Mongiardo says he has prescription for creating jobs

“We live in the best state in the country, but our state has never lived up to its potential,” Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo said Tuesday during a campaign stop in Owensboro.

Mongiardo’s daughter, Kathryn Allison, is 4 months old. And he said he’s concerned about the Kentucky her generation will inherit.

Mongiardo said he has a prescription for creating the jobs and opportunities the state needs.
It includes energy, transportation and health care.

“We must do everything in our power to reduce our dependency on foreign oil,” Mongiardo said.

If Kentucky’s coal reserves were turned into liquid fuel, they would equal 800 billion barrels — “more than the oil reserves of the entire Middle East,” he said.

“Liquid coal is much cleaner burning that foreign petroleum,” Mongiardo said.

Three proposals for coal liquefaction plants are already on the drawing board — in Henderson, Muhlenberg and McCracken counties, he said.

Mongiardo said Kentucky could support 10 such plants — five in eastern Kentucky and five in western Kentucky.

Those plants could create 80,000 jobs, he said.

See the rest of the story in Wednesday’s Messenger-Inquirer.

Conway says his odds better than his horse’s

Attorney General Jack Conway isn’t the only one in the family in a race this spring.

He’s campaigning hard to win the Democratic nomination over Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo for the U.S. Senate seat now held by retiring Republican Jim Bunning.

And Stately Victor, a 3-year-old bay colt he owns with his father, Louisville attorney F. Thomas Conway, will be running in the Kentucky Derby on May 1.

So who has the best chance of winning?

“His odds are 20-1 right now,” Conway said with laugh Thursday afternoon in a telephone interview. “I think my odds are better.”

Read the rest of the story in Friday’s Messenger-Inquirer.

Senate candidate to visit Whitesville

Want to meet a candidate for the U.S. Senate?

Dr. James Buckmaster, a Henderson physician who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the U. S. Senate, is scheduled to attend the Whitesville Lions Club Fish Fry from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday in Whitesville.

He is a graduate of Brescia University and has family connections in Whitesville. His mother-in-law, Dorothy Boarman, grew up there, according to Buckmaster’s Web site.

For information on Buckmaster, check his Web site  —

Beshear endorses Mongiardo in U.S. Senate race

Gov. Steve Beshear sent out a statement this afternoon endorsing his lieutenant governor, Daniel Mongiardo, in next year’s 2010 U.S. Senate race.

The statement comes several weeks after Beshear met with U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, another Democrat has also said he might be interested in entering the race. Many speculate Attorney General Jack Conway, also a Democrat, will announce in the near future that he’ll be entering the race.

The Republican side of the race also appears to be attracting a crowd, with incumbent Jim Bunning insisting he’s going to seek another term, Secretary of State Trey Grayson saying he’ll enter the race if Bunning drops out, and Kentucky Senate President David Williams rumored to be considering a spot on the ballot.

Here’s today’s statement from Beshear –

“Our country and our Commonwealth face unprecedented economic challenges. Now, more than ever, we need strong representatives in Washington D.C. to give voice to Kentucky priorities and values.

“I believe that my Lieutenant Governor, Daniel Mongiardo, can be that voice and I endorse his candidacy for the United States Senate.

“As a doctor, state senator and, now, as Lieutenant Governor, Daniel has been a leader in the push for e-health technology, a priority he shares with President Barack Obama.

“Daniel has worked tirelessly to promote Kentucky through Adventure Tourism, a potential engine of economic growth worth hundreds of millions of dollars. And he has continued to be a strong voice for Kentucky’s role in solving the country’s energy challenges.

“Those concerns and priorities reflect Kentucky values. They also mirror the priorities being articulated by the Obama administration at this defining hour for our country.

“While I will miss the contributions that Daniel has brought to our team, I know he feels called to service in the U.S. Senate and I support his mission.”

Quip of the day

With the House voting to adhere to their rule that the final two days of the session are to be used solely for considering veto overrides, quite a few folks make jokes around the Capitol Thursday about “the rules” and when to suspend them.

Senate President David Williams had the best.

There’s been a lot of talk about whether Williams will enter next year’s U.S. Senate race, and Herald-Leader Jack Brammer asked Williams after the Senate had wrapped up for the session whether Williams had set a personal deadline for a decision about his political future.

“Well, I would have to suspend the rules,” Williams said with a laugh. “If I told you I would have to suspend the rules.”

McConnell to make post-Fancy Farm stop in Owensboro

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell will stop in Owensboro for the Rooster Booster breakfast the week after the Aug. 2 Fancy Farm picnic in Graves County.

Barring appearances by presidential candidates Barack Obama or John McCain, McConnell and his opponent, Louisville businessman Bruce Lunsford will take top billing at the picnic – the state’s biggest political event of the year.

McConnell confirmed this week that he will be at Fancy Farm and Lunsford is also scheduled to attend the picnic, which will be emceed by House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, a Sandy Hook Democrat.

Competing polls paint different pictures of the McConnell-Lunsford match-up, which is gaining even more national attention and being pegged as more competitive than some had expected.

McConnell recently launched a television ad targeting Lunsford on gasoline prices and the state gas tax, and Lunsford is expected to respond to that attack today when he rolls out an “8-point Energy Plan” during a press conference in Louisville. Read about the press conference on the Herald-Leader’s PolWatchers.

We’ll see what McConnell has to say to folks here after Fancy Farm when he headlines the monthly breakfast on Aug. 7, which is put on by the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce. The breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. at the RiverPark Center.