Episode 6 — Bevin Said Whaaaat?

Bevin said whaaaat?: Beshear Puts Bevin’s DMs on Blast + Matt Bevin Tells Churches to Get Political

  • Part 1: DMs on Blast
  • On September 26, Matt Bevin apparently sent an unsolicited text to Andy Beshear, which read “I would strongly suggest that you get your house in order. Your office is becoming an increasing embarrassment to the Commonwealth.”
  • Andy’s phone has a 160 character text limit, so the text was in two parts: the first was a link to a newspaper story, and a second text, which was the “embarrassment” text.
  • Why did Bevin do this? Because of a Medicaid fraud case in Boyle County. The story is that a grand jury indicted a man who operated an autism services company for charges related to Medicaid fraud, but those charges were hastily dropped when it was discovered that a man who works for the Kentucky AG’s office had misled the grand jury. The AG’s office concurred with the dismissal of the suit. Nothing has been released about the fate of the investigator who apparently misled the grand jury.
  • The episode got really ugly, though. Andy Beshear made the text public, and after doing so, the Governor’s office attacked him for “manipulating” the text. AG Beshear called the Governor’s text “nasty” and “unnecessary”
  • Remember: Governor Bevin has hired an outside law firm to investigate his father, and removed his mother from the board of the Kentucky Horse Park, and might have removed his mother’s name from an education building.
  • The incident extended beyond political news and was covered by talk shows and also by sports radio.
  • Part 2: Political Churches
  • On September 30, a facebook page titled “Kentuckians Against Matt Bevin” posted a video of the Governor speaking to a group of pastors, in which he appeared to encourage them to be more political from the pulpit.
  • The passage: “…since 1954, do you know how many churches have lost their tax exempt status because of political speeches from preaching that has occurred? [audience: Zero, Praise God!] — Zero! The reality is it is an absolute paper tiger and there is no reason to fear it there is no reason to be silent, and if you have been exhorted and encouraged to have this boldness and this spirit, to be unapologetic, then I would encourage you to do it.”
  • Governor Bevin is basically right: the number I came up with was four churches (based on the University of Colorado Law Review), as of 2006, ever having had their tax exempt status revoked, and not necessarily because of preaching from the pulpit.
  • Governor Bevin is known for his support among a certain sect of politically conservative Christians, is a member of Southeast Christian Church in town, and had a special & private inauguration service at the church. He draws a lot of political power from this wing of the church.
  • Do words mean anything in Kentucky? Does anyone care, or will this just lead to liberals in Lexington and Louisville throwing fits?

Resources:

Judge Shepherd Rules Against Gov. Bevin Part 1 of ?

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/ky-governor/2016/09/28/judge-rules-against-bevin-u-l-trustee-case/91221200/

  • Turns out Matt Bevin CANNOT totally abolish a board and appoint a new one with a number of members of his own choosing
  • Judge Shepherd says his actions were “entirely without precedent”
  • “assertion of unlimited power, during the legislative interim, to abolish a board, composed of members who can only be removed for cause, would completely defeat the protection of board members from partisan political interference for discharging their fiduciary duties.”
  • Can only be removed for cause, after hearing.
  • Guessing there will be an appeal. Bevin’s lawyers believe there is an AG opinion on point, issued by Jack Conway that says that board reorganizations include “creation, alteration, or abolition”
  • So we are back with the old BoT. Several vacancies on Board, Bevin’s duty to appoint
  • Judge Shepherd mentions this in opinion, Governor has an adequate remedy, and that is to use his appointment power
  • Andy Beshear and UL Foundation Chair urging Bevin to fill the vacancies so the board can get to work. UL Student Senate also passed a unanimous resolution asking Bevin to bring the board to compliance.

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky: Charity Care at Hospitals Down 77%

  • WTF does that mean? When you go to the hospital without any insurance and you can’t pay, that is called “charity care” or, more often, “uncompensated care”. This type of care was very common before the ACA.
  • Now that we have the exchanges, and especially expanded Medicaid, there is almost always SOME kind of funding mechanism for hospitals to be paid for the care these folks receive.
  • Prior to expanded Medicaid, some hospitals received DSH payments, or “disproportionate share hospital” payments, which covered some of the costs for these folks.
  • Hospitals almost lose money on Medicaid payments (Medicaid pays less than commercial insurance), but hospitals widely support expanded money because SOME money is better than no money.
  • This lends more evidence that the Medicaid expansion is good for medical providers as well as patients. With the Medicaid waiver up in the air, we will see what happens next.

Resources

Tim Longmeyer Sentenced to 70 Months in Prison

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2016/09/29/longmeyer-sentenced-70-months-prison/89949684/

  • Who is Tim Longmeyer?
  • Jefferson County Prosecutor
  • Became Personnel Cabinet Secretary while Beshear was governor.
  • Last fall, resigned to work in the Attorney General’s office as deputy AG. Resigned in the spring a couple days before charges filed.
  • What did he do?
  • Kickbacks for contracts scheme
  • Would persuade insurance companies with state contracts to hire consulting firm MC Squared (to do things like do employee satisfaction surveys). MC Squared kicked back $200,00 of what is was paid by insurance companies to Longmeyer, which was then converted to some illegal campaign contributions to Dems
  • A straw contribution is a term used for a situation where the contributor is reimbursed for his, or her, contribution by someone else to circumvent the legal limit on how much a donor is allowed to give — which is $1,000 per election in campaigns for Kentucky state office.
  • No evidence that either Beshear was aware of any if the illegal activities
  • His middle man was Larry O’Bryan, who just pled guilty. Owner of MC Squared was allegedly involved but hasn’t been charged.
  • Pled guilty on April 19th
  • Sentencing
  • Faced 70 to 87 under Federal Sentencing Guidelines
  • Used to be mandatory, now advisory.
  • 70 months and $203,500 in restitution
  • Must report to federal prison on December 7, so he has a couple months of freedom
  • Prosecutors recommended 70 months, his attorneys asked for 30
  • Will have to serve at least 85%.
  • Pretty bad publicity for an AG’s office that has already had other issues lately.

Quick Hits

KY Auditor Harmon Reports Money for Law Enforcement Not Spent Correctly

http://www.whas11.com/news/local/kentucky-auditor-56-million-meant-for-cops-swept-into-general-fund/327855456

Mitch McConnell Changes Mind on 9/11 Law

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/298486-mcconnell-opens-door-to-changing-9-11-bill

Gov. Bevin Releases SEEK Funding.

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/education/2016/09/29/bevin-give-schools-4m-fix-shortfall/91269654/

Kentucky GOP and Democratic Party Call for Dan Johnson to drop out of House Race

http://www.wdrb.com/story/33289948/update-state-gop-officially-asks-its-own-candidate-to-withdraw-from-house-race-because-of-facebook-posts

Race wasn’t supposed to be close, is NOT Metro Council Member