Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fort Knox Economic Development Commission

I have to say that I am stunned at the Senate Military Affairs Committee approving SB-111 that would establish the BRAC Economic Development Commission which would administer a BRAC Economic Development Fund. Governor Beshear in his budget address committed to 100 million in bonds for the Fort Knox area to help provide infrastructure to prepare for the possibility of up to 10,000 new troops to the installation. The Senate Committee went well beyond that and approved 296 million to be administered by the Commission.

So why am I shocked? I will preface my remarks by saying that no one is more of an advocate than me when it comes to supporting our military families and our installations but I find it hard to justify doing this for the Fort Knox(Hardin Co.) area and not deliver one cent for Fort Campbell. Correct me if I am wrong but I do not believe that one single dime has ever been provided by Kentucky State Government to help provide infrastructure in the Hopkinsville-Christian Co. area to help support the families at Fort Campbell or the installations mission.

Fort Knox sits on 109 acres with 23,000 soldiers and dependents. Fort Campbell sits on over 105,000 acres with 31,000 soldiers and 56,000 dependents. Fort Campbell also supports over 135,000 retirees, retiree family members and reserve components in the area. Fort Campbell's website says that in FY-05 alone that Fort Campbell disbursements were over 4.5 BILLION dollars.

I can only imagine the thousands of military families that would choose to live on the Kentucky side of Fort Campbell if any money would have been allocated by the legislature to build infrastructure, provide schools close to the installation, better roads, developments ect.. If the folks in Christian, Todd and Trigg counties want infrastructure to support the military then we have to do it on our own.

Fort Campbell could be one the biggest economic investments we have in the Pennyrile and all we have asked for is the military tax exemption to compete with Tennessee since they do not have a state income tax. The Senate Military Affairs did pass SB-85 to create military rebate fund that would be administered by the Finance and Administration Cabinet which makes no sense at all. Why they just did not wait and pass a military exemption I don't know, instead the military would pay the income tax and then apply to recieve it back as a rebate. Create more unnecessary state jobs and a lot of red tape for the military. I guess the Senate wanted to one-up the House by passing this and since they could not pass a revenue bill in the Senate which must originate in the House plus maybe the State could draw interest on the money until people applied for their rebate? I am waiting to hear from Rep. John Tilley and Rep. Myron Dossett to see what their reaction is to these Bills. Tilley has sponsored the Military Tax Exemption in the House but it is my understanding that he has been waiting to make sure their is enough support for its passage.

I can support the bonds for Fort Knox but I want the Military Affairs Committee to approve the same commission and the same amount of bonds for Hopkinsville efforts to support Fort Campbell. Senator Joey Pendleton who is from Christian Co. co-sponsored this and I can't imagine how he is going to explain this back home. In talking with local Democrat Party leaders today they are dumb-struck regarding his support of SB-85 and SB-111 in the face of Fort Campbell not getting anything.Not to mention that Senator Pendleton is facing a tough Republican challenger who is a veteran. The word has been that because of Kentucky's financial woes the chance of passing the military exemption would not be good. Now, we can afford to issue 296 million in bonds but we can't afford to lose 17 million a year that would be an investment for getting military families to live in Kentucky instead of Tennessee?

Somebody stop the ride, I want to get off.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

West Kentucky Candidates

There was not to many surprises yesterday regarding those who filed for office. Those filing included:


First District

Heather Ryan-D

Ed Whitfield-R(I)

(Ryan is from Paducah and has made the news recently after a confrontation with Mitch McConnell in which Ryan lost her job over.)

Second District

Reid Haire-D

David Boswell-D

Daniel London-R

Brett Guthrie-R

(Ron Lewis surprised everyone by withdrawing from the race.)

Third District

Christ Thieneman-R

Anne Northup-R

John Yarmuth-D(I)

(Thieneman, a developer and a former U of L standout, led the successful fight against the Library Tax Referendum in Louisville this past November. Thieneman could make the race interesting.)

Kentucky House of Representatives

House District 1

Mike Lawrence-D

Steve Rudey-R(I)

House District 6

Will Coursey-D

Marvin Wilson-(R)

(Coursey who has worked for House Speaker Jody Richards will have to battle against Wilson who has given former Rep. J.R. Gray tough opposition in the past.)

House District 15

Brent Yonts-D (I)

Denny Kirtley

Kentucky State Senate

Senate District 1

Carroll Hubbard-D

Rick Johnson-D

Ken Winters-R (I)

(Hubbard will square off against Johnson in the Primary. Johnson who lost last year to Bill Cunningham was hammered in the press for running a media campaign that was less than truthful when it came to the facts regarding Bill Cunningham's record. Cunningham supporters are licking their chops to get even with Johnson who also lost another race in 1998 to Bill Graves.)

Senate District 3

Joey Pendleton-D (I)

Tom Jones-R

House District 9

The Democrat Nominee, Travis Calhoun, will attempt to try to win this seat again. Calhoun lost the primary in 2006 horribly only garnering 34.7% of the vote against Pete MacDonald. MacDonald lost the General Election to Republican Myron Dossett.

District 9 which was held for over 4 decades by Jim Bruce has chosen Calhoun to be his successor. Calhoun faced numerous personal and professional problems which came to light during the Democrat Primary. Calhoun who is a medical doctor, apparently got into some type of trouble and lost his privileges to dispense prescriptions for a period of time. Some have argued that there was much more to the story but due to Calhoun's political influence he was able to keep his license and minimize the punishment he received.

Rumor has it that House Speaker Jody Richards was not all that knocked out with Calhoun's candidacy but House Caucus Director Jonathan Hurst apparently has assured the Speaker and the Caucus that he can win the seat for the Democrats.

The 9th District which is considered one of the most Conservative Districts in Kentucky is pretty unique to the political map. The 9th which has been gerrymandered so many times, is the smallest House District in Kentucky. There are only 15,696 voters. The next smallest District is the 37th with 19,436. District 9 has 9,102 Democrats, 5,122 Republicans and 1,472 Other. The District encompasses South Christian and North Christian County with only a few precincts in the City of Hopkinsville.

I guess I am not as optimistic as Jonathan Hurst is about the Democrats chances of winning this seat. I guess we will all know in November.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sen.Pendleton Makes It Official

Senate Minority Whip Joey Pendleton filed for re-election today in Frankfort. Pendleton has served the 3rd District since 1993 and has served as Senate Minority Whip since 1995.

Pendleton said today, "Serving the people of the 3rd district has been one of the greatest privileges of my life and I want to continue to use my seniority and position to increase opportunities to improve the quality of life for the people of the 3rd district and Kentucky. Education, health care and jobs for our citizens must be the priorities of Kentucky state government."

Pendleton currently serves on Agriculture and Natural Resources;Health and Welfare; Seniors, Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection; Program Review; Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee; Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee; Rule and Committee on Committees.

A farmer who owns a 140 acre farm in Christian County, Pendleton raises dairy heifers and beef cattle. He is also the Farm Operation and Agricultural Project Manager at Murray State University. A 1964 graduate of Christian County High School, he attended Hopkinsville Community College and Murray State. He served in the Kentucky National Guard from 1968-1974.

Pendleton said he was pleased to have Christian County Attorney Mike Foster and Rev. M.O. Fort sign his notification and declaration papers yesterday after the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. march in Christian County.

Why Hubbard Defeats Rick Johnson

I would have to say that I have enjoyed the response that the Carroll Hubbard post has received. I have never received more personal email over a single issue since I started the Underground Rooster. Most all the responses were very positive although I did have a negative reaction from a couple of close friends one being a client but that was to be expected. I do appreciate my Murray friend for emailing me Bill Bartleman's story in the Paducah Sun regarding Rick Johnson's intentions to file against Hubbard in the Democrat Primary.

It is in the interest of disclosure that it be known that I have contributed to Carroll Hubbard and will be helping him with his media. People who know me understand I pick and choose the people I work for. Candidates that I think represent our views and values. I don't take someone on just to be involved or have a client. I have spoken with many throughout the First District and Kentucky today and this is what I understand.

Apparently Rick Johnson's candidacy is the product of efforts made by Sen. Julian Carroll. It is no secret that Julian Carroll has no love for Hubbard. Hubbard has supported people like Todd Hollenbach Jr, and Sr and Martha Layne Collins which does not sit well with the old courthouse bunch. With that said the question remains who is the best candidate to win in the Fall. Now, there is a poll that supposedly shows that Carroll Hubbard can't win. One, I doubt that. Two, I would be interested in knowing who they polled and did they poll Democrats and Republicans. Conservative Democrats will be out in numbers especially since it is a Presidential year and West Ky. will be looking for candidates with a like mind. History has shown that the Democrat nominee for President does not fair very well in Western Kentucky and only Democrats with a moderate to conservative record have a chance of winning.

Liberals will surely jump on board with Rick Johnson make no mistake about it but that won't buy you much down here. Hubbard has a conservative track record and voters know they can count on him to vote their wishes. Having looked at Rick Johnson's vote totals in both of his unsuccessful races for the Kentucky Supreme Court I struggle to see where he can make a case for beating Carroll Hubbard. This is the way I see it:

-Hubbard spent most of his political career in Graves Co. where he served this Senatorial District from 1968-1975. Rick Johnson is also from Graves Co. but Hubbard has spent a life-time taking care of the people of Graves Co and I think they will remember that.(At best for Johnson, Graves Co. becomes a wash)

-Hubbard was born in Murray-Calloway Co. Rick Johnson has never carried Calloway Co.(See below)

-Other than Graves Co. Johnson has not ever done well in the counties that are in that Senate District. Of the 7 counties that make up the district, again other than Graves Co, Johnson has failed to carry the largest counties in the district TWICE.

COUNTY****** Bill Cunningham***Rick Johnson
Graves County****2719**************6475
Calloway County* 6593**************2252
Trigg County*****3605**************818
Lyon County*****2325***************504
Hickman County***893*****************866
Fulton County*****960*****************630
Carlisle County****788******************1151

COUNTY*****Bill Graves***Rick Johnson
Graves County***2551*******6311
Calloway County*3322******2848
Trigg County*****1573*******1319
Lyon County*****1110********819
Hickman County***682**********720
Fulton County*****947**********763
Carlisle County****558**********1036

I had a lot of close friends and political guru's tell me not to get involved with Will Cox because he could not win the Mayor's seat in Madisonville---He won. I had the same folks tell me that John Tilley could not win a House seat-----He won. Everyone said Todd Hollenbach Jr. could not win the primary against Weaver---Todd won. Now, the same folks are saying the same thing about Hubbard.----UMHH

Monday, January 21, 2008

Carroll Hubbard: Getting Ambushed??

In making my weekly calls to Frankfort and around the Commonwealth, one piece of news from the rumor mill caught my attention this week. It would appear that leaders in the KDP and even possibly Governor Beshear himself are looking to find opposition for Carroll Hubbard in the Democrat Primary. If this is true then shame on Hubbard for spending his time and money working West Kentucky for the Democrat Ticket this Fall.

In one sense I do not find this surprising but in another I think it is pretty stupid to go after the only democrat who can probably win this seat. As I have said before it will take someone who has a reputation for voting his constituency and someone who has a track record of doing just that. I understand that this possible candidate(I'm trying to find who it is today) has already met with Governor Beshear.

I have also learned from some Frankfort insiders that this year is going to be a disaster for the Democrats in the Senate. I don't know much about East Kentucky politics but the word is that the "Big Boys" have abandoned Democrat nominee Alexander. With that in mind, I would think that the KDP and the Governor would be looking to find people who can win, not people who line up with the DNC and the KDP on every issue.

It is apparent by the Administrations appointments that Western Kentucky is not very welcome in Frankfort or the Party these day, unless you have some ties to Union leadership. Shame on us for putting up the resources and investing the time to help elect the Democrats for a change.

I guess most of the candidates down here know there going it alone anyway. With this type of politics going on then we will be forced to tending to the business of electing our local folks and staying out of the Republicans way when it comes to the U.S. Senate Seat and the Presidential race. Just when I thought we were all trying to get along.

I think Hubbard will prevail on name recognition and organization alone but He has been working hard for months and raising money so I think it will be hard for anyone to take him on now. If the good folks in Frankfort are not careful they may end up with a lot more Republicans around Rural Kentucky. With already no chance of passing the expanding gambling and cigarette tax in the Senate along with no revenue or any plan; I would think that the Governor and the KDP would be going out of their way to make rural democrats very happy right now. Well, I'm not always right about what goes on in Frankfort but you can be damn sure I'm rarely wrong about who gets elected down here. I guess we can only wait and see how this pans out.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Madisonville Joins Kentucky Excel Program

Mayor Cox Endorses Environmental Program

Madisonville City Council voted unanimously on January 7th to enroll the city in the Kentucky Excel program offered through the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection.

KYEXCEL is a voluntary environmental leadership program offering a non regulatory approach that allows the Department to work cooperatively with all of Kentucky's citizens to recognize and reward the many voluntary efforts conducted each year.

The voluntary program offered by the State allows for communities and organizations to participate at four (4) different levels. Each level requires a different commitment level. The four levels are Advocate, Partner, Leader and Master. Each participant is required to develop and submit a Environmental Management Plan (EMP), which includes a written policy of Planning, Implementation and Operation, Checking and Corrective Action, Management Review and Commitment to Improvement.

Madisonville which opted to start participating at the Partner Level will be required to provide an EMP, complete one project a year and provide a performance assessment.

Details on the program can be found at:

Senate Minority Whip Faces Opposition

Senate Minority Whip Joey Pendleton D-Hopkinsville drew Republican opposition yesterday when a member of Christian Fiscal Court announced his intentions to oppose Pendleton.

Republican Christian County Magistrate Tom Jones announced that he would be seeking the Republican nomination for the 3rd Senatorial District which includes Christian, Todd and part of Logan County. Jones was quoted in the Kentucky New Era that if elected he would focus on the budget, education and business.

Pendleton has held the 3rd district seat since 1993 when he upset Pat McCuiston D-Pembroke who was then the senior member of the State Senate. Sen. Pendleton, a former Magistrate himself, is a dairy farmer in Christian County and has dedicated much of his time in the Senate to agriculture, education and veterans issues. Jones, a former health care administrator, is respected in the Hopkinsville business community but is unknown in the 3rd district which is mostly rural and agrarian.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sen.Pendleton Announces Money For Dump Cleanup

State Senator Joey Pendleton announced today that the Division of Waster Management has awarded Christian Co. $71,388.68 for cleanup of illegal dumps. Pendleton said in his press release that "Significant progress has been made in addressing the illegal dump issue in our state, but we need to do more."

The funding for Christian county is part of the $2.9 million in grants to be dispersed throughout 52 counties. These funds will clean up 293 illegal dumps across the Commonwealth. State funding for the illegal dump grant program comes from a $1.75 environmental remediation fee for each ton of garbage disposed of at Kentucky municipal waste disposal facilities. This fee was authorized by the 2002 General Assembly under House Bill 174.

Senator Pendleton has served in the 3rd District since 1993 which includes Christian, Todd, and Logan counties.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Legislative Update: West Ky. Caucus

The West Kentucky Caucus which is a bi-partisan caucus made up of House and Senate legislators from West Kentucky has elected new leaders on the Democrat side. Democrat House members chose Rep. Mike Cherry while Senate Democrat members chose Sen. Dorsey Ridley. I have not heard who the Republican members have elected.

Rep. Mike Cherry D- Princeton Pictured above, represents the 4th House District which includes Caldwell, Crittenden, Livingston and McCracken counties. Senator Dorsey Ridley D-Henderson pictured below represents the 4th Senate District which includes Crittenden, Henderson, Livingston, Union, Webster and Caldwell counties. The bi-partisan caucus was established to address and support issues that our important to the West Ky. Region.
Having spoken this afternoon with members of the West Ky. delegation it is my understanding that there will be nothing exciting going on this week in the General Assembly. It would appear that only routine items and house keeping duties are going to be carried out this week. On the Senate side, Majority Leaders David Williams is speaking up regarding his concerns on Beshear's 3% cuts which are affecting the Universities more than other areas.

Political Updates to Check Out

Lawrence to Seek House Seat

McCracken County Circuit Court Clerk, Mike Lawerence will be seeking the Democrat nomination to unseat incumbent Republican State Representative Steve Rudy in House District 1.

Read the full story at Western Ky. Journal: Politics and Issues at

Democrat Sannie Overly defeats Republican Bryan Beauman in special election for the 72nd House District.

Republican Alecia Webb-Edgington defeats Democrat Dan Wolff in special election for the 63rd House District.

Democrats retain a 61-37 majority in the House.

Col. Andrew Horne Post (Up Date)
Interview and post were quoted by Bluegrass Roots in a story they have posted and has been cross posted at the following websites. Check it out by going to:

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Col. Horne Plays Well In Western Kentucky

I had the opportunity to meet and speak at length with Col. Andrew Horne tonight and was quite surprised at his candor and understanding of the issues important to Rural and Western Kentucky. Answering my questions for almost 30 minutes, Col. Horne addressed all eight issues that I selected as a sampling. Many of these issues have been a draw back for most Democrats seeking to go to Washington the last 15 years. I found Horne to be impressive in his delivery and appreciated his honesty. At no time did Col. Horne try to dodge a question or spin an answer. He was forthright and appeared eager to hear about some of the issues that affect the Pennyrile. I will go through these issues and attempt to paraphrase the positions he gave.

Gun Control
Horne stated that he supports the Second Amendment Right to bear arms.

Land Between the Lakes(LBL)
Committed to the continued support and protection of the LBL.

Coal & Energy
Stated that although he is an avid supporter of the environment, Kentucky must have the opportunity to harvest our largest natural resource. Horne did say that he believed that we needed to strive to provide the most environmentally safe methods for harvesting our coal. He commented that our nation needs an energy policy and he understood the reality of Kentucky needing to use coal in the short term until long term solutions for our energy needs can be developed. While appearing to be far from a coal advocate, Horne seemed resigned to the practicality of not turning our backs on the opportunity to create jobs and energy here in Kentucky.

I-69 & I-66
Horne stated that he supported these projects and others that would continue to build infrastructure and create economic opportunities for Kentucky. We discussed the long history of these projects and the funding roadblocks that will probably continue for many years to come. As politics in Washington change so does the politics of these projects.

The Farm Bill
With all the implications to Kentucky farmers, Horne said that he was committed to working for a Farm Bill that would be beneficial to Kentucky Farms. Horne seemed eager to have the opportunity to listen and speak with Agriculture Leaders regarding this important legislation.

Fort Campbell/Military
Col. Horne did not have to be briefed on this subject so we did not spend much time on it. Horne was obviously committed to Fort Campbell and a strong National Defense. He has serious reservations regarding the war in Iraq and how it has been handled.

Home School
Christian County and the surrounding area has had a large number of families who choose to home school. Col. Horne stated that he supported the right of families to home school their children. Col. Horne while not giving up his support for public education, stated that he believed families were guaranteed this right under the Constitution.

Like so many of us, Col. Horne did seem to struggle with this issue. He did not waiver on his opinion but you could tell that he would prefer that people chose not to have abortions. He stated that he would support programs that would educate and help limit the amount of abortions in this Country.

Col. Horne made it pretty clear that he believes in the Constitution and that his political convictions were not the convictions of a Democrat or a Republican but were convictions derived by someone who believes in the United States Constitution.

I found Col. Horne to be unique in his positions and philosophy about issues. Whereas we in Rural Kentucky have always required a litmus test for our candidates, Col. Horne seemed to make his candidacy very simple in this regard, If the Constitution affords you the right to do something then he supports your right to do so as protected under the Constitution.

As a Conservative on most issues, I'm known for being a hard sell for Democrats trying to get elected down here but I will have to admit that I found Col. Andrew Horne very appealing. He has all the qualities of a good candidate. While not giving up his personal beliefs and support of issues like the enviorment, Col. Horne came across as someone who is practical in his approach to finding solutions to our Nations problems. It was obvious to me that Col. Horne was very sensitive to the prevailing view that Republicans and Democrats have failed the middle class and that Rural voters are looking for new leadership that will provide a no non-sense and common sense approach to government. While we don't always like what others do, I believe Col. Horne will fight to preserve our God given rights and the rights of others whom we may not always agree with. For Col. Horne it is not about left or right, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican its about an oath he took to protect, defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States for all Americans.

It is still a little early but I think Col. Andrew Horne may have enough matches in his box to start a big fire down here in Western Kentucky.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Col. Andrew Horne In Hopkinsville Tonight

Horne to Speak to Democrat Women

Col. Andrew Horne who is seeking the Democrat nomination for the U.S. Senate will be in Hopkinsville tonight to address the local Democrat Women's Association. I hope to attend for a few minutes to see if I can figure out what Col. Horne's position is on issues that are important to West Kentucky.

Having looked at Col. Horne's website and read over some previous articles, I have trouble finding very many of his positions. To this point all I seem to find is that Horne simply seems to be offering himself as an alternative to Sen. Mitch McConnell. His campaign seems to talk much about what they don't like about McConnell and his positions but does not offer much regarding what Horne believes.

While McConnell can be faulted for a lot of things, he is still quite popular in the agriculture community as well as Conservatives. Farmers are more interested in the Farm Bill than they are other issues. It will be interesting to see how Col. Horne positions stack up to McConnell regarding issues like the Farm Bill, Gun Control, Fort Campbell, Energy Policy that includes Coal, Abortion, LBL, and I-69 & I-66.

I hope that I have the opportunity to chat with him so I may learn a little more about him. Many of the issues above will be of concern to folks in Western Kentucky. I shall report back after the LSU vs Ohio State game.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

College Football,Politics and Hunting

I have just returned from Franklin, TN where I spent the last few days hanging out watching football and talking a little politics. Craig Clayton, who is head coach at Franklin HS hosted a "Titans" party Sunday night for his staff and former fellow Kentucky coaches.

A number of coaches and their wives spent the weekend and attended the Kentucky-Florida State game. Curtis Higgins who is the Head Football Coach at Louisville Fern Creek, and his wife were in attendance. Higgins was named Kentucky Football Coach of the Year in his respective class. Higgins put together a great season in his first year at Fern Creek HS. Higgins resigned last season from Trigg Co. HS to return to Louisville. Higgins spent many seasons as the Asst. Head Coach to Bobby Redmon at Louisville Male.

John Faulk who coaches at Christian Co. HS was also there. Faulk, who is a former QB at Christian Co., served 19 years with Clayton at Hopkinsville. John is known for his success for working with former QB's Donnie Catlett(Kentucky State), Deontey Kenner(Cincinnati), Blake Ladson(WV & Western Ky), Curtis Pulley(Kentucky) and Keith Tandy(West Virginia).

Many other coaches were on hand and there was the usual exchange of telling legendary stories commonly known in the coaching world as lies. Christian Co. mentor Steve Lovelace could not gain permission from his wife to attend since she was out of town. Steve's share was divided amongst those present.

I opted not to attend the Music City Bowl and instead chose to sit and watch the game on Coach Clayton's big screen with HD.(It was a much closer walk to the concession stand and not as crowded). We all enjoyed watching Tony Franklin get his first win as Auburn's Offensive Coordinator. Tony only had a couple of weeks to install his system and was able to pull it off.

I saw a couple of friends who managed to get there face on national tv during the Music City Bowl. I was pretty certain that I saw State Rep. John Tilley and former Hopkinsville Football Great, Greg "Jumbo" Pryor. Pryor was known during the early 80's for singing his rendition of Christmas Classics during the July heat of football camp.

What's new in West Ky. Politics

Nothing. Special election for J.R. Gray's seat has gone as planned. There is absolutely no enthusiasm in the Pennyrile for any of the candidates seeking the Democrat nomination for Mitch McConnell's seat. State Senator Jerry Rhoades of Madisonville announced a few weeks ago that he would not run against Congressman Ed Whitfield.

Most all the ammunition down here was spent electing Beshear and the other Democrats. I think local efforts will be concentrated on making sure all the present legislators are returned to Frankfort next year. Liberal candidates for President, U.S. Senate and Congress cut into Democrat margins in many Western Kentucky legislative districts. I would expect to see most legislators running on their own and staying out of these races. Most of the legislators in the First District have a moderate to conservative voting record and I think they will be looking to beef that up in the up coming session of the Kentucky General Assembly. With the exception of putting the constitutional amendment allowing for expanded gambling on the ballot, I don't see our delegation committing political suicide for the sake of party politics. At the present time there is really not much to be gained for most politicos in Western Kentucky. While I suppose things can change, I think the present political climate will allow the Democrats to score only on expanded gambling but McConnell and Whitfield will more than likely be returned Washington.

In answering questions regarding who the young legislators are that would be interested in moving up in House Leadership: My post was not attended to be a teaser as if I knew of some great conspiracy that was being planned. I think there are a number of young, bright legislators who hope to one day serve in leadership. With Greg Stumbo now in the mix, Yes, I do think there will be some changes. How that happens I don't know. Most of these guys are friends and are cut from the same political cloth. I am a Speaker Richards fan but it would not surprise me to see Speaker Richards give up his post for bigger and better things. If Rep. Richards chooses to remain as House Speaker for the next 20 years that is fine with me.

I am working on a rabbit hunting trip this week for Coach Clayton, Curtis Higgins, Bob Redmon, Pat Gates, John Faulk and maybe Chris Redmon(QB for the Atlanta Falcons). These guys want to hunt some farm land in Webster Co, so I best get moving.

Well, I must head North to Slaughters in Webster Co. I hope to be drinking coffee at "Good O' Boys" on Hwy 41 in about an hour. We have Bible Study tonight and I need to go heat up the church and try to touch base with Rep. Jim Gooch. Ya know, Rep. Gooch and myself are on a mission to destroy the world and create some jobs by digging up a little coal. That's all from West Kentucky for now.