The Chatter: Group says Beshear among worst governors, Trump gives to McConnell, and more

07/17/2013 01:16 PM

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear was ranked in the second tier of a list of the worst governors in the country by a non-partisan ethics watchdog group in Washington.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said Beshear’s dealings with the coal industry earned him a spot on the list, which examines unethical conduct by the nation’s governors.

The report cites the 2009 firing of director of Kentucky’s division of mine permits Ron Mills as being a political move — a case that eventually cost the state $270,000 in a settlement.

Mills had suggested his dismissal was the result of his efforts to block controversial mine permits sought by Alliance Resource Partners, a coal company. Mills publicly claimed his direct supervisor had informed him that Alliance Resource Partners, together with Beshear’s office, had sought his removal.

“Coal is a big business in Kentucky, but Gov. Beshear seems to have taken his allegiance to the industry too far,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan in a statement. “Governors are expected to support well-known businesses in their states, but wrongfully terminating a state official to curry favor with a mining company crosses the line.”

Joining Beshear in second tier of “bad” governors were Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.

The six worst, according to the group, were Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, Maine Gov. Paul LePage, Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Trump donates big to McConnell campaign

Real estate mogul Donald Trump donated the maximum amount to the campaign of Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell after the two met for the first time in May.

The Washington Post reported how much the meeting paid off for McConnell Wednesday after looking over the FEC reports.

Trump gave $2,600 to McConnell’s primary campaign and $2,600 to his general election fund, the legal limit for an individual donor.

The meeting in Trump’s New York office was the first time the two had met.

McConnell comes out on the short end of media’s take on filibuster scuffle

McConnell hasn’t fared well in the media’s assessment of the Senate agreement reached Monday to avoid the “nuclear option” on filibuster reform.

Huffington Post reported that Senator McCain, R-Arizona, and Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, hashed out the deal to get two controversial nominees for the National Labor Relations Board replaced with new ones before McConnell made his own effort to reach a deal with Reid.

From the Huffington Post article:

McConnell and Reid first met on Monday afternoon in an unscheduled meeting about two hours after McCain sat with the majority leader. “Mitch, I know you came to see me, but let me just start off by telling you: I have the votes,” Reid told McConnell, according to an aide Reid briefed immediately after. “Say whatever you want, but I have the votes.”

“Here’s my offer,” McConnell responded. “You’ll get all your nominees, but you have to agree that there’ll be no more rules changes.”

McConnell would have let the controversial National Labor Relations Board nominees pass — despite GOP objections that two courts have deemed their recess appoints unconstitutional — in return for an iron-clad promise from Reid to forsake the nuclear option — the controversial procedure that would allow a simple majority to change Senate rules, instead of the usual supermajority.

Other news organizations, including the Washington Post and Politico , credited Reid and McCain with avoiding another artificial disaster. They didn’t mention McConnell.


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