Sarah and Gwen: the Two-Headed Monster

This blog is about everything involving Lexington, KY or anything else we feel like yapping about.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Fletcher "Blackberry Jam" Fiasco

Our Boy Gov keeps getting deeper in the so-called "Blackberry Jam." Among the "mistakes" Fletcher seems to have made is sending email messages over his Blackberry (hence the name for the jam he has gotten himself into). If your head is like mine and spinning from all the charges flying around Frankfort you might want to take a couple of aspirin while I spread this jam out a little more evenly.

Back when he was running for Governor, Ernie Fletcher told us he wanted to improve the working environment for state employees. The idealistic young candidate thought that once he finished improving things in Frankfort the merit system would work so smoothly that nobody would need a state employees union.

Wow! 2003 was a long time ago, wasn't it? Of course, he was just a naive candidate back then not the champion of justice, freedom, and the American way he has blossomed into since attaining office...Oh wait! I am confusing him with Superman. Maybe it is the secret entrance that he put into the governor's office so he could dash around doing his good work undetected that confused me.

At least he is right about one thing. This is turning into a sad story. The Gov is drowning in boiling blackberry jam as indictments drop into the pot. Dan Duren, the Transportation Cabinet's commissioner for administrative services was charged on July 19 for "witness tampering." This added a felony charge to the 13 misdemeanor counts of political discrimination, criminal conspiracy and official misconduct related to the abuses in hiring. Duren, Sec. Bill Nighbert and deputy Sec. Jim Adams were the first to face misdemeanor counts. July 19 added arraignments for, State Republican Chairman Darrell Brock, Jr., and Basil Turbyfill, the Governor's personal advisor.

Meanwhile, Larry Forgy spent July 19 trying and failing to get Judge Joseph Hood to stop Attorney General Greg Stumbo's inquiry into the Fletcher administrations hiring practices. Forgy claimed that Stumbo's investigation had a "chilling effect" on his ability to make job recommendations to the administration. Gee, imagine a little thing like indictments slowing down efforts to get your pals a job. I don't know about you but I have to wonder what he was putting into those letters of recommendation he was writing.

On July 21, the gov sunk a little further into the goo when he first admitted that he had indeed "forced" the resignation of Keith Hall, Kentucky's director of homeland security. That was followed up with an admission that he would "consider" pardoning cronies who were convicted in this mess.

My headache is coming back and I didn't even get into the charges and counter charges flying at the July 15 meeting of the state Personnel Board. For the sake of not writing all day let me just say it was ugly and you can read a very good account in the Herald Leader including the emails that gave the name to our state fiasco. For a governor who rode into office on the white horse of reform Fletcher has managed to turn it and his future a dirty purple as blackberry stains keep spreading.