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NOVEMBER 3, 2015
LOUISA -- It was a great day for Republicans in the 2015 General election in Lawrence County and in the state as businessman Matt Bevin knocked off Attorney General Jack Conway to win the Governor's office for the GOP.
Bevin has been declared the winner as he is about 60,000 votes ahead.
In Lawrence County the party with less registered voters won every statewide race.
Republican Governor candidate Matt Bevins picked up a 60% majority with his 1,616 votes to Democrat Jack Conway's 973 in the county which has a nearly 3,000 vote majority of registered voters.
The voters of eastern and western Kentucky were obviously voting against the policies of the Democrats including same sex marriage and the plight of the coal industry. The light turnout of less than 35% also contributed to the democrats' woes.
Another surprise was the loss of Ky. Auditor Edelen. Here's some of Ky.com's Bill Estep's story:
State Auditor Adam Edelen has condeded victory to Republican state Rep. Mike Harmon of Danville, according to Edelen's camp.
With 90 percent of the state's precincts counted just before 9 p.m., the tally showed Harmon leading by more than 20,000 votes.
Harmon pulled off the victory despite Edelen's massive fundraising edge.
As of mid-October, Edelen reported contributions totaling more than $800,000 in the general election and had more than $500,000 for the crucial last weeks of the campaign, allowing him to advertise on television while Harmon couldn't.
Harmon, an insurance agent from Danville who has been in the state House since 2003, reported a total contributions of less than $37,000 for the election.
Kentucky's economic development efforts continue to gain national recognition, with the state placing third in the 2015 Business Climate Ranking by Site Selection magazine.
The commonwealth rose five spots from its eighth place finish in last year's survey of state business climates by the Atlanta-based publication. Kentucky had the largest increase of any state in moving up to its highest position ever.
The business climate ranking "is a barometer of which states have the right mix of actual project successes and high favorability as indicated by site selectors," according to Mark Arend, Site Selection editor.
"This ranking reflects the culmination of my administration's focus on economic development," said Gov. Steve Beshear. "Since January, we announced nearly 2,300 new or expanding facilities, bringing more than 86,000 jobs and a total investment of $19.2 billion into Kentucky.
"From Kentucky's automotive-related manufacturing to our thriving aerospace industry to our world-renowned bourbon distilleries, business leaders recognize the Bluegrass State as a premier location for commerce, and this ranking underscores that fact," Beshear said.
According to Site Selection, the results are based in part on a survey of corporate real estate executives, who considered existing workforce skills, state and local taxes, transportation and utility infrastructure, and land/building prices and supply as the most important factors.
Among the eight categories considered, Kentucky placed first in the ranking's new plants-per-capita for January through August 2015, and ranked fourth in the 2014 new plants-per-capita category. The state narrowly missed placing second, coming two points behind North Carolina. Georgia placed first for the third year in a row.
"Our goal at the Cabinet for Economic Development is to provide jobs for Kentuckians by helping existing businesses expand and new businesses locate in our commonwealth," said Larry Hayes, cabinet secretary. "Kentucky's low business costs, robust shipping and logistics options, dedicated workforce, and network of state and local economic development experts and resources make our state the clear choice as a top location for business."
Both the state of Kentucky and the Paducah area have been previously honored by Site Selection magazine.
Earlier this year, Kentucky placed first in the magazine's annual Governor's Cup rankings for new and expanded industry activity per capita for 2014. Paducah was ranked 13th among the magazine's 2014 Top Micropolitans by number of job creation projects recruited during 2014. It marked the second year in a row Paducah was the highest ranked of the 10 Kentucky micropolitans making the list.
Micropolitans are urban areas based around an urban cluster with at least 10,000 but fewer than 50,000 people.
By David Zoeller
The Paducah Sun
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 30, 2015
By Glenn Mollette
No one knows for sure who will win the Republican nomination for President. Currently, Dr. Ben Caron and Donald Trump are the leaders but things change quickly in politics. Dr. Carson will certainly finish strong if he does not win.
While Dr. Carson's campaign is doing an excellent job on funding and advertising he also has what no other candidate has and that is the African American vote. I don't know that every African American person in America will vote for Carson but I believe that the vast majority will.
African Americans have and do something that the rest of the general voting population does not have and that is the African American church. Since the inception of this nation, the weekly gathering of the African American population on Sunday morning has been a place of solace, inspiration, strength but also incredible information and organization.
I was in Selma, Alabama recently and walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Hundreds of marchers were beaten and bloodied on that bridge on March 7, 1965. They were marching for the right to register to vote in Selma and the state of Alabama. A second March was attempted under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King on March 9 but King led the marchers to turn around. On March 21st with the federal protection of almost 4000 members of the U.S. Army and National Guard, King and Ralph Abernathy led over 400 people to make the 50-mile walk to Montgomery, Alabama. Their courageous march and national attention made it possible for African Americans to register and finally vote.
Where did this March begin? The gathering began at the Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma. The church is just a few blocks away from the bridge. This is where pastors, church leaders and hundreds of volunteers assembled and made their first march. Dr. Martin Luther King and Ralph Abernathy would come to town and King would speak to a packed house at this church. Later they would march with federal protection ordered from President Johnson from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. The church was where they assembled. The church was where they gathered to rally, share information, encourage each other and organize for success.
Still today, African American churches are extremely effective in addressing social issues. The churches are organized and pastors are not timid in telling their congregations what must be done in relationship to the community and the nation.
Often, I have the opportunity to speak in African American Churches. Many of my closest friends are from the African American community. My column is only an observation of their strength and in no way am I negative about the effectiveness of African American churches. I commend them. I only wish that America's white pastors had as much freedom as the African American ministers, but they do not. In most cases, a white protestant pastor will be terminated quickly if he engages in political organizing for a candidate. These churches will lead him to be the scapegoat in wet/dry elections or in running all over town working against a state lottery or something like that. However, churches are normally very divided between Republicans and Democrats or those who just don't want anything political in the church. A white congregation will also be threatened with termination of their non-profit status if they become political.
I understand that the church is a place of faith, scripture teaching and pointing people to God. African American churches do this very well. However, while they are helping people with their faith, they also know how to organize and bring a strong unified vote to the table. This time it will be for Dr. Ben Carson. Their unified effort propelled Obama and they will thrust Carson to either victory or near victory. And while they are doing it the other candidates won't even know what hit them.
Glenn Mollette is an American Syndicated Columnist and Author. He is the author of eleven books and read in all fifty states.
This column does not necessarily reflect the view of any organization, institution or this paper or media source.
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.