Friday, February 29, 2008
An estimated 500 members of the Kentucky National Guard would spend weeks trying to recover the bodies of the missing. 26 lives were lost that day while 22 young boys and girls would survive.
Having taken the opportunity today to read many of the accounts of this horrendous accident I learned that many of the survivors chose never to attend school again. For some it took weeks to have the courage to get back on a bus. There were parents who lost all their children in the river that day.
Time.com has a full account of the incident if you want to read further. My thanks to Gary for sharing his picture. Gary has a website paying tribute to old country music in which he includes a song that was written about the crash by W.C. Burchett and performed by Ralph Bowman.
There are many stories that have come from this crash. It is a haunting story about a small community that did not have rescue squad or the ability to respond quickly with the equipment that was needed. There were many young hero's who swam back and forth to save their friends and family before the bus finally submerged under water. One website list the area around the riverbank as one the most haunted locations in the world.
Today, Kentucky remembers.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
A press release issued by Sen. Pendleton stated, " PPA provides a single point access to more than 475 public and private patient assistance programs, including more than 180 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies."
More information: 1-888-4PPA-NOW, or www.pparx.org
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Rep. Sims was not born last night. She is not a freshman legislator. She should be well aware of the of the ethics involved. If your word is no good then you don't have a future in politics. Rep. Sims by her own actions embarrassed not only herself but Speaker Richards and the House Leadership.
I like many have felt that Speaker Richards was too nice for his own good many times. Today, I could not be any more proud of Speaker Richards actions. For Dottie Sims transgressions, she was removed by the House Committee on Committees, which is basically House Leadership, from her position as a member of the House Elections, Constitutional Amendment and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee.
Speaker Richards appointed Tim Firkins of Louisville and John Will Stacey of West Liberty to the Committee. The time has been drawing near for a few weeks for the Speaker to get everyone on the same page and I am glad that he has made an example of someone whose actions have shown the most blatant disregard for ethics and decorum.
Rep. Sims offered up some lame excuse that she had heard from members in her district who were horse people. Yea, right. If your hearing from horse people in Western Kentucky then that means the Amish are going to start racing their plow horses and mules.
This was a defining moment in Jody Richards career in my mind. When I think back to my hero Bill "Boom Boom" Kenton it is exactly what he would have done. You gavel them down when they get out of line.
And may the Lord had His Blessing to the reading of the Word. Amen
Majority Whip Rob Wilkie and Speaker Pro-tem Larry Clark have sided with the horse industry in their attempt to guarantee that the race tracks will have the opportunity to have a casino. This version failed 5-3 with 3 members abstaining.
House Speaker Jody Richards does not believe that the tracks should be entitled to special treatment and therefore should have to compete for a gaming license just like everyone else. Richard's version also failed to gain committee support and was voted down also.
Governor Beshear who felt like he had a commitment from House Leaders to pass some version was quoted by Pol Watchers as saying that the House needed to get their act together.
There have been a couple of side bars to this debate, one being the rumors flying around that the horse industry is being asked to give contributions to the House Caucus to beef up their position. Some have even reported that the FBI is looking into the matter. A few things seem apparent to me and that is the Horse Industry and the tracks feel like they should receive special consideration and since this sentiment has not been shared by the majority of legislators now they are crying wolf. Governor Beshear may have made promises to them during his campaign but I don't recall Speaker Richards making them any promises.
Rep. Wilkie and Rep. Clark both have tracks in their areas so I can understand their position up to a point but it is obvious that they don't have the power to out muscle the Speaker. It must be noted that all political eyes have been on Greg Stumbo's return to the House and that he has sided with Speaker Richards on this issue. Stumbo commented this morning that the horse industry had bitten their noses off to spite their face and that the Constitutional Amendment may very well be Dead now.
I don't know where this leaves the issue in the General Assembly but I don't see any excitement or much support at all in Western Kentucky on the issue. The most prevalent comment from average citizens is "been here, done that" with the lottery. People are not convinced this will help because they were told the money from the lottery would be used for education and that did not happen.
Gambling already exist for most people who want to gamble in Western Kentucky. They can drive to Paducah, Franklin or Henderson to bet the horses. If they have an account at the track then they can call in their bets. If you have a credit card and a computer then you can bet on line anywhere in the world. Poker machines exist in every private social and fraternal organization in the State. Every community has a beloved bookie who will get you started in this sport of gaming. So, we have gambling.
I would agree that there are probably more people for it than against it in the Urban areas but I'm not buying that the 80% of Kentuckians in favor are from Rural Kentucky. I believe prudent leadership on behalf of the Governor called for making sure he had an iron clad agreement with House Leadership before he presented his legislation. There is not a enough support in Rural Kentucky on this issue for the Governor to try to politically persuade or arm twist Rural Legislators.
With all that being said I believe this has created a leadership mess within the legislature and the body politic in Kentucky. I'm fond of saying that political power is like money. It is never lost. One person's loss is someone else's gain and right now the only person winning is Sen. David Williams. We still have a ways to go in the Session but when it is all said and done it will be interesting to see who is left standing. If I had to bet, I guess I would bet on Speaker Richards and Greg Stumbo because they have the battle experience and the moxie to fight these wars.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Pictured above is Mrs. Clinton who appears to be feeling some discomfort,is having trouble sitting down. Pictured right is a young lady from Austin showing her support for Obama.
A native of Concord, Massachusetts, Moore served in World War II and later graduated from Havard where he was friends with Robert F. Kennedy. He used his connections with Kennedy to allow him access to the Special Forces for which he based the Green Berets.
Living in Hopkinsville for the last few years provided Moore with being close to the 5th Group which is attached to nearby Fort Campbell.
Friday, February 22, 2008
This will be done in sections to cover Representatives: Tilley, Baugh, Yonts, Dossett, Henley, Ballard and Cherry along with the State Senators from the Pennyrile Region.
One can connect to the General Assembly Home Page and click Legislative Record to go to "Bill Watch". Bill watch is free and all you need to do is sign up by giving a name and password. It allows you to view legislation as well as track it.
We will start with everyones favorite:
Rep. John C. Tilley
H-8 Representing Christian and Trigg
Primary Sponsor of (9) Nine Bills
HB-120: Ky. Education Excellence Scholarship Program
HB-132: Would allow District Judges to approve Notary Publics
HB-147: Would allow Kentucky Dept. of Veterans Affairs to act as a Fiduciary.(As I understand it this would allow KVA to act as a legal guardian for a disabled veteran)
HB-162: Would require Insurance companies to cover the cost of test for Colorectal Cancer Detection. (Tilley has put a lot of time into this legislation) I believe it has been reported favorably twice by the Committee and is ready for the Orders of the Day on Monday)
HB-163: Regarding Military Pay
HB-244: Regarding Edcuation opportunities for Military Children
HB-277: Property tax exemption for broadcasting equipment.(It is important to have a healthy respect for the media when your in politics)
HB-318: Regarding unemployment insurance for military dependents( I think this allows dependents to keep their benefits even if they are transfered out of state)
HB-546: Regarding Domestic Relations.(Who can be against Domestic Relations)
Tilley also has been holding on to his State Income Tax Military Exemption Bill but this legislation will struggle this session because of the financial crisis in Frankfort.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Whereas I have recieved so many emails and calls wanting answers to questions about the Democrat Primary, County Conventions ect.. I am glad to finally provide this information, I think. I would like to thank Jeff Noble of Lousiville who I have relied on to answer some your questions. In my third attempt to get this on my blog tonight I can only hope this works whereas I have been unable to down load it from my files.
This is from the Kentucky Democrat Party and you can go to the KDP web page for more information at
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Steve's appointment brings much more to the table than just being the son of a former Governor. Anyone who knows Steve can attest to his knowledge and passion for Kentucky History. I got to know Steve well while traveling with him during his campaign for Lt. Governor in 1991. I have never met anyone who has the recall for historical facts, names and places as does Steve.
I asked Steve today how he felt about the work of the Commission and he replied "Kentucky has a wealth of historical properties and it is important that we promote good stewardship of those properties and their contents."
Having an appreciation for Kentucky history myself, I have always thought it was pretty neat that Steve and his wife Diane go to sleep every night in the "Veeps" bed. The "Veep" being of course Vice President Alben Barkley. The bed was purchased by Governor Collin's staff as a wedding present to Steve and Diane. I mentioned the bed today in our conversation and Steve shared with me that Alben Barkley had been laying in the bed when he heard the news that he and Harry Truman had been elected. Apparently Barkley had gone to bed when is seemed as if Dewey was going to be elected.
In the Governor's press release the Commission is charged with the responsibility of "providing continuing attention to the maintenance, furnishing and repairs of the Executive Mansion, the Old Governor's Mansion and the State Capitol."
In regard to the Commission's projects Steve said, that at present he knew that there have been some discussions to restore the Vest-Lindsey House in Frankfort.(Vest-Lindsey House pictured above)
My congrats to Steve and I know he will do a great Job with this task.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Who gets what:
-7 racing association licenses available to the following venues. Churchill Downs, Keeneland/Red Mile, Turfway, Ellis Park, Kentucky Downs, Bluegrass Downs and Thunder Ridge.
-5 Free standing casino licenses available in the counties of Daviess, Kenton or Campbell, Boyd or Greenup, Christian, Laurel or Whitley.
-Following preliminary Commission approval, placement of casinos is to be subject to a vote of the residents of jurisdiction.
I guess this is where my questions are. What is the definition of jurisdiction? Will the entire County in which the casino is proposed be considered the jurisdiction or will it just be the city where it will be located.
Here in Christian County the location would probably be near Fort Campbell next to I-24. It could be located in the County or it could be located within the City of Oak Grove. Would all of Christian County vote including Hopkinsville? Would only the County precincts vote or would only the City of Oak Grove vote if it was to be located within their City limits?
Oak Grove City Council has already voted in favor of having a casino but if the entire County voted it would probably be a close vote.
What Will It Cost The Casinos
Casino license fee $50,000
Initial License Fee:
Churchhill Down-$100 million
Kentucky Downs-$75 million
Ellis Park-$50 million
Bluegrass Downs-$50 million
Thunder Ridge-$50 million
The Tax They Will Pay
25% of adjusted gross receipts
35% after 5 years
15.65% of AGR rceived by free standing casinos
Who Gets The Revenue
Commisson will retain up to 5 million for operation.
A program on compulsive gambling will receive up to 2 million per fiscal year.
50% to education, including early childhood, primary, secondary and post-secondary.
20% to health care, for those including indigent, seniors and children.
3% to host jurisdictions
5% each to support cities and counties.
17% divided among: Veterans programs, tourism, fish and wildlife,environmental protection, agriculture,livestock research and agricultural easements, substance abuse and economice development in non-host communities.
Creates a 9 member Equine Breed Authority, funded by 1% of adjusted gaming receipts from Racing Association licenses.
It sounds good. Almost too good. I just sure hope that we have a plan "B" if this does not work. I'll let each person be the judge.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Go to my link for The Rural Democrat
Sunday, February 10, 2008
"The Voice of Labor is Being Heard by More People"
Friday, February 8, 2008
Jack Conway's office issued the following today:
Attorney General Jack Conway today announced that the Commonwealth of Kentucky will recieve more than 1.4 million as part of two separate global settlements totaling 649 million with Merck & Co., Inc.
The settlements involve 49 states, the District of Columbia and the Federal Government. Merck is the manufacturer of the drugs Zocor, Vioxx, and Pepcid.
"This is a significant recovery for our Medicaid Program," Conway said. "This case should send a clear message to other pharmaceutical companies that Kentucky will not tolerate blatant disregard for rebate rules."
London who is an aide to Congressman Ron Lewis had filed to run at the last minute in an orchestrated attempt by Ron Lewis to hand off the seat to his aide. McConnell got wind of the scheme and was able to talk State Senator Brett Guthrie into running.
LEWIS NOW SUPPORTING SEN. GUTHRIE
It is being reported that yesterday Ron Lewis apologized to Party leaders for the way he handled his exit and is now supporting Sen. Guthrie. Also, London is calling his supporters and asking them to go with Guthrie.
Sen. David Boswell of Owensboro is considered the front runner to win the Democratic Nomination for the Congressional Seat.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
It appears that the wet forces carried the day with 54% of the vote. I have contacted a couple of friends to get their take on the outcome of this election and this is what I got.
"The local bootlegger died and no one stepped up to fill his shoes or his bottles."
"The thought of having a woman president or a black president was too much for them to take so they have been forced to start drinking".
"Dawson Springs has had everyone coming and going for years, they were never that conservative to begin with"
OK, enough of letting my friends weigh in. Dawson Springs lost the Buckhorn plant which hit their city budget hard so liquor sales was the quickest and maybe only option to make up the lost revenue.
With Pennyrile State Park close by it may be a place for a few slot machines. Now that this issue is on my mind I'm not sure that if Kentucky chooses to have expanded gambling then I think that the State should operate it and it should only be allowed at State Parks. How's that for an idea.
I guess we will never think of Dawson Springs the same way again.
The Democrat nominee Will Coursey won an easy race for the 6th District which includes Marshall, Lyon and part of McCracken Counties. Coursey out paced his opponent by winning margin of 6,136 to 3948.
Republicans Win Senate Race in the 30th
Brandon Simth has defeated Democrat Scott Alexander in the 30th Senate District which includes Bell, Harlan, Leslie and Perry Counties. It is expected that the Republicans may very well pick up a net of 3 seats this Fall. Hubbard is expected to gain one for the Democrats in Western Kentucky.
Stumbo Wins House Seat Back
Link to Rural Democrat to check out East Kentucky Special Elections.
Link also to Pol Watchers for more information on Special Elections.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
The State Senate passed SB-112 by a vote of 30-5. The Bill would ban universities and public agencies from providing health insurance benefits to domestic partners. A similar Bill HB-118 is in the House Health and Welfare Committee but it remains to be seen if it will be called up.
The votes are probably there to by-pass the Committee and bring it to the floor since so many Democrats have co-sponsored the legislation. Many West Kentucky Representatives have co-sponsored the Bill. They include: Mike Cherry-Caldwell Co.,Tommy Thompson-Owensboro, Jim Gooch-Webster Co., Brent Yonts-Greenville, Eddie Ballard-Madisonville, Melvin Henly-Murray, and Fred Nesler-Mayfield. A total of 20 House members have signed on as sponsors of the Bill.
Lt. Col. Andrew Horne, democrat candidate for the U.S. Senate has released some of his platforms says the good folks at www.theruraldemocrat.typepad.com . You can also use my link to your right. You can also go to Horne's website to check him out.