2011 Agriculture race

Oh hai, Barefoot & Progressive. Let’s get this sad election on.

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November 8, 2011
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Well howdy, Barefooters.

You can read my highlights for what to watch tonight in this sad, sorry example of a Kentucky election right here.

Also, you can follow my live scribbles on the Twitter Death Contraption right here tonight. I’ll be reporting live from the joy-filled victory celebration at Williams-Farmer/RPK headquarters at the Marriott Griffin Gate in Lexington, with my incense, forehead dot and idols. It should be a blast.

Missed you.

In Liberty,

Joe

Election Day! Vote, Kentucky, vote…

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November 8, 2011
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Who are you going to vote for? Maybe instead of Steve, Dave and Woody… you’ll want to write someone in.

Or maybe you want to follow the lead of Mr. Ronnie Cottonpants. Over the weekend he laid out a serious — and strong — argument for why you really should vote for Gatewood. Or perhaps you don’t want to anger Jesus H. Christ so your vote is automatically ordained to Williams.

And what about the other races? Can the Dems sweep? Can Crosbie surprise? Will Bill Johnson purge the voter rolls?

It’s Election Day and the drama is overwhelming.

Things with Comer may not be as they seem…

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July 11, 2011
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When I wrote about James Comer’s hilarious hire on Friday afternoon, I wrote it off as either one of two things:

#1: Comer thinks that he’s already won, and it doesn’t matter who he hires to do field.

#2: Comer has gone a bit mad in the head.

But additional quotes in the update to the story, plus quotes in Ronnie Ellis’ story lead me to believe that there might be a third interpretation that is equally plausible:

#3: Comer made this hire with David Williams’ and RPK’s direct blessing (if it wasn’t their idea to begin with) in order to buy out and shut up Mica and tea party criticism of Williams so that they don’t hurt Williams’ already not-great chances of winning this November.

It’s easy to look at quotes like these and think it is spin, but there may be a larger truth here:

Comer said he talked to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republican gubernatorial nominee David Williams and state GOP Chairman Steve Robertson about hiring Sims.


“None advised me not to get her,” he said. “They told me it was my decision.”

Robertson said the decision was Comer’s. “I know Mica has much enthusiasm for Jamie to win this race,” he said.

And:

Comer said he’d advised Williams, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and RPK Chairman Steve Robertson in advance he planned to hire Sims.

“Everyone is excited,” Comer said. “They are all supporting my campaign and they trust my political judgment.”

Scott Jennings, a spokesman for Williams’ campaign, confirmed Comer and Williams spoke earlier in the week and said Williams supports Comer’s campaign and thinks “he’ll make a great Agricultural Commissioner.”

Holly Harris VonLuehrte, an in-house counsel for RPK, also confirmed Robertson and Comer spoke about Sims’ hiring in advance. She said the two men are “close and meet and speak constantly. Steve is supportive of all (of Comer’s) campaign hires.

And here’s the kicker:

Sims said she won’t be involved in any other campaign, including the governor’s race, because her goal is to help Comer attract voters from both major political parties and the Tea Party. She said she doesn’t want to alienate any of them by speaking out about another race. She said she will coordinate grassroots and volunteer efforts across the state for Comer.

Bingo.

If I was a betting man, I’d say this was the grand bargain. Williams shuts up the criticism of him from the Moffett/tea party crowd that trounced him in the Golden Triangle this May, and Mica Sims gets a paycheck. Meanwhile, Comer will have another competent or at least remotely qualified staffer who will actually run his field, or it will be run out of the RPK. Everybody wins (except Williams most likely, just not as bad).

Regardless of whether interpretation #3 is correct, I would say that James Comer, much like Andy Barr last year, has some rather important questions to answer.

James Comer does something really funny

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July 8, 2011
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Oh my.

FRANKFORT — Lexington Tea Party movement organizer Mica Sims has joined Republican James Comer’s campaign for state agriculture commissioner as state field director, the Comer campaign said Friday.

“Rep. Comer is the not only the best choice for this office because he is a life-long farmer but he’s the voter’s only choice as a valid candidate for this office,” Sims said in a release.

She is to coordinate the campaign’s statewide grassroots and volunteer efforts.

*****

“I am very excited to announce my team who will coordinate with my local organizations to ensure victory in November. These individuals have lots of energy, they are very well respected, and are all experienced in organizing successful campaigns,” Comer said.

So that really happened. Mica Sims is directing a statewide field campaign. Because of her experience running campaigns and how respected she is. Wow.

I’ve heard lots of rumblings about bad blood between David Williams and James Comer. This certainly makes those rumblings a little more interesting (Sims is encouraging teabaggers not to vote for Williams). And I’m not sure whether this hire means that Comer already knows he has won, or he’s completely insane. I’m better the former, but who knows?

That’s not an apology

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June 22, 2011
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The current clown of the Kentucky Democrats (this is a revolving prize), Commissioner of Agriculture Bob Farmer, apologized yesterday for saying in his stand-up routine that Eastern Kentuckians are a bunch of inbred toothless hicks. (we’ll also note the fact that Kentucky Democrats nominating a non-farmer stand-up comedian for this job because his name is “Farmer” isn’t the greatest rebuttal to the stereotype)

Only he didn’t really apologize. Yes, it’s the old “if you were offended” line:

“I apologize if it offends anyone,” Farmer said in a phone interview. “I don’t want to offend people.”

And it doesn’t help that he followed that remark with this, noting that Republicans found the video and made it an issue yesterday:

“When did they lose their sense of humor, when I got 15 points ahead?” Farmer said.

Yes, so Farmer is basically saying “I apologize if you were offended, but seriously, it was funny and if you’re offended you should get a sense of humor”.

FAIL.

And I reject the premise that Republicans did this because they are worried about Farmer winning. They brought this out so early because they know that Farmer is an embarrassing joke, and they want to tie him as fast as possible to the KDP and Steve Beshear, as David Williams and the rest of the GOP ticket continues to look doomed. The KDP did the smart thing by denouncing Farmer, but this incredibly lame “apology” might wind up giving the story more legs than it would of if he had just said “I was totally wrong and I apologize to all Kentuckians” without the “if’s”.

The issue here isn’t Bob Farmer, because despite the name and Beshear’s advantage at the top of the ticket, he just isn’t going to win this race. The issue is how well the RPK succeeds at tying the embarrassment that is Bob Farmer to the rest of the Democratic Party. Is it desperate? Yes. Can I blame them, based on the situation that is staring the KY GOP in the face come this November? Not really… they’d be stupid not to.

PS- I’ll never get tired of saying “I told you so” about nominating Bob Farmer…

The race to see who’s more awful in Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture race

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June 21, 2011
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Kentuckians have the rare opportunity this November to choose between two candidates that were endorsed by hate group president Frank Simon in the primary. Choices, choices!

James Comer, who is also endorsed by Kentucky Right to Life (a group that wants to criminalize abortion in cases of rape and incest, outlaw birth control pills, and says abortion causes breast cancer), bragged about consummating his hate group endorsement this weekend at the American Family Association candidate forum:

Comer also posted a campaign video on his Facebook page this morning, attacking his Democratic opponent that I warned you all not to elect, Bob Farmer. Here we see Bob Farmer speaking at a Frank Simon hate group forum about not being a farmer, and how people from Appalachia are inbred and toothless:

I’m ready to call my endorsement in this race. Skip it.

David Williams slobbers all over hate group president Frank Simon, again

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June 19, 2011
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Remember how David Williams repeatedly kissed the ass of hate group president Frank Simon at his candidate forum back in February? Williams said that the man who calls homosexuals pedophiles, promotes books that claims gays were behind the Holocaust, compares Obama to Hitler, refers to abortion as genocide, says that our current political system promotes sodomy in schools, and that Muslims are about to take over America… is his longtime friend and ally in Frankfort.

And today in Frankfort, even without a tea party primary opponent nipping at his heels, David Williams doubled down on his love for hate group president Frank Simon.

From the CJ:

Senate President David Williams, the Republican candidate for governor, courted members of Frank Simon’s Tea Party of Kentucky group Saturday during a candidates’ forum in which he spent as much time talking about President Barack Obama as he did his Democratic opponent, Gov. Steve Beshear.

He said that Obama, a Democrat, wants to make the country a “European-style democracy” and that he is trying to “destroy our capacity to create cheap electricity” by regulating the coal industry.

*****

Williams was clearly the headliner, taking the stage and calling Simon “my friend for a long time.” He went on to bash Beshear for not attending the event and said his “No. 1 priority” for Jefferson County will be to repeal “the unconstitutional student assignment plan.”

*****

“Gov. Beshear’s seat is empty because he doesn’t want your support,” Williams said. “He doesn’t want to come talk to you about the issues.”

No, Governor Beshear isn’t there because, despite all of his glaring faults, he is too good of a human being to kiss the ass of the leader of a hate group in return for his political support. There are some awful things that even he won’t do.

So there’s that…

Todd P’Pool, John Kemper III, and James Comer were also there to strut their stuff for hate group president Frank Simon. As for what I have to say about that, here’s what Simon says:

When asked afterward why it’s important to know whether candidates running for auditor or agriculture commissioner oppose abortion, Simon said those stances are telling about the candidates’ “character.”

“We want all people in public office to have good character,” Simon said.

Very true, Frank.

When you’re in the voting booth this November, be should to think about the character of Williams, P’Pool, Kemper and Comer. And their good friend Frank Simon.

cn|2 poll: Downballot KY Democrats sweeping Republicans

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June 10, 2011
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cn|2 shows that not only is Steve Beshear stomping David Williams, but so are most of the Democrats running down the ballot.

Here’s the damage
:

Jack Conway- 56%
Todd P’Pool- 30%

Alison Lundergan Grimes- 44%
SDN Bill Johnson- 33%

Adam Edelen- 38%
John Kemper- 35%

Bob Farmer- 48%
James Comer- 33%

Todd Hollenbach- 45%
KC Crosbie- 28%
Ken Moellman- 5%

As you can probably tell, there’s only one race with a high name ID candidate, and Jack Conway is kicking some serious tail in it. This race will get much closer once P’Pool floods your television set with attack ads paid for with all of that McConnell money. But then again, his name is pronounced “pee pool”. And I think he might be French. Nevertheless, these are fantastic numbers for Jack to start with, particularly getting even 24% of Republicans.

In the rest of the races, the undecideds rule. Hollenbach has an expected lead, as he’s an incumbent and Crosbie is unknown outside of Lexington, not having a primary last month. Farmer has an expected lead because his name is Farmer, he’s running for Commissioner of Agriculture, and everybody is stupid. Grimes’ lead is going to grow once she goes on the air with all of that Alliance money. Same with Edelen, as Lex Vegas odds say that he’ll have approximately 20 times the money to spend.

I doubt we’ll see any real movement in these numbers until after Fancy Farm when things start to heat up, but there’s your generic “who are these people?” snapshot.

Last night’s winners and losers

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May 18, 2011
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OK, here’s my rundown from last night’s 2011 Kentucky primary results, looking at the big winners and the big losers:

Winner: Alison Lundergan Grimes

Not only did she easily beat an incumbent Democrat in a statewide primary (when’s the last time that happened?), but she managed to do so despite the opposition of Governor Beshear (and Grimes people claim the KDP, too). And while the Beshear/KDP event in Frankfort featured a C-list crowd, the Grimes event in Lexington featured everyone from Chandler and Stumbo to Jorts, crowning her as the New Great Hope of the Kentucky Democratic Party (I’m sure her Dad took a little pleasure in that). And she now faces Some Dude Named Bill Johnson in November (the man whose campaign bumper stickers once said “Obama Been Lyin”), which should be relatively easy. She claimed in her victory speech that she wanted to follow in the footsteps of Martha Layne Collins and be Governor of Kentucky some day, and that doesn’t sound the least bit implausible at this point.


Loser: Steve Beshear

When a Democratic Governor sticks his neck out to endorse and work for a candidate in a Democratic primary, he better be sure that the candidate wins, or else he’s going to look weak. Hello 10+% defeat! All Steve Beshear managed to do is alienate a lot of Democrats and look like yesterday’s news. The only bright spot for him is that his opponent in November is the only person that had a worse night.

Winner: Kentucky Tea Party

They’re not dead yet. David Williams was supposed to trounce Phil Moffett, the candidate with no money and no TV ads. Instead, he wound up limping to a 10 point victory, not even breaking 50%, while Moffett dominated the Golden Triangle. Bill Johnson had no money and no TV ads, whereas his establishment opponent Hilda Legg was all over television and supposed to win easily. Johnson won by 1,000 votes. John Kemper had no money, no ads, and was running for the state’s bookkeeping position while himself being in bankruptcy. And yes, he crushed his GOP establishment opponent by 14 points. The only thing stopping the Kentucky tea partiers from their second full sweep of the GOP establishment in one year was the horrible mismanagement of money in the Moffett campaign. If they had been able to get even a fraction of the airtime as Williams, Kentucky’s shocking upset might be the #1 political story in America today, and breathe some life into the intellectually and morally bankrupt political movement.

Loser: David Williams

Now that’s what you call limping into the general election. The man that was supposed to dominate last night wound up losing Lexington by 20 points and finishing 3rd place in Louisville. Between those two cities and all the way up to Boone and Kenton counties, Williams got his ass handed to him by Phil Moffett and his People of Tea. Not only does Williams look weak by not even coming close to getting the vote of half of Republicans last night, but he now faces bitter Teabaggers who are going to give a long hard look at The Last Free Man in America, Gatewood Galbraith. Getcha popcorn.

Winner: Overs

Despite reports all day of tumbleweeds sweeping across polling stations all over the Bluegrass, those who bet on double-figure turnout had a sweet payday last night (10.34%).

Losers: Kentucky democracy

10.34%? Pathetic.

Loser: BD Wilson

Wilson had three times the money of anyone in the Democratic primary for Commissioner of Agriculture, yet finished an embarrassing third place to a Bible-beater named “Farmer” and an old man’s cow. I guess that’s what happens when a candidate doesn’t listen to smart people on his staff. But enough about Elaine Walker…

Winner: James Comer

Bob Farmer? You can go ahead and tell Richie Farmer to hand over the keys to Mr. Comer, because there’s no way on earth that he is going to lose in November. He would have been a favorite even if Wilson or Lackey won, but now he’s a mortal lock.

Loser: Katie the Cow

John Lackey’s cow became Kentucky’s newest A-list celebrity, as she was the star of his ad that ran approximately 2.5 million times on MSNBC. But now that Lackey came up short, we’re sad to inform you that she will no longer be spotted in the trendiest Lex/Lville clubs, as she’s now “what’s for dinner”.

Winner: Frank Simon

Kentucky’s most prominent bigot only made 3 endorsements during the primary, but he was 100%, including longshot candidates Bill Johnson and Democrat Bob Farmer. Yes, Kentucky Democrats, you just nominated someone who sought and accepted the endorsement of Frank Simon and Kentucky Right to Life (i.e., no abortion even in cases of rape and incest). Pat yourself on the back. Simon also had two of his old buddies, Todd Hollenbach and David Williams advance to the general, so I’m sure that he’s a happy old disgusting bigot today.

Even: Adam Edelen

Edelen now faces John Kemper in November. Which, if you’ve followed Kemper since his Congressional run last year, is friggin hilarious. Edelen will sleepwalk into Crit Luallen’s office. The only downside to last night for him is that he now has some competition in the Young New Greatest Hope position for Kentucky Democrats in Grimes. You can almost hear the two fiefdoms taking sides and making their long-term battle plans for 2015, can’t you?

Full KY primary results

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May 18, 2011
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Here you go:

Governor (R)
Williams- 68,540     48.2%
Phil Moffett- 53,950      38.0%
Holsclaw- 19,644     13.8%


Secretary of State (D)
Grimes- 85,563     55.3%
Walker- 69,077     44.7%

Secretary of State (R)
Johnson- 66,429     50.4%
Legg- 65,332     49.6%

State Auditor (R)
Kemper- 70,874      57.3%
Wuchner- 52,876     42.7%

State Treasurer (D)
Hollenbach- 106,194     71.0%
Hamrick- 43,457     29.0%

Agriculture Commissioner (D)
Farmer- 45,666     30.4%
Lackey- 31,560     21.0%
Wilson- 29,011     19.3%
Gritton- 25,003      16.6%
Williams- 19,007     12.7%

Agriculture Commissioner (R)
Comer- 86,527     66.7%
Rothenburger- 43,142      33.3%

And the total turnout number? The overs win: 10.34%

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