Thursday, August 30, 2007

Trigg County Bowl Banquet

Tonight, I was in attendance for the Trigg County Wildcat Chevrolet Bowl Banquet. The event was held at the Trigg County High School cafeteria. State Representative John Tilley could not be there whereas he was out of town, so on his behalf, I delivered his regrets for not being a ble to attend. Al C. Rutland provided the catering. Hopkinsville Head Coach, Dixie Jones, rode with me to Cadiz. Dixie's father is Judge Jimmy Jones. Judge Jones served as Sheriff and County Judge in Caldwell County for over 40 years. Dixie's brother served in the Agriculture Dept. for many years. I sat with Doug Gloyd who is the Assistant Principal and Athletic Director. Doug coached football at Hoptown with me for a number of years. Doug is a Logan County native and lives in Mayfield where his wife is from. District Judge Jamus Redd sat with us. Jamus is a Trigg Co. native and played football for Trigg. Coaches from Trigg, Hopkinsville and Calloway Co. spoke. Marshall Counities staff was a "No Show" for the event.

The event had a number of door prizes and silent auction items. I won a free car detail from Wildcat Chevrolet. I also was the winning bidder on an NFL football signed by Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews. Former Congressman Carroll Hubbard was in attendance. Hubbard is poised to take his old Senate Seat back. Hubbard, a native of Mayfield, was the biggest attraction of the night. People waited in line to talk to him.

The invocation probably described what is on the minds of most people in Western Kentucky--Rain, or lack of it. State Senator Joey Pendleton made an appeal on behalf of the farmers today.

Sen. Pendleton calls upon Governor to Release Funds for Cattle Farmers.

Frankfort-Today State Senator Joey Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville, requested that Governor Ernie Fletcher release emergency state funds to assist cattle farmers who are facing great financial harship due to draught conditions in Western Kentucky.

"Cattle farming is a vital part of Wetern Kentucky's economy and I fear that if the state does not provide some type of economic relief these farmers will suffer irreparable economic loss and hardship," said Pendleton, who serves on the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

Once an emergency is declared the state has the power to disperse funding to those who have suffered severe hardship due to the disaster.

Pendleton also joined Governor Ernie Fletcher for the ceremonial signing of House Bill 1. House Bill 1 is a comprehensive energy package that would create tax incentives for the construction of alternative fuel and renewable energy plants in Kentucky and provide millions of dollars for research and development of these facilities. Pictured below are the members of the energy working group: Sen. Dan Kelly, Rep. Robin Webb, Gov. Fletcher, Rep. Rocky Adkins and Sen. Pendleton.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Black Lung: Hendrickson Speaks Out

Bruce Hendrickson, the Democrat Nominee for Secretary of State, is voicing his support for Kentucky's coal miners. Hendrickson is right about bringing the Black Lung issue to the front burner. Although a majority of people in Kentucky's coal regions are excited about the prospect of new jobs and industry that will hopefully stem from the energy bill that was passed by the Kentucky General Assembly, we can not forget the plight of our coal miners--Black Lung.

Black Lung in the legal sense is a term describing a man-made, occupational lung diseases that are contracted by prolonged breathing of coal mine dust. Black lung usually effects miners over the age of 50. There is no treatment or cure for Black Lung, only the complications of the condition can be treated.

Since the passage of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, average dust levels have fallen from 8.0mg. per cubic meter to the current standard of 2.0 mg. per cubic meter. The Federal law also set up a black lung disability benefits program to compensate coal miners who have been disabled by on-the-job dust exposure.

Today, Kentucky coal miners who suffer from black lung have almost no chance of receiving compensation under the present laws. Why do you ask? Former Governor Paul Patton successfully sought to change the workers compensation laws in Kentucky so that the State could be more business friendly. In making these changes, Kentucky went to far by establishing standards that virtually make it impossible for those suffering black lung disease to receive any compensation.

State Rep. Brent Yonts who represents Muhlenberg County and parts of Hopkins and Christian explained to me this afternoon that Governor Patton and the legislature realized too late, that they had gone to far in changing the workers compensation laws. Yonts said, that the House of Representatives has tried to rectify this situation many times but to no avail. The House has passed revision legislation on numerous occasions to change the law but only to see their bill die in the State Senate.

The determination for black lung has to be made independently by three doctors who are supposed to be trained as "B" readers of black lung x-rays. Yonts said that the doctors responsible for reading the x-rays are very conservative in their determinations. Yonts commented,"state awards are rare, the law prevents coal miners from being helped". Yonts, who has tried to help revise the present laws in past sessions said that until the State Senate is willing to do their part, then there is no use in continuing to pass revision legislation in the House.

The tax to help fund compensation for miners with black lung is still being collected TODAY! "There is over 20 million dollars in the fund" said Yonts. While we all want new jobs and economic growth across Kentucky we must balance that by laws that protect our miners and our environment. An estimated 1500 former coal miners die each year from black lung in the United States. Kentucky has over 20 million dollars in a fund which grows every day, which was intended to help our coal miners, but yet our laws are standing in the way of that happening.

While a new generation of Democrats want to talk about "Green" we also need to be talking about "Black"--Black Lung. Bruce Hendrickson is to be commended for bringing this issue up again and He is right when He said, "employed in a underground mine should not mean a death warrant". Republicans in the State Senate want to talk about morals and family values. Then how in the world do you defend killing legislation which is trying to revise laws that are killing our coal miners and their families?
(Sources: State Rep. Brent Yonts, Gale Encyclopedia,UMWA)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bill Cox Profile: Coming Soon

I will begin posting profiles of leaders from Western Kentucky. Bill Cox, Senior Political Advisor to the State Democrat Party, will be my first profile. Cox, has a long history of service in Kentucky and Washington. Marshall County Judge Executive Mike Miller along with many others will be profiled each week.

Bill Cox

Beshear Comes Home to God, Guns and Family

In the last few days Steve Beshear has embraced the values that elected him Attorney General and Lt. Governor. Rural and Western Kentucky have waited to hear for Beshear's commitment to the values and traditions of Rural Kentucky. I have included some of the programs that Beshear is proposing which include funding Faith Based initiatives.

-Fund marriage promotion programs sponsored by local Faith-Based and community organizations.
-Minimize child support default rates and increase payment rates.
-Improve the identification of serial batterers.
-Form "Domestic Crisis Teams"
-Promote anti-child abuse and anti-violence programs.
-Encourage schools to develop anti-violence curricula.
-Organize a "Dinner with Family" campaign.
-Require all pregnancy counseling programs that receive public funds to include information about adoption.
-Declare February Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month.
-Promote good citizenship and civic involvement among our children.

Beshear has also stood his ground in the past week in his support for gun owners. We can only hope that he will hold the line on this issue. It would be nice to see some proposals for mandatory sentencing for gang related crimes. Kentucky has become a breeding ground for gangs because our laws are not as strict as other states. Mandating and providing funding for coaching supplements in all sports will provide a proven avenue to keep kids in constructive environments while improving test scores and lowering juvenile crime rates.

I am sure the Liberals, oh I'm sorry, progressives, will not like faith based initiatives, family values, guns or marriage but it will provide the foundation to return the Democratic Party to the people who really decide who gets elected in Kentucky.

I do want to be fair in this regard and I believe the left-wing liberals deserve a spot in the big house. Hey, as we like to say, Somebody has to cook the cornbread and cut the tobacco. Steve Beshear's personal commitment to these issues should go a long way with making rural voters feel comfortable about voting for him. He just has to keep the freaks on a short leash. The old liberal way of doing business has ruined the Democratic Party in Kentucky and has cost us both U.S. Senate seats, the State Senate, the Governors chair, and way too many Congressional seats. It is time for Western Kentucky to step up and take back our Party and our State. With our people, our way. Who better than the son of a Baptist Minister.

While social and religious issues are important. I am also reminded by my friend, Rep. John Tilley, that family values have to mean more than just going to church. We must defend our family farms, protect our wildlife, and lower the cost of prescription drugs. We must support our Veterans by providing the funding for new veterans facilities and expanding the existing ones. Exempting our active duty military from the state income tax will do more for the economy in the Fort Knox and Fort Campbell regions than any new industry.

We appreciate Steve Beshear for his personal commitments to empowering Western Kentucky once again.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cleaning Up

Well I am going to take this opportunity to clean a few items up. Whereas, I'm heading for Louisville for a couple of days I want to complete a few discussion items.

House Democratic Caucus

I have found no evidence to the rumors regarding the House Democratic Caucus having accounting problems. I do understand that there is merit to the rumor that the Kentucky Democratic Party has not lived up to their past financial obligations regarding their commitments in last years races. I will continue to follow this situation.

Energy Bill

The energy bill that is going to be considered by the House appears to be heading for an easy passage. The bill will provide comprehensive support for Kentucky to take the lead in new energy opportunites. The bill will provide incentives for investment in Kentucky as well as support for research, renewable energy and clean-coal technology. Rep. John C. Tilley, D-Hopkinsville released the following statement:

Hopkinsville, Ky-- The comprehensive energy policy to be considered by legislators this week will pioneer new frontiers in jobs and technology for Western Kentucky." This policy will enable Western Kentucky to continue its leadership in the area of ethanol production, and has the potential to make Kentucky a national leader in this emerging new industry," Tilley said. " It will expand opportunities for our coal regions; encourage our young people to seek and excel in careers in these high tech fields; and promote the use of renewable energy."

Dairy Recognition Dinner

Senator Joey Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville, today congratulated Logan County Farms for the awards received during the annual Dairy Recognition Dinner in Louisville.

The Robey Farm was awarded the Kentucky Dairy Production Award for the second straight year. The Robey family produces more than 29,000 pounds of milk a year. Lee and Denise Robey and their three sons milk more than 1,1000 cows.

"It's great to have people like the Robeys who are doing an outstanding job producing natures most perfect food--milk" said Pendleton, who was in the Young Dairyman Program with Lee Robey.

The Jimmy Wright Dairy Farm is the first recipient of the Proficient Dairy Producer Award, which considers many factors as recorded by the Dairy Herd Improvement Association.

"It is very fitting that Wrights recieve this award," said Pendleton, who sold Jimmy Wright his first jersey cattle. "Jimmy has always been proficient in his farming operations."

The annual Dairy Recognition Dinner was held August 17th at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Final Element-Football

After God, Guns and Tobacco the final element to life in Western Kentucky is Football. Yes, the season is near and smart candidates will be going to where the voters are. I am always surprised at the time candidates waste going to party functions and events where every one's mind is already made up.

Wildcat Chevrolet Bowl

The Wildcat Chevrolet Bowl will be hosted by Trigg County High School on August 31st. The Trigg County Wildcats will play Calloway County at 5:00 pm. In the second game at about 8:00 pm, Hopkinsville will play Marshall County. Trigg County and the people of Cadiz do a good job with this bowl. There is always plenty of good food to be had.

Jerry Claiborne-Toyota of Hopkinsville Bowl

Candidates will be able to find thousands of voters in the coming weeks at bowl games across the Commonwealth. On Saturday, August 25th, Hopkinsville will kick-off the Inaugural Jerry Claiborne-Toyota of Hopkinsville Bowl. The bowl, which will be held at the Stadium of Champions, will premiere two games with Paducah playing Christian County at 5:00 pm. Hopkinsville facing Trigg County at 8:00 pm.

Jerry Claiborne, a former head coach at the University of Kentucky, graduated from Hopkinsville High School. At Hoptown, Claiborne played football for the Tigers from 1942-45 seasons. During Claiborne's years at Hopkinsville, the Tigers boasted a record of 33-7-1 while going undefeated in 1943 and losing only one game in 1944 to Paducah. Ralph McRight, who was the coach at Paducah, had recently left as head coach of Hopkinsville to take the Paducah job. Legend has it that McRight left angry after being refused a pay raise. I'm sure a victory over Hopkinsville and spoiling their perfect season must of felt good.

As an alumni and former football player at Hopkinsville, I have also just ended a 20 year run as an assistant football coach at Hoptown. Having always been interested in keeping our football heritage alive, I sometimes have the tendency to anger people when I give credit where credit is due.

No one can argue the great accomplishments of Jerry Claiborne as a college coach. The man had an impeccable reputation for character and honesty. While Jerry went on to achieve much in the college ranks, his feats overshadowed one the finest football players to ever play for Hopkinsville.

From 1938 until 1945, Hopkinsville would post a 70-13-2 record. Going undefeated in the regular season in 1940,41and 43. Hopkinsville picked up an extra game in 1941 and took a train ride down to Atlanta to play Boys High. The Tigers got whipped 47-0. Garland "Boola" Wilson, who was a fullback for Hopkinsville and later received a full football scholarship to UK, recalled that the Atlanta High School should have been called Men's High not Boy's High because of the beating they took. Mr. Wilson went on to say that their host were very hospitable whereas the score could have been a 100-0.

Hopkinsville would make its mark on football in Kentucky in 1938 when Kentucky's first High School All-Star Game was established. The game was sponsored by the Oleika Temple of the Shrine to raise money for the Crippled Children's Hospital. The players were chosen by a ballot conducted by the Louisville Courier Journal. Hopkinsville had the most selected from any high school with four players selected and Head Coach Ralph Mills. Coach Mills served as coach of the West Squad and former Christian Circuit Clerk, Jack Haddock, was chosen as the Captain of the West Team. The game was played at the University of Kentucky and If I recall the West Squad won.

George Claiborne

During this period Hopkinsville would have 5 players to be selected to the AP & CJ First Team All-State. Two of these would receive repeat honors. Tommy Gray, who would become a First Team All-American would cast a big shadow over everyone else. George Claiborne, the brother of Jerry Claiborne would also be named twice to the All-State Teams.

I have always found it a pity that George Claiborne ended up being over shadowed and lost even in the history of Hopkinsville Football. Only four player from Hopkinsville have ever been selected twice to All-State Teams. Two of those were All-Americans Tommy Gray and Pete Moore. Ricky Abren also received the honor twice. The likes of Lawrence Brame, Herb Covington, John Fuqua, Steve Kelly, Artose Pinner, Miguel Merritt, Deontey Kenner and Curtis Pulley were never selected twice.

It is hard to figure out how George Claiborne got lost in the shuffle. It might be that by the 60's Hopkinsville was winning State Championships and would have three players selected All-American in a four year period. Claiborne's accomplishments were overshadowed by that success and later overshadowed by the success and popularity of his brother Jerry.

While Jerry Claiborne will be honored by this bowl on August 25th, I just hope that we can also remember one of the great football players from Western Kentucky--George Claiborne.

Rep. Tilley Selected for National Leadership Conference

State Representative John C. Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, has been selected to represent the Kentucky House of Representatives at a National Leadership Conference of State Legislators. We are excited about Rep. Tilley being chosen for this honor and look forward to hearing more this afternoon during a planned interview with him. Rep. Tilley serves Christian and Trigg Counties.

Pendleton announces energy agreement

The following press release was received this morning from Senator Joey Pendleton. I hope to post some of the area legislators comments on the agreement and special sesssion.

FRANKFORT- Senator Joey Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville, announced today that lawmakers completed details last night of a compromised energy package that would provide incentives for companies to build high-tech coal plants in Kentucky.

"This comprehensive legislation will address Kentucky's unique ability to lead the Nation in the development of renewable fuel and clean coal technology," Pendleton said. " In a bipartisan effort, a bill was designed to attract both small and large companies to Kentucky."

Pendleton said the energy package should attract companies to Western Kentucky that will offer high paying jobs for Kentucky workers. he also emphasized that this bill is not designed for one company. The bill is designed to provide a competitive market for companies wanting to locate in the Commonwealth.

The energy bill will be considered during a special legislative session that is expected to start Monday.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Remembering Richmond M. Flowers

Former Alabama Attorney General, Richmond Flowers, died this week renewing the debate regarding the circumstances surrounding his political demise. I can recall seeing the movie about his life a couple of times in the 1980's. I can't recall the name of the movie but I definitely remember the part pertaining to his son Richmond Flowers Jr.

Flowers attended Auburn University and the University of Alabama Law School. Serving under Gen. Douglas MacArthur's Command during WWII, Flowers returned home to Alabama to practice law. Elected to the Alabama State Senate in 1954 and Attorney General in 1962.

The civil rights movement and the violence that followed would sharply divide the South and the Nation for years to come. Civil rights activist and volunteers were coming South to fight the cause of civil liberties and integration leaving Richmond Flowers stuck between his constitutional duties as AG and the majority of people in Alabama.

In 1965, Flowers prosecuted Lowndes County Sheriff Deputy, T.L Coleman, for the murder of a seminary student who had been helping register black voters. Coleman was also being tried for the attempted murder of a Catholic Priest.

This pitted Flowers against the conservative white voters of Alabama and Gov. George C. Wallace's political machine. I'm not sure if Flowers was just doing his duty or that he believed in the cause. Some say he believed in both. Either way this was the beginning of the end for Richmond Flowers political life.

Flowers was unsuccessful in prosecuting Coleman whereas Coleman was acquitted. Flowers would then jump into the Governor's race in 1966 losing badly to Lurleen Wallace. George C. Wallace, who could not succeed himself was still in solid control of Alabama politics. Wallace had long political arms and some still wonder just how long they could be at times.

What happened next or why and how it happened is still open for debate. Richmond Flowers wound up being charged and convicted for extortion in 1969. Claiming a political hack job and conspiracy, Flowers was unsuccessful in his appeals and went to prison in 1972. Paroled in 1974, Richmond Flowers received a Presidential Pardon from Jimmy Carter in 1978.

Had justice been served? Had Richmond Flowers bitten off more than he could chew? Had Flowers fallen victim to a plot carried out by his political enemies? We will probably never know all the facts but where Richmond Flowers did not succeed his son surely did.

One can only imagine what life was like for Richmond Flowers Jr. in the 1960's. Here you are in High School and your father is one of the most controversial and hated white men in Alabama. What do you do? You win!

Richmond Flowers Jr. would go onto to become one the greatest high school athletes not only in Alabama history but also in the South. In high school, Flowers set the national record for high hurdles, tied the national record for low hurdles and set 5 state records on his way to winning 5 individual state championships in 1964 while participating in track and field.

Colleges from across the country offered scholarships to Richmond Flowers Jr. Guess which university he chose? No, not Alabama. He chose the University of Tennessee where he participated in football as well as track and field.

By his Junior year, Flowers had become the all-time leading receiver for UT's Football Program. Before graduating, Flowers would achieve All-American status in football, track and field. He received the honor of All-American 4 times in track and field.

Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1970, Flowers would be a member of the Cowboys team that played in Super Bowl V. He continued playing football for a number of years. In 1998, Richmond Flowers Jr. was named one of the 12 "Living Legends of SEC Football" and in 2002 he was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

For Richmond Flowers there was no vindication for a personal, political and professional life that slipped away so quickly amidst the turmoil of the 1960's. I can only imagine the lessons and the scars that Richmond Flowers Jr. carried with him. Live a better life, be a better man and WIN!!!

I'm not sure who was right and who was wrong in this story. I don't know if Richmond Flowers thought he was Atticus Finch? I do have a sneaking suspicion that Richmond Flowers really was Atticus Finch and that my Alabama boys might have been guilty of killing a mockingbird.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

New Poll Released by The Lane Report

I thought that I would post some of these numbers which I read on Patrick Crowley's post at NKY.COM. You may visit there to see all the polling data that was released by The Lane Report. You know what I think about most polling, especially polling in August but I think there may be a trend or two. Time will tell. As always, I'll be the judge of that.

Poll conducted on the issue of expanded gambling in Kentucky:
Strongly Favor 19%
Somewhat Favor 30%
Somewhat Oppose 13%
Strongly Oppose 37%

In the Attorney General's Race:
Conway 33%
Wyatt Earp 20%
Undecided 45%

In the Auditor's Race:
Luallan 32%
Greenwell 26%
Undecided 40%

In the Treasurer's Race:
Hollenbach 39%
Wheeler 19%
Undecided 40%

In the Governor's Race:
Beshear 49%
Fletcher 31%
Undecided 16%

Now the question you have to ask is what does all this mean when the issues start hitting the T.V.? Abortion Rights, Gay Rights, Gun Control, Family Values, Education, Gambling, Integrity, Pardons, Corruption and Energy.

I think you will find the voters split down the middle with about 5-8% undecided going into the end of October. The Democrats are going to have to find some issue other than the issues above that will appeal to moderate/traditionalist rural voters in Western Kentucy. Not to mention being very organized and united at the local level.

As I have said all along-This may be more of an Attorney General's race than a Governor's race and if these numbers are accurate then we may also have an Auditor's race.

Todd Hollenbach's strength in Western Kentucky combined with his postions on gun control and abortion will make him a big winner in November. I predict he will carry the ticket in percentage margin of victory.

I would not count Bruce Hendrickson out just yet.

I have been a little surprised at how much time the Farmer supporters have spent at Democrat functions. I can't quite understand why he is getting so much support from liberal democrats. NOTE TO ALL UK FANS WHO ARE DEMOCRATS: Guess what?, don't worry about the future of the Democrat party or winning a U.S. Senate seat. Your continued slobbering over this guy from Clay County will probably put him in the Senate or the Governor's chair for 8 years!! There is a reason why they have puppy drownings.

Oh, well. It is your choice. But I was trying to remember something. Umh..Oh, yes! 1985 State Basketball Championship. Hopkinsville defeated Mr. Farmer and the boys from Clay County. Thought I'd slide that in. He can be beat. We know.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Pennyrile Friends of the NRA Banquet

The Pennyrille Friends of the NRA gathered tonight at the James E. Bruce Convention Center in Hopkinsville for the annual banquet. Each room in the Convention Center is named in honor of those who helped secure the funding for its construction. While only my second time visiting the building one can't help but notice some of those honored.

Represtative Jim Bruce, Rep. John W. Adams, Sen. Joey Pendleton to name a few. Rooms are also named for Jim Bunning and I would assume that one is also named for Mitch McConnell although I did not see it. I'm not sure either of them had anything to do with the funds. I have been told that Bunning is proud of the honor and would like to visit but just can't seem to remember where it is.

A room should be named for House Speaker Jody Richards, who dedicated a lot of time and energy to make the convention center a reality.

Tonights dinner began with the invocation led by Sen. Joey Pendleton. Throwing caution to the wind in liberal Christian County, the good Senator thanked his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all that we have. I like these dinners because it is like church but with lots of guns. State Rep. John Tilley, Sen. Joey Pendleton and myself were sponsors of this years event. Although Rep. Tilley could not be there, he was recognized by the Committee for his continued support.

Christian Co. Sheriff Livy Leavell was in attendance as was a representative from Congressman Ed Whitfield's office. Republican nominee for State Auditor Linda Greenwell made the trip to be at the banquet.

These events are usally long but tonight was worth it since I won a 22 revolver. I will be sleeping with it tonight. Included with the gun were both 22 short and 22 mag cylinders. With the gang violence in Hopkinsville getting out of control it's nice to have a little more fire-power to hold these vicious thugs at bay. For more explanation I must refer you to my old friend Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing".

Sponsors recieved a bronze statue of George Wahington with the following inscribed on it:" A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a Uniform and well digested plan is requisite" This is from Washington's first State of the Union address.

I was introduced as a representative for Rep. Tilley which was fine although Rep. Tilley had not ask me to represent him and he may not of wanted me to represent him. I was proud to do so in my new found capacity as a representative for a representative. It has been 13 years since my days with Congressman Tom Barlow that I actually represented someone. I tried to behave myself accordingly but yes I did dip snuff at the table. Senator Pendleton who sat beside me did not seem to be disturbed by my nasty habit in the least. I did win a UofK license plate which I quickly gave to the good Senator. I won't even get off on my UK tangent tonight. I'm a Notre Dame, Louisville, Vanderbilt, Georgetown(KY), and Murray State fan.

I did take the opportunity to brag on Rep. Tilley and Todd Hollenbach Jr. for their strong support for gun owners rights.

The evening concluded with me waiting in line to fill out the background check application which was completed there. Once again I was cleared by Big Brother(A background check which has probably been out sourced to some third world country) to take my gun home.

God,Guns and Tobacco are alive and well in Christian County. Amen

Monday, August 6, 2007

Fancy Farm: Let The Games Begin

The Democrats scored points this past week in Western Kentucky. While excitement is far from a fevered pitched, one can see some movement for Beshear. Having spent a life-time attending party functions in West Kentucky, I'm starting to see some participation that has not been visible since the 1980's.

Beshear had a very respectable crowd in Christian County on Thursday. A fish fry hosted by State Senator Joey Pendleton produced a diverse crowd of supporters from the agriculture, education and business community. Many younger voters were also in attendance. Being the third event in recent weeks in Christian County, Beshear is working hard to renew and regain the popularity he once enjoyed as a "Hometown Boy".

Candidates made their way to Caldwell County on Friday for an event held by State Rep. Mike Cherry as well as a Jack Conway Sportsman Breakfast that was held in Ballard County.

The Marshall County Bean Dinner known to most of us as the Mike Miller Dinner was probably the most telling sign of all. The event boasted numbers far beyond anyones expectations. There was more people than space or food. Many of us stood outside to stay cool and well you know- dip snuff. I saw my old buddy Jeff Noble from Louisville. Jeff has a blog called Ohio River,Left Bank,MP 606. Jeff and I differ on issues but he has a great blog worthy of a tobacco barn intellectual like myself. Three strange looking girls came in late. We were not for certain but the consensus was that they might have been lesbians. They kinda fit the description of the pictures we had once seen on the television set. I tried to be hospitable and gave them some free tickets I had to the dinner. No one got real upset. No one got hurt and the roof did not fall in, so I guess no harm, no foul. It's one thing to kill and field dress an 18 point buck. It's another thing to go home and have to tell your wife and kids that you got your ass kick by some lesbians in Marshall County of all places.

Coach Joe B. Hall's presence added a nice touch to the evening. Coach Hall who endorsed Todd Hollenbach Jr. for State Treasurer, appeared to be looking good and in great form.

I was surprised at the number of old friends and stalwart Western Kentuckians who had returned to the picnic after years of being absent. While liberal goggle eyes inflated the number of Democrat supporters, I believe the Democrats had probably a 55-45% edge. Bill Bartleman who is being hammered by the blogs might have been a little off, it was hard to tell depending on where you were standing. I believe Bill understands as I do that just because there were a lot of Democrats it does not necessarily mean they all are going to vote for Beshear or straight ticket. The Democrats did not have a 3-1 or even a 2-1 advantage. I believe the Democrats were just a little more excited than the Republicans this year. Democrats appeared to have a margin resulting from the participation of people outside the area.

It was great to see West Kentucky's new leaders at the event. Madisonville Mayor Will Cox was in attendance as was State Representative John Tilley. Cox, the son and grandson of former State Legislators, is serving his first term as Mayor of Madisonville. Tilley who represents Trigg and Christian County was enjoying his first Fancy Farm. Tilley serves as Vice-Chairman of the Banking and Insurance, State Government and Military, Veterans and Seniors Committees.

John Lindsey Adams a prosecutor in Christian County enjoyed one of his many trips to Fancy Farm. Adam's father served in the House and his grandfather was a former Commissioner of Agriculture. John Thomas Soyars, the son of the late Judge J. Thomas Soyars and the Grandson of the late Judge Oglesby Soyars returned to Fancy Farm this year. Soyars has a long pedigree with his father having been the law partner of Gov. Edward T. "Ned" Breathitt.

Bobby McDowell, long time Democrat Party Chairman in Scott County, made the journey once again to Western Kentucky. Former Trigg Judge Executive and Sheriff, Jimmy Mathis along with Judge Berlin Moore seemed to be enjoying themselves.

West Kentucky's finest Gentleman was also in attendance. Judge Bob Buchanon. Having served a lifetime as Principal and Superintendent of Ballard County Schools, Bob served two terms as Ballard Judge Executive not to mention the two years he gave Congressman Tom Barlow as his District Director.

Former Congressman Carroll Hubbard, who is seeking a Senate seat in the First Senatorial District was on hand. Hubbard is poised to take his old seat back which Ken Winters has been sleeping in for a number of years.

Former KYD Presidents Mark Henry and Dale Emmons were also on hand. Pat Vincent who has served faithfully over the years in many party capacities was working as hard as ever.

Supreme Court Justice and local favorite Bill Cunningham was in attendance.(We like the books he writes)

I was disappointed that I did not see former Federal Highway Administrator and Democrat Party icon Bill Cox. Mr. Cox who considered seeking the Office of State Treasurer this year, retains one the best political and analytical minds in Kentucky.

HINT TO JONATHAN MILLER: Get a bus with Bill Cox, Julian Carroll, Wendell Ford, Grady Stumbo and Carroll Hubbard on it and drive around the first district. If they don't kill each other they surely will pick up more votes than peddling your expensive and overt lecture book . Note to Jonathan: We get FREE books down here regarding ethics and morals, there called Gideon Bibles.(See Bill Cunningham before you write another one)

The Things I Miss About Fancy Farm

At age 43 I have probably been to over 30 Fancy Farm events and could not help but to take time and remember a few things. It was tradition for many years growing up that my mother would drop me off with Senator Bill Brinkly of Madisonville for an hour or so while she made the rounds at Fancy Farm. For so many years we would eat our Bar-B-Q sandwich together which he would always buy. Bill was a fine man and true public servant.

We can blame many of our political problems on the DNC and would be right but we have created some of our own over the years. Lack of new leadership has just killed us over the last 15 years. While standing there listening to the speaking which was about to begin, I could not help but to think if Jeff Green would have already been Governor or U.S. Senator. Jeff was our future and we lost the best we had to offer the day he died. No one was able to step up and fill his shoes.

The next 3 months will be tough in Western Kentucky. Anyone who thinks different is either smoking crack or is paying for bad numbers. No matter how much the Republicans have screwed up the State or the Nation, it is not enough to bring West Kentucky back to the Democrat Party nor should it!! West Kentucky did not leave the Party, the Party left us. Sorry, Reagan was right.

As I lay out my clothes and my gun for the Pennyrile NRA Banquet on Thursday, I'll be going not knowing where Beshear stands on many issues like gun control. Todd Hollenbach and Jack Conway have made their positions well known but I have no clue as to the rest of the ticket. We know Dr. Dan likes to fish and is apparently good at it but the smell of fish will not wash away the stench of his stance on abortion to voters in the first and second districts.

Voters in West Kentucky will not nor should not give up their convictions for the sake of better government or a party change. The Democrats have failed the last 15 years by clinging to the old liberal ways of the East Coast Establishment. A perfect opportunity has presented itself for the Democratic Party in Kentucky to step up to the plate and return the Party to its roots. Victory in November comes down to one question. Is the Democrat Party in Kentucky willing to pay the cost for bringing Western Kentucky back in the fold??? The cost may be high, but cheaper than sitting at home and watching the Republicans retain power.

Well, it is time to stop typing and put up the hat I made for Fancy Farm. My Tilley hat adorned with campaign buttons represents my politics. My Al C. Rutland for Senate button, my Chandler-Waterfield button, my Combs-Carroll button, Cox's Army, Martha Layne Collins for Governor, and my original & new Todd Squad button. I could not fit my Wallace for President button on the hat which was probably good since everyone thinks being a Wallace man was solely about racism and it was not. I'm a Huey Long Populist also but I don't have one of his buttons. Goodnight all.