The Forward Five – Monday, 12/23/19

9 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

Beshear tells Trump administration that Kentucky will continue to accept refugees
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has turned down an offer from President Donald Trump’s administration to halt refugee resettlement.

“Kentucky has welcomed refugees for well over three decades,” the Democratic governor wrote in a letter dated Tuesday to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “Refugees in Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Owensboro and other locales have contributed to the workforce and economic development of our state.”

About half of the states have consented to keep accepting refugees. No states so far have said they plan to stop accepting refugees under Trump’s order. (Courier-Journal)

Beshear releases 2017 pension analysis. Jason Bailey tells us what it says.
Governor Beshear has released the 2017 pension analysis prepared for Governor Bevin, which Bevin subsequently refused to release. (Herald-Leader)

Now that it’s public, Jason Bailey of the KY Center for Economic Policy analyses it for us and summarizes the findings. (Hint: They’re what KCEP predicted.) (KCEP)

KY House Dems elect Joni Jenkins as minority leader, and Angie Hatton as whip
For the first time in Kentucky history, a woman is the leader of a legislative caucus in the state legislature — AND, the leadership team of three includes two women for the first time as well, joining the African American representative already serving. (Forward Kentucky)

Evangelical Christian magazine calls for Trump’s removal
The magazine founded by Billy Graham to “help evangelical Christians interpret the news in a manner that reflects their faith” has called for the removal of President Donald Trump. The editorial from Christianity Today has already been attacked by Trump. (Forward Kentucky)

A lawyer looks at Bevin’s pardons
As a public defender, Jazmin Smith brings a unique viewpoint to the discussion about Matt Bevin’s pardons. Here are this lawyer’s thoughts on the pardons. (Forward Kentucky)

Editor’s Note: Many new news and commentary posts over the past few days. Be sure to check the lower section for things you may have missed!

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

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


[new] Paducah unions raise $10,000 to help brighten Christmas for 100 disadvantaged children – Christmas will be brighter for 100 disadvantaged school kids in Paducah, thanks to the Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council. (read)

[new] 🔥 Another Kentucky-born congressman voted for impeachment – His vote didn’t get much press in the Bluegrass State. But another Kentucky-born congressman supported impeaching President Trump. (read)

[new] Matt Bevin defends pardon of convicted child rapist in radio interview – Former Gov. Bevin defended a number of his pardons, including of a man convicted of raping a 9-year-old, saying there was no physical evidence of her abuse. (read)

[new] 🔥 Kentucky congressman snaps back: ‘Hell will be too good for’ President Trump – Rep. John Yarmuth criticized President Trump for implying that fellow Rep. Debbie Dingell’s late husband may be in hell, calling it a reminder that Trump is “rotten to the core” and suggested that “hell will be too good for him.” (read)

🔥 ‘There’s no decision I would say I regret.’ Wayne Lewis’ departing message – Expressing no regrets regarding his time leading Kentucky’s schools, outgoing Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis doubled-down on a parting message to both his supporters and his critics: Put kids first. “Even,” he said, “when that means making decisions that inconvenience adults or cause us to have to do things in ways that we haven’t traditionally done them.” (read)

🔥 Prefiled bill would legalize recreational pot – A bill that would allow for the legal sale of recreational marijuana, with wholesale tax receipts going to fund the state’s public employee and teacher pension systems, has been prefiled for consideration in the upcoming General Assembly session. (read)

‘It’s discriminatory … it’s dangerous.’ Bathroom bill back in Kentucky – A lawmaker who is a Menifee County pastor has pre-filed for the 2020 Kentucky General Assembly a bill that would put limitations on which public school bathroom transgender students could use. The legislation would also allow lawsuits against school officials who did not carry out the prohibition. (read)


[new] 🔥 A complete and accurate census count is good for Kentucky’s health – An accurate Census doesn’t just determine how many federal dollars we bring back to the state; it has an enormous impact on the health of our commonwealth. (read)

[new] The Saudi mystique – Why does Trump go out of his way to suck up to Saudi Arabia? It’s NOT for oil or any of the other oft-quoted reasons. Ivonne Rovira nails the REAL reason. (read)

[new] When it comes to Trump and impeachment, Andy Barr defends the indefensible – Andy Barr is a smart man, and a good politician. However, his ardent devotion to our Narcissist-in-Chief is not just appalling, but indefensible. (read)

[new] KY Youth Law Project responds to the “bathroom bill” – KYLP, an organization founded to protect the legal rights of LGBTQ young people, has responded to the “bathroom bill” prefiled for KYGA20. (read)

[new] 🔥 Is McConnell building a trap for Trump? – In spite of all his defenses of Trump in the face of impeachment, could Mitch McConnell actually be laying a trip for him in the Senate? (read)

🔥 Gov. Beshear dumps the charter school clown car. And Bevin showed him the way. – Beshear promised a different tone and backed it up with strong action. On Inauguration Day, he put public education at the front of his administration as he said he would, exactly where it belongs. (read)


KY says #NoOneIsAboveTheLaw – Our own Del Ramey and Nick Lacy were at the pre-impeachment rallies in Louisville and Frankfort, and captured some great photos. Enjoy and share! (view)

Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days

(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)

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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