Kevin Stinnett

Stinnett, Martin defend Angelou; Bill Lear threatens Gray

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March 9, 2011
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You would think that Mayor Jim Gray getting our $75,000 back from Angelou for his cut-and-paste report would make people happy, but we must remember the Axis of Clown that is working against the mayor and for Commerce Lexington.

What did Councilman Stinnett have to say?

Some members of the Urban County Council who also serve on the Economic Development Steering Committee said they were concerned that the city’s refund effectively severs its investment and partnership in the strategic plan making it difficult to rebuild the public’s confidence in the process. “When you agreed to refund the money to the government we lost our ‘skin in the game,’ so to speak. And I hope you understand the difficulty we’re all going to have in getting back the public buy-in,” Council member Kevin Stinnett said, addressing Angelou.

My goodness, “our” skin is certainly at risk now, isn’t it Kevin? And gosh, why would anyone not want to “buy-in” on this beautiful report and it’s recommendation to fluff Commerce Lexington? We should seriously consider giving Angelou our money back, just so folks don’t get the wrong idea, eh?

How about our old pal Doug Martin?

“It’s very crucial that we keep this public-private partnership so that the temptation of politics does not find itself in the middle of economic development in Lexington,” Council member Doug Martin added. “I think that would be a tragic result of this.

Oh, man. Yes, Doug Martin thinks it would be “tragic” if politics got involved. This is good, good stuff. I’m going to go ahead and put this quote on the fast-track for the Rootie award.

But those two quotes were just kind of transparently funny. Can anyone step up to the plate with some real read meat?

Hey, it’s Lexington’s Darth Vader himself, the Vice Chair of Economic Development for Commerce Lexington, Bill Lear!

Also attending the Monday steering committee meeting was Lexington development attorney and former state representative Bill Lear. “I’ll bet I’ve read more economic development studies than anybody in this room and 90 percent of every one of them is the same. Just like 90 percent of every presentation on a zoning change I’ve made is the same, and 90 percent of every contract written is the same and 99 percent of every Toyota is the same. What makes the difference is what’s on the margin, not the boilerplate.”

Lear urged the group to remain patient and await Angelou’s final report. “I’ve got the memos about who recommended whom for this job and of the five candidates for this that were recommended by the then vice mayor, now mayor, number two on the list was Angelou Economics, number three was somebody that he specifically said had their roots in Angelou Economics and number four had the same pedigree. There is no question but that this is an absolutely top quality firm. It screwed up. I for one am not willing to cast the first stone because I’m sure as hell not without sin.

Can you wrap your head around that quote? First of all, we should note that Lexington’s “Super Lawyer” just admitted that he phones it in, so he might be a little overpriced at $500 an hour. Secondly, you’re publicly threatening to blackmail the Mayor of Lexington with info that Angelou was his second choice to write the report? Not only does this call into question the $500 an hour price tag, it calls into question your Darth Vader reputation. Serious weak sauce. And this “casting the first stone” stuff? What exactly is the point here? That Angelou should take back his apology to Lexington for the crappy work that he did for us? That he should have kept our money so he didn’t have a Sad? That criticizing his steaming pile of Xerox is somehow beyond the bounds of decency?

This is all about one thing: the threat that this staggering display of incompetence poses to the good ole boys’ little taxpayer funded lobbying arm. Commerce Lexington has been able to get away with this for years, so the entire Angelou affair must be swept under the rug as quietly as possible. Not their recommendation to give Commerce Lexington more taxpayer money, of course, but all of that other unpleasant stuff.

As much as Stinnett, Martin and Lear would like that to happen, you can pretty much put that notion to rest (and the half-assed threats). It is time for the Airing of Grievances.

The roof, the roof… Mayor Gray axes Lex Fire Chief

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March 1, 2011
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Lexington Fire Chief Robert Hendricks — the highest paid employee in city government — was asked to resign yesterday by Mayor Jim Gray:

“I’ve carefully observed the operation of Fire and Emergency Services over the last four years as a council member, and now as Mayor,” Gray said in a statement released Monday night. “This position requires the highest level of leadership and, regrettably, it has not been demonstrated by Chief Hendricks.”

The release says the mayor’s “chief concerns are lack of leadership, failure to manage the division’s budget, especially overtime, and division morale.”

Hendricks has until noon Tuesday to make a decision… and he’s scheduled to make a presentation to the full council on Tuesday afternoon where he’ll most likely face a second (and more public) round of criticism.

Councilmember Stinnett says that the Council favors and backs Mayor Gray’s decision.

On top of the budget overruns in the department and the low morale, there is also apparently an ongoing sexual harassment investigation and a lack of diversity.

The Hendricks-led Lexington fire department made a big show last year of wanting to build a more diverse force in what basically amounted to a PR campaign as the most recent recruiting class (finalized under Newberry) was all white and all male.

The first time since 2007 that had happened.

Councilmember Stinnett — WTF? He’s gone pinko! — told the Hairy-Liberal’s Josh Kegley that he was shocked at the lack of affirmative action:

Urban County Council member Kevin Stinnett reacted with surprise to the fact that the new class of fire recruits was all white and all male. “Upon hearing that, I’m very disappointed,” he said.

Asked whether the council had ever talked to Hendricks about the need for diversity in hiring, Stinnett said, “That goes without saying.

Mayor Jim Gray’s been on a bit of a tear of late, appearing intent on cleaning up and clearing out the clutter and waste in the Urban County Government.

It will be interesting to see how far he gets, how far he goes… and how people take it.

As you can see in the HL comments and probably hear on VLK and LAP, the conservatives who walk amongst us (not including Comrade Stinnett) will blow their racist ignorant tops over this decision, totally ignoring the fact that Mayor Gray is cleaning out fiscal waste and instead claiming it’s part of a collectivist conspiracy to destroy the founding people of our country (which would be whities).

How soon will it be that from this steaming pile of individual initiative known as the Tea Party, a Mayoral challenger will appear to give the Right Wing someone to root for in the 2014 election so that they are not left with a Newberry-type “liberal” pathetically pandering to them at Rand Paul rallies?

Lexington’s Fresh Start begins Monday, on the first floor

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December 30, 2010
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With Jim Gray’s first day as mayor of Lexington beginning Monday, the move of the mayor’s office from the 12th floor to the 1st floor has already begun:

Photo Dave Perry (HL)

Naturally, Gang of Four member Kevin Stinnett is already whining about it, which means that he couldn’t even wait for Jim Gray to be inaugurated to start his strategy of the next two years.

Kevin would probably be well advised to read this post closely. Unless he wants to go the political way of the dragon.

An even closer look at Lexington election results by council district (i.e., This is Gray Country)

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November 16, 2010
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We’ve done two posts in the past 5 days looking at the election results by precinct in Lexington. Last Friday, we looked at Jim Gray’s incredible rise after the primary, as he was able to dominate not just on the north side, but south of New Circle Road, as well. Yesterday, we found that Jim Gray dominated precincts that voted for either Jack Conway or Ben Chandler, and only narrowly lost precincts that went for both Rand Paul and Andy Barr.

Today, we’re going to look at the results from two weeks ago by each council district in Lexington. We’ll look at Gray’s triumph in what was thought to be hostile territory, as well as look forward to 2012 council races.

The first 4 districts that we’ll look at are the ones that are home to Jim Gray’s biggest adversaries on the council: the 6th (Kevin Stinnett), the 10th (Doug Martin), the 9th (Jay McChord), and the 12th (Ed Lane).

Here are the results, for the 6th District in the races for Mayor, Senate and House:

Gray- 50.4%
Newberry- 49.6%

Conway- 49%
Paul- 51%

Chandler- 51%
Barr- 49%

This one initially looks like a real shocker. Jim Gray beat Newberry on the home turf of one his most conservative adversaries? Yes he did, and that’s remarkable. But even in a terribly down year for Democrats, this district was basically split even on the federal races, as this diverse and widely spread district stretches from African-American neighborhoods in the north to Hamburg gated communities in the southeast. The real question I have when looking at this district is how has someone as conservative as Kevin Stinnett represented this district virtually unopposed since 2004? Considering Jim Gray’s performance in this district, one would think that a more moderate/progressive candidate could finally give him a real run for his money in 2012. Then again, if Kevin Stinnett sees these numbers and moderates himself a bit over the next two years, he may wind up cutting that challenge off at the pass.

Here are the results in the 10th District, home of the Southside Screamer:

Gray- 52%
Newberry- 48%

Conway- 45%
Paul- 55%

Chandler- 48%
Barr- 52%

Jim Gray went into this conservative district of one of his adversaries where both Conway and Chandler lost… and won by 4 points. This is incredible stuff. Looking ahead to 2012, I think it’s safe to say that Doug Martin will have to look over his shoulder for a candidate that turns out to be better financed or more viable than Kevin Williams turned out to be. Sandy Shafer’s late entry into the race drew an amazing 9% of the vote, far more than I would have thought a write-in candidate could garner in a council race. If Shafer’s health continues to improve, one would think that she would be an odds on favorite to take back her seat that she held for many years. Or, there could be a viable moderate Republican in the vein of Linda Gorton or KC Crosbie that could take on Doug Martin in this district. One things for sure… this Gray Country, as Gray had 600 more votes than Martin in this district.

Here are the results from the 9th District:

Gray- 49%
Newberry- 51%

Conway- 40%
Paul- 60%

Chandler- 43%
Barr- 57%

This is one of the two most conservative districts in Lexington, home to perhaps Gray’s biggest adversary on the council and blowout losses for Conway and Chandler… yet Jim Gray almost pulls even with Newberry. This is another jaw-dropper.

McChord won by 6% in 2006, and has been unopposed the last two years. McChord would be a tough candidate to beat, but the viable moderate Republican avenue could be a winner. Or, previously term-limited and currently-awesome Jennifer Mossotti could come back and take her old seat. (and in my opinion, she would have Alice Forgy Kerr’s seat right now if the KDP hadn’t chosen Don Blevins to run over her).

Here are the results in the 12th District:

Gray- 47%
Newberry- 53%

Conway- 38%
Paul- 62%

Chandler- 40%
Barr- 60%

Easily the most conservative district Lexington, the home of Newberry’s biggest ally on the council… and Jim Gray only loses by 6 points and manages to steal away 12 precincts from Newberry. Remarkable stuff.

The results from these 4 council districts show that Jim Gray was able to go into what could have been hostile conservative territory and not only compete, but in the case of the 6th and 10th, win. I’m not sure what message Stinnett, Martin, McChord and Lane take from this, but they’d be rather dim to ignore it.

*****

Alright, now for the rest of Lexington’s council districts, starting with the most conservative and going to the most liberal.

7th District (KC Crosbie):

Gray- 51%
Newberry- 49%

Conway- 48%
Paul- 52%

Chandler- 50%
Barr- 50%
(Barr won by 20 votes)

Another conservative-ish district that Paul and Barr won… another district that Jim Gray won anyway. I’m sure a good deal of this victory is due to help that both Scott and KC Crosbie provided in the district. Crosbie won her election easily, and it’s doubtful that she’s going to be flanked anytime soon from the right, as the close federal races show that this district isn’t exactly right-wing.

5th District (now Bill Farmer Jr.’s):

Gray- 56%
Newberry- 44%

Conway- 52%
Paul- 48%

Chandler- 51%
Barr- 49%

Here’s a slightly Democrat-leaning district… and Gray just cold blows out Newberry. Bill Farmer is a Republican and kind of a loose canon, but I assume that he won’t be too adversarial with Mayor Gray. At least he won’t be if he looks at his constituents.

4th District (Julian Beard)

Gray- 56%
Newberry- 44%

Conway- 52%
Paul- 48%

Chandler- 54%
Barr- 46%

Again, the 4th leans Democrat, but Gray wins in a blowout. Beard will likely sit here safely as long as he wants, because no one eff’s with Julian.

8th District (George Myers)

Gray- 55%
Newberry- 45%

Conway- 54%
Paul- 46%

Chandler- 56%
Barr- 44%

A solidly Democratic district that went solidly for Gray. No alarms and no surprises. As for 2012, I’m sure Ed Lane would like nothing more than to find a challenger to run against Myers, but anyone acceptable to Lane would not be acceptable to this not-conservative district.

11th District (Peggy Henson)

Gray- 56%
Newberry- 44%

Conway- 57%
Paul- 43%

Chandler- 59%
Barr- 41%

No alarms and no surprises. As we get into more heavily Democratic districts like this one, we begin to see Gray’s margin dip lower than Conway and Chandler, as some Democrats obviously go towards Newberry, though certainly not most.

2nd District (Tom Blues)

Gray- 55%
Newberry- 45%

Conway- 66%
Paul- 34%

Chandler- 67%
Barr- 33%

Those observing closely noted that Blues started to cozy up to Newberry in 2010. Time to start cozying of to Gray, me thinks.

3rd District (Diane Lawless)

Gray- 68%
Newberry- 32%

Conway- 69%
Paul- 31%

Chandler- 70%
Barr- 30%

This was easily Jim Gray’s best district, as the heart of Lexington’s downtown helped him double up Newberry. A source tells me that when Diane Lawless was asked how she feels about working with Gray instead of Newberry next year that she proceeded to do the cabbage patch. Developing…

1st District (now Chris Ford)

Gray- 67%
Newberry- 33%

Conway- 78%
Paul- 22%

Chandler- 79%
Barr- 21%

Shocking that Lexington’s African-American community forcefully rejected the guy against the Civil Rights Act and the guy at the all-white country club. Shocking. Chris Ford is kind of a mystery, we’ll see what we get out of him soon, I guess.

*****

So there’s our 3rd edition of Fun With Lexington Election Results and Numbers. Until next time…

Lexington’s city government is looking… pretty good

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November 4, 2010
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Lexington not only has a wonderful new mayor, but check out how good the new council looks.

If things went the wrong way Tuesday night, Lexington could have had 4 years of Newberry as mayor and Chuck Ellinger as vice mayor. *shudder*

Instead, we have Jim Gray as mayor and Linda Gorton as vice mayor (who should be great). Also, Bill Farmer Jr. replaces Cheryl Feigel in the 5th. Farmer is a bit of a wild card, but I’m pretty confident that he’ll be an improvement. Meanwhile KC Crosbie held onto her seat easily, and from all indications Chris Ford should be good in his first term in the 1st (though he’s got big shoes to fill following Andrea James). And Steve Kay on the council helps fill the void of Gray.

This means that all of a sudden the 4-person cabal of Ed Lane, Jay McChord, Kevin Stinnett and Doug Martin is looking mighty, mighty small and insignificant. Look forward to lots of impotent rage from these folks over the next 2 years, while Diane Lawless & Co. sit back and chuckle at their political misfortune.

The Southside Screamer may have won, but at least we’ll have lots of temper tantrums and pouting to look forward to…

…and that LFUCG city council that’s looking pretttty prettty pretty good.

June 29th LFUCG special investigation committee meeting

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June 29, 2010
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Lexington’s special investigation committee met this morning at 8:00 and plotted their next course of action to obtain the oh-so-elusive Patrick Johnston fraud assessment reports.

As was reported last Friday, the fraud reports were not turned over by the external auditors at Mountjoy, claiming that Johnston wouldn’t sign their waiver as the excuse (even though Newberry is technically their client and all they needed… plus Johnston’s attorney was concerned that doing so would open him up to liability/retribution). Johnston’s attorney let George Myers know that they were still evaluating whether Johnston would sign off, and would let them know by June 30th. Myers seemed confident that Johnston would in fact do so by tomorrow, but not 100% sure.

Most of the meeting this morning discussed the subpoena power of the committee, specifically how they could use it if Mountjoy doesn’t turn them over tomorrow. Outside counsel Judge Crittenden researched and found that the committee does in fact have subpoena power, countering the view of Newberry’s Team of Sharks. The council’s committee does have this authority, and there is no statute that prohibits them from subpoenaing documents.

The committee unanimously agreed to a motion on how to use their subpoena power in the short term. They are giving Mountjoy/Johnston until 5:00 tomorrow to let them know if they’ve come to an agreement to turn over the documents that day. If not, the committee is filing a subpoena to both Mountjoy and Johnston to turn over the fraud reports by 2:00 on Thursday.

This raises a couple of interesting points. Will the subpoena of Johnston give him enough legal breathing room to give Mountjoy the requested waiver without fear of retribution? Certainly might. But there is also the question of what is kept confidential within the committee. If Mountjoy voluntarily turns over the documents, they’ll be kept confidential within the committee, but if they are turned over through a subpoena, will they be public record? Myers says they will keep them confidential, but that might be difficult to do in a legal sense.

Anyway, they cancelled their meeting tomorrow (since they don’t have the docs to go over), but are meeting at 3:00 on Thursday to hopefully go over the elusive fraud reports. Unless Mounjoy holds onto them. Which I still wouldn’t rule out, as there’s a decent chance they’ll challenge the subpoena power of the committee.

One more note on the committee members. Remember Jay McChord’s threat in the first meeting, and reiteration of the threat in the second meeting? Well, McChord literally hasn’t said one word in the meetings since then. And Kevin Stinnett? He hasn’t even attended a single meeting since the first organizational one. Looks like he’s just going to boycott the committee until they come to a vote on their final findings. Interesting…

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