Matt Bevin

J. Tyler Franklin

With a little more than a month until Election Day, Kentucky’s TV airwaves and social media feeds are saturated with commercials supporting or attacking Gov. Matt Bevin and his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Andy Beshear.

Advertisements from Bevin tout his relationship with President Donald Trump, Kentucky’s economic growth and his stance on divisive social issues like abortion and immigration.

 


KY Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration hired a physician to lead the state’s infectious disease office just months after the Department of Veterans Affairs dismissed that doctor for “egregious” medical misconduct.

Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services hired Dr. John “Mel” Bennett in the same month that the VA’s Inspector General published a report highly critical of Bennett’s actions.

The VA’s IG report found that between Oct. 1, 2015, and Dec. 27, 2017, Bennett repeatedly entered the same blood pressure reading of 128/78 in order to bypass a clinical alert system. The alert required the doctor to enter additional information that involved follow-up work with the patients, such as blood tests and changes in medication.


J. Tyler Franklin

Governor Matt Bevin threw shade at 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg and continued to cast doubt on the science behind man-made climate change during a meeting of the Southern States Energy Board on Tuesday.

Bevin’s comments came during a meeting of an interstate compact of officials from 16 southern states focused on energy and environment policies at Louisville’s Seelbach Hotel. According to a video posted by WHAS reporter Chris Williams, Bevin said Thunberg’s climate activism is based on a lack of perspective.

 


Kentucky Governor Faces Pushback Over Use of State Aircraft

Sep 20, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky's Republican governor has run into turbulence over his use of taxpayer-owned aircraft, creating another distraction for a reelection campaign already dogged by feuds with teachers, struggles over state pensions and a legal fight with his lieutenant governor.

Gov. Matt Bevin tried to defuse the air travel controversy late Thursday by having his office release a log disclosing the purposes of his official trips on state-owned aircraft. Bevin's office said the disclosure goes beyond what Kentucky law requires.

Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

In a conference hall in Pikeville, Kentucky, this September, Gov. Matt Bevin led an eager audience in a countdown. When the audience reached “One!,” a map on the screen behind the governor lit up with the promise of a high-tech future.

After years of delay and scandal, major portions of the commonwealth’s “middle mile” of high-speed internet were complete.

“There are so many negative haters, so many people who pooh-pooh things and say this can’t happen, it’s not possible,” Bevin told the crowd. “But I’ll tell you what. We’ve never quit.”


J. Tyler Franklin

A state legislative hearing got heated Monday after lawmakers questioned the University of Louisville’s plan to acquire Jewish Hospital with help from the state.

Last month, state and university officials announced plans to purchase the struggling Jewish Hospital system and associated KentuckyOne Health in a deal that is contingent upon a $50 million loan from the state.

State Sen. Stephen Meredith, a Republican from Leitchfield, questioned why the state should bail out the struggling Louisville hospital while it hasn’t stepped in to help closing rural hospitals, like Pineville Community Hospital, which has been struggling to stay open.


Ryland Barton

A judge has denied Gov. Matt Bevin’s request that he no longer preside over a lawsuit against the state’s investigation into protesting teachers.

The Bevin administration argued that Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd should be disqualified from the case because he “liked” a Facebook post that was supportive of Bevin’s rival, Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear.

But in a three-page order, Shepherd denied Bevin’s request, pointing out that he has liked posts that are supportive of Bevin as well.

Public Domain

The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that Gov. Matt Bevin is allowed to reject contracts Attorney General Andy Beshear made with private law firms to sue drugmakers over their role in the state’s opioid epidemic.

Beshear’s office has sought assistance from several law firms as it sues drug manufacturers and distributors in nine different cases.

In a statement, Bevin celebrated the legal victory, accusing Beshear of trying to direct contracts to “his friends and campaign donors.”

Ryland Barton

The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., headlined a sparsely-attended campaign rally for Gov. Matt Bevin in Pikeville on Thursday. It was the latest in a string of events attended by President Trump and his surrogates supporting Bevin’s reelection bid.

Bevin is facing a tough race against Democratic rival Andy Beshear and is trying to rally support in eastern Kentucky, which used to be a Democratic stronghold but has trended Republican in recent years.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration is trying to disqualify the judge presiding over a lawsuit against the state’s investigation into protesting teachers, arguing that a Facebook “like” shows bias.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd is presiding over Attorney General Andy Beshear’s lawsuit against Labor Cabinet Secretary David Dickerson, who subpoenaed 10 school districts for information about teachers who used sick days to protest in Frankfort during this year’s legislative session.


J. Tyler Franklin

This week in Kentucky politics, President Donald Trump came to Louisville to lend a hand to Gov. Bevin’s reelection campaign. Meanwhile, Bevin made more controversial comments about teacher protests and Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton is suing him over the firing of her staffers.

Listen to this week’s show:


J. Tyler Franklin

Matt Bevin is talking about abortion non-stop in his re-election campaign. That’s a logical strategy in a state like Kentucky. But I’m skeptical that this approach will help him that much.

Let me start with why this approach is smart for Bevin. Kentucky has a lot of people who are anti-abortion. About 20 percent of Kentucky adults believe that abortion should be “illegal in all cases,” a number bigger than in all but five states, according to polling data released last week by the Public Religion Research Institute. (Only Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Nebraska, and Arkansas have a higher percentage of people opposed to all abortions. Twenty-three percent of people in Louisiana think abortion should be illegal in all cases, the highest of any state.)

J. Tyler Franklin

During a speech in Louisville Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that he will sign an order forgiving federal student loan debt for permanently and totally disabled veterans.

“Today I’m proud to announce that I’m taking executive action to ensure our wounded warriors are not saddled with mountains of student debt,” Trump said. “In a few moments, I will sign a memorandum directing the Department of Education to eliminate every penny of federal student loan debt owed by American veterans who are completely and permanently disabled.”

Ryan Van Velzer

Out on the street outside the Galt House Hotel where President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak Wednesday afternoon, you can hear the cicadas chirping and an acoustic guitar strumming. There’s a man grilling hot dogs in a Trump hat. Protesters holding baby Trump balloons. Trump supporters in American flag regalia. Bored TV reporters.

Trump will address the 75th American Veterans National Convention Wednesday. But before Trump’s arrival, a crowd of protesters gathered nearby. They were chanting “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA.” Calls of “Ditch Mitch” and “This is what democracy looks like” could also be heard.

Ryland Barton

Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton appeared in court Monday as she sues Gov. Matt Bevin for firing two of her staffers, which she says was illegal.

The lawsuit is the latest development in the growing rift between the two Republicans after Bevin decided to not run with Hampton during his bid for re-election.

Bevin has downplayed his frayed relationship with Hampton.

During the hearing, Bevin’s general counsel Steve Pitt described the conflict as a “minor disagreement between two friends.”

 


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