The Chatter: Clinton donated to Grimes; Boehner throws the 3 goggles; Yarmuth's spokesman to leave

12/05/2011 09:07 AM

Former President Bill Clinton busted out his personal checkbook and sent a $1,000 donation to the campaign of Democratic Kentucky secretary of state candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, according to Grimes’ campaign consultant.

Jonathan Hurst told Pure Politics that Grimes’ next fundraising update from the Nov. 8 Election will show the $1,000 contribution from Clinton’s personal account made on Oct. 24, which was after the due date for the 15-day pre-election fundraising report.

A search of the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance site shows that would be the first personal contribution from a president of the United States to a Kentucky candidate.

The 30-day post-election fundraising reports are due to the registry by Monday.

*Are those payroll tax cut goggles? *

As the top-ranking Republican in the U.S. House, Speaker John Boehner has had his share of bills blocked. Rarely, though, do they get the kind of cheers Anthony Davis’ block did Saturday to seal the University of Kentucky’s 73-72 win over North Carolina.

Boehner and his wife were on hand for the game, sitting with UK benefactor and coal operator Joe Craft and GOP fundraiser Kelly Knight.

And Associated Press photographer James Crisp caught Boehner throwing the three goggles in front of the UK student section.

Boehner, an Ohio Republican, returns to Washington this week to continue working on a deal for 9 remaining federal spending bills for the current fiscal year and the issue of how to extend a payroll tax holiday for American workers.

Congressman Yarmuth’s new spokesman

Trey Pollard is ending his tenure as communications director for U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville.

Pollard, who joined Yarmuth’s office after working as a reporter for the now defunct Kentucky Politiker site during the 2008 election, is changing jobs to work for the Sierra Club in Washington.

Yarmuth has hired former LEO Weekly editor Stephen George to replace Pollard, WFPL’s Phillip M. Bailey was first to report this morning.

Yarmuth founded and used to run the LEO, including when George joined the alternative paper as a writer. George went on to serve as LEO’s editor and later went on to work for alternative papers in Nashville has been serving as spokesman for Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper for the last three months.

George is a Louisville native, and his first day will be Dec. 12, according to a news release from Yarmuth’s office.

Ag Dept. official to face ethics charge for ‘burrowing’

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has brought up Danita Fentress-Laird, a division director in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, on charges of improperly creating a merit position for herself, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader’s Beth Musgrave.

Musgrave reported that the commission on Friday released the charges saying that Fentress-Laird used her position to create a job that would allow her to burrow into the state merit system, which would protect her from being fired by the next administration.

For more background on how Fentress-Laird did that, read Pure Politics’ past coverage.


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