Monday, January 25, 2010

Sen. Pendleton Cleared After Long Witch Hunt

The Attorney Generals Office cleared State Senator Joey Pendleton of any wrong doing from a partisan complaint that was filed years ago. Pendleton, who served many years as the Farm Manager at Murray State University had been accused of- what I'm not real sure but something about being paid as an MSU employee while serving in the Legislature.

Murray State University President Randy Dunn cut the position and the Agriculture budget when he became President. Dunn came to Kentucky after his exodus from Illinois as a political lieutenant to indicted former Governor Blagojevich.

I'm glad this matter has come to a close and I know Senator Pendleton is also glad to put this lame issue to rest. Many a political opportunist have hung this issue over Senator Pendleton's head using the issue at hand as a tool for political blackmail. In the end if your going to throw skubala at a State Senator of 17 years you better hope it sticks, because I would imagine the good Senator being a farmer probably has a field or two of it to throw back.

Rep. Tilley Files for Third Term

It seems like yesterday that we were sitting up to all hours of the early morning in my den working on issues, ads and strategy. Not much sleep to be had in the Fall of 2006 between handling the issues and media for Tilley, Madisonville Mayor Will Cox, & Rep. Carl Rollins. I'm starting to look back on that fondly as the years go by. At the time it could be aggravating staying up late while Rep. Tilley sat in my floor working endlessly for hours at a time to maybe change one word, in one sentence, in one paragraph. Tilley, the son of an English major, has an OCD streak in him when it comes to details. Some nights his wife Shelly would be forced to just fall asleep in one of my chairs. There were times I just went to bed and left Tilley and his campaign manager John Lindsey Adams with his one word to fix.

Today, four years later, Rep. John Tilley has filed for another term. Many things have changed since then. Rep. Tilley is now Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Carl Rollins is Chairman of the House Education Committee, & Will Cox will be seeking his second term as Mayor of Madisonville.

The last couple of years have gone by quickly. John & Shelly were married before the Fall Campaign began and now have a new baby. John has work tirelessy on many issues that don't make headlines as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He has managed well in representing his constituents in a very diverse district. House District 8 includes the City of Hopkinsville and part of Trigg County.

I am proud to say that the passage of the Military Income Tax Exemption will go down as one of John Tilley's greatest accomplishments. I often tell Rep. Tilley that one day we will look back and see just how important this legislation was to our area. Many have pushed the Exemption and deserve a piece of the credit but Tilley made it a center piece of his agenda from day one.

Why will John Tilley go unopposed in the Primary and General Election? because he respects the beliefs of his constituency even though he might not always agree. Tilley understands that you run at home not in Frankfort. District 8 is a tough district. The South West end of Hopkinsville along with the Trigg County portion is very Conservative. Inner City Hopkinsville has one of the largest African-American populations in Kentucky per capita. The district comprises a large number of military families and veterans.

Rep. Tilley understands that he can't always balance the geography & ideology with his votes but he can and does try to find issues to champion, that unite the District instead of dividing it. Focusing on issues like education, protecting our children, health care and our military & veterans is the reason why Rep. Tilley will be returned to Frankfort without opposition.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Conway Embraces Conservatism in West Kentucky

I don't think a candidate should be criticized for changing their mind on an issue every once in a while but for Jack Conway to come to Western Kentucky and claim to be the Conservative candidate well that is a stretch for me. The good folks at West Kentucky Journal of Politics & Issues reported that Conway was campaigning as the Conservative choice. You can read their full report at

I gave credit to Conway's campaign in 2007 for doing a much better job with their media in the General Election. If you remember Jack slapped on some boots and boarded a tractor to lessen the Liberal Louisville image. Remember "Jack's Got Your Back"--It worked!

In the past year Lt. Governor Dan Mongiardo has worked Western Kentucky as hard any candidate since maybe Grady Stumbo or Wallace Wilkerson. It would be hard for anyone to claim that Mongiardo does not line up well with most Rural Kentuckians on most issues. I'm glad to see that Conway is coming to the middle on issues but in all fairness you can't blame the Mongiardo Campaign for taking him to task on his quick exodus from the left after the upset in Massachusetts. Mongiardo's Campaign called his conversion "An Extreme Make Over" in a press release this week.

Now is Rand Paul just smarter than everyone else-capitalizing on a message & platforms that ended up being dead on? I don't know but but he gets an "A" for timing anyway. The interesting thing about the Kentucky Senate race for the Democrats is that you have to be able to win a Primary without losing the General Election in the process. This is not an easy thing to do because unless you have your own millions to spend then Democrats are forced to raise money like a Liberal and run like a Conservative. It sounds like hypocrisy but as a Southerner, hypocrisy is probably our finest trait with the exception of our hospitable demeanor.

Again, I'm glad that Conway is getting right with God & West Kentucky as they say, but Jack could be going down a dangerous road if his shift ends up being disingenuous. Kentucky is a diverse place with contrasting political opinions. People in the Golden Triangle support certain issues as vehemently as we do certain issues in Western Kentucky. So who is right then? I don't know but I will assure you that God and myself will figure that out one day and we will let you know.

Mongiardo has every right to call into question Conway's shift and the media has a responsibility to inform the voters where each candidate stands. Conway is correct and probably smart to focus on jobs, the economy, deficit reduction & a health care reform package we can afford and live with. Rand Paul has been running on these issues for a long time while Trey Grayson and everyone else slept. Conway has a harder row to hoe than Mongiardo. Conway does not expect to win Western Kentucky but he must get his fair share of vote out of here and still leave himself room issues wise to have a chance in November. Mongiardo has an easier road because Urban folks in Kentucky or more apt to vote for Mongiardo in November than Rural folks for Conway.

In truth- it is going to be a tough going for either candidate come November. People are mad and folks down here like to get even when there angry. As I like to say, West Kentucky would rather vote against somebody as opposed to voting for someone. I don't blame them though, the Democrat Party has done a poor job or maybe a good job of opposing the political and religious beliefs of most Rural Kentuckians.

Candidates such as Jack Conway or anyone else for that matter need to be forthcoming and truthful on all the issues. I noticed at Conway's website he does not talk about very many issues that are important to Rural Kentucky. Jack has shown that he is pretty good at dating the issues but he is going to have to marry some if he is going to have any success in Rural Kentucky. People who disagree with you can still respect you and even vote for you if they know that your sincere in what you believe.

There is an ever growing gap between the political thought of Urban Kentucky and Rural Kentucky. The results in Massachusetts have caused the Democrats to vellicate. Now that they are convinced that even Urban America is not happy with a Liberal Democrat Agenda- everyone is changing their make-up. It's OK by me to change your position or switch directions but candidates like Jack Conway need to discuss all the issues important to Rural Kentucky not just the ones that smell good to him on a windy day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gov. Beshear Punts on Third Down

They say offense wins games and defense wins championships. Well, tonight Governor Beshear punted on third down. I'm guessing that he is hoping that his defense will hold and he can win in over-time.

As a friend likes to say, "he kicked the can down the street." Governor Beshear delivered his budget address to a joint session of the Kentucky General Assembly tonight, presenting his budget that included revenue from expanded gaming. Revenue that does not exist mind you.

My conclusion is that the Governor has decided that he is not going to be the "bad guy" all by himself anymore. If the Legislature is not going to give him his gambling bill then he is going to let the House and the Senate share the blame of having to cut government jobs & services. The Governors action served a dual purpose tonight politically. I will have to admit that I expected Beshear when he was elected to be better at the governing aspect of the job as opposed to the political piece. Much to my surprise he has been a pretty shrewd politician.

As I like to say he has put an "X" where there was an "O". Not much offense but a good defense. I did not think so until he chose Jerry Abramson as his running mate. At first I thought that was a lousy choice but after careful review it began to appear to me as a quite brilliant political maneuver. With the growing popularity and power of the triumvirate faction of Chandler, Conway & Luallen, most expected that Conway would would run for Governor as a fall back position should he lose the Senate race. By choosing Abramson as his running mate it would be awful hard for someone from Jefferson County to run for Governor. Beshear also gave a nice position to Chandler's wife. Actions that compromise. He put an "X" where there was an "O".

I have been disappointed in the Governor's efforts to empower Western & Rural Kentucky. When he was campaigning we were led to believe that we would have a seat at the table but that has not happened. The Governor has filled most of his positions and appointments with Liberals and fellow trial lawyers. So what does the Governor do as opposed to being labeled a Liberal?,he endorses Lt. Governor Dan Monjiardo, a Rural Populist, over the Liberal Jack Conway. Again, He puts and "X" where there was an "O".

So what was the dual purpose served by the Governor's actions tonight.First, By punting the ball to the Legislature he eliminates any free ride Speaker Stumbo might have regarding a possible Primary challenge. Stumbo along with Sen. Williams will have to assume some shared responsibility regarding any negative outcomes from a budget.

Secondly, remember about kicking the can- well, the Governor may also be able to buy some time here. Call it waiting on Washington. The General Assembly may very well put all this off until a Special Session can be called giving time to see if Kentucky will prevail in receiving more stimulus dollars. More Federal help will buy time while we wait on a better economy and possibly delay in making drastic cuts to government jobs and services.

Beshear was elected by appealing to a small fraction (10%) of independent minded voters. He works to end up in the middle most days and that will be more important than ever come next year. Beshear was elected in the first wave of these newly defined, undecided & independent minded voters. This started in 2006 not in New Jersey or Virginia. I will be discussing this new era in my next post. The problem with sticking to the middle sometimes is that eventually you will get hit by traffic from both ways. The Governor will have to be careful not alienate Rural Kentucky any more than they already are because the political environment is ripe for a good Republican candidate like Mike Duncan to run.

Even though I have not been real happy so far with Steve Beshear, I will have to give him credit-he can tread water in the deep end with a gun in his hand. He has one hell of a defense but he still going to have to put some points on the board.

Rep. Mike Cherry: 2010 Session

Rep. Mike Cherry represents District 4 in the Kentucky House of Representatives which includes Caldwell, Crittenden, Livingston, & part of McCracken county. Cherry is Chairman of the House State Government Committee. Rep. Cherry has sponsored the following legislation:
(HB-145) Amend KRS 18A.205 to provide that a retiree who has been reemployed in a full-time position within state government on or after Sept. 1,2008, shall be eligible for life insurance benefits; amend KRS 61.510 and 78.510 to provide that the retirement systems shall add one or more fiscal years to the fianl compensation calculation for employees participating in the Kentucky Employee Retirement System or the County Employee Retirement System on or after Sept. 1, 2008, if the member does not have five complete fiscal years of service upon retirement; amend KRS 61.637 to make technical changes.

(HB-146) Amend KRS 61.645 to require that two of the three members appointed by the Governor to the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees posses ten years of investment experience and to define investment experience; amend KRS 61.650 to establish a five member investment committee for the Kentucky Retirement Systems comprised of the two gubernatorial appointess with investment experience and three trustees appointed by the board chair; limit the amount of assets managed by a single external investment manager to no more than 15% of the systems' portfolio; amend KRS16.642 and 78.790 to clarify that the investment committee established by KRS 61.650 is the investment committee for the State Police Retirement System adn the County Employees Retirement System; limit the amount of assets managed by a single external investment manager to no more than 15% of the systems' portfolio.

(HB-164) An act relating to the transfer of faculty and staff providing educational services to Dept. of Corrections' inmates and declaring an emergency.

(HB-75) An act to honoring military service. Amend KRS 18A.150 t require that an employing state agency offer an interview to all finalists entitled to preference points if there are fewer than five finalist, and to no fewer than five if there are five or more; amend to clarify veteran eligibility.

(HB-96) To permit the surviving spouse of a Purple Heart recipient to keep special license plate assigned to the recipient.

(HB-147) Amend KRS 65.003 to include property valuation administrators with in local governments' codes of ethics'. Require codes of ethics to include policy on employment of members of families of PVA's with exemption as to employees hired prior to effective date of Act; amend KRS 132.370 to provide that PVA's are subject only to local governments codes of ethics.

(HB-148) relating to organizational units with the Dept. of Law, to create an office of Criminal Appeals, office of Consumer Protection, Department of Criminal Investigations, office of Special Prosecutions, office of Prosecutors Advisory Council, office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control, office of Civil and Environmental law, office of Victim's Advocacy and office of Administrative Services, and abolish the Child Support Enforcement Commission, Administrative Hearing Division, and Financial Integrity Enforcement Division; amend various other statutes to conform.

(HB-149) An act relating to executive branch employees and declaring an emergency.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Update On Sen. Pendleton & AT&T

As I reported regarding Senator Joey Pendleton being upset with Hopkinsville officials regarding the lawsuit filed by the City of Hopkinsville pertaining to AT&T's attempt to provide internet protocol video service to Hopkinsville: The Hopkinsville City Council reached an agreement with AT&T that was satisfactory to them. The City of Hopkinsville also dropped its lawsuit. It's all butterflys and rainbows now. Never discount the value of a big stick.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Constitution Party In West Kentucky

The West Kentucky Star reported that the Constitution Party in Western Kentucky was going to be hosting their regular meeting in Paducah which led my curiosity to look them up. If I was going to write a creed for what most Western Kentuckians believe in then I could have not done a better job than that which the Constitution Party advocates.

People in Rural Kentucky are not happy with the Democrats at the State or National level. I think they are not real happy with the Republicans either. People down here vote their beliefs and values not that of a political party. Every day 2010 shapes up like another 1994. With Congressman Tanner and Gordon getting out, Huntsville's Congressman switching to the Republican Party and the bad economy all leads one to surmise that Rural folks are not happy.

All politics are local and most Democrats down here are smart enough not to stick their neck out too much for the State or National Party. I think most have taken 1994 to heart and are not going to make the same mistakes of the past. Getting to far out in front of the crowd does not make one a leader. It might make you right but the only thing you will be leading after the November elections will be a boy Scout Troop or a life in the private sector.

What I found really interesting was that the guest speakers for the West Kentucky Constitution Party meeting are going to be Supreme Court Justice Bill Cunningham and a representative of the Kentucky Right to Life. I let you draw your own conclusions for now.

Rep. Brent Yonts 2010 Session

Brent Yonts represents the 15th District which includes Muhlenberg, Christian & Hopkins
Counties in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Yonts has sponsored the following pieces of Legislation in the 2010 Session.
(HB- 140)- Provides effective July 1, 2012 compulsory school attendance shall be between the ages of 6-17 by July 1, 2013 it shall be between the ages of 6-18.
(HB- 37)- Would allow a person to request a report relating to that person's own records generated with the electronic controlled substance reporting data base.
(HB-38) Would require use of the American Medical Association's Fifth Edition guide in disability determinations.
(HB-124)- Extend deadline to register petroleum tanks, extend small operator assistance account and small operator tank removal account.
(HB-144) Require university acceptance of transfer credits earned by students in dual enrollment programs, the KY Community Technical College System, and other public colleges & universities. Prohibit universities from requiring transfer students to repeat or incur cost for courses they have already passed at another institution.
(HB-129) Allow the loan forgiveness tax credit if there are insufficient funds available to the Higher Education Assistance Authority for certain loan forgiveness programs.

Some Loose Ends

A few things I wanted to mention and forgot about the past few weeks.

Larry Dale Keeling's article this week was good entitled "Welcome to the Buzzard Triangle".
One can read at his blog:

Ivan Potter at the West Kentucky Journal of Issues and Politics has some in depth commentary on the environment and West KY this week at their site.(Linked on the Rooster)

In my Tribute to the Contributions of WHOP radio and the Lackey family I failed to mention a bunch of people but wanted to mention Hank Lindsay. Hank worked at WHOP and was press secretary for Gov. Collins. Hank worked in a number of Administrations before retiring to Puerto Vallara Mexico with his wife Vickie. Former Collins Assistant Polly Vicars also retired to Puerto Vallara.

My good friend Drex Davis Sr. passed away over the holidays. Drex was always there for me and supporting me through all my KYD elections. I will pay special tribute to him later.

Former Christian County Jailer Joe Witherspoon died at age 91. I want to do a little research on the family because this should make an interesting story. Joe's father and daughter both served as Jailers in Christian County.

I was excited to find the West Kentucky Star. They have probably the best website for providing regional news in Western Kentucky. They earned a link on the Rooster.

I was very glad that WHOP has updated their website to provide more local and regional news. They are moving forward. Baby Steps. I will probably also award them with a link.

I will start soon on the U.S. Senate Race in Kentucky bringing a profile of each candidate running.

Also, we will begin to look at the West Kentucky Delegation in the Kentucky General Assembly to see what legislation each is sponsoring this year.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

UK and Hollenbach Host Symposium at Capital

I don't know much about taxes other than I always seem to owe them and that I don't much care for them. A neccessary evil to some extent. The call for tax reform in Kentucky is growing by the day. The experts say Kentucky's tax structure is outdated and needs to be changed. Just the debate leaves me a little skeptical because I figure when the music stops playing somebody is not going to have a chair. From what I have been reading I do believe we need to have better oversight of the tax encentives we give, making sure they are creating jobs and enhancing our State's economy. I think Kentuckians and the General Assembly have nothing to lose by listening. I do agree with Governor Beshear that now is not the time to be raising taxes. If we can pull back on some of the sweet heart deals to help with the revenue shortage then I think most Kentuckians would be willing to go along.

Rural Kentucky is already raw with a bad economy and the expectation that they are going to be paying more for health care & energy. I believe Rural Kentuckians are willing to do their share but most have learned that conversation and debate usually leads to a negative outcome. Many folks in the Golden Triangle view Rural Kentucky as Conservative, obstinant,and not real progressive. Well, there is a reason for this and that is we have always been smart enough to know that when reasonable people come to the table to engage in a serious debate on an issue like taxes-well, we are usallly the ones that come home with our panties around our necks.

I still believe the General Assembly and the Governor need to think outside the box regarding the better use of our tax dollars. I have preached for years the idea that Bill Cox shared with me back in the 80's. Cox proposed consolidating our Education Dollars to leverage our buying power. In short, instead of a 176 school districts buying buses, copy machines, paper ect.. individually, we should purchase items as a State not a school district. By doing this, Kentucky could not only save money but use this as a tool to bring jobs and industry. By signing long-term exclusive contracts with companies we could then use this as a tool to lure companies to Kentucky.

On Wednesday the Martin School of Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky along with Kentucky State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach are hosting a Sympsoium on "An Economic Perspective on Kentucky Tax Structure". This is going to be held in room 171 in the Capital Annex. The sympsoium begins at 8:00 am and will end at 11:45. Kentuckians can watch this live by going to the Kentucky State Treasury website.

Those speaking will include: William Fox, Professor of Economics and Director, Center for Business and Economic Research, University of Tennessee. David Wildasin, Endowed Professor of Public Finance and Professor of Economic, University of Kentucky. Kenneth Troske, Chair and William B. Sturgill Professor of Economics and Director, Center for Business and Economics. Paul Coomes, Professor of Economics and National City Research Fellow, University of Louisville. William Hoyt, Director, Martin School of Public Policy and Administration and Professor of Economics, University of Kentucky.

Maybe it is time for the General Assembly to look at possible changes that could benefit the Commonwealth. I will be listening and if you would like to then:

Listen Live by going to: Kentucky State Treasurer>Fiscal Literacy Initiative>Symposium

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sen. Pendleton Angered by Hopkinsville Officials

State Senator Joey Pendleton lashed out at Hopkinsville City Officials at a 1pm news conference today which was held at the James E. Bruce Convention Center. Pendleton is very upset over the manner in which AT&T has been treated regarding their effort & investment to provide a new Internet Protocol TV service to Hopkinsville.
Senator Pendleton told me that he felt the City of Hopkinsville was running away one of the best corporate sponsors the city had. The issue is this- should AT&T be subject to to local franchise requirements and regulations by the Hopkinsville Cable Oversight Authority? Local providers such as New Wave & Mediacom have cable franchise agreements and are bound by local regulations & oversight.
In a statement issued by Hopkinsville Mayor Dan Kemp, he states that AT&T has stated that they will not apply for a franchise and nor do they wish to submit to being regulated by the local Cable Oversight Authority like other providers. AT&T contends that they are not subject to the same rules and regulations as other cable providers. AT&T maintains that they can provide Internet protocol video services under its telephone franchise granted by the Kentucky legislature.
Well, I have talked to Senator Pendleton, Mayor Kemp, and a good number of other folks so now I'm going to take some liberties and call it- like I see it.
-Senator Pendleton feels strongly that the City of Hopkinsville is acting contrary to legislative intent and I believe by his comments takes it personally. Pendleton stated in his press release,
" I worked hard to help pass a broadband bill that has resulted in new investment and the expansion of high-speed Internet access across my district. I believe wholeheartedly that our collective success is tied to having access to leading edge technologies that can keep us connected."
"After all the time I have spent working to encourage investment and the expansion of high speed Internet access, I am perplexed by the actions of Mayor Kemp and the Hopkinsville City Council. Especially during this down economy, we should all be working together to bring new capital to our communities and we certainly should not be filing lawsuits that tell leading technology companies that their investment and innovation aren't welcome here."
So who is right and who is wrong? The City of Hopkinsville has filed suit in Christian Circuit Court asking the Court to clarify the law on the question of whether providers of Internet protocol video services are subject to local franchise requirements and regulations. The Kentucky League of Cities is helping the City of Hopkinsville with the financial aspects of the law suit.
-Some Council folks think AT&T are just taking advantage of a loop hole so as to have an unfair advantage. Some told me that advantage or not, we should be thankful that AT&T is willing to invest in the community and the technology which will provide a benefit to the area.
-Many are upset over waisting money on a lawsuit even though the Kentucky League of Cities is bearing much of the cost. This was probably under estimated by Mayor Kemp regarding the degree of contempt harbored by many citizens regarding the financial mess at KLC and KACo.
-I raised the question of why the City just did not request an Attorney Generals Opinion but was told that Attorney General Jack Conway has a big conflict since his Father-in-Law is an AT&T Executive. Between the Attorney Generals relatives and his millions in natural gas stock it would seem that Jack would be better suited as a lobbyist as opposed to a AG or Senator?
-In fairness to Mayor Kemp, who is mild mannered and a process thinker, his comments seemed to me that he was in favor of AT&T positions but at the same time could not ignore the legitimate concerns that some had regarding the legal question that had been raised. Kemp was a successful attorney before running for Mayor. Kemp said," I'm trying to help resolve this, I am for choice and competition."
For me, I guess I share Senator Pendleton's frustration!! In a bad economy, and an economy that is not getting any better in Rural Kentucky, why in the world are we picking a fight with someone who wants to invest in our community. Yea, we might all feel different in a better economy but beggars can't be choosers. Is AT&T pulling a fast one? Who knows. Is New Wave and Mediacom going to get screwed some where down the line? Probably. Is Mayor Kemp spending too much time trying to be fair and provide process to all as opposed to just being a good politician for a change? Probably. Did City Council pass the buck as opposed to just making a decision? Probably
So, what do we know for sure? I think we can safely say that Senator Pendleton ain't happy. The good Senator is becoming more like Jim Bruce everyday-"Busting heads and watch um scatter". It would probably serve a number of local politicians well to stay out of his way for a while. As for me I don't watch much TV or cable anyway. Support your library-it's free.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

WHOP Radio: A Birthday, Broadcasting and Politics

On January 8, 1940 WHOP radio in Hopkinsville opened its door and took to the air waves. This week the station has been celebrating the history, the personalities, & the contributions that have been made to the area for 70 years. This milestone brings to light the legacy of one family that helped pioneer the broadcasting industry & three generations of public service in Western Kentucky.When Ernest Lackey became Mayor of Paducah in 1916, little did he know that three of his seven sons would help pioneer radio and politics in Kentucky.

Three Generations: Six Mayors, State Senator, State School Board Chairman,Kentucky Public Service Commission, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Charitable Gaming.

It all began when Pierce Lackey who had made money in numerous business ventures such as insurance and real estate convinced the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) to grant him a license. Then head of the FRC was no other than a man named Herbert Hoover. "Pierce was the guy who started it all", said Henry Lackey. Lackey, who is the nephew of Pierce Lackey, owns WSON in Henderson. Henry told me that Pierce Lackey had the money, the ability, and the personality to succeed. "Pierce was known to enjoy a drink and the race track, he could win ten thousand dollars one day and lose twenty the next weekend."

Pierce Lackey would be granted a license to start WPAD in Paducah in the 1930's making it the 5th oldest station in Kentucky. Pierce would follow in his Father's footsteps and serve as Mayor of Paducah from 1940-1944. After getting WPAD off the ground Pierce would dispatch his brother Hecht Lackey to Hopkinsville to open WHOP in January of 1940. Hecht would soon move on to Henderson to open and operate WSON for Pierce. Ernest "Dutch" Lackey, who was the youngest of the Lackey sons was sent to Hopkinsville to run WHOP.

Besides WPAD, WHOP, &WSON the Lackey brothers would start and purchase more stations in Mayfield, Madisonville, Illinois, and Richmond, Indiana. Hecht and Dutch Lackey would later buy their respective stations from brother Pierce in Hopkinsville and Henderson. Hecht and Dutch would also follow the lead of Pierce by getting involved in politics and public service.

Henry Grider Lackey, son of Hecht Lackey would also serve as Mayor of Henderson and State Senator. Sherry Lackey Jeffers, Daughter of Dutch Lackey would serve as Mayor of Hopkinsville and be appointed to the Public Service Commission by Governor Collins.

The History

-Ernest Lackey: Mayor of Paducah (1916)

-Pierce Lackey: Mayor of Paducah (1940-44)

-Hecht Lackey: Mayor of Henderson (1954-62)
State School Board Chairman

-Dutch Lackey: Mayor of Hopkinsville (1958-65)

-Sherry Jeffers: Mayor of Hopkinsville (1982-86)
Member Public Service Commission
{Daughter of Dutch Lackey}

-Henry G. Lackey: Mayor of Henderson (2003-06)

State Senator (1981-86)(1990-94)
Commissioner-KY Dept. of Charitable Gaming (present)
{Son of Hecht Lackey}

Some Interesting Notes:

Hecht Lackey ran unsuccessfully for Lt. Governor in 1937 finishing 4th. Also lost a bid for the State Senate in 1961.

Henry Lackey notes the really bad names all the Lackey men were stuck with: Pierce, Hecht, Grider, Pruitt, Herndon, Ezell. "Why in the world would you name your son Ezell" said Lackey. Of course they were all family names.

Katherine Peden: Dutch Lackey would name Peden General Manager of WHOP in Hopkinsville in the 1950's. "This was unheard of for a Woman to be GM of a station in Kentucky or else where then", said Mike Chadwell General Manager for WHOP. Note this happened in Hopkinsville not Louisville or Lexington. Peden would go on to help run Ned Breathitt's campaign for Governor, serve as the first woman Commissioner of the Kentucky Dept. of Commerce & serve as the only woman on the National Advisory Committee on Civil Disorders. The Los Angeles Times in an article regarding Peden stated that she had visited Watts in 1967 after the riots and help the Kerner Commission conclude in their report that the "nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white--separate and unequal."

-Katherine Peden died on January 8, 2006. WHOP went on the air January 8, 1940.

-Hecht Lackey married Rebecca Woodruff of Hopkinsville. Rebecca's sister Helen married Coach McWright for which Paducah Tilghman's football stadium is named. McWright had been the head football coach at Hopkinsville and left legend has it, for more money at Paducah.

-Pierce Lackey after starting WPAD in Puducah added the first FM station in Kentucky in 1946. In the 1970's the call letters were changed to WDDJ. Bristol Broadcasting would purchase the stations in 1996 after several owners. Bill Hagy who has been with Bristol Broadcasting since the 1960's said that he appreciates the history of the Lackey Stations and the contribution to the broadcast industry. Hagy stated." stations must be nurtured and grown."

Henry Lackey is the last of the family to own a station and as we celebrate the birthday of one of the original Lackey stations we pay tribute to their history, their contribution & service to Western Kentucky.

Thanks to Henry Lackey, Mike Chadwell, Bill Hagy.