In an apparent attempt of political suicide, State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach shot himself in the foot and alienated most of his political supporters in Rural Kentucky. Mary John Celletti was let go from her position as Deputy Treasurer today. Many had expected this move by Hollenbach's chief of staff Maurice McDaniel. To political insiders it had been no secret that McDaniel resented Celletti's presence in the office. McDaniel, who is not known for his political skills came to the Hollenbach camp after serving in Tony Miller's office in Jefferson County.
McDaniel who considers himself a sort of "rain maker" is in all actuality a sort of "rain man". Those close to McDaniel confirm that he rarely makes a decision without conferring with Larry Clark the House Speaker Pro-Tem. Celletti has been a popular figure in the Kentucky Democrat Party for over 25 years. Known for her political savvy and understanding of the legislative process, Celletti provided the much needed experience in an office that has none.
It's been widely reported about the work habits of Todd Hollenbach and Maurice McDaniel who spend more time some place else than the State Treasurer's Office. Hollenbach, once thought to be an up and coming star in the Democrat Party has stumbled at every gate since taking office. Lacking in work ethic and the ability to raise money most expect Hollenbach to be a weak candidate should he choose to seek re-election.
With the news of Celletti's firing Steve Hamrick of Hopkinsville announced that he may seek the office of State Treasurer himself. Hamrick is a native of Murray and has been active in politics and government for over 40 years in Western Kentucky. Steve Hamrick's father, the late Bill Hamrick, was the first superintendent of Ken Lake State Resort Park. The golf course at Ken Lake is named in his honor.
The decision by Hollenbach and McDaniel will certainly play a role in uniting Rural Kentucky behind Jody Richards in his attempt to unseat Larry Clark as House Speaker Pro-Tem. In 2007 Hollenbach's best showings in Kentucky were in Western Kentucky carrying the Democratic ticket in Christian and Trigg Counties. Hollenbach also racked up big numbers in Calloway and Marshall Counties. I think its safe to say that Mr. Hollenbach will have to look for votes else where next year. Hollenbach, McDaniel and Clark have made it clear that they are no friend to Western Kentucky.
Ryan Alessi has a story also on this subject at http://www.politics.mycn2.com/