A Really, Really Bad Idea. Try to imagine what might happen if, say, the Courier-Journal and WHAS-TV and all the locally-owned Clear Channel radio stations had the same ownership. Or, worse, if that same company also controlled WAVE-TV. That would become a possibility if the FCC relaxes media ownership rules, which is what FCC chair Kevin Martin wants to do. Independent reporting would be the first casualty. Jobs would be cut. A corporation could control the debate on local issues. It’s scary, but if the Martin has his way, the rules could be relaxed this year. It’s a partisan issue, with Republicans lined up in support. The Dems won a similar battle three years ago. Expect a fight. And hope Democrats win. Call your Congressman. (New York Times).
Politicians Lie. Film at 11. The firestorm over our senior Senator being caught in a lie is big news. McConnell, caught on camera, lying about a propaganda campaign initiated in his office. Imagine that. The C-J editorial board weighs in today.
Gutless. McConnell’s fib was a subplot in the saga of the S-CHIP funding bill, which passed in both Houses but was vetoed by the President, supported by hard-core Republicans like McConnell. And every other Kentucky GOP politician — after all, the bill does include a big tax on tobacco. In Tuesday’s gubernatorial debate, it was disappointing to hear Beshear’s response to the S-CHIP question. He said that while he supported the health care initiative for children, he’s against hitting up smokers to pay for it. Fletcher jumped on Beshear for supporting the bill, because of the tobacco stipulation. Maybe we should advertise Kentucky’s charm this way — Kentucky, a place where politicians still fear big tobacco.
It All Depends on Why You’re Asking. McConnell’s most likely opponent in 2008, when he’s up for re-election, is attorney general Greg Stumbo, who told the Herald-Leader’s Ryan Alessi this week that he’s had an easier-than-expected time raising money for a Senate run, with $100,000 already in the bank. He’s expected to make a final decision after he does polling in November. Of the fund-raising effort, Stumbo, who ran as the #2 candidate on Louisvillian Bruce Lunsford’s gubernatorial ticket last spring, said “Nobody’s turned me down yet. That’s kind of a breath of fresh air. When I was calling for Bruce Lunsford’s and my campaign, I was getting cussed out every other phone call. So it’s been fun again.”
Still Going On. The gubernatorial race has been such a one-sided affair that lots of folks have quit paying attention. The latest bad news for Ernie Fletcher is this morning revelation in the Herald-Leader that not just a handful of people, but more than 250 people who gave money to his 2003 campaign have written checks to Steve Beshear this time. Ouch. There are even more so-called “smart-money” folks who have given to both candidates.
Debate Central. You won’t hear complaints that candidates for office not debating enough. Apparently last night’s bout between A.G. candidates Stan Lee and Jack Conway, televised on WLKY-TV, didn’t merit coverage by state newspapers. Not a single mention in the C-J or Herald-Leader.
Not Getting Along. When Fletcher and McConnell appeared together in Louisville to tout the UPS expansion this week, LEO’s Stephen George went along, but he wasn’t too happy about it.