The Forward Five – Friday, 12/13/2019

9 mins read
Forward Kentucky

Five Things to Know Today

The Bevin Pardons

It is normal for departing governors to issue pardons as they leave office. It is not normal for them to issue as many as Matt Bevin did, nor is it normal for those pardons to blow up into a major news story. But, that is what has happened with the Bevin pardons.

We have two stories on our site, including both an explainer about pardons and a summary of some of Bevin’s pardons. In this Forward Five, we are also listing some of the stories from around the state. We hope that by including this range of stories, you will get a better sense of the impact, for good or for ill, of these pardons.

Bevin pardons include convicted killer whose brother hosted campaign fundraiser for him

An overview of some of Matt Bevin’s pardons, including one for a convict whose family held a campaign fund-raiser for Bevin. (Forward Kentucky)

Can Matt Bevin really do that? The pardon power in Kentucky explained

With Gov. Bevin’s pardons in the news, it’s important to understand the details of pardons. Emma Austin of the C-J lays it out for us. (Forward Kentucky)

Matt Bevin pardoned a Kentucky man who beheaded a woman and stuffed her in a barrel

It’s not clear if Betty Carnes was killed by asphyxiation or by the eight blows to her head that Delmar Partin delivered with a metal pipe. The coroner couldn’t tell which killed the mother of three first, but it was very clear that her head was then chopped off and placed on her lap in a 55-gallon barrel that was destined for a toxic waste site.

On Monday, departing Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin pardoned and commuted the sentence of Partin, who was convicted of killing her at the factory where they both worked in Barbourville in 1994. In his order, Bevin said he pardoned Partin because potential DNA evidence had not been tested. (Herald-Leader)

Bevin commutes sentences of hundreds of low-level drug offenders as he leaves office

Former Gov. Matt Bevin flexed his executive power as he left office Monday, granting conditional commutations of sentences for more than 300 Kentuckians who were in prison for possession of a controlled substance. (Herald-Leader)

Matt Bevin pardons man who says controversial police detective framed him in killings

Ex-Louisville Detective Mark Handy has been accused of framing men in several murder cases. Now one of them has been pardoned by Matt Bevin. (Courier-Journal)

Beshear’s Board of Education forces out Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis

Despite a pending legal challenge to its authority, a newly appointed Kentucky Board of Education on Thursday forced out the state’s education chief — a swift move that fulfills one of Gov. Andy Beshear’s most prominent campaign promises.

Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis resigned and will immediately vacate his position leading the state’s K-12 school system. The new board accepted his resignation by a unanimous vote and acknowledged it did not have just cause to terminate Lewis. (Courier-Journal)

Beshear restores voting rights to more than 140,000 nonviolent Kentucky felons

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday signed an executive order to automatically restore the right to vote to more than 140,000 convicted felons with completed sentences, cutting down one of the nation’s highest rates of voter disenfranchisement. Kentucky is among the last two states that apply lifetime voting bans for felons, unless they individually apply for restoration from the governor. (Courier-Journal)

In final hours, Bevin administration upholds Passport snub on Medicaid contracts

In the final hours of Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration, one of his top officials overrode a legislative committee’s rejection of five Medicaid contracts worth about $8 billion a year. William Landrum III, Bevin’s finance secretary, notified the committee Monday that “all five contracts shall remain in effect as originally approved,” according to a copy of his Dec. 9 letter. (Forward Kentucky)

McConnell and White House counsel agree to coordinate impeachment trial plans

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump’s top lawyer sketched out a plan Thursday to coordinate closely for an impeachment trial but haven’t reached agreement on a final strategy to defend Trump against charges of high crimes and misdemeanors, according to two sources familiar with the conversation. (CNN)

Did you miss any of these?
Featured Content on Forward Kentucky

([new] indicates new since last Forward Five;  🔥 indicates lots of reads)


[new] Jefferson schools to sue Juul, joining Bullitt and Fayette County schools – Kentucky’s largest school district is suing Juul over its role in a vaping epidemic impacting students, school board members decided Tuesday. (read)

🔥Beshear appoints all new Kentucky Board of Education; old board promises lawsuit – Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order Tuesday in his first day in office to create a new state school board. He said in the order that the current board has conflicting relationships, a lack of experience in education and did not conduct a nationwide search in 2018 when it hired current commissioner Wayne Lewis. Ten members of the current board said they would sue. (read)

🔥Dorsey Ridley accuses Bevin of lying about him on way out – Dorsey Ridley says outgoing governor Bevin has been “throwing bombs” and telling at least one blatant lie about him on the way out of office. (read)


[new] 🔥In a final show of pettiness, Bevin keeps Beshear out of mansion until last minute – In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, former Gov. Matthew Griswold Bevin, who never even lived in the Governor’s Mansion, waited until the last minute to turn the stately old building over to his successor. (read)

🔥Bevin employs scorched-earth policy in classless exit from role as governor – If there’s anything to make out of Gov. Bevin’s round of interviews on conservative radio stations, it’s that 12:01 a.m. Tuesday can’t come fast enough. (read)


[podcast] Interview with Rep. Josie Raymond – This week, Jazmin and Robert spoke with J-town and Hikes Point Representative Josie Raymond specifically about her efforts around early childhood education in the legislature. She told us about her partnership with Bowling Green Republican Steve Sheldon, and how they were approaching making big changes to the way that Kentucky handles pre-K education, and what she envisions as the future of how we handle this important topic in our state.

In this episode, Jazmin and Robert also discussed the potential priorities of Attorney General-elect Daniel Cameron and several high profile appointments in Governor-elect Andy Beshear’s cabinet. (listen)

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The Forward 5 is published Monday to Friday by Forward Kentucky, an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky, and is re-posted with permission. You can sign up for the email version of the newsletter on their website.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Forward Kentucky is an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky. Our objectives are to provide journalism that is objective, policies that are effective, and commentary that is progressive. Our goal is to help Kentucky become all that it can be through government that works, for all. We are "the progressive voice for Kentucky politics."

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