Friday, March 2, 2007

Pence Will Not Resign

Pence will not resign. He has neither humility nor character. He also has no staff, no political responsibilities, and no reason to remain Leutenant Governor. State Senator Carroll reinforced my feelings. However, Pence will not resign. He is determined to serve, persisting as a fake in the Governor’s house.

Pence is squandering taxpayer funds. One would assume the aforesaid runs opposite conservative principals. Clearly, Pence has no principals. He is simply seeking retribution…. Not as Fletcher’s LG, as Northup’s second running mate.

From Louisville Courier-Journal:

Sen. Julian Carroll, a former governor, called today on Republican Lt. Gov. Steve Pence to resign, saying he has shown disloyalty to Gov. Ernie Fletcher and the state. "It is time, it is past time, that he show at least some humility and at least some character … and resign," Carroll, D-Frankfort, said in a five-minute speech on the Senate floor.

Carroll said Pence, with no staff left, has nothing to do and is wasting taxpayer money. The speech drew applause from Republicans and Democrats alike. Pence and Fletcher have parted ways politically over the governor’s handling of the investigation into his administration’s hiring practices.

Pence said later, "The former governor could not name a specific area where I have failed in my official duties. He believes that my official duties include campaigning for and supporting a governor who has engaged in the conduct Ernie Fletcher has engaged in," Pence said, referring to Fletcher’s blanket pardon and other actions responding to a special grand jury investigation of administration hiring practices.

Fletcher said later that he asked Pence to resign last year when Pence announced he would not continue as his running mate in the 2007 elections and resigned as the administration’s Justice Cabinet secretary.

"I’ve made my request and he denied that and I understood that and I accepted that. But now he has a decision to make given other requests," Fletcher said. Earlier this week Pence endorsed former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup of Louisville in the May 22 Republican primary for governor.

NTU Criticizes Northup

The National Taxpayers Union has issued its 2006 Congressional Scorecard.

Here's how Kentucky's delegation did:

Chandler, F, 16%
Davis, B-, 59%
Lewis, B, 62%
Northup, C+, 54%
Rogers, C+, 54%
Whitfield, C, 50%

Ford Floundering… Fletcher’s Response?

Can you hear the celebration? Governor Fletcher is cheering Ford’s demise. His delight is two-pronged.

Despite Ford’s destitution, they remain subject toFletcher’s Alternative Minimum Tax. Simultaineously, Fletcher will campaign on Ford. His extensive Fordfare generates a caring facade. However, Fordfare is inadequate. The AMT will ravage any assistance.

Fordfare is not serious aid. If Fletcher were serious, he would repeal the AMT. He would also utilize Republican principals and restore Ford. However, the aforementioned will not occur. Amidst Ford’s failure, Fletcher is rejoicing.

Explorer February sales down 26% from last year

Ford Motor Co.’s Explorer sport utility vehicles and F-Series pickups saw some improvement in February after plunging in January. Ford sold nearly 13,000 Explorers in February, a 26 percent decline from a year ago, but up from about 10,000 in January.

Ford makes the vehicle at the Louisville Assembly Plant on Fern Valley Road. F-Series pickup sales, including the Super Duty models built at the Kentucky Truck Plant on Chamberlain Lane fell 12 percent in February to 55,251, an improvement from the 14 percent January decline. The truck plant began producing 2008 models in December, and while supplies are still low, Ford said early results are very promising. The average 2008 truck sat on dealer lots for only six days before being sold.

Overall, Ford sales were down 13.5 percent as the automaker continued to slash unprofitable sales to rental car companies. The decline had been expected because Ford ceased production last year of the Taurus sedan and has cut back on other rental models. The automaker’s cars performed well in February with 46 percent increase in sales of the Fusion mid-sized sedan and an 8 percent increase in Focus small cars.

Ford says engine dispute will hurt March sales

Even if Ford Motor Co. loses only a day or two of production of 2008 F-Series Super Duty trucks, March sales will be hurt, the automaker said. Orders from dealerships for the Louisville-built truck have been stronger than expected and the vehicles that were on lots last month didn’t stay longer than six days on average. At the end of the month Ford had only 12,000 of the trucks available for sale.

"The units that we have out there are turning quickly," Ford sales analyst George Pipas said today. He added that there aren’t enough trucks in inventory to keep up with sales and that the few days of lost production will hurt. Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant on Chamberlain Lane worked partial shifts today and is scheduled to be down tomorrow.

The company hopes to get full production up next week now that Navistar International has been ordered to resume shipping diesel engines to the plant. Navistar on Monday announced it had stopped shipping engines to the plant because of a dispute over payments from Ford.

Pipas said the work stoppage did not affect February sales, but he expects to see an impact this month. In February, Ford sold 55,251 F-Series trucks. Pipas did not release Super Duty figures, but they typically make up about 40 percent of the truck line’s sales. F-Series sales fell 12 percent in February, an improvement from the 14 percent decline in January.

Ford sued Navistar in January, saying the engine maker failed to pay for its share of recalls on the 6-liter diesel engine sold in 2002-2007 model year Ford trucks. In its suit, Ford said it was withholding funds for the new 6.4-liter engine to recoup those expenses. Late yesterday, a judge in Michigan issued a restraining order, forcing Navistar to restart engine production and Ford to restart full payments.

Harper, Fletcher Discuss Prevailing Wage

From Conservative Edge:

Governor Fletcher

"Taxpayers deserve to know that their dollars are being spent wisely and stretched as far as we can take them. That is not the case with the current prevailing wage law, which is both arbitrary and unfair. It is an artificial cost driver in state construction projects, and takes available dollars away from other worthwhile programs or projects.

That is why I have called for and support its repeal. During my first term we have undertaken the most ambitious infrastructure program in the history of the commonwealth. It is estimated that without prevailing wage we would have 6 to 12 percent more to spend on school construction projects. That money could have been used to build as many as 33 new schools. The savings would help with other needed facilities in areas of rapid growth like Boone County and Ft. Knox. Every day my administration is searching for innovative solutions to make government more efficient and to provide the greatest value for every tax dollar."

Billy Harper

The Harper campaign has gotten some criticism for its use of YouTube video to answer questions. I for one, think its refreshing. Take this answer for instance - a little rough around the edges, but it was done on the tour bus, while the bus was moving. In other words, immediacy of the message.

I called the campaign this morning and they recorded this answer within 20 minutes of my phone call. This gives Harper an immediate if sometimes awkward connection with the voter. Overall, impressive. See and judge for yourself.

We’re 47th!

From Lexington Herald-Leader

Many states are distressingly lax in their regulation and oversight of child care centers, according to a new nationwide survey which gives its lowest marks to Idaho and Louisiana and its highest grade to the far-flung system run by the U.S. military. Among the common problems in the states are infrequent inspections, deficient safety requirements, and low hiring standards - including lack of full criminal background checks - for center employees.

"State child care standards and oversight in this nation are not protecting our children and are not preparing them for success in school," said Linda Smith, executive director of the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, which was releasing the first-of-its-kind ranking Thursday. She urged action by Congress and state legislatures. An estimated 12 million children under age 5 are in non-parental child care each week.

The association reviewed policies and regulations for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Defense Department, which ranked a decisive No. 1 overall and led both subcategories - one measuring standards that are in place, the second measuring how vigorously the standards are enforced. "Standards are meaningless without oversight," Smith said. "The Defense Department has good enforcement, and that has brought their program to a much higher level."

Following the military atop the rankings were Illinois, New York, Maryland, Washington, Oklahoma, Michigan, North Dakota, Tennessee, Minnesota and Vermont. Idaho ranked last; the next lowest scores were for Louisiana, Nebraska, Kentucky, California and Kansas. Criteria for the rankings included caseloads for center inspectors, frequency of inspections, health and safety requirements, background checks, staff qualifications and activities offered to children.

Simply stated, Kentucky child care is deplorable. Our wretched stature demands reaction. Immediately, legislation should be authored. Governor should personally address the circumstances.

Governor, Kentucky’s children are waiting…

Biting Legislation – Part Three

Indecision on runoff repeal continues

Unable to decide what action to take about possible runoff elections in the primary for governor, the House elections committee voted this afternoon to approve two bills: one that would repeal the runoff provision and one that would have the state pay the full costs of a runoff.

Quit! Frankfort politicians, allow the election to proceed. Campaign within the stated rules.

Anti-abortion bill warmly received

A second anti-abortion bill pushed by a Northern Kentucky legislator is advancing through the state Senate. Women seeking abortions would be informed about fetal pain and use of anesthesia in prenatal surgeries under a bill sponsored by Sen. Jack Westwood, R-Crescent Springs. The measure, which easily cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, would add to the information given to women before they undergo abortions. The bill says the new material would inform women that by 20 weeks gestation the "unborn child has the physical structures necessary to experience pain."

Information is critical. This is the ultimate pro-life legislation. Governor Fletcher, sign this bill.

Houses passes Boni Bill to protect social workers

Reacting to the murder of a social worker last year, the House on Thursday approved legislation to protect other state employees responsible for oversight of abused and neglected children. The measure provides $4.8 million in funding to hire an additional 108 social workers and aides and to open 15 centers around the state for where biological parents can visit with their children who have been removed from their homes.

Outstanding memorial. Governor Fletcher, honor Boni with your signature.

Coal mine widows to protest stalled safety bill

With only days left for state lawmakers to pass a tougher mine safety measure, widows of Kentucky coal miners killed on the job plan to return to Frankfort next week to protest the inaction of legislators.

Last year, several mining tragedies occurred. Why are we debating this legislation? For safety’s interest, craft a law. Please!

Nursing home bills likely won't get to a vote

Nursing home legislation that would set minimum staffing standards and require employees to be tested for drugs has stalled in the House of Representatives. The problem is not opposition to the bills but time, said Rep. Tom Burch, D-Louisville, chairman of the House Health and Welfare Committee, where three bills related to nursing homes have been assigned. "They're not dead," Burch said. "They're just hanging in there."

Who opposes drug testing and ensuring patient care?

House passes Museum Plaza bill

A bill that Museum Plaza developers say is critical to their downtown Louisville project passed the Kentucky House today. House Bill 549, which would allow Museum Plaza to use room taxes from a Westin hotel to be built on the site to pay for nearby public infrastructure, was approved 79-13.

Promotion through tourism. Necessary spending.
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