Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Portrait of an "average Kentuckian"

We're thinking of a person who lives in Franklin County. She is a registered Democrat. She is a state merit system employee. She earns an annual salary of $78,228 as of last year.

Any idea who this "average Kentuckian" is?

It's Rachel Auxier, the forewoman of the special Franklin County grand jury that returned the indictments against Gov. Ernie Fletcher and others in his administration in the merit system investigation.

Hmmm. Merit employee and registered Democrat. Any coincidences there?

Well, try this on for size. Under the Fletcher administration, state employees have not received their traditional 5 percent annual raises. This decision cost Ms. Auxier nearly $4,000 last year. Is it possible that the loss of four large would motivate someone to seek revenge?

We put the term "average Kentuckian" in quotes because that's the phrase Anne Northup used in describing the grand jury. We have long argued that there was nothing "average" about that grand jury, which was made up primarily of the two groups (registered Democrats and merit employees) predisposed to dislike the governor.

It's nice to know that an annual salary of 80 grand is now considered "average" for this state, isn't it?

At any rate, this tidbit of information about the leader of the grand jury is definitely not something you'll hear from the mainstream press, which has had its own anti-Fletcher agenda since his term began.

If only the press would do its job and investigate the investigation, it would become much clearer just how bogus the whole thing was.


At 4:50 PM, April 11, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post is a day late and a dollar short. Everyone who can be influenced by this argument already has.

At 5:39 PM, April 11, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What would be interesting would be to know the entire make up of the jury. It would not be necessary to know the names of the individual members just the occupation and voter registration. I would bet you would find a very liberal make up to this panel.

At 9:47 PM, April 11, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:39, it's all available via open records. Get the listing of the grand jurors, cross-check against voter registration and the state employee roster. A little investigation should yield what you're after.

At 7:40 AM, April 12, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it truly available I would think one of the campaigns would have checked into it. At the very least I would have thought the bloggers would have had a story by now.

At 10:59 AM, April 12, 2007, Blogger K-Pac II said...

It truly is available. The full version of the grand jury's final report contained a page of signatures of the grand jurors. It was the first page of the report and, not surprisingly, that page was not made available when outlets such as the C-J, H-L and the Mark Nickolas Slander Blog linked to the report. You can ask the Franklin Circuit Court for a copy of the grand jury report including the names of the grand jurors.

Voter registration records are open to public inspection. Anyone in Franklin County can go to the county clerk's office and look up the party registration of any person.

The Herald-Leader and Courier-Journal have links to state salaries to confirm if someone is a state employee. The KREF has the online searchable database to see if someone gave political contributions.

We had heard Ms. Auxier's name in news reports about the grand jury investigation so we did some investigating of our own on her.

This would be a great little project for someone who's in Frankfort and has access to the county and circuit clerk's offices.

We suspect that the governor already knows all the pertinent information about the grand jurors but there is little he can do about it. We saw a quote from Stan Cave last year alluding to the fact that the grand jury was made up mostly of Democrats. The problem is that if Fletcher's running a positive campaign, he can't afford to slam the grand jury. And if they do anything that impacts the state employees who were on that jury (and we know there were several) then another Missy McCray situation might develop, and the governor can't afford that.

This would be a great task for Brett Hall to undertake. He's in Frankfort, is now independent of the governor other than being a supporter, and is bare-knuckled enough to out every member of the grand jury when it comes to anti-Fletcher bias.

Brett, if you're out there, get to work!

We believe that if people are made to realize just how rigged this investigation was, they'll become more sympathetic to Fletcher's position and the quandary his administration was put into. They'll understand the need for the pardons and will come to support him and support his reasons for doing what he did.

At 11:19 PM, April 12, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on guys Brett Hall is a paid flack and everyone knows it.

At 10:17 AM, April 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Melinda Wheeler is paying him.

Even if he is a paid flack, he's in Frankfort and he could certainly discredit that grand jury in a heartbeat. If I was in Frankfort better believe I'd be turning over every rock I could about those 12 people to expose their anti-Fletcher biases that resulted in all those indictments.


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