Five Things to Know Today
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— Publisher’s Note —
Good morning! Lots of one-off notes to share on this rainy Thursday morning:
- If you can volunteer these last few days of the election, and especially on Election Day, there are a number of opportunities available, including being a poll monitor, helping with wheelchairs, giving rides to the polls, and even a paid position as a poll reporter. They’re all in this article.
- Trent Garrison does a really good job of analyzing the state House races in this article. If you want to know which races to watch on Tuesday, he gives you a checklist. AND, he will be with us tomorrow on The State of Kentucky (see below for links).
- There’s a ton of new content on the site, as you can see in the Recent Content section. If you like history, check out Marshall Ward’s piece on the history of voting, with pictures of early ballots and such. If you are a Hank Linderman fan (as am I), take a look at Nick Lacy’s photo gallery. And, there are a number of good commentaries that are worth reading and sharing, as well.
- And finally, if you haven’t watched the Beau of the Fifth Column video I posted (“Let’s talk about Mitch McConnell’s great fiction …”), you really should. He is an excellent commentator, and he nails McConnell in this video.
All for today – time to get this puppy out the door! Take care, stay dry, wear your mask, and go vote if you haven’t. See you in the morning!
Today’s Five Things to Know
10/28 update — On another record day for virus and hospital cases, Beshear says people should wear masks to protect themselves, not just others
After announcing yet another record for the highest number of new coronavirus cases in a single day, Gov. Andy Beshear’s messaging shifted to put more of the onus on community members to protect each other from the virus – and for individuals to protect themselves. (Forward Kentucky)
Let’s analyze the races in the Kentucky House
Even though most of the attention is on the presidential race, there are important races for Kentucky’s legislature. Trent Garrison does an analysis of this year’s races, and which ones could flip. (Forward Kentucky)
Andy Barr and Josh Hicks focus on COVID-19 as they make their final pitches to voters
Both men who want to represent Central Kentucky in Congress are focused on COVID-19 in their final pitches to voters, but the incumbent sounds more optimistic about current events than his challenger.
Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr of Lexington said Tuesday the federal response is going well. By contrast, Democrat Josh Hicks commiserated with voters who said the coronavirus pandemic has revealed gaping holes in the health care system.
Congress needs to lower drug prices to help people with such chronic diseases, Hicks said. A vial of insulin might cost a pharmaceutical company $7 to produce while the company charges many times that much to sell the vial to a diabetic and her insurance company, he said.
“You deserve a representative who is not bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical companies who would jack that price up,” Hicks said. “I have no problem with drug companies making a profit off the innovation that led them there, but I do have a problem with price gouging Kentuckians who need it to stay alive.” (Herald-Leader)
KY secretary of state suggests making early voting permanent and other election ideas
Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams suggested several changes Wednesday to how the state conducts elections, including permanent provisions for early voting and an online portal to request an absentee ballot. Adams, the state’s top elections official, made his comments in a speech to the 46th annual Kentucky Association of Counties Conference, which was held virtually. (Herald-Leader)
Breonna Taylor news
A number of articles today relate to the Breonna Taylor case, so we are putting them all in this one section.
Breonna Taylor grand jurors say prosecutors dismissed their questions
Two anonymous grand jurors in the Breonna Taylor investigation say prosecutors denied them evidence they requested, dismissed their questions, created confusion, and declined requests to look into additional charges during the proceedings. (Forward Kentucky)
Taylor Jurors: Officers deserved more charges
A man who served on the Breonna Taylor grand jury says he felt police actions on the night of her death were criminal. But he said prosecutors didn’t give them the chance to explore charges related to her shooting death by officers. Two grand jurors, one white and one African American, have spoken out about the grand jury proceedings through statements but have remained anonymous. They told CBS This Morning in an interview Wednesday that many on the panel felt that other charges could have been pursued against the officers. (West Kentucky Star)
Judge skeptical of attorney general’s attempt to seal evidence in Brett Hankison case
A Jefferson County judge expressed skepticism Wednesday toward a Kentucky Attorney General’s Office request to seal discovery records in the criminal case against former Detective Brett Hankison, the sole officer facing charges in the Breonna Taylor case.
Circuit Judge Ann Bailey Smith said the attorney general’s office appears to want to selectively withhold potential evidence, since it already has released pieces it believes it is acceptable for the public to hear. “I don’t see you coming to this with clean hands,” Smith said, adding there are at least three “entries” on the state office’s website that discuss evidence in the Taylor case against Hankison. (Courier-Journal)
Breonna Taylor’s mother asks for a special prosecutor to review Louisville cops’ conduct
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s handling of the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor case undermined the “trust and integrity” of the judicial process to the point that a new prosecutor should be appointed to review the case, Taylor’s mother and attorneys said Wednesday.
Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, requested a “competent and capable prosecutor willing to handle the case involving the death of my daughter” in an application to the Kentucky Prosecutors Advisory Council. “No mother should be deprived of justice and truth surrounding her child’s death simply because the perpetrators were police officers,” Palmer wrote. (Courier-Journal)
This Friday on “The State of Kentucky”
The election wraps up in a few days, with some expected winners and some upsets. Which seats will flip? What will be the biggest surprise? Join us as we break down the election with Trent Garrison, and see if you agree with our predictions!
Upcoming Events from the ForwardKY Calendar
INDIVISIBLE KY PHONEBANK
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Virtual action – Info
PHONE BANK WITH PLANNED PARENTHOOD ACTION KENTUCKY
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Virtual Action – Info
SAVE SCOTUS SATURDAY @ MCCONNELL’S OFFICE
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm – In-person Action in Lexington – Info
MARIA SOROLIS SOCIALLY-DISTANCED LITERATURE DROP
2:00 pm – In-person Campaigning in Louisville – Info
VOTE THE CHANGE: 2020 – CLARK WILLIAMS AND ADAM EDELEN
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Online Forum – Info
Recent Content on Forward Kentucky
[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
* indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both
[new] Lawmakers hear how COVID-19 vaccine could be distributed – State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack appeared virtually before the Interim Joint Health, Welfare, and Family Services Committee, and said the federal government has never moved this fast on vaccine development ever. (News)
[new] Trust me – the Show will go on – Looks like Donald Trump may well become a reality-TV star once again. Let’s just call this show “The People v. Donald J. Trump: American Crime Story.” (Commentary)
[new] McGrath: McConnell abandoning our state, local governments – As Sen. McConnell made his first stop to hear from voters in months, opponent Amy McGrath criticized his refusal to help state and local governments right now and his falsehoods about what he has done. (Press Release)
[new] ‘It shows you everything that is wrong with Sen. Mitch McConnell’ – Amy McGrath, Mitch McConnell’s Democratic challenger, may have given herself a late boost by quickly jumping on the Senate majority leader for again elevating his party’s wants above the country’s needs. (Commentary)
[new] Volunteer and paid positions for the election – If you have not volunteered in some way for the election, it’s not too late! Here is a list of opportunities, everything from poll monitoring to helping with wheelchairs to giving rides to the polls, and more. (Action)
[new] Hank Linderman taking on Guthrie, on the road and on the screen – Nick Lacy caught up with Hank Linderman at a GOTV event, then visited him in his home to check out his online work and his home studio. Learn more about Hank here, including his Contract with Rural America. And check out that studio! (Photos)
Did you know these things about voting? – Voting is a right and a duty for us all. BUT, the Constitution doesn’t say exactly how we should cast our ballots. Over the past 200 years, the mechanics of voting have evolved from open-air “voice votes” to touch-screen digital consoles. (Feature)
Amy McGrath signs the “Ditch Mitch” Quilt – We recently finished the contest for the Ditch Mitch Quilt, but it wasn’t going to be complete unless we could get Amy McGrath’s signature on it as well. And we did! (News)
*Let’s talk about Mitch McConnell’s great fiction … – Dear Kentucky Republicans – Do you believe that McConnell and the Republicans care about the Constitution? Do you believe that McConnell and the Republicans care about you? Then watch this. (Video)
When it comes to voting — Know the rules. Know your rights. – Secretary of State Adams today announced guidance to protect voters from intimidation at the polls. “Voting is your sacred right. Don’t let anyone take it away – know your rights,” Adams said. (News)
*Our democracy won’t survive 6 more years of McConnell – McConnell’s loyalties lie with his party, donors, lobbyists, and Trump – not Kentuckians nor Americans. Our fragile democracy can’t afford 6 more years of him. If McConnell and Trump win, may the American experiment rest in peace. (Commentary)
*Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy” ignores the role of Big Business in Appalachian poverty – His explanation oversimplifies a long history of struggle, labor exploitation, and environmental destruction. Cast aside Vance’s apologia on behalf of big industry, and the real work can begin. (Commentary)
*What’s on the line if SCOTUS overturns Obamacare? Only the livelihoods and lives of Kentuckians – If the Supreme Court, likely including Amy Coney Barrett, rules in favor of dismantling the ACA, the imminent threats to millions of Kentuckians’ well-being and quality of life are clear. (Policy)
Photo: Hank Linderman by Nick Lacy on Forward Kentucky
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