Monday, January 29, 2007

Welcome to the big leagues, Greg Stumbo

We welcome Greg Stumbo's entry into big-time Kentucky gubernatorial politics by signing on as Bruce Lunsford's running mate.

Not only does this offer us an excellent chance to get Stumbo out of public life in Kentucky, but it will provide ample opportunities to let the people of this state know just what kind of despicable person he is.

Stumbo has signed onto Bruce Lunsford's ticket as the Louisville millionaire's running mate. Lunsford ran for the Democrat nomination for governor in 2003, but withdrew a week before the primary election and threw his support to Jody Richards. That move nearly led to Richards defeating Ben Chandler for the Democrat nomination, but it didn't quite do the job.

Lunsford was the victim of one of the most mean-spirited hatchet job political ads this state has ever seen. The Chandler camp ran an ad basically blaming Lunsford personally because a patient was allegedly abused in one of the nursing homes Lunsford owned. We saw a great comment on another blog about this situation and we'll shamefully recycle it here. Blaming Lunsford for that situation is like blaming Bill Gates personally if Windows crashes and you lose all your important documents.

Because of that unfair negative ad, Lunsford refused to support Chandler in the 2003 general election and in fact, he endorsed Ernie Fletcher. Many Democrats have not forgiven him for that. They believe that this state and country are too partisan, except when a Democrat supports a Republican. Then they think it's an unpardonable sin.

So now Lunsford, who has a lot of Democrats still angry with him, has paired up with Stumbo, who angered Democrats by dismissing the misdemeanor charges against Fletcher that resulted from the merit system hiring persecution. And to add insult to injury, the pair's announcement will be overshadowed in the news cycles by the euthanization of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro.

Stumbo certainly isn't a spotless candidate. And with his presence on a gubernatorial ticket, those imperfections are going to come to the surface.

Anyone familiar with Stumbo knows of the controversy surrounding an out-of-wedlock child he fathered in the 1980s. The mother of the child was forced to go to court to get Stumbo to pay child support. After she sued him for child support, he turned around and sued her, claiming she was trying to extort him and harm him politically.

We'll leave the judgments on Stumbo's marital infidelity to others, although we're sure the "Clinton was impeached over oral sex" crowd will not grasp the significance of Stumbo's situation, either. What concerns us is his use of the legal system as his own vehicle for personal revenge.

This issue didn't get the airing it deserved during Stumbo's run for attorney general, in part because AG isn't as high profile a position as a gubernatorial slate is, and also because the GOP's AG nominee had plenty of baggage of his own.

But with Stumbo on a ticket for the state's number two elected position, we expect his child support issues will come front and center. We think most Kentuckians will react with disgust when they find out that Stumbo was a deadbeat dad who had to be ordered by a court to pay child support for his own son, and they'll respond with anger when they learn that Stumbo sued the mother of his child for harassment because she had the audacity to go to court to get child support which was rightly due her and her son.

We welcome the upcoming virtual rectal examination Stumbo's going to get. It will expose him for the scum that he is, and with a lot of luck, come December he will be retired from public service and off the public payroll from now on.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

"ic" is right!!!!

What silly little thing has the Democrats' panties in a wad these days?

They get miffed anytime the word "Democrat" is used when they think the word "Democratic" is appropriate.

They don't want it referred to as the "Democrat primary," they insist that it be called the "Democratic primary."

From posts on Democrat blogs to national newspaper stories, Democrats are going apoplectic whenever those two letters are left off. They perceive it as the highest of insults -- almost worse than if you called them mother-you-know-what-ers.

But there couldn't be two more appropriate letters for them to be upset about. "IC" (or "Ick" if you prefer) is exactly what we think when we think of Democrats or their agenda for Kentucky and the nation.

"Ic" indeed...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A few Pence-ive thoughts

We receive the news that Lt. Gov. Steve Pence is not planning to run for office in this election cycle with mixed feelings.

On one hand, we're pleased that he is not running against his boss and his ticket mate from the 2003 election, Gov. Ernie Fletcher. Pence owes his political status to Fletcher, who chose him as his running mate when original lieutenant governor candidate Hunter Bates was declared ineligible to run due to a judge's arbitrary interpretation of his residency status. Rather than fight that ruling in court -- a decision that Bates could quite likely have won, but in a time-consuming legal battle -- Bates stepped aside and Pence took his place on the ticket.

On the other hand, we admit to a certain disappointment that Pence is not going to run for attorney general. As a former federal prosecutor, he would have been a refreshing change from the partisan and unprofessional Greg Stumbo.

A competent prosecutor keeps his cards close to the vest and prefers to let the facts of the case determine the outcome. In the merit system persecution of the Fletcher administration, Stumbo's staff leaked more than the Wolf Creek Dam at Lake Cumberland. The unprofessional acts of Stumbo's staff resultedin a constant parade of comments made and documents leaked to the press, trying the case in the court of public opinion for partisan political gain.

We haven't been entirely happy with Pence's performance as lieutenant governor, nor his loyalty to Gov. Fletcher. Although Pence has criticized Stumbo for the way he conducted the personnel persecution, he was also unduly critical of Fletcher's pardons. We have to wonder, what would Pence prefer? Did he want Stumbo and his staff to continue to seek indictments, and smear good people's reputations in the process? In the media circus surrounding the hiring persecution, those indicted were being unfairly cast as guilty until proven innnocent. And who knows how many other people the investigation would have gone after, resulting in these people having to hire lawyers and seeing their names dragged through the mud?

But there is potentially a very bright spot on the horizon. Published reports about Pence's decision not to be a candidate this year and to return to private law practice said he had not ruled out a run for state office or for Congress in the future.

Let us be the first to put Steve Pence's name forward as the candidate to make liberal Democrat John Yarmuth a one-termer. As a former federal prosecutor and the state's second-in-command with the additional duties he carried while serving as lieutenant governor, he'd bring some attractive attributes to the table.

A challenger to Yarmuth needs to emerge very early and start building an organization and raising money. At this point we can't think of a better candidate than Steve Pence.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Most Kentuckians are clueless about state hiring situation

The more we read and hear, the more convinced we become that the majority of Kentuckians don't have a clue about what has gone on with the state merit system hiring investigation, and the circumstances surrounding it.

From the mainstream press to the moonbat posters on Kentucky's major Democrat blogs -- and even to some of our conservative blogosphere cousins -- it's apparent that no one really knows the situation.

So in the spirit of public service, we'll try to inform you. Sit back, grab a cup of coffee or a bottle of Ale-8 (12-ounce returnable is the best, as all Winchester stumpwater afficianodos know), and relax. This may take a while but in the end, you'll be a better educated Bluegrass State denizen.

We start with the undisputed fact that for years, the Democrats ran a full-blown patronage operation in the state government merit system. That is a fact and cannot be denied, no matter how hard some Democrats try. To deny the existence of the Democrat patronage machine is like denying the Holocaust. The numbers revealed during Gov. Fletcher's blue-ribbon merit system task force research offer enough proof, and that is corroborated by the tons of anecdotal evidence that's out there. We've heard stories of Republican would-be merit system applicants being told they'd have to register as Democrats before they'd even be considered for a state job. (In fact, that happened to Gov. Fletcher himself in his younger days). We've read reports from children of former Democrat officials in Republican-dominated counties that all state hires in that county were cleared by the local Democrat chair. And on and on and on.

Over the years, those Democrats have advanced through the ranks to the mid-level management positions in state government; the branch managers and section supervisors. There are even some merit system division directors within the bureaucracy. We'd be willing to be that the percentage of Democrats in these management jobs is even higher than the overall statewide numbers.

Now here's where it gets tricky. Even after the Fletcher administration took over, the Democrats in state government continued to run their own patronage system. It has been documented time and again how the merit system bureaucracy has been recalcitrant, hostile, insubordinate and downright mutinous towards the new administration. A cursory reading of the posts from state employees on Democrat blogs will confirm that. Merit employees, so set in their inefficient ways, refused to go along with many of the new ideas put forth by the bright new minds that came to Frankfort with the Fletcher administration.

Many of these loyal Democrats felt that if they just held their ground and rode out the storm, they could weather four years of GOP rule and if a Democrat won in 2007, they'd be OK. So they continued to do things as they had always done, including looking to Democrats for hiring recommendations.

These Democrats, who owed their jobs and their promotions to party officials, continued to listen to those party officials. We've found that in many cases, the local Democrat county chair had more influence over who got a merit system job than did anyone in the Fletcher administration.

This angered a lot of local Republican officials, who had to hear the complaints from their friends, neighbors, relatives, and others. More than one prominent Republican was often heard to complain about how "they're still hiring too @*#% many Democrats." That certainly wasn't the fault of the Fletcher team, but instead of the entrenced Democratic bureaucracy, doing things they way they had always done and listening to the same old influences that have failed Kentucky so miserably over the past 40 years.

Now, the state job issue may not have been very important to Jack Richardson or party officials and leaders from some of the state's bigger counties, but you can bet it was a hot topic and very near and dear to the hearts of party principals and activists in at least 90 of our 120 counties. In some of the rural counties, jobs are scarce. State jobs are considered plums. The pay not be too great for some of the positions, but the insurance and other benefits -- not to mention the job security -- are far above many other jobs. To see Democrats continue to have the advantage in many of these counties, particularly ones with Republican voter majorities where the Democrat minority had ruled with an iron fist for years, was especially frustrating.

It's true that merit system hiring was frequently discussed at party meetings and on conference calls with the LINK staff and representatives, but compliance with the merit system was always stressed. Republican officials and county contacts were merely advised to find potential qualified state applicants, give them information on how and where to take the state merit system tests to get on job registers, and then possibly recommend a qualified employee if a vacancy occurred in their area. Never was non-compliance with KRS 18A ever mentioned as an option.

State law precludes politics as a reason for making personnel decisions, but nowhere is it made illegal to ensure that new employees have signed on to the administration's vision and goals for Kentucky. If you want to make Kentucky's resort parks self-sufficient and not have to be subsidized from the General Fund, then it makes little sense to hire a park manager who believes in pouring money into the operation of the lodge, dining room and campground. If you're trying to tighten restrictions when children are taken away from their parents (a very relevant point given the events of a couple of weeks ago), why would you want to hire someone who would take a kid out of its home at the first sign of a pop can lying in the floor and not thrown in the trash? And so on.

That is why the state attempted to centralize hiring through the Governor's Personnel Initiative. Hiring decisions being made by managers in the field were not in line with the administration's plans and goals, and as noted previously, were still being influenced by Democrat kingmakers who were reacting poorly to the reality that they'd lost power and were trying to cling to as much authority as they could. The personnel initiative certainly wasn't the "corrupt political scheme" that Greg Stumbo's persecution squad was trying to make it out to be. Instead, it was an attempt to get control of a system that was still being run by the Democrats even in a Republican governorship.

Far too many conservatives and Republicans have tried to paint this whole deal as "same game, different players" and have used it as evidence that Fletcher failed in his promise to clean up the mess in Frankfort. Not true; not true at all. The mess in Frankfort is, and is caused by, the entrenched Democrat interests that have done the same old thing for far too many years. They have never gotten positive results but they keep doing the same things in the same ways, expecting a different outcome. When those entrenched interests interfere with the agents of change sent by the electorate of this state to make a real difference, they need to be dealt with.

We agree that some within the administration got a little overzealous in how they were trying to enact change, but we never felt their conduct rose to the level of misdemeanor criminal activity. That's why we don't fault Ernie Fletcher for this situation and we believe Stumbo's persecution was overkill. But we do think that the administration needed to get a handle on the hiring matter and stop the ongoing Democrat patronage operation that was running full-steam-ahead in the middle of a Republican administration.

Oh, and one other thing. Technically, everyone who makes it onto a state merit register is considered qualified for the job. If a Democrat tries to tell you that the Fletcher adminstration was hiring unqualified people for political reasons, laugh in their face. You have to be in the top five scores to be placed on a register, and vacancies have to be filled from a register. So to say that this adminstration hired unqualified applicants is to tell a blatant lie.

We know this has been long, but we hope it's been informative. We don't have any high hopes that it will make anyone see this situation in a different light, but at least the truth is now out there among all the falsehoods.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Martin Luther King Jr. vs. Abraham Lincoln: In Kentucky, native son loses

Not long ago, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet issued a press release announcing that new welcome signs had been erected at the interstate entrances to the Bluegrass State. These signs proclaim Kentucky as the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, and are intended to stress Kentucky's ties to the 16th president during the upcoming celebration of the bicentennial of his birth.

Illinois calls itself the "Land of Lincoln" since he lived there when he was elected to the presidency, but Kentuckians haven't forgotten that the man who freed the slaves and kept the Union together during the Civil War was born in Larue County.

But how much homage do we really pay to Lincoln? After all, we don't honor him in this state with a holiday anymore.

It's important to revisit that question today, on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, when state offices are closed.

Despite the signs, and despite the fact that arguably Lincoln did more for blacks than King when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, it appears that Kentucky pays more homage to King than to its native son.

Quite frankly, we find that unconscionable.

A few years ago, Kentucky observed Presidents Day (the day set aside to recognize the birthdays of both Lincoln and George Washington) and Veterans Day. As the national trend to establish King holidays came to Kentucky, our legislature gave in and set the third Monday in January as the King holiday, on which state offices would be closed. Since Kentucky already recognizes 11 and a half state holidays, and state workers already suffer from a negative perception, the legislature didn't establish an additional holiday. Instead, they revoked Veterans' Day and put the King holiday in place.

During the Patton administration, however, the state decided to re-establish Veterans' Day, in November, as a holiday. To compensate, since there was no desire to add another state holiday, Presidents' Day was taken away.

The end result is that in Kentucky, Martin Luther King Jr. is recognized with a holiday while Abraham Lincoln is not.

We don't agree with this logic at all.

Lincoln was from Kentucky, King was not. We certainly think a credible case can be made for the argument that Lincoln did as much for civil rights as King, albeit a century earlier. Without Lincoln, there may not have been an Emancipation Proclamation and there may not have been an end to the Civil War that kept the Union intact. And it can certainly be argued that both Lincoln and King were assassinated because of their stance on civil rights.

None of us here at KPac are stupid. We realize that any move to rescind the King holiday would meet with an immediate and violent response. Besides, it wouldn't be politically correct, and we've never known Kentucky's leaders (especially the Democrats) to show a backbone and do the right thing. So the only logical thing to do is re-institute Presidents' Day as a state holiday and give our native-born president the recognition and honor he deserves.

We don't believe the people and voters of this state would object too strenuously to adding another state holiday to the calendar for this noble reason.

Friday, January 12, 2007

More evidence of how past merit system violations have hurt this state

As if we needed more evidence of how the blatant violations of Kentucky's merit system laws have hurt this state, we got plenty of it over the past couple of days.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, though, the violations occurred during their administrations but we are just now seeing the results.

No one who keeps up with Kentucky current events could have missed the news reports of widespread corruption and misdeeds within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. After several complaints about the adoption and child removal procedures used by social workers based in the Elizabethtown-Lincoln Trail region and elsewhere, the cabinet's inspector general looked into the situation. The report, issued after a year-long investigation, was scathing, to say the least.

"What does this have to do with the merit system?" you may ask.

It has plenty to do with it, although you could never expect the state's Democrat-sympathizing media to explain it.

The two state cabinets with significant statewide presences are Transportation and Health and Family Services. These agencies have offices in each of Kentucky's 120 counties. Therefore, there are lots of jobs available in those offices that in the past, Democrats could use in their zeal to play patronage politics.

By whatever name or names it's been known by in the past, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services has been as much as a Democrat patronage playground as has Transportation. If you check the voter registration of employees in each office, you'll find the same kind of skewed numbers as Transportation displayed when the governor's merit system task force conducted research to document the long-standing assertion that under previous administrations, Democrats enjoyed significant advantages in employment decisions.

Much of the wrongdoing revealed in the E-town investigation was laid at the feet of supervisors. The supervisory level of employees within state government is even more overwhelmingly Democratic than the lower levels. In past years, you certainly didn't rise within the ranks in the state's merit system by being a Republican.

The names of the employees involved haven't been made public, but we'd be willing to bet the price of a 30-second Super Bowl ad that the vast majority of them are Democrats, who owe their jobs to powerful party leaders in their home counties.

As we have documented here previously, the second and lesser-publicized purpose of the special grand jury that investigated the Fletcher administration's hiring practices was to check into welfare fraud and embezzlement by state employees. That phase of the probe didn't get the attention of the merit system review, for two reasons. The first reason was because Ernie Fletcher couldn't be embarassed by any revelations of misconduct by longtime merit employees. The second reason was that exposure of those employees as dishonest criminals would reflect poorly on the press' beloved Democrats and the patronage system that hired them in the first place.

So now we have more evidence that during the past administrations of governors like Patton, Jones, Wilkinson, Collins, Brown, Carroll and Ford, these Democrats ran patronage systems that resulted in criminals being hired into state merit jobs. The county Democrat organizations have had just as much influence in hiring CHFS employees as they have KYTC workers, and once again the incompetence and dishonesty of these people has embarrassed the state.

Ernie Fletcher campaigned on a theme of cleaning up the mess in state government, knowing full well that much of that mess was the fault of the Democrats and the merit employees who got their jobs through the Dems' patronage system. Yet his efforts to clean up that mess and ferret out real criminal behavior resulted in a politically-motivated prosecution (persecution) of his own administration.

Even as Democrats continue to assert that the merit system worked exactly as designed until the Republicans got to town, the facts continue to prove them wrong and to show that the Democrats' blatant, systematic and pervasive violations and their patronage-based employment practices have caused real harm to Kentucky and its residents.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Wanna get rich quick? Sue someone with deep pockets!

'Slip-and-fall' awards, jury trials tumble ; Settlements among reasons for decline

We've always been disgusted at the attorneys' ads on television, urging anyone injured in a car wreck or in nearly any other circumstance to sue. Our disgust was heightened at the spate of lawsuits that have been filed in the wake of the Comair crash in Lexington last year, and especially after bloodthirsty and greedy lawyers started reaching out to potential clients before many of the bodies were even buried.

On first glance, the fact that the number of jury awards in "slip and fall" trials has dropped is a good thing. But when you read the subhead, and dig into the meat of the story, you see that settlements have increased.

No matter whether a payment comes as the result of a jury trial or a settlement, you and we pay the costs for this through higher insurance premiums and through higher retail prices.

We know that we could slip and fall on a wet bathroom floor just as easily as we could in the soda pop aisle at Wal-Mart. Both would be equally accidental. Why, then, should one accident be worth a lot more money than the other?

We need tort reform in this state and nation, and we need it now!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

After seeing how GOP has supported Fletcher, why would Northup want to run?

As rumors continue to swirl abou the possibility of former U. S. Rep. Anne Northup challenging her former delegation mate Ernie Fletcher in the gubernatorial primary, we have to wonder why Northup would even consider doing such a thing.

Given the up-close view she's had of Fletcher's administration, and her support of his bid four years ago, surely she knows what she's setting herself up for should she run and win.

But if not, we'll remind her -- and you.

First of all, Northup has seen firsthand just how much support a Republican governor can expect from the party hierarchy when the waters get rough: Absolutely none.

In fact, Northup has been as guilty of that as any of the rest of Kentucky's D. C. delegation. We don't recall her speaking up in support of Fletcher or in condemnation of Greg Stumbo, and she certainly had plenty of chances.

If Mitch McConnell won't slam Stumbo for going after Fletcher, why does Anne think McConnell would slam Stumbo for going after her (as he inevitably would?)

The message to Fletcher, or to any other Republican, has been quite clear: We will help you get elected and we will select people to work in your administration. But if trouble comes up, or if any of our people (Dan Druen is prime example number one) cause problems, well, you're on your own.

Northup has seen that this state's leading Republicans won't support one of their own. So why would she want to subject herself to that?

Maybe they're telling her, "It'll be different this time." But isn't that often what a cheating or abusive spouse says? And doesn't that promise often get broken within a matter of days?

Anne, you've been warned. You cannot count on Mitch McConnell or Jim Bunning or Hal Rogers for support.

At least Ron Lewis and Ed Whitfield have had the courage and integrity to speak up for their former colleague. God bless them for that.

But should Northup somehow convince herself that she can count on Mitch and Hal for backup, and if she runs and wins, gubernatorial succession will come into play.

To win in Kentucky, Northup will need a statewide network. She will need campaign chairs in each county, volunteers to knock on doors and make phone calls, and she will also have to call on the party officials in each county for help.

Those people won't expect to work for nothing. If Northup wins, they will be calling on her administration for favors, just as they did in the Fletcher administration. They will most certainly be wanting jobs for Republicans in the ongoing effort to wrest the merit system from control of the Democrats.

What will Northup do? Will she tell them no? If so, she will be committing political suicide. Those people who worked so hard for her in 2007 would certainly not be willing to do it again in 2011 if she doesn't pay attention to their wants and needs. If she attempts to avoid the same kind of scenario that brought Greg Stumbo knocking on Fletcher's door bearing a poision ivy bouquet, she'll be sinking her re-election bid.

The local party loyalists and supporters will expect to be taken care of, and they will have every right to do so.

The current crop of Democratic candidates is a very weak field. Even sporting the scars of Stumbo's assault, Fletcher isn't in as much trouble in his re-election bid as the Democrats and the press think, or hope, that he is. There is certainly no need for the party hierarchy to be pressing for a candidate "who can win in November" because Fletcher is still certainly capable of that. Indeed, as we've said all along, if the party hierarchy has fears about Fletcher's re-electability, it has only itself to blame because it didn't fight back against Stumbo's attempted rape of the party and its governor.

If Anne Northup is as smart as we think she is, she'll step back and reassess her political future and determine that a gubernatorial run in 2007 is not part of that future. Even if every Republican official lines up to support her, she has already seen how much support a Republican governor can expect when the waters get choppy. Why she'd subject herself to that, especially in the wake of her recent defeat and the death of her son last year, is beyond our comprehension.

They may promise you the moon, Annie, but they won't deliver. Keep that in mind as you ponder your next move.

Friday, January 05, 2007

A sincere question for Kentucky Republicans

In the face of heightened rumors about other Republican challengers entering the governor's race, trying to unseat our party's sitting governor, Ernie Fletcher, we have a sincere question for the state's GOP stalwarts:

If you do NOT support Ernie Fletcher for re-election, why not?

There are two answers that WILL NOT be accepted or considered as valid. One is "because of the merit system hiring investigation." We don't buy that as an answer because that was not the fault of the Fletcher administration. Blame for that goes first to Greg Stumbo, and second to the state's Republicans who sat idly by and watched the assault and did nothing about it.

The second answer is "because he cannot win in the general election." Again, if this state's Republicans had worked in defense of their governor instead of standing around and watching the assault, they could have substantially improved his re-electability.

If one of those reasons is your answer, go ahead and post it, but be aware that we dismiss those answers as the piles of dung they are. But if you have serious policy reasons for preferring another GOP nominee, or a Democrat, we want to hear them.

And we guess we might as well admit it now, if it isn't already obvious: We support Ernie Fletcher wholeheartedly against any and all challengers, in the party or out of it. If he loses the primary, we'll probably vote for the Republican but we sure won't lift a finger to support him or her, because we believe the best governor for this state is already in place.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Beshear's dilemma

Quite honestly, we're kicking ourselves for not coming up with this ourselves, earlier.

But we must give credit to our ideological brethren over at The Conservative Edge, who first raised the issue, and a poster who provided a little personal insight.

It hadn't registered with us that Steve Beshear's term as attorney general coincided with the disaster that was the John Y. Brown Jr. administration. But now that we have been reminded of that fact, we are more than happy to note it, report it, and tell the world about it. Because that fact may be what torpedoes Beshear's gubernatorial bid.

You see, when Brown was governor, he raped the merit system and merit employees in ways that Greg Stumbo can only have wet dreams about while wishing that the Fletcher administration had done so.

While the Fletcher administration is accused of only one specific firing -- and that was of a probationary employee who could be dismissed for any reason, or no reason at all (and it turned out that Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert had ample reason for letting Mike Duncan go) -- the Brown administration sent packing dozens of merit employees who had status.

That means, basically, that they could only be let go for cause. But Brown didn't have good cause. He targeted entire offices and scores of employees for reasons known only to him. As a group, they even earned a nickname -- the "John Y. Retirees."

They didn't stay retired long, though. The resulting class action cost the state a ton of money, when the government was forced to rehire the fired employees, give them back pay for the time they were out of work (which was a windfall for them, since many found other employment during the interim) plus punitive damages.

This affair certainly didn't get the play in Kentucky's Democrat-sympathizing media back in the early 1980s that the Fletcher "scandal" did in 2005-06, but it should have.

Like we said, a prosecutor wanting to get his teeth into a hiring scandal would have had a wet dream over Brown's systematic raping of the state civil service system and the people who were supposed to enjoy its protections.

Even though the media glossed over the sorry sordid mess, it was common knowledge across the state. And if people from the Mississippi to the Big Sandy and from Dale Hollow to the Ohio knew of it, surely the attorney general did too.

But where was Steve Beshear? Why didn't he convene a grand jury to investigate these heinous misedemeanors? After all, these were people's lives and livelihoods Brown was screwing around with. It couldn't be because there was no gubernatorial succession back in those days, and both Beshear and Brown were Democrats, could it? Naah, surely not...

At any rate, Beshear's failure to act in the face of real violations of the merit system in the worst possible fashion -- firing people without cause -- effectively renders moot any claims Beshear may make about restoring integrity to Frankfort.

We quote from John Stamper's story in the Lexington Herald-Leader when Beshear announced:

The state will not tolerate “an administration jammed with political cronies” or a governor who undermines laws designed to protect rank-and-file workers from politics, Beshear said.

Beshear has no right or status to talk about such things when he let such blatant violations go unprosecuted right under his nose. It's an issue that will certainly come back to haunt him, and if he's lucky enough to win the primary, we will for sure do our part to make sure the people of Kentucky know what a hypocrite he is.

If Beshear starts spouting this nonsense near you, ask him why he didn't prosecute the Brown administration for its blatant violations of merit system laws. And let's see how Beshear defends that position, nearly 30 years later.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Blog wars!!!!

As has been previously noted here, sometime during the last month, Mark Nickolas has gotten a bit thin-skinned.

Nickolas, who runs the blog, has never answered any of the questions that have been raised by posters to his blog about his 501(c)4 tax-exempt status for his Foundation for Kentucky's Future. Over the past few weeks, he has even taken to deleting comments about said tax status. Why, it's almost as if he has something he wants to keep hidden, isn't it?

Nickolas has a reputation for being -- well, let's say "dishonest" -- in his posts. He quotes rumors from so-called insiders that have never come to pass. We're still waiting for the Kentucky House of Representatives to impeach Gov. Fletcher and for the Supreme Court to remove Joe Lambert as chief justice. He has allowed all sorts of vile personal rumors about Republicans to remain on his site despite knowing the comments were libelous. He continuously allowed Democrat posters to call Fletcher administration staffers all sorts of slanderous and mocking nicknames.

Two weeks ago, however, Nickolas had an epiphany. He decided that he would no longer allow rumors to be posted on his site. He spent one full day deleting (or "unpublishing," as he called it) posts and banning participants. We don't think he published one original post that day, he was so busy controlling the content others posted to his site.

He finally reinstituted a sign-in requirement after he accused a poster of sock puppetry.

That's where it gets interesting.

Someone with the "nom de plume" of William Hayes has put up a blog called The Rural Democrat ( ) on which he unabashedly supports the Beshear-Mongiardo ticket for the Democrat nomination for governor.

On that blog, Hayes dropped a bombshell. It explains a lot about Nickolas' conduct of late.

It's no secret that Nickolas' live-in, Chantel McCormick, runs a consulting/PR/fundraising firm that focuses on helping Democrat candidates. But Hayes revealed a couple of facts that put the whole matter into perspective. First, McCormick is working for the Miller/Maze gubernatorial ticket. But most importantly, it was revealed that McCormick had been working for Dan Mongiardo's U.S. Senate campaign before being dumped for undisclosed (but highly suspicious) reasons.

Only after that did Nickolas post that he is supporting the Miller/Maze ticket in this year's Democrat primary, and he credited Jonathan Miller as being one of the biggest influences behind (That's reason enough to vote against Miller, in our never to be humble opinion). Of course, Nickolas made no mention of his live-in's connections with Miller/Maze or her being fired by the Mongiardo Senate campaign.

Although Nickolas is not allowing any discussion of his 501(c)4 tax-exempt status on his blog, there has been a considerable roundtable on it on Hayes' site.

And, we're pleased to note, some of our companion conservative blogs are now reporting that an investigation into Nickolas' foundation's tax status, and possible fraud, is ongoing. Quite frankly, we feel that Kentucky's best future is one without Mark Nickolas anywhere near it.

There have also been some accusations, as yet unanswered by Nickolas, that after running Ben Chandler's 2003 gubernatorial campaign and starting out with Chandler's '04 Congressional effort, Nickolas was let go after some money turned up missing. As usual, though, Nickolas won't answer those charges, even to declare that they are total bovine effluvia, and we've seen no proof other than the allegation, so we don't want to get into that beyond hoping and wishing that it's true.

After all, this is the man who whines and cries every time Danny Briscoe is quoted in the newspapers as a Democrat strategist, never mind that Briscoe has won more gubernatorial races in Kentucky than Nickolas.

While we certainly don't support either of the slates pushed by William Hayes or Mark Nickolas, in this little battle we have to take Hayes' side. Nickolas' site has been bad for Kentucky politics. While it's true he has tried to take on his own party's chair (again, probably for personal reason) he has never questioned his side's disgusting conduct in the merit system investigation.

We certainly hope the rumored IRS investigation of the Foundation for Kentucky's Future turns up something juicy, and Nickolas is forced to flee the state -- and since he fancies himself as an equine person, we'll say "on the horse he rode in on!"