REPUBLICANS BRING IN CAMPAIGN CASH
By all accounts the GOP event in Louisville was successful. Republican donors handed over about $2 million to be split between McCain’s campaign and the state GOP.
It also gave McConnell and McCain a chance to show mutual admiration despite their differences on some key issues. The two have long been at odds over campaign finance issues. (McCain says money has too much influence in politics… McConnell says the paid message is the only way to get a candidate’s message out unfiltered.) They have also tangled over earmarks within legislation. McCain has promised to ban them if he’s elected and use the savings to provide tax cuts. McConnell has frequently used earmarks to bring projects to Kentucky.
BESHEAR ADMINISTRATION: ACCIDENTAL APPOINTMENT
It looks like the Beshear administration has appointed a foe to Republican Congressman Hal Rogers to a state position “by accident.” The governor’s press folks say the administration had no idea that helicopter pilot James Holbert is planning and independent bid for Congress. Holbert has a website up promoting his planned candidacy. Beshear spokesman Dick Brown told CNHI’s Ronnie Ellis that it “slipped through the cracks” and that the administration doesn’t knowingly appoint candidates for office ot state positions.
It may be a mute point… Holbert’s appointment to the airport board is temporary and is set to expire before the deadline for independent candidates to file for office in August.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT SMOKING BANS
More local governments are looking at the option of having their health departments take up the smoking ban issue. Tennessee has a statewide public indoor smoking ban, Ohio voters enacted their own indoor smoking ban. But Kentucky has been piecemealing it the way we did seatbelt requirements back in the early 90s. About 15 local governments have enacted smoking bans. So far, only Madison County has gone the “health department route” . But there are indications that more health departments are looking to do it, when city halls and courthouses don’t have the stomach for the controversial issue. Madison County health officials often answer questions about their unilateral move. Governor Beshear is on record as saying a statewide ban is an eventuality… but he doesn’t believe the state is ready for that yet.