Harmon reflects on bills clearing the General Assembly, looks ahead at what's left to do

03/26/2017 11:30 AM

Following a handful of high profile special examinations by the office of the state auditor lawmakers have passed legislation tweaking some areas of statute to add transparency, and have codified full scale reorganizations in others.

Auditor Mike Harmon, R-Kentucky, sat down on Pure Politics recently to discuss his exam into the Kentucky Horse Park, the University of Louisville Foundation and changes made to area development districts.

In the wide-ranging interview, Harmon detailed issues of poor management, questionable practices, and potential conflicts of interest at the Kentucky Horse Park, which led to the reorganization by Gov. Bevin.

House Bill 403, which codifies that reorganization of the horse park, was signed into law on March 21.

Watch the full interview for Harmon’s take on an extending the TIF district for the UofL Yum Center, and other issues in the General Assembly.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News or anytime with Spectrum On Demand.Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.



  • viewer wrote on March 26, 2017 01:52 PM :

    Good afternoon, Big Blue Nation. I hope everyone is getting prepared for the UK-UNC battle. Go Big Blue!

    I would like to give tremendous credit to Senate President, Robert Stivers and the Louisville senate delegation for backing away from the ill-timed restructuring of the Yum Center debt. I understand the House’s good intentions in wanting to help restructure this debt and the Governor putting his support behind the refinancing, but the truth of the matter is with all the information we are learning, day in and day out, with the accusations and innuendos of fraud and abuse, the lack of due diligence by the Board of Reagents and the Foundation Board coming to light, if not fraud, poor mismanagement of the University of Louisville’s finances, there was no way the Senate could have passed this bill and had any financial credibility or conservative principles left. There are too many unknowns an too many variables to put this amount of money on the line. This is why we have separate powers. This is another example of going along just for the sake of getting along. It has no place in good governing policy.

    Scott Cox was put in a tough position here, and this being pushed off until we know more about Ramsey and crew’s financial wizardry, at the University of Louisville, should not be viewed as a failure of Scott Cox’s abilities to negotiate nor a reflection of his integrity. Scott was trying to make the best of a bad situation.

    Now to Auditor Mike Harmon and his team in the Auditor’s Office.

    It is time to take a look at the years of mismanagement, if not fraud, that has taken place down in Pike County at the Pikeville Airport. A lot of times these audits come back with a few thousand missing here and there, abuse of county funds for a few thousand, but what has been alleged to have gone on at the Pikeville Airport is tens of millions of dollars. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Every government agency that has received a dime of state or federal funds over the last 10 years should be audited. That includes the court house to the animal shelter. A small amount of Frankfort insiders tied in with prominent political donors have siphoned off well intended public monies into their own bank accounts. This political criminal syndicate has used tax payer funds to not only run their political campaigns, but have lived a life of luxury, while those who were intended to receive these funds have been forced to flee to other communities to have a chance for their families to not starve.

    Friends, what has taken place over a 10 year period in eastern Kentucky, from Pike County to Floyd County to Martin County is the epitome of pay to play politics. When we talk about democrats or republicans, corruption and cronyism doesn’t have a party. Eastern Kentucky’s citizens have been robbed, abused, and neglected by both the democrat and republican elected officials.

    Auditor Harmon has a slogan to follow the data. It is simple and straight to the point.

    The data that I am seeing begins with appropriations coming from U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers. That is the starting point. Hal Rogers’ Somerset field office. That is where you need to start Auditor Harmon. I am tired, sick and tired, of hearing “How great thou are, Hal Rogers”. Anytime where there is corruption, your name somehow and someway is included over a 20 year period, the assumption of innocence begins to get a little gray. Now, I will admit. I used to think a lot of Hal Rogers, and I will guarantee you that is not so right now, today. If Hal Rogers Inc. is not involved with this pay to play, that we all know, have seen, and felt for years, so be it. But, if a true up and up audit is conducted, on one of the most corrupt congressional districts in America, the 5th District, which is represented by Hal Rogers, there is no oversight, honesty, integrity, or competence in that audit returned. The OIG in Washington D.C. needs to come in here and help out Auditor Harmon and his staff.

    To my fellow republican brothers and sisters, if we truly want to follow the data and where it leads to corruption, we have to be prepared and willing that some of our own will fall too. The viewer.

What do you have to say?


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.