Wednesday, December 8, 2010

State Park Employees Feeling Pain of Budget Cuts

Majority Leader Rocky Adkins
Employees in our State Parks have had their hours reduced to thirty hours a week. Yes, the economy is bad and state government  has struggled the past few years but it comes down to priorities. Granted most of our parks are operating in the red but some of that has to do with the economy. As I have toured some of our state parks across Kentucky the last month it's obvious that many are in need of repair. From paint to bedspreads, many of the basic items need replaced. Our park facilities may not be in the best shape as they once were and this may also account for a decline in revenue.

The greatest ambassadors for Kentucky are our parks employees and I found it tough to listen to the choices many of them are having to make because of the reduced hours. One employee who wished to remain anonymous said, "Their cutting our front line employees." Many of the employees said they felt that it was unfair for parks employees to be cut back to thirty hours a week while other state employees were only furloughed six days.

When I asked House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins about this he stated, "We have the best state park system in the Nation because of the dedication and commitment of our state park employees." House Majority Whip John Will Stacy commented on the issue by saying, "Now there is a fifty-eight million dollar projected surplus and there is no need for the men and women of state government to sacrifice with this projected surplus." Rep. Stacy has championed the cause of the state employees and has pre-filed a bill regarding the furlough days.

The time has come for Kentucky to re-invest in our state parks and promote them nationwide. The time has come for Kentucky to upgrade the rooms with refrigerators and microwaves. The time has come to invest in needed small projects like bathrooms and a shower at Ken Lake's pool (My preferred state park). The time is now to restore the morale and the paychecks of our park employees.

It's a matter of priorities and charity & investment start with our people. We didn't have a problem dumping millions of dollars into a fancy horse show that lost money. Many of us in Rural Kentucky are still trying to figure out what the hell that was all about. I have no problems supporting a creation museum that has a big Ark but now probably isn't the best time to be spending money on that especially when we have park employees who are single moms trying to figure out how they're going to buy their kids something for Christmas. Besides we have a big structure in West Kentucky that has two of every kind of animal in it- We call it the State Penitentiary. Maybe we could sell tickets and peddle all that junk left over from the fancy horse show.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Murray Native Sandra Ferony Appears in Garth Brooks Movie

Sandra Hamrick Ferony has been answering casting calls for a number of years but her most recent experience has provided her some good exposure as a movie extra.

Unanswered Prayers produced by Garth Brooks for the Lifetime Channel is Sandra's latest appearance in a movie. When asked about how she became involved in the movies Sandra said, "Six or Seven years ago a friend of mine and I thought it would be fun to answer a casting call, so we've been doing it ever since."

Sandra said the days can be long and you may or may not end up getting into the movie. Having the opportunity to be around some of the best in the movie industry is exciting stated Sandra Ferony.

Ferony has answered casting calls for a number of memorable movies which include Sum of All Fears with Morgan Freeman and Ben Affleck, Head of State with Christ Rock, Flags of Our Fathers which was directed by Clint Eastwood, Sentinel with Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland, and State of Play with Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, and Rachel McAdams. Regarding State of Play Ferony said, "It was great to be around Russell Crowe and Rachel McAdams all day but the hours can be long. I spent three thirteen hour days on the set of that movie."

Sandra Ferony's efforts over the years has earned her the coveted Screen Actors Guild Card.  Ferony who has lived in Virginia for many years says she enjoys being an extra and will continue to answer casting calls that come her way.

Unanswered prayers which is based on Garth Brook's song entitled "Unanswered Prayers" can be seen on the Lifetime Channel on December 9th at 8pm Central and again on New Years Day. Sandra can be seen in a dance scene in which the main characters are dancing.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Kentucky Sportsmen Want Action to Control Asian Carp

League of Kentucky Sportsmen President Dr. Bill Haycraft believes the time has come to stop talking about Asian carp and do something about it. Dr. Haycraft shared with me his concerns last week in Frankfort regarding the outcry from sportsmen in Western Kentucky.

The Asian carp continue to move into our lakes when barges and boats move through the locks. They compete with the shad for plankton which is reducing the population of sport fish. Sportsmen believe crappie and sport fish are declining thus reducing the tourism dollars for West Kentucky. 

While there is a great deal of political upheaval in Kentucky regarding the management of the Department of Fish & Wildlife the issue of Asian carp should not get lost in the midst of political strife. There seems to be no disagreement regarding the damage the Asian carp is causing but there is a difference in opinion as to what extent the Asian carp can be blamed for other perceived problems.

Since sportsmen believe there is a decline in the number of sport fish in Barkley and Kentucky Lake and if so, is the Asian carp to blame? Dan Cayce is President of the Christian-Trigg County Chapter of the League of Kentucky Sportsmen and he believes that the Asian carp are significantly reducing the crappie population. Mr. Cayce is also frustrated with the Department of Fish & Wildlife in what he descibes is a lack attention and effort on the part of the Department. Cayce said, " White crappie is the fish that puts dollars in local tourism's pockets." Cayce believes that the Department is not big enough to address the issue which he feels will ultimately ruin sport fishing on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes.

"The Department needs to enhance the resources not just protect resources which has been their mission," said Cayce. Cayce suggested that more attention be paid to the lakes by taking care of them not just monitoring them. "We need more enforcement and commercial fishing needs to be regulated,"commented Cayce. Allowing commercial fisherman to use larger nets and mechanical arms to harvest the larger carp would be one solution that Cayce would like to see. Sportsmen like Dan Cayce believe that lack of crappie fishing can be seen in the declining tourism dollars in the lakes region. While all sides agree that  Asian carp are causing damage, it has opened the debate as to what extent they are harming sport fishing.

Paul Rister who is a biologist for the Department of Kentucky Fish & Wildlife states that the science shows that Asian carp are filter feeders who are competing with the shad. Rister states that this competition has stressed the food chain which inevitably means less shad which in turn means fewer sport fish. There does appear to be a difference of opinion regarding sportsmen and the Department when is comes to Asian carp eating other fish.

Rister believes that while the Asian carp is a serious issue it may not be solely to blame for the decline in sport fish. There are very few solutions to addressing the problem but everyone seems to agree that getting them out of the lakes via more commercial fishing is the short term answer. Rister said that he thought the present regulations are working but believes the Department should consider a longer season. The net season presently runs from November through February. Rister said, " Do we need to liberalize the season?, maybe." 

If getting the Asian carp out of the lakes on a large scale is the answer then this solution is probably bigger than the Department of Fish & Wildlife and associations like the League of Kentucky Sportsmen. Harvesting large quantities of Asian carp will mean attracting fish processing plants to build  near the lakes. Rister said, "There is a huge market overseas for Asian carp but they must be flash frozen and we don't have the processors right now." The silver carp is said to taste very good at three to four pounds and many compare it to crappie. Unfortunately just the name carp has a tendency to scare people off locally.

I'm sure the debate will continue as to the impact of Asian carp on our sports fish but there are other environmental factors we all must consider. Kentucky and Barkley Lakes are aging and continue to evolve. The progression of farming in the area of no till planting has reduced the amount of silt that washes into the lakes thus causing clearer water. While this has reduced the number of white crappie is has increased the number of black crappie who prefer the clearer water. One can't help but to consider what damage has been done by pollution. I think it safe to say that the poor economy has hurt tourism in Kentucky the last few years. While some folks may not be coming because of less fish I sincerely believe many people just can't afford it right now. 

As the lakes evolve so must our solutions. While town hall meetings are  important to achieving consensus, solving this problem will require a strong commitment from the legislative and executive branches of government. Sportsmen and the Department alone will not be able to defeat the growing Asian carp population.    

Steve Tribble Sworn in as Association President

Judge Tribble and Rep. John Tilley
Christian County Judge Executive Steve Tribble was sworn in as President of the Kentucky County Judge Executive's Association on December 2nd. Rep. John Tilley swore in Judge Tribble along with the newly elected officers which make up the associations executive board.

The quarterly meeting and ceremony was held at Berry Hill Mansion in Frankfort with Grant County Judge Executive Darrell L. Link presiding.  Executive Board Members sworn in by Rep. Tilley were 1st Vice President, Judge R.T. "Tucker" Daniel of Johnson Co; 2nd Vice President, Judge Jim Townsend of Webster Co.; 3rd Vice President, Judge Jim Henderson of Simpson Co; Secretary Judge Gary W. Moore; Sergeant-at-Arms, Judge Kelly Callaham of Martin Co.; and Immediate Past President, Judge Darrell L. Link of Grant Co.

Judge Tribble stated that he was humbled by the trust and support received from his fellow Judges and pledge to serve them and the organization in an honorable manner. Tribble also stated that he was honored to be the second county official from Christian County to be serving as an association president. Christian County Clerk Mike Kem is presently serving as head of the Kentucky County Clerks Association. Christian County Attorney Mike Foster is the Dean of Kentucky County Attorneys and has also served as President of the County Attorney's Association and KACo. Former Christian County Jailer and present Sheriff Livy Leavell served as President of the Kentucky Jailers Association.

Mike Foster stated that historically few association presidents came from Western Kentucky. Foster said, "The distance from Frankfort and the time commitment required made it rare for someone from West Kentucky to be an association President." Mike Foster stated that he was proud of his fellow county officials in Christian County for their willingness to sacrifice so much time to public service.

I want to thank Executive Director Vince Lang and The Marshall of Miller County, Mike Miller, for their gracious hospitality.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sen. Pendleton & Rep. King Promote Farm Outreach Forum

FRANKFORT- Senator Joey Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville, and Rep. Martha Jane King, D- Lewisburg, encourage local farmers to take part in a "Farm Outreach" forum that will be held Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. (CT). The forum will be held at the Westside Church of Christ Fellowship Hall in Elkton.

Topics of discussion will include safety regulations, licensing requirement and driver qualifications. The Kentucky State Police/Commericial Vehicle Enforcement Division is partnering with the Todd County Cooperative Extension Service and Kentucky Farm Bureau to provide the forum.

The Westside Church of Christ Fellowship Hall is located at 715 West Main Street, Elkton.

-END-

Friday, November 12, 2010

David Williams Having Identity Crisis

A tough week for Sen. Williams who continues to struggle with the reality that neither he nor Senator McConnell can control republican politics in Kentucky. The revelation that Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw is considering running for Governor has led Williams to a complete melt down this week. Williams failed to gain his high ground with Holsclaw that being a private meeting so he could employ his bullying tactics. I think it's safe to say that Williams went crying to McConnell but to no avail.

So having lost his high ground what does Williams do? He now decides to disrobe and put on a Tea Party jacket. This drew a good laugh from Tea Party folks as well as Republicans from around the state. His comments advocating repeal of the 17th Amendment drew immediate criticism from both Jim Bunning and Mitch McConnell. Sen. McConnell had his own problems this week when it was revealed that McConnell privately asked President Bush to withdraw troops for political gain. President Bush refused McConnell's request at the time because it would have endangered the security of our troops-A fact Sen. McConnell was fully aware of but didn't care about.

Williams failed his ambition this week by not understanding that while political power may induce results it also creates enemies and animosity. Williams ability to force people into submission is now starting to catch up with him. David Williams has misinterpreted the kissing of his ring  whereas it has become an act of submission not a sign of respect.

Regardless of where one may stand on the issue of expanded gaming it has become increasingly difficult for those on both sides of the argument to tolerate David Williams participation in the debate. One must call into question the character of a man who believes on one hand it's alright for him to do it but yet on the other hand deny Kentuckians the right to decide the issue themselves. 

This week David Williams took all his political clothes off in search of new ones but today he is left standing naked with Richie Farmer holding the only thing he now has to wear-his robe of hypocrisy.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bob Farmer to File Monday for Agriculture Commissioner

Bob Farmer Promoting the Almanac
Jefferson County's Bob Farmer said today that he will officially file for Commissioner of Agriculture on Monday November 15th. Farmer stated that he plans to file the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of State's Office at 3pm.

Farmer who is a marketing executive and representative of the Farmers' Almanac stated that he believes his background in marketing and public relations has prepared him for the important role of marketing all of Kentucky's agriculture.

Bob Farmer is also a noted humorist and motivational speaker and has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. Farmer said, "I've been blessed with the opportunity to share family humor and stories over the years in every corner of Kentucky". Farmer believes his background and broad exposure to communities across Kentucky will be a great asset in his bid to become Kentucky's next Commissioner of Agriculture.

"I'm not a politician and I'm not seeking this office just so I can run for another one," said Farmer. Farmer said that he believes having a Commissioner of Agriculture who can support, promote and market Kentucky's Agriculture is more important than ever. Farmer also went on to say that he continues to travel the state listening to the concerns of farmers and agri-business leaders. Farmer stated that his campaign would be releasing his goals and vision for Kentucky's Agriculture Department in January. 

Cox Considering Run for Secretary of State

Will Cox honoring Veterans
Madisonville Mayor Will Cox states that he is considering filing for Secretary of State. Cox, who narrowly lost his bid for a second term as mayor, attributed his loss to the wave of voter frustration that swept across the Nation last Tuesday.  Republicans also defeated Sen. Jerry Rhoads in Hopkins County while also picking up a House seat. Cox said that he has received enough encouragement and commitments of support around the state to warrant his serious consideration.

Updating the status of other West Kentucky Democrats:

- Rep. John Tilley states that he is prepared to seek the Attorney General's position should Jack Conway decide not to run. Tilley said, "Jack is a friend and he deserves time to catch his breath and decide what's best for him and his family."

-Steve Hamrick who is seeking the position of Kentucky State Treasurer said that he is beginning to start fundraising now that the general election is over. Hamrick says his Jefferson County supporters are already working on a fundraiser to be held in January.   

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mike Karem To Question Sen. Williams Electability on CN-2 Politics

Karem in a solemn moment in preparation for President Reagan's funeral
The fact that Kentucky Republicans aren't happy has been a story line of mine in recent months. Sources for sometime now have informed me about the behind the scenes activity within the Republican Party to find an alternative to the Williams/Farmer slate.  

I was informed yesterday that former Reagan Aide Mike Karem of Louisville will appear with Ryan Alessi on CN-2 Politics. I tracked down Mr. Karem and he agreed to speak briefly about his appearance. Karem stated that he had serious reservations about Sen. Williams electability as the Republican nominee for Governor next year and would be addressing those concerns with Alessi and CN-2 Politics. I asked Mr. Karem if my earlier reports regarding opposition to the Williams/Farmer slate were accurate he replied, "There has been serious concerns from GOP leaders in Washington down to the county level regarding David Williams." Karem went on to say there has been a quiet but strong movement to provide Kentucky Republicans an alternative to David Williams. Karem said, " Tim, your analysis of Kentucky politics has been spot-on."

Mike Karem shared with me his background which most recently includes having served as Senior Advisor to  Ambassador Paul Bremer. Karem started his career in the General Council's Office in the Veteran's Administration during the Nixon Administration. Later, Karem would serve in the Chief Council's Office in the U.S. Treasury Department under the Ford Administration. Karem would also serve as a campaign aide to both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Under President Reagan, Karem served on the Presidential Transition Team and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing and Urban Development. Karem received the honor of helping prepare the State Funeral of his old friend and boss President Ronald Reagan. Today, Mike Karem serves as a consultant to political leaders and businesses around the world.

Ryan Alessi's interview with Mike Karem can be seen Monday night on CN-2 Politics at 7pm est. I want to thank Mr. Karem for his time, comments and pictures.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

West Kentucky Results and My Take on General Election

Editors Note: While I have edited this post to correct the inaccurate numbers I recieved regarding Rex Smith it in no way changes my editorial comments or my opinion regarding the outcome and overall lesson of the General Election in Kentucky.

It's early Wednesday morning and I'm still reviewing the results from across the state. First, I'm pleased that two of our clients were victorious that being Dennis Parrott in the 10th Senate District and Rep. Carl Rollins who chairs the House Education Committee. I'm sick about Will Cox Jr. losing his re-election bid for Mayor of Madisonville. The Republicans swept through Hopkins County. Sen. Jerry Rhoads retained his seat but lost his home county of Hopkins. Muhlenberg County provided Rhoads enough of a margin to win. The Republicans also picked up Eddie Ballards seat with the help of most big name Democrats in Hopkins. Republican Ben Waide won Eddie Ballard's seat  with 56.59% of the vote (6,887 to Mike Duncan's 5,284. Rand Paul carried Hopkins County with 59% of the vote. Will Cox lost the mayor's race by 72 votes. It would appear that the African-American precincts in Madisonville decided to vote for Republicans this year.

Republicans did well in Trigg and Todd County. The Republicans  retained the County Judge Executive position while picking up the Sheriff's office. Rand Pual carried Trigg by 19%. In Todd County Paul won also by 19% and Republicans picked up the County Judge Executive's seat.

Rex Smith waged a campaign that appeared to be very one-sided. Smith invested a lot of his own money and it seemed to have paid off. Bob Leeper's campaign was non-existent on the air waves. Smith ran very good commercials promoting his Christian and traditional West Kentucky values by using his Sunday School Class and pictures of himself with his shotgun as a backdrop. Former Governor Julian Carroll was also heavily involved in the Smith Campaign. Leeper did in fact pull the race out in the end with by a small margin from McCracken County losing Marshall and Ballard Counties.

It would appear that the Senate Democrats have lost two seats with Boswell and Reynolds  losing and have picked up one Conservative Democrat by gaining Dennis Parrett . It would also appear the Republicans have gained a net 7 seats in the Kentucky House.

So what's the lesson. Well it's the same as its been for the last 26 years. Simply put there has never been nor will there ever be a future for a progressive/liberal agenda in Kentucky. Kentucky should have divorced itself years ago in a public manner from the National Democratic Party. Kentucky Democrats must embrace and promote only the issues important to the majority of Kentuckians. Jack Conway gave away a U.S Senate seat by not focusing and prioritising the federal issues important to Kentuckians that being agriculture, military,veterans, coal & fiscal conservatism. Until Democrats can prove that they are 100% committed to these issues then winning federal races will remain a futile effort in Rural Kentucky.

Democrats like Rex Smith, Will Coursey, and Martha Jane King were all smart enough to champion Christian values, guns, agriculture and veterans. In short, you don't get to hold office and talk about jobs and education until you get right with God and Rural Kentucky. Athough Smith lost his race he ran a very effective camapaine.

The lesson- There is no future in supporting or promoting the left wing platforms of the National Democratic Party. It's time for Conservative Democrats to rule the roost. The alternative-keep losing.

Monday, November 1, 2010

West Kentucky Clerks Predict Voter Turn-Out

The General Election in Western Kentucky much like the Primary has not appeared to have generated very much enthusiasm but a large number of absentee ballots has convinced a number of clerks that voter turn-out may now be much better than expected. With a few exceptions the grassroots effort in many counties has appeared down for most of the Fall Campaign. I, like many of the clerks that I spoke with, agree that most voters have been turned off and tuned out because of the barrage of negative TV ads. Western Kentuckians have been inundated with TV commercials from Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

Here are the predictions and thoughts of clerks in West Kentucky. I will try to provide a "part II" depending on the response I get.

Warren County- County Clerk Dot Owens is predicting a 45% turn-out if not more. Regarding absentee voting Owens said, " We have voted 1025 in house which exceeded expectations." Owens also stated "there had never been a waiting line to vote but there was one today." Warren County also sent out 300 absentee ballots by mail.

Daviess County- David "Oz" Osborne is expecting  48-50% turn-out in his county. "Oz" stated that absentee ballots were in line with four years ago with about 1400-1500 absentees. Osborne said, " We have the largest ballot in memory" so he expects a really good turn-out.

Calloway County- Ray Coursey said, "I think we will vote around 25-30% but that might even be a little optimistic." Coursey stated that while absentee voting was about normal there were not as many races on the ballot. Many of the county officials are unopposed in Calloway this year.

Christian County- Mike Kem says there is not as much interest as there was four years ago so he is expecting around a 35-36%  voter turn-out in Christian County. Kem said that Absentees were down from four years ago so his prediction may even be optimistic.

Ballard County- Lynn Lane stated that she thought Ballard County voting would be "pretty heavy despite the fact that people were disgusted with all the negative ads". Lane is hoping for a 35-40% turn-out in Ballard County.

Henderson County- Renny Matthews said, "We have more in absentee voting in house and by mail than in May". Matthews said absentee voting had really picked up this week which she considered an indication of a good turn-out. About 35% or better is expected in Henderson County with Matthews saying, " I think the non-partisan races may have something to do with a better turn-out."

Hopkins County- Devra Steckler believes if the rain stays away then she expects a 46-50% turn-out. Steckler said, "Absentee voting has been good and I'm excited about a big turn-out in Hopkins County."

Logan County- Scottie Harper always keeps his cards close to his vest but he said, "We have a decent ballot and the absentees are some what larger with about 275-280 having voted in house and by mail." Harper also stated" We voted 32% in the Primary and I hope it would exceed that."

Lyon County- Sarah Defew said, "Absentees are way up". Defew expects a 58% voter turn-out. "We (Lyon County) vote ten percent higher than the state average." 170 voters had already voted absentee ballot on the machine which is up from 120 in the last election. 

Marshall County- Dianne McKendree expects a turn-out that could be as high as 50%. McKendree said that 348 had already voted on the machine with another 100 by paper absentee ballots. Regarding her confidence for such a large turn McKendree said, "We have a lot of issues in Marshall County that we're concerned about."

Trigg County- Wanda Thomas expects a large a turn out in Trigg County. "We have a large ballot and five hundred more voters than four years ago." Thomas said that Trigg County four years ago voted 52% and she expects the turn-out to be around 57% this year. H.B. Quinn the long time County Attorney who lost in the Primary is running as a write-in candidate for County Attorney. When asked about voter perception of a write-in candidate Thomas stated that the experience is much easier now for voters with the paper ballots.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bill Bruce Dies: Longtime Christian Co. Magistrate


Magistrate Bill Bruce
 Bill Bruce died this morning in Hopkinsville of an apparent heart attack. Bruce was in his 20th year of service as the Magistrate for District 7. The news came as a shock to Christian County residents and friends around the state. 

Well known Democratic political consultant Dale Emmons said that he had known Bill Bruce for many years and always enjoyed spending time with him on his farm. Emmons said, Bill was a delight to be around and a real gentleman. Bill loved to entertain and I really enjoyed getting to know him more during Bruce Lunsford's campaigns.

Bill Bruce wasn't known for really enjoying politics but he was not shy about going all-in to help friends that were running.  Bruce had remained close friends with Bruce Lunsford since their college days at the University of Kentucky and was always in Lunsford's corner.

Christian County Attorney Mike Foster said that Bruce had a love for horses and believed that interest sparked Bill Bruce's political interest in supporting candidates like Gov. Jones and Bruce Lunsford. Foster who also attended the University of Kentucky with Bruce said, "Bill was a dear friend and very dedicated to county government." Mike Foster recalled Bruce's efforts and commitment to the Christian County Health Department stating that Bill Bruce had worked very hard to establish and build a partnership between the health department and Saint Luke's Clinic which provides free health care for those in need.

State Senator Joey Pendleton said that he and Bill Bruce had been friends since high school and certainly wanted to pass his condolences along to the Bruce Family. Pendleton stated that Bill Bruce will always be known for his dedication and tenure with Kentucky Farm Bureau. Senator Pendleton stressed that he hoped that Bill's passing would draw more attention to the need for people to have regular check-ups. "After what I happened to me I was just lucky enough to be in the right place and to get quickly to a hospital. We just never know." said Pendleton. 

State Rep. John Tilley stated, "I'm shocked. This is a big loss for our community." Tilley praised Bill Bruce for his service to Hopkinsville and Christian County saying "Bill will be missed in so many ways". Tilley commended Bruce's service to the community and said, " You don't replace twenty years of experience and dedication. This is truly a time to reflect and pay tribute to our friend and his public service."

Kentucky law required that anybody wanting to seek Bill Bruce's seat on Fiscal Court had to file a declaration page by 4pm today with the County Court Clerk's office to be a write-in candidate on November 2nd. The law requires that only write-in candidates be considered eligible after the ballots are printed. If the vacancy would have occurred after the write-in deadline then the Governor would appoint to fill the vacancy.

As of 4pm today, two candidates have filed as write in candidates. Mike Bruce, a farmer and son of the late Rep. Jim Bruce filed. Also filing was David Collins, a good friend of Bill Bruce and the former owner of Collin's Buick. Sources tell me that Bill Bruce's wife will publicly endorse David Collins in the next 24hours to succeed her husband.

Funeral services for Bill Bruce will be held Monday at the First Christian Church in Hopkinsiville with burial to follow at Rose Dale Cemetery. Visitation will be held Sunday from 4-8pm at Hughart and Beard Funeral Home on South Virginia Street.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Paul Leading Conway In Latest Poll

Rasmussen Report has just released their latest polling numbers on the U.S. Senate Race in Kentucky. The poll shows that Rand Paul is leading Jack Conway by a 49%-38% margin with 5% preferring an "other" candidate with 8% undecided.

Williams & Farmer May Have Company Soon

Apparently not all Kentucky Republicans are excited about the prospects of the Williams-Farmer slate. In fact I have been able to confirm that two prominent republicans are considering teaming up to take on Williams and Farmer. My source has provided me emails and correspondence to validate that these two well known republicans met privately last week for 3 hours to discuss a slate. Personal and political considerations are keeping both from going public until after the November election.

Volunteer consultants from within Kentucky and else where have already met and are providing advise as well as lining up support from big name republicans organizations on the national level. I'm told the decision to run will be made in a few weeks but would not be announced until the middle of November.

Rep. James Comer Considering Agriculture Race

Rep. James Comer of Tompkinsville told me today that he very close to making a final decision about running for Commissioner of Agriculture. "I've been traveling around the state talking to people and I am very seriously considering it", said Rep. Comer.

Since his graduation from Western Kentucky University, the 38 year old farmer from Monroe County has accumulated four farms on his own totaling 950 acres. "I didn't inherit any land", said Comer. The self-reliant Comer commented that he thought that timber was one of the most under utilized crops in Kentucky.

Regarding agriculture Comer stated, "We have unlimited opportunity in Kentucky. Technology is always changing and we stay busy trying to keep up with it." Keeping an open mind and being progressive when it comes to agriculture is very important to the future of Kentucky's agriculture success stated Comer. Opening new markets for Kentucky produce and expanding the Kentucky Proud Program would be initiatives that Comer would champion as Commissioner of Agriculture. Comer is an advocate of government transparency and stated that he would be committed to making the State Agriculture Department completely transparent for the taxpayers online. Comer said that he also would propose putting the resumes of agriculture department employees online so Kentuckians could rest assured that positions were being filled with qualified people not just political appointees.

When asked about the present status of the Agriculture Department Comer said, " There are a lot of good people who work there who have agriculture's best interest in mind." Rep. Comer also commented that he thought that the Agriculture Department was one of the better departments in state government but said, "I believe it's like everything else in state government-it can be improved."

With regard to his role as a member of the House Agriculture Committee Comer stated that he enjoys working on the House Committee and that the Committees' success was due to the truly non-partisan manner in which business is conducted. Rep. Comer also sits on the Appropriation & Revenue Committee and the Banking & Insurance Committee.

Rep. James Comer represents Kentucky House District 53 which is comprised of Cumberland, Green, Metcalfe and Monroe Counties.

Beshear Stepping Up West Kentucky Efforts

Governor Beshear and his administration seem to be finding their way to Western Kentucky quite a bit these days. In the last few weeks Beshear has worked to help bring some jobs to Madisonville and Hopkinsville. Beshear appeared in Madisonville with representatives of General Electric to provide them some help while also meeting privately with executives who are considering Hopkinsville as a site for a manufacturing plant. There have even been a few appointments for West Kentuckians in recent weeks. A Beshear fundraiser was held in Hopkinsville a couple of weeks ago and sources have estimated the event raised $30,000.

Dan Mongiardo has also been spending a lot of time in West Kentucky in his official role as Lt. Governor. Mongiardo has been addressing and listening to some of the needs in this end of the state while also talking about issues that are dear to him.

I have confirmed that there is an effort to organize an independent slate for Governor/Lt. Governor for 2011. Organizational calls have been coming out of the Purchase Area. People have been disappointed in the lack of attention paid to West Kentucky and it would seem that Beshear's actions as of late would signify that maybe he's working to repair and restore some confidence in this end of the state. I'm not sure that an Independent slate is necessary the right answer to address West Kentucky's concern.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ryan Alessi & 'Pure Politics' Airs Tonight on CN/2

Pure Politics hosted by Ryan Alessi will  air tonight on CN/2. As reported by CN/2 the half-hour show will provide Kentucky political news and analysis. The program will air weekdays at 7pm est and again at 11:30pm. Insight Communications subscribers in Louisville, Lexington, Central Kentucky and Northern Kentucky will be able to view. Western Kentuckians who subscribe in Bowling Green, Henderson, Dawson Springs and Providence will also be able to watch. CN/2 states that portions of the show will be available online at CN/2 Politics. 

Hamrick for State Treasurer Campaign Releases Logo


The Hamrick for State Treasurer Campaign has released their campaign logo. Hopkinsville resident and Murray native Steve Hamrick stated in a press release that he is excited about the race but has tempered his campaign so far out of respect for other Democrats who are trying to raise money and get elected this Fall.

Hamrick served as  Development Director of the Kentucky Private Industries Council under the Gov. John Y. Brown Administation. A former Economic Developoment Director for both Marion and Christian County, Hamrick also served as Executive Director of Capital Expo. Steve Hamrick has served on the Democratic Executive Committee's in Graves, Christian, Marshall and Franklin Counties. 

West Kentucky Journal: A New Look

Ivan and Mary Potter have upgraded their website to provide a new look and better technology. Now simply the "West Kentucky Journal" can be found at http://www.westkyjournal.com/

Friday, September 17, 2010

Kentucky Native Steve Pardue To Play on ESPN 2 Tonight


Steve Pardue by Scott Sickler

A trivia question for UK fans- What do Wesley Woodyard, Braxton Kelley, Joe Mansour, Mychal Bailey, Randall Burdan, Pat Simmons, Qua Huzzie and Tristian Johnson all have in common? Yes, they all belong to UK but they also all played for Steve Pardue at LaGrange High School in Georgia.
Tonight ESPN 2 will televise the LaGrange vs Carver-Columbus game at 6pm cst/7pm est.

Joker Phillips, Head Football Coach at the University of Kentucky, said, " Steve is as good of a coach that I've been around. He really knows how to relate to kids." Phillips went on say that he has known Steve Pardue for 12 or 13 years and believes there is a number of reasons why Pardue has been so successful. Coach Phillips said, "He's organized and they provide a great environment. Steve has a great staff and he knows the X's and O's."

LaGrange will be a big under dog this evening against a loaded Carver-Columbus team that boast one of the best running backs in the nation. LaGrange Defensive Coordinator Donnie Branch stated that LaGrange did not have as many of  the D-1 prospects as in prior years. Branch said that LaGrange Linebacker, Chauncey Smith (#2), would definitely be one player to watch. Smith has committed to Southern  Mississippi.

Steve Pardue said," They've got a really good football team and probably have eleven to fifteen D-1 prospects."Carver-Columbus running back Isaiah Crowell may be the best running back in the country according to Pardue. Coach Pardue commented that the ESPN game had generated a lot of excitement. "We had 700 t-shirts and we sold out," said Coach Pardue.

A product of Christian County's football program, Pardue started out as a manager for the late Coach Fred Clayton. Franklin High School (TN) Head Football Coach Craig Clayton was Pardue's position coach at Christian County. Clayton said, "My dad would pick Steve up everyday and take him to practice. He started out as a manager and ended up a scholarship athlete." Clayton stated that Pardue was a solid high school player who turned into a really good athlete at Austin Peay State University. "I told Steve that if he ever made it to a state championship game that we would be there" In 2001 Pardue would make it to his first title game. "Anita and the kids we loaded up the car and drove to Cedartown, Georgia to be with Steve. The good news was he won, the bad news was that we drove all the way back to Kentucky that night."



Coach Pardue commented that while he may be out matched tonight his team had one advantage. "Our kids believe they can win and that makes a big difference". "As excited as I am about the opportunity to play on ESPN I just know how excited my mom would have been and wished she could be here to see it". Coach Pardue's mother passed away in January of this year.

Win or lose, Coach Steve Pardue has enjoyed an exceptional career and he can be assured that friends, family and fans will be watching all across Kentucky.

*My Thanks to Joker Phillips, Craig Clayton, Donnie Branch, and Steve Pardue for taking time to interview. Permission to use photographs from the LaGrange HS Website provided by Donnie Branch.

  

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sen. Pendleton Treated at Lexington Hospital

State Senator Joey Pendleton earned himself a couple days rest at Baptist Hospital in Lexington after being treated for a partially blocked artery. Pendleton was admitted late Monday night and test revealed that he would need a stint. Sen. Pendleton is resting comfortably and is expected to be released this afternoon or early Friday morning.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rep. John Tilley Sponsors Amendment to Protect Hunting & Fishing

Rep.Tilley by Bud Kraft LRC Public Information




Rep. John Tilley, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, joined fellow lawmakers in sponsoring legislation that would strengthen the rights of those who hunt and fish.

The proposed constitutional amendment proposed by Rep. Leslie Combs and House Speaker Greg Stumbo would ensure that hunting and fishing could never be outlawed without a statewide vote of the people.

A dozen other states have included similar language in their constitution, and voters in Arkansas, South Carolina and Arizona will have the opportunity to add their state to the list in November. A handful of those states took action relatively early in their statehood-1777 in Vermont' case, for example-but most of those votes have taken place since 1996.

"Our constitution protects elemental rights that no legislature or court can override," said Rep. Tilley. I believe the same should hold true in these cases as well."

Rep. Tilley noted that the amendment does not affect local, state, and federal laws that regulate, but not outlaw, hunting and fishing. "This amendment has no bearing on such things as licenses, seasons or trespassing laws," he said. "It simply ensures that hunting and fishing have the protections they deserve, because they are such a crucial part of our heritage and play an important role in our economy. None of us sponsoring this amendment wants to see them curtailed if the only reason is because of those who oppose the sports altogether."

Tilley said, "Earlier this year, the legislature took a positive step forward to ensure that the care of livestock and horses is protected at the state level and not subject to local changes that could unfairly penalize farmers. This constitutional amendment is the next logical step."

The proposed constitutional amendment reads: The citizens of Kentucky have the right to hunt,fish, and harvest wildlife, including the use of traditional methods, subject only to statutes enacted by the Legislature and administrative regulations adopted by the designated state agency to promote wildlife conservation and management and to preserve the future of hunting and fishing. Public hunting and fishing shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife. This section shall not be construed to modify any provision of law relating to trespass or property rights."

Rep. Tilley,a former prosecutor, was recognized for his work as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee last week by the Kentucky County Attorney's Association. Tilley received the 2010 "Legislative Excellence Award" at the annual meeting last week. Woodford County Attorney Alan George, who presented the plaque and serves as the association's treasurer, said, Rep. Tilley was honored because of his efforts in expanding the DUI law to included mind-altering substances.

**Information quoted from LRC Press Releases

Sen. David Williams Declares Candidacy for Kentucky Governor



As expected Sen. David Williams has announced his intentions to run for Governor with Ritchie Farmer as his running mate. The question now remains is if Trey Grayson will follow suit. Grayson is holding his cards close to his vest but sources say he wants to run but also wants to wait on a public announcement. Unfortunately for Grayson he probably doesn't have but at best a couple weeks to decide and announce. Williams is already locking up support and courting Conservative Democrats in Rural Kentucky who are unhappy with the Beshear Administration. Williams knows he will need Rural Democrats to win and he is making sure they know that they(Conservative Democrats) will have a friend in David Williams.

The Williams/Farmer Campaign has a three minute video which is actually really good. Their Campaign website is at www.williamsfarmer.com


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Another Bounty Hunter Going After Sen. Pendleton?


What's the old saying, "that which does not kill you only makes you stronger." Opponents have been trying to hunt down Sen. Joey Pendleton for years but with no success. Now, Bill Johnson of Todd County says he may consider opposing Pendleton or possibly making a run at Secretary of State. 

Johnson stands on the right side of the big ticket issues in the 3rd District but so does Sen. Pendleton. In 2008, Sen. Pendleton overcame a strong challenge from Republican Tom Jones. Jones, a conservative and a veteran, was well financed. The 2008 election was probably the best chance Republicans could have had with Obama on the ballot. McCain carried all 3 counties in the 3rd District which includes Christian, Todd, and Logan Counties. McCain garnered 61% in Christian, 68% in Todd, and 64% in Logan. Pendleton carried all 3 counties against his Republican opponent winning by 4,931 voters or 56.5%.

In 2004, most local pundits predicted that Pendleton would be upset. The 2004 race got ugly and personal like the 2008 race but again Pendleton fended off the challenge winning with 54% of the vote.

If anything Sen. Pendleton has probably gotten stronger since 2008. After the death of State Rep. Jim Bruce, Pendleton went out of his way to court and add many of the Bruce factions to his organization. Like the Outlaw Josie Wales, Sen. Pendleton is used to roaming the country side out maneuvering and gunning down the bounty hunters. Whether it be Bill Johnson or someone else, I imagine Sen. Pendleton could care less. I didn't bother asking for a response from Sen. Pendleton regarding Bill Johnson but I'm sure his response to Bill Johnson would be to light up a cigar and say,"are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Jack Conway Stands Up for Kentucky Farmers

Jack Conway has taken the offensive against Rand Paul's position opposing farm subsidies. Jacob Payne and the folks at Page One Kentucky reported that the Conway Campaign handed out checks (above) at the Kentucky State Fair. Conway has gone on record as supporting farm subsidies. Read the full story at Page One
(Permission granted for use of picture by Jacob Payne,PageOneKentucky)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Trey Grayson Ready to Run for Governor of Kentucky

Is Trey Grayson about to announce his candidacy for Governor of Kentucky? Sources close to Grayson tell me that he has decided to seek the Republican nomination next year. With all the talk of a Williams-Farmer slate one can expect that Grayson will choose someone from Jefferson County or maybe West Kentucky to be his running mate.

After Grayson's disastrous primary run for U.S. Senate most believe that Grayson has taken on new advisers and will not go down the same road with the McConnell folks this time. There is an old saying in politics that you will never win a race the same way twice and I think that probably should apply to losing.

After spending a week on the road in Louisville and Central Kentucky it has opened my eyes to a few things. It's not just Rural Kentucky that's unhappy-no its everywhere. Democrats and Republicans alike are ready for something more and new. I found in Louisville that Democrats are tired of the left wing and Republicans are tired of the right wing. The mood is about taxes, big government, regulations and the economy. No doubt that Kentucky is divided regionally on certain issues but I think in this election cycle there is more that unifies Kentucky than divides it when it comes to issues. 

Those who want to be successful in Kentucky would be well advised to listen to the folks on the street instead of towing the party line.

Mark Hayden: When the Helper Needs Help

They were known as the "Brethren", a 70's rock and roll cover band from the Purchase Area. Mark Hayden and his fellow musicians would even chart a song called "Never Thought I'd Hear You Say Goodbye" which would make it to #7 on the local Top 40. Mark never relinquished his passion for music passing it on to his children and those around him. Always there ready and willing to use his talent to help those in need, but now this time is different. The helper now needs help.

Mark Hayden was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this Spring. He is no longer able to work and his wife and family are forced to deal with the financial struggle that comes with such a debilitating disease. Friends, neighbors, and fellow musicians are coming together to help Mark and his family this Saturday. A benefit is being held Saturday August 28th from 4-8pm at "His House Ministry" at 1250 Cuba Rd,(State Route 303) outside Mayfield, Kentucky.

Carol Duke, benefit organizer, stated that she has been overwhelmed by the support from local merchants and churches. Duke explained that there will be an auction, bake sale and music to help raise money.

Steve Holshouser, owner of McIntosh Road Studios and an original member of the Brethen said, "Mark is the purest spirit I've ever known, he's unselfish and genuine". Mark Hayden joined with Steve Holshouser last year to record and produce an album entitled "Backporch State of Mind" for which the proceeds went to raise money for the Poly cystic Disease Foundation and the David Celaya Art Scholarships. An anthology of all the songs Mark Hayden has recorded is being produced and will be on sale at the benefit, said Holshouser.

Ronnie Jackson of Murray, Kentucky who has played with many of these musicians for years said, "We've all used our music over the years for good causes and to help those in need but now we must ask for some support in helping one of our own." 

Anyone wishing to make a contribution can do so at any Regions Bank location in the U.S. The account set up is called: "Play It Forward". 

For more information about the Mark Hayden-"Play It Forward" Benefit
Contact: Carol Duke at 270-804-6363 or email at dragonfly.lady1@hotmail.com

Obama Tune Sends Football Coach to The Showers

 Mayfield native Bryan Glover made national news this week after he was fired from his job at Grassland Middle School in Franklin, Tennessee. Glover, a football coach, was dismissed after he performed and distributed a song critical of President Obama. A national controversy has ensued over the issue of free speech rights.

Early reports stated that Glover's song, "When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail", contained racial overtones for which the Williamson County School System found inappropriate. Not true. After watching the video and then reading the lyrics it is clear that there are no racial overtones. This story has been sensationalized by Fox News and other media outlets across the Nation. By all accounts Bryan Glover is a great football coach, a really good singer/musician and a stand up guy. 

 Was Bryan Glover just exercising his constitution right of free speech-yes he was. Should Bryan Glover been fired just because he released a song-no he shouldn't have. Should Bryan Glover used school email list and a school computer to distribute it-probably not-ouch!

I spoke with a number of folks in the school system and in the Franklin Community today and all were in agreement. This was an unfortunate incident that left Williamson County Administrators few choices. No one in the school system was willing to go on the record because of possible litigation but while everyone hated the decision to dismiss Glover they understood and accepted it.

A Grassland Middle football booster who agreed to speak with me under the condition of anonymity stated that the Obama issue was blown out of proportion and the only issue was the misuse of school computers. The booster said that Glover had been pressure by someone in the music industry to release the song via email and over the inet so that the music entrepreneur in question could make a buck.

In short everyone lost here. Grassland Middle lost a good coach and Bryan Glover lost his job because he made a poor and rash decision to quickly release a song using a school computer. His dismissal was not about race or Obama but about bad judgement.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sen. Pendleton Elected Vice Chair of SLC Agriculture Committee

Sen. Joey Pendleton was elected vice chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) at its 64th annual meeting. Sen. Pendleton said, " I am honored to chosen vice chair of such an important committee. This position will not only provide me the opportunity to share ideas with my counterparts in other states, but also the concerns and issues facing the Commonwealth."

Sen. Pendleton, a farmer, added that the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee focuses on issues critical to the future of farming and farm communities. As the "engine of the economy," agriculture constitutes a vital sector of the economies of most Southern states.

Recent committee initiatives include updates on international trade and agriculture, consolidation in the farm sector, and conservation and farm land preservation. Other issues in which the Committee has long standing interests are the imported red fire ant, the status of the rural South, and food safety and security. The Committee has focused on the changing face of agriculture across America and conditions in the rural South. The status and future of rural communities is emerging as a major focus of the Committee. The Committee also works annually with public and private agencies, local and federal officials, and the land grant university system to assure the continued vitality of the region's farm and rural communities.

The Agriculture and Rural Development Committee is the oldest of the seven SLC standing committees. Sen. Pendleton represents the 3rd District which includes Christian, Todd, and Logan counties.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fancy Farm: Behind The Smiles and Singing

Names and conversations were hemorrhaging from my head as I began to drive home from Kentucky Dam Village this morning. What should I write, what can I say, what stories and people should I share? With only a few notes to lean on, my concerns seemed to diminish the farther I journeyed down Hwy. 68. A quiet ride that provided scenes of our lakes, ducks flying over, a small buck crossing the road, folks heading to church, and wild turkey feeding in the fields was just the reminder I needed to gain my perspective.

After sitting down to read the accounts of all the Fancy Farm events it was pretty clear I hate to say, that the political journalist did a poor job of reporting and seeking out stories. Ryan Alessi and CN/2 are the exception whereas they seemed to be hustling any story they could find. I don't know if others just missed them or chose not to write about them. With that said I will provide what I came home with.

LABOR LUNCHEON

Former Governor Julian Carroll now State Senator gave one of the two best speeches made this past weekend. Carroll gave a rousing speech at the labor luncheon in defense of Western Kentucky and pulled no punches in delivering the feelings shared by a majority of West Kentucky Democrats. We have no representation in Frankfort, we have no state office holders who reside in West Kentucky, we have no one in leadership and on and on commented Carroll. Those outside West Kentucky were calling it a sermon while those in the room from West Kentucky were quietly saying AMEN!!

House Speaker Greg Stumbo provided the much needed levity by telling a story about a preacher, a sinner, and a goat. Stumbo opted not to share the story again which I believe he probably should have. Tell it all brother.

Behind the smiles and singing it was obvious that there was a great deal of anxiety being felt by everyone from everywhere. Many would blame the hard fought primary between Conway and Mongiardo as the problem but all that is simply a symptom of much larger problems. 

LABOR

I had the opportunity to meet with some labor leaders from Louisville to hear their take and concerns about candidates and the general election. I appreciated their honesty and their comments. One gentlemen asked me what the hell was wrong with us down here regarding his belief that we (Western Kentucky) were ruining the Democratic Party. He commented that the only thing left in West Kentucky was God and meth. I laughed pretty hard then they shared with me that they were disgruntled with Conway and had their own issues. They made it clear that although they intended to vote for Jack Conway there would be no effort to organize the labor ranks in Louisville on his behalf. After hearing their comments I came to the conclusion that maybe Democrats have some issues in other places beside just West Kentucky.

MARSHALL COUNTY BEAN DINNER

The Bean Dinner or as we refer to it, The Mike Miller Dinner, has become the event for Western Kentucky politicos. The food is always good and I have the most fun at this event. I probably should be ashamed but I get the biggest kick out of standing in the food line and asking people who don't select the onions and pepper relish to put in the white beans if they are from Lexington or Louisville. They always reply,"How did you know that?" There wasn't anything out of the ordinary that happened this year other than those folks who are seeking to run next year.

2011 Candidates

Bob Farmer- of Jefferson County is running for Commissioner of Agriculture.

Rep. John Tilley-is considering the Attorney General position.

Stewart Gritton- of Anderson County is also running for Commissioner of Agriculture.

Steve Hamrick-of Hopkinsville is running for State Treasurer.

Critt Luallen- Most expect her run for Secretary of State. (I was informed a few hours ago of someone in Jefferson County who is seriously considering running for Auditor. This person would be a creditable candidate and comes from a very prominent Kentucky family. They didn't want to go public just yet and I assure you that it's nobody on the present political radar.)

FRIENDS OF LEXINGTON RECEPTION

The Fayette County folks held a nice reception in Mayfield. I enjoyed meeting them and listening to their comments. Some noted that they were frustrated and had been inconvenienced by the cultural differences between West Kentucky and Lexington. I sincerely want people to have a good experience when they visit West Kentucky but I also believe that maybe their experience provided an opportunity. An opportunity to appreciate the diversity Kentucky provides and maybe a better understanding of what is required to build political unity. Don Blevins who is running for the State Senate gave a good speech and made his case for taking back control of the Senate.

GREEN TURTLE BAY RECEPTION

OK, white beans and cornbread is not your forte so why did you not go to the reception at Green Turtle Bay? You said you were frustrated because liquor and beer was not readily accessible so why did you not go to the reception at Green Turtle Bay? You said you had difficulties with the culture and you wanted to smoke and dance so why did you not go to the reception at Green Turtle Bay? You said you were tired of corn fields and barns so why did you not go to the reception at Green Turtle Bay?

Green Turtle Bay offered a really nice venue for those who prefer to be entertained in an upscale environment. Big houses, big boats, a yacht club and a spa- they have it all. I'm not sure how many yacht clubs there are in Kentucky but we've got one in West Kentucky. I could not go in because I don't own a yacht nor am I a member, but I bet it's as nice as the other yacht clubs that I'm not a member of in Kentucky.

This event offered a fancy reception at their spa. They had open bar and featured Woodford Reserve. There was live music and snazzy hor d' vores(snacks) to enjoy. There were really pretty girls who were even nice to me. I've dubbed them the Turtle-etts. Republicans and Democrats alike seemed to enjoy themselves so for those who really like that sort of thing-Why did you not go to the reception at Green Turtle Bay.

The Breakfast at Mayfield High School

This was a standing room only event. Carroll Hubbard was the master of ceremonies  and shared the intro responsibilities with Rep. Fred Nesler and Rep. John Will Stacey. The only interesting comments came from House Majority Whip John Will Stacey when said that Rep. John Tilley would make a good Attorney General. This came to the chagrin of a few who are now starting to realize that Tilley has been very quietly locking up support state wide for months.

Fancy Farm

Fancy Farm is an example that big is not always better. The event which I have attended since 1969 (the first one I remember) has lost some of its appeal for me. Fancy Farm is about Western Kentucky. It's about coming to visit us and hearing about our issues and beliefs not everyone else's. Fancy Farm is now over run with those who get hauled in to cheer and jeer to the extent that one might as well be at Six Flags.

The best speech of the weekend was delivered by Governor Steve Beshear much to my surprise. The Beshear speech may have been his best. Conway gets an "A" for delivery but a "D" for content. He rehashed the same speech he has been giving when Western Kentuckians were expecting a speech  that was dedicated to West Kentucky issues. Granted Conway mentioned agriculture subsidies but failed horribly to mention any issue that is key to folks in Western Kentucky. Conway is now forced to rely on a strategy that predicates success on the other guy screwing up. Hopefully Conway will put more emphasis on agriculture and military issues in the weeks to come.

KDP

I appreciated the efforts of the KDP staff who genuinely seemed to be interested in the concerns of West Kentucky. After meeting and speaking with Daniel Logsdon I'm convinced he is more concerned about being a work horse as opposed to a show horse. I think Logsdon understands that a "Team Effort" means more than just a few or one area of the state. After getting off to a rocky start I believe he is working hard to mend some fences and get everyone headed in the right direction.

Tidbits

Mike Lawrence- Former McCracken County Circuit Court Clerk is perplexed by the number of democrats who are raising money but aren't on the ballot in November. Many canidates around Kentucky are finding it hard to compete in this fundraising environment. Given Jack Conway's present strategy I would think that he needs Mike Lawerence and Rex Smith to run very competitive races.

Rep. Will Coursey made it clear that he would not be defined or lumped into a crowd with Obama , Reid or Pelosi. Coursey stated he was committed to the beliefs of his district.

Jerry Lundergun was surrounded with lots of new friends all praying that he will push the button on his speed dial that says B.C.

Rep. Jody Richards was the recipient of much good will and support for his bid to become House Speaker Pro-Tem. Richards, not only a West Kentucky advocate, but a life long friend of Labor in Kentucky.

Carroll Hubbard- Rumors were flying regarding Hubbard's intention to run for the State Senate again.

Rocky Adkins- is not closing the door on a possible run for Governor.

Todd Hollenbach-Apparently has visions of sugar plums dancing in his head and notions that he may now want to be Attorney General. Given his inability to raise money and build a credible state wide organization, most pundits believe he will not seek to run for any office next year. 

Gatewood- Again

Rex Smith- appears poised to take a good shot at Bob Leeper. Some think Smith can win in a 3 way race. Smith is a former state representative and a successful businessman.

Eddie Jacobs- I just like the guy. He has a nice get together after the bean dinner and I was forced to miss it. I got stuck at Green Turtle Bay when the shuttle did not return.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Observations of Conway's West Kentucky Swing

I decided to attend a Jack Conway function in Trigg County this evening to see for myself how Conway was adapting to nominee status in Rural Kentucky. I will preface my comments by saying that I have little patience or time to go listen to the same losing tune of another democratic nominee for Congress or the U.S. Senate but Conway earned some points tonight. Conway was at ease and comfortable with his surroundings unlike other events I've seen him at in past years. I think slowly but surely Jack has resigned himself to appreciate the value of Rural Kentucky and it's importance to his chances in November.

I was looking for the usual performance by Louisville candidates which goes somthing like  "let's shake their hand, get their money and get the hell out of dodge before we have visions of a certain Ned Beatty scene" but that did not happen. Conway actually seemed to be enjoying himself. Trigg County turned out over 50 people by my count which is a "Communion Sunday" for Democrats in  small counties like Trigg. Conway was joined by State Auditor Critt Luallen, Rep. John Tilley, and Rep. Mike Cherry from neighboring Caldwell County.

Conway gave a palatable speech but is probably hammering too much on certain issues that aren't a big priority in Western Kentucky. Agriculture and the Military are big issues and Conway did stress the importance of agriculture while reaffirming his support for the farmers. While the Conway campaign is starting to engage rural issues the window of opportunity to capitalize on them is waining. Rand Paul has missed the boat on a number of these issues and the time is now for Jack Conway to marry a few of them instead of just dating them.

Conway was in Hopkinsville prior to the Trigg County event and sources tell me that he had a better than expected crowd in Benton on Monday night. It would appear that Mongiardo and Conway have worked to bury the hatchet but that doesn't necessarily transfer the Rural Kentucky vote to Conway. Unless Rand Pual's campaign just implodes, what Jack Conway says and does in Rural Kentucky in the next few weeks will determine the fate of his campaign. By my barometer Conway is probably 8-10 points down in West Kentucky but the right words at Fancy Farm could send Rand Paul to the mat.

As a side bar I couldn't resist asking Critt Luallen if her back was hurting from having to pack Todd Hollenbach on Bill Goodman's show Monday night. Luallen was gracious and commented that she thought Todd had a couple good responses. With that segment in mind I was a little surprised that both Luallen and Hollenbach practically endorsed Beshear for a second term. Some are speculating that maybe Hollenbach has made a deal to go to work in the Beshear Administration as opposed to seeking reelection. I would think it premature to endorse a candidate in the primary when you have to run your self. At last word House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins is taking a hard look at the Governor's race and is generating some excitement among West Kentuckians who feel Beshear has not delivered on his promises nor stood with his friends when its mattered.

Next year is ripe for a lot of candidates with a lot of animosity to be created which may very well play into a Republican hand. It should all be interesting!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tilley Considering Run for Kentucky Attorney General

Representative John C. Tilley of Hopkinsville will consider seeking the Democratic Party's nomination for Attorney General. Tilley, a long-time former prosecutor, currently serves as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Tilley has been quietly feeling out the race for a number of months. Rep. Tilley said, "I've been encouraged by friends and colleagues privately for some time to consider running for Attorney General and now I think it's time to expand the conversation to Democrats across Kentucky."

Rep. Tilley stated that he has already received strong commitments of support from every region of the Commonwealth. "I'm humbled by the number of Democratic Party leaders who have asked me to seriously consider the race,"said Tilley. In the House Tilley also serves on a number of committees which include Banking & Insurance, State Government and Vice-Chair of the Military Affairs & Public Safety Committee.

As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Tilley serves as Co-Chair of the Judicial Education Commission and the Court Facilities Standards Committee. Rep. Tilley is also a member and active participant on the National Criminal & Law Justice Committee and the National Judicial Corrections Reinvestment Work Group. Tilley is unopposed for a third term representing the 8th District which includes Christian and Trigg Counties.