Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Late night blogging as usual...

I have updated the latest rumor mill (click potential candidates on sidebar) to reflect the latest names that may be running for Congress or will be drafted to run for Congress in KY-3.

Dr. Chuck Pennacchio will be holding a fundraiser on December 8, 2005, in Philly.

Kenton County Clerk Bill Aylor has might not run for re-election after a gulity plea for being charged with a DUI.
He made no excuses for his behavior. "The fact of the matter is I drank, and I got behind the wheel of a car," he said. "I did a stupid thing, and now I have to take my medicine."

Aylor, 56, a Park Hills Democrat who has been the elected county clerk for 16 years and was an assistant for 14 years before that, apologized for his behavior. "People should expect more from their public officials," he said.

"I apologize to the citizens of Kenton County, and I apologize to my family. I let them down."

He also apologized to a driver who had to swerve to avoid him when Aylor's vehicle pulled out from the parking lot of St. Agnes Church about 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

"There's a million things I could have done differently, but I didn't," he said. "I was wrong, and I can't un-ring that bell."

He said after telling his family, his most difficult moment was telling his employees about his arrest. He said he had to have someone drive him to the clerk's office in Independence because his driver's license is suspended.

The county clerk is the record-keeper for the county. His duties include keeping a number of county property records, issuing marriage and hunting licenses, registering cars, keeping voter records and running elections.

Aylor said he will decide after the holidays whether he will seek another term. He is one of the few remaining Democrats to hold elected office in Kenton County, and he fears his arrest will become a major issue in any campaign. If he does decide to run again, he will have opposition for the first time since he took office in 1990. Covington attorney Rodney Eldridge, a Republican, has announced his plans to run.
It looks like Kenton County Democratic Chairwoman Kathy Groob would prefer that he would run again.
Kenton County Democratic Party Chairwoman Kathy Groob said she hoped that Aylor would run again.

"We would encourage him to run and we will support him. His record of public service is exemplary," she said.

With Aylor as clerk, elections have run fairly and honestly, she said.

"He's a good man. He's just made a mistake," she said. "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone."

If Aylor decides not to run, she said, then the Democrats would "search high and low for a candidate to take that spot.

"It's too important a job to let it fall into the wrong hands," she said. "It's so important that elections remain fair."
The DCCC will double any contributions made between today and November 20th.

SurveyUSA's recent poll in Kentucky shows that residents overwhelmingly disapprove of how he does his job. His approval sank from 46% to 41% since October 17th. Disapproval rose from 50% to 57%. Undecided went to 3% to 2%. If I were a Republican, I'd be very hesitant about a Bush appearance within the state.

It looks like Fletcher is trying to raise his ratings with the latest special report dealing with the Kentucky Economic Advantage and Opportunity Act. While the plan is confidential, Mark notes that if this legislation is passed, it could cause candidates to get nervous if they enter the race.
The three hallmarks of the legislative package are:
1. A repeal of the state's prevailing wage law;
2. Enacting so-called 'tort reform' legislation;
3. Passage of a Right-to-Work law.[...]

Fletcher has personally approached a handful of Kentucky's leading business associations to seek support for the package. The Fletcher calculation is that a scorched earth battle over "business issues" will raise his approval rating into the mid-40s -- a level high enough, Fletcher's consultant's believe -- to give pause to significant competitors, namely any intra-party opponent, as well as an eventual entry into the race by Congressman Ben Chandler or Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson.
There is no doubt that Ernie Fletcher is done with in Kentucky.

State Senator Ernesto Scorsone, D-Lexington, has been sued by the governor and various state agencies.
Scorsone, D-Lexington, a member of the General Assembly's Government Contract Review Committee, has made repeated attempts to examine the billing details of attorneys hired by the administration to aid in responding to the ongoing investigation of personnel practices.

Scorsone has won opinions from the attorney general's office that the records are public and should be available for inspection.

The agencies and Fletcher's office have responded that billing records are covered by attorney-client privilege.[...]

Our governor is fighting very hard to make sure the people do not see these bills," Scorsone said in a statement from his office. "Sadly, these are just a few of the public records that the Gov. has sought to keep secret during the merit system scandal. Who can blame the people of Kentucky for beginning to wonder what he has to hide?"

Legislative staff concluded the administration has authorized contracts to spend $1.3 million for outside attorneys. The administration contends the amount is less than $1 million.

Scorsone said the lawsuits will result in the waste of even more money.
Scorsone has my support if he counter-sues.

Speaking of Fletcher and his legal problems, he sent out a press release today on the rling that Franklin Circuit Judge William Graham made this afternoon. An excerpt of the press release said:
This afternoon, we will file a motion with the Kentucky Court of Appeals seeking an emergency writ of mandamus ordering the judge to properly instruct the grand jury on the law. We believe that the Circuit Court's statement, that it has no authority over its own grand jury, is an incorrect application of the law. Never in the history of American jurisprudence has a grand jury continued to indict in the face of a lawful gubernatorial or presidential amnesty.
Of course, Attorney General Greg Stumbo was quick to respond:
"This order paves the way for the people to know the truth despite the Governor’s attempts to conceal it. The Governor is attacking the principles of democracy by misleading the public, pardoning his administration and misusing the taxpayer’s money in his attempts to cover up the fraud committed by his administration."
In California news, Dick Gephardt and Tom Daschle have endorsed Controller Steve Westley for Governor.

This question to NPR was interesting.
Q: I know that Evan Bayh's father served in the Senate. I also know that the late Russell Long of Louisiana went to the Senate as his father, Huey, had done. What other senators followed their parents into that chamber? -- Michael Henderson, Lafayette, La.

A: There have been many, including six currently serving. In addition to Evan Bayh (D-IN), who is the son of Birch Bayh (D-IN, 1963-80), these current senators followed their fathers: Robert Bennett (R-UT), son of Wallace Bennett; Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), son of John Chafee; Chris Dodd (D-CT), son of Thomas Dodd; Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), daughter of Frank Murkowski; and Mark Pryor (D-AR), son of David Pryor.

As for the Longs of Louisiana, Russell followed not only his father, the legendary Huey, but his mother, Rose, who took her late husband's seat following his assassination.

Other famous father-son Senate combos include the La Follettes of Wisconsin (Bob Sr. & Jr.), the Byrds of Virginia (Harry Sr. & Jr.), the Gores of Tennessee (Albert Sr. & Jr.), and the Tafts of Ohio (Robert Sr. & Jr.). There are at least 30 other father-son Senate legacies.

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