by Legate Damar
When the Kentucky General Assembly began its session on Jan. 7, lawmakers will see a big push from business leaders in Northern Kentucky to have a plan to pay for the $2.5 billion Brent Spence Bridge project. The bridge project, like last year, will be the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s top priority for the next session (Chamber hopes lawmakers find way to fund bridge, 2013). The federal government tells us it doesn’t have the nearly $3 billion needed to build a new bridge, and it is putting more pressure on the states to come up with the money (Few choices left but tolls, 2013). For nearly two decades, community and business leaders in Northern Kentucky have worked to build the case for replacing the Brent Spence Bridge. Now, those same people increasingly believe that the upcoming session of the Kentucky General Assembly is do-or-die time for the project. By the time they leave in mid-April, we should know whether the $2.5 billion project will move forward into the construction phase (Brent Spence at a crossroads, 2013). Last year, the Kentucky Chamber and Northern Kentucky Chamber pushed for legislation allowing private financing of the bridge. The legislation failed as it got tied to tolls. This year, the Chamber will push legislation that would allow any public project to use private money (Chamber hopes lawmakers find way to fund bridge, 2013).
by Legate Damar
I’ve been reading about Kentucky’s Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in CREW’s Most Corrupt Report 2009: The 15 Most Corrupt Members of Congress, 2009, posted on the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) website. For those of you who did not get the opportunity to read my last article, Mitch McConnell also was named to CREW’s Most Corrupt list in 2007, 2008, and 2013. According to the report Senator McConnell’s ethics issues stem from earmarks he has inserted into legislation for clients of his former chief of staff, lobbyist Gordon Hunter Bates, in exchange for campaign contributions.
Gordon Hunter Bates and the Bates Capitol Group LLC
Gordon Hunter Bates served as Sen. McConnell’s chief legal counsel and then-chief of staff from 1997 to 2002. He has since opened a lobbying firm, Bates Capitol Group LLC (Bates Capitol). The Bates Capitol Group has employed other former staffers of Sen. McConnell including: Holly Piper, wife of Sen. McConnell’s chief of staff Bill Piper and a former Sen. McConnell aide herself, Patrick Jennings and Lesley Elliot. According to the report Bates Capital has a list of clients who have donated to McConnell’s campaigns and have ostensibly received earmarks in return. One of those clients is Voice for Humanity.
by Legate Damar
I was doing a little research on the internet regarding the upcoming 2014 elections and I stumbled upon Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) website. I discovered that Kentucky’s Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made their 2013’s most corrupt list. He also has the dubious distinction of being previously named to CREW’s Most Corrupt report in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
For those of you who are unaware Sen. McConnell is a fifth-term senator from Kentucky. He is the minority leader in the 110th Congress and sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee. According to CREW’s Most Corrupt Report 2009: The 15 Most Corrupt Members of Congress, Senator McConnell’s ethics issues stem from earmarks he has inserted into legislation for clients of his former chief of staff, lobbyist Gordon Hunter Bates.
by Erik Hermes
As in the past, a new year brings new leadership to the Northern Kentucky Tea Party. I want to thank Larry Robinson for an outstanding job as our leader last year. Larry has logged in too many hours to count, and has made great strides in expanding and strengthening the Tea Party movement across the state. He is leaving big shoes to fill. Fortunately for all of us, Larry will continue to be active in the Northern Kentucky Tea Party.
My name is Erik Hermes. I have the honor and challenge of taking the driver’s seat for the next year. I have had a leadership role in the Campbell County Tea Party since its inception and was the Northern Kentucky Tea Party Vice President last year. Over the past several years; we have had victories and losses, but we have never had a failure. Even when it seems we don’t win, our government officials know they will continue to get challenged and therefore are not making the aggressive regulation/spending moves they have made in the past.
As you may already know; the Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton Tea Parties, are all part of the Northern Kentucky Tea Party. One thing separates our Tea Party organization from others. When you receive an email from the NKY Tea Party or any of the county branches you will NOT be pressured to give money. The reason is simple, we are all volunteers, and no one is paid. We are a true grassroots organization that is looking out for the Northern Kentucky taxpayers.
There is a cost to run our organization, and we always accept donations, but you will not be pressured to give money.
There is something I need you to donate this year. If you are looking for a worthwhile cause or New Year’s resolution, we need your time. We need you to volunteer just an hour, or a couple of hours weekly or monthly, however little or as much as you can give. Every hour you donate will make a difference.
Over the next couple of months, we have 2 major projects that we will not be able to pull off with just our current, hard-working, regular volunteers.
- We are working with Take Back Kentucky during the legislative session in Frankfort. We need help reading the bills, sitting in meetings (this can be done online at home if you like), or make trips to Frankfort to work with Adrienne Gilbert of Take Back Kentucky. Our time and effort will prevent pork barrel legislation, and overreaching regulations from getting passed by the Kentucky Legislature.
- We are planning a big event that will take place in Northern Kentucky this February that will promote conservative candidates. The details will be released soon, but we need to get feet on the ground now.
Our liberties are disappearing at an alarming rate. Do you want to be one of those that says to your children “I was counting on the Tea Party to restore liberty to the Country, I guess the government was just too big for them”. Or will you be telling them “We all joined forces and brought liberty back to America”?
Northern Kentucky Tea Party, President
by Legate Damar
For the last several years the Enquirer has written numerous articles biased against the NKY Tea Party and candidates sympathetic to their issues holding and running for public office.
During the Axe the Tax campaign to repeal the tax that funds the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission (NKAPC), there was a plethora of articles expressing support for this bureaucratic leviathan (The Shame of Our Local Governments, 2012). Full-page ads were published by Northern Kentucky’s elites begging the residents of Kenton County to repeal their signatures and directing them to a website online in order to see if their name was forged on the petition. After all of the negative press the NKY Tea Party and the Home Builder’s Association received during the petition drive, one has to wonder whether or not the Enquirer is a sock puppet for the establishment in Northern Kentucky.