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January 2, 2007

Bluegrass Politics: Predictions for ’07

As crazy as Kentucky’s political scene was in 2006, I believe it will only get nuttier in 2007. Here are my predictions:Familiar faces. Despite rampant speculation to the contrary, Attorney General Greg Stumbo (D) and Auditor Crit Luallen (D) decide to seek re-election to their posts. Neither faces significant primary opposition and they both win their May primaries handily, as do Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) and Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer (R).Williams whacks Fletcher, again. The 2007 General Assembly proves another political nightmare for Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) as Senate President David Williams (R) continues asserting himself as the top Republican in Frankfort and stymies Fletcher at every turn, while U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) becomes more candid about his clear opposition to Fletcher. Fletcher joins Democratic leaders to try to kill the law mandating a gubernatorial runoff election if no candidate gets at least 40 percent of the vote, but Williams kills the measure in the Senate, further crippling Fletcher’s chances of winning a nasty primary fight.Richards runs. Going back on a promise to his members in 2005, House Speaker Jody Richards (D) wins re-election as speaker and immediately begins running for governor despite public anger from some House Democrats. Richards struggles to raise funds while spending time presiding over the busy session and finds himself badly trailing the pack by spring.Fletcher knocked out. By mid-January, Kentucky Republican leadership succeeds in convincing soon-to-be former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup (R) to challenge Fletcher in the 2007 Republican gubernatorial primary. After choosing House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover (R) as her running mate, they knock off Fletcher in a vicious primary, garnering more than 40 percent of the vote and avoiding a runoff. Despite spending millions of his own money, Paducah businessman Billy Harper (R) finishes a distant third with barely 15 percent of the vote.Miller-Maze — that’s the ticket. The slate of Treasurer Jonathan Miller (D) and Jefferson County Attorney Irv Maze (D) runs a strong primary campaign from start to finish and wins the Democratic gubernatorial primary with 43 percent of the vote in a four-way race, defeating former Lt. Gov. Steve Beshear and Richards, who garner 31 percent and 22 percent, respectively. Otis Hensley picks up the remaining 4 percent.Yarmuth shows skill. By year’s end, political observers are impressed by the deft political moves flashed by recently elected U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth (D) during his first term, and by December no strong Republican emerges to challenge him in 2008. Yarmuth is recognized for his efforts on re-shaping federal education policy and also secures funding for crucial Louisville projects thanks to his close relationship with U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler (D), who sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.Kentucky in the spotlight. National Democrats find themselves with only one competitive race in 2007 after Republicans appear headed for big victories in the Mississippi and Louisiana governors’ races. So they invest substantial amounts of money and resources in Kentucky as national political observers focus on the Bluegrass as a bellwether for the 2008 presidential race. As a result, several presidential candidates, including frontrunners John McCain (R) and John Edwards (D) (who tops the early primary-state polls by late summer), make numerous visits to help their party’s nominees.Conway pressed to take on McConnell. By summer, a national full-court press is on to convince Louisville’s Jack Conway to challenge Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) for his seat in 2008. Conway initially finds himself odd man out in the ’07 elections — his plans to run for attorney general are shelved after incumbent Greg Stumbo opts to seek re-election — but Democratic political figures convince Conway that a race against the Republican Senate leader will be the marquee Senate race in 2008, and Conway seems inclined to make the bid.It’s Miller time. In November, State Treasurer Miller, who’ll be 40 at the time, surprises the Kentucky political world and is elected governor by a surprisingly strong 55 percent to 45 percent margin over Northup. Northup’s Achilles’ heel proves to be threefold: She fails to shake the stereotype of being a “Louisville candidate”; her past opposition to rural issues like the tobacco buyout costs her important support among rural voters; and loyal Fletcher supporters refuse to actively support her candidacy after the bitter and divisive primary.That’s how I see it. How about you? Mark Nickolas is publisher of Kentucky’s most widely read political blog, BluegrassReport.org. Contact him at Mark@BluegrassReport.org

Don't violate YOUR tax exempt tax codes

By censorship

Mark,
I couldn't help but notice that you made NO prediction for the PERSONAL lawsuit, that you have the taxpayers paying for, against Governor Ernie Fletcher.

That lawsuit is based off of the Constitutional First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech. You have boasted many times on your blog that the BluegrassReport.org is under the Tax-Exempt 501(c)4 corporation Foundation for Kentucky's Future, Inc. In the blog YOU have written that as a result of the company being set up as a Social Welfare tax-exempt Section 501(c)4 it shall follow all IRS Tax Code Laws governed for 501(c)4. Additionally, the Articles of Incorporation that you filed with the Secretary of State describe the corporation as a non-profit Social Welfare Corporation ... meaning, the Corporation belongs TO the community and NOT to you or any other director or board member. (That is the way the GOVERNMENT defines Social Welfare, 501(c)4 corporations.)

That MEANS that LEGALLY the BluegrassReport.org is a Social Welfare organization set up for ALL the community and the administrator may not LIMIT OR BAN members of the community. According to 501(c)4 Tax Code - once the organization LIMITS it's members or bans members of the "community" then that organization has violated (c)4 tax code. Since BGR is a blog and not a facility, the tax code rules would PROHIBIT deleting posts and would PROHIBIT banning posters that simply post comments the administrator does not agree with. Therefore, as long as the posts are not threatening, libelous, slanderous or foul in language, the mere fact that the administrator has a different opinion is NOT grounds for deleting or banning the poster.

To simplify, BluegrassReport.org is NOT a private blog where the administrator can do as he/she pleases. BluegrassReport.org is NOT your private blog, Mark Nickolas, where you can delete comments simply because YOU do not share the same view or opinion of the author of the post. Being a (c)4 ALSO means YOU cannot BAN POSTERS. Ooops ... that would violate (c)4 rules. Again, BluegrassReport.org is NOT your private blog where you can spin out untrue aspersions against people you do NOT like and delete comments that point out your writings are FALSE.

Over the weekend YOU in your thread titled, Why I'm For Jonathan Miller, you wrote, "One thing that few people know -- and something I rarely talk about -- is that the Jonathan Miller is the single person most responsible for the genesis of BluegrassReport.org.
During the Spring of 2005, Jonathan called me with the idea that I launch a political site, believing that the ground was fertile for a serious effort by someone who understood the political environment, the players and the media, and that if I could dedicate a large block of time to building the site and developing an audience, it would have a significant impact on the state's political world. After a few more phone calls and a couple of lunches, it came together."

As has been written since that information came out, it is obvious that Jonathan Miller has more than just a casual interest in the financial success and popularity of the blog HE conceived. Jonathan Miller is the Treasurer of Kentucky and is suppose to know economics and laws concerning money matters.

Obviously, Jonathan Miller has a GREAT stake in the financial success and popularity of the tax-exempt blog, BluegrassReport.org. Since Miller does have a GREAT interest in the blogs money and success, perhaps that's why on July 13, 2006 Miller supported a draft of legislation that would make it legal for state workers to chat with the blog during working hours? Jonathan Miller apparently wishes to spend tax dollars to pay state employees to chat as opposed to getting the PEOPLE'S work done?

Being the Treasurer of Kentucky, Jonathan Miller probably knows a great deal about rules and laws governing tax-exempt 501(c)4 organizations. For instance, I would bet that Jonathan Miller is well aware of the consequences of a tax-exempt (c)4 that violates Federal Tax Code governing the LIMITS (c)4 involvement IN POLITICS. Meaning Jonathan Miller SHOULD know that the IRS REQUIRES that POLITICS CANNOT be the PRIMARY function of the tax-exempt 501(c)4. Is politics the primary function of BluegrassReport.org?

I would wager a second bet that Jonathan Miller knows the consequences of HIS BABY-BLOG (BluegrassReport.org) advertising itself as a 501(c)4 but NOT REALLY being a set up as a 501(c)4. You did file the Corporation with the IRS BEFORE filing your Articles of Incorporation, didn't you?

I would wager a third bet that Jonathan Miller knows the consequences of NOT following the Kentucky Secretary of State rules BEFORE forming the non-profit corporation. For instance, my wager (for three) is that I bet Jonathan Miller KNOWS State of Kentucky REQUIRES non-profit Corporations to "Contact the IRS BEFORE filing the articles of incorporation to prevent any conflicts." That quote is not only on the website for the Secretary of State, but is ALSO printed on the articles of incorporation form itself. (Hard to MISS that requirement.) You did contact the IRS BEFORE filing the Articles of Incorporation, didn't you?

My fourth wager is that I would bet Jonathan Miller is familiar with KRS 273.161(3), "Kentucky defines a “nonprofit” corporation as a corporation no part of the income or profit of which is distributable to its members, directors or officers (KRS §273.161)." You haven't been earning an income off the tax-exempt profits or donations, have you? You haven't been paying PERSONAL expenses with the profits or donations, have you?

It only makes sense that since Jonathan Miller conceived BluegrassReport.org and since he is the Treasurer, meaning he knows a lot about money and business, that Miller also conceived the Corporation to be set up as a tax-exempt 501(c)4, as you have advertised in 2005 and 2006 tax cycle. Therefore, given that Mr. Miller is the Treasurer of Kentucky, I am sure he made certain you followed all the above requirements BEFORE filing the Articles of Incorporation, right?

Just to give you a heads up, because it really would be a shame if your blog ACCIDENTALLY violated any 501(c)4 rules, certain posts that YOU have deleted during that last week have been showing up on other blogs. As an example, there was one post that was deleted that showed PROOF you voted for Reagan/Bush in 1984. There was another post that asked a question as to whether or not Jonathan Miller helped you author the threads describing your corporation being tax-exempt (c)4. Then there was another post deleted that asked YOU to provide the 2005 Annual Tax Returns 990 or 990EZ and Application of Exemption.

The deleted posts from the tax-exempt blog, that Miller conceived and YOU operate, that are showing up in the blogosphere have no foul language, libelous, or slanderous remarks. Although, I can't help but notice many posts that remain on the Social Welfare blog that YOU operate DO have foul language, libelous and slanderous verbiage. Maybe you accidentally deleted the WRONG posts?

Just wanted to give you the heads up -- I would hate for you to VIOLATE tax laws governing CENSORSHIP for tax-exempt 501(c)4 Social Welfare organizations.

Mark deletes again ... hmm ...

By censorship

Mark Nickolas - deleting posts again. So soon. Why would you delete a beneign post from this morning.

In your thread, "Prediction 2007" the following post was deleted within about 10 minutes. WHAT ARE YOU HIDING MARK????

Copy & Paste of two posts - but now there is ONE. The 10:55 post was deleted by Mark Nickolas -
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Comments
I want Miller to be elected Governor, but as a prediction, Northup is our next Governor. That's what my cards say. Sorry, my progressive friends.
Posted by: Steve Magruder (I, not D or R) | Wednesday, January 03, 2007 at 10:40 AM
Man there sure is an interesting comment left under your LEO piece!!
Posted by: wise2 | Wednesday, January 03, 2007 at 10:55 AM"

Mark, Mark, Mark. Does Jonathan Miller know you are deleting posts from the Social Welfare tax-exempt 501(c)4 that HE conceived?

Uh oh! You might lose your (c)4 status if you keep kicking out members of the community.

Are you trying to keep your readers from seeing the post below your LEO piece? Why? Why would you not want readers to read the "unfiltered candid look" at the BLOG??????

Mark, are you guilty of censorship? Are you and Ernie Fletcher two peas in a pod ... I thought you were in a lawsuit to STOP censorship? Yet, you censor. What's that make you Mr. Nickolas?