It’s Primary Election Postmortem Time!


Let’s start where we ended the previous report. The three postscripts to the previous report read 1) Heiner – too much money to lose; 2) Comer – grassroots against last minute chaos; and 3) Bevin – could carve a victory a la Wallace Wilkinson in his Primary with John Y. Brown and Steve Beshear.  Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

Matt Bevin appears to have won the Republican Primary for governor by the slimmest of margins, margins so slim that runner-up James Comer is asking for a recanvass.  While a recanvass may change a vote here and a vote there, the outcome will very likely remain the same – Bevin wins.  How?  We told you last week Bevin’s road to the Governor’s Mansion would be won by running against Louisville and Frankfort.  A look at the map of counties Bevin won shows he did just that.  In addition to a cluster of counties around Ashland, Bevin carried counties along the Ohio River from Bracken to Union, with the exception of Jefferson where he ran 2nd carrying one in three of the votes cast.  One-in-three is where Bevin started, claiming one-in-three votes last year in his Primary with Senator McConnell.  We suggested that was his best asset going into the race.  His voters from last year remained organized and both the Tea Party and the Republican-registered Libertarians claimed him as their own.

Beginning with his bevy of support from his 126,000 votes in 2014, then adding the combination of suburban libertarians with Tea Party rural voters gave Bevin the most comfortable of launching pads.  Bevin won suburbia and newer Republican voters.  Bevin also carried vote-rich northern Kentucky, which we expected Heiner to capture at least some of with his Right-To-Life endorsement, and moving those votes from the Heiner column to the Bevin column appears to have given him the boost he needed over the more traditional Republican voters captured by Comer and Jefferson’s allegiance to Heiner.  This combination made it hard for Bevin to lose, especially given the blood battle going on between his two main competitors.  This is exactly what happened in the 1987 Democratic Primary when then-Lt. Gov. Steve Beshear and former Gov. John Y. Brown engaged in a series of back-and-forth attacks, allowing the outsider, Wallace G. Wilksinson, running against both Frankfort and Louisville the opportunity to “sneak up the middle.” (Wilkinson also had the lottery issue in his arsenal)

But Bevin almost did lose – to James Comer.

Wanna read the rest? CLICK HERE.


Glad A Local Will Be Your Governator?

Portland neighbors say they’re drowning in water bills that are twice the normal cost. The problems on one block uncovered a bigger issue for Louisville Water Company customers. [WDRB]

Which David Jones crony will get the job this time? Weeks after Superintendent Donna Hargens informed Helene Kramer that her contract was not being renewed, Jefferson County Public Schools has posted the position for its chief communications and community relations officer. [C-J/AKN]

Firefighters, police and Animal Control entered a home in the 2200 block of Beargrass Avenue just off Bardstown Road after hearing from multiple neighbors Tuesday. Neighbors were concerned after finding pet abandonment notices on the door, overgrown weeds in the yard and hearing constant barking inside the home. [WHAS11]

Republicans on Tuesday picked state Senate Judiciary Chairman Whitney Westerfield, 34, as their nominee for Kentucky attorney general. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Five greater Clark County schools may close as part of a plan the superintendent believes will help the district. [WLKY]

A faction of Republicans in the House of Representatives wants to stop poor people from buying junk food with food stamps. [HuffPo]

Some people are just the absolute worst. [WAVE3]

If you’re wondering what really happened to Jamie Comer in the gubernatorial primary? It’s much more simple than he would have you believe. [Page One]

Once again, Louisville has ranked poorly on the annual ranking of city park systems from a national group. [WFPL]

Suicide rates have fallen among young white children in the U.S. but they’ve gone up among black youngsters, according to a new study of suicides in kids under age 12. [Reuters]

Too many tables and too little kitchen space — that’s been a pain point for Big Four Burgers & Beer in Jeffersonville since it opened in December 2013. [Business First]

Samuel pointed to tattoos on his forearms and chest to count how many times he’s been incarcerated in Clark County jail. [News & Tribune]

Thank Goodness The Primary’s Over

The company that owns Churchill Downs is suing the Daily Racing Form, alleging the publication’s online wagering service illegally took bets on races at the Louisville track during Kentucky Derby weekend. [WDRB]

You might say Louisville is more flabby than fit. The American College of Sports Medicine has again ranked the area near the bottom for fitness among the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas in its just-released 2015 American Fitness Index, which combines health behaviors, rates of chronic health problems and community indicators such as recreational facilities and farmers’ markets. [C-J/AKN]

Package-delivery giant UPS will pay more than $25 million to settle charges it submitted false claims to the federal government in connection with delivery of Next Day Air overnight packages, the Department of Justice said Tuesday. [WHAS11]

You should check out this interactive map of last night’s vote results from across Kentucky. [H-L]

The teevee folks claimed no problems were reported while voting yesterday even after the Office of the Attorney General issued press releases listing the number of calls regarding problems per county. [WLKY]

After hearing story after story from voters on the campaign trail about heroin’s toll, Hillary Clinton instructed her policy team to draw up solutions to the burgeoning opiate epidemic. [HuffPo]

JCPS is really good at being awful when it comes to buses. A parent of a Jefferson County Public Schools student is suing the district, claiming a school bus dragged his son along a St. Matthews road in 2013. [WAVE3]

Kentucky hates old people. States with at least 40 percent of homes ranked on the bottom two rungs include North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. [Newsweek]

The University of Louisville Board of Trustees’ Audit Committee has approved giving a Louisville auditing firm a $65,000 contract to see through changes to tighten the university’s financial controls and make it less prone to fraud. [WFPL]

Obese young adults may be more likely to have a stroke than people who aren’t overweight, a U.S. study suggests. [Reuters]

Humana Inc. is continuing its commitment to hire an average of 500 veterans and military spouses each year. [Business First]

Though the closure is only expected to last until construction is completed on the new Farmers Market pavilion, some business owners chided the city for shutting down a second block of Bank Street so that vendors could set up booths. [News & Tribune]

Oldham Co. Should Embrace The Booze

There are only a few places in all of Oldham County where people can buy packaged alcohol like wine or a case of beer. But with more petitions going out this week, there’s a possibility that may soon change. [WDRB]

Downtown leaders tried to calm some jittery nerves Friday by predicting their hard work should minimize any loss of business from the impending two-year closure of the Kentucky International Convention Center. [C-J/AKN]

Watching Donna Hargens mangle this bus incident was almost as terrifying as hearing about a child being dragged. [WHAS11]

A Lawrence County school bus full of students on their way to school started on fire Friday, authorities said. [H-L]

Kentucky recently became one of the first states to let pharmacists dispense without prescription a drug that can reverse a heroin overdose. [WLKY]

Lorca Henley of Bowling Green, Ohio, said her family’s dinners on different nights this week included taco salads, tuna casserole with mashed potatoes, spaghetti with meat sauce and hamburgers they fried on the stove because they were out of propane. [HuffPo]

The mother of the girl dragged by a Jefferson County Public Schools bus said Sunday night that her daughter had been discharged from Kosair Children’s Hospital. [WAVE3]

This is not bourbon and the story will likely cause you to pop a vein. [NPR]

Apryll Buege spent much of her youth in the foster care system. She said she got in some trouble, made some mistakes, but soon realized she needed to pull her life together. [WFPL]

Duke Energy Corp. pleaded guilty Thursday to criminal pollution charges and agreed to $102 million in federal penalties stemming from a February 2014 spill of coal ash waste. [The Hill]

A record crowd turned out to see American Pharoah capture the second jewel of the Triple Crown at Saturday’s Preakness Stakes. [Business First]

Former Democratic congressman Baron Hill plans to join Indiana’s U.S. Senate race to replace retiring Republican Dan Coats. [News & Tribune]

Former JCPS Superintendent Ousted From Yet Another School District

Remember Sheldon Berman? He’s the former superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools the city sent packing. His time in Louisville was so bad that he barely mentions it:


He’s also the guy who was closely tied to Robert Felner and was apparently involved in some sort of love triangle with Felner’s underling.

Well…. the Eugene School District in Eugene, Oregon is crazy. They hired him up as if he was magical. And they’ve regretted it ever since, constantly emailing us for help, begging on some occasions, grasping for any way to oust him without taking responsibility for their own decisions.

So get a load of this:

Eugene School Board members allowed Superintendent Sheldon Berman to come up with his own exit plan to avoid the release of a negative performance review, which one board member said could result in his firing, newly obtained records show.

Board members also said in emails last year that if they couldn’t successfully negotiate a departure agreement with Berman, they planned to make his evaluation public and hire an investigator to look into unspecified actions by Berman.

Further, emails between board members show that some members went to great lengths to avoid meeting publicly or even in a closed-door session, in potential violation of state public meetings law. Other emails show that one board member — Beth Gerot — said she would destroy some public records related to Berman’s evaluation. It is a violation of state law for a public official to destroy public records.


In the course of legal proceedings, the law firm last week sent the newspaper hundreds of unredacted emails regarding Berman’s job performance that The Register-Guard requested last year. The law firm also sent an unredacted copy of Berman’s self-evaluation, in which he gave himself a glowing review.


Berman announced last June that he was leaving the district after the current school year, citing “family circumstances.” Berman began his job as Eugene superintendent in July 2011.


The negotiations followed results from an employee survey — conducted by independent consultant Alison Lewis — that found serious concerns with Berman’s job performance. The emails do not shed much light on the nature of those concerns, but do indicate that concerns about Berman led to the resignation of at least two high-level district administrators. The consultant — who interviewed about 20 district employees — found that Berman struggled to manage employees, and some emails suggest employees feared repercussions if they spoke out.

Just like in Louisville! Only this time a school board didn’t have the guts to get rid of him. But the fear of retaliation was definitely there. Same for the Berman efforts to keep his reviews secret.

And this:

Eugene School Board Chairman Jim Torrey said in a statement Wednesday that “now it is time to move forward” and use the revelation of board members’ secret efforts to negotiate an exit plan with Superintendent Sheldon Berman as an “opportunity to reinforce our respect for consistently open and candid board discussions of school district business.”

Torrey’s statement does not specifically defend or repudiate board members’ efforts to shield their concerns about Berman’s job performance, or address newly released emails’ suggestion that some board members may have violated Oregon’s public record and public meetings laws.

The unredacted emails, inadvertently released to The Register-Guard, show that board members negotiated a settlement plan that would allow Berman to avoid a negative job performance review, which one board member said could have led to his firing.


Berman, meanwhile, said in a statement of his own, also released Wednesday, that he is concerned that the newspaper article may damage the community’s perspective on “the district and the board, as well as me personally.”

“The emails were sent during a time that was particularly challenging for the district, the board and me,” Berman said in his emailed statement. “The year since has been a much more positive and productive time. I think it’s fair to say that the quoted emails and the article don’t begin to describe or reflect the many accomplishments we have achieved.”

Berman added that he has “worked diligently to address concerns raised in my discussions with board members last year.”

“My reasons for leaving Eugene remain largely personal and family ones,” Berman said.


Eugene Education Association teachers union President Tad Shannon said teachers feel that the board’s responsiveness to teacher concerns has improved in the past year, but teachers did not notice a change in Berman’s performance.

“Shelley (Berman) actually thinks he’s a collaborator and a listener,” Shannon said. “Unfortunately, most staff don’t see it that way.”

JCPS dodged a bullet when we started digging up Shelley’s secret world.

Thank goodness.