Friday, November 30, 2007

Who's Showing Up for Work?

Missed Votes - has listed the number of missed votes by members of the Kentucky General Assembly. Below is a list of the Legislators and how many votes they missed this past year.

Senate Member & Number of Missed Votes



S. Lee-25
B. Smith-25
A. Smith-18
J. Lee-5
L. Belcher-4
C. Belcher-2

Rep. Tilley Announces Fort Campbell Meeting

Rep. John Tilley D-Hopkinsville, announced today that the Interim Joint Affairs Committee on Seniors, Veterans Affairs and Public Protection will be meeting at Fort Campbell on December 6, 2007 at 10:00. Rep. Tilley is Vice-Chairman of the Committee. The committee will be meeting at Division HQ in the McAuliffe Conference Room.

The Committee will be discussing the mission of and activities at the base. Legislators will be eating lunch with the troops as well as touring key parts of the installation. Fort Campbell is home to the 101st Airborne Division(Air Assault), 3rd Group of the 5th Special Forces on permanent detachment from Fort Bragg and the 160 Special Operations Aviation Brigade (SOAR).

Soldiers and their dependents have suffered emotionally and financially with the long and continuous rotations that have been required because of the insufficient number of troops who are trained to carry out the mission.

Hopkinsville and surrounding counties have seen continued growth resulting from installation but will continue to remain at a disadvantage to Tennessee because of the present tax situation. Tennessee does not have a state income tax. Military who live in TN can still benefit from Kentucky's lower sales tax because the base is located in both Kentucky and Tennessee. Until Kentucky exempts active duty military from the state income tax we will continue to lag behind TN in growth.

Fort Campbell is a installation that continues to grow because of their mission, location and geographic size. The 101st Airborne Division can trace its roots back to the Civil War. The lineage of the 101st began as the 8th Wisconsin Regiment. The rich tradition of the origins of the 101st are proudly displayed on the "Iron Brigade" regiment for which the Division was spawned.

The eagle represents an actual eagle that was know as "Old Abe" which symbolizes his service during the Civil War. "Old Abe" was carried into 36 engagements during the Civil War by the Wisconsin unit. The modern history of the 101st began as a test platoon assigned to the School of Infantry under the command of Major General William C. Lee. In 1941, the War Department established a Provisional Parachute Group to study paratrooper doctrine, training and tables of organization. Gen. Lee is referred to as the "Father of the Airborne".

With its origins as a Wisconsin Reserve Unit this unit was deactivated on August 15, 1942 and reactivated as the 101st Airborne Division on the same day with assignment to Camp Claiborne, LA. Assistant Division Commander, Donald F. Pratt, for whom the museum is named after, signed the activation order. The activation order stated that the Division "had no history but has a rendezvous with destiny", thus becoming the motto of the 101st Airborne Division.

In October of 1942 the Division was moved to Fort Bragg, NC. After training the 101st was transferred to England to continue its training. After being moved around for their missions during WWII the Division was inactivated in 1945. In 1948 the 101st was re-activated for training purposes as part of the regular army at Camp Breckenridge, KY for two brief periods. In May of 1954 the 101st was reactivated again at Fort Jackson, SC and then moved to Fort Campbell, KY where it remains today.

Over the years the 101st has changed its mission to meets the needs of our military. In 1956 the 101st was designated as an experimental division for the new concept of "Pentomic Divisions". Being the first division to undergo this transformation they were charged with the task to re-shape it's mission to an infantry division that would be prepared for combat on a nuclear battlefield.

On September 2, 1957, President Eisenhower ordered elements of the 101st to deploy to Little Rock, Arkansas to fill the void of the Arkansas National Guard which had been recalled by the Governor in defiance of an order by the United States Supreme Court. The 327th Airborne Infantry of the First Battle Group deployed and converged on Little Rock Central High School to restore order and secure the safety of 9 black students trying to attend school. The 101st fulfilled their responsibility during this intense moment in our Nation's hisory. To quote an old friend who was present with the 327th,"rednecks are at a loss for words when confronted with a shiny bayonet stuck at the edge of their noses".

In 1962 with the re-activation of the 11th Airborne, the Division was given the mission to test new concepts of "Air Mobility". In 1963 the 11th Airborne was designated as Air Assault Division (Test) in conjunction with the 101st. In 1964 the Army decided to move away from the concept of "Pentomic Divisions" and restructured the 101st as a Reorganization Objective Army Organization (ROAD). The purpose of the reorganization was to improve the Divisions mobility and artillery capability. Through this training and exercises the 101st would be preparing for their future in Viet Nam.

The Army would abolish the Airborne Battle Group organization and return to the brigade structure with each brigade consisting of 3 battalions. The 101st deployed to Viet Nam in November of 1967. Serving in 12 campaigns during Viet Nam the 101st would add to its legacy at battles like "Hamburger Hill". During this period the 101st saw its mission integrated with the capacity and concepts of "Air Mobility" with the introduction of helicopters. During Viet Nam, the helicopter's main mission was the deployment of troops and the extraction of wounded personnel.

In 1968, with additional structure the 101st evolved from the Airborne Division concept to a Division with an expanded capacity as the 101st Airborne(Air Mobile) Division. The 101st would return again to Viet Nam in 1972. Through the 70's and 80's the 101st would grow and enhance its capabilities. With the birth of "Airborne Rangers", the 101st would add to their infantry abilities with the development of the their own specialized groups such as the "Rangers" This period also provided for new technology in the area of helicopters. The scope of which helicopters would further the abilities and expand their missions would lye in the helicopters ability to be an offensive weapon.

The 101st, a division that relies on training and preparedness to deploy anywhere in the world in a matter of days. The 101st has deployed in the name of "Mercy Soldiers" which has required them to provide humanitarian assistance in places like Haiti. The 101st has deployed in two wars with Iraq and supports deployment missions in Alaska, Germany and Korea.

The ability of the 101st to deploy anywhere in the world in 72 hours combined with their Air Mobile and Air Assault components surly make them one of the most highly competent and capable divisions of any army in the world.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

In the News

I have successfully blogged this page from the Alumni website of my Alma mater, Hopkinsville High School. is part of a venture by former alumni Greg Fuchs and Mike Higgins. Mike interviewed me for this alumni profile a few weeks ago. There were a few corrections that I made for which I hope Mike and Greg don't sue me for. This site has become a pretty cool deal for the school and the alumni and I appreciate them for taking time to honor me with a profile. People like Governor Ned Breathitt and Jerry Claiborne graduated from Hopkinsville High School so it's nice just to have someone remember you.

Below are Mike Higgins words regarding yours truly:

Man on a Mission By Michael Higgins
In ye olde Czechoslovakian tongue, “havrilek” is a word meaning “one who persuades”. O.K., I just made that up. But, you’ve got to admit, it has the ring of truth. 1983 H.H.S. graduate Tim Havrilek has always been, is now, and probably ever shall be one of the most persuasive people in the Bluegrass. When I first met him as a seventh-grader, he was already limbering up his jaw and looking for a cause. Among his friends and teachers, he quickly established himself as a person quick to offer either a simple well-put opinion or an all-out, full-blown argument, depending on your level of resistance.
As the son of a political activist mother, the late Judith Moore Havrilek, and the grandson of long-time Hopkinsville city councilman W. B. Moore, it was all but inevitable that Tim would be good at proclaiming and promoting his views on issues and the world at large. In his high school days, he involved himself with the school newspaper, The Tiger, as reporter and photographer and showed a flair for astute observation that has served him quite well since. For those of us who knew Tim back then, we couldn’t help but wonder how he would end up – would he be shot in an alley or elected President? Turns out he’s too smart for either.
Tim began his journey down a long road in politics as a small boy at his mother’s side. Mrs. Havrilek had been brought up in a home heavily involved in local government issues and wider election campaigns, and she initiated her middle son into the energetic and intriguing world of politics at an early age. He remembers tagging along while she worked in Todd Hollenbach’s unsuccessful run for Governor of Kentucky in 1975. Hollenbach, elected Jefferson County Judge-Executive in 1969 at the age of twenty-nine, seemed to have a very bright future in state politics. However, when he was defeated in his re-election bid for Judge by a very media-savvy Mitch McConnell, Tim got a taste of something he could really sink his teeth into – the power of the media in politics.
After a few years in college, Tim returned to Hopkinsville and began to involve himself as a volunteer in campaigns near and far, small and large. He paid attention to what worked and what did not, and by the late ‘80’s, he was running his own media consulting and ad agency. It took many years and a lot of campaign success to build his reputation to what it is today, but he is well-known all over the state for his expertise in the field. “I spent the first fifteen years of my [political] life wanting all this attention, feeling like I wasn’t getting the credit that was due. Now that I finally get some, I really don’t care!” he says with a laugh. His most recent victory came in Tuesday’s general election. Tim was media guru for Todd Hollenbach, Jr.’s successful bid for Kentucky State Treasurer. He’ll be celebrating in Frankfort this week, and you can bet there are more state-wide races on the horizon.
In addition to his life in the whirlwind environment of Kentucky politics, Tim has been involved with some aspect of the Tiger football program for nearly thirty years. Starting as a practice manager in his early teens, he made the team in high school, started as a senior, then graduated to pursue college life. After returning to Hopkinsville in 1986, he was asked to step in for a week as coach of the seventh-grade team. When Hoptown coaching legend Fleming Thornton, Athletic Director at the time, came to assist for a couple of days, he told Tim, “You’re one of the best I’ve ever seen at this. I think you need to see the year out.” Tim was flattered, to say the least. “I couldn’t tell him ‘no’. I took the coach’s word that I was the next Vince Lombardi.” He smiles about it now. “Coach hoo-dooed me a little bit. He was very good at getting what he wanted.”
Nevertheless, Tim stuck with it and saw his team go undefeated that year. Soon, he was asked to move up to coach the freshmen at H.H.S. After the arrival of Craig Clayton as varsity head coach, Tim began helping out on Friday nights, which in turn developed into an assistant coaching position. In 1995, he decided to “leave the field” and turn his attention to team promotions. In a particularly impressive move, he and Coach Clayton arranged a game with Leslie County and its top national college prospect (and future UK standout) Tim Couch. Havrilek put together a press kit that drew reporters from CNN, Sports Illustrated, and sixty-eight media outlets from eight states. Hoptown handed them a huge 61-0 butt-kicking that propelled Tiger star Deontey Kenner into the national spotlight along with the entire football program. Kenner had a superb career as a four-year starter at Cincinatti, Miguel Merrit played at Alabama, and Artose Pinner went on to lead the SEC in rushing at Kentucky. In addition, top-level football scouts from schools such as Notre Dame, USC, and Michigan began to make Hoptown High a regular stop. Nice work, Tim.
He’s a persuader, alright. But these days he’s turned his talents in that fine art to an even higher goal – saving souls. Tim has become an ordained minister in the Christian Church and is presently the pastor of the Slaughters Christian Church in Slaughters, Kentucky. After a very trying five years, in which he lost both parents and his older brother, Chris, he has a firm grip on the fragility of life and what his priorities should be. Any conflicts with his political leanings? He doesn’t think so. He is a man of traditional conservative values – pro-life and anti-gun control – but also energetic in his support of wetlands preservation, anti-pollution efforts, and slower urban growth.
While striving to keep politics out of the pulpit, and vice-versa, Tim has no intention of remaining quiet or idle when confronted with the major issues of the day. For most folks, sports, religion, and politics are dangerous subjects. For Tim Havrilek, they are the stuff of life. Whether coaching football, running campaigns, or delivering sermons, he will never be short of opportunities to guide, lead, or otherwise influence people for the good. All in all, a life well-lived.

Rep. Jim Gooch: Global Warming Hypothesis

I was surprised at the personal and vicious attacks directed towards Rep. Jim Gooch by some in the uninformed, liberal left- wing. Rep. Gooch who is Chairman of the Natural Resources and Environment Committee in the House has been opening the dialogue concerning the over zealous attempts by radical environmentalist to eliminate the coal industry in Kentucky.

First, let me say that Jim Gooch is respected as a trusted leader among his colleagues in the House and the Natural Resources Committee. Known for his integrity and work ethic, Rep. Gooch is very popular in his district which encompasses Webster, Hopkins, Daviess and McClean. Taking on issues and taking hits for members of his committee, Jim Gooch has managed the political needs of his fellow committee members as well as those of the Democrat Party.

How does one in the same breath promote the issues and political attributes of the Labor Unions and at the same time attack the United Mine Workers (UMW)? No coal, no UMW. How does one scream from the left for open debate, process, and fairness for all issues but not for a position or argument they oppose? I believe the editorializing should be left to Kentuckians. Left to people who live and work in Kentucky. Left to people who have made an investment in Kentucky, not people who don't live here but only try to capitalize from afar by making a few bucks for them self. When your family has lived in Kentucky a couple hundred years then I would say you have an investment!

I have spoken at length with Rep. Gooch regarding this matter and have also done a little homework on this issue. It is not a catch all but I have found more evidence against the global warming hypothesis than for it.

Rep. Gooch who supports renewable energy solutions also believes that we can't take any options off the table. It is predicted that Kentucky's energy needs will grow by an estimated 3% per year. Kentucky must plan now to provide not only clean solutions but affordable solutions that allow us to capitalize on our own resources. Job's and economic growth must be factored into our discussions and our decisions.

Former Vice-President Al Gore has raised the issue of the global warming hypothesis but has done so without the support of the vast majority of the scientific community. One must keep in mind that the same people who are fueling this debate were also the same people who were screaming that the earth was cooling and we were heading for another ice-age back in the early 1970's.(Umh)

Much of the this debate has been brought to the front burner by the United Nations supported group the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC). The IPCC adopted a climate accord known as the "Kyoto Protocol" in 1997 in a meeting in Kyoto, Japan. One must also take into account that of those 2000 or so scientist present only a hand full were climate scientist. Many of those present did not even vote for its adoption. The premise of all this is simply that the planet's temperature is rising because of the rise in the use of fossil fuels. The United States Senate rejected the Kyoto Protocol Agreement in 1998 by a vote of 95-0. Al Gore got as much support from his former colleagues as he did from his fellow citizens back in Tennessee.

The majority of scientist in the world have gone on record stating that the data provided by atmospheric research does not support the computer models as put forth by the IPCC. Frederick Seitz, a past president of the National Academy of Sciences, was quoted as saying: "the treaty is, in our opinion, based on flawed idea." There appears to be no evidence what so ever to support that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful but there is evidence that points to the increased atmospheric carbon dioxide as environmentally useful.

Dr. Arthur D. Robinson, who was then president and research professor of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, presented the White House with a petition discrediting the IPCC and the global warming hypothesis. 17,000 scientist signed the petition. Over 10,000 of the scientist retained advanced academic degrees.

The Leipzig Declaration was adopted in November of 1995 in Leipzig, Germany and updated with a second declaration in 1997 in Bonn, Germany. The Leipzig Declaration referred to the Kyoto Treaty as "dangerously simplistic, quite ineffective and economically destructive". A few that signed this declaration were: Patrick Michaels, University of Virginia professor and past president of the American Association of State Climatologist; Larry Brace, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; David Aubry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and Richard Lindzen, the Sloane Professor of Meteorology at MIT.

Although Rep. Gooch may not do as well as Al Gore when is comes to presenting his case, Rep. Gooch has science, research and facts on his side. Jim Gooch is not some zealot who rails against the environment. Rep. Gooch has to balance the needs of the environment along with the need to produce energy and jobs for the Commonwealth. Rep. Gooch said, " I'm trying to get a debate going, but we can't act to quickly or hastily". "Kentucky is going to have to utilize every form of energy to meet our future needs".

Rep. Gooch wants Kentucky to create long term planning that does not take coal off the table as a viable and cost effective way to provide energy to the Commonwealth. As Rep. Gooch pointed out, Kentucky cities are already making plans to buy energy from out of state companies powered by coal but not Kentucky coal. It is my understanding that the cities of Paducah and Princeton are already planning to buy power from Prarie State Energy. What good sense does it make to help create jobs elsewhere, send our citizens money elsewhere and use somebody else's coal? If I recall, did somebody make this case for the gaming industry recently?

Praire State Energy which is located in Livelly Grove, Illinois (Southern Illinois) is well underway building a plant that will provide energy to Western Kentucky. The Praire State plant will use coal. Praire State Energy boast a state of the art plant with the latest in environmental safe methods including: Nitrogen oxide controls, selective catalytic reduction, Dry electrostatic precipitators, sulfur dioxide scrubbers and wet electrostatic precipitators.

Were already losing jobs, energy, money and opportunity because of the success of states like Illinois. We need to encourage the construction of plants like Praire State not scaring them off through bad legislation, the permitting process and environmental lawsuits. We also must balance the effects of our environment. We don't need to shut our eyes to the concerns of strip mining, mountain top removal and air pollution. We must find a balance which meets Kentucky's long term needs and allows us to harvest our natural resources in a cost effective method and in a reasonable environmentally safe manner.

Rep. Jim Gooch does an excellent job and I think somebody needs to walk a mile in his shoes before they criticize him again.
(Sources: 1-UN-IPCC. Singer,"Kyoto Accord Protest Quickening", Washington Times, April 22,1998. 4-Article by Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe,November 5,1998. 5-Interview: Rep. Jim Gooch Jr. 5-Various websites on Kyoto Protocol & Leipzig Declaration)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sen. Pendleton Files Legislation for 08 Session

State Senator Joey Pendleton is all already working hard on next years session of the Kentucky General Assembly. Pendleton has pre-filed 3 pieces of legislation already.

Motor Vehicle Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans

The bill calls for 100% disabled veterans to be exempt from paying taxes on moter vehicles. "This bill is another way to show our appreciation to the disabled veterans in the Commonwealth." Pendleton said. "During the upcoming session, I will encourage my colleagues in both the House and Senate to support this piece of legislation for our veterans." Under this legislation, and individual who has benn honorably discharged from active service will be exempt from paying moter vehicle usage tax. To qualify, the disabled veteran has to be one hundred percent (100%) permanent disability sustained through military action or accident or resulting from diseased contracted while in active service.

"These men and women are a top priority for me and I will continue to fight for them," said Pendleton, who is a member of the legislative Seniors, Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection Committee.

Co-Sponsors Extension of Purple Heart Trail

Pendleton co-sponsored a resolution with Senator Elizabeth Tori, R-Radcliff, to extend the "Purple Heart Trail" past Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. "The recipients of the Purple Heart deserve our thanks, recognition and respect for their devotion and service to our Commonwealth," said Pendleton.

Animal Cruelty Legislation

Sen. Pendleton also filed legislation to make the penalty for injuring, causing suffering or killing any animal a Class D felony. "In the past couple of months, we have seen too many cases of animal cruelty. It's sad to think that people get away with just a slap on the wrist for such an act." The bill would amend the present law without changing the present exemptions for hunting, research or commercial use. Christian Co. has seen some high profile cases regarding animal cruelty the last few years.

While this legislation is probably warranted, the reality is that many of these cases are hard to prove and making them a felony will probably not help matters. County Attorneys will probably be glad to bump these up to the Commonwealth Attorney's Office but it will be hard for Commonwealth Attorney's to justify taking away time and resources from other felony cases such as murder, rape, drugs, ect.. Most of these will continue to see fines and pre-trial diversions unless they rank up there with Michael Vick & Co.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Al Smith

Tonight Al Smith ended his long career as father and host of KET's Comment on Kentucky. As Al Smith might say, If he was the father of Comment on Kentucky then surely Logan Co. was the mother.

Smith found hope, politics, family, sobriety and a future in Logan Co. I have also been fond of Logan Co. I have always appreciated Logan Co. for a number of reasons and have had the good fortune of experiencing it from different perspectives. My first recollection of Russellville would be traveling with my parents and stopping by people's houses to gather before heading onto Bowling Green to watch Western play football in the 70's.

My early coaching days allowed me the chance to become friends with Kenny Barrett, the legendary football coach at Russellville. I loved hearing the old stories about coaches and games he was involved with from the 60's. Barrett arrived and coached at Trigg Co. and often credited Hopkinsville's Coach Fleming Thornton for helping him with his programs. Thornton arrived in Hopkinsville in 1962 after winning 3 State Championships in South Carolina. Coach Thornton is credited by most coaches in Kentucky for introducing and developing weight training as a core element of coaching. I picked up a habit from Coach Barrett I've yet to shake, referring to players as "honey" and "sweetheart". Coach was old school and I learned a lot from him. I remember Hoptown got knocked out of the play-offs in 93 and Coach Barrett invited me to join him on his sideline against Murray for the Regional Championship. Arriving at the old WPA era stadium, the lighting is so bad still that it cast a full shadow on the field. I first went down to what would be the home side bench for most schools but not Russellville. I finally realized that Russellville was standing on the opposite side of their fans. I asked coached before the game regarding this unorthodox setting and he informed me of how strategic it really was. Coach made the opposing team stand on the home side with all the fans yelling and would place the band right behind their bench to distract them. Old School. It was like going back in time. All the players dad's hung out on the side line during the game and all the coaches smoked while coaching.

After a hectic day of listening to constituents complain about the failures of the federal government, I headed down 68 for Russellville where there was to be community meeting with Congressman Barlow. I was eager since the topic was going to focus on Veteran's legislation and I was well equipped that day to brief the Congressman on the latest status of VA Affairs. I wanted to get there early to share the wealth of information I was carrying and I knew that the Congressman was going to have a couple hours of down time in Logan Co. Between Elkton and Russellville I spotted the Congressman sitting in his van in a church parking lot. I turned around thinking something must have been wrong. As I approached the Congressman's window I noticed that he was kicked back smoking a cigar and reading the Bible. I asked if everything was alright and replied that it was and that he would meet up with me later at the Logan Co. Courthouse. Upon arriving at the courtroom where the meeting was to be held I found that I had a couple of hours to kill, so I just went up and sat down in the Judge's chair. Laying on the Judges bench were a stack of folders and after an hour of boredom I decided to look through them. After opening them up it was apparent they were Judge Fuqua's files and notes on pending court cases. I found them interesting in as much as it helped pass the time. I made myself at home propping my feet up on the bench, dipping snuff and going through these files when all of a sudden I turned my head only to find Judge Fuqua standing beside me. If having my feet kicked up was not enough then here I am going through all the Judges case files. I was doing some apologizing. Judge Fuqua with all the decorum of a fine southern gentleman quietly and simply replied that since I was dedicating so much time to his cases, then I should feel free to render a decision in each case and place them on his desk. Judge Fuqua with his jacket in one hand bided me a good evening and walked out of the courtroom. Yes, this is one of my favorite stories.

I could write a book on Logan Co. but I guess I will always be the most grateful because I joined the Disciples of Christ Christian Church there. I joined the Berea Christian Church located in South Logan County in the Oakville Community in 1996. How and why well that's another story for another day.

I guess one could argue whether or not Al Smith has reached the status of Emerson "Doc" Beauchamp. Beauchamp for the youngsters, served as a State Senator from 1944-46, Lt. Governor from 1951-55 and State Treasurer from 1964-68. Doc was one of the great Democrat power brokers in Western Ky and Logan Co. served as his headquarters. With the exception of J.R. Miller no one has ever wielded that kind of power in this end of the State. They handled politics the right way. "Not personal Sonny, just business."

Al Smith landed in Logan Co. at the right time. He learned how to fight and fought to learn this business of Kentucky politics. He used his power and ink to bring important issues to the forefront but most importantly he helped open the door for the average Kentuckian to see into a world that had been limited to just a few.

"We look back, we look forward; we journey in faith, in wisdom and love."

Al Smith's final words as he closed out his last segment of Comment of Kentucky.

Sen. Kerry Accepts Pickens's Wager

Below is a press release recieved from the folks at

WASHINGTON D.C.- Senator John Kerry wrote a letter to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth financer T. Boone Pickens today, accepting his million dollar challenge to give $1 million to the person who proves wrong a single fact asserted by the right wing smear group. Kerry does not seek the million dollars for himself, but rather for the Paralyzed Veterans of America to help veterans returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pickents keynoted a dinner recently, sponsored by the American Spectator in Washington D. C., at which he announced that he would pay $1 million to anyone who could prove wrong a single allegation asserted by the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2001.

Today, Kerry is taking Pickens up on his offer.

Below is Kerry's letter to Pickens

T. Boone Pickens
8117 Preston Rd
Dallas TX 75225

Mr. Pickens,

It has come to my attention through the accounts of individuals who were in attendance at the American Spectator's Robert L. Bartley Dinner & 40th Anniversary Gala as well as through the public accounts, that you personally "staked one million Dollars" that "no one" could "prove anything the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth said in 2004 was false"( and offered " a million dollars to anyone who could prove wrong anything the swiftboat Veterans charged about Kerry."(American

I welcom the opportunity to prove that you are a man of your word and that the so-called"Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" lied. While I am prepared to show theylied on allegation after allegation, you have generously offered to pay one million dollars for just one thing that can be proven false. I am prepared to prove the lie beyond any reasonable doubt.

I would request that your check be made payable to the Paralyzed Veterans of American which is doing incredible work every day to meet the needs of veterans returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan. My hope is that by sending this money to such a dedicated organization-founded for veterans, by veterans-some good can come out of the ugly smears and lies of the orchestrated campaign you bankrolled in 2004 in an attempt to discredit my military record and the record of the men who served alongside me on the Swift Boats of the Mekong Delta.

I would be more than happy to travel to Dallas to meet with you in a mutually agreed upon public forum, or would invite you to join me in Massachusetts for a public dialogue and then together we could visit the Paralyzed Veterans of American in Norwood and see firsthand how we can put your money to good work for our veterans.

I look forward to setting up a visit at the earliest possible, mutually convenient time. I trust that you are a man of your word, having made a very public challenge at a major Washington dinner, and look forward to taking you up on this challenge


John F. Kerry
United States Senator


"They Don't Make Them Like Jimmie Jones Anymore"

James D. "Jimmie" Jones died on November 5, 2007. Jimmie Jones had served the people of Caldwell Co. as Sheriff and County Judge. Judge Jones had been elected twice as Sheriff and also served 3 terms as County Judge.

Judge Jones was the son of the late William L. Jones and Mildred Satterfield Jones. William L. Jones or Bill Jones as he was known, was Warden of the Kentucky State Penitentiary when he passed away I believe in 1963.

Judge Jones was a quiet man who was known for his old fashioned ways and practical jokes. I first met the Judge when I was in middle school and we continued a relationship for many years. Farming was the first love of Jimmie Jones and I always felt because of that he retained a good grasp for what was on the minds of the average citizen. I relied on Judge Jones many times for political advice and spent countless hours drinking coffee and picking his brain in the Caldwell Co. Courthouse.

If you visited the County Judge's office in Caldwell Co, well lets just say it was indicative of Judge Jones philosophy about most things. "Keep it simple". A desk, two chairs, a lamp, a file cabinet and a picture of Gen. George S. Patton. You gotta love it. The office was always dark and most of the time only lit by the light coming through the windows. I often griped at the Judge why he did not turn the lights on and he would reply-"I'm saving the tax payers money and it also keeps people from sitting in here too long". I would laugh and reply "Well Judge it has not stopped me", and the Judge would laugh and reply" It's not working as well as it used to".

Once while making my rounds, the Judge told me to come in and sit down because he needed my political advice on something. The Judge showed me a bumper sticker that he was going to use if he had opposition and wanted my opinion. After looking at the neon-green lettering with a black back ground I proclaimed that it might be the ugliest damn bumper sticker that I had ever seen. Judge Jones laughed and said "that's the point, no one will forget my name after looking at this and besides it didn't cost hardly noth'in."

The Judge did not believe in spending money nor fixing something if it were not broke. One day while visiting he told me that he was in a little trouble with the State for not finishing and adhering to a master road plan to repair and maintain roads. I quizzed him about it and in the end the Judge thought the whole concept was stupid and a waste of time because it did not make much common sense to him. "If a road needs repairing then repair it, if it needs paving and you got the money to do it then pave it. Taking care of roads ain't real hard". It just did not make sense to the Judge to plan on paving a road that did not need paving.

The Judge might have been old fashioned but he was stern, fair and good-hearted. During the funeral the minister recalled the stories of how Judge Jones when he was Sheriff would often go out and feed the cattle belonging to people he had arrested. Judge Jones was preceded in death by a son Curt who was just 18 when he died in an automobile accident. Judge Jones is survived by two sons; Dixie, who is the Head Football Coach at Hopkinsville HS and Robert who I believe is retired from the Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture.

Jimmie Jones was one of the special people in the political life of West Ky. and life in general. A humble, unique and colorful person who served his people well. As the Rev. Bill Jones and Rev. Rodney Wallace stated "They don't make them like Jimmie Jones any more."

No they don't.
Judge James D. "Jimmie" Jones. (1923-2007)

Beshear Transition Team

First District Representation
Some have already declared that West Ky. has been slighted with the geographical make-up of the Beshear Transition Team. After reviewing the names I can't really come to that conclusion. What the list does not provide is that some of Steve Beshear's closet friends may not be on the transition team and probably did not want to be. I can assure you that there are a number of people who have the new Governor's ear that don't appear on the list. I will include some these as well as those from the First District that are on the transition team. I believe the First District will be well represented in this administration.


Mike Foster- Foster, Soyars & Associates, Formerly Trimble, Soyars and Breathitt. Christian Co. Attorney for over 20 years. One of Beshears oldest political friends & advisors.

Paul Turner- Attorney and former business partner of Steve Beshear.


Judge Sid Easley- Judge Easley is a former Circuit Judge and past Chairman of the Murray State Board of Regents. Long time friend and advisor to Beshear.


Mike Miller- Marshall Co. Judge Executive Mike Miller. Miller helped rally the troops as he always does in the Purchase. Miller may be seeking to run for the State Senate. One can be assured that Judge Miller does not have the time to serve on a transition team.


Bill Cunningham- Former Judge and now Kentucky Supreme Court Justice.

Transitions Team Members from First District

Rev. John Dunaway-Retired Baptist Minister
Sandy Watkins- Henderson Co. Judge Executive

Glenn Denton, Attorney
Ron Morgon
Howard Walker, Former Sheriff
Duncan Pitchford
Paul Friedlander

Zee Enix
Phil Hazle- Jailor
Nancy Lovett
Jack Rose

Hopkins Co.
Danny Koons-EDC Director, lives in Slaughters

Dawson Springs
John Ridley
Stacey Peyton-Mayor

Doug Taylor- Engineer
Shannon Knight- Dr. Dan man & from the Knight & Hale Game Call Clan

Union Co.
Brucie Moore-Union Co. Attorney

Bill Cox- Resident of Louisville but former Legislator and Mayor of Madisonville. Cox also served as Federal Highway Administrator in the Carter Administration. Son, Will serving first term as Mayor of Madisonville.

Shelia Hawkins- A Hopkinsville native. Shelia Higgins Hawkins has served in numerous administrations. Her Husband Walter, is a former football coach at Hopkinsville HS and was a coach and principal at Shelby Co. HS. Son, Walter is a Bowling Green Attorney and political consultant.

Monday, November 12, 2007

First District: My Take

Jack Conway

By percentage margin of victory Jack Conway carried the ticket in 19 counties and ran second in 4. After a lack-luster showing in the Primary, Conway rebounded in a big way in the General Election. Conway was the big winner in my book because he did not throw good money after bad. Conway was successful in reaching voters through a media campaign that presented him in a manner that rural voters found very appealing. In just a matter of months, Conway shed the city-slicker image and did the work to allow himself to relate to Western Kentucky.

Conway and his people had the political savvy and the resources to do more than squeak by.He was able to build a strong foundation for himself in Western Kentucky. Money, good media and the Unions provided Jack Conway with an impressive showing last Tuesday.

During Conway's speech last Tuesday night, someone beside me leaned over and commented that he could not believe how well Conway had done considering that his commercials were so awful with all that farm crap and stupid jingle. It reminded me of why and how the Democrats have been losing for the last 20 years. This guy was probably some big-shot in the Party?

No, I think Conway gets it and because of that, he was able to portray himself as a "Grady Stumbo" type of populist in the First Congressional District. Even though Conway had a lot of money to spend, he used it wisely. Hat's off to the Conway people.

From Un-Organized Labor to Organized Labor

Some have taken my comments about Labor Unions personal over the years but I did not apologize for them then nor will I now. What I will do and what I have always try to do, is give credit where it is due. The strength of Labor at the polls had steadily declined in my book since 1983. Huddleston, Barlow, Null, Roy, Alexander and on and on counted on a Labor vote and it never happened.

I can remember standing in the men's bathroom at Kentucky Dam on election night when a number of Union leaders lined up at the urinal almost in tears over the loss of Brian Roy. One man commented that he could not believe that Unions would vote against one of their own.

I have been down on Labor because Labor has not delivered in years and I've had a hard time convincing myself to advise anyone to spend much time with their issues. With that being said I have to say that I am very impressed with the results delivered by organized labor last Tuesday. After years of not being able to rally their membership, they turned out this time. In my humble opinion the Labor Union now deserve some respect to their issues and their ability to make a difference for the Democrat Party. I'm sure the likes of Tom Barlow, Dennis Null, Brian Roy and Clint Alexander are left wondering what could have been.

Organized Labor has been resurrected. Congratulations on a job well done!!

Steve Beshear

Beshear had the toughest job to do and took most of the blows for the Democrats. It's hard to argue with Beshears results considering his margins were much better than I had predicted. I will point out a few items. Beshear carried the Ticket in percentage margin of victory in only 6 counties. He ran second in 7 counties to others on the Ticket. I do think that Beshear should have spent more money in the First District and I think his numbers reflect that. Conway from all appearances seemed to spend the most the last few weeks and he was rewarded for that. Beshear left too much on the table that I feel may hurt him if he decides to seek a second term. I can't and won't discount the value of being Governor for 4 years and the opportunities that he will have to build back his West Kentucky base.

Todd Hollenbach Jr.

Todd Hollenbach Jr. carried 2 counties by percentage margin of victory. Carrying Christian and Trigg Counties, Hollenbach ran second in 7 others. Considering the Hollenbach Campaign only spent $5,000 in the First District on media, his numbers are really good. If you compare the amount of money spent on media to votes received then one would have to say that Hollenbach was also a big winner. Name recognition and the grass roots support Hollenbach had carried over from the primary which allowed him to be successful without having to raise and spend a lot of money. Hollenbach was in a better position in Western Kentucky heading into the General Election than the rest of the Ticket. Hollenbach has the opportunity for a promising future in Kentucky politics but he will have to do a better job next time of building a state-wide organization.

Crit Luallen

Crit Luallen carried the Ticket in 6 counties for the Democrats but of those six, 4 were in a losing cause. Most of Luallen's wins were in the Eastern Counties of the First District which are Republican. However, Luallen did have 15 second place finishes on the Ticket, 3 of which were also loses. Labor and media provided Luallen with solid margins across the District. I'm not sure there is much else to say here other than she ran well and allowed herself the opportunity to have a base of support should she run for the Senate.

Some Interesting Points


I don't think anyone thought the Democrats would have a chance of winning Calloway Co. David Ramey and the Murray-Calloway County Democrat Party deserve much credit for delivering a victory. Beshear had 55.7%, Conway had 62.3%, Luallen had 61.7%, and Hollenbach had 59.5%.I will discuss this more later.

High Water Mark

Jack Conway received at least 70% of the vote in 11 counties in the First.

First District: Breakdown

Here is the breakdown of how the Democratic Nominee's did in the First Congressional District. I will post comments later.Blue indicates which candidate carried county in % margin of victory. Black indicates which candidate was second in % margin of victory.

County:----- JC:----SB------- TH----- CL
Fulton------- 72.4-----63.8 ----65.4 ----65.4
Hickman---- 68.8-----58.8-----62.2---- 63.2
Carlisle----- 74.6-----65.9------65.9 ----68.3
Ballard----- 74.6-----65.9------68.2 ----68.3

McCraken--- 63.9 ----- 56.6 ---57.3 ---- 57.5
Graves------ 69.2 ----- 61.2 ----63.1 ---- 62.6
Marshall---- 70.5 ----- 64.7 ----67.1 ---- 66.5
Calloway---- 62.3 ----- 55.7 ----59.5 ---- 61.7

Livingston--- 72.2 ----- 66.9 ---- 66.9---- 66.8
Lyon -------- 71.3 ----- 66.9 ----66.3---- 66.7
Trigg-------- 56.6 ----- 53.8 ---- 57.9 ---- 56.4
Crittenden--- 63.3 ----- 53.3 ----51.9 ---- 53.9

Caldwell-----70.8 ----- 64.8 ---- 65.3 ---- 66.4
Union------- 82.3 ----- 69.6 ---- 70.2 ---- 69.8
Henderson-- 72.2 ----- 66.9 ---- 63 ---- 65.3
Webster---- 76.4 ----- 70 ------ 69.4---- 70

Hopkins------ 64.4 ---- 63.8 ---- 63.2 ---- 63.9
McClean------71 ------ 69 ------ 68.5 ---- 69.1
Muhlenberg-- 75.2-----74 ----- 72.8 ----- 73.6
Butler-------- 37: ----- 44 ------- 36.9 ----39.6

Christian----- 53------ 51.7---- 54:---- 50.7
Butler-------- 37------ 44----- 36.9----39.6
Todd-------- 56.5-----55.5----55.2--- 51.7
Logan--------55------ 55.5----55.2--- 55.4

Simpson----- 55.6---- 56.9---- 57.7----- 58.2
Allen-------- 43.2---- 48.2---- 43------ 45
Monroe------27.3--- 33.4---- 25.4---- 27.1
Metcalfe-----54.3---- 56.2-----56.6---- 57.9

Cumberland---32.5----- 35.2--- 33.9---- 36.1
Adair----------35.2----- 32.3----36.2--- 37.2
Casey---------31.5----- 31------ 30.2---- 34.6
Russell------- 37.2----- 39.2---- 35.5---- 39.7
Clinton------- 29.5----- 33.8----32.3--- 33.3

Sunday, November 4, 2007

No More Mr. Nice Guy

Coming Home to This

One would think that I could take a couple days off every now and then without anything blowing up. Just returned home from my trip to South Bend. My Irish choked again but that is OK because it was an enjoyable trip. I get half way home only to learn that Pat Boone's voice is calling Kentuckians to convince them that Steve Beshear is going to turn Kentucky into another San Francisco?

Well, where do I want to start? Let's start with the "San Francisco Treat" wise crack. First of all, I don't recall Steve Beshear ever being accused of advancing "Gay Rights" or an "Alternative Life Style" as a Legislator, Attorney General or Lt. Governor. I can't recall Steve Beshear ever sticking his nose into any ones bedroom or personal life one way or the other.

Like or dislike it, San Francisco probably does not have any more gay people than any other large city. Why would you attack a City based on one aspect whether it be it's social, economic, racial or sexually oriented make-up. Boone has an album entitled "No more Mr. Nice Guy". Well, if one was going to be judgemental then all you would have to do is look at this album cover. If you choose Pat Boone's perspective then you would think Pat would feel at home in San Francisco.

In defense of San Francisco, what Pat Boone did not bother to tell you is that one of the greatest football coaches of all-time made his mark there. Bill Walsh who died this summer coached the San Francisco 49er's to 3 Super Bowls victories, won 6 Division Championships and 3 NFC Titles.

Walsh, a native of California, perpetuated and built the "West Coast Offense". The offense, that capitalizes on brains and execution over brawn, revolutionized football at every level. Walsh took one of the worst teams in the NFL from 2 wins to a Super Bowl Championship in just 3 years. The 49er's won 3 Super Bowls winning in 1981,1984 and 1988 under Walsh.

Few coaches can match the discipleship and coaching tree that Bill Walsh produced. George Seifert, Mike Holmgrem, Mike Shanahan, Ray Rhodes, Dennis Green, Jim Fassel, Sam Wyche, Andy Reid, Steve Mariucci, Jon Gruden, Bill Callahan, Bruce Coslet, Mike Shanahan, Jeff Fisher, Brian Billick, Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith just to name a few.

Do you think Pat Boone would question any of these guys regarding their sexual preference. No I don't think so. I can see Jon Gruden pounding on this guy. Has anyone ever questioned any of these guys because they coached at San Francisco or were disciples of Bill Walsh. I don't think so. I really don't recall any of the 49er championships being tarnished because they were from San Francisco.

Bill Walsh was a brilliant man who accomplished much on and off the field. He was a man of character, a good husband and a good father. Bill Walsh was head coach of the World Champion San Francisco 49er's and Pat Boone did what?
It's people like Pat Boone that give a bad reputation to Conservatives. This is one area I can't blame my Liberal brethren. Conservatives have the duty and the responsibility to stand up and call these people out. I hope that I have done that. No more Mr. Nice Guy!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Kokomo and the Fighting Irish

Well, I'm blogging from Kokomo today. I will be making the short trip up 31 to Southbend in the morning to see if the Irish can will one against Navy. We, my buddy John Soyars who is a ND grad, spent the day touring Kokomo. We have spent a number of years here without venturing out into the community.

Elwood Haynes

Today we visited the Elwood Haynes Museum. Haynes provided America's first car, stainless steel and a number alloys still used today especially in the space program. Stellite which is a super alloy is one his greatest discoveries.

"Ben the Steer"

We visited Highland Park today where Ben the Steer was stuffed and on display. Ben was one the largest steers that ever lived. Weighing 4,700 pounds and standing 6'4", Ben had a girth of almost 12 feet and was 13 feet long. Ben slipped on some ice in 1910 and had to be put down. This was an impressive sight to see.

Sycamore Stump

Beside "Ben" stands the worlds largest sycamore tree stump. Estimated at over 800 years old the stump which is now encased in glass is over 56 feet in circumference and about 12-14' tall.

Pretty exciting day in Kokomo. We visited the Court House which is one of only two art deco Court Houses in the State. A Howard Co. Deputy Sheriff gave us a tour of the facility which part of fell victim to a bombing in 1987? We stopped across main street to visit with the good folks at Democrat HQ and finished which a nice lunch at the Sycamore Grille.

The day was not complete until I stopped and got a haircut at All Star Barbers. I received a haircut & got my hair washed and conditioned for the low price of $14. Plus lots of extras from my barber Jenna. Not bad. That's all from Kokomo, "The City of First's".