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OCTOBER 28, 2015
United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts told audience members at a conference on Tuesday that West Virginia "should become the first to build new power plants that run on coal and natural gas, keeping coal-mining viable in a state hit by changing market conditions," Valerie Volcovici reports for Reuters. While Roberts stressed that UMWA is fighting Environmental Protection Agency Clean Power Plan rules, he said West Virginia should prepare to comply with the rules if legal challenges fail.
The Clean Power Plan says that "any power plant built in the future can emit no more than 1,400 lbs of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour. The most efficient coal plant in operation in the U.S. currently runs at over 1,800 lbs/MWh," Volcovici writes. "Under the union's proposal, building new plants that run on coal and less carbon-intensive natural gas with technology to partially capture carbon emissions can give coal a lifeline."
Roberts said, "I propose we embark on a program of building next-generation power plants here in West Virginia, co-fired by coal and natural gas that will meet whatever EPA emissions limits for new sources may survive after the litigation process is concluded. We clearly have the reserves of both coal and gas; we have the manpower to get the fuels and the expertise needed to build and operate these new generation plants." (Read more)
Written by Tim Mandell Posted at 10/28/2015
OCTOBER 27, 2015
LETTER TO EDITOR
By Larry Forgy
Twenty years ago, I was proud to carry the banner of the Republican Party as its nominee for governor. We came up just a little short, but we stirred the winds of change that led Kentucky to eventually elect a Republican governor as well as to capture both U.S. Senate seats and five out of six congressional seats, in addition to wining a majority in the state senate. We are now within striking distance to flip the state House in 2016. We must not—and cannot—allow the momentum of the Republican Party to be halted by electing a liberal Democratic governor. I call upon each and every Republican and conservative Democrat in Kentucky to rally around Matt Bevin and do all in your power to support him for governor.
I was Ronald Reagan’s campaign chair in Kentucky for both the 1980 and 1984 presidential contests. Throughout my life, I have logged more miles than I can count in support of conservative candidates and our Republican Party. Over the last several years, I have gotten to know Matt Bevin on a personal level. I’ve looked this man in the eye and have observed him closely. I can tell you without reservation that he is the real deal—he is a man unbeholden to any special interests; Matt says what he means and means what he says.
For sixteen of the last twenty years, Democratic rule in Frankfort has brought Kentucky one of two things: scandal or status quo. The Patton years were an era of scandal and roughhouse politics that ended very badly with a governor who left the Capitol under a dark cloud. The Beshear years have been remarkable for nothing except for kicking the can down the road and refusing to make any significant moves to boldly lead Kentucky to the future it could have. Neither scandal nor status quo is an acceptable option for our state in 2015.
Matt Bevin has the personal values, the proper temperament and the right ideas to lead Kentucky to a better tomorrow. Matt is a committed Christian, a husband, father of nine and a successful businessman who knows what it takes to create jobs. He is not a career politician, but rather a leader from the private sector who can bring new jobs to the Commonwealth. Matt Bevin has the will to lead instead of pandering to various special interest groups for short term political advantage.
All we have to do is look to states to the north, south, east and west of us to see the footprint of conservative Republican governors that have produced results that we haven’t in Kentucky. While other states have taken on the tough issues to become more business friendly, we have lagged behind and failed to change our ways for the better.
No region of Kentucky has been more devastated than our Eastern Kentucky coalfields. President Obama and his allies in Washington and Frankfort have turned a blind eye to our coalfields while coal jobs and other jobs the industry supports have vanished at an alarming rate. Matt Bevin understands that there is a future for coal linked to its growing demand internationally as a cheap and abundant energy source for developing nations.
The choice that Kentuckians face on November 3rd could not be clearer. We can vote to continue the same old Frankfort ways that have produced bad or mediocre results or we can vote to fundamentally change Kentucky for the better. Electing a governor is serious business and this is not a vote we can afford to mess up. For conservatives and Republicans, there should be no doubt. Matt Bevin is the clear choice for a new, conservative Kentucky that can live up to the promise we all desire.
Larry Forgy is a Lexington attorney and was the 1995 Republican nominee for governor.
OCTOBER 23, 2015
A claim by Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright in his campaign for the Kentucky Supreme Court is false and misrepresents the role of a judge or justice, the Kentucky Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee has found.
On a counter-complaint by Judge Wright, the committee found that his opponent, Court of Appeals Judge Janet Stumbo, made an inaccurate claim about her length of service, and that her campaign made a claim about Wright’s fund-raising that the committee was unable to substantiate.
The first complaint, by Stumbo’s campaign, was about a Wright commercial saying Stumbo “sided with criminals nearly 60 percent of the time” when she was on the Supreme Court. Wright told the committee that the figure “comes from the fact that Janet Stumbo voted in favor of the convicted criminal defendant in 59% of the published cases in which she voted during the last five years she was a justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court. The published cases were used because those are the ones in which the court is establishing law or making precedent.”
In a letter to Wright, the committee said, “The ad fails to consider the number of unpublished criminal cases in which Janet Stumbo would have participated as a justice on the Supreme Court. The 60 percent figure may be significantly different if all criminal cases were considered.”
Beyond the question of numbers, the committee told Wright that judges and justices are supposed “to base decisions on the law and to not take sides. Many convictions are reversed due to procedural, statutory or constitutional issues, and these decisions should not be represented as ‘siding with criminals.’ To say otherwise is to purposely mislead the electorate on the role of a judge or justice.”
The committee told Wright, “Our committee has determined in previous elections for the Kentucky Supreme Court that similar campaign ads making this type of allegation were improper, and we do so again. Your ad undermines the high standards by which judicial campaigns should be conducted.”
The committee reminded Wright, and reminds voters, that Kentucky’s nonpartisan judicial elections are different from those for executive or legislative offices. The committee believes campaigns for judicial office should uphold the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. The committee asked Wright to “cease the use of this ad or similar advertising making this claim and refrain from using it in the remainder of the campaign.”
After being notified of the complaint against him, Wright filed two complaints against Stumbo, making several allegations. The committee concluded that two were worthy of examination: Stumbo’s claim in an ad that she has 25 years of experience as an appellate-court judge, “more than any other person in the history of this commonwealth,” and her campaign’s May 7 claim on its Facebook page that he was raising money by calling prospects and handing the phone to another person who requested a contribution to Wright’s campaign.
The committee found that Justice Donald Wintersheimer served on the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court for more than 29 years, more than Stumbo. It asked the Stumbo campaign for the source of its fund-raising allegation, and the campaign provided a name. However, that person did not substantiate the claim made by the campaign.
The Kentucky Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee is an independent, non-governmental, non-partisan group of interested citizens from all over Kentucky, with a mix of lawyers, non-lawyers, Democrats, Republicans and independents. Each year there is a judicial election, the committee offers candidates an agreement in which they pledge to run fair and dignified campaigns, and disavow false or misleading ads and other campaign tactics that “impugn the integrity of the judicial system, the integrity of a candidate, or erode public trust and confidence in the independence and impartiality of the judiciary.” Only two of the 26 candidates seeking judicial office in Kentucky this fall did not sign the agreement: Ron Schwoeppe, who is running for a district judgeship in Louisville, and Judge Sam Wright.
Members of the committee are retired circuit judge Charles Boteler, Owensboro; retired Court of Appeals judge Tony Wilhoit, Versailles; Al Cross, Frankfort, secretary; Jon Fleischaker, Louisville, secretary; Jane Baker, Glasgow; Steve Cawood, Pineville; William Fortune, Lexington; Kate Hendrickson, Maysville; Spencer Noe, Lexington; Dennis Null, Mayfield; Marcia Milby Ridings, London; Howard Roberts, Pikeville; Bill Robinson, Covington; Cecile Schubert, Richmond; Kathy Walker, Paintsville; and Elaine Wilson, Somerset.
October 12, 2015
So many people complain about the government...from city to national. We get the government for which we vote. Some vote a party. Some vote a friend of a friend. Some vote longevity. Some vote single issues. We must look at the heart and soul of the candidates. We must attempt to know about their honesty, integrity, character, world view. Who or what controls their life.
I invite you to look at the candidates for Kentucky’s next governor, Jack Conway and Matt Bevin. Mr. Conway has been a participant in politics all of his life. The American Founders warned us about having professional controllers rather than citizen representatives to conduct the business of our state and country. Mr. Conway upon taking his present office swore to uphold the Constitution of Kentucky. However, he failed or refused to protect our state’s constitution. Instead he stood with five of the Supreme Court Judges to undo the marriage law of our state which was affirmed by nearly 75% of Kentucky’s citizens. Your own homework will reveal other questionable decisions by Mr. Conway.
Matt Bevin has lived life similar to that of most Kentucky citizens. He is a husband, a father, a practicing Christian, a United States veteran, a successful businessman. He knows the ins and outs of making a living and supporting a family. He has created jobs for all educational levels. He chooses not to participate in the “mud slinging” saying that he was raised to behave better than that. Mr. Bevin wants to improve the business climate with “right to work,” with tax and regulatory reform. He pledges to resolve our pension crisis and lead government to be more responsive, efficient and accountable to the citizens. He wants to improve healthcare for all citizens, move the system control back into the hands of the citizens, and costing less money. He vows to stand up to the encroachment of the federal government upon our state’s sovereignty.
You and I must vote our principles and values. We may differ from time to time on an issue, but I don’t believe our basic desires for our government can be that far apart. I want freedom and liberty. I want a three branched government with the checks and balances set up in the Constitution. I want a society that lives by laws not the whims of man. I want a society where we can express the rights given us within the Bill of Rights without infringement. I want equality not special rights for
this or that.
I want a society not inhibited by governmental slavery...equal opportunities for all. I want one nation under God with liberty and justice for all. I believe Matt Bevin is the man who will serve our best interest as citizens of Kentucky.
Please vote wisely!
PHYLLIS M. VINCENT, PH.D.
P.O. Box 4624
Frankfort, KY 40604
LETTER TO THE EDITOR...
Just a reminder....
Representatives from Sullivan University will be here Tue, Oct. 27 from 4-7 pm at LC High School, Bulldog Lane. This is a meet and greet session with the public. We have been working on this project since last Dec. ---to get Sullivan to establish an extended college campus here in Louisa--in the vacant annext adjoining the courthouse downtown.
They are very interested in doing something here, but I believe the response they get from this community meeting will be a deciding factor. It is the front page story in the Big Sandy News this week, and on the Levisa Lazer (online).
We are encouraging everyone who can, to attend this meeting. I don't have to tell you what this would mean for Lawrence County AND all of eastern KY!. Please share this information with as many people as possible.
Lawrence Co. Economic Development Coordinator
Lawrence Co. Courthouse
122 S. Main Cross
Louisa, KY 41230