Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Field is Set

After weeks of rumors, we finally know the primary slate for Kentucky's constitutional offices.

I was surprised that Allison Lundergan-Grimes did not run for governor Many had speculated in recent days that her father wanted her to run against Andy Beshear, given the longstanding animosity between the Lundergan and Beshear families.  I had heard the day before Grimes lost by 16 points to Mitch McConnell that her father was already, at that time, lining up support for her to run for governor.

Plainly, she enjoyed the speculation, and therefore not only fueled it but did not extinguish it -- file for reelection -- until the penultimate day.

Jack Conway failed to draw an opponent (other than Geoff Young, more of a gadfly). Nonetheless, Conway is unlikely to win, in my opinion.  Democrats privately said as much and tried with no success to find an alternative to Conway.

Dave Adams gave me a laugh when he pointed out that Young is Buddhist. In a nod to Conway's disastrous Aqua Buddha ad against Rand Paul, Adams points out that "Conway has a pretty bad track record with the Buddha."   

I look forward to seeing what Conway's Aqua Buddha moment will be in this campaign. I view that as an inevitability, stemming from Conway taking himself way too seriously.

There will probably be some hilarity on the Republican side, now that Matt Bevin is running. Reporters will need to check his daily schedule to see if he's attending any cock fights.

Here's My CJ Column

The topic is Louisville's proposed Bike Share program.  Here's the link. Although Darryl Isaacs was not riding a Bike Share bicycle, his accident underscores my concerns about bikes in heavy traffic.  Here's wishing Mr. Isaacs a speedy recovery.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Shaking It Up In The KY House, A Little

CN/2 is reporting that Kentucky House Republicans have created a new position in party leadership: Chair of the House GOP Campaign Committee.

Rep. Jonathan Shell will fill the new role; he was elected unanimously  House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover (who was reelected despite a challenge) created the new position with a view to taking over the House majority in 2016.

I am glad the caucus recognized that it needs to try something new after November's disappointment of  Republicans failing to take the House yet again despite Mitch McConnell's 15 point win.  I'm pleased that House Republicans didn't wait to get started.

Shell, according to Hoover, is hard-working and has taken the initiative on fund-raising in the past.  He will continue to focus on fundraising as well as candidate recruitment. He points out in his interview that House Republicans raised an "unprecedented" $500,000 last election.

Raising money is not enough.  There needs to be an autopsy on what went wrong last cycle. Did the "unprecedented" money raised go to pay political consultants who promise much but deliver little?  What will be done differently this time?

Until Shell can give a sober and detached assessment of the mistakes of 2014, he will have a hard time convincing donors to give once more to "flip the House."  Indeed, we have heard so much in recent years about plans to "flip the House" that the expression has become hackneyed, sort of a code for impending defeat.

So Shell's first task should be to come up with a replacement slogan for "flip the House."