Saturday, May 16, 2009

Rocky Adkins: His Fight Against Cancer

When we think of Rocky Adkins in Western Kentucky most probably know his name or have seen it in a local newspaper. Many know him as the Majority Leader of the Kentucky House of Representatives or maybe if you watch KET you know him as "The Gentleman from Elliott 99."

Besides being a legislator, a father, a husband and a pretty good basketball player in his day; there is another side to Rocky Adkins you might not know about- Rocky is a 14 year survivor of cancer.

For 14 years Rocky has continued his battle to help find a cure for cancer and help families that are being treated for cancer. Raising money for this cause has been one of the big ways in which Rocky Adkins has continued to help.

The 14th Annual Rocky Adkins Golf Tournament will be held Friday May 22nd at the Eagle Trace Golf Course in Morehead, KY. Last year this event eclipsed the fundraising mark of having raised over a million dollars in 13 years. "We hold this event on the Friday before Memorial Day each year to remember those who have lost their lives to cancer and also to celebrate life," said Adkins. This year's event is already booked up with 34 teams playing in the morning and 36 teams in the afternoon.

This event has raised money for the American Cancer Society, the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and has also provided a "hospitality house" in Ashland, KY for families receiving treatment. Adkins commented that families from 35 different states have used the hospitality house.

In regard to the people who play in the event Rocky Adkins said,"It's very personal to me and to the people who play in the tournament because they have been affected one way or the other by cancer." Adkins when on to say that each year he ask the participants to raise their hand if they, a family member or someone they are close to has had cancer and Adkins commented that every hand is usually raised.

I asked the Majority Leader how being a cancer survivor effected his role as a legislator and he replied, " The legislature provides a place to talk about cancer and help find a cure." Adkins noted that one of the good things the legislature had accomplished concerning the fight to find a cure is a program that has provided over 8,000 computers to schools in the coal counties of East and West Kentucky.

This computer program provides an interlocking "computer grid" to help with cancer research. This information is used in conjunction with the James Graham Brown Cancer Research Center. Adkins commented that one of the researchers at the University of Louisville had said that because of this "computer grid" they are able to do 300 years of research in a month.

This program provides 2.5 million dollars a year of coal severance money to buy computers. "This also improves the educational opportunities for these kids in the coal counties." said Adkins.

Rocky Adkins lives in Sandy Hook, KY and represents Boyd, Elliot, Lawrence and Rowan counties in the Kentucky House of Representatives.
(Note: I want to thank the Majority Leader for taking time out of his day to do this interview.)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

East Kentucky Man Missing

ATTENTION WEST KENTUCKY. As requested I have posted this from one of our fellow blogger/ friends in East Kentucky.

UPDATE: Mr. Rogers has turned up and is OK. He took a little trip and did not tell anybody.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

IRS: Ministers & Churches are Free to Campaign

An important decision has been made by the IRS concerning ministers and churches regarding political activity. I have posted this story by Ralph Hallow of the Washington Times.

Note: This article has been posted with permission granted by Ralph Z. Hallow & Chris Dolan, Asst. Managing Editor for Politics at the Washington Times.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Moral-values groups hail tax ruling
Ralph Z. Hallow (Contact)

In a move cheered by conservatives, the Internal Revenue Service has ruled that ministers and pastors do not risk losing their tax-exempt status for engaging in political acts on behalf of issues such as traditional-values advocacy

The IRS said in a letter to the Niemoller Foundation that the Houston-based nonprofit organization did not violate its tax-exempt status when it brought together pastors and politicians to champion moral issues during Republican Gov Rick Perry's 2006 re-election campaign.

Short of endorsing a particular candidate or spending substantial portions of their nonprofit budgets on legislative lobbying, ministers and their churches are free to engage in political acts on behalf of moral values, the IRS said. Clergy are also free to encourage their congregations' members to get out the vote based on those issues and values.
The long-awaited IRS decision benefits Republicans, since religious conservatives constitute a large and influential bloc in the party's electoral coalition

"It's sort of ironical that it would be the Obama administration that would reach this conclusion, but I must say it would be a stretch to reach any other conclusion," said David Norcross, a lawyer and a member of the Republican National Committee.
The liberal Texas Freedom Network filed a complaint with the IRS saying a 2006 Niemoller-sponsored event encouraged pastors and congregations to get out the vote as well as to mount efforts on behalf of Mr Perry's campaign.

The IRS decision, conveyed only to the Niemoller Foundation, also applied to Niemoller-sponsored gatherings in Texas and Florida to support state constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.
Liberal groups cautioned against interpreting the decision as a political carte blanche for churches and clergy on the right

"Regardless, this ruling is disappointing because it will embolden wealthy special interests who want to funnel money into nonprofits as a backdoor way to drag churches into partisan campaigns," said Dan Quinn, spokesman for the Texas Freedom Network "We continue to think that using faith as a political weapon is sleazy, regardless of whether the IRS agrees that Niemoller violated its tax-exempt status."

Mr. Quinn said the Free Market Foundation - the parent organization of the Liberty Legal Institute - "got $100,000 from the Niemoller Foundation in 2005 for its help in organizing the 'Pastors' Policy Briefings' at the heart of our IRS complaint against Niemoller. I think that's important to note."
Many political analysts in both parties have maintained that but for the active support of Christian ministers who spoke out for the same moral values that the Republican presidential candidate espoused, George W Bush would not have won Ohio and, therefore, would not have been re-elected in 2004.

Mr. Quinn's group's argued to the IRS that the Niemoller Foundation was out of bounds because it "encouraged pastors at the gatherings to mount voter-registration drives and turn congregants out at the polls."
Evangelicals hailed the IRS decision as a major victory

"It's more than just a win because, thanks to the IRS letter, pastors now know they have the freedom to act as we always believed they had," said Kelly J Shackelford, an attorney who represents Niemoller.

"It's the liberals' nightmare - they accidentally caused the IRS to put it in writing," said Mr Shackelford, who is chief counsel for the Liberty Legal Institute, a First Amendment and religious-liberties group headquartered in Plano, Texas.

Mr. Shackelford said the foundation retained the Liberty Legal Institute, which then gathered a team of legal experts to defend the foundation. In an unusual move, Liberty Legal attorneys not only sought a win, but also an IRS guidance letter making clear such pastors' events are approved and valid. The IRS letter approving the events is just what they hoped for.
Lutheran pastor Lawrence White, director of the Niemoller Foundation, said: "The IRS has unequivocally affirmed the right of pastors nationwide to come together as spokesmen for the Word of God, to interact with political leaders, historians and scholars in discussing the moral issues under debate within our culture, to assert their Biblical responsibility, to address such issues from their pulpits"

The IRS ruling is expected to help Mr. Perry in his expected primary face-off with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison next year. Conservatives, who generally speak highly of Mr. Perry, nonetheless are carefully eyeing both Mr. Perry and Mrs. Hutchison, and religious voters probably will be the bloc that tips the primary toward one or the other.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bill Cox Hammers Republicans at Dinner

Former State Legislator and Federal Highway Administrator Bill Cox wasted no time Friday night going after the Republicans. Using humor and statistics, Cox dressed down McConnell, Bunning and Trey Grayson.

Cox started with Bunning referring to his Senate career as an embarrassment to the people of Kentucky. Daring the audience to name one single thing the Republican Party had done for the people of Kentucky, Cox went through a litany of accomplishments the Democrats had provided the folks of Kentucky. From TVA to the State Parks System, from the Parkways to running water, Cox proclaimed the accomplishments of the Democrats.

Cox held up and read press releases from the OMB coming from the end of the Clinton and Bush Administrations comparing the differences. Clinton left office with the largest surplus in history while paying down the Nation's debt. Bush on the other hand left the Nation with no surplus and a huge deficit.

Cox said that regardless of who the nominees for U.S. Senate were this year the Democrats would win. Replacing Bunning with Trey Grayson would not help the Republican cause proclaimed Cox. "Now let's talk about Trey Grayson, "Little Lord Fauntleroy," said Cox.

Grayson- "Little Lord Fauntleroy"

Cox inferred that Grayson might provide a new face for the Republicans but had nothing new to offer the people of Kentucky. "The Democrat Party is the Party of family values", said Cox, referring to the Democrat beliefs of helping people. Cox reminded the crowd that Social Security, Education and Health Care are all rooted in family values.

The Breathitt Dinner had a pretty good attendance for an off year. Senator Joey Pendleton spoke also regarding the state of the Commonwealth. Pendleton also presented the Breathitt Award to Circuit Clerk Gary Haddock and Barbara Morris. Christian County Party Chairman Lindsey Adams served as MC. I gave the invocation and prayed for all the Libbbbbberal souls. House Judiciary Chairman John Tilley was not able to come whereas he and Chief Justice Minton were attending a National Judicial Conference in North Carolina.

Beshear, Dr. Dan and Conway did not come. Conway did send a letter that was read. and provided some campaign materials. No one represented Dr. Dan or the Governor.

Folks from Todd County, Hopkins County, Calloway County and Lyon County were also in attendance.

Bill Cox also served as a special assistant to Governor Julian Carroll, Mayor of Madisonville and most recently served as State Revenue Commissioner in the Beshear Administration where he set a record for the amount of tax revenue collected for the Commonwealth.

Bill Cox resides in Louisville and as most know his son Will Cox Jr. is presently the Mayor of Madisonville.

Coach Giordano: A Legend is Gone

A two time college football All American and former Caldwell County Football Coach Al Giordano passed away at Vanderbilt on Friday. Coach "G" will be laid to rest this evening with a funeral mass to be held at 4pm at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Princeton, KY.
Coach "G" was at the top of that Caldwell County mafia and coaching tree I have often written about on the Underground Rooster. If you had coached or played a sport in West Kentucky in the last 50 years it's probably a good guess that you had known or heard of Al Giordano.
For all the things that could be said about our end of the state, of which many would be true, here is a good example of a guy who came from New York and found success in the Rural South. As a product of the Brooklyn Dodgers organization, Coach "G" traveled the country playing baseball with the Dodgers farm team. You can go to the Times Leader link below for further details regarding Coach "G"s time with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
As fate would have it Fred Clayton would offer an assistant football position to Coach "G" at Caldwell County and thus began a coaching career there that lasted 45 years.
Twice an All American in Football at Murray State University, Al Giordano had been inducted into the Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame, the Murray State Hall of Fame, the KHSAA Hall of Fame, the Kentucky Softball Hall of Fame and the Caldwell County Hall of Fame. Not to mention a veteran of the Korean War.
Coach "G" had served as the Head Football Coach at Caldwell County from 1972-85, had been the Head Baseball Coach, the Golf Coach for which he won a State Championship, an assistant Basketball Coach, and also the Girls Softball Coach for which he led them to 3 State Tournaments in a 5 year span.
Coach "G" was always a very gracious friend to me. I remember asking an receiving his help for Judge Hollenbach. Coach "G" liked people who liked athletics and Judge Hollenbach also being of the same faith did not hurt any. His daughter Jill Giordano is an attorney in Princeton and served as Democrat Party Chair. On more than one occasion I would drive Coach Fred Clayton and his wife up to Princeton so they could have dinner and hang out with the Giordano's at the Elks Club. Coach "G" always bought my dinner and sent me into the next room to play like a little kid. If you have ever been to the Elks in Princeton then you know what I'm talking about.
For all the success and fun I enjoyed coaching with Craig Clayton at Hopkinsville I believe the thing I have appreciated the most was the opportunity to have gotten to know the coaches who dominated the Grid Iron for so long in West Kentucky. Fred Clayton, Fleming Thornton, Al Giordano, Ken Barrett, Ty Holland, Jack Morris.
They are all just about gone now but what a group of coaches from a great era of football. Coach "G" always treated me like a son and while that doesn't make me special because I'm sure there are hundreds of if not thousands who would make the same claim. I will say that Coach "G" and I had a special relationship and those things that could be said are now gone with him and will die with me.
Al Giordano is survived by a wife and three daughters.
(Note: Permission was granted and my thanks to John Brush and the Murray State University Meida Relations office for their help and use of thier picture)
Links on the life, death and career of Al Giordano

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rep. Tilley Attends National Judicial Conference

Rep. Tilley named to multi-state legal panel; also invited to summit on fair courts

Frankfort – Recognizing his work as chairman of the Kentucky House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Chief Justice John Minton have both recommended state Rep. John Tilley to play a role in two select groups that are focusing on legal matters.

Recently, Speaker Stumbo appointed Rep. Tilley to serve this year and next on the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Law and Criminal Justice Committee.

Chief Justice Minton, meanwhile, has joined with the American Bar Association in selecting Rep. Tilley to take part in an invitation-only conference the association is hosting this week. The conference, which is being held in Charlotte, NC, will host representatives from each branch of government from every state, with a focus on helping the judicial branch have the resources they need to keep courts strong, efficient and responsive to those they serve.

“I am proud to be able to take part in both of these,” Rep. Tilley said. “They each offer many opportunities to learn how we can improve our court system here in Kentucky. I think we have one of the best in the nation, but there are always areas where we can do more.”
Rep. Tilley began his tenure as House Judiciary Chairman in January, and has been serving Christian and Trigg counties in the House since 2007.

Purchase Area Jefferson Jackson Dinner

The Purchase Area Jefferson Jackson Dinner sponsored by the Calloway County Democrats will be held June 19th in the Curris Center Ballroom at Murray State University. A Social Hour will begin at 6pm CST and the Dinner at 7pm.

Governor Steve Beshear is scheduled to be the keynote Speaker. Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo & State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach are also scheduled to attend.

Tickets are $27.00 per person if paid by June 15th. ($35.00 per person after June 15th). A table may be sponsored for $25.00. Sponsors and donors to the Silent Aution will be recongnized in the program.

For reservations or further information.

Kathy Jo Stuffblefield, 3100 Scott Fitts Road, Murray, KY 42071
270-753-3187 or cell 270-559-3625

Dottie Lyons, 1401 Johnson Blvd.,Murray, KY 42071
270-753-6351 or cell 270-832-1677