2011 KY Governor race

POLITICO doesn’t get it

one comment
November 28, 2011

In a Thanksgiving morning post listing reasons why each of our two big too fail political parties should be thankful this holiday season, POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt got his factoids wrong.

After first reciting, correctly, that Kentucky voters do not like the President of the United States of America, Alex then highlighted Beshear’s landslide victory:

Now, his campaign playbook is a one-stop manual for how Democrats can win in conservative states where the president is lagging: distance yourself from the national party and run as a nonideological, pro-business leader who’s willing to work with Republicans as well as Democrats. Best of all, Beshear managed the feat without completely throwing his president and party to the wolves.

When the dust settled on Election Day, Beshear defeated GOP state Senate President David Williams 56 percent to 35 percent, an impressive margin of victory for an incumbent governor in any state — let alone a Democrat in a state where Obama will be lucky to win 40 percent of the vote in 2012.

This is an oversimplification of the state of Kentucky and what the rest of the nation could learn (if anything).

Beshear won big because, as Joe Gerth already pointed out, people do not like David Williams. Like, at all. Even Republicans can’t stand him.

Beshear won big because, as the Herald-Leader already pointed out, he had far more cash to play with.

Beshear had more money to play with because Republicans didn’t like David Williams. It was so sad that about the only way the Republican Governors Association could be pushed to get involved was to have Williams’ father-in-law give them the money to spend on David’s race.

It wasn’t just Republicans who didn’t like David Williams, it was the big monied interests who run this state. And that had less to do with David Williams and more to do with Steve Beshear.

Take King Coal, for example. Beshear is so far down their right pant pocket, they needn’t bother themselves with David Williams or anyone else. In fact, Beshear’s campaign was a boon for the coal industry not simply from a regulatory standpoint but because they didn’t have to drop any real cash on the race. They simply sat this one out and saved it up for 2015 when they’ll try to buy the next guy, one way or another.

This is not a “campaign playbook” for anyone, let alone “a one stop manual for how Democrats can win in conservative states.”

It simply is not. To pretend Kentucky and Steve Beshear have lessons to behold makes for an easy column point on Thanksgiving morning, but there’s very little about Beshear’s victory for which most Democrats could give any long term thanks.

And then there’s this line from POLITICO: “Best of all, Beshear managed the feat without completely throwing his president and party to the wolves.”

One must give them credit for choosing wolves as the object of the throw rather than some form of motorized mass transit, but that’s where the credit can stop.

That notion, if true, would be one helluva sad “thanks” for Democrats to offer up over their turkey.

It would be, if true, a heartening “playbook” plot point encouraging Dems in other states to not throw the Big O into the wood chipper.

But the key word is “completely” and that’s the saddest part. Beshear spent most of the year dumping on the President — usually over coal and the EPA. Steve went so far as to fabricate some big in-your-face moment he never had with the President on an airport tarmac.

He didn’t come out in support of Obama’s reelection until just days before the election.

So, the playbook for Dems in other states, for national wonks — and the thankfulness Democrats are supposed to have — comes down to this:

–If a Democrat runs against the President, attacks him, and is also lucky enough to get a Republican opponent so unpopular Joe Stalin might’ve beat him, then the Democrat might win, especially if he can raise millions and millions more than his useless, disliked opponent.

That’s the lesson from Kentucky. Don’t get us wrong… we’re still celebrating. It’s nice to win one once in a while down here. But only a deluded Democrat would give thanks for what this election might teach us.

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

November 8, 2011

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,


Election Day! Vote, Kentucky, vote…

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November 8, 2011

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.

Steve Beshear’s “Aqua Vishnu” moment

one comment
November 1, 2011


Republican gubernatorial nominee David Williams criticized Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear on Tuesday for participating in what he said was a Hindu religious ceremony last week during a “ground blessing” for a new manufacturing plant in Elizabethtown….

“He’s there participating with Hindu priests, participating in a religious ceremony,” Williams said during a campaign stop in Shelbyville. “They can say what they want to. He’s sitting down there with his legs crossed, participating in Hindu prayers with a dot on his forehead with incense burning around him. I don’t know what the man was thinking.”

WHAS11 has shocking footage of Steve Beshear praying to Aqua Vishnu:

Gubernatorial Debate — Beshear shows up, do you care?

one comment
October 31, 2011

Steve Beshear’s showing up for the debate tonight so it won’t just be David Williams and Gatewood agreeing with each other that he sucks for not enough of the right reasons (and for some wrong ones) but instead will be a full blown three-way. Which was nice of Steve… to participate.

But what will you learn you don’t already know? Will it change votes? Steve’s got this locked up and you’ll have to “get off my back” for not being particularly interested. I’m going to a dinner party. The rest of you… have fun with your dressed-up kids or do something that matters.

Other things you could watch on television tonight:

Tonight’s Premieres:
Fuse: New Music Videos at 5p
Current TV: Vanguard at 9p
RLTV: Primary Issues at 9p
NBC: Rock Center with Brian Williams at 10p
TeleFutura: Noche de Perros (Guys Night Out) at 11p

Tonight’s Finales:
Oxygen: The Bad Girls Club at 9p
VH1: La La’s Full Court Life at 9p; The T.O. Show at 930p

So many choices.

As I’m headed out of town for a bit, I’ll be voting in the morning. My vote for Governor goes to the one man with uncompromising vision. I’ll be writing in Otis “the Bullman” Hensley.

Like many, many of you, I’ll be voting for a candidate for Governor who believes mountains should be blown up, the coal industry must be protected and Kentucky must be home to a new theme park.

Many, many of you will be voting for a guy who wants to promote Kentucky as home to the belief that a 600 year old man spent seven days collecting all the animals of the earth while simultaneously building a giant boat. In seven days. And that includes dinosaurs.

I, on the other hand, will vote for a man who wants to build the Dolphin Splash Park featuring dolphins and ATVs and putt-putt and other, well, more earthly delights.

Who’s crazy? You or me? Him or Steve?

You can vote for whomever you like. They make a fun wheel to write in names, so I’ll spin the heck out of that thing tomorrow morning. Enjoy pretending to enjoy a debate. Or, for that matter, the glow of victory.

Herald-Leader endorses Gatewood

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October 30, 2011


They didn’t really. Sorry.

They went with Steve Beshear. What did you expect?

Here’s their ringing endorsement:

We’d like to see a more ambitious Beshear in his second term. He should quit avoiding tax reform, raise his sights above trading tax breaks for any low-paying jobs, get more aggressive about energy diversification and rebuild Kentucky’s environmental protection agency. The mountains desperately need an economic strategy beyond coal.

And we’d like to play with dinosaurs and grow giant fields of wheat on the Great Plains of Southeastern Kentucky.

It’s okay to dream.

Forgot to mention… CN|2′s Alessi brought us news on Friday that Steve’s saying he’s not only not challenge Mitch McConnell in 2014, he’s also not going to challenge Rand Paul in 2016… or anyone else. Sweet Jane’s had enough of Steve. Steve’s gonna do his full time, he says, not leave early and never run for anything ever again.

Beshear, a Democrat, put to rest any notion that he might run for another office, including seeking a rematch with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014. McConnell beat Beshear by double-digits in 1996.

“No,” Beshear said flatly when asked whether he would consider another campaign. (2:20 in the video). “This is it for me. I love my wife, and I want to stay married to her. I don’t think she’d appreciate it if I did any more.”

Click over for the video and full story.

Should you believe him? You could. But maybe the people will “demand” it and, you know, you never want to say never.

Awww craps — Steve Beshear’s gonna push gambling, not tax reform

October 27, 2011

Alessi got Steve to show up for his Pure Politics show and Steve talked about gambling and how he’s going to push it hard if it’s the last or only thing he ever does… which makes sense since that appears to be the only thing his governership is about and if it doesn’t pass, then he’s just a two-term failure, right? Whatever the case, he’s clinging to this one like the Bush family did with that Hussein feller [earlier: Beshear's Bad Bet].

And comprehensive tax reform ain’t part of his plan. So, like, if you think this picture is out of whack… well, you probably shouldn’t waste your time voting for Steve (or, sure, fine, do it… fool yourself):

Anyway, back to Steve’s chat with Alessi:

“Until I feel comfortable that talking about tax reform and jiggering around with our tax code is not going to push us back toward a recession, I’m not going to do anything,” he said. “Right now is the last time — the very last time — to raise broad-based taxes.”

Apparently the state doesn’t need new revenue but other folks do and that’s the one thing on Steve’s mind:

“We need to step up and do something about it,” Beshear said.

Beshear said he won’t prejudge whether the best approach is trying again for legislation to allow slots at the track — as lawmakers tried in 2009 — or a constitutional amendment, which would require approval of two-thirds of both legislative chambers and ratification by voters.

“Certainly if it gets on the ballot, I’ll be very public. I’m going to be for it. And I’m going to try to convince the people of this state to vote for it,” Beshear said.

Click over to read it all and watch the video — or watch it on your TV channel 2.

H-L endorses Conway, Edelen; CN|2 new poll numbers show Dems sweeping

no comments
October 24, 2011

A quick round-up:

His opponent, Republican John T. Kemper III, is a developer with no government experience. As a candidate he’s talked about many hot-button social issues outside the purview of the auditor’s office and has failed to convince that he fully understands the responsibilities of the job.

Conway is far and away the better choice.

  • Beshear and Williams and everyone else are going to Henderson. That’s not really all that interesting except that it gives me an opportunity to point out what’s been on my mind for months now… why in the world is David Williams following Beshear to Henderson two days after the Governor leaves town? He’s whined and whined and whined about how Steve is avoiding him, how Steve’s afraid to debate… blah blah blah. The answer for his dumb campaign was obvious: get in a bus and follow Steve everywhere, whenever Steve gets out and says something, David gets out and says something… else. Or they can both agree the coal industry is more important than the people of the Commonwealth. Whatever it is, point being, why is David Williams not dogging Steve everywhere? How much does his campaign staff suck?


Mitch McConnell, Tea Partier?

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October 18, 2011

Roll Call examines the level of risk facing Mitch McConnell in anticipation of David Williams’ blowout loss in the Governor’s race. Ultimately, everyone says Mitch and David aren’t tied together so Mitch’s home-state reputation won’t tarnish so long as he keeps accomplishing absolutely nothing in DC. There’s a lot of hob-nobbies and muckety-mucks quoted (and some Team McConnell love for Steve Beshear) and toward the end, there’s news of Mitch’s born-again teabaggery:

While everyone seems to agree that McConnell won’t lose any political capital in the state this November, he made some tweaks after Grayson’s loss. Besides campaigning very hard for Paul and, by most accounts, working amicably with him in the Senate, McConnell has also increased outreach to tea party groups.

“He’s sending staffers to tea party events on a regular basis,” said David Adams, a Kentucky GOP strategist who served as Paul’s 2010 primary campaign manager.

“McConnell does have a representative at most of the tea party meetings,” said Hans Marsen, Kentucky state coordinator for Tea Party Patriots. “He’s making an effort to make sure he’s represented.”

Check it.

Republican Push Poll

no comments
October 17, 2011

Via LEO’s Fat Lip:

Seems fair. Enough.




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