Tuesday, August 30, 2005



On July 7 I had a small piece in the blog called "IS THERE AN HONEST REPUBLICAN ANYWHERE? MORE GOP INDICTMENTS!" about the rampant corruption in Kentucky. As the Grand Jury investigations proceeded it started looking worse and worse for the abysmally corrupt administration of Governor Ernie Fletcher. Then last night something amazing happened. Fletcher called a press conference and announced he was issuing blanket criminal pardons to 9 of his top aides, several of whom have already been indicted on charges of political corruption. Fletcher called it "amnesty" but the state provision he cited (Section 77 of the state constitution) makes it clear he was granting pardons to anyone who "might have violated" or was involved in violating the state's Merit Hiring System laws. There is even talk in Kentucky that he plans to pardon himself! Fletcher has finally agreed to appear before the grand jury and that will happen today, but he already says he will refuse to answer any questions -- presumably by taking the fifth.

Fletcher and his aides sought to illegally purge the state's civil service system of Democrats simply because they were Democrats. And although there have been over a dozen indictments already, Fletcher has been trying to minimize the seriousness of the charges by likening them to fishing out of season. Many in Kentucky are thinking back to 2003 when outgoing Kentucky Governor Paul Patton pardoned 4 campaign workers before they were tried and Fletcher's Lieutenant Governor-elect said "Things like that are not going to happen in a Fletcher-Pence administration." They just did-- but much much worse. And Pence is hiding out and refusing to comment.

Meanwhile there is a lot of talk in Frankfort about impeachment. The very admired State Rep from Lexington, Kathy Stein, said "He is showing a broad disrespect for the criminal justice system that every other citizen in the commonwealth must live with" and she says flatly that the pardons are grounds for the General Assembly to consider impeachment. Former Governor Julian Carroll, now a state senator, said "certainly the General Assembly should hold hearings on whether or not his conduct in the granting of these pardons is conduct that rises to the level of consideration for impeachment."
Louisville State Rep Mary Lou Marzian is also calling for impeachment hearings, claiming Fletcher "betrayed the public trust" and that "Ultimately, it's the taxpayers that are going to pay, and this is what makes people hate politics -- the same old scratch-your-back, good-old-boy bull. Clearly we can't just sit here and do nothing. He wasted taxpayer money by hiring political cronies in violation of the merit law, and now he has obstructed justice by trying to cover it up." And Kentucky's crusading Attorney General Greg Stumbo said "Gov. Fletcher broke his promise to the people of Kentucky to cooperate fully with the investigation. It will be up to the members of the General Assembly to decide whether this conduct merits impeachment proceedings." He thinks Federal prosecution is now likely.
Gubernatorial pardons are no shield against federal charges.


At 1:55 PM, Blogger keninny said...

Would you call these the "tax and steal" Republicans?

At 7:38 AM, Blogger Timcanhear said...

According to today's Kentucky Enquirer, governor Fletcher entered the courthouse yesterday with his wife, 3 attorney's and a "phalanx" of security guards to invoke the fifth!
The criminals set out by the right wing media are roosting in our state houses. Instead of governor Patton, a democrat who was ousted because of an "extra marital fling", we now have a republican crook who used his seat to put persons of republican persuasion into jobs for the state!

At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

where can I find the merit laws that regulate the merit hiring process. I have recently been discrimninated against, since Gov Fletcher got off the hook!


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