I’m linking to this today instead of tomorrow because it’s actually pretty important. Well, maybe not the actual post; but the concept behind it. Very quickly: all four states having primaries and/or caucuses on Saturday are closed ones (only Republicans can vote); and three of the four will not allow independents to vote in the primary/caucus, either. Of those four, Louisiana still looks good for Trump in the polling. Kansas superficially looks good for him, but actually promises a galloping disaster for Trump (26% in a four man pre-debate poll that includes Kasich is bad news, especially since Trump doesn’t get last minute voters). Kentucky hasn’t been polled since before the last debate-but-one; Maine hasn’t been polled this year. In other words: keep watching the skies, because these races may go get funky.
Very short version? Kentuckians hate Obamacare, want to keep Kynect, don’t want to cut back Medicaid… and yet, they just decisively elected a guy who only agrees with them on the first point. If not-going-to-be-Governor Jack Conway is reading this article, it’s probably with a bottle of bourbon in his fist.
Meanwhile, Matt Bevin? He’s probably reading it and shrugging. The people of Kentucky did elect him, after all. And it’s not like they didn’t know what he was going to be doing, right?
So, WDRB has this story about a black Louisville judge (Olu Stevens) who has at least twice dismissed all-white juries when there’s a black defendant. The Kentucky Supreme Court is going to be investigating that, and it makes sense that they’re investigating that. But… there’s this data nugget about the Jefferson County jury pool:
[I]n October, 14 percent of potential jurors were black, far below the estimated 21 percent for all residents of Jefferson County, according to records kept by the commission. In September, 13 percent of potential Jefferson County jurors were black.
Why? Because the subsidy is drying up, of course: “Kentucky Health Cooperative, a nonprofit insurer known as a co-op, explained that it could not stay financially afloat after learning of a low payment from an Obamacare program called “risk corridors.”” The short version: the Democrats set up a program where higher-performing insurers would be fined for doing well, and that money would then be given to lower-performing insurers to prop them up. SHOCKINGLY*, this turned out to be unsustainable: this administration apparently can only pay out about one-eighth of the funds that were requested by the aforementioned lower-performing insurers. And since apparently the co-op in Kentucky can’t function without that money, it will be going belly-up. Fifth co-op to do that nationwide, by the way: and most of the rest are in the red, too. Continue reading Kentucky’s federally-subsidized Obamacare co-op to close.
Republican candidate Matt Bevin; Democratic candidate Kentucky Attorney General Jack “They’re throwing Christians in jail? Let me go hide!” Conway*; and… Drew Curtis, but not the Drew Curtis from Fark.com. That’d be pretty cool. Anyway, the debate starts at 7 PM; it’s being live-streamed here.
*Written with malice aforethought. But not as much malice as was written originally. Because I’m being nice.
Via @EsotericCD comes this latest action in the same-sex marriage wars:
BREAKING: Kentucky clerk’s office denies marriage license to gay couple despite US Supreme Court ruling.
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 1, 2015
Speaking as a same-sex marriage supporter: I was and am adamantly opposed to using the courts to force Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to issue the licenses in the first place. I therefore feel that her continuing defiance is a matter for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and does not really require my personal input. But it does require the personal input of both Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) and Kentucky Governor Steve Bershear (D). Spoiler warning: neither man particularly wants to be involved in this issue. Continue reading What does Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) intend to do about that defiant County Clerk?
Politico: “The Kentucky GOP’s central committee voted Saturday to adopt a presidential caucus system next year, clearing the way Republican Sen. Rand Paul to run for president and reelection at the same time.” It’s costing Senator Rand Paul $500K to do this – he’s agreed to cover the costs of the Kentucky GOP running a caucus instead of a primary – but apparently the first-term Senator thinks that it’s worth it. Certainly Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does, too. Continue reading Sen. Rand Paul looks likely to be able to run for Senate and President next year.
(Via @willstauff) Good for James Comer: “As you know, I have asked for a recanvass of all 120 counties to make sure that the totals are correct among the 220,000 Republican votes cast. If the results are accurate, I will congratulate and gladly endorse Matt Bevin.” As I noted yesterday, there’s a difference between a recanvass and a full recount; and it’s perfectly reasonable for anybody behind by only 83 votes to ask to make sure that the sums all add up. So what James Comer is doing here is to let people know that he is not planning to ride a dispute over the Kentucky Republican gubernatorial primary results all the way to the bitter end: instead, if the recanvass doesn’t show him ahead after all then Comer will be bowing out, gracefully*.
Which is the honorable thing to do. I’ll also note that I agree with this argument that it probably didn’t hurt Matt Bevin any either to have stayed strictly out of that epic personal brawl between Comer and Hal Heiner that marred the mid-primary season. To quote S.M. Stirling: “it’s surprising how often mercy has practical utility.”
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Come, I will conceal nothing from you: I guessed wrong on this one. I expected a bitter rear-guard action. Would that I was always wrong in such a pleasant fashion.
This is a little bit of a sticky wicket: “Matt Bevin may have won Kentucky’s Republican primary for governor on Tuesday night. Out of more than 214,000 votes cast, the Tea Party conservative was leading James Comer by 83 votes. Yet with a margin that thin, there might be no way to know with any certainty just who GOP voters in the Bluegrass State actually nominated to lead them for the next four years.” The problem is two-fold:
- It is, in point of fact, neither impossible nor implausible that a perfect, flawless recount of every ballot will show that Matt Bevin was over-counted by 84 votes*.
- But at the same time, Bevin supporters will frankly go nuts if a recount flips the results to James Comer.