Saturday, September 29, 2007

House Speaker Jody Richards-"Tilley a Rising Leader"

House Speaker Jody Richards announced that Rep. John Tilley of Hopkinsville was selected as only 1 of 30 leaders in the South to be chosen to attend the inaugural Leadership Program of the Southern Legislative Conference.

The Center for Advancement of Leadership Skills provides legislative, executive and judicial branch state leaders the opportunity to specific information on issues, trends and forecasts with their Southern State counterparts.

Tilley was nominated by House Speaker Jody Richards, and was awarded a scholarship from the SLC to cover the cost of the 4-day program. The session begins Oct. 6-10 at the University of Arkansas, and will provide sessions and workshops on policy, funding and leadership training from recognized professionals. Only 30 class members are accepted per year.

Pro"I am tremendously honored to have been selected to represent Kentucky in this prestigious program," Tilley said. "The Center for Advancement of Leaders is one of the most comprehensive leadership programs in the country, and many of the issues faced by our Western Kentucky region will be the basis for discussion by leaders across the South."

"Rep. Tilley is articulate and bright--a rising leader among his colleagues," Speaker Richards said. "As states continue to assume greater responsibility in the policy and funding arenas, it's imperative that we talk with colleagues in other states to collect the very best ideas.

Kentucky House Returns Pay

The Kentucky House of Representatives kept their promise and returned their legislative pay. The House Democratic Office offered the following in a recent press release.

FRANKFORT, Ky.-- Members of the House of Representatives returned nearly $105,000 to the Kentucky State Treasurer today, making good n their pledge to reject pay for the special session that began and ended in the House on July 5.

"This gives Kentucky Taxpayers the clear assurance that they weren't left footing the bill for the unnecessary special session," House Speaker Jody Richards said. "We remain committed to the simple principle of no pay for no work."

...The reimbursement is in addition to more than $408,000 in session pay and expenses that House legislators agreed to forgo for the period of July 16-29, which were later classified by the Legislative Research Commission as "interim days." And it is on top of nearly $146,000 the state recouped when representatives convened in special session in late August without pay, to reconcile for days in July when they received compensation but were not in session.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wheeler's Record and Past Not Good!!

I will be working through a bunch of information that people have been sending on Melinda Wheeler's record in State Government as well as her questionable personal life. It would appear that Wheeler re-wrote the definition of nepotism while in State Government, questions regarding legal supervisory capacity between spouses, and an interesting vestige regarding a Northern Kentucky Friend. The rumors are running rampant through the Conservative ranks of Western Kentucky right now. I'm not going to beat up on my Republican friends since I have been forced to vote for so many Repubicans in the last 15 years. I really do share their concern that the Republican Party has lost all it's moral high-ground. I'm still surprised by the number of Republican's down here that are completely embarrassed by candidates like Melinda Wheeler. Stay tuned.

Campaigns Picking Up Speed

A busy day today. The news of Beshear's polling numbers not good for the Republicans or their down ticket. Even Conway who did not fair well against an under-funded opponent in the primary is picking up support from Republicans and Democrats in the area. Reports that Conway scored $5,000 from a small group today is proof enough for me that the Democrat's are picking up the pace in the Pennyrile.

Much of the day was spent with Rep. Tilley who knocked out a fundraiser, a sportsmanship banquet and a fundraising planning session for Todd Hollenbach for Trigg County. Things are not looking very good for the Republican's right now. I just found out that Republican supporters for Todd Hollenbach in Trigg County have had their huge Hollenbach signs up for a month.

Interesting information from the Rural Democrat and Page One regarding some questionable conduct on behalf of Secretary of State Trey Grayson. I will look into this further.

Also, Congrats go out to Madisonville Mayor Will Cox for being nominated and selected to the Pritchard Committee For Academic Excellence. Cox, who also serves on the KET Friends Board, will do a great job in this capacity.

Hollenbach Hopkinsville Luncheon Oct. 1

Supporters for Todd Hollenbach Jr. will be hosting a free Bar-B-Q lunch on Monday, October 1 from 12:00-1:00pm at the Hopkinsville War Memorial Building. Hollenbach's Christian County Chairman and former Hopkinsville Mayor, Al C. Rutland announced today that Todd Hollenbach would be campaigning in Todd County on Oct. 1st and would return to Hopkinsville for the Bar-B-Q lunch. Hollenbach will be meeting with media and key supporters in the afternoon in Christian and Trigg County's. Todd will finish the evening by speaking to the Christian County Democratic Woman's Organization.

Sportsmanship Banquet

The Representative John C. Tilley Sportsmanship Banquet was held this evening in Hopkinsville. The event hosted the Hopkinsville High and Christian County High Football Teams. Rep. Tilley along with Coach Dixie Jones and Coach Steve Lovelace each spoke on the importance of sportsmanship and character.

Everyone enjoyed a buffet of Bar-B-Q, Chicken, slaw, potatoe, burgoo, and cake from Rutland's Bar-B-Q. This was the first time in history that both teams had participated in an event together since the rivarly began in 1962.

WHOP radio along with TV-43 were in attendance to cover this historic event. Hopkinsville which arrived first applauded Christian County as they entered. Each coach explained the importance of wanting to win and playing your hardest but both added that sportsmanship was about respect and that athletes gain respect by how they conduct themselves on and off the field.

Rep. Tilley annouced that he would be sponsoring a Sportsmanship Award to be awarded to a player from both teams. The award would be named in honor of Tilley's father, Charles Tilley, who died in May. Charles Tilley played for Hopkinsville and Vanderbilt in the 50's. Rep. Tilley played for Christian County and UK in the 80's. The recipient from each team will be chosen by the opposing team after the game on Friday. The event was a success and a nice step forward for the youth in the community.

Pendleton Continues Youth Education This Week

State Senator Joey Pendleton continued his efforts this week to help educate young students. Pendleton and Christian County Judge Executive Steve Tribble pictured below with students from Indian Hills School in Hopkinsville.

Sen. Pendleton will continue this week by participating in the "Back to School Week" by speaking with students in North Christian County. Pendleton will address students at Lacy Elementary on Friday. Pendleton commented on Monday that He thought it was important to not only help educate our students on how government works but also to close the gap between elected officials and the people.

Conway Visit A Success

A private luncheon was held today in Hopkinsville for Jack Conway. Rep. John Tilley hosted the event for 20 people which included Republicans and Democrats. The luncheon which was held at Timmon's in downtown Hopkinsvillle, reportedly raised an estimated $5,000 for the Conway Campaign. The group included key leaders from Tilley's District of Christian and Trigg County. Conway left Hopkinsville to return to his native Union County where a large fundraiser was being held this evening.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Cox: Mayor 24 Hours A Day

I took time off to visit my friend Will Cox and his wife Marci Friday night. Will, who is Mayor of Madisonville, invited me to have dinner and attend the Hopkinsville-Madisonville football game. It was not a good football weekend for me. Madisonville beat Hopkinsville for only the second time in 25 years. Notre Dame and Louisville went down to defeat. I have to give Kentucky and Madisonville credit they played well and deserved their W"s. I won't congratulate Michigan.

After the Madisonville game we were on our way back to the Mayor's house when the vehicle in front of us veered a number of times into on coming traffic nearly causing a head on collision more than once. Mayor Cox was quick to dial the EOC. At this point things got exciting!! I felt like I was in an episode of TOP COPS. Much to the dismay of the Mayor's wife, I was singing "Bad Boys, Bad Boys, What Cha gone a do when they come for you", while he was trying to update the location of the suspects on his cell phone. Our mini-chase led us through down town Madisonville to the South and onto Hwy 70. After turning onto Hwy 70, the Madisonville police came roaring past us with blue lights a blazing. Two units had responded very quickly to the Mayors call and by the time we circled the block they already had the suspects outside their vehicle. The driver, who was apparently so "High", had to be helped by the policeman into his free ride to the Hopkins Co. Jail. A pretty exciting night for me and a good birthday for Mayor Cox whereas he might have saved somebody's life that night.

Welcome Back Melvin

As everyone knows already, State Rep. Melvin Henley switched back to the Democrat Party last week. Henley who has tried to vote the majority view of his district has been frustrated with a number of things. My sources tell me that his biggest consideration for switching back was the lack of support and relationship with Robbie Rudolph.

If anyone thought about running against House Speaker Jody Richards then they should probably think again. Speaker Richards, while maybe losing some political clout in the eyes of some after running for Governor, will be as strong as ever now. Moderate to conservative democrats in rural and West Ky. that are leaning towards Beshear, as opposed to sitting at home on election day, feel better about the party knowing that Speaker Richards will be in charge of the House.

Melvin Henley should be able to retain his seat next year whereas it appears that Hal Kemp will not seek to oust Henley again. Kemp made his first run for public office last year losing to Henley. Kemp, who is very well liked, owns the Dairy Queen and is the son-in-law of the former Head Football Coach at Murray State, the late Bill Furgerson.

I still believe the media missed one the biggest scandals in recent history regarding Robbie Rudolph, E.W. Dennison, and former head football coach Joe Punnunzio. Having been a football coach I can't tell you(or won't) the stories that came back to town from former players and students regarding these guys. Dr. King Alexander who did wonders for MSU battled to try to clean up these mafia types and the conduct that came along with them. Just to share one of these episodes, Punnunzio carried a convicted felon on parole on the team plane with him when they played Minnesota. Punnunzio is now the special teams and tight ends coach at the University of Miami. How fitting. Houston Nutt built MSU football into a National power only to see Punnunzio destroy it in a couple of years. The stories of drugs, frat and sorority parties go on and on. E.W. Dennison who was AD and his best friend Robbie Rudolph did every thing in their power to stop Dr. King Alexander from cleaning out the rats and the mess in the Athletic Dept. at MSU. It makes one wonder why Rudolph continues to support and finance Dennison's law suits. Somebody has something on somebody. There is nothing new at Kentucky Central that everyone does not already know. Bloggers, get your shovels and start digging at MSU. I bet Dr. King Alexander could write a book on the subject.

Tilley Host Sportsmanship Dinner

Rep. John Tilley, who was a walk-on football player at the University of Kentucky, will be hosting a dinner to promote sportsmanship in his district. This years banquet will include the players and staff of the Hopkinsville and Christian County Football Teams. The banquet will be held this Thursday at the Hopkinsville- Christian County Memorial Building and catered by Al C. Rutland.

For the first time in years, Hoptown and Christian County are in the same district and will square off this Friday night at the Stadium of Champions. Dixie Jones and Steve Lovelace who are the head coaches for their respective schools will each speak on the importance of good sportsmanship. Each coach has asked a few of their team leaders to answer questions from the local media.

People outside the area don't realize that Christian County is home to 5, yes five, High Schools. Hopkinsville HS, Christian Co, HS, Fort Campbell HS, University Heights Academy, and Christian Heritage Academy.

Hopkinsville has the social, economic and racial make-up of any large city. Boasting a diverse community that has a military installation and one, if not, the largest African-American populations in Kentucky percentage wise. Our area has the pit falls of a large city in which it is not hard for our students to stumble. I agree with that "Woman" I don't like that it does take a village to raise a child. Our communities must come together to help raise other children besides our own or else the consequences are troubling. People joke at times that the two nicest buildings in Hopkinsville are the jail and the justice center. We need to over come this.

Representive Tilley is to be commended for doing his part in promoting good sportsmanship and civic responsibility.

Judge Mike Miller to Host Hollenbach Fundraiser

Marshall County Judge Executive, Mike Miller, will be hosting a fundraiser for Todd Hollenbach Jr. who is the democrat nominee for State Treasurer. The fundraiser will be a "Buffalo Dinner" which will be held at the Benton Golf and Country Club on Tuesday, October 2.

Buffalo has become popular in Western Kentucky in the last decade or so. I am not a huge meat eater but I became a fan of buffalo meat a number of years ago. Steve Hamrick, a known political operative in Western Kentucky, took me to Kentucky Dam a few years ago where they were hosting a buffalo dinner. I believe Brian Roy was head of the Park at the time and they had one heck of a spread. Buffalo steaks, roast, burger, tacos, ect.. were all served up on a buffet.

This should be a good night for Hollenbach in Western Kentucky. Hollenbach racked up the percentages down here with Calloway, Marshall, Trigg and Christian being four of his top 5 counties in Kentucky.

Sen. Pendleton Continues Youth Education

Since taking elective office, Sen. Joey Pendleton has pursued his goal of advocating the importance of civics education to the students in the area. Pendleton continues these efforts whereas he will use national Constitution Day as a platform to help educate elementary students today at Indian Hills School.

Sen. Pendleton, along with Christian Co. Judge Executive Steve Tribble will be spending the day with 5th graders at the school. "Talking to Kentucky's youth is one of the best parts of my job," said Pendleton. "Their teachers have them prepared and I am always impressed with the quality of the questions they ask."

Today, Pendleton and Tribble will answer questions about the political process, discuss the fundamental rights established by the Constitution, and encourage students to understand the continued relevance of the Constitution in present day America.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Battle Hymn of Kentucky

My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of Steve Beshear,
He is trampling out the corruption where the pardons are signed in fear;
He hath loosed the faithful shining of the truth that Fletcher sear-
His truth is marching on.

I have seen him burn the midnight oil in a hundred county seats,
They have build-ed him a campaign on every Kentucky street;
I can read his righteous platforms that the voters are eager to greet-
His day is marching on.

He has sounded forth the issues that shall never sound retreat,
He is sifting out the hearts of voters to take back the Governor's seat;
O be swift my friends to answer him! be jubilant to meet-
Steve Beshear is marching on.

In the beauty of Western Kentucky he was born by the lake,
With true conviction in his heart that's not for sale or fake;
Fletcher lied to make men holy, Beshear will fight for the Commonwealth's sake-
While Steve Beshear is marching on.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Todd County Politics

The Todd County Democrat Rally is yet to be scheduled according to Todd County PVA, Perry Stokes. The calendar posting events on the KDP website has the rally scheduled for this Thursday night which is not correct. Perry Stokes said this afternoon " The party must be posting our request." Stokes when on to say that they our hoping for September 20th or 27th as a possible date to hold the rally. The rally will be held at the town square.

Todd County received some attention just prior to the May Primary when a reporter from the Todd County Standard appeared on KET's "Comment on Kentucky". The reporter noted that not a single candidate for office had campaigned in Todd County.

Having grown up a court house rat in Todd County, I spent a lot of years drinking coffee and dipping snuff in the PVA's office. Virgil Monroe, who was the long-time PVA would always bring Boone Stokes, who was the jailer over to the office and we would figure out the politics of the day. Virgil and Boone were always good about telling me what I needed to know.

I miss those days. Everyone is gone from the Courthouse that I really knew. Boone, Virgil, Judge Mallory and Jimmy Groves to name a few. Jimmy retired as Clerk and ran against Sheldon Baugh a number of years back but lost. When June Lyon, who was from Logan County, gave up her seat in the Legislature it was at the height of a very unpopular time for the Democrats at the national level. Baugh, a Republican, is well liked in a very conservative district. Sometimes friendship nixes the best laid plans and it would be hard for me to go against Sheldon Baugh since he was a close friend to the family and served as pall bearer at both my father and mother's funeral.

But everything changes and you can't stop change. A lesson we really have not cared for in Western Kentucky. We would be better served if we spent our time trying to shape the changes in our little world for the better as opposed to always trying to stop changes. I'll look forward to meeting and getting to know Perry Stokes. If he is anything like his father was, then he is probably one hell of a guy. You have to like a guy whose email address is rabbit hunter. I'm sure Perry and people like Mac Johns, who is County Attorney, are serving their people well. Again I will look forward to being in Todd County again and seeing some old friends and meeting some new ones. Let's hope the Party gets on the ball and gets the ticket to Todd County!