Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Little Jackie Conway's first big challenge

Ever since Gov. Beshear's new Personnel Cabinet announced how it has decided to justify the improper raise given ex-State Treasurer Jonathan Miller's female friend, Brooke Parker, the mainstream press has been eerily silent on the subject that raised such a ruckus just a week before Christmas.

The decision by Dan Egbers, a former personnel official under prior Democrat administrations who's been pressed back into service like so many other recycled hacks from the bad old days, to backdate a couple of ACE awards for Parker seems to have placated everyone.

Well, we're not sure about how Mrs. Miller is feeling these days, but everyone in the political arena seems to be satisfied with the outcome.

The only problem is that this is blatantly illegal. ACE awards are capped at 10 percent of an employee's salary, and can only be given to one person once every two years.

Lame-duck Attorney General Greg Stumbo has been too busy prosecuting Ernie Fletcher for things not one-tenth as bad as Fletcher's Democrat predecessors have been doing out in the open for decades, and cutting deals to get himself back in the General Assembly, so he's had no time to open an investigation into Miller's overly generous raises granted to Parker and the improper method chosen to retroactively make them right. (There's been no investigation into Miller's preselection of a merit job applicant, either, believe it or not).

So the ball will be in AG-Elect Jack Conway's court starting next week. Little Jackie, as we've grown fond of calling him, is already at a crossroads and his career as attorney general hasn't even started yet.

Will he do the right, and open an investigation into this rotten can of worms? Or will he keep the peace in the Democrat hegemony and let the outrageously illegal acts of Miller and the new Beshear Personnel Cabinet stand unchallenged?

Our money's on the latter. Besides the Democrats' notorious lack of ethics and their legendary inability to obey state personnel laws, Little Jackie Conway's a political climber. He's going to want to run for higher office in a few years and he doesn't want to anger those higher on the current pecking order by looking into wrongdoing within his own party.

Welcome to the Beshear administration. It's going to be a long four years.

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