Thursday, April 5, 2007


From Louisville Courier-Journal:

A Bullitt County man pleaded not guilty this morning to charges he sexually abused a female relative in a case that involves more than 7,500 counts of sodomy and rape. Perry Bennington, 57, was arrested yesterday after a female relative told police he allegedly raped and sodomized her starting when she was 6 and ending when she was 22, said Detective Scott McGaha with the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Department.

During the years she reported being abused, she became pregnant with a child who died at the age of 9 months, he said. "There’s a good chance we’ll be exhuming the body to check DNA," McGaha said.

Bennington is charged with 4,235 counts of sodomy and 3,285 counts of rape, McGaha said. Bennington was being held at the Bullitt County detention center in lieu of a $1 million bond and is scheduled to be in court next at 2:30 p.m. April 9.

Governor Fletcher has failed our children. They have died, suffered, and been the victims of unspeakable abuse. This Bullitt County case was horrifying. Governor Fletcher should not retain his office. The reasons are Kentucky’s children.

Governor: Help the Jockeys

From the Louisville Courier-Journal:

A fund created last year to assist permanently disabled jockeys is nearly out of money, guild and industry officials said today. Dwight Manley, national manager for The Jockeys’ Guild, said the 58 jockeys who have been getting $1,000 a month have been told they may not get that much this month. "Short of dying, these people, the permanently disabled, are living reminders that this is a dangerous sport," Manley said during a news conference at Churchill Downs to discuss the auction of a Kentucky Derby saddle to benefit the fund.

At the news conference, jockey Edgar Prado showed the saddle he used when he rode Barbaro to his Derby win last year and during the Preakness Stakes where the horse broke its leg. Barbaro was euthanized in January because of complications from his injury.

The saddle, which Prado also used in riding two Belmont Stakes winners, will be auctioned May 4 at the Mint Jubilee Gala at the Galt House. "My fellow riders need it more than me at this time," Prado said. Just before last year’s Preakness, the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund was announced as a non-profit charity established by tracks, horsemen’s organizations, jockeys and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

The fund, administered through NTRA Charities, is intended to supplement other payments to disabled riders, such as Social Security. Peggy Hendershot, an NTRA vice president, said racetracks have provided most of the money for the fund. "It’s basically operating month to month," Manley said. Manley said horsemen’s groups have not contributed as anticipated. "Some people have really dropped the ball," he said.

Remi Bellocq, the chief executive officer of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, said that funding guidelines developed for the fund were, in some cases, unrealistic for some HBPA affiliates. "It won’t help things by bad-mouthing folks," Bellocq said in a telephone interview.

Hendershot said a long-term solution is being sought, and that it wouldn’t be unrealistic for the industry to raise the $750,000 to $800,000 needed each year. Bellocq said he believes horsemen would support a long-term solution that included a financial contribution by jockeys. He said contributions for HBPA affiliates are still being hurt by allegations of financial mismanagement by the Guild’s leadership before Manley.

Kentucky and horse racing are unified. Governor Fletcher should become involved. The NTRA is national. The injured jockeys are national. However, horse racing is Lexington, Louisville, and our bluegrass state. Governor Fletcher should showcase leadership. Immediately, he should contribute.

Conservative Edge Smokes Northup

Reports of the Northup surge were premature

I have been posting stories written by Brett Hall, Thomas Jefferson, and various mainstream media reporters regarding anecdotal evidence that Governor Fletcher has been doing well of late, while Northup has not. Northup supporters responded by attacking my credibility and the credibility of Brett Hall. I was assured loudly and vociferously by the Northup gang, that in fact just the opposite was happening. But yesterdays poll numbers from Survey USA tend to support the stories by Hall, et. al.

And tend to discredit the Northup camp. All of which I was prepared to ignore. Except that in reading comments on other sites today, I have found that the Northup gang has continued to sully my reputation, and call my credibility into question. You do have to admire the Northup people for their chutzpah. Or maybe they thought no one was reading their work on other sites.

When Northup criticizes Fletcher like this, she criticizes every GOP leader

Anne Northup has become so desperate that she has resorted to the type of criticism of Fletcher, that unwittingly condemns the entire GOP leadership in the state. At issue is the state of dis repair of Kentucky's universities. Northup attempts to lay the blame at Governor Fletcher's feet. But in reality, if blame is to be placed, it also rests with Northup herself. She was a member of the federal delegation for 12 years.

Years in which the universities fell behind. She was part of the state legislature, during years in which our universities fell behind. In addition, Northup has unwittingly implicated the Senate President, the Senate Majority, the House Minority Leader the House Minority, four GOP congressmen and two U.S. Senators, just on the Republican side. Each could have done more to make our universities better.

After all, the universities haven't fallen behind in the last three and a half years. And had there been such a need David Williams or Jeff Hoover could have brought the subject up with the General Assembly. After all, it is the House of Representatives job to initiate budget bills and spending. Northup seems intent on tearing apart the GOP, if she can't win the primary. It's no wonder her fund rasing is aenemic and her polling numbers down 21% from her January high.

KY Pachyderm Transfers Topic

When Ben Chandler filed for the special election to fill the seat in Congress vacated by Ernie Fletcher, Mitch McConnell made the comment that the day Chandler filed would be his best day and that it would all be downhill from there. Unfortunately for Kentucky, it didn't work out that way. Chandler won both the special and the regular elections. But it appears that perhaps McConnell was speaking of Anne Northup instead of Ben Chandler.

Ever since Northup declared her candidacy for governor, things have gone south. She's having trouble raising funds. Her campaign speeches are going over like Keith Moon talking to Bonham, Page, Plant and Jones. And now she's losing ground to Ernie Fletcher in the polls. Northup must've thought Republicans would buy her "Fletcher can't win" manure.

Six weeks is an eternity in politics, but from here it looks like Annie and her backers made a serious miscalculation -- almost McConnellian in nature. If Northup continues to lose friends and influence people to dislike her, we suspect that Fletcher will top the 50 percent mark in a three-way primary and he'll come out of the primary in very good shape against a highly flawed Democrat opponent.

Explorer Sales Descending… Why Worry?

From the Louisville Courier-Journal:

Sales of the Louisville-built Ford Explorer fell 25 percent last month from a year earlier and F-Series truck sales, which include the Louisville-built Super Duty, fell 15 percent. Ford sold 12,876 Explorers in the month. F-Series sales were 71,481 and the company said it expects F-Series sales comparisons to improve as the 2008 model Super Duty becomes more available. Overall, Ford's U.S. sales dropped 9 percent last month as it reduced low-profit sales to rental car companies and other fleet buyers.

Ford's sales of 263,684 light vehicles included 174,200 trucks, down 5.9 percent from the same month a year ago, and 89,484 cars, down 14.6 percent. Ford said its new mid-size cars - including the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ - and its new Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers sold well.

"We remain committed to offering more of the products that our customers really want, and the popularity of our new cars and crossovers is proof we're delivering," Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, said in a statement. "Ford is moving quickly to operate profitably at lower volumes and a changed mix .... Our newest products also are achieving the sales targets we have set for ourselves."

No Fear… Fordfare will solve this catastrophe.

It’s Not What They’ve Said

From the Kentucky Post:

Kentucky's job climate has become a contentious issue in the Republican primary pitting incumbent Gov. Ernie Fletcher, former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup of Louisville and Paducah businessman Billy Harper. "For three years, we've had a governor who has put off addressing Kentucky's lagging economy," said Northup, who says Kentucky has the nation's fourth-worst unemployment rate.

Northup said that repealing the alternative minimum tax, encouraging entrepreneurship and letting workers keep more of their pay checks would help small businesses flourish and create jobs. Kentucky's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.7 percent this past February, compared to 5.9 percent in December 2003 when Fletcher took office. Northup notes that the state lags behind the nation, which had a 4.5 percent jobless rate in February, down from 5.7 percent in December 2003. Fletcher has pointed to job creation as a sign of progress during his tenure.

According to a seasonally adjusted, nonfarm employment survey by the U.S. Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kentucky added 61,700 jobs between December 2003 and February 2007. A broader measure of employment shows the state added 93,197 jobs during the period. To improve opportunities in areas plagued by high joblessness, Fletcher said he has worked to expand broadband Internet access throughout Kentucky. He said he has advocated "clean-coal" technology to improve the marketability of an abundant resource.

Fletcher said he's also pushed for "landmark investments" in roads, schools and wastewater facilities to make communities more attractive for economic growth. Harper pointed to a school dropout rate that he said remains among the nation's highest. He said that the "surest way" to boost economic opportunity and expand jobs statewide is "to empower individuals through educational achievement beyond high school."

Governor Fletcher, Congresswoman Northup… are all your thoughts borrowed? Northup’s plan includes repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax (Originally, this was Billy Harper’s suggestion), encouraging entrapaneurship, and slicing taxes (Every Republican’s platform since Abraham Lincoln campaigned). Fletcher’s plan includes expanding broadband access (Barak Obama suggested this), advocating “clean coal” technology (Calling President Bush), and “landmark investments” (A Republican new deal). Anne and Ernie, your platforms have been done.

Let Them Not Read

From the Lexington Herald-Leader:

In a reversal of his predecessor's priorities, the state librarian has restored funding to several big-ticket construction projects in higher populated counties, a move that means similar projects in smaller counties might be losing some funding. Commissioner Wayne Onkst's ruling is the latest step in a process that still offers a 30-day appeals window for libraries to contest the new distribution of funds. Onkst's rulings followed appeals that libraries, including the Lexington Public Library, launched against last year's decisions by former state librarian Jim Nelson.

Nelson acknowledged yesterday that the process became "controversial" because he did not follow priorities set by a state library construction committee that had suggested large amounts go to projects in Boyle, Fayette and Oldham counties. In the new rulings made late last week, Onkst has signed off on $2.1 million in funding for Boyle and Fayette counties and $2.4 million for Oldham. Each was to receive $500,000 under Nelson's plan. But Onkst also drastically cut funds to several smaller counties including Lawrence, Lincoln and Rowan.

The change came as a great disappointment to Lawrence County Public Library Director Mary McGuire, who received a mailed notice of an 80 percent cut yesterday morning. The library had planned to double in size, adding a computer lab, a space aimed at teens and a bigger genealogy section. "We were just heartbroken and disappointed that the appeal could even happen," McGuire said. "We're in a real small area with no industry, and we just don't have a lot of revenue."

Nelson said helping the counties with smaller tax bases was his aim last year in apportioning the funding, which is spread over 20 years. McGuire said yesterday there's little chance that Lawrence County will go ahead with its expansion unless it appeals and wins back money. "We don't know what to do," she said. "We're just at a loss."

Nelson said yesterday that politics also entered into his decisions. He said legislators from some of the smaller counties, whom he did not identify, were instrumental in placing the construction money in the state budget, "and that ought to count for something." "It's not strictly a political decision," he said. "It's just the reality is that nobody was giving us any money, and here we got some money ... and it was strictly my decision.

Onkst declined to describe how he made the decisions. He did say, though, that he did not deviate from recommendations made by an appeals panel. Kathleen Imhoff, executive director of the Lexington Public Library, said yesterday that the library would have to wait until the 30-day appeals window ends until knowing whether the restored funding would stay. It would use the money to build a new Northside branch. Construction bids are due today. Boyle County, which could see a funding increase of more than 400 percent, plans to bid its expansion project by early summer, said Director Karl Benson.

The expansion would more than triple the library's children's space, as well as incorporate a historic house nearby for community space. With Onkst's ruling, Benson said, "We can't count our chickens before they hatch, but it does seem to be looking good at this point."

Governor Fletcher’s Kentucky… Subtract funds from desperate rural counties. Increase funds for affluent populated counties.
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