Alice Forgy Kerr

Kentucky Roulette: Know When to Run (or: Horseshoes & Hand Grenades)

February 23, 2012

The Gambler by Johnny Cash on Grooveshark

Passed out of Committee yesterday and forced to a vote today, the Casino Gambling Bill failed 16 Yeas to 21 Neighs, with one very important vote not cast.

The tally:


REPUBLICANS — Buford, Nicholasville; Gibson, Leitchfield; Harris, Crestwood; Higdon, Lebanon; Schickel, Union; Thayer, Georgetown.

DEMOCRATS — Blevins, Morehead; Clark, Louisville; Harper Angel, Louisville; Palmer, Winchester; Parrett, Elizabethtown; Pendleton, Hopkinsville; Rhoads, Madisonville; Ridley, Henderson; Shaughnessy, Louisville; Stein, Lexington.


REPUBLICANS — Bowen, Owensboro; Carpenter, Berea; Denton, Louisville; Givens, Greensburg; Hornback, Shelbyville; Jensen, London; Kerr, Lexington; McGaha, Russell Springs; Seum, Louisville; Smith, Hazard; Stine, Southgate; Stivers, Manchester; Westwood, Erlanger; Williams, Burkesville; Wilson, Bowling Green; Winters, Murray.

DEMOCRATS — Carroll, Frankfort; Jones, Pikeville; Turner, Prestonsburg; Webb, Grayson.

INDEPENDENTS — Leeper, Paducah.


DEMOCRATS — Neal, Louisville.

The Bill needed 23 votes to pass and obviously fell well short of that — they needed those four Dems, the missing vote and two Republicans, or some similar combo.

Thayer fought to delay the vote as Sen. Neal could not be there but Williams went on with it and got what he wanted — a double whammy, screwing the Governor who trounced him in November and flipping the bird to the state that so roundly rejected him.

The bill would not have legalized gambling, just put it on the ballot in November for the people to vote on, an option polls from the horse industry and even the republican party showed the people strongly favored. (Though it was never clear if the Amendment would have passed that popular vote.)

Some of the thinking goes that certain people who’d said they’d put the bill over the top were only willing to cast their Yeses if the Bill had the votes to assure victory. When Sen. Neal couldn’t make it — he was out of town — the pledged supporters fell away, not wanting to lend their voices to a controversial losing effort.

The Herald has the story, including:

Patrick Neely, spokesman for the Kentucky Equine Education Project, also expressed disappointment on behalf of horsemen.

“Kentucky’s horse industry has undoubtedly reached a critical juncture,” Neely said in a statement. “We therefore challenge those elected officials who professed support for Kentucky’s signature horse industry, but voted against the bill, to help us find solutions to our industry’s significant competitive disadvantage.”

The missing Senator, Neal, says he was out of town. David Williams says Neal skipped out on the vote to attend the Michelle Obama event in Louisville. Neal voted yesterday in Committee in favor of the bill.

Beshear put on if not a poker face at least a brave one. In a statement:

“Obviously, I am disappointed that several of the Senators who had publicly said they would support letting the people decide did not follow through on their commitment to our citizens.

I am also disappointed that Sen. Williams chose to sabotage the chance for our citizens to decide by scheduling the vote for today, when he knew that a Senator who planned to vote “yes” would not be in town.

However, for the very first time, we were able to get this issue considered by the state Senate, and I appreciate the bipartisan cooperation of Sen. Thayer and others, which allowed that to happen.

This is a good omen for the future of expanded gaming in our state, and I look forward to continuing to work with the legislature to address this issue.”

Alice Forgy Kerr, Senator from Lexington, took to the floor and gave a little speech (with a shout out to her brother Larry):

“I don’t care what the other states are doing,” said Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, R-Lexington. “Why would we jump off this cliff into darkness and sin and addiction? This is terrible public policy.”

She’s not up for re-election until 2014 after she squeeked by Don Blevins back in 2010.

What’ll happen next? Can Beshear pull a rabbit out of his hat, or a lucky horseshoe? Or do we move on to revising the state’s tax system?

Kentucky Roulette: Alice Forgy Kerr doesn’t understand Lexington; Senate to vote on Gambling Bill

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February 23, 2012

The Senate Committee on State and Local Government voted yesterday 7-4 advanced the gambling bill to the full Senate. David Williams is pushing for a full vote today, while Republican co-sponsor of the bill Damon Thayer is pushing for a delay since two Democratic Senators aren’t going to be there today to vote

(According to CJ’s liveblog, at least one of those missing Senators appears to have made it to town but is holding the Fair board vote up against his Casino vote in a game of brinkmanship.)

The HL:

The bill approved by the committee dropped a key protection for horse racetracks and Thayer, R-Georgetown, said he will propose more changes that could sour racetracks on the legislation.

As amended Wednesday, the bill no longer guarantees that five of the seven casinos will be located at racetracks.

Also, Thayer said he will offer floor amendments to eliminate a provision that prohibits free-standing casinos from locating within 60-miles of racetracks and to alter language that says the General Assembly “shall” create gambling regulations if voters approve the constitutional amendment. Instead, the bill would say lawmakers “may” create regulations that allow casino gambling.

Beshear and Republican Commissioner of Agriculture Jamie Comer testified in favor of the revised bill during a two-hour hearing, saying it would adequately protect the horse industry.

Alice Forgy Kerr, of Lexington, voted against the bill because she was concerned that 18 year olds who have for years gone to Keeneland to bet on horses would still be able to go to Keeneland and bet on horses. She went on to accuse the Governor of wanting to bus 18 year olds to the casino track… which is really stupid since the 18 year olds who tend to go to Keeneland are Duck Heads and Seersuckers, so they’re probably gonna take that leftover 4-Runner not get on a city bus.

But who ever accused Alice Forgy Kerr of understanding Lexington?

The CJ has more…

Bob at BlueBluegrass writes:

There are fiscal arguments as well, but the most powerful argument is that the signature industry and former number one farm crop for our state deserves a fair chance to compete with other states. The revenue arguments support passing the amendment as well. Even if the gaming “only” brings in a few hundred million a year to the state, to a commonwealth that is undergoing amputation of state government functions, such money is desperately needed. And the unholy alliance of Kentucky Senate President and Indiana casino gambler David Williams and his out of state allies who seek to protect their markets are laughing their heads off, knowing that any negatives associated with gaming are already occurring as Kentuckians drive out of state to gamble, and knowing that Kentuckians are being tricked into paying for Indiana’s racing program, Indiana’s schools, roads, and state government.

Please call senators today, and please let them know how very much this matters to Kentuckians. To say it is important is an understatement. A lot of good Kentucky farms are already gone. Do something to protect those that remain. Call 1-800-372-7181.

The Herald Ed-Board writes:

Our support for expanded gambling of any kind stems from our belief that Thoroughbred racing, a signature Kentucky industry, needs it to remain competitive with its counterparts in states where purses and breeding incentives are supplemented by revenue from expanded gambling.

Although not specifically stated in the proposed amendment, the buffer zone has the practical effect of assuring some of the seven casinos authorized by the measure will be located at and operated by racetracks, thereby helping them to achieve parity with other “racino” states. Remove the buffer zone, and there is no guarantee any casinos will be located at racetracks or even provide any benefit to the racing industry.

Without such a guaranteed benefit to a signature industry, Kentucky doesn’t need to add to the gambling options it already has.

Here’s yesterday’s committee vote:


  • Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown
  • Dan Schickel, R-Union
  • Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon
  • R.J. Palmer, D-Winchester
  • Johnny Ray Turner, D-Prestonsburg
  • Walter Blevins, D-Morehead
  • Gerald Neal, D-Louisville


Lexington Senator Alice Forgy Kerry voted against the amendment.
Will the horse industry make her pay?

  • Alice Forgy Kerr, R-Lexington
  • Dan Seum, R-Louisville
  • Tom Jensen, R-London
  • Robert Stivers, R-Manchester

Republican Party pushes Garland Barr IV to wave white flag

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February 13, 2012

A quick roundup of Congressional redistricting finds Andy Barr giving up in the 6th after his fellow Republicans strengthened themselves and left the Tea Panderer out in the cold.

The bill was signed into law on Friday by Gov. Beshear. After the House and Senate failed to come to an agreement on their own maps, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and 5th District Congressman Hal Rogers got together and crafted a map of their own.

That map strengthens all incumbents, including Ben Chandler. This angered 6th District area Republicans, like state Sen. Damon Thayer. A week after trying to expunge the area’s own Senator, Thayer was forced to pivot, flip-flopping his position so that now he finds himself incensed and offended by the redistricting process. Our hearts go out to him, and the others. From the CJ:

Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, R-Lexington, called HB 302 the “Ben Chandler Lifetime Employment Act.”

Thayer called the bill an “insult” to the people of Central Kentucky and described it as “horrific.”

….Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, complained that “we have turned our allegiance more to the congressional delegation than to the taxpayers.” He said the people in his district oppose the plan.

Rep. Lonnie Napier, R-Lancaster, said his constituents don’t want to move from the 6th District to the 2nd, as the plan requires.

He said the people in his district are “not a bit happy.”

Now unlike Thayer’s plan to disappear Kathy Stein, the Hal Rogers compromise map doesn’t do anything too crazy… it just shifts a few lines and Brett Guthrie should be a) concerned, and b) offended that so many Republicans are unhappy about now having his conservative credentials as their new Congressman.

What do Fayette-area Republicans have against Brett Guthrie?

Garland Barr IV was similarly offended by Hal Rogers’ plan. He said:

It’s weird that Barr and his Republican allies have taken this opportunity not to welcome their new voters or accept any challenge, but rather to throw up their hands, waving the white flag.

If you want to call it the “Ben Chandler Lifetime Employment Act” and you want to spend your time appealing to voters who can no longer vote for you because they are now represented by Brett Guthrie, that’s your choice, but it’s not particularly smart to declare your race lost while simultaneously alienating and denigrating your new voters.

[Check the HL for maps.]

The only explanation for why Barr and his allies would crap all over Hal Rogers and the Republican power nexus that crafted these maps is that the Barr campaign is continuing its strategy of pandering to the Tea Party.

Cynically believing the Tea Partiers and rank and file conservative activists to be total idiots, Andy Barr is trying to make them believe this was all Ben Chandler’s doing. Which is simply not true. Barr and 6th District republicans were pawned by Rogers and the Republican controlled delegation to make the other districts more conservative.

Each of the four Republican members, Reps. Brett Guthrie, Ed Whitfield, Hal Rogers and retiring Rep. Geoff Davis, are drawn into conservative-oriented seats.

There is a catch for Republicans, however: In keeping their House members safe, they also bolstered Democratic Rep. Ben Chandler by shifting more Democratic voters into his district. Chandler is a top GOP target who survived the 2010 election in one of the closest races of the year. Under the plan, Chandler’s Lexington-based 6th District seat will become slightly more Democratic-friendly.

Sonka/LEO’s Fat Lip has more on both the internal GOP squabbling that led to this compromise, as well as some sharp words from Ms. Kathy Stein for Thayer and Kerr and a quick numbers game looking at how the new 6th might alter vote turnouts for Barr and Chandler.

GOP internal squabbling leads to congressional redistricting deal

Though it looked like congressional redistricting would go to the courts, since the legislature couldn’t reach a compromise, that will no longer be the case. A wild morning full of emotions and accusations lead to the passage of House Bill 302, which will now go in the books and finalize the boundaries for congressional districts in Kentucky.

Though an agreement appeared to be reached a week ago, it was nixed at the last minute by central Kentuckian Republicans, particularly Sen. Damon Thayer and 6th District congressional candidate Andy Barr, who got Tea Partiers from their area to flood Republican senators with calls telling them not to agree to it. While the deal reached eased the concerns of Republicans in other districts, it does give Chandler a slightly more favorable district than what he previously had. In nixing the deal, several Republicans were quite liberal in expressing their anger at Barr for sabotaging it (particularly Tom Jensen).

Click it and go.

Don Blevins TV ad

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October 31, 2010

Me thinks this is a winner:

is running for State Senate in the 12th District of Lexington. This is an important race, so be sure not to skip over it.

Video: Jim Newberry hearts Rand Paul (UPDATE)

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October 30, 2010

The Fayette County Republican Party held a rally today for Rand Paul, Andy Barr and Alice Forgy Kerr at their headquarters. Even Senator Mitch McConnell was there to cheer them on to victory.

And who else was there to cheer on the victory of Rand Paul and Andy Barr?

Mayor Jim Newberry.

Here’s video of Mayor Newberry cheering on Rand Paul, then turning around to see that I’m filming him. And he stops clapping immediately:

I know what you’re thinking… “isn’t Jim Newberry a Democrat?”

Well, technically. He’s the kind of Republican that supported Ernie Fletcher for Governor…

… and the kind that thinks that being gay should be an illegal crime.

And today we learn that he’s the type of Democrat that wants Rand Paul to be your next Senator until the year 2017.

So please pass this around to all of your Democratic friends.

And remember that Jim Gray could use some volunteers over the next 4 days.

UPDATE: Oh, and here’s video of Jim Newberry sucking up to Mitch McConnell:

He appears to have something in his throat, no? *ahem*

Also of note: all of Jim Newberry’s staff that was there with him were wearing Andy Barr stickers. Very special.

Polling KY State Senate races shows tight races

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October 5, 2010

KY Democrats think they have a shot at taking back the state senate this year. To take it back, they’ll have to win several close races, like the ones that Alessi polled below:

Senate 12th
Don Blevins (D)- 45%
Alice Forgy Kerr (R)- 40%

Senate 2nd
Bob Leeper (I)- 40%
Rex Smith (D)- 36%
Mike East (R)- 10%

Senate 8th
David Boswell (D)- 57%
Joe Bowen (R)- 35%

Senate 34th
Jared Carpenter (R)- 35%
Lee Murphy (D)- 32%

Hopefully Alessi polls the Senate 38th soon, as Marty Meyer has a decent chance of ousting The Suem this November.

Alice Forgy Kerr wants your vote

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September 10, 2010

If you live… in the 7th District of Virginia.

This is what Jake just found that she emailed to her entire campaign list:

Dear Voter,

After careful thought and speaking to many voters from the 7th District of Virgina, it is clear that our state is broken in many ways, and it desperately needs a new, creative, and energetic voice that is willing to make tough decisions and fight voraciously for every citizen.

Hearing this message, I have decided to run for State Representative, representing District Seven. I hope to earn your vote over the next few months, and hope you’ll get involved in my campaign. It would be my honor to serve as your State Representative and bring new leadership to our capital.

This campaign is all about an effective and constructive dialogue with citizens in this district. If you have any questions, ideas, or feedback, please do not hesitate to email me at . I would love to hear from you.

Warm Regards,

Alice Kerr

Well, I’m not sure how the people of the 7th District of Virginia will feel about this, but for those of you living in the 12th State Senate District of Kentucky, I’m pretty sure Don Blevins wants your vote.




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