Boarman taps Grayson for fundraiser

Republican Ben Boarman, who is challenging state Rep. Jim Glenn this year in the 13th District, said Friday Secretary of State Trey Grayson will be headlining a fundraiser for him next month.

Boarman, an Owensboro businessman in his first political race, said Grayson will be in town Oct. 7 for the event at the home of Jim Henry, the owner of Tri-State Mailing Systems.

Boarman said several weeks ago that he had surpassed $20,000 in campaign cash after ending the last reporting period on June 30 with about $11,000. Glenn had more than $20,000 through the close of the last reporting period.

Glenn has since held a fundraiser that brought Gov. Steve Beshear to town along with House Speaker Jody Richards and state Treasurer Todd Hollenbach.

Grayson has been active campaigning for Republican candidates, and is routinely discussed as a potential candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2010 or governor in 2011.

Boarman made his pitch to the Republican faithful Friday at the opening of the party’s campaign headquarters in Owensboro, and targeted Glenn, though not by name.

Glenn won the 13th District seat, which represents most of the city of Owensboro, two years ago by beating Joe Bowen, a local businessman who was in his first term in the state House. That seat had been held previously by Brian Crall, another Republican who went on to serve in the administration of Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

“Two years ago we lost the seat and we lost the pride,” Boarman said. “We deserve a state representative that produces, not just promises. … Owensboro deserves more.”

McConnell on McCain’s VP pick

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell on Friday said Republican presidential candidate John McCain found a reformer without Washington ties in his newly selected running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

During a stop at the Messenger-Inquirer Friday shortly after McCain announced his selection, McConnell said that Democratic nominee Barack Obama’s choice of Sen. Joe Biden instead of his primary opponent Sen. Hillary Clinton “was an opening” for McCain to reach out to women voters, which he appears to have done in selecting Palin.

“Clearly picking a little-known governor from Alaska was an effort to appeal to women voters,” McConnell said.

McConnell said he wasn’t in the loop on Palin’s selection, but he offered his take on the rationale behind selecting the governor, who is only in her second year in office.

“(McCain) was looking for someone who was not of Washington, who has a reputation as a reformer like him and on the foreign policy stuff, he’s going to say, ‘I’ve got that experience. I don’t need it in a vice president,'” McConnell said. “I think it’ll be an exciting choice. It surprised everybody, and I think we’ll all become experts on Sarah Palin in the next few days.”

When asked who he would have selected had he been in Obama’s shoes, McConnell said U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, who was on the short list for the Democrats.

McConnell declined to say whether Palin would have been his to pick for McCain’s running mate, and that “we’ll see in the end whether it works.”

Read about McConnell’s take on McCain’s pick and more about his stops in Owensboro in Saturday’s Messenger-Inquirer.

The cost of Kentucky’s economic development efforts in Japan

Reporter Paul Glasser with the State Journal in Frankfort follows up his earlier article about the cost of a trip by Gov. Steve Beshear to Japan this year with a look at what it costs to operate Kentucky’s trade office there.

Among the expenses are the $202,000 annual salary of Jiro Hashimoto, the director of the trade office and its only full-time employee, which makes him one of the highest-paid state employees.

Beshear has defended both the expenses of his trip earlier this year and the importance of the state’s trade relationship with Japan, which includes Kentucky’s recruitment of the Toyota plant to Georgetown during the administration of Gov. Martha Layne Collins when Beshear was lieutenant governor.

Comment on Kentucky tonight

KET has announced the line-up for tonight’s edition of Comment on Kentucky, its public affairs program that brings together Kentucky journalists to talk about the issues of the week.

Host Ferrell Wellman will be joined by reporters John Cheves of the Herald-Leader and Stephanie Steizer of the Courier-Journal along with Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism at UK.Be sure to tune in at 7 p.m. CST.

15,000 misfits, egos and terrible suits gathered in Denver

Justin Peters with the Columbia Journalism Review takes a look at the 15,000 journalists who have converged on the Colorado’s capital city this week for the Democratic National Convention.

One of my favorite parts is Peters describing the credentialing process and the group relegated to “Denver’s answer to the Island of Misfit Toys—

“bloggers, activists, eighteen-year-olds, men wearing giveaway T-shirts, men complaining about having to pay eleven dollars for parking. One intrepid credentialee is so devoted to his job that he is videotaping the room, like a tourist. A DemBot hustles over and stops him. “There is a lot of sensitive material in this room,” he says. There is most definitely not. “

Thanks to Mark Hebert with WHAS-TV in Louisville for finding this article and posting a link on his blog.

Maybe western Kentuckians are just nicer…

Mark Hebert with WHAS-TV in Louisville is reporting that Gov. Steve Beshear’s approval rating throughout Kentuckian remained the same in the latest poll conducted for the station by SurveyUSA.

The poll results, which can be seen here, find that among the 600 people surveyed, 44 percent approve of the job Beshear is doing as governor.

When broken down by region, Beshear finds the most support for the job he’s doing in western Kentucky, where 50 percent of those surveyed approve of his tenure so far. Beshear’s lowest numbers were in eastern Kentucky, where only 34 percent approved.

interestingly, Beshear’s numbers come from the same survey in which western Kentucky gave President George Bush the highest marks of any region in the state. Does that mean western Kentuckians might just be a more agreeable folk than those in the rest of the state?

Poll: Bush’s approval ratings higher in WKY

Mark Hebert with WHAS-TV in Louisville is reporting that a recent SurveyUSA poll sponsored by his station shows that President George Bush’s popularity ratings in Kentucky remain low, with only 37 percent of those 600 people polled approving of the job he is doing as president.

As Hebert points out, those numbers a much higher west of Interstate 65, where 52 percent approve of Bush’s work in the White House. Bush is least popular in eastern Kentucky, where only 29 percent support the job he’s doing.

Check out the full results here.