Tuesday, December 12, 2006

No surprise there...

It's a shame that whenever Governor Ernie Fletcher is asked to testify as a witness, even with matters dealing with him, he always finds a way to be out of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It's a shame that he's always out of the state when things like this happen. My best guess is that the Governor has lost confidence in the legal system like Kentuckians, except those in denial, have lost confidence in the indicted governor.
"The governor is out of state on travel through Wednesday and is unavailable to attend," said a letter yesterday from Fletcher general counsel James L. Deckard to lawyers for Mike Duncan.

Duncan's lawyers had subpoenaed Fletcher as a possible witness before the state Personnel Board hearing on Duncan's appeal of his dismissal.

Duncan, a Democrat with ties to U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-6th District, alleged he was fired in May 2005 as the top investigator for the Transportation Cabinet's inspector general as part of the Fletcher administration's plan to replace some workers with political supporters.

Thomas Clay, one of Duncan's lawyers, said the Jefferson County sheriff's office served Fletcher the subpoena Friday while he was in Louisville to give a speech.
One question remains dealing with former Vice President Al Gore. Is he running for an Oscar bid or the presidency? He hasn't ruled anything out.
"I am not planning to run for president again," Gore said last week, arguing that his focus is raising public awareness about global warming and its dire effects. Then, he added: "I haven't completely ruled it out."

Those words make Gore the 800-pound non-candidate of the Democratic field. The possibility of another presidential bid delights many Democrats still steamed over the disputed 2000 election, in which they argue a few more votes, a state other than Florida and a different Supreme Court could have put Gore, not George W. Bush, in the White House.

New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is the front-runner, but a polarizing one for some Democrats. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is the electrifying newcomer, but limited in his experience. Gore remains, for many party activists, the Democrat and popular vote-getter done wrong.

"He won the election in 2000 - he just lost the (electoral) count," former Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler said. "If I were he, I wouldn't rule out a run. It's an uncertain field, and he's a person who is widely respected."
Gore's entrance would certainly change the race but that's if he were to run.

Lt. Governor Steve Pence is urging a review of the pardon power. If you recall, Pence said in 2003 that there would be no pardons in a Fletcher-Pence administration.
Kentucky officials should consider limiting the governor's broad ability to grant pardons so future governors cannot use that power to skirt legal scrutiny, Lt. Gov. Steve Pence told the Herald-Leader yesterday.

Pence said he wants to see "the governor, the attorney general and the legislative leaders meet and sit down to review the scope of the pardon power," perhaps as soon as the upcoming General Assembly session in January.

"Clearly, the pardons that are pre-emptive -- where you don't know the name of the person or the charges against that person -- are very problematic," he said.

Pence said that above all, Kentuckians should know who is being accused of a crime, for what reasons, and how much evidence is available so they can decide for themselves whether a governor is justified in erasing the charges.
Sen. Evan Bayh talks about the efforts he made in Iowa and New Hampshire.
While campaigning in New Hampshire this weekend but overshadowed by Sunday's appearance of Sen. Barack Obama in Manchester, the US News Political Bulletin reports likely Democratic presidential contender Evan Bayh argued that the staffers he hired to work on behalf of Granite State Democrats in last month's election would give him a leg up in the state's 2008 primary. The Indiana Senator funded 15 staffers to work in New Hampshire for the 2006 midterm cycle, when Democrats won control of the state House and Senate, as part of his national "Camp Bayh" program. Democratic activists in the state say no other Democratic presidential contender had such an on-the-ground presence in the election. "It's not all about celebrity status and who has the most money, but about who actually does the legwork, who gets to know people on an individual basis, and who has the trust of supporters and communities," Bayh told US News Political Bulletin yesterday. "A candidate who didn't do that kind of grassroots work would really be running a risk in places like New Hampshire and Iowa."
Looks like there will be another NJDC vs. RJC debate as this came in my inbox:
Ira Forman, Executive Director of the NJDC will debate Noah Silverman, Congressional Affairs Director of the RJC on Wednesday, December 13th at 6:45 p.m. at Washington Hebrew Congregation (3935 Macomb Street NW).
Teachers could soon see a tax break. They deserve it, too, since it's probably the most underpaid position out there.
U.S. Senator Evan Bayh voted in favor of a tax deduction for teachers who spend their own money on classroom supplies as part of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 Congress passed this weekend. Bayh encouraged Hoosier teachers to take advantage of the tax deduction, which provides a $250 deduction for educators’ out-of-pocket classroom expenses.

“Often, teachers selflessly spend part of their own paychecks to ensure that their classrooms are equipped with the tools that students need to learn,” Senator Bayh said. “Teachers are the foundation of our children’s education, and extending this tax credit is an important step toward supporting teachers in their effort to provide the best possible learning environment in their classrooms.”

Educators eligible for the credit include K-12 teachers, school counselors, principals and teacher’s aides. Qualified educators can claim the deduction, up to $250, on their personal tax returns beginning this April. Deductions can be claimed for several types of school supplies, including books, computer equipment and educational software.[...]

Senator Bayh is committed to supporting America’s teachers by providing the resources they need to provide a quality learning environment for their students. As Governor, Bayh emphasized that federal education standards must be accompanied by adequate financial support, proposing changes to the way federal education dollars are divided to provide Indiana schools with their fair share of funding. In the Senate, Bayh has sponsored legislation to cut through federal red tape and give Indiana schools more flexibility to spend education dollars, and since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, he has voted to provide Indiana schools with an additional $200 million to help students succeed.
Sen. Bayh has also joined other Senators in calling for increased federal funding for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) development.
"Achieving energy independence is one of the great challenges of our generation, one that will impact everything from our national security to our economy,” Senator Bayh said. “By increasing the number of hybrid electric cars on our roads, we can reduce our dependence on oil so that America no longer has to rely on countries like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela to meet our energy needs.”

Senator Bayh has been a leader in the efforts to reduce American dependence on foreign oil. Last year, Bayh led a bipartisan group of cosponsors in introducing the Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act, which creates tax incentives for manufacturers to retool their factories to produce hybrids and lifts current limits on the number of consumers who can qualify for tax credits when they buy hybrid vehicles.

In May, Bayh visited the Metropolitan Transit System in Evansville to take an up-close look at one of the city’s four new hybrid buses and to highlight the role of hybrid vehicles in reducing fuel costs and making America more energy independent.

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