The Forward Five – Thursday, 2/13/20

11 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

Kentucky GOP leader says Matt Bevin hoarded road funds as reelection tool
A bill that would strip a governor’s power to appoint his or her own Transportation Cabinet secretary stems partly from former Gov. Matt Bevin’s heavy use of the cabinet’s discretionary road fund in the waning days of his administration, according to Senate President Stivers. (Forward Kentucky)

Beshear tells House Democrats to drop campaign consultant who was target of FBI probe
Gov. Andy Beshear is using his influence as Kentucky’s highest elected Democrat to discourage the use of a campaign consultant who was targeted by the FBI and served as the key witness in a campaign finance case against former Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Lundergan.

Beshear has told Democratic lawmakers that he will not raise campaign money for any candidates who use Jonathan Hurst as their campaign consultant. Hurst testified in a federal trial last year that Lundergan left $20,000 in cash and a $25,000 check with a memo line that said “boy scouts” in his couch, which contributed to Lundergan being found guilty of funneling illegal corporate campaign contributions into the 2014 U.S. Senate campaign of his daughter, Alison Lundergan Grimes. (Herald-Leader)

Indivisible brings ‘Cleanup Carl’ to anti-Mitch rally on Saturday
Indivisible KY is partnering with Corruption Cleanup to hold a rally in Louisville this Saturday from 3:30 to 5:00 pm. The rally is the first stop on a nationwide tour sponsored by HAZMAT America entitled the “#ThrashTheCash Tour.” (Forward Kentucky)

Should we move elections for statewide office to presidential election years?
SB 3 moves statewide office elections (governor, etc.) to presidential election years. Neal Turpin lays out the benefits, a few concerns, and some tactical questions. (Forward Kentucky)

Poll finds Ky. adults overwhelmingly favor legalizing medical marijuana
As lawmakers move close to legalizing medical marijuana in Kentucky, a new poll shows that an overwhelming number of Kentucky adults would support such a measure, and that a solid majority would approve legalizing the drug under any circumstance. (Forward Kentucky)

KYGA20 Run-Down
More bills are being filed, and more bills are moving, even as work gets underway on the budget. Rather than pull any of these stories into the “five things to know” section, we’re simply listing some of the stories in the media. Note that some of these may never even be heard in committee, while others may wind up on a fast track for passage.

Senate OKs bill to limit companies running Medicaid program – Urged to reduce Medicaid bureaucracy, the Kentucky Senate passed a bill Wednesday to limit the number of managed care organizations hired by the state to run its massive Medicaid program. (Herald-Leader)

Medical marijuana overwhelmingly clears House panel – Legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky easily won passage in a House committee on Wednesday. The committee vote was 17-1. Rep. Kim Moser voted against it, and Rep. Joe Fischer passed, sending it on to the House floor.

The KY League of Cities has endorsed the bill, and sponsor Rep. Jason Nemes believes it will clear the House easily. (Kentucky Today)

Senate bill limiting governor’s power on road projects passes panel – Legislation to take much of the governor’s power to decide which highway projects are built and place it into the hands of a nine-member board passed its first legislative hurdle on Wednesday.

Under the measure, sponsored by Sen. Jimmy Higdon (R-Lebanon), the Kentucky Transportation Board would consist of people nominated by three organizations: Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky League of Cities, and Kentucky Association of Counties. Any project proposal would have a score, based on five factors: congestion mitigation, economic development, accessibility, safety and asset management. (Kentucky Today)

Kentucky House approves $35M loan for hospital acquisition – Lawmakers in the Kentucky House approved a bill to loan $35 million to the University of Louisville to support its acquisition of a health care system which includes a hospital.

The statehouse voted 86-7 on Wednesday to pass House Bill 99. The university recently acquired Jewish Hospital and other KentuckyOne Health properties. (Herald-Leader)

Not all stories on Forward Kentucky make it to the top “Five Things” section of the Forward Five! Many stories only show up in the yellow section below, which is a running list of pretty much everything published. So, be sure to scan the lower section each day as well, so you don’t miss anything.

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

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


[new] Prez candidate Bloomberg taps several notable Kentuckians, announces HQ for state campaign – Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has announced his campaign staff and office plans for Kentucky. (read)

[new] McGrath rejects progressive policies in new TV ad – Democratic Senatorial candidate Amy McGrath released a new TV ad yesterday in which she makes two policy points: * She opposes free college, instead supporting national service to pay for college. * She opposes Medicare for All, instead wanting to improve the Affordable Care Act. Watch the ad here, and share your thoughts in the comments. (view)

🔥 [new] Federal judge hears arguments over Kentucky Board of Education seats in case against Beshear – A federal judge heard the latest legal bout Tuesday between ousted state education board members and the man who axed them, Gov. Andy Beshear. In a hearing over a motion that could reinstate the old board, Judge Greg Van Tatenhove seemed skeptical that the fight rose to the federal level. (read)

[new] Braidy leadership testifies, but doesn’t reveal much – The Braidy leadership team testified to the A&R committee this morning. There were many questions on everyone’s mind, with the main one being “Are you going to build? When, and how? How much more money do you need?” All of these questions, and more, were on the minds of the committee, and most of them got asked. Unfortunately, not all of them got answered. (read)

Why are all these legislatures interested in testosterone? – “Endogenously produced levels of testosterone”? That’s not a phrase that you would expect to hear in the halls of Kentucky’s state capitol. Where did it come from? (read)

🔥 If McGrath loses, what happens to the money? – Scads of $$ being raised by Amy McGrath and two PACs. If she winds up NOT winning the primary in May, what happens to all the money? (read)


🔥 Dear Dems – Stop fighting each other and focus on the REAL enemy – Berry Craig is worried that Dems don’t realize what they’re doing, and uses an old meme to call it out. (read)

The unbridgeable chasm – We are now a nation, as we were in 1860, with two completely different and completely incompatible views of America. (read)


🔥 HB 1 is misguided at best, an attack on the poor at worst. Here’s why. – HB 1 is supposed to “improve” our help for the poor. But, some of it is misguided, and some of it is an outright attack on the people it is trying to help. (read)

[new] Nancy Pelosi, a county attorney, and public records – Public records preservation rarely makes headlines. But two major public records preservation stories made headlines last week—one state and one national. (read)


[podcast] HB 1, Bouchard out at Braidy, and Margaret Plattner interview – In this week’s show, we cover House Bill 1 (complicated!), Bouchard’s ouster at Braidy, and pension relief for quasis. And, we interview Margaret Plattner, running in House District 33. (listen)

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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