Five Things to Know Today
— Publisher’s Note —
Good morning! Tomorrow is Primary Day, which in normal years would be a special day for political junkies like me. You commandeer the television to watch election night coverage on one channel, while you have multiple browser tabs open on your laptop to keep track of results and Twitter and any other source of results and news you can think of.
This year? Not so much.
Due to COVID-19, we’ve gotten no-excuse absentee voting in Kentucky for the first time. (Technically, the excuse is the first item on the list of possible reasons to vote absentee: “I’m scared of dying in a pandemic.”)
So, instead of staying up late to see who won once all the returns are in, we’ll have to wait a week to let all the absentee ballots get in AND be counted. We won’t have semi-official returns until June 30.
Which, of course, leads to a different kind of prognostication – can the potential losers on election night make up the difference in whatever absentee ballots remain to be counted? Other states that have expanded absentee voting have dealt with this for years, but for Kentuckians it’s a new experience.
BUT – one thing we can say with almost 100% certainty: Expanded absentee voting has been a huge success, even with whatever glitches we have had, and “turnout” (need another word now) will almost certainly be at very high, perhaps record-breaking, levels.
I am hopeful — and will be pushing hard — for the no-excuse absentee voting to continue. It is efficient, it is safe, and it increases voter participation. It’s time we adopt it for all elections going forward.
As always – Wear those masks, wash those hands, get a test. We’re going to get through this, together. #TeamKentucky
Cases still up & down; senators press for school guidance; football-player testing at UK – 6/20 update
Cases continue on a roller coaster. Senators sent a letter to the gov pushing for school guidance. And, UK football is one of a group of schools named as doing the least COVID-19 testing among Power 5 schools. (Forward Kentucky)
Lawyer asks Beshear, Adams for new exec orders on voting
Anna Whites, a Frankfort lawyer, sent a letter to Governor Beshear and SOS Adams on Friday asking for additional executive orders related to the primary on Tuesday. (Forward Kentucky)
‘Implausible.’ As COVID-19 battered KY nursing homes, inspectors cited few infection problems
State inspectors say they have found almost no infection control deficiencies in Kentucky nursing homes even as COVID-19 spread through 162 of them, killing 330 people as of Thursday and infecting more than 2,300, according to a Herald-Leader review of published inspection reports.
COVID-19 has reached at least 57 percent of Kentucky’s 285 nursing homes. But by Tuesday, the Kentucky Health and Family Services Cabinet identified deficiencies in only 3 percent of the 202 inspection reports it had released. Critics say such a low number is hard to believe. (Herald-Leader)
Making Juneteenth state holiday gains bipartisan support
A proposal to make Juneteenth, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, an official state holiday has gotten bipartisan support in the Kentucky Senate. (Forward Kentucky)
Booker campaign stops in Lebanon, Danville
The Charles Booker campaign bus tour stopped in Lebanon and Danville on Sunday, and Nick Lacy was at both stops to capture them in photos. (Forward Kentucky)
Did you miss any of these?
Featured Content on Forward Kentucky
([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)
— News —
Cases still up & down; senators press for school guidance; football-player testing at UK – 6/20 update – Cases continue on a roller coaster. Senators sent a letter to the gov pushing for school guidance. And, UK football is one of a group of schools named as doing the least testing among Power 5 schools. (read)
Poll: Booker beats McGrath, McConnell beats them both – A new poll from Civiqs has Charles Booker leading Amy McGrath in the Democratic Senate primary – but has Mitch McConnell beating them both in the general election. (read)
Beshear says he will restart health-insurance exchange Kynect – Gov. Andy Beshear said Wednesday that he will restart the state health-insurance exchange that his father, then-Gov. Steve Beshear, began in 2013. (read)
🔥 National Indivisible endorses Booker. Turmoil ensues. – The national Indivisible organization endorsed Charles Booker in the Democratic primary for Senate on Wednesday, setting off a string of charges and counter-explanations between local Indivisible chapters and the umbrella national group. (read)
— Commentary —
[new] Al Cross: Charles Booker, Mike Broihier harvest votes on a field Amy McGrath planted – As Amy McGrath stumbled in her run for the Senate, the seeds she spilled were harvested by Mike Broihier and Charles Booker. Has the election changed enough for one of them to win? (read)
[new] LMPD can’t continue to deny open records requests – The open records act is neither an ideal nor a suggestion. It is the law. LMPD must permit inspection of public records as required or risk meaningful punishment for noncompliance. (read)
Police reform? It didn’t work in Miami. Ask Arthur McDuffie. – I am an old lady, so my memory isn’t what it was. But even 40 years later, I still remember the name of Arthur McDuffie. (read)
Dear Gov: Fix unemployment. Now. – Governor Beshear, in the midst of your good work, one thing is abundantly, embarrassingly clear: You have to fix the unemployment debacle. Now. (read)
🔥 No mask? You’re a bad neighbor. #WearTheDamnMask – I see you when I go to the store. Here you come, down the aisle, no mask in sight, shopping as if it’s January, acting as if you are somehow more special and immune than the rest of us. (read)
— Policy —
Your doorbell could be surveilling your neighbors for the police – As reported by the Pew Trusts, the ties between police departments and home surveillance gadgets, especially doorbell cameras, are coming under scrutiny. (read)
Let’s talk about #DefundThePolice – There is a lot of discussion across the United States about police work, and included in that is the phrase “defund the police.” Because there is so much misinformation out there about it, we thought it would be worthwhile to do an explainer about it. (read)
— Cartoon —
🔥 Junk set-out day in Louisville’s Highlands neighborhood – Aaron Smith notes: “I’m not sure what the Louisville Metro guidelines are for junk set out in Cherokee Triangle, but hopefully they’ll make an exception.” (view)
— Media —
[new show] #DefundThePolice on ‘The State of Kentucky’ – Here’s our show on #DefundThePolice, an important topic that we all need to learn more about. Rep. Attica Scott and Emily Galvin-Almanza (founder of Partners for Justice) help us understand the topic. (watch or listen)
[new podcast] Can Mayor Fischer fire Breonna Taylor’s killers? – This week on My Old Kentucky Podcast – COVID-19, protests, and the primary election. In addition, the show dives into the reasons why Mayor Fischer says he cannot fire the officers who executed the no-knock warrant on Breonna Taylor’s home. (listen)
Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days
(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)
- 🔥 Kentucky cousins both running for House seats this year (2,000+ shares)
- Black Lives Matter in Crab Orchard, Kentucky (742 shares)
- 🔥 It took Kentucky 111 years to abolish slavery … and we still haven’t dealt with the statues (741 shares)
- Why aren’t teachers at the table when it comes to COVID-19 planning? (720 shares)
- Booker receives endorsements from Sanders, AOC, and the Herald-Leader (680 shares)
- 🔥 No mask? You’re a bad neighbor. #WearTheDamnMask (520 shares)
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