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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bobbie Holsclaw Will Do Very Well In Jefferson county, But The Rest Of Kentucky Considers The County To Be A Different State.

Holsclaw battling underdog status in GOP governor's race
By Beth Musgrave

LOUISVILLE — The top popped off the pepper mill, and black peppercorns spilled all over Bobbie Holsclaw's chicken salad.

The Jefferson County clerk, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor, scraped off as many peppercorns as she could, dug into her salad and turned her attention to the speakers at the Women In Networking meeting at a Louisville restaurant in April.

But the pepper was too strong. Holsclaw's eyes began to water and she began to cough.

When it was time for her to speak to the local businesswomen's club, Holsclaw confessed she had just lost a battle with a pepper mill. The confession drew laughs and in one sentence Holsclaw became less a politician and more a person to the crowd.

She's banking on making a similar personal connection with voters across the state in her underdog, under-funded race for governor.

Holsclaw told the 30 women she was a fiscal conservative who put people over politics. Before she became a public servant, she was a stay-at-home mom to four boys, she said. She was running for governor in part to be a role model to her grandchildren — seven of the nine are girls. (A 10th grandchild is expected in June).

More women should be at the table when important policies are crafted, she said.

"I think you belong at the table with me," Holsclaw told the women, who responded with loud applause.

Holsclaw is well-known and well-liked in Jefferson County. She is now in her fourth term as Jefferson County Clerk, which oversees deeds, car titles, voting and other county business. Holsclaw got more votes in 2010 than any other Jefferson County official, a notable achievement in the heavily Democratic county.

Her peers in the Jefferson County courthouse give her high marks.

Tony Lindauer, the Jefferson County PVA, said Holsclaw's office is "very professionally run."

"She keeps the politics and the office separated more so than I've ever seen before," said Lindauer, a Democrat.

Holsclaw has made it easy for the clerk and the PVA offices to work together, making for better customer service, Lindaeur said.

Despite her cross-party appeal, ease on the political stump and solid support in the state's most populated county, Holsclaw is still considered a long-shot for the Republican nomination for governor.

Holsclaw and running mate Bill Vermillion Jr., a Navy veteran and teacher, lag in fund-raising and name recognition.

Senate President David Williams and his lieutenant governor pick, Agricultural Commissioner Richie Farmer, have raised more than $1 million. Holsclaw and Vermillion have raised a little more than $20,000, according to the latest campaign finance reports.

In April, a Bluegrass Poll by The Courier-Journal and WHAS-TV showed the Williams-Farmer ticket with nearly 50 percent of the Republican vote. Louisville businessman Phil Moffett and running mate Rep. Mike Harmon garnered about 14 percent with Holsclaw and Vermillion at about 12 percent.

Ted Jackson, a political consultant based in Jefferson County, said he has known Holsclaw since 1979, when she was a paid staffer for former governor Louie B. Nunn's unsuccessful second run for governor.

"There is not a more lovely person you'll ever meet," Jackson said. But without money, Holsclaw's chances of winning the May 17 primary are slim, Jackson said.

"It just makes it virtually impossible to win outside of Jefferson County," Jackson said. "You can't do it without money."

Still, Holsclaw remains adamant that she will have enough money to spread the word that she is the only candidate in the campaign with a proven record as a good manager.

"I've been a long shot before," Holsclaw said.

Holsclaw touts that she has given back $7 million to the Jefferson County taxpayers in her 12 years as clerk by returning money she doesn't use to the urban county government. She's been able to save money and still provide raises to her nearly 300 employees.

"What has Phil Moffett done?," Holsclaw said, noting that Moffett has never held public office. Williams has been in office for more than 20 years, yet state government is mired in debt and the state has no rainy day funds, Holsclaw said.

Holsclaw wants the state to overhaul its tax code and move from income taxes to sales and other consumption-based taxes. Holsclaw said she wants to see fewer taxes for small businesses.

Seven out of ten people in Kentucky work for a small business and "they are being taxed right out of business," Holsclaw said.

Holsclaw also believes Kentuckians should vote on whether to add casino-style slots at the state's racetracks, an issue that has dogged Kentucky for more than 20 years.

She is open to the idea of building a nuclear power plant to diversify the state's energy portfolio, although she is quick to note that she also supports the state's coal industry.

She was first elected to public office in 1998, when she beat a well-known Democrat to replace her mentor Rebecca Jackson, the former Jefferson County Clerk. Jackson went on to become the Jefferson County Judge-Executive. Before winning in 1998, Holsclaw ran unsuccessfully for a state Senate seat against Democratic Sen. Tim Shaughnessy in 1996.

Politics was a second career for Holsclaw.

After she graduated from high school, she got married and was a full-time Mom to her four boys. When her younger sons were in high school, Holsclaw became friends with a woman who was working for Nunn's campaign in 1979. (Nunn lost to Democrat John Y. Brown. )

Holsclaw became a paid staffer in the Nunn campaign, which led to a job in Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign. She then went to work for the U.S. Attorney for the Western District for several years doing clerical work before landing a job as a legislative scheduler for U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, who was then the Senate minority leader.

Her Louisville campaign office is dotted with pictures of Holsclaw's time in Washington D.C. in the 1980s. There's a photo of Holsclaw meeting then-Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev outside of Dole's Senate office. Another photo shows her at the top of the White House steps watching as President Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan left the White House for the last time.

Holsclaw, who has the demeanor and looks of television chef Paula Dean, bristles when her opponents say she lacks fundamental knowledge about state government.

"They say I don't have experience," Holsclaw said. "But I do have legislative experience. I know how to get legislation through."

On Joe Elliott's radio show on WGTK in Louisville in April, Holsclaw told Elliott that she does not plan to get out of the race, despite rumors that her opponents had asked her to do so.

"I believe in my record," Holsclaw said. "I am the best candidate for the job. This is about choice ... I am not getting out of this race."

Holsclaw has been married for 48 years to Edward Holsclaw, a retired trucking company owner, whose former company had financial problems.

Bobbie Holsclaw said she files her income taxes separately from her husband and that his business is separate from her personal finances.

In 2001, CitiFinancial Mortgage Company filed a notice that it was going to foreclose on the Holsclaw's Louisville home, a lawsuit that Holsclaw said she was unaware of until she was contacted about it last week by the media. The lawsuit was settled in June 2002 and it appears that no action was ever taken against the Holsclaws.

"This is the first I've heard of it," Holsclaw said.

Edward Holsclaw said that he, too, had never seen the complaint.

"I think it must have been a mistake," Ed Holsclaw said.

He said the Holsclaws had refinanced their home and the mortgage was sold several times to different companies.

"I don't' know if it had something to do with that," Ed Holsclaw said.

Lawyers for the mortgage company were not available for comment.

According to Jefferson Circuit Court records, Edward Holsclaw has been sued several times in relation to his trucking business. For example, in 2003 he was sued for failing to make payments on tractor trailers that he had purchased for his trucking company. Ed Holsclaw, in an interview, said he fell behind on payments after a major client went bankrupt and owed him more than $100,000.

Holsclaw said he ultimately decided to sell all of his equipment, pay off his debts and get out of the business.

"The trucking business is a very tough business," he said.

Read more:

Editor's note:

Barbara "Bobbie" Holsclaw

Party: Republican

Born: Jan. 26, 1944

Residence: Louisville

Education: Graduated from Assumption High School in Louisville

Occupation: Jefferson County Clerk

Elected Office: Jefferson County Clerk, 1998-present

Family: Husband, Edward; four sons and nine grandchildren

Web site:

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Estate And Condo Once Owned By AVARICED Fen Phen Lawyer,, Shirley Cunningham, Sold For One Million And Half Dollars.

Farm, condo formerly owned by fen-phen attorney Cunningham are sold at auction

GEORGETOWN — A 160-acre farm once owned by Lexington attorney Shirley Cunningham Jr. was sold at auction Friday for $1.585 million to Central Kentucky farmer Jim Dwyer.

In addition, a Lexington condominium that Cunningham previously owned was sold at the same auction for $159,000 to a woman who declined to give her name. Auctioneers handling the sale also would not give her name, saying she did not wish to be identified.

The properties were sold by order of a U.S. District Court judge in September.

Cunningham was sentenced in 2009 to 20 years in prison for keeping millions of dollars which should have gone to clients injured by the diet-drug combination of fenfluramine and phentermine, known as fen-phen. The case is under appeal.

Dwyer, a tobacco and cattle farmer, declined to be interviewed after the auction. He has participated in the past with Lexington's purchase of development rights program, an effort to preserve rural acreage by offering compensation to landowners in an exchange for an agreement not to develop.

The Scott County farm sold Friday is off Ky. 25 between Lexington and Georgetown. The main residence overlooks Cane Run Creek and has 4,425 square feet, hardwood floors and an updated kitchen and baths. Also included in the sale were a four-bedroom manager's house, two employee houses, and three barns with 40 stalls. The farm was once valued at $3.4 million, according to a Web site advertising the auction.

The 1,568-square foot Vine Street condo had two bedrooms and 21/2 baths.

There were 11 registered bidders for the condo and 14 for the farm, said David Levy, vice president of LPS Auction Solutions, the Chicago-based firm handling the sale. Between 75 and 100 people gathered on the front lawn of the main house to watch the sale. Some stood near a massive gingko tree.

An order of forfeiture that prevented the property from being sold while Cunningham's case is under appeal was amended to allow the sale by the U.S. Marshals Service, which owned the properties before the auction.

Friday's sale is believed to be the largest in terms of monetary value handled by the U.S. Marshals Service in the Eastern District of Kentucky, said U.S. Marshal Loren "Squirrel" Carl.

The money will go to the victims in the fen-phen case, Carl said. Cunningham and another former attorney, William Gallion, were ordered to pay $127 million in restitution to the victims and to forfeit $30 million to the federal government.

Cunningham and Gallion were the original owners of Curlin, a two-time Horse of the Year. Curlin was later owned by Jess Jackson, a California wine maker who died April 21 at age 81 after a long battle with cancer.

Read more:

Editor's note: Actually, the estate sold for that money. The condo for another one hundred and half grand!

In the interest of full disclosure, I attended a party at the farm once!

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Richie Farmers Spending Continues To "Dog" David Williams.

Williams defends Farmer’s expenses
Candidate talks about media attention on his running mate during visit to WKU’s campus

Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams said Friday in a stop at Western Kentucky University that the media are trying to distract attention from the issues after recent expenditures by Williams’ running mate, Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer, were brought to light.

“It’s an attempt to distract us from the goals,” Williams, the state Senate president, said after speaking to students in Grise Hall. “The (Louisville) Courier-Journal and the (Lexington) Herald-Leader, the liberal statewide press are talking about distractions. The truth of the matter is, is that Richie Farmer has run the most successful economic development program in Kentucky, and that is the Kentucky Proud program.”

Criticism has increased after it was revealed that Farmer spent $1,576 for four days at a Lexington hotel during the PNC/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16 in March and for spending $1,886 for 11 days at a Louisville hotel during the Kentucky State Fair last year.

Farmer lives in Frankfort.

“We’re not going to be distracted by these allegations,” Williams said. “When this primary is over, the truth will be known and the truth is Commissioner Farmer’s expenditures for travel are half of what his predecessor’s are.”

Farmer is a former University of Kentucky basketball player and was a member of the 1991-92 Wildcats squad, nicknamed the “Unforgettables.”

“Every commissioner of agriculture has taken up residence at the state fair because it is an agricultural fair and they do have 12- or 14-hour days,” Williams said. “Truly, Commissioner Farmer is one of the best ambassadors of agriculture we have ever had.”

Williams was the third and final GOP gubernatorial candidate to speak at WKU. He was in town as part of his “Lead, Follow or Get out of the Way” bus tour. Farmer was also in town, but was not present with Williams.

“The governor has refused to lead, refused to follow, it’s time for him to get out of the way,” Williams said, referring to Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.

Williams added that Democrats are already telling Williams why they plan to vote for him.

“They’re going to vote for me because they believe our current governor, Gov. Steve Beshear, does not have an agenda and does not have any accomplishments,” he said.

WKU officials said they extended an invite to Beshear to speak to students this semester, but he declined.

Williams was speaking to students just a day after the Council on Postsecondary Education approved tuition increases for the state’s universities, including WKU.

WKU will be able to raise tuition a maximum of 5 percent.

“I think college in the commonwealth of Kentucky is still a bargain,” Williams said.

“When college becomes a poor investment and people think they’re not getting value out of a college education, they’ll vote with their feet and not come. I don’t think we’re at that level.”

According to a Survey USA poll conducted this month by the Courier-Journal and WHAS 11, Williams and Farmer were favored by 49 percent of likely GOP voters.

Louisville businessman Phil Moffett and running mate Mike Harmon received 14 percent, while Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holscaw received 12 percent.

The primary election is May 17.

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Daring Escape From Afghanistan.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Lawmakers Need To Return Special Session Salaries.

Lawmakers need to return special session salaries
By the Daily News

More Kentucky lawmakers should follow the example of state Rep. Jim DeCesare.

The Bowling Green Republican showed a lot of character recently by donating $2,000 of his salary from the 2011 special legislative session to create a scholarship for a single mother enrolled in the nursing program at Western Kentucky University.

All lawmakers should consider his actions. For too many years, we have seen governors call lawmakers back into a special session to pass a budget or deal with other issues that should have been addressed during the regular session.

This year, Gov. Steve Beshear called lawmakers back to Frankfort for a special session to work on Medicaid issues after the House and Senate deadlocked.

Regardless of the issue, lawmakers have ample time during a regular session to pass a budget and deal with other issues such as Medicaid.

Areas of disagreement should be worked out before a special session begins, which raises the question as to why it couldn’t have been done sooner. Paying salaries under these circumstances rewards poor performance.

This is disappointing and we don’t believe lawmakers should be paid by the taxpayers for a special session when they could have got the business of the state completed during a regular session.

Three lawmakers have followed DeCesare’s lead by reimbursing the state treasury for wages they received during a recess in a special legislative session last month.

State Sens. Jack Westwood, R-Erlanger, and Bob Leeper, I-Paducah, returned their wages, as did state Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville. They should be commended as well.

DeCesare, who also plans to waive his pay and expenses for legislative work for the remainder of the year, also should be applauded for sponsoring legislation that would have banned lawmakers from being paid in a special session when they failed to pass a budget in the regular session. The legislation didn’t pass. Failure to pass this important legislation shows that many lawmakers are out of touch.

Passage might do wonders in terms of focusing their attention, and we would probably see far fewer special sessions.

DeCesare and a few of his colleagues are leading by example and other lawmakers should follow their lead and return or donate they were paid for a session that shouldn’t have been necessary.


Dana Milbank: The Birthers' Rebirth.

The birthers' rebirth
Written by Dana Milbank

WASHINGTON — Barack Obama's birthday, according to Hawaiian long-form birth certificate No. 61-10641, is Aug. 4. This should not be confused with his official birther day, which, after the peculiar events of Wednesday morning, will henceforth be observed on April 27.

Before walking into the White House briefing room to talk to the world about the release of his almost 50-year-old birth certificate, Obama paused in the press office to watch NBC's “Today” show, where Matt Lauer was talking with White House reporter Chuck Todd.

“It's an extraordinary moment — kind of shocking and surreal,” Todd told Lauer. “This statement by the President is going to be about the birth certificate, not about these changes — the announcement about the new Defense secretary, Leon Panetta, and the new head of the CIA, David Petraeus.”

A few seconds later, Obama walked into the briefing room — and began by complaining to Todd, sitting in the first row. “I was just back there listening to Chuck,” the President said. “He was saying, ‘It's amazing that he's not going to be talking about national security.' I would not have the networks breaking in if I was talking about that, Chuck, and you know it.”

Sorry to contradict you on your birther day, Mr. President, but you're wrong. NBC had opted to go live with Obama's remarks because it expected an announcement of his new national security team.

Instead, Obama decided to draw the nation's attention to the conspiracy theory suggesting that he was not born in America. He was stooping to address this oft-disproved canard, he said, because the media had turned it into the nation's No. 1 news story.

“Now, normally I would not comment on something like this,” he said. “But two weeks ago,” when he and the Republicans outlined their budgets, “the dominant news story wasn't about these huge, monumental choices that we're going to have to make as a nation. It was about my birth certificate. And that was true on most of the news outlets that are represented here.”

Sorry again, Mr. President, but, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, which tracks news coverage, the birther story accounted for all of 4 percent of coverage that week. The top issue was the economy — which claimed 39 percent of coverage — and, in particular, Obama's budget speech.

Obama did not address the real source of the birthers' rebirth: the vanity candidacy of Donald Trump. Trump's surprisingly popular bid for the Republican presidential nomination, based largely on spreading the birther libel, contributed to the belief among Obama's foes that he was foreign born; in a new USA Today/Gallup poll, 43 percent of Republicans thought so.

It was reasonable for the White House to counteract the conspiracy types by releasing the original certificate. (Obama long ago released the standard form Hawaii considers to be a legal birth certificate.) Less evident is why Obama felt he needed to lower himself by appearing in the briefing room, escorted by his chief of staff, to defend himself against the birthers.

As Obama acknowledged, he won't ever satisfy a certain “segment of people.” Indeed, Trump, at a stop in New Hampshire, first congratulated himself for forcing Obama to release the birth certificate then raised suspicions that it might be a forgery before pivoting to suggest Obama is an academic fraud.

Obama has potentially released Republicans from a trap: The birther issue had been splitting the party and turning the GOP presidential race into a circus. In a briefing preceding Obama's statement, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer, blamed the press rather than The Donald. “It's not for me to say why mainstream media organizations began to cover this debate,” he said. “They'll have to answer that for themselves.”

On the same podium, Obama picked up the theme when he urged his listeners not to “get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.”

Speaking to “the vast majority of the American people, as well as to the press,” the President said: “We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We've got better stuff to do.”

The President then flew off to Chicago to be on Oprah.

Dana Milbank is a Washington Post columnist. His email address is

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No President Should Have To Bear 'Birthers' Foolishness.

No president should have to bear 'birthers' foolishness
Written by Emma McElvaney Talbott

It has been a little over two years since I stood among the masses on a bitter cold January day in Washington, D.C., at the inauguration of President Obama. This moment would have been unimaginable a few months earlier, but here I stood witnessing the reality of a dream. Knowing our nation's shameful past, steeped in slavery and atrocities committed against Native Americans and African Americans, made the moment all the sweeter and surreal.

In all the exuberant joy of the moment, in all the coming together of many ethnic and racial groups, the harmony of the crowd spoke volumes about how far “We the People” have come. My mind wandered to a time in the not very distant past and tried to imagine what the future would hold for the nation.

As President Obama settled into the tremendous job before him, how would the people respond to his efforts? How would they respond to the misjudgments that all presidents make as they weigh the advice of their cabinet and other advisors and try to do what is best for the American people? Well, it didn't take long for those pondered questions to be answered. First by the citizens who were willing to give the new President a chance to work on the mountains of problems, and then by those who would never bring themselves to accept a black man in the Oval Office.

It is the latter group that concerns me because they have continued to strike with relentless and unparalleled ferocity. Let's be clear, no president should be immune from criticism, but no president should have to put up with such ugly, inhumane and unfounded attacks. And the intense media coverage of the silliness has gotten in the way of real issues confronting the nation.

Sadly, it has taken much too long but there is a groundswell of criticism against the senseless and vitriolic attacks against the president that have everything to do with a brilliant black man having the audacity to run for the highest office in the land — and win. These unsubstantiated and race-baiting attacks are known as racial hatred. Racial hatred isn't going away. There are those who thrive off of hatred, but they are a diminishing minority. The majority of Americans do not operate at the cesspool level where the haters hang out.

The small but very loud and vocal groups who continue to press in every negative way are the offspring of those who openly wore the hooded robes a few decades ago. They have flung off their robes and now portray themselves as citizens concerned about their rights and the nation's welfare. They veil themselves now as “Birthers.” Some are tea party leaders and followers who are generously supported by billionaires who intend to keep controls on the economy and the tax system and are using simple-minded people to further their own interests. These billionaires and corporations lobby and bankroll weak members of Congress to pass legislation that will work against the general welfare, but ultimately they will fail. In fact, as soon as President Obama has served his terms in office, I predict that the need for the tea party will slowly fade.

The leaders of the faction that “lost it” when Obama fulfilled the American dream of becoming president — a dream that could once upon a time be held by white males only — will continue with absurd and hate-mongering messages because that is their mission in life.

Now that the President has released his long-form birth certificate, it will make little difference to the haters who are bent on trying to bring him down. It will be on to the next wild absurdity. The media should not give them coverage. They, like the irreverent, morally and many times financially bankrupted Donald Trump, suddenly feel up to the job and feel compelled to throw their hats or toupees in the ring.

As for the rest of the citizenry, we will continue to try to help the nation evolve. And by the way, though Obama is the first black man to be president, surely you know that he won't be the last. And there will also be a female president. She is being groomed and waiting in the wings to fulfill her role in the destiny of the nation.

Emma McElvaney Talbott is a writer who lives in Louisville. She participates in The Courier-Journal's Point Taken blog.

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There Is Something Suspicious About Barack Obama's Birth Certificate. In 1961, Race Would Be "NIGGER", Not African. WINK!

Yes, that's what "BIRTHERS" really mean;

and, yes,

that was the instruction they got from

their man

on the


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In Case You Missed it, Someone Named William "Got Hitched" To Kate Over Beyond The BIG Pond. Actually, William Is The BEST Of England's Royals.

OsiSpeaks Will Be Making Endorsements In Kentucky's Primary Elections, So Candidates Get Me Your Stuff By May 10Th!

This blog will be making endorsements in the primary elections. If you are a candidate and wish to be considered for an endorsement in your race, you need to submit any information you wish for us to consider, but you need to do so by the deadline of May 10th.

You can email me stuff to:, or by mail to: Osi Onyekwuluje,, P. O. Box 1312, Bowling Green, KY 42102-1312.

Consider yourself noticed.


Joel Pett Exposes "Birthers" REAL Motives: Dang It; POTUS Barack Obama Is STILL Black!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Unfortunately For David Williams, His Divorce Court Records Will Be Unsealed Before The Primary Elections. We Hope There's Nothing Too Embarassing.

David Williams, ex-wife fight motion to unseal divorce records
Written by Andrew Wolfson

BURKESVILLE, Ky. — An attorney for state Senate President David Williams objected Thursday to publicly unsealing depositions from his 2003 divorce that showed the Republican gubernatorial candidate reported gambling losses of about $36,000.

Opposing The Courier-Journal’s motion to unseal the records, Angie Capps, an attorney for Williams, said he concurred in his ex-wife’s opposition to releasing the documents to protect her privacy.

In an interview later, Williams said, “The bottom line is I respect my former wife and I respect her privacy.”

In a hearing before Cumberland Circuit Judge Eddie Lovelace, Capps accused the newspaper of conducting a “fishing expedition.”

“Why is there such an urgency now … other than to use it in a smear campaign?” Capps asked.

The newspaper’s lawyer, Jeremy Rogers, responded that the fact Williams is running for governor is a “game changer.”

The depositions of Williams and his ex-wife, Elaine Webb, were taken in 2003 for a divorce granted that May.

Lovelace said the burden is on Williams and Webb to show why the depositions shouldn’t be released and gave Capps 10 days to give her reasons in writing. The judge said he wants to make a ruling before the May 17 primary, in which Williams is seeking the Republican nomination for governor.

Webb’s lawyer, Danny Butler, already filed a motion on her behalf opposing unsealing the records, citing privacy concerns.

“Both parties have remarried and have gone on with their lives,” Butler said.

Most of the pleadings in the divorce had been made public. One of them showed that Williams — who has opposed casino gambling in Kentucky — reported gambling losses of $36,147 during a four-year span a decade ago.

Williams confirmed those losses in an interview this month. He said there is no inconsistency between his gambling and his strong opposition to legalizing casinos or slot machines in Kentucky because he never denied that he went to casinos or said he had moral objections to casino gambling. He reiterated his long-stated view that it is not good public policy to expand gambling in Kentucky or rely on it as a revenue source.

Williams said he has not been to a casino in more than two years and never had a gambling problem. He noted that in order to report those losses for tax purposes, he had to have won a greater amount than he lost.

Webb, then Elaine Grubbs Williams, cited Williams’ gambling in a motion for maintenance, saying that “it can hardly be said that he cannot afford to pay” maintenance “when over the past years he has spent large amounts of money gambling.” That motion was denied by Lovelace, who ruled that she had enough assets and income to support herself.

Rogers said during the hearing that under Kentucky law, divorce and other court records are presumed public and that a court must adopt the narrowest possible approach in sealing them, such as redacting only Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and other arguably private information.

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Phil Moffett's Campaign Warned By Kentucky Registry Of Election Finance Attorney. Not Good At All!

Election official issues warning to Phil Moffett camp
Written by Roger Alford

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Republican gubernatorial candidate Phil Moffett's campaign dismissed as "absurd" on Thursday a complaint that it may have coordinated with an out-of-state tea party group that is running at least one radio ad in Kentucky.

Kentucky Registry of Election Finance attorney Emily Dennis warned the Moffett campaign in a letter Thursday to "cease and desist" any discussions it may have had with Western Representation PAC.

"Not only did we do nothing wrong, it's absurd that state government is burning up precious resources to intimidate citizens exercising our God-given rights to challenge the establishment," Moffett campaign manager David Adams said. "I'd love to have a real fight over this on the merits or on the basis of our free speech rights. We won't be scared off by this nonsense."

In the letter, Dennis said the Moffett campaign could end up in violation of state law if it is cooperating with the political group.

Dennis said the registry had received a report alleging the Moffett campaign and the political group may be coordinating efforts. If so, Dennis warned, any money the group spends would be considered an in-kind contribution that could exceed the state's $1,000 campaign contribution limit.

The Nevada-based Western Representation PAC, chaired by former Alaska tea party Senate candidate Joe Miller, endorsed Moffett for governor in March. And Miller was in Kentucky last week campaigning for Moffett.

The group is running at least one radio ad in the state promoting Moffett's candidacy.

Miller said in a statement on March 30 that his group had launched an independent expenditure campaign to benefit Moffett. He said the group also would make a direct contribution to the Moffett campaign and activate volunteers in the state to work to get him elected.

The PAC's executive director, Bryan Shroyer, said in March that the group's independent expenditures would likely be in the $100,000 range.

Dennis said such a "pledge" made in concert or at the request or suggestion of a candidate would violate state law.

Registry of Election Finance Executive Director Sarah Jackson said she couldn't comment on the matter.

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With All The Crap That's Going On Around Us, My Good Friend And Legislator Jim DeCesare Shines. I Wonder Who Else Will Follow!

DeCesare donates $2,000 for scholarship

State Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green, will donate $2,000 of his salary from the 2011 special legislative session to create a scholarship for a single mother enrolled in the nursing program at Western Kentucky University.

“I am so pleased this scholarship will help a fellow Kentuckian who is working hard toward her college education and providing a better life for her family,” DeCesare said in a news release. “Education is the cornerstone of making Kentucky a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

DeCesare sponsored legislation that would have banned lawmakers from being paid in a special session when they failed to pass a budget in the regular session.

“While that bill did not pass, it doesn’t change the fact that we as legislators shouldn’t be paid if we fail to do the job voters expect from us,” DeCesare said. “That’s why I decided to take part of my salary from this year’s special session toward helping someone further their education.”

DeCesare also plans to waive his pay and expenses for legislative work days the remainder of the year.

Editor's comment: I spoke with Jim today and he assured me he will NOT claim the donation as charitable contribution on his income tax.

Can Richie Farmer assure us, too?!

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{Donald "The CHUMP"] Trump, Birtherism, And Race-Baiting.

Trump, Birtherism, and Race-Baiting
Posted by David Remnick

Not long after the White House released the President’s birth certificate this morning, Donald Trump stepped off a helicopter, ambled up to a bank of microphones, and declared, “Today, I’m very proud of myself.” (One assumes this is a daily ritual for Trump, but today there were more cameras than usual.) Trump also declared himself relieved that “the press can stop asking me questions” about the birther issue and we can now move on to more important ones, such as “China ripping off this country.” What is there to say anymore about Donald Trump? That he is an irrepressible jackass who thinks of himself as a sly fox? That he is a buffoon with bathroom fixtures of gold? Why bother, after so many decades? There is no insulting someone who lives in a self-reinforcing fantasy world.

No matter. What is truly disturbing is the game Trump has been participating in, the conspiracy thinking he was playing with. And here the polls—to the extent that they can be taken as hard fact—tell a disturbing story, in which no small part of the country has believed in a variety of tales about Barack Obama. There is the birther fantasy; the fantasy that Bill Ayers wrote “Dreams from My Father”; the fantasy that the President has some other father, and not Barack Obama, Sr.; the fantasy that Obama got into Harvard Law School with the help of a Saudi prince and the Nation of Islam. There is a veritable fantasy industry at work online and in the book-publishing industry; there are dollars to be made.

The cynicism of the purveyors of these fantasies is that they know very well what they are playing at, the prejudices they are fanning: that Obama is foreign, a fake, incapable of writing a book, incapable of intellectual achievement. Let’s say what is plainly true (and what the President himself is reluctant to say): these rumors, this industry of fantasy, are designed to arouse a fear of the Other, of an African-American man with a white American mother and a black Kenyan father. Obama, as a politician, is clearly not a radical; he is a center-left pragmatist. If anything, he believes deeply in his capacity to lead with subtle diplomacy and political maneuvering, with a highly realistic sense of the possible; in fact, to many he is maddeningly pragmatic.

The one radical thing about Barack Obama is his race, his name. Of course, there is nothing innately radical about being black or having Hussein as middle name; what is radical is that he has those attributes and is sitting in the Oval Office. And even now, more than two years after the fact, this is deeply disturbing to many people, and, at the same time, the easiest way to arouse visceral opposition to him. Let’s be even plainer: to do what Trump has done (and he is only the latest and loudest and most spectacularly hirsute) is a conscious form of race-baiting, of fear-mongering. And if that makes Donald Trump proud, then what does that say for him? Perhaps now he will go away, satisfied that this passage has sufficiently restored his fame quotient and television ratings. The shame is that there are still many more around who, in the name of truth-telling, are prepared to pump the atmosphere full of poison.

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Editor's note: to view certificate and news report, go here.

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Watch Bob Schiefer Call Out "Birthers" And Donald "The CHUMP" Trump For What They Are!

"Birther Delusions". YEP!

Editorial | Birther delusions

The most depressing aspect to President Obama releasing his long-form birth certificate on Wednesday isn't that the nation's first president of color, and one with an unusual name, was compelled to publicly provide “papers” that his predecessors were not pressured to produce, although that is almost unbearably sad.

Nor was it that the release could be read as giving credence to conspiracy theories that had long been debunked by facts and observable evidence. Nor was it that the surprise move was construed by some as caving to the crazies and bullies who have mouthpieces and megaphones that never sleep.

No, the most depressing aspect of President Obama's taking the exceptional step of providing his birth certificate, and speaking to the White House press corps (and, let it be said, his fellow Americans) about this “puzzling” controversy, is that all the proof of his citizenship still won't be enough for some people.

No, they will still pick at the document (birther queen Orly Taitz already is saying the paper should have read “Negro” instead of “African”) or they will move on to another “secret” kept by the President — say, his grades as a school boy — that also serve to undermine his achievement, and the nation's in electing him.

To some, he is both too much and not enough, and they will not rest while he is president.

That contingent of America will always exist, but there is a special disgust reserved for those who would exploit, for political mischief or gain, the delusions of the seriously disaffected. With a wink and a smile, or couched language, or leather-lunged bellowing, they have shown themselves to be crass opportunists who know the President is a citizen but have put a premium on their own ambitions, the country be damned.

Chief among them lately is Donald Trump, he of the towers, the wives and the architectural coif. He has flogged his patented form of grotesque hucksterism to rising numbers in Republican presidential polls, which says more about the Republican field than it does Mr. Trump's suitability as a candidate or office-holder. Naturally, he took credit for the President's move, practically likening the accomplishment to the ninth wonder of the world.

In his remarks upon releasing his birth certificate, President Obama mentioned the “sideshows and carnival barkers” that were distracting policy makers, the news media and the voters from the staggering set of problems facing the country. “We do not have time for this silliness,” he said.

No, we don't. This surreal ride into fantasyland ought to be over, once and for all, but that's probably too much to hope for.

An African proverb says the dogs bark but the caravan moves on. The nation needs to join that caravan and leave the yappers behind. The birthers have had their day, and it's done.


"[David] Williams, [Richie] Farmer Injuring Their Own Image". I TOTALLY AGREE!

Williams, Farmer injuring their own image

State Senate President David Williams and Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer recently provided Kentucky voters with a few snapshots of what kind of leadership the Republicans might provide if their gubernatorial slate proves successful in November. Suffice it to say the photo exhibit compiled from these snapshots proved somewhat less than inspirational.

Williams' recent displays of leadership featured a combination of ego-driven childish pique and the never-far-from-the-surface dictatorial streak that earned him his "Bully from Burkesville" nickname.

Ego, pure ego, explains Williams' piquish "This game ain't over until I say it's over" stance on the recent Medicaid special session.

Ironically, the special session was made necessary by Williams' equally ego-driven and equally piquish decision to shut down this year's regular General Assembly session rather than continue negotiating a Medicaid budget fix during a scheduled veto recess.

Even more ironically, the 13 days Williams tacked on to the special session after the House adjourned for good amounted to the same kind of veto recess he refused to allow at the end of the regular session.

More important, once the House adjourned for good, Williams knew nothing constructive could happen during the 13 days he spent getting over his snit. But non-productive days counting the same as productive days on the legislative calendar, lawmakers in both General Assembly houses remained on the time clock until the Senate finally gaveled out of session April 6.

Checks, including a portion the $580,000 in legislative pay for those extra days, were issued recently, which brought out the bully in Williams. Explaining to The Courier-Journal that all members of the Senate would be returning the pay they received for the 13 days, Williams said, "Every one of them will make the treasury whole, make the taxpayer whole. They really have no choice. ... Every member of the Senate will participate, and I have the authority to make sure they do."

On the issue itself, Williams is right, of course. No senator or representative should collect pay for those 13 days. And House Democratic leaders are encouraging members of that chamber to either return their pay or, as has sometimes been the practice, donate it to charity or deduct it from future expenses.

However, House leaders' calls for legislators to do the right thing have been couched in considerably more diplomatic terms than Williams' "Do it, or off with your heads" ultimatum.

Meanwhile, Farmer's initial refusal to join all other statewide constitutional officers in voluntarily taking the six furlough days mandated for executive branch employees proves he is unfamiliar with the term "leading by example."

Only when shamed into it by news coverage (or perhaps being on the receiving end of an edict from Williams) did Farmer step up Tuesday and contribute the equivalent of six days' salary to charity.

Too bad he wasn't shamed (or bullied) into reimbursing the state for some of the nearly $1,600 in expenses he racked up while promoting the Kentucky Proud program at the Sweet Sixteen boys' basketball tournament in Lexington. The four nights he spent in a $359-a-night hotel suite seems a particularly unnecessary extravagance considering that his Frankfort home is not that far from the hoops action in Rupp Arena.

Add these recent displays by Williams and Farmer to their past records and the picture of leadership voters might be getting is ego-driven, dictatorial, insensitively self-serving and profligate with taxpayers' money.

Read more:

Editor's note: Go here to read more.


Maybe, Donald "The CHUMP" Trump Is The One!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

David Williams Says Richie Farmer's "Celebrity Status" Justifies Extravagance. What's Next For Richie, We Wonder? Watch Video.

Say What You Want About The Courier Journal, But This Editorial On Richie Farmer Is, Shall We Say: Right On The Money -- No Pun Intended!

Editorial | Richie Farmer strikes again

If you're stumped trying to figure out a likely winner in this year's Derby field, shift your analytical attention to this enigma: Why does Richie Farmer behave the way he does?

Mr. Farmer, the Republican state agriculture commissioner and a former University of Kentucky basketball star, has been on a journey of serial embarrassments since Senate President David Williams tabbed him as his running mate in this year's gubernatorial contest.

He's upgraded his department's vehicle fleet, including his own taxpayer-financed ride. He's taken aides on an extended trip to a Caribbean conference. He resisted participating in the furlough program for government employees, though he finally relented. He received questionable reimbursements and payments from post-election contributions to his 2007 campaign. His wife, who recently filed for divorce, said in an affidavit that Mr. Farmer denied her access to the couple's funds.

It doesn't stop there. Reporters have now discovered that Mr. Farmer billed the state more than $1,576 for four nights in a suite and valet parking at a Lexington hotel during the Sweet Sixteen boys' high school basketball tournament last month.

His spokesman, who may have the most unenviable job in state government, says that Mr. Farmer attended the tourney to promote the Kentucky Proud program (it's a marketing effort to encourage Kentuckians to buy locally produced food), that he had long days and that regular rooms weren't available when he booked his accommodations.

That's all beside the point, of course. During a period when real people are being hurt by the recession and severe budget cuts, Mr. Farmer exhibits a sense of self-centered entitlement that is wholly inappropriate. In this instance, for example, his Frankfort residence is less than 30 miles from the hotel.

Sen. Williams should stop making excuses for his ticket partner and offer some clarifications. Would he tolerate this type of behavior from his lieutenant governor? If so, imagine what his transportation secretary could get away with.


Richie Farmer Donates Furlough Money To Charity. But Donating To Charity Allows Him To Deduct It From His Income Tax!

Farmer donates furlough money to charity

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Republican lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Richie Farmer said Tuesday he didn't intend to seem insensitive to state workers by not participating in unpaid furloughs as agriculture commissioner.

Farmer donated more than $2,000 to charity in an attempt to put what had become a troublesome political issue to rest.

"I am sorry that I did not come to this conclusion sooner," he said in a statement. "It was never my intention to make it seem that I was insensitive to the plight of state employees. I appreciate the service of each and every one of our state employees."

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Farmer said he has given $1,000 to Capitol City Christian Church and $1,071.42 to the Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund. That money is the equivalent of five furlough days. Farmer said he will make another donation to charity next month to cover a sixth furlough day.

Farmer said he opted to make charitable donations rather than return the money to the state treasury.

"Initially, I chose not to participate due to my strong disagreement with the overall policy," he said. "After reconsidering, I decided there was a better way to serve the greater good while letting state employees know that it doesn't have to be this way, and that I sympathize with them and will share in their sacrifice."

Farmer said he still disagrees with Gov. Steve Beshear's decision "to balance the state budget on the backs of state employees" by forcing them to take unpaid leave.

"I believe the furloughs to be unnecessary, as the General Assembly on two occasions has provided the governor other means with which to balance the budget, and the governor chose to veto them. My position on the furloughs has not changed, but I have reconsidered my reaction to them."

Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Dan Logsdon said he was pleased to hear that Farmer "had overcome his philosophical objections" to participating in the furloughs.

"We hope this new found fiscal restraint applies to his luxury hotel stays as well," Logsdon said in a statement.

Farmer, the running mate of Republican gubernatorial hopeful David Williams, has faced scrutiny not just on the furlough issue, but also on some of his spending decisions as head of the Department of Agriculture.

Logsdon had called on Farmer to repay the state $1,576 for a four-night stay in a Lexington hotel during the Sweet Sixteen boys' basketball tournament.

And Republican gubernatorial candidate Bobbie Holsclaw called for the state auditor to do a full review of the Department of Agriculture's finances to look for other instances of wasteful spending.

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Fareed Zakaria On Donald "The CHUMP" Trump And Coded Racism.

Fareed Zakaria on Donald Trump and coded racism

A number of you have been asking me on Facebook, Twitter and iReport what I think about Donald Trump, the ‘birther’ issue and the Republican presidential field. Here are my thoughts:

1. Donald Trump’s appeal is based on a fantasy

Americans have always had an appetite for a populist, non-politician who promises to cut through the mess in Washington and provide simple, commonsense solutions to the problems ailing the United States.

The peculiar American twist is that the populists tend to be billionaires. People think the very rich are immune to the usual pressures in government. In some cases this turns out to be true (Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a good example).

But, fundamentally, this is wishful thinking bordering on fantasy. The mess we’re in is not a product of a handful of idiotic politicians engaged in venal behavior. The problem is that Americans want low-taxes and lots of government services.

If you look at the recent polls, most Americans think there should be no changes to Medicare and no broad increases in taxation. This is magical mathematics. There is no way to make the budget work without doing both of these things - or at least one of them.

The reason people like Donald Trump have appeal is they seem to promise that through their superior business talent they will magically solve problems and save Americans from having to make hard choices. That’s a fantasy. It’s never going to happen.

2. The ‘birther’ issue is coded racism

Then there is the ‘birther’ issue. I regard this as coded racism, frankly. I don’t think there’s any other word for it.

For goodness' sake, George Stephanopoulos displayed Obama's Certificate of Live Birth on network TV and this rumor still doesn't die. Put it this way: If the President was a white man named John Smith with the other background issues being the same - foreign student father, mother in Hawaii, etc. - would there be any of these dark insinuations? Trump should be ashamed of himself. But then, I suppose, he wouldn't be Donald Trump.

I don’t think that the 'birther' issue the real appeal of Trump, anyway. It has just helped Trump get free media and rise up in the polls. His real appeal is the fantasy that he can somehow get us out of the mess we’re in.

The reality, however, is that only we can get us out of the mess we’re in.

3. The Republican presidential field is weak

I think the most serious Republican candidate is Mitt Romney. He has run a big business. He was the governor of a big state. But he’s probably disqualified from the Republican nomination because his healthcare plan is too close to Obama’s.

I think this is unfortunate because he would spur a serious debate if he were the nominee. I don’t agree with everything he says. (He’s said some pretty nutty stuff about Islamic extremism and terrorism). But I do think he’s a credible guy who could plausibly be a good President.

Tim Pawlenty and Mitch Daniels strike me as minor figures who are unlikely to have the kind of firepower that you would need to take on a sitting President.

And Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are ideological statements that fire up the base but would be overwhelmingly rejected by the American people. If either of these two were nominated, it would say that the Republican Party was more interested in being true to its perceived causes than in actually winning elections. This has not historically been true of the Republican Party, which has tended to be a more practical party.

4. President Obama is in good shape

The single most important factor determining a president’s reelection is the economy. And through a combination of good crisis management and luck, I think Obama will end up entering the 2012 campaign stretch with an American economy that’s improving, which is probably more important than everything else.

So those are my thoughts. I'd love for you to continue the conversation below, and to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also send me video questions through iReport.

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POTUS Barack Obama Releases His Birth Certificate, Racists Will NOW Own Up To Why They Hate Him, & "Birthers" Will Await Further Info. From The Moon!

Watch video below:

Click here to see POTUS Barack Obama's birth certificate.

Editor's comment: This release of POTUS Barack Obama's birth certificate will NOT satisfy DIMWITTED RACISTS who really RESENT the fact that their President is Black!

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CONCLUSIVE Evidence Shows POTUS Barack Obama Was Born In Hawaii, But Tin Foil Hatters REALLY RESENT Him For Being A BLACK President. Watch Video.

CNN investigation: Obama 'birther' claims have no merit
From Gary Tuchman, CNN

GOPer: No doubt Obama born in Hawaii

A former Hawaii health officials tells CNN she has "no doubt" Obama was born in Honolulu
Obama in 2008 produced a "certificate of live birth," which is legally accepted
Various Obama family acquaintances remember the president's birth in 1961
Some critics of the president continue to express doubts about his country of birth

(CNN) -- Was Barack Obama really born in America?

A new CNN investigation reveals what most analysts have been saying since the so-called "birther" controversy erupted during the 2008 presidential campaign: Obama was born in the state of Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Period.

Obama passes CNN birther investigation Video

While the president has made light of the controversy, the question remains political red meat for some of his critics. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll showed that nearly 75% of Americans believe Obama was definitely or probably born in the United States. More than four in 10 Republicans, however, believe he probably or definitely was not born in America.

The U.S. Constitution says only "natural born" citizens can become president -- a vague clause that some members of the birther movement contend disqualifies Obama because, they insist, he was born outside the United States.

Skeptics contend, among other things, that Obama was born in his father's home country of Kenya. Potential GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump recently seized on the issue, saying he had doubts about Obama's background.

Trump claims birth certificate missing

CNN investigators in Honolulu, however, found nothing to reinforce those doubts.
Obama passes CNN 'birther' investigation
A setback for "Birthers"

Dr. Chiyome Fukino, a former director of the Hawaii Department of Health and a Republican, told CNN in her most extensive comments to date that she has "no doubt" Obama was born in the state.

Obama's 2008 campaign produced a "certification of live birth," a document legally accepted as confirmation of a birth and routinely used for official purposes. Fukino, however, went one step further, taking advantage of a state law that allows certain public officials to examine a person's actual birth certificate if there is a "direct and tangible interest."

The president's actual certificate, she said, is stored in a vault in the building that houses the Department of Health. Ironically, unlike the certificate of live birth, it is no longer accepted for official usage.

Obama's certificate is "absolutely authentic," she said. "He was absolutely born here in the state of Hawaii."

In order to see what happens when someone born in Hawaii requests a birth certificate, CNN asked a current resident of the state -- Stig Waidelich -- if he could get a copy of the document.

Waidelich was born just hours after Obama in August 1961. Like Obama, Waidelich's birth was announced at the time in the Honolulu Star Bulletin newspaper.

Zakaria: The fantasy of Donald Trump

Waidelich, like Obama in 2008, was given a certification of live birth in response to his request.

Could Obama's 1961 birth announcement in the Honolulu Star Bulletin be a fake? Some conspiracy theorists say yes. Longtime Honolulu newspaper reporter Dan Nakaso says no.

"It's not possible," Nakaso told CNN. "Under the system that existed back then, there was no avenue for people to submit information that way. ... The information came directly from the state Department of Health."

Indeed, as CNN confirmed, all birth announcements at the time came directly from hospital birth records.

Could Obama, a self-proclaimed Christian, be preventing the distribution of copies of the original birth certificate because it identifies him as a Muslim?

Fukino says no. The original certificate includes no mention of the president's religion. And indeed, other original certificates from that time don't mention faith.

Obama could file a Freedom of Information Act request to view his original birth certificate and make copies. But at this point, the White House maintains, nothing will satisfy the doubters.

Rick Smethurst, a 2008 John McCain voter who now lives in Obama's childhood home in Hawaii, counts himself among the doubters. He wants to find someone who saw Obama immediately after the president was born.

Current Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie says he did. Abercrombie, a Democrat, was friendly with Ann Dunham, Obama's mother, and remembers celebrating the birth.

Arizona governor criticizes birther "distraction"

"Of course, we had no idea at the time that the future president of the United States was that little boy, that little baby," Abercrombie recalled. But "we are very, very happy ... that took place."

Professor Alice Dewey of the University of Hawaii was a faculty adviser to Dunham and also knew the future president when he was a child. She called the controversy "funny." She said there is "no way" Obama wasn't born in the state.

Dewey remembered a conversation in which Dunham compared the birth of Obama with that of his sister, Maya, who actually was born overseas.

"She said, 'When I had Maya, it was a lot of more difficult because Indonesia doesn't believe in painkillers while you're giving birth. ... Of course, in the United States, giving birth to Barry (Obama's childhood nickname) was quite different and much more comfortable,' " Dewey recalled.

Waidelich's mother, Monika, believes she saw Obama in Honolulu's Kapiolnai Medical Center next to her son back in 1961.

"In those days, there were hardly any other black babies," she told CNN.

The hospital wouldn't show patient records from 1961, but the state's African-American population was less than 1% at the time.

Regardless of the evidence, there may be no convincing some of those who question the president's origins.

"I find it a bit amusing in the sense that (the issue) keeps resurfacing over and over again," Fukino said. "It really tells us that the whole conspiracy notion is out there (and) that if there is an issue that needs a following, they will find one.

"No matter what you do or say, it make no difference," she said.

Abercrombie, who tried to put an end to the controversy when he became governor, told CNN he just hopes that "people who have this political orientation towards the president respect us here in Hawaii."

"Respect his mother and father," the governor urged. "Respect the people I loved and the people that I knew, and the little boy who grew up here in paradise and became president."

That, the evidence suggests, may be easier said than done.

Editor's note: Tune in to AC360° Tuesday beginning at 10 p.m. ET to see the remainder of Gary Tuchman's investigation into President Barack Obama's birthplace.

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This Joel Pett Cartoon Is Both Funny And Cute. OK, Maybe, Cute Is Not The Word I Need Here. Well, Laugh Anyway 'Cause I'm LMAO!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Steve Pence: Court Records Contain "Inaccuracies".

Pence: Court records contain 'inaccuracies'

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Former Kentucky Lt. Gov. Steve Pence says court records in a guilty plea involving the federal bailout program contain "a number of inaccuracies," but he doesn't deny being an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.

Pence, who also served as U.S. Attorney for the western half of Kentucky from 2001 to 2003, told The Courier-Journal he's not the subject of any investigation related to Charles Antonucci. Antonucci, former chief executive of the now-defunct Park Avenue Bank in Manhattan, pleaded guilty in October to fraud charges and admitted that he tried to grab more than $11 million in taxpayer rescue funds.

Pence, who once represented Antonucci, is not named in the complaint. But descriptions of an unindicted co-conspirator match Pence. Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman for federal prosecutors in New York, declined to comment.

A 44-page complaint against Antonucci identifies an unnamed co-conspirator who is listed as an officer in three named companies allegedly involved in Antonucci's schemes to route $6.5 million in bank funds through several Louisville-based companies, then back to himself.

State and federal corporate records list Pence holding those positions at the three companies during the time of the alleged transactions in 2008 and 2009.

Pence, 57, declined to identify what he called the inaccuracies.

The criminal complaint, filed March 13, 2010, in support of Antonucci's arrest, included a detailed account of the alleged conspiracy. The charging document was filed after Antonucci agreed to plead guilty.

Antonucci admitted that he diverted money from the bank, then back to himself, so he could feign investing his own money in the troubled bank. He cited the bogus investment in seeking $11 million from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, the federal bailout program for banks. The bank was forced to close in March 2010, becoming the largest New York bank to fail in two decades.

The scheme was detected last fall after an unrelated investigation by federal customs agents, and in October Antonucci became the first person to plead guilty to trying to defraud TARP. He faces up to 135 years in prison, but his sentencing has been postponed as prosecutors and law-enforcement agencies continue to investigate, according to a news release issued by the FBI and other agencies.

Co-Conspirator 2 (Pence) is mentioned 16 times in the complaint against Antonucci, but never named.

The criminal complaint list "CC-2," or co-conspirator No. 2, as the majority owner and chairman of General Employment Enterprises of Oakbrook Terrace., Ill., a publicly traded employee-leasing company allegedly involved in one of the transactions.

Corporate records from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show that Pence was the company's chairman and majority owner until last November.

The complaint also says CC-2 was the owner or manager of two other Louisville-based companies - PSQ LLC and H2H Holdings, which records from the Kentucky Secretary of State's office show Pence headed at the time. The records show Pence started H2H in 2008 at his home in Anchorage.

Former prosecutor Kent Wicker, now in private practice in Louisville, said someone might not initially be charged because the government doesn't have enough evidence at the time to convict. Louisville attorney Steve Romines said that could change, however, especially if the named defendant pleads guilty and is required to cooperate.

"You would always be concerned for a client in that position," Louisville lawyer Steve Romines said.

The criminal complaint ties co-conspirator No. 2 to Antonucci through a myriad of financial transactions involving millions of dollars in 2008 and 2009, but doesn't say of the co-conspirator knowingly took part in any alleged deceptions involving the bailout program.

Pence made his mark in the 1990s as an assistant U.S. attorney, when he was lead prosecutor in an investigation of Kentucky state government corruption that brought down nearly two dozen legislators, lobbyists and others.

As lieutenant governor from 2003 to 2007, he denounced his running mate, Gov. Ernie Fletcher, for his response to a widespread merit-system investigation. Pence, who was also serving as justice secretary at the time, criticized Fletcher for issuing a blanket pardon for everyone who may have been involved and the governor's decision to take the 5th Amendment when called before a grand jury.

Pence resigned as justice secretary and refused to run for a second term with Fletcher, who lost.


Like Spam, Elaine Walker Is Sending Out Emails Galore.



Elaine N. Walker

For Immediate Release

DATE: April 26, 2011

CONTACT: Lindsay B. Zoeller

Office: (502) 782-7404

Cell: (502) 220-3401


Secretary Walker casts absentee ballot, urges qualifying voters to do the same

Bowling Green, KY – Kentucky Secretary of State Elaine N. Walker cast her absentee ballot today and reminded voters that many are eligible to do the same. As the Chief Election Officer for the Commonwealth and Chair of the State Board of Elections, Secretary Walker will be out of Warren County on Election Day. Many other voters across the state qualify for absentee or in person absentee voting, as well.

“There is simply no unimportant Election. Every election and every vote count. It is important to make sure you take part in your government and your voice is heard. If you’re unable to make it to the polls on Election Day you may be eligible to cast an absentee ballot prior to May 17th,” stated Walker.

Across the Commonwealth, many County Clerks’ offices have already begun in-person absentee voting, where voters actually vote on voting machines similar to those used on Election Day. All County Clerks’ offices must allow in-house absentee voting at least twelve working days before Election Day. The actual start date for in person absentee is left to County Clerks and their office hours. Voters will have until May 16, 2011 to cast an in-person absentee ballot.

Voters might also be eligible to apply for a mail-in absentee ballot. Applications for mail-in absentee ballots are available from voters’ respective County Clerks’ offices and must be received during office hours in those offices by May 10, 2011. After receiving an approved application, county clerks will mail a ballot to the respective voters, and voters will have until 6:00 p.m. local time on Election Day to return their ballots to the county clerk. All mail-in absentee ballots must be returned by mail to the county clerk and must be received by 6:00 p.m. local time.

Secretary Walker added, “with Election Day so close, it is important that voters make plans to vote. I encourage voters to go online to or to call their County Clerk to see if they are eligible for absentee voting. Additionally, there are a number of online services at that will allow voters to preview their ballots and learn which candidates they will be voting for. Voter turnout thus far has been low and we want to make sure eligible voters know they can cast an absentee ballot if necessary.”

There are a variety of reasons why a voter might request to cast an absentee ballot, including:

• Advanced age, disability, or illness
• Military personnel, their dependents, and overseas citizens • Students who temporarily reside outside the county • Other voters who temporarily reside outside of Kentucky, such as a vacationer • Voters incarcerated but not yet convicted • Voters whose employment takes them out of the county during all hours the polling place is open • Voters who will be out of the county on Election Day • Military personnel confined to base who learn of it within seven days or less of an election • Voters who have surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on Election Day, and the voter’s spouse • Pregnant women in third trimester • Precinct Election Officials

Voters are restricted as to whether they can use in-house absentee voting or mail-in ballots according to their reason for casting an absentee ballot.

Secretary Walker also reminded voters that with the start of in-person absentee voting, electioneering laws are now in effect for the building in which the absentee voting is located. Electioneering is prohibited inside in-person absentee voting locations during the hours in which absentee voting is being conducted. Electioneering materials shall not be affixed to the interior or exterior of any in-person absentee voting location during that time as well. For more specific rules about electioneering, citizens are urged to contact their local board of elections or the State Board of Elections.

To learn more information about absentee voting or to use the Voter Information Center, a service that will confirm voter registration and provide pertinent election information to registered voters, please visit: .


Kentucky's Three GOP Governor Candidates Bow To "King" Coal, Do Tap Dance In Support Of Environment Devastating Mountaintop Coal Removal.

GOP hopefuls OK with mountaintop removal mining

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Companies that unearth coal using a divisive mining procedure known as mountaintop removal have nothing to fear from Kentucky's three Republican gubernatorial candidates.

Louisville businessman Phil Moffett, state Senate President David Williams and Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw have proven supportive of the mining method that involves blasting away Appalachian mountaintops to get to the coal.

Moffett referred to the procedure as "mountaintop development" in response to a questionnaire from The Associated Press, suggesting that it creates flat land that can be used for commercial purposes. Williams promised to stand up to federal environmental regulators whom he accused of trying to shut down mining in Kentucky. And Holsclaw said she would appoint a commission to look at the future of coal.

Being pro-coal is a must in heavily Republican southeastern Kentucky, home to many of the state's 18,000 coal miners and a key battleground heading into the May 17 primary election.

Mountaintop removal, which involves blasting away Appalachian peaks to unearth coal, has been under fire from environmentalists, some of whom have gone to court to try to stop it while others have worked through state legislatures to try to ban it.

Meanwhile, Republican leaders have been steadfast proponents, criticizing federal regulatory agencies for actions that they say have kept some coal companies from opening new mines or expanding existing ones.

"Mountaintop development is vital to Kentucky's economy," Moffett said. "Local regulation of environmental concerns should be sufficient to handle most if not all environmental issues," Moffett said.

Williams said he and his running mate, Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer, will fight to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from instituting policies harmful to Kentucky's mining industry.

"We believe coal mining, under present laws and regulations, can be done in an environmentally responsible way," Williams said in response to the AP questionnaire. "But the Obama Administration is using unelected bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency to shut down coal mining operations in Kentucky, and we think our state needs a governor who will stand up and fight them every step of the way."

Holsclaw called for Kentucky leaders to work together to help the coal industry.

"I believe mountaintop mining can be done safely without damage to our streams, but it is not always done that way," she said. "I want to establish a blue ribbon commission on the future of coal. The commission can move forward in a bipartisan fashion to suggest what regulations if any more are warranted and what areas should we oppose federal regulations. Right now, I don't think state government has enough good answers or ideas for this vital industry."

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Larry Dale Keeling: "New followers selective about Ayn Rand's message". Yes, I Don't Get The Ayn Rand/Conservative Republican Shtick, Either!

New followers selective about Ayn Rand's message
By Larry Dale Keeling

Ayn Rand lives again, if only in the hearts and minds of Republican politicians and elements of the Tea Party movement.

Interestingly, though, in elevating the Russian-born author of two popular mid-20th century novels to the level of conservative sainthood, her new acolytes ignore a few of her core beliefs.

Her anti-communism? They give her a standing ovation there. Her anti-socialism? Check. Anti-welfare state? Check. Pro-individualism? Check. Pro-laissez-faire capitalism? Check. Her atheism? Uh-oh! Anti-libertarianism? Double uh-oh for the Tea Partiers! Abortion rights supporter? BOING!!!

As a youngster, I developed a passion for the classic movies serving as late-night TV fare back in the day. This passion led me to a late-1940s screen adaptation of Rand's The Fountainhead, which in turn led me to the novel. I found it sufficiently intriguing and provocative to read more than once.

I can't say the same for Atlas Shrugged. Oh, the novel has an interesting premise: What would happen if the most productive titans of industry, the nation's leading capitalists, walked off the job at the same time? But this paean to laissez faire capitalism, a central element of Rand's Objectivist philosophy, proved to be dull, plodding and overly long by at least half.

Not surprisingly, it is Atlas Shrugged Republicans and Tea Partiers now worship with near-biblical reverence. Here again, her latest converts seem oddly selective in what they take away from the story.

When Atlas' mysterious John Galt seeks out those he wants to join him in a strike by capitalists (an oxymoron, I know), he chooses only the best and brightest capitalists — those whose talent, creativity and hard work lead to worthwhile outcomes.

They form the collective Atlas who, with a shrug of the shoulder, lets the world fall into collapse — a collapse that not only has dire consequences for a collectivist government and the masses who feed off of it, but also for those in the industrial world whose place at capitalism's table is earned by the work of others.

Such a consequence is consistent with laissez-faire capitalism. But it also demonstrates a point her new admirers apparently missed while focusing only on the overarching laissez-faire theme: Rand clearly believed the leeches of the world exist at all levels of society, including the "establishment."

Knowing this about Rand, could anyone doubt she would be repelled by Wall Street barons who enrich themselves through financial con games and then pay themselves bonuses in the multimillions after tanking the economy? Or by corporate CEOs who collect similar bonuses after driving their companies into bankruptcy?

Yet these are the very scavengers the current crop of Rand worshipers think should be free to do it all over again.

In The Fountainhead, a shorter and more readable paean to the individualism component of her Objectivist philosophy, Rand made it even clearer she knew the establishment has its leeches, too. Her Fountainhead villains, whether patently evil or merely fatally flawed, step right out of the establishment as each in his own way contributes to a collective attempt to crush the creativity and originality of architect Howard Roark.

Peter Keating, a classmate of Roark, builds a successful career as an architect not by creating anything of original value himself but by following along after the architectural establishment. When Roark designs a housing project and allows Keating to take credit for it under the condition no detail of the original design would be changed, Keating betrays Roark's trust by being pressured into making design changes.

Roark blows up the development while it's under construction, leading to a trial where he delivers Rand's defense of individualism.

Ellsworth Toohey, an egomaniacal socialist newspaper columnist/architecture critic, makes his own career by exploiting hatred and fear to destroy the careers of those he recognizes to be his superiors in creativity. He is most venomous in trying to bring about Roark's destruction.

Gail Wynand, the publisher of a newspaper devoted to "yellow journalism," admires and respects Roark's creativity and becomes the architect's friend. He initially defends Roark in the wake of the development's destruction, but turns on him to save his newspaper.

Put these characters in today's real world, and Keating might be a Wall Street minion who knew what his bosses were doing was wrong but stayed quiet while they tanked the economy.

Toohey, obviously, would be a leftist counterpart to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the other loudmouth fearmongers on the right.

It's tempting to liken Wynand to Rupert Murdoch, whose media empire includes the very unfair and very unbalanced Fox News, except for one thing. Wynand's character had a soul capable of appreciating creativity, beauty and truth but sold it to save his media holdings.

Whether the Rupert Murdochs of the world have souls capable of appreciating anything other than the bottom line is a question I can't answer.

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John David Dyche: A Changing [For The Better -- Or Worse Kentucky] GOP[?]

(Senator-elect Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, left, talks with former Ky. Sen. John Sherman Cooper during a press conference at Cooper's home in the Washington, D.C. area. Nov. 28, 1984.)
A changing GOP
Written by John David Dyche

Kentucky Democrats love reminiscing about long-ago days when a species called the Liberal Republican roamed the state's political landscape. Democrats lamenting the extinction of this docile breed of elephant sometimes wistfully whisper the name “Cooper,” just as the dying Citizen Kane uttered “Rosebud.”

The courtly John Sherman Cooper remains the beau ideal of a Republican for older Bluegrass Democrats. He co-sponsored Medicare, supported federal education aid, opposed missile defense, championed civil rights, and changed his mind on Vietnam after voting for the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. The leftist Americans for Democratic Action once named Cooper the Senate's most liberal Republican.

Kentucky had many others. Tim Lee Carter of the rock-ribbed Republican “old” 5th Congressional District offered a national health insurance plan and supported federal programs aplenty. Carter was among the first GOP congressmen advocating withdrawal from Vietnam.

Even Louie Nunn, a conservative capable of race-baiting and religious bigotry, had a liberal epiphany. Elected governor in 1967, he found state finances in disarray, broke his campaign promise not to raise taxes, and spent the proceeds from his “Nunn's Nickel” sales tax on education and health programs. Democrats practically deify him now.

State Sen. David Williams and then-state Rep. Anne Northup earned fleeting Democratic acclaim by voting for 1990's tax-increasing Kentucky Education Reform Act.

Their votes may have been moderate Republicanism's last hurrah in Kentucky.

Walter Baker, a state senator who also supported KERA, epitomized the kind of Republican that Kentucky Democrats held dear. As journalist Al Smith said in eulogizing Baker last year, “Walter was a beautiful example of when Kentucky Democrats and Republicans seemed close together and were able to cooperate.”

But such Republican cooperation often meant saying “me too” to Democratic tax and spending proposals. To paraphrase Barry Goldwater, Kentucky Republicans often offered an echo, not a choice. They provided minimal ideological contrast to dominant Democrats and seemed content as a popular, but permanent, minority. Lacking vigorous competition in ideas, Kentucky lagged behind truly two-party states.

Mitch McConnell emerged from this liberal Republican milieu, but was instrumental in ending it. McConnell admired Cooper, opposed both Goldwater for the 1964 Republican presidential nomination and Ronald Reagan for the 1976 and 1980 nominations, and even had a kitten named Rocky after liberal Republican Nelson Rockefeller.

By McConnell's 1984 election to the U.S. Senate, however, Reagan was providing America's first conservative electoral and policy success since Calvin Coolidge. McConnell moved rightward, tracking the state and national political centers.

While larding the commonwealth with federal funds and backing some big federal spending programs, McConnell also made confrontational, anti-tax, social issue conservatism the hallmark of Kentucky Republicanism for a quarter-century. A few moderate Republican relics remain, like remnants of Louisville's once prominent River Road faction and a few members of the state House of Representatives minority.

The rise of Rand Paul may herald another remaking of Kentucky Republicanism. Paul is really a libertarian, not a conservative, and wears the Republican label from expedience more than party commitment.

Paul's success startled the state GOP establishment last year. His zeal for smaller government is resonating well beyond Kentucky's borders this year.

Many Kentucky Republicans, including leaders like McConnell, are moving toward Paul. The current GOP gubernatorial primary is largely a contest about who most resembles Rand.

Preventing a fiscal crisis is Paul's primary focus now, but his passion is individual freedom.

He downplayed civil liberties, military isolationism and lifestyle laissez-faire to get elected in Kentucky's reputedly conservative cultural climate. Yet his broader libertarian beliefs lurk just below the surface and must inevitably emerge.

If Paul expands his libertarian crusade beyond economic issues, Kentucky Republicans may follow. Paul might also add some doves and social liberals to the fiscal conservatives already marching under his banner. Both parties should beware of the political realignment such a coalition could portend. Forget Cooper. Kentucky Democrats may soon be waxing nostalgic about the good old days of Republicans like McConnell.

John David Dyche is a Louisville attorney who writes a political column on alternating Tuesdays in Forum. His views are his own, not those of the law firm in which he practices. Read him online at; email:


Watch First Projection 2012 Electoral Map. Enjoy.

If you INCLUDE the “Leans” states with the “Likely” and “Safe,” the numbers are as follows:

247 Democratic EVs
180 Republican EVs
111 Undecided

If you DO NOT INCLUDE the “Leans” states, i.e., just counting “Likely” and “Safe,” the numbers are as follows:

196 Democratic EVs
170 Republican EVs
172 Undecided

With 270 needed for election, our Democratic readers will prefer the first tally, and our Republican readers the second. Indulge yourselves! As heated as the campaign will get, let’s remember to have fun along the way.

(Image is courtesy of Larry Sabato). Care to comment?


CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER Asks: Who Will It Be [For The GOP In 2012]? I Say: No One -- Yet!

Who will it be?
There’s an interesting field of potential candidates on the GOP side for 2012

WASHINGTON — Unified Field Theory of 2012, Axiom One: The more the Republicans can make the 2012 election like 2010, the better their chances of winning.

The 2010 Democratic shellacking had the distinction of being the most ideological election in 30 years.

It was driven by one central argument in its several parts: the size and reach of government, spending and debt, and, most fundamentally, the nature of the American social contract. 2010 was a referendum on the Obama experiment in hyper-liberalism. It lost resoundingly.

Of course, presidential elections are not arguments in the abstract but arguments with a face. Hence, Axiom Two: The less attention the Republican candidate draws to him/herself, the better the chances of winning. To the extent that 2012 is about ideas, about the case for smaller government, Republicans have a decided edge. If it’s a referendum on the fitness and soundness of the Republican candidate - advantage Obama.

Which suggests Axiom Three: No baggage and no need for flash. Having tried charisma in 2008, the electorate is not looking for a thrill up the leg in 2012. It’s looking for solid, stable, sober and, above all, not scary.

Given these Euclidean truths, here’s the early line. (Remember: This is analysis, not advocacy.)

Long shots:

Michele Bachmann: Tea party favorite. Appeals to Palinites. Could do well in Iowa. Hard to see how she makes her way through the rest of the primary thicket. A strong showing in debates and a respectable finish would increase her national stature for 2016. But for now: 20-1 to win the nomination.

Donald Trump: He’s not a candidate, he’s a spectacle. He’s also not a conservative. With a wink and a smile, Muhammad Ali showed that self-promoting obnoxiousness could be charming. Trump shows that it can be merely vulgar. A provocateur and a clown, the Republicans’ Al Sharpton. The Lions have a better chance of winning the Super Bowl.

The major candidates:

Mitt Romney: Serious guy. Pre-vetted (2008). Tons of private- and public-sector executive experience. If not for one thing, he’d be the prohibitive front-runner. Unfortunately, the one thing is a big thing: Massachusetts’ Romneycare.

For an election in which the main issue is excessive government (see Axiom One), that’s a huge liability. Every sentient Republican has been trying to figure out how to explain it away. I’ve heard no reports of any success. Romney is Secretariat at Belmont, but ridden by Minnesota Fats. He goes out at 5-1.

Newt Gingrich: Smart guy. A fountain of ideas. No, a Vesuvius of ideas. Some brilliance, lots of lava. Architect of a historic Republican victory in 1994. Rocky speakership. Unfortunate personal baggage. 12-1.

Haley Barbour: Successful governor. Experienced Washington hand. Abundant charm. Baggage: Years of lobbying, unforced errors on civil rights, early neo-isolationist deviations. Rarely without a comeback, however. 7-1.

Tim Pawlenty: Unassuming, unprepossessing, solid two-term Minnesota governor. Currently, mouse that roars. Up-tempo style, middle-of-the-road conservative content. Apparently baggageless. Could be the last man standing. 5-1.

Mitch Daniels: Highly successful governor. Budget guru. Delightful dullness satisfies all axioms (see above). Foreign policy unknown, assuming he has one. Alienated some conservatives with his call for a truce on - i.e., deferring - social issues. If he runs, 6-1.

Likely not running:

Mike Huckabee: Has a good life - hosting a popular TV show, making money, building his dream house in Florida. He’d be crazy to run. Doesn’t look crazy to me.

Sarah Palin: Same deal. Showed her power in 2010 as kingmaker and opinion shaper. Must know (I think) she has little chance at the nomination and none in the general election. Why risk it, and the inevitable diminishment defeat would bring?

Even less likely to run - the 2016 bench:

A remarkable class of young up-and-comers includes Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley. All impressive, all new to the national stage, all with bright futures. 2012, however, is too early - except possibly for Ryan, who last week became de facto leader of the Republican Party. For months, he will be going head-to-head with President Obama on the budget, which is a surrogate for the central issue of 2012: the proper role of government. If Ryan acquits himself well, by summer’s end he could emerge as a formidable anti-Obama.

One problem: Ryan has zero inclination to run. Wants to continue what he’s doing right now.

Would have to be drafted. That would require persuasion. Can anyone rustle up a posse?