Monday, October 30, 2006

Minimum performance

As the cacophony from the left to increase the minimum wage continues, perhaps it's time to re-examine the concept of wages.

Wages are money paid by an employer to an employee for satisfactory performance of assigned duties.

If a minimum wage worker at $5.15 an hour can't get your order right at a fast-food restaurant, why does that worker deserve a government mandated raise to $6.25 or any other sum the left may toss out?

And these are Weaver's POSITIVE qualities!!!

In a column in the 10/30/06 Lexington Herald-Leader, Frankfort lawyer Steven G. Bolton rushes to the defense of Mike Weaver in the face of the evidence of Weaver's improper behavior 15 years ago in a National Guard campaign contribution shakedown.

Bolton writes: "(Weaver) was seen as overbearing, aggressive and obnoxious."

Just what Kentucky needs in Congress, right?

Silas House: Idiot

Proof that you don't have to be intelligent to become a best-selling author

For the record, KPAC supports the mountaintop removal method of coal mining as a way to:

1.) Provide jobs for the people of the mountains of eastern Kentucky;
2.) Extract and produce a valuable natural resource for the production of electricity and the heating of homes;
3.) Provide valuable flat land for industrial, agricultural and recreational development in eastern Kentucky;
4.) Provide coal severance tax dollars for cities and counties in the mountains; and
5.) Aggravate the living snot out of Kentucky liberals.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Kentucky Democrat Congress candidates embrace 9/11 enabler Clinton

Last week, former perjurer-in-chief William Jefferson Blythe Clinton came to Kentucky to help the Kentucky Democratic Party raise money. Congressional candidates John Yarmuth and Mike Weaver couldn't wait to have their pictures taken with the man who orally copulated with an intern while Osama bin Laden's merry band of henchmen plotted an attack on this country.

Weaver, whose political ads use his retired military title "Colonel" without the "retired" qualifier, should be especially ashamed to have been so eager to publicly embrace Clinton. After all, Clinton had it within his power to prevent the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks from ever happening, yet he chose not to do so.

Regular listeners to Sean Hannity's radio show know that Clinton has publicly stated that he had an opportunity to take Osama into custody long before 9/11, yet he chose not to do so, because in Clinton's words, "we had no grounds on which to hold him" even though Clinton knew he was plotting an attack on the United States. Hannity has an audio tape of Clinton's self-incriminating words and he plays it often.

Weaver's not an idiot -- is he? Surely he knows of the existence of this tape and of Clinton's inaction, which ended up costing us so dearly five years ago, both in lives and in economic impact.

At any rate, Kentucky voters, especially those in the 2nd and 3rd congressional districts, need to know how Clinton's inaction led directly to the 9/11 attacks. And they need to be reminded that the Democrat candidates in those races, who are seeking to unseat two fine and honorable U.S. Representatives in Anne Northup and Ron Lewis, have embraced this 9/11 enabler.

It would be nice for the Northup and Lewis campaigns to grab a copy of the tape of Clinton's own words and then use it in an ad linking their opponents to the man who was so soft on terrorism. But if they don't, perhaps voters will get word in other ways (through the propagation of this blog entry, for one) and the news can be spread that if Weaver and Yarmuth are so eager for the support of a terrorist enabler, how can we the people be sure that they wouldn't be equally as soft on terrorism if they are elected?

Now more than ever, Kentucky and the nation needs a strong anti-terrorist leadership in place. And that leadership won't come from a Democrat-controlled Congress and it sure won't come from the likes of Weaver and Yarmuth.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Democrats in throes of power withdrawals, use dirty politics to reclaim power

Kentucky Democrats think power is their birthright. When the voters, in their wisdom, see fit to take power from the Democrats and give it to the Republicans, the Dems whine like spoiled brats. And they use every dirty trick in the book to get their power back.

We've seen it happen on a statewide basis with Greg Stumbo's persection of the Fletcher administration over alleged misuse of the state merit system. And it's happening in local governments, as well, especially in counties where voters have ended years of Democratic strangleholds on power. What's going on in Morgan County is a good example.

It's already been chronicled here how Stumbo and his cronies have opened a super-secret grand jury investigation in Morgan County, and how the Democrats have been floating rumors that the investigation concerns alleged misdeeds by GOP County Judge-Executive Tim Conley, who is up for re-election.

Now there's a one-two punch in "the Bluegrass county of the mountains."

As a Republican county judge in Morgan County, Conley's a rarity. Democrats have had a stranglehold on that county for years. Conley's victory four years ago was a resounding upset when he replaced the retiring Sid Stewart. But by being a Republican county judge, Conley found himself at odds with his fiscal court. All the magistrates are Democrats. And one powerful local Democrat, State Rep. John Will Stacy, has made no secret of his open contempt and dislike for Conley.

The Democrats on the fiscal court have fought Conley tooth and toenail over nearly every initiative he has proposed, but Conley has persevered. He has developed excellent relationships with federal and state officials and that has paid off for his county.

Morgan, like many small Kentucky counties, has financial difficulties. Conley inherited a great deal of bonded indebtedness. Paying off those debts has put the county in dire financial straits through no fault of Conley's.

Yet it was a sneak attack recently when the county's finance officer gave a bleak fiscal picture at a recent court meeting, then an out and out political ambush when the Democrats on the fiscal court voted to take everyday purchasing authority away from Conley and give it to a committee of three magistrates.

Oh, did we mention that one of the magistrates who conveniently was named to that committee is Conley's Democratic opponent in the Nov. 7 election?

This act came despite no damning auditor's report from Crit Luallen's office. And that's a surprise, given the frequency with which Luallen has injected herself and her office into local elections this year. But even without a Luallen prompting, and despite the fact that the state had always approved Morgan's budgets and financial reports, the Democrats on the court hijacked Conley's authority and gave themselves fodder for negative ads to run in the last week of the campaign.

Will anyone be surprised if in next week's local newspaper and on the local radio stations over the next few days, all sorts of ads come out accusing Conley of fiscal mismanagement? The ads will say he's under investigation for misappropriating county funds and the situation is so bad that the Democrats on the fiscal court, including the county judge nominee, had to ride in on their white horses to save the day.

Democrats in Kentucky just can't accept the fact that voters are beginning to see through them and not buy their lies anymore. Counties like Knott and Breathitt and Floyd may not be ready to embrace Republicans, but many other traditionally Democrat counties are. Morgan is one. Fleming and Owen, two other longtime Democrat strongholds, have also elected GOP judges in recent years. (We haven't heard if the Democrats in Flemingsburg have pulled any dirty tricks against Larry Foxworthy, but we sure wouldn't be surprised).

Quite simply, Kentuckians are getting tired of being under Democrat bondage. And the Democratic power elite can't stand it!

When Democrats lose power, they will do anything within their grasp -- legal or not, ethical or not, above-board or not -- to get power back. The attacks on Gov. Fletcher's administration are prime proof. The shenanigans in Morgan County are more proof. They simply can't realize that the people are beginning to recognize the failures they've been and are rejecting them and their polices. Either that, or they realize it but just don't accept the will of the people.

Here's hoping that Tim Conley fights back strong and turns back the disgusting, dishonest, out-of line challenges to his authority and his candidacy.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Who's cronying whom?

One of the most-repeated criticisms of the Fletcher administration by this state's hundreds of witless Democrats has been cronyism.

They base that in large part because LaJuana Wilcher hired Ernie Fletcher's sister-in-law, Rachel, as an executive secretary in her office. Gubernatorial approval was never needed for that personnel decision, but Wilcher decided on her own to hire Rachel Fletcher (an exceedingly nice lady, by the way) and asked the governor if he would be OK with the potential political fallout.

Nevermind that elected officials usually turn to those they most trust when they need administrators and advisers, the "cronyism" charge is usually one of the first ones hurled if a governor brings a close friend or confidante or business partner on board.

But if you want to see real cronyism in action, take a look at this: Steve Henry talks about candidacy; says wife will have a Cabinet position.

Shades of Hillary Clinton!

What a great way to effectively double the family income -- Steve Henry draws his governor's salary and Heather Turncoat gets a nearly-equal Cabinet secretary's paycheck.

Not only would that be cronyism, but a novel way to double-dip!

Another example of rampant Democrat hypocrisy at its finest!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

You reap what you sow...

So Joe Whittle and some other Republicans are whining about the perceived lack of help Gov. Ernie Fletcher is providing them iin this year's elections?

Well, what can they realistically expect?

The Republican hierarchy has more or less turned its back on the governor during his trials and tribulations relating to Greg Stumbo's persecution of him on highly exaggerated charges of improper personnel acts.

A few well-timed words uttered in public by prominent GOPers early on could have averted much of the damage to Fletcher, and by extension the Republican Party, but for whatever reason the party in most part declined to help the governor who has pretty much done everything party leaders have asked of him.

Since these fair-weather friends have obviously shown little inclination to help Ernie Fletcher, then why should Ernie Fletcher break a sweat trying to help them?

One of Fletcher's chief fund-raisers from 2003, who has access to a personal fortune, is already running ads in his bid to challenge Fletcher in next year's GOP primary. There may be other intra-party challengers, as well, who will no doubt have some financial support coming their way. Facing a fight even to make it out of his primary, it's in Fletcher's best interests to begin raising money now so he can fight the onslaught.

If Republicans are unhappy that Fletcher's not helping them in their legislative races this year, or if they are complaining that he's raising money in competition with them, then they need to look in the mirror if they want to place blame.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Line of the year (news story division)

Ryan Alessi, political writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader, unwittingly had the line of the year in his story this morning about the 56th District House of Representatives race.

He referred to the state's civil service workers as "so-called merit employees."

That is really an apt description in the eyes of those who know how the Democrats controlled patronage hiring into the civil service jobs for decades.

If state employees and retirees really are fed up with the Republican governor, it's only because they are angry that their kids and grandkids can't get jobs just because they are Democrats, like they did and had done for years with breaks only for the Nunn and Fletcher administrations.

Despite all the allegations of politics in merit hiring under the Fletcher administration, the percentage of merit system employees who are Democrats has gone down from 73 percent to 71 percent. Hardly the stuff of scandal, is it?

Alessi also drew a chuckle (inadvertently, no doubt) in his political analysis column when he quoted Mike Haydon, former Revenue Cabinet secretary and former deputy to Crit Luallen when she was Secretary of the Executive Cabinet, as denouncing the use of personal rumors such as of marital infidelity in political campaigns.

Or perhaps Alessi knew exactly what he was doing when he quoted Haydon, and the irony was not lost on him despite his youth and inexperience with Kentucky's political figures.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Note to Greg Stumbo: It's the collusion, stupid

A few weeks back, Attorney General Greg Stumbo took a break from persecuting Republican officeholders to announce his great victory for the consumers of Kentucky. He had accused and successfully sought settlements from gas stations charged with price gouging right after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf of Mexico last year.

To hear Stumbo tell it, he had saved Kentucky consumers millions of dollars and had single-handedly saved the free market in the Bluegrass State. But of course, Stumbo is prone to exaggeration, and he did so again in this case.

Price gouging was not a widespread problem in the Commonwealth. There were only a handful of stations accused of it, and they were scattered about the state and not concentrated in one area. So there were never any situations where gas buyers were forced to pay inflated prices in one locale or do without.

If Stumbo really wants to do consumers a favor, he'll look into another aspect of the petroleum market besides isolated instances of price gouging.

To paraphrase James Carville, it's the collusion, stupid.

There can simply be no other explanation as to why gasoline prices in a single market are always at or near the same level. When you have different brands of gas and different companies doing the retailing, there is simply no way that they are all paying the same wholesale price for gas. It would be easier to not suspect collusion if everyone dropped prices on the same day, because as retailers you have to keep up with the competition, but what other excuse can there be when everyone raises prices the same day?

Take the events in one Kentucky county seat town one day last week for an example.

When dawn broke, all six of the gas stations along the town's main strip were selling gas for $1.969 or $1.979.

At 10 a.m. the Citgo station, which is pretty much the trendsetter in this town, raised its price to $2.059.

By 3 p.m. all the other stations except the BP had increased their prices to a similar level.

By 4:30 p.m., the BP had followed suit.

What logical explanation can there be for everyone raising prices except collusion?

The six gas stations represent six different brands. Citgo, of course, is owned by the Venezuelan government. No right-thinking American should be buying gas from them after Chavez' recent dissing of President Bush on American soil. The other stations are Exxon, Shell, BP, Appco and Marathon. Shell is Dutch-owned, BP gets much of its oil from Alaska, Marathon is "an American company serving America" and now has rolled into it the former Kentucky company, Ashland Oil. And Appco is a chain based out of East Tennessee that buys its gas from various jobbers.

With all of them getting their gasoline from various sources, why would they all raise their prices by similar amounts on the same day if they are not all in bed with one another? Market forces would seem to dictate that one or more stations keep their prices lower to attract business from their competitors. After all, how many people are going to buy gas for $2.05 a gallon if they can get it for $1.96 down the street?

While this might more properly be an investigation for federal antitrust sleuths, Stumbo could really do consumers in this state a favor, and take real meaningful action to protect them, if he looked into the everyday pricing practices of gasoline stations. Then he really could boast of significant accomplishments instead of playing up a basically meaningless pursuit of price gouging as if he had walked on water.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Foley fallout

We certainly aren't going to turn this into an "all Foley, all the time" affair like some other Kentucky blogs have done, most notably because the Foley matter really has very little to do with Kentucky politics (despite some ham-handed efforts by Congress candidate Mike Weaver, more below), but there are a few things worth mentioning.


The left has frequently compared the Foley situation to a principal being informed of a teacher's inappropriate action and failing to do something about it. That's a flawed comparison.

In a school, the principal is the teacher's boss. The principal can take action against the teacher -- or more likely refer to the superintendent and/or school board and/or school council with a recommendation for action -- because the principal is above the teacher in the chain of command.

That's not necessarily so in Congress. Denny Hastert wasn't Mark Foley's boss. Foley was employed by the voters in his Florida district. A more apt comparison would be if someone told a fellow teacher that something was amiss.


Liberals are also bent out of shape because Foley is a Republican, the party of morality, and also because he was instrumental in writing laws against precisely the type of behavior that he did not commit. (He only wrote sexually explicit messages; to this point there's no evidence that he actually had sexual contact with any minors). The left is screaming of this as example of Republican hypocrisy. Never mind the long rogue's gallery list of Democrats who have acted inappropriately in similar matters.

But let's consider this scenario: How many of you sat in class while in school, listening to the teacher talk about how smoking is harmful and that you shouldn't smoke? And then how many of you saw that very same teacher light up the minute he or she left the school grounds?

Or how many of you got the "don't smoke" lecture from your parents? (The Beastie Boys alluded to that in one of their hit songs, didn't they?)

The moral of the story is, right is right and wrong is wrong, no matter whether someone's human frailities catch them up in something they have opposed or not. Just because Foley did something wrong doesn't mean that his message was wrong. People are human. They make mistakes, and are not infallible.


This seems to be the Democrats' pathetic attempt to nationalize Foley's disgrace and have it apply to the House leadership as well as all the competitive House races this fall.

Sorry, guys and gals, but when evidence suggests that many Democrats had knowledge of some of Foley's communications, and did nothing about it, you certainly can't claim any moral high ground by trying to paint Hastert and others as enablers or protectors of would-be pedophiles.

In fact, if Democrats really did sit on this information in order to spring it as a political season October surprise, that's about as disgusting as Foley's messages themselves.


Kentucky Democrats have tried to paint military veteran and current state legislator Mike Weaver as the perfect candidate to unseat U.S. Rep. Ron Lewis. Any slim chance they had of pulling the upset and ousting Lewis went down the drain after Weaver made some oddball comments about "liberal Republicans" trying to cover up Foley's behavior. Now Weaver just looks as goofy as -- well, it's hard to find a comparison. Just say his comments make him look goofy.

To wrap it up, the Foley situation is about one man and his acts. When confronted with what he had written, Foley did the right thing and resigned. He has since owned up to his demons and is seeking treatment. As the economy continues to boom, gas prices go down and America realizes that their last Democrat president unleashed a ticking time bomb when he allowed North Korea to have nuclear technology, the electorate will see the Foley scandal as an unfortunate incident involving one person's problems, and not something to make political hay with.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What you won't read in the mainstream press about the welfare fraud grand jury investigation...

Last week, the special grand jury in Franklin County that has been investigating (among other things) allegation of welfare fraud in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services issued its final report.

The grand jury handed down a handful of indictments and gave a final report of its findings. The report was dutifully reported on in the state's major media outlets.

But the press overlooked some very pertinent factors surrounding the grand jury that serve to give valuable perspective on the process, and what was -- and more importantly, was not -- stated.

Here is what you won't hear in the mainstream press about the grand jury and its process.

This special grand jury, of course, is the same grand jury that spent months and thousands of dollars being led around like shy timid puppies in the merit system investigation. The same grand jury that could only see fit to issue a handful of felony indictments concerning the theft of thousands of tax dollars by dishonest employees instead issued dozens of misdemeanor indictments on charges that have never before in the history of the Commonwealth been prosecuted, despite ample evidence of conduct much worse in previous administrations.

And therein lies the crux of why the special grand jury failed miserably in its welfare fraud mission and why the press has given the grand jury a pass.

While the grand jury focused on Transportation Cabinet hiring practices, there are two cabinets that have large presences in all 120 counties statewide. Transportation is one; Health and Family Services is the other. CHFS's duties encompass welfare and food stamp eligibility, child welfare issues, and a myriad of other social services functions.

The CHFS jobs are as highly sought after, if not more so, than the KYTC jobs, in each county. Since many of the jobs require college degrees, the CHFS jobs pay more than the equipment operator jobs at the KYTC highway garages.

And don't think there is any less political influence involved in social services jobs than there is in highway maintenance positions. When the governor's blue ribbon commission compiled statistics on state employee voter registration, it did so not only for KYTC jobs, but for all state employment. The overall numbers reflect those found in Transportation alone. A disproportionate number of Democrats have state jobs, even in counties with Republican voter registration majorities.

This takes us back to the grand jury. Again due to a failure of the mainstream press to do its job of governmental oversight, we know next to nothing about the grand jury's composition. The foreperson is a female and her name's been included on the signed indictments that have been released on the major papers' Web sites, but the names of the other 12 grand jurors -- or the nine who may have concurred in any indictment -- are unknown.

However, Gov. Fletcher's chief of staff, Stan Cave, was quoted in a New York Times story as saying all 12 members of the grand jury are Democrats. And it has been rumored that several of them are state merit system employees.

And therein lies the rub.

The grand jury's report tried to pin the problems with welfare fraud on management, and made mention of the fact that CHFS no longer contracts with the attorney general's office to prosecute these claims.

This is NOT a management problem! This is a problem with crooked employees. And that's why the grand jury alluded to statewide problems but didn't issue the requisite number of indictments to indicate a problem of that magnitude.

The employees being investigated are not Fletcher administration hirees -- who, if you believe the Democrats' propaganda, are all unqualified hacks who got jobs in state government due to their political connections to the new Republican administration. These indictees are longtime state employees hired under Democratic administrations. They are DEMOCRAT patronage hires who owe their employment and their loyalty to the Democrats who got them their jobs.

To indict a bunch of them would be to acknowledge that there is a mess in state government, caused by the Democrats, that the Fletcher administration has been trying to clean up. And a prosecutor with political loyalties to Greg Stumbo and Ben Chandler certainly wouldn't want to do that, now would you, Scott Crawford-Sutherland?

So the bottom line is that there was no desire by the prosecutor or the grand jury to fully investigate the welfare fraud aspect of the jury's charge, because to do so would expose the abuses of years of Democrat patronage that they have taken great pains to avoid during the merit system investigation. These people who claim that Democrats never abused the merit system are akin to Holocaust deniers -- they refuse to acknowledge the truth when it's right there in front of their eyes.

Of course CHFS isn't the only place where Democrat patronage hires have been helping themselves illegally to public money. One highway department superintendent was recently arrested for stealing tires and selling them to buy drugs. Some other employees were caught stealing road signs and other metal and selling the purloined items for scrap. What reward does Gov. Fletcher and his administration get for trying to bring a halt to this criminality by hiring decent employees who share the administration's vision? A bunch of misdemeanor indictments issued by the same prosecutor and grand jury who are, in essence, trying to cover up more serious wrongdoing and blaming it on administrative weaknesses.

Keep this in mind as you digest news and information about the welfare fraud aspect of the grand jury's work. Ask yourself why more attention wasn't paid to this problem, that is costing Kentucky taxpayers thousands of dollars and eroding confidence in the competence and honesty of state workers.

And ask Greg Stumbo which is more important -- prosecuting Democrats who are robbing Kentucky blind, or persecuting Republicans who are trying to put a stop to this nonsense?