The Chatter: Richie Farmer's headlines, state revenue up again, and notes from the trail

04/11/2011 01:20 PM

Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer found himself in the news frequently over the weekend, first with a story by John Cheves of the Lexington Herald-Leader reporting that Farmer wouldn’t be donating pay to act as a “voluntary furlough.”

Many other constitutional officers, like Auditor Crit Luallen and Gov. Steve Beshear, have been donating pay to charity or back to the state treasury to show support to state government employees who have six mandatory furlough days this fiscal year.

Then on Saturday, news broke that Farmer’s wife had filed for divorce.

Pure Politics spoke with Farmer’s running mate, Senate President and Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams, who said he hoped Richie and Rebecca Farmer could mend their relationship. And he urged privacy for the family.

State revenue up 3.7% last month, on pace to be above expectations
Kentucky’s tax revenue was up 3.7% in March over March 2010, the state budget director’s office announced Monday.

The tax income for this fiscal year, which ends June 30, is expected to be up 4.9% over the last fiscal year. That would be slightly above the initial estimates giving Kentucky about $22 million in extra money.

To meet the initial estimates, Kentucky’s tax receipts would have be up 2.2% the rest of the fiscal year over April through June 2010.

Final fund-raising pushes
The governor’s re-election campaign is trying to raise $50,000 in five days before the campaign has to send in its fund-raising reports to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, according to e-mail sent out to supporters.

First Lady Jane Beshear told supporters in the message that her husband is “a horse you can back.”

Jane Beshear and Madeline Abramson, wife of lieutenant governor candidate Jerry Abramson, will be fund-raising in Northern Kentucky Tuesday, according to Amanda Van Benschoten of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Political bumper crop
To wrap up gubernatorial politics, Beshear’s campaign also turned to another statewide candidate for re-election in an effort to widen its effort to place Beshear-Abramson stickers on cars.

Attorney General Jack Conway sent out an e-mail to his supporter list encouraging them to pick a bumper sticker for Beshear-Abramson. But the message doesn’t mention that Conway is up for re-election himself.

Conway is unopposed in the May 17th Democratic primary as is Beshear. Conway faces Hopkins County Attorney Todd P’Pool in the general election. P’Pool is unopposed in the May 17th Republican primary for attorney general.

Endorsement scramble in GOP Secretary of State race
Finally, the two Republicans vying to be the GOP nominee for secretary of state will share an endorsement.

Both Bill Johnson of Todd County and Hilda Legg of Somerset announced that the Northern Kentucky Right to Life Association has endorsed them.

Legg’s campaign confirmed to Pure Politics that it was a double endorsement for the two candidates.

Johnson also received the endorsement of Take Back Kentucky, a group that’s tea party movement in Kentucky.

Legg, meanwhile, received endorsements from at least five legislators: state Sens. Vernie McGaha of Russell Springs and Tom Jensen of London and state Reps. Bam Carney of Campbellsville, Ron Crimm of Louisville and Tommy Turner of Somerset.

—Written and compiled by Kenny Colston

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