatorial campaign was ordered Monday to pull its television ads off the air after a legal complaint by the Kentucky Democratic Party. The KDP argued campaign finance reports filed by "Restoring America" did not show who paid for the ads and that such an omission violates campaign finance laws.

On Tuesday, a group supporting Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway started airing a tv ad. The "Bluegrass Committee for Justice and Fairness" also did not specify the source of its funding.

Republican Attorney General nominee Todd P'pool may be tempted to petition for the ad running against him to be pulled using the same argument Democrats are using against Williams. I hope he doesn't do it.

Kentucky's campaign finance laws are an unconstitutional mess. No one would expect Todd to take that up now and try to explain it to voters. He would do well, though, to take the high road on freedom on speech by publicly repudiating not the cloak of anonymity covering Bluegrass Committee for Justice and Fairness but the disdain for freedom shown by Kentucky Democratic Party.

Another swing and miss for Mitch McConnell

Roll Call takes a look at Kentucky's GOP today with an article about whether or not Sen. David Williams' coming loss in November will hurt Sen. Mitch McConnell.

I think Mitch will be able to separate himself from this one pretty well, but the establishment versus Tea Party battle for the soul of the Republican party continues with McConnell still on the wrong side.

You can read the article here. This is my favorite line:
"It has been particularly difficult for Williams to fully separate himself from Beshear because, as Senate President, every piece of legislation the governor signed went through the legislative body he controls."

The Republican party remains our state and nation's best vehicle for getting back on track, but that effort isn't helped when powerful figures like Mitch McConnell keep supporting moderate candidates who won't stand up against the status quo.

Friday, September 30, 2011

"Open Government" closed at Univ. of Kentucky

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway will appear at an "open government" forum on October 4 at the University of Kentucky. The public is invited but questions about Conway's support for ObamaCare, Conway's drug scandal or his silence on the state's debt problems will not be allowed.

This will be a good event for conservative Kentuckians to attend to attempt to get some answers from Conway on these important issues. It will start at 6pm ET at UK's William T. Young Library auditorium.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Excessive public debt just like a tax increase

Governor Steve Beshear just told WVLK's Jack Pattie that he didn't raise taxes on Kentuckians when revenues went down. The big thing he hopes you don't know about is the billion dollars a year in revenue-supported debt he and the legislature piled up these last three years.

But without an awareness of this key fact, we will have a very difficult time turning back from our overspending habit.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yarmuth wants welfare for Congressmen

Louisville Congressman John Yarmuth told CN2 that public financing of federal political campaigns would cut down on partisanship in Washington D.C. And he's right.

It would certainly cut down on the number of people in political office who believe in smaller government. Incidentally, Louisville state Rep. Jim Wayne has filed a bill for the 2012 General Assembly that would give public financing to judicial candidates.

Rep. Wayne's bill would slap a felony charge on anyone violating not only any provision of his silly bill, but also for violating any yet-to-be-determined administrative regulations dreamed up by the bureaucrats at the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Don't let ObamaCare waiver day pass unnoticed

This Thursday, September 22, is the federally imposed deadline to apply for any kind of exemption from ObamaCare.

You very likely won't be getting one. Nevertheless, we should recognize the day as it approaches and when it hits because the enormity of the negative impact ObamaCare will have on our nation can't be overemphasized.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on the federal takeover of our healthcare system next fall. If that effort fails to rescue us from the expansion of socialized medicine, then we can expect to see state Medicaid programs going under pretty quickly in 2014, followed by individual and employer-provided plans.

The idea that we can regulate health insurance at the federal or state level in such a way that does anything but raise prices and lower quality of service, needs to pass quickly from the public debate. It's a form of insanity we can no longer afford. Enforcing freely written insurance contracts in courts of law should be the extent to which government is involved in health care.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Obama channels Carter's solar flair

Barack Obama was supposed to usher in a new era of widespread prosperity and trust for America. Just like Jimmy Carter thirty years before him.

Noticing some of recent commentary on Carter's infamous "malaise" speech, particularly some stating that it wasn't all that bad, I went back and read the text. And I have to admit, it isn't all that bad, compared to Obama. What jumped out at me, though, was the same idea that if we just raise taxes and spend it on pie-in-the-sky everything will be fine.

Carter said on July 15, 1979:

"I will soon submit legislation to Congress calling for the creation of this nation's first solar bank, which will help us achieve the crucial goal of 20 percent of our energy coming from solar power by the year 2000."

"These efforts will cost money, a lot of money, and that is why Congress must enact the windfall profits tax without delay. It will be money well spent. Unlike the billions of dollars that we ship to foreign countries to pay for foreign oil, these funds will be paid by Americans to Americans. These funds will go to fight, not to increase, inflation and unemployment."

Incidentally, Carter got his windfall profits tax. Take a look at how that worked out for us by clicking here.

Keep this in mind as Obama continues to push for tax increases and as his solar scandal heats up.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Is Snooki coming to Kentucky?

There's a hilarious story out of New Jersey today about bipartisan disgust for "reality tv" stars The Situation and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and their television show "Jersey Shore" getting $420,000 in film tax credits from the state of New Jersey.

"The governor needs to step up for decency and veto this. If the show wants to go somewhere else, let 'em," said state Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), who said it includes negative stereotypes of young Italian-Americans.

"Let us just hope against hope that New Jersey taxpayers don’t end up paying for 'Snooki's' bail the next time she is arrested. What a terrible, terrible and misguided waste." said State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen).

Meanwhile, Kentucky politicians are scrambling to throw taxpayer dollars at just such a project.

From the August Kentucky Film Office newsletter:
"In addition, requests for location, crew and operational needs from the industry have jumped 71 percent in the past year. This increase is due, in large part, to the explosion in outdoor reality and “survivor” type programming in television, which has allowed us to positively showcase our terrain, natural resources and cave areas."

Now would be a great time to start talking about shutting down this ridiculous form of "economic development."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Repeal of "politicians' best friend" bill filed

Rep. Joe Fischer pre-filed a bill Wednesday to prevent local government entities from abusing taxpayers with massive annual tax increases exploiting a loophole written into the "compensating rate" property tax increase law.

This is another perfect Tea Party issue. Please encourage your legislator to support what will be House Bill 48 in the 2012 General Assembly.

Boone County PVA Cindy Arlinghaus deserves a tremendous amount of credit for discovering how this loophole works and blowing the whistle on it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Comer crushing opponent on YouTube

Kentucky's Republican Agriculture Commissioner candidate James Comer is winning on YouTube, big time. His experience in agriculture gives him a good chance in this race against an unqualified opponent.

Republican party cutting itself in half

The proposed Republican Party of Kentucky rule change to exclude people who didn't support the party's nominees doesn't go back four years as reported last week; it only applies to the current and previous year.

Since the GOP re-organization elections are in early 2012, those who will be excluded from party leadership are people who didn't support GOP nominees in 2011.

This is about purging the party of anyone who opposed Republican nominees in 2011. Latest polling suggests barely half of Republicans support gubernatorial nominee David Williams.

The Republican State Central Committee will meet this Saturday, September 17, 2011 and vote to confirm this proposed rule change, effectively cutting itself in half. If you oppose that idea, please plan on coming to Frankfort at 10:30 am on Saturday to the Best Western Parkside Inn, 80 Chenault Rd, Frankfort, KY. The meeting starts at 11:00 am.

Another retirement plan for state legislators?

Rep. Jim Wayne pre-filed a bill Friday afternoon to create taxpayer financing of judicial races in Kentucky. The bill leaves it up to the Registry of Election Finance to determine which candidates are worthy of access to your money to seek office as a judge.

Under Kentucky law, legislators get a huge boost to their state pensions when they gain a higher paying full time job in state government. Kentucky's candidates for Attorney General should be asked what they think about this idea.

Friday, September 09, 2011

RPK cuts off its nose to spite its face

Kentucky Knows Best PAC has been battling some members of Kentucky's GOP establishment in recent months to stop them from excluding tea party members from Republican party leadership. Finding out about their shenanigans and shutting them down one at a time has been an interesting experience.

Today, RPK has jumped the shark.

According to a media report, the Republican Party of Kentucky has changed their rules to exclude from leadership anyone who has endorsed or financially supported in the prior four years a candidate who is not a Republican.

Two words: Bob Leeper.

Republican leadership voted just last year to endorse and support the Independent from Paducah who currently serves as budget chairman in the state Senate.

RPK leadership just excluded from positions in party leadership themselves and their gubernatorial nominee, Senate President David Williams.

Sheriff Mack coming to Georgetown Kentucky

Champion of the U.S. Constitution Sheriff Richard Mack will speak in Georgetown Kentucky at 7pm ET on September 21.

He will appear at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 201 Wellington Way in Georgetown.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

John Kemper: stop money-losing debt restructuring

Frankfort debt restructuring over the last four years has encouraged overspending and will cost Kentucky taxpayers hundreds of millons of dollars for what amounts to an accounting stunt, Republican candidate for state Auditor John Kemper said.

"Looking at the numbers, they are claiming $427 million in cash flow savings from debt restructuring over fiscal years 2009 to 2012 and then there is a real loss of $600 million over the next seventeen years just to make the budget look balanced while Steve Beshear has been governor," Kemper said. "Problems like this inspire me to run for auditor. If I am elected I will work to stop any debt restructuring that loses Kentuckians' money like this."

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Kentucky casino bills filed today

Kentucky Republican state Rep. Michael Nemes has filed a casino bill and a constitutional amendment allowing counties to decide if they get either a full casino or slots at racetracks.

The measures pre-filed today (here and here) would create a Kentucky Gaming Commission and taxing schemes of 21% of gambling revenues to the state and a $3 per person admission fee for casinos, of which 2/3 would go to the state and 1/3 to the county or counties in which the casino is situated.

The bill contains no provisions to prevent the state from overcommitting projected casino revenues, which will ultimately be what makes this whole idea a loser for Kentucky if it passes.

How is this NOT news?

It has been a week since the Beshear administration responded to complaints about a state debt web site not being updated in three years by pulling down the link to the site.

Beshear's Republican opponent Senate President David Williams, who voted for every dime of our quickly accumulating debt, has failed to mention Beshear's aggressive lack of transparency on this issue.

State bonded debt has increased by three billion dollars under Beshear. Federal stimulus funds to Kentucky totalled $3.4 billion. We owe almost a billion more in unemployment funds. Revenues went down, but not this much. And Beshear is running for re-election as a good steward of state finances.

Kentucky's state debt is a huge news story and Kentucky's media is missing it. Worse, they are missing it because neither candidate for governor is talking about it.

What am I missing here?

Monday, September 05, 2011

Rep. Jim Wayne wants to eat your "puny" county

Be on the lookout for a new line of attack against the Tea Party: liberals who praise and agree with us.

At the end of a recent CN2 interview, Rep. Wayne was asked about the Tea Party.

"I think the Tea Party -- we need to listen to them. And the reason we need to listen to them is because we not only have a tax problem in this state, we have a spending problem in this state and that's where the Tea Party can help us."

Sounds good, right? Two problems though. Wayne represents the far left wing of the legislature and when he talks about a tax problem, he means they aren't high enough. But when he starts talking about a spending problem is when it really gets dicey.

Wayne then made a case for cutting government spending by consolidating counties because of all the money spent on courthouses and "multiple sheriffs and county judges and magistrates and everything that are all going to get pensions and all going to get salaries and all going to get health insurance and so on and so forth."

While there is no excuse for all the money spent on palatial courthouses in recent years, which Wayne voted for building, by the way, and the idea of shrinking government by consolidating some bureaucracies makes sense, eliminating elective offices makes government bigger and further removed from the people being represented.

Imagine your county being merged with another, larger county and all your local representatives being eliminated. In subsequent elections, with most if not all successful candidates for local office coming from the more populous area of the new, larger county, where do you think their attention will tend to be directed?

The far left is trying to seduce the Tea Party with their talk of smaller government, but what they are offering is fewer, larger governments with less representation and more distance between elected officials and their employers. Don't buy their snake oil.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Kemper catches Steve Beshear erasing web page

Governor Steve Beshear has made state finances less transparent to Kentuckians by hiding the one statistic telling the whole story about our fiscal situation, state Auditor candidate John Kemper said.

"Kentucky is billions of dollars deeper in debt than we were when Beshear came into office, but you have to be an archaeologist to find exactly how much," Kemper said. "We complained that his administration hadn't updated the page showing state bonded debt and the response today apparently was to pull down the link altogether. An independent auditor would shed light on this and since my opponent owes his political career to Beshear, I'm doing it. Governor Beshear should post our debt figures where they are easy to find or explain why he doesn't want to."

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Thank you Oregon and North Carolina!

Kentucky had the third highest state gasoline tax increase in the country in 2011.

Only seven states increased gas taxes on their citizens this year.

Todd P'Pool case shines light on bad law

A Kentucky Knows Best email yesterday about the poorly written state law being used against Attorney General candidate Todd P'Pool stirred up some interesting information.

Republican Todd P'Pool is being hounded by Jack Conway using a law Governor Steve Beshear wrote thirty seven years ago and that the Kentucky Supreme Court found unconstitutional ten years ago.

Now is a great time to go through Kentucky's campaign finance laws to justify what we can (which won't be much) and throw out the rest.

Thanks to Marcus Carey for the heads up on the Supreme Court case.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Repeal KRS 121.310 for P'Pool and Conway

Both the Lexington Herald Leader and Louisville Courier Journal reported this week on supporters of Kentucky Attorney General candidate Todd P'Pool facing felony convictions for talking about their candidate and his opponent Attorney General Jack Conway.

The news stories are here and here.

At issue is KRS 121.310, which appears as follows in Kentucky law:

The law is so sloppy and imprecise it should be repealed. To do otherwise is to allow an unconstitutional prosecution of speech while empowering government to make up the rules as it goes along.

First, the law doesn't necessarily restrict only employers. By stating "no person shall" without defining person, much less specifying employers as a target, the law could mean to inhibit anyone from talking to someone who has a job. Then, we could interpret "coerce or direct any employee" to mean "tell any employee." Worst of all, the rest of paragraph (1) could easily apply to wearing a t-shirt or possessing a political bumper sticker or flyer.

And paragraph (2) is worse.

Todd P'Pool's supporters shouldn't face felony convictions under this ridiculous statute and Jack Conway's shouldn't either, which they clearly and easily could if Republicans sought to make the point. Repealing this nonsense makes sense for all Kentuckians.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lexington taxpayers to get blindsided in September

A jury trial scheduled for September 26 in Jessamine Circuit Court will rock Fayette County taxpayers and shake up Lexington's political scene.

John Vest vs. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, originally filed in 2007, resulted from official mishandling and cover-up associated with multiple cases of civil rights violations at the Fayette County Detention Center.

Former mayors Teresa Isaac and Jim Newberry were directly involved in the mishandling and cover-up.

Vest was the FBI's informant whose testimony sparked an October 2006 raid by dozens of federal agents to the Lexington jail. Vest's only request was to be transferred to another city job with immediate supervisors who might be less likely to try to kill him.

Had Vest simply been transferred, much of this would have just gone away. In fact, rumors are circulating of both Isaac and Newberry eyeing a rematch with Mayor Jim Gray. But they may have to reconsider after Lexington taxpayers finish writing a multi-million dollar check to Vest due to official misconduct by these incompetent politicians.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Frankfort finds its hurricane

Earlier this year, Frankfort politicians agreed to "balance" Kentucky's Medicaid budget by borrowing $166 million in 2012 funds to spend in 2011.

They also set out to save money in 2012 and beyond by switching to a managed care system. Of course, they are attempting to do this without reducing the state government Medicaid workforce.

Perhaps an early indication of how things are going so far comes today with news that Kentucky's Medicaid Managed Care Hotline is backed up and excess calls are being routed to Pennsylvania, where they can't be answered due to complications related to Hurricane Irene.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just pointing this out

The top issue in America right now is jobs and the role government has played in messing up the economy by taxing too much, spending too much and building up its own power at the expense of the people.

The failure of Gov. Steve Beshear's opponent to credibly differentiate himself on these issues surely has a lot to do with the fact that gives him just about a zero percent chance of winning in November.

If you really disagree, of course, you should probably call Intrade.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Is it the Kentucky typo tax?

Kentucky Auditor candidate John Kemper pointed out something odd about the record-high deposit to the state's rainy day fund a month ago: it's illegal.

"Kentucky state law prohibits putting more than half of an annual surplus into the budget reserve trust fund, also known as the rainy day fund," Kemper said. "A change in the law in 2010 allows the governor to spend all the rainy day money without the General Assembly's permission for the rest of this fiscal year. Our legislators are going to have to be more careful controlling spending in the next budget."

Budget officials in Frankfort said this morning that the legislature changed the law in the 2010 special session to allow Beshear to put more than half of the $156.8 million "surplus" into the rainy day fund. But HB 1 didn't notwithstand KRS 48.705. Instead, it temporarily rescinded KRS 48.700.

Big difference.

We will never know for sure who mixed up the numbers of the two statutes, but by notwithstanding KRS 48.700, the legislature allows Beshear to spend all of the $121 million in the rainy day fund without the permission of the General Assembly.

Giving Beshear control over that much money is not a great idea and something at least some members of the legislature claim to oppose doing. If Beshear misappropriates any part of that money, we should call it the Kentucky typo tax.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tea Party stops local tax increase; more coming

Kentucky Auditor candidate John Kemper congratulated the McCracken County Board of Education on Friday for rejecting a property tax increase and he encouraged other boards and local governments across the state to follow suit.

"Frankfort hides a lot of taxing and spending by passing it off to the local level," Kemper said. "Tea party groups across the state are engaging local officials and impressing on them the importance of tightening their belts just like the rest of us. As our message grows stronger, we need to see more officials all over Kentucky work harder to get spending under control rather than raising taxes."

Friday, August 19, 2011

John Kemper challenges Jack Conway

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway needs to clarify creditor rights in the event of a municipal bankruptcy in the commonwealth, John Kemper, candidate for Auditor of Public Accounts, said.

"With our growing debt, pension obligations and Obamacare on the way, we need to be clear about what happens if we can't pay the bills. Who gets paid first: bondholders or pensioners? Without a law that spells out what we have to do, it's up to the Attorney General to specify who gets paid when there is not enough to go around."

Kemper's political opponents have attacked him for warning about Kentucky's excessive accumulation of debt, but he hopes politics doesn't stop them from acting to protect taxpayers.

"It's a simple request, really," Kemper said. "I'm willing to overlook the fact that no one has done this yet if General Conway just gets on it now."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Maybe you prefer a debt-enslaved Kentucky?

Kentucky Auditor candidate John Kemper will hold a press conference at the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday morning August 18 at 11:30 am. He will address his Debt Free Kentucky platform.

Friday, August 12, 2011

We need a Tea Party upgrade

Lexington activist Kim Shady best summed up Barack Obama's tirade against the Tea Party this week when she said blaming us for the S&P downgrade was "like blaming Paul Revere for the British coming."

Indeed, the Tea Party confounds ruling class politicians in both parties simply by telling the truth about overspending and hyperactive big government. And bad Republicans don't like it any more than bad Democrats do.

That's why we've formed Kentucky Knows Best Political Action Committee to help channel the power of the movement into winning Kentucky state legislative races in 2012 and beyond. If you'd like to know more or to help, please call me at 859-537-5372 or email You may also contribute to the effort by clicking here.


David Adams
Executive Director
Kentucky Knows Best PAC

Monday, August 01, 2011

Call your Congressman

As of right now, all six Kentucky members of the U.S. House of Representatives are officially "undecided" on the Obama debt deal.

Please join a Kentucky Debt Limit Town Hall meeting Tuesday August 2 at 7pm ET at the Scott County Courthouse in Georgetown, KY. Your input is highly valued and greatly appreciated by the Tea Party.

And obviously our elected representatives need to hear from you now.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

See no, hear no, speak no political stunts in KY

A perfect example of what is wrong with Frankfort presented itself this afternoon when Gov. Steve Beshear put out a press release proclaiming that he put $121 million in the state's rainy day fund.

Beshear actually does well with this if you see it for what it is. He is a politician running for office, trying to get a positive news story and no tough questions. The Lexington Herald Leader picks up the assist.

The rest of us are supposed to pretend not to remember the $166 million in Medicaid funds "borrowed" from 2012 three months ago. And of course he will get away with it politically because his Republican opponent voted for the same nonsense.

That's bad enough, but we are also supposed to ignore the state debt this money would be much more properly applied to than to use it for political stunts like this. Again, his Republican opponent voted the same way.

And this $121 million could be dropped into the deep dark hole of unfunded public employee benefits without even making a sucking sound as it disappeared into the abyss. But because there are no political points to score between establishment politicians, the big media sees no story.

Friday, July 22, 2011

More than one mandate to kill

One element of the federal debt limit debate seems to be turning to a Republican effort to repeal ObamaCare's requirement that all people buy health insurance.

The so-called "individual mandate," though, isn't the worst part of ObamaCare. And pulling it out by itself leaves the worst part to wreck healthcare in America even faster.

The worst part of ObamaCare is the requirement that health insurance companies provide coverage to all applicants without regard for pre-existing health conditions. This provision removes market forces from health insurance and leaves the only remaining issue as whether premium payments come directly from consumers or from the government. As costs continue to spiral upward, more consumers will be unable to pay and Medicaid will get bigger and bigger.

Removing only the individual mandate will just make that devolution occur faster because younger and healthier people will avoid the whole mess and self-insure. That leaves older and sicker people to drive up costs faster in the government-controlled plan, destroying what's left of the insurance market and leaving it all to bureaucrats.

The solution to ObamaCare is to get government out of healthcare as much as possible. But trying to piecemeal our way out of ObamaCare could make us worse off than ever.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One way to solve debt standoff

There were rumors this afternoon that the White House and Senate had worked out a budget deal with spending cuts and without tax increases (and a fun-to-watch left-wing panic attack).

The White House denies it now. Seems like we could easily dispense with all this tax loophole stuff by simply repealing all income taxes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Other states should follow Kentucky on this

We don't yet know how the federal debt ceiling debate will be resolved, but we can tell how poorly it has gone on the state level. That's because the debate has never happened here. It's time that changed.

The debt accumulated over the past decade by Frankfort politicians in both political parties has been staggering -- more than forty billion dollars.

We already can't afford the debt we have. I offer as proof the $30 million Kentuckians lost last month in a bond market scheme rolling over debt and making our budget appear balanced. If we could afford to make bond payments and balance our budget, there would be no need to give tens of millions of dollars to New York bankers and lawyers to paper over the mess we have made of our state finances.

The right thing to do in Washington D.C. is to strengthen our federal debt limit by adding a balanced budget requirement. The right thing to do in Frankfort is to strengthen our balanced budget requirement by adding to it a state debt ceiling. We can't afford to let our politicians drive us deeper into debt and we must be at least as diligent in Frankfort as we are in Washington.

Please join friends and fellow Kentuckians at the Scott County Courthouse in Georgetown at 7pm ET on August 2 to learn more about this issue and what we can do about it. Please help by spreading this invitation as widely as you can. Thank you for all that you do to make Kentucky a better place for our families.


David Adams
Executive Director
Kentucky Knows Best PAC

Friday, July 15, 2011

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Starting Kentucky debt ceiling conversation

Kentucky needs its own debt ceiling; there can be no question about that. Frankfort politicians in both parties have been too eager to hide their overspending in financing games with bonds and by failing to properly fund public employee retirement benefits.

The damage currently amounts to more than $40 billion dollars, nearly all of it accumulated in the last decade. Stopping Frankfort politicians from making it any worse is something nearly all of us should be able to agree on.

The solution involves defining "debt" and crafting legislation to get a handle on the spending process in Frankfort.

Do we want to require full funding of retirement benefits each year?

How do we define debt?

Who can we get to sponsor a Kentucky Debt Ceiling bill?

Do we have the political will to force establishment politicians in both parties to voluntarily limit their political spending appetites?

Will there ever be a better time than right now to start this initiative?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beshear upsets everyone on ObamaCare

The strange sight of Kentucky's effort to escape the ravages of ObamaCare without appearing to do so continues during the public comment phase of our request for an ObamaCare waiver.

So far, Kentucky Voices for Health, Kentucky Equal Justice Center and Consumer Watchdog have combined to criticize the Beshear Administration's complaint with ObamaCare, contradict the evidence in the state's petition for waiver and even to suggest that Beshear is lying to get out of complying with federal law. Surely there will be more of these letters made available as the Obama Administration gets closer to ruling on Kentucky's request.

It's amazing no one is getting Beshear on the record about this as he is angering the extreme left for not hungrily lapping up his ObamaCare soup while disappointing the rest of us for not doing enough to show that many Democrats realize what a mess this is going to be.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Is Kentucky Pro-ObamaCare or not?

The federal government rolled out proposed regulations for ObamaCare's state health insurance exchanges yesterday, leaving Kentuckians with some interesting questions to ponder.

First of all, do we want ObamaCare or not?

Several states have been slow to embrace any part of ObamaCare or are actively fighting it. Some have even gone so far as to refuse federal money earmarked for setting up the bureaucratic infrastructure to facilitate the "Affordable Care Act."

Kentucky has not passed enabling legislation to set up a health insurance exchange, but has sent a major mixed signal by accepting federal exchange grant money, throwing it in the bipartisan state budget and spending it anyway.

The Beshear Administration is expected to gain approval within a few weeks to temporarily avoid a relatively inconsequential mandate in ObamaCare. At that point if not sooner, Beshear should have to explain why he didn't seek a broader waiver.

Frankfort politicians of both parties took the money Obama sent and they spent it. They really should have to explain why.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Kentucky media still missing ObamaCare story

Another development in Kentucky's uneasy political tapdance around ObamaCare today highlights the continued failure of state mainstream media to cover a very important story state Democrats would prefer not to talk about.

The federal Department of Health & Human Services notified Kentucky's Insurance Commissioner today that we will have a decision on Kentucky's request for an ObamaCare waiver within thirty days.

Kentucky has asked for a temporary exemption from a small part of ObamaCare's effort to control healthcare prices. While still publicly supporting ObamaCare, the Beshear administration has referenced Kentucky's failed price-fixing efforts in the health care market which destroyed our health insurance market two decades ago, despite the unmistakable similarities between that state legislation and ObamaCare.

It's pretty hard to overlook the fact that ObamaCare supporters in Kentucky have even less desire to talk about what requiring health insurance companies to cover all applicants does to consumers, but state reporters seem to be giving it a pretty good try as well.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Kentucky makes another short list

Twenty six states' attorneys general have joined legal efforts to stop Obamacare and ten states have signed on in support of it. Kentucky's cartoonish AG Jack Conway is part of a Fearful Fourteen group of AGs avoiding a clear position on the issue. Conway's opponent in November is Todd P'pool, who strongly opposes Obamacare.

Friday, July 08, 2011

End taxpayer funded primary elections now

You don't often hear complaints in Kentucky about public financing of political party primary elections, despite the millions of dollars in costs each year directly associated with them. That's largely because most people don't think about it, but also because most voters belong to one of the two major parties and would consider themselves beneficiaries of the status quo, if they thought of it at all.

That's no reason to keep doing it. Democrats and Republicans in Frankfort have combined to rig ballot access laws to protect their duopoly. And most of them would be just as happy to continue socializing their candidate selection costs as well. This setup has benefited the Republican Party in adding additional voices to public policy debates in a Kentucky once totally dominated by Democrats, but any analysis of the nearly unanimous voting in favor of recently passed, disastrously constructed state budgets suggests further action is needed to end suppression of more voices in the state.

Political duopoly isn't working in Kentucky and we can help improve the situation quickly by improving ballot access laws to remove the artificial benefits enshrined in statute for the sole purpose of boosting the major parties. Then we can stop making independently registered voters pay for political primaries. It's not just a matter of fairness for those left out of the process in May. It will very likely lead to better public engagement on the issues and better choices for all of us in November.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Take debt ceiling fight to the states

The federal debt ceiling has been raised 74 times since 1962. I'm sure someone at this very moment is whining that the Tea Party was silent each time Congress took it up, but the point that is that we certainly aren't being silent now. What was once a quiet vote without debate now has Washington D.C. tied up in knots.

It is time to take that fight to the state level.

Frankfort officials very quietly blew $30 million dollars two weeks ago on bond market shenanigans designed to make Kentucky's state budget appear balanced. You have heard absolutely nothing about this in the mainstream media even though state-level waste should be a greater concern to us because Frankfort can't just print up more money.

Now is a great time to draw attention to the need to tie Kentucky politicians hands to keep them from plunging us even further into debt. They will say that the bond market and the ratings agencies keep them from borrowing too much, but we have been down that road before. Lots of people are talking about the federal debt ceiling now and that should continue at least for the next several weeks. Let's take advantage of that to encourage our friends in Kentucky to contact their state representatives and tell them to set a limit on how much the state can borrow.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Aetna bails, Beshear wails

A frantic letter from Governor Steve Beshear's Insurance Commissioner to the Obama Administration today paints a clearer picture of how ObamaCare stands to hurt Kentucky.

In the letter, Commissioner Sharon Clark states that Aetna, the nation's third-largest health insurer is pulling out of Kentucky's individual and small group health insurance markets immediately. ObamaCare is the reason for their departure, which makes Kentucky's health insurance market even less stable and less competitive since Congress passed the new law.

Clark wrote: "Kentucky's individual marketplace remains fragile and in recovery after a previous health reform efforts (sic) in the 1990s. Given Aetna's intentions, the Commonwealth of Kentucky remains concerned that insurers exiting the market may cause an unsustainable influx of individuals into Kentucky Access, Kentucky's high risk pool. With the current budgetary environment, the effect of a large increase in membership into Kentucky Access that may occur with an additional carrier exiting the market could be extremely detrimental to the pool."

In other words, Kentucky is still trying to get over our flirtation two decades ago with HillaryCare. This is our own Democratic Governor starting to realize that Obama's health fiasco will hurt Kentucky. Please keep spreading the word about bad policies like ObamaCare. When even elected Democrats are getting the message, it's clear the Tea Party movement is having a major impact.

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.