Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wet Forces Win in Trigg County

WKDZ is reporting that the Wet/Dry Election has been won by the Wet forces. Of the 10, 339 registered voters 5,294 showed up to vote. The results: 2,665 for & 2,629 against. Most people think that since Trigg County has the 3rd highest unemployment rate in Kentucky at over 16% this played a large factor in the results. Trigg County is home to Lake Barkley State Resort Park and has a large tourism base whereas it borders Lake Barkley. I thought it would be close but I was not sure how the chips would fall. I will be honest and must admit that I was not sure that this would be a good thing for them. I don't know. I do know you can't stop progress and one can only help shape it so it does some good. Legal Liquor in Trigg County-who would of thunk it!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Safety Grants Awarded to West Kentucky by KOHS

Chuck Geveden, Director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, is pictured above presenting two grant checks to Rep. John Tilley along with representatives of the Trigg County Sheriff's Dept. & Cadiz Police Dept.
The two agencies received a total of $16,200 to help curb impaired driving, speeding and other dangerous driving practices. The grant is to be used also to help educate the public regarding child safety seats and seat belt usage.
Over $124,000 in checks were presented to West Kentucky communities to help improve safety in the region. The federally funded grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are administered by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety.
Geveden's press release stated that 17 more lives have been lost so far in 2009 on Kentucky highways, compared to the same time period in 2008. There were 826 fatalities on Kentucky roadways in 2008, including 649 people in motor vehicles. Of those, 70% were not buckled up and over 20% involved alcohol.
This brings to mind the issue of the large number of deaths on Kentucky waterways. I believe I am correct in stating that we have already set a record for deaths on our waterways. Rep. Tilley and I discussed the need to also address this issue.
Those receiving grants yesterday were:
Ballard Co. Sherriff Dept. $9000
Princeton Police Dept. $9,650
McCracken Co. Sheriff Dept. $10,000
Marshall Co. Health Dept. $10,250
Eddyville Police Dept. $12,192
Graves Co. Sheriff Dept. $12,390
Benton Police Dept. $15,800
Marshall Co. Sheriff Dept. $20,000
Paducah Police Dept. $25,000
Oak Grove Police Dept. $18,250
For more information visit KOHS at http://highwaysafety.ky.gov/.
*Picture provided courtesy of Ryan Watts, KOHS

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dave Stengel Will Cost Jefferson Co. Millions

In a correct and just decision a Louisville-Jefferson County Jury found former Pleasure Ridge Park football coach Jason Stinson not guilty of charges. Stinson had been charged with reckless homicide and wanton endangerment involving the on the field death of Max Gilpin.

A case where everyone jumped to conclusions- Jefferson County School System, the Commonwealth Attorney's Office and the Media led to an unfounded witch hunt, of the likes that no one has seen before. It took the Louisville Courier Journal weeks if not months to start providing the facts instead of capitalizing on the tragedy it self. We don't expect much more from such a rag as the CJ. At least I am thankful they were smart enough to point & shoot a camera so the public could watch much of the trial.

Unfortunately this case is not over and for the family of Max Gilpin they like Coach Stinson have been put through hell all for some headlines. So whats left to be done? Coach Stinson will sue and rightfully so for the malicious prosecution of this case. He should hold the Jefferson County School System and the KHSAA accountable for if nothing else their cowardice. I'm betting that Stengel and their insurer will settle out of court for millions. I hope KACO does not insure them they don't need another hit right now. You can bet that the insurer who ever they may be will demand a confidential agreement to settle so the tax payers will never get to know.

I heard and I am proud that football coaches around Kentucky and the South raised $70,000 for Coach Stinson's defense. I bet they are motivated now to raise twice that to help someone run against Dave Stengel. Did anyone else find it surprising that Stengel dumped this case off on a couple of assistants? Well, that's normal for most elected prosecutors-they take the credit when its all good and send in the assistants when its time to get eaten by the lions.

I have a campaign slogan for Stengel- "Politics before Justice". I bet Stengel throws a few back tonight. At the Commonwealth Attorney's website it boldly proclaims:

"Aggressive, competent & ethical prosecution of criminal cases.."

Well Dave- 1 out of 3 ain't real good in my book. You now might consider the importance of stamina and getting in shape because I bet if your going to stay in politics your going to really need to prepare for your next race. Thanks Dave for ruining people's lives and costing the taxpayers millions.

Sorry Dave we don't give helmet stickers out for performances like yours which may lead you to consider-as coaches like to say-"Taking it to the house".

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Conway Responds to Purdue Pharma Article

I appreciate Attorney General Jack Conway giving me a few minutes and responding to the story I wrote concerning Purdue Pharma. Marianne Skolek who is an advocate bringing to light the actions of companies like Purdue Pharma had questioned a grant excepted by the Kentucky Attorney Generals Office.

Skolek was very concerned that the Grant provided by NADDI was being funded by Purdue Pharma and other drug companies. In response, Attorney General Conway said that he was well informed regarding the funding issue. Conway said many of these grants are funded in part by the pharmaceutical industry. Conway responded emphatically, "The only issue is the budget". With the budget cuts we have and continue to face I'm not concerned that a part of the grant money comes from the industry said Conway. Conway continued on saying that when I can take this money and put it to good use to help in the fight against drugs and crime then I'm going to continue to do so.

St. John Picnic Reveals Mood of West Kentucky

It's probably been over 20 years since I attended the St. John Picnic and my what a change. I worked the crowd speaking to folks for about an hour and I was very surprised at the comments that I received. Usually attitudes I find reserved in my backyard along the Hwy 68 corridor were alive and well in the Purchase.

It has been my experience that the men are usually the most outspoken at these events but not yesterday. I spoke with ladies from 15 to 70 years old and they were all in agreement in their dislike, disgust and opposition to the the National Democratic Party agenda. Obama, Pelosi and so on. I predicted to most over a year ago that I was afraid that next year would turn into another 1994 in Rural Kentucky and if yesterday was any indication- I may be right.

After reflecting a while last night I thought maybe I was interjecting some of my own personal frustration into my thoughts until I read Bill Bartleman's article this afternoon. We saw and heard the same things. The hit speech of the day came from Republican candidate Bill Johnson of Todd County. Johnson who is a Gulf War Veteran brought a roar from the crowd when he said that the solution to America's problems was returning the Nation to the values of the Ronald Reagan Era. Much to my surprise, folks when asked were not as concerned with the economy as they were moral issues, big government, abortion, gun control. In short- most responded that regardless of the problems that faced Kentucky and the Nation they did not want government being any part of the debate or the solution.

There were no bus loads of people brought in to support any one candidate. No, these were average, educated, middle-class people. From public school teachers to Union members-no one was happy with the Democrats.

I was surprised at Jack Conway's speech and I suppose one can look at it two different ways. Personally I like Jack Conway but I don't line up very well with him on many issues. In one respect I can admire the nads it took to step up and say the things he said but I don't think he gained any votes and probably lost some. Jack emphasized that the most important reason for voting for him was that the National Democrat Party was in a battle for control of the U.S. Senate. I don't think anyone told Jack that West Kentucky Democrats have no interest in a Democrat Controlled Senate run by Liberals. Jack's remarks drew a long quiet response from the crowd.

Conway also bragged that one of the crowning achievements of the Democrats in Kentucky was (KERA) the Kentucky Education Reform Act. Not a smart political move down here.You have heard me say many times, KERA in my opinion was probably the worst piece of legislation in Kentucky History. So all in all probably not a good day for Conway. My sources tell me that the Conway fundraiser at Barkley Lodge was only attended by 25 people at best. I don't know how much he raised from the event.

It was obvious that the majority of Democrats at St. John and the Hickman County Democratic Dinner were for Monjiardo. But neither Monjiardo nor Conway were the crowd pleasers among the Democrat Candidates. Darlene Price, a veteran who has testified before Congress and appeared on numerous national talk shows, gave a passionate speech about the need for campaign finance reform.

Rand Paul gave a very articulate speech which was well received by the crowd. I was party to conversation Paul was having and he said that his campaign was on track to have more than enough money to run head to head with Trey Grayson who was not in attendance.

Gatewood was entertaining as always and folks seem to appreciate State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach making the drive to be a part of the event.

Supreme Court Justice Bill Cunningham was the Master of Ceremonies. Appellate Court Judge Shea Nickel sang along with newly appointed Circuit Judge Tim Kaltenbach. Many local dignitaries on stage spoke or were recognized including State Rep. Fred Nesler and former Congressman Carroll Hubbard.

I met Glenda Ransom who was appointed McCracken County Circuit Court Clerk upon the retirement of Mike Lawrence. Lawrence was the Democrat nominee against Steve Rudy. I spent a few minutes talking politics with Mark Riddle who is running Jack Conway's Campaign. As always it was good to see Jimmy Morphew who is a First District Representative on the State Democratic Executive Committee.

So what's my take on the present mood of Democrats and Republicans in Western Kentucky right now? They are not going to vote for a Liberal or Progressive candidate and they probably are not going to vote for any Democrat in November 2010.

Local Democrats in Western Kentucky are going to have to walk a fine line because defending a National Democrat Party agenda may spell doom for some. Right now people are mad as hell at the Democrats and the Government at every level.

I will be posting interviews with Bill Johnson and Darlene Price. Both candidates are long shots and have very little money but both offer something different that everyone including myself found interesting

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hollenbach Doing What Others Won't

I understand that it is hard for elected officials to balance their positions with family and political life. But when your elected you assume a certain amount responsibility and sacrifice that comes with the job.

In 2007 I traveled to the Purchase to Columbus-Belmont State Park for this event. I reported what a great event it was. Yes, it was election year. Yes there were hundreds of people there. The Democrat nominee Steve Beshear was supposed to have been there but was a no-show. I had decided to go on behalf of Todd Hollenbach Jr. because he had a conflict but had not committed to be there.Coach Joe B. Hall was recruited within a couple of hours to come save the day.

Fast Forward to this year for the Hickman County Democratic Fish Fry. We have two big name candidates seeking the Democrat nomination for U.S. Senate. Both are going to be at the St. John's Picnic in McCracken County so why not make it a point to attend the functions of smaller, Rural Counties especially when your in the area.

In the case of Hickman County, Lt. Governor Dan Mongiardo committed to coming and Conway did not. I really think both candidates ought to make every attempt to be at County Party functions. Fundraisers and events should take a back seat in the schedule.

The State Party Chairman and the Governor should be strongly urging our Democrat State Office holders to divide up the Party functions to at least insure that one official will be in attendance at each event instead everyone showing up to speak at the big ticket events. This would also not too much burden on any one State Office holder.

I was speaking with State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach regarding this issue and we both agreed on how hard it is sometimes to juggle everything but Todd did agree that Rural Kentucky was probably getting the short end of the stick and being ignored.

Regarding the Hickman Co. Dinner, Todd Hollenbach agreed that more attention should be paid to our Rural Counties and said that he was going to do his best to attend the Hickman County Democratic Fish Fry on Saturday Evening.

Hollenbach who has never taken Rural Kentucky or West Kentucky for granted saw the fruits of his labor in 2007. I can't remember the last time a successful candidate from Jefferson County posted his 4 best county results in Western Kentucky. Hollenbach carried the Democratic Ticket in Christian & Trigg County as well as racking up in Marshall and Calloway.

I appreciate Todd Hollenbach making the effort to come all the way down to far West Kentucky and I know the Democrats of Hickman County and the Purchase Area will to.

Conway's Office Threatens National Activist

While scanning the blog world this morning I found an interesting link offered up by Page One www.pageonekentucky.com

My curiosity led me to follow it to an article in the Salem-News www.salem-news.com . After reading the article I decided to investigate and hear for myself the details regarding this situation.

I don't think Marianne Skolek ever expected to become one the Nations high profile activist/advocates pursuing the pharmaceutical industry and companies like Purdue Pharma. I don't think Marianne Skolek ever expected her daughter Jill Carol to die as a victim of Oxy Contin in 2002.

Skolek has helped the FDA and States hold Purdue Pharma accountable. When she heard that Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway accepted a $50,000 grant from the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI), she could not believe it. Skolek claims that NADDI is indirectly funded by none other than Purdue Pharma.

When Skolek called Jack Conway's office to inform them and discuss what she considers a very poor decision on Conway's part what did she get. Well- she got threatened to be charged with Jury Tampering by an Assistant Attorney General. Wow!! I don't think Marianne was shaking in her boots then or now. Apparently at the end of the conversation the Assistant Attorney General decided to retract his threat says Skolek. Apparently Kentucky is involved in litigation in, I think she said, New York. A case that has not even come to trial yet.

Marianne Skolek continues to pursue this cause through public awareness. She continues to write on this issue for the Salem-News and also has a book coming out soon.

Skolek seemed surprised when I told her that Jack Conway was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky. We both wondered out loud if Conway has excepted and if so, how much from the pharmaceutical industry. "Having worked long and hard on this issue for seven and half years and then have your Attorney General shake hands with an organization connected with Purdue is a slap in the face", said Skolek.

"Companies like Purdue have no conscience, this is a full time job and what I find everyday never ceases to amaze me."

After talking with Marianne about the severity of the drug problem and prescription drug problems that plague Kentucky I kinda felt like I should apologize but I didn't. I think Attorney General Conway needs to look into this matter and and apologize himself. As far as the $50,000 grant goes, maybe Conway needs to investigate this himself. If any of this money has come directly or indirectly from Purdue Pharma then we probably need to give it back. In fairness to Conway's office I really don't think that they would have knowingly accepted this money if it has the ties as claimed by Marianne Skolek.

With a little homework Jack Conway should be able to put this issue to bed but his office I think, owes Marianne Skolek an apology for being a tad bit over zealous and maybe a little too defensive. Make lemonade out of lemon's Jack-invite Marianne Skolek to Kentucky to help you in this fight against prescription drug addiction.

As far as Marianne Skolek is concerned she said, "I will continue to be the voice of my daughter and fighting the greedy pharmaceutical companies."

Marianne Skolek can be reached at mskolek@aol.com

West KY Fire Fighters Respond to Greenville Fire

Fire Fighters from surrounding cities responded to Greenville's call for help late last night. A fire that could have swept through much of Greenville's Downtown area was contained thanks to the response of fire departments in Western Kentucky.
My media contact at the Leader-News in Central City confirmed that the fire started at Lynn's Diner. The Fire was contained to the Diner and another adjacent structure. The call for help went out sometime after 11:00 pm for more fire fighters and equipment.
Madisonville Mayor Will Cox authorized his fire chief and a Ladder Truck to assist the City of Greenville in their efforts to save the downtown. While all the details are not available, it is my understanding that the City of Owensboro along with a number of other communities answered the call.
Apparently it took all night to contain the fire to make sure it did not spread to other buildings. Mayor Cox reported to me that his firemen did not return to Madisonville until 8:00 am this morning.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hickman County Democratic Fish Fry

The West Kentucky Journal Politics and Issues reports that the Hickman County Democratic Fish Fry will be held this Saturday September 12th at Oak Hill Country Club. Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo will be the guest speaker.
5:30 Doors open
6:00 Dinner served
6:30 Program begins
Event is free. Contributions excepted.
I will note that it concerns me that candidates for all offices should be speaking at these local events instead of having fundraisers at the same time. I'm sure that both candidates are guilty of this. I realize that money is important but if you want Rural folks to be a part of the party then there needs to be opportunities for folks to get to hear and know the candidates without paying much or traveling far. I thought that's why we have all these local events?
** Update. I have been informed by someone involved with the Hickman Co. Event that Jack Conway was also invited to speak and was sent an invite but chose not to respond.

Conway Hosting Fundraiser at Barkley Lodge

The Conway Campaign has informed me that they will be hosting a fundraiser at Barkley Lake State Resort Park this Saturday. Details below.
Conway for U.S. Senate
Saturday September 12th
Barkley Lake-Main Lodge
$250.00 suggested minimum contribution

Friday, September 4, 2009

Libertarian to oppose Rep. Nesler

Libertarian candidate Jeff King has announced his intentions to seek the 2nd District House seat now held by Rep. Fred Nesler of Mayfield. The District includes Graves and part of McCracken Counties. King is a resident of Graves County.

I asked Mr. King some questions and he provided lengthy answers. I could not provide the entire answer to each question but provided enough I think for one to understand Mr. King's positions.

I also spoke with Rep. Nesler who stated that he was not aware of Mr. King's candidacy but said, " For 17 years I have done my best to be the voice of my constituency and to represent them in a fair way. I have tried to be responsive to my constituents concerns and have always tried to work with the elected officials in my district."

Representative Nesler is listed as serving as a Vice Chair of Appropriations and Revenue as well as Economic Development; Military Affairs, Seniors & Public Safety and the Rules Committee.

When the General Assembly meets in January they will again be faced with tough decision regarding KY's revenue shortfall. If elected where and how would you decide what programs to cut?

"I think everyone agrees that spending in Frankfort is out of control. This is because we continue to elect politicians instead of regular people. A regular person, like you or I, can look at a project, look at the projected cost, surmise that the projected cost will rise significantly before the project even gets started, and then decide whether it’s good for the state, or not. Our Representatives currently are concerned with one thing, and one thing only; the next election. Should I be elected I would not go to the Capitol and wonder what grand project I can put my name on, or what state money I can scoop up for my district. I know that bringing home the “pork,” like Representative Nesler has done, would endear me to certain demographics and industries, especially area construction firms, but we have to look at our state government as a whole. It’s almost like there’s a culture among our elected officials to go to Frankfort, hold out their hands, and rake in as much cash as possible, when they’re actually supposed to be acting on behalf of their constituents, not just out-spend other districts.. I’m quite sure that the 2nd district doesn’t want higher taxes, they want accountability, fiscal responsibility, and reform."

If elected, what committees would you ask to serve on? and why?

"If elected I would ask first and foremost for the Rules Committee. I think that the people want a genuine reform of the way our government works, and that has to start with how the House works. Beyond that I would ask for the Agriculture and Small Business Committee, as my district needs and deserves a voice there."

Would you caucus with the Democrat's, Republicans, or neither side?

If I were a Republican or Democrat I would be running as one. I am a Libertarian, but I’m also a political realist. My views are much more in line with the Republicans, and I would consider caucusing with them if asked, but I would hardly be a vote to be coerced, or bought.

The Speaker of the House directs leadership ie..Committee Chairs and all committee assignments as well as all legislation, if you chose not to caucus with either side-Do you think you could still be affective for your District?

"As I said, I’m more in line with the Republicans, but I am a Libertarian. If I didn’t caucus with either I would imagine I’d be left out in the cold, such is the political reality of modern times. Government is always resistant to change, and a change from the two-party domination of the General Assembly would surely anger many in both parties. Could I be effective though? Certainly so. If they think I will just show up and take my seat and keep my mouth shut like a good little boy then they have another thing coming. I’m running for more than just my district here, I’m running for all Kentuckians who feel forgotten, ignored by, and are just generally sick of the broken, corrupt, two-party system we’ve been stuck with."

If elected as a Libertarian do you think you could represent your district well considering House Rules? Leadership decides what Bills go to the different Committees. You only get to speak in Committee if the Chairman calls upon you. Only the Chairman can call a Bill before his/her Committee.
You’ve just illustrated, quite well actually, what’s wrong with the status-quo. If the second district wants a Legislator who knows the right people, can maneuver themselves onto the most powerful committees, and can get into those smoke-filled backrooms to pat the most corrupt, and well-off members on the back, then they will re-elect Fred Nesler. It’s important to note, however, that such a member that’s “in” with the right circles is, and forever will be, a hostage to his party’s agenda. In Frankfort we see the Democratic Party spending us deeper into the red than Texas on an electoral college map, pushing for state-sponsored casino gaming, marred in scandals across the state, and they’ve managed to also find time to raise cigarette taxes to astronomical levels, hurting one of Kentucky’s most important industries. That’s not an agenda that I can support, and I don’t hear any 2nd district voters saying that they do. I think when they finally do get a real choice they will decide to let an outsider have a shot. One thing is clear, though, if we DON’T want reform we’ll send Fred Nesler back to Frankfort.

You mention the alcohol and tobacco tax along with expanded gambling. What other issues separate you from Rep. Nesler and do you have an alternative plan for raising revenue?

Fred Nesler and I are different sorts of people, first and foremost. He’s nearly forty years older than me, and was a successful realtor before becoming a legislator. I’m young, couldn‘t afford college, wasn‘t handed a successful career, and don’t have the long record of supporting tax hikes, corrupt politicians, and government waste. Fred Nesler is a career politician who’s held the 2nd district seat since 1993. I was 12 years old in 1993. Our area needs a new voice in Frankfort, someone who is dedicated to giving voice to those that Fred Nesler would be ashamed to be seen with. Whether you’re unemployed, on food stamps, work fast food, work in the hot sun, or drive a tractor for a living, everyone is in agreement that we need change in Kentucky. Fred Nesler is not change, he’s a part of the tax-raising, pork addicted, “good ol’ boy” Democratic establishment that rode their party’s former glory to the position of power. If we want real change in Kentucky we will have to vote these guys out, and that’s where I come in. I represent the new generation of Kentuckian.

Mr. King invites anyone wishing to learn more about him or his campaign to check out his website at http://www.JeffreyKing4Ky.com

As a footnote- Again I had to shorten some of the questions and answers to fit it all in. As always I try to be fair and provide information about candidates across Kentucky and Party Line if they are willing to answer my questions.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Judiciary Committee In Hopkinsville

Press Release from House Judiciary Chairman John Tilley.

Rep. Tilley to welcome state lawmakers to Hopkinsville
Panels co-chaired by Tilley will hold Friday meetings at Justice Center

FRANKFORT – Rep. John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, is bringing legislators from across the state to Hopkinsville on Friday, September 4, for legislative committee meetings on criminal justice policy and other issues.

“It’s good for legislative panels to occasionally get outside of Frankfort to make sure we’re hearing a wide variety of voices on the issues of the day,” said Tilley. “This will be a good opportunity for officials and citizens in our area to have input on some of the issues lawmakers will be making decisions on when the 2010 legislative sessions starts in four months.”

The General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee will meet at 10 a.m. in District Courtroom #1 at the Justice Center, 100 Justice Way, in Hopkinsville. The Subcommittee on Penal Code and Controlled Substance Act will meet at the same place at 1 p.m.

Both panels are co-chaired by Tilley.

The Judiciary Committee meeting will focus on issues ranging from efforts to curb drunken driving offenses to the Justice Cabinet’s legislative proposals for the 2010 legislative session. Members will also receive an update from state officials on Northpoint Training Center, the medium-security prison in Boyle County where prisoners rioted and started fires that caused extensive damage to the facilities last month.

Members of the Subcommittee on Penal Code and Controlled Substance Act will hear testimony on possible code reforms and other issues from University of Kentucky Law Professor Robert Lawson, as well as district and circuit judges and other local justice officials.

Both meetings are open to the public.


Sen. Pendleton Fundraiser

State Senator Joey Pendleton has announced that his Fundraiser Golf Outing will be held September 23rd at the Links at Novadell in Hopkinsville. Lunch will be served at 12 noon with a shotgun start a 1pm.

Pendleton represent the 3rd District which includes Christian, Todd & Logan Counties.

Hole Sponsorship is $100.00
Entry Fee Ticket is $125.00 per person
Team Entry is $500.00
Prizes and more!!

Those interested in sponsoring a hole or wishing to make a contribution can do so by forwarding to:

Pendleton for Senate- P. O. Box 1016, Hopkinsville, KY 42241-1016