Mitch McConnell Matt Bevin “Games Politicians Play.”

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By BERRY CRAIG

“Mudsling Mitch” and “Bailout Bevin” were supposed to break bread together at the Elizabethtown Rotary Club Tuesday.

Matt Bevin bailed. He told the AP he had a “scheduling conflict,” the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

Sen. Mitch McConnell is expected to be a no-show at Saturday’s Kentucky state GOP Lincoln Day Dinner in Lexington. He says he’ll have to miss the Republican unity feed because he’ll be too busy doing the people’s business in Washington, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

Presumably Bevin will be in the chow line Saturday. If Thursday’s re-canvass goes as expected, the tea party hero will be the official GOP gubernatorial standard bearer.

Meanwhile, pity the poor Bluegrass State Republicans – “Torn Between Two Lovers” – Mitch and Matt.

General Motors To Expand Unionized Plant In KY

By BERRY CRAIG

To hear some local politicians and business leaders tell it, a slew of companies has expressed interest in coming to Bowling Green and its environs since the county fiscal court approved a “right-to-work” ordinance last December.

General Motors has just announced it will plunk down $439 million to expand Bowling Green’s biggest unionized business: the giant factory where members of United Auto Workers Local 2164 build Chevy Corvettes.

The upgrades will include a 450,000-square-foot paint shop. The facility will be nearly half the size of the plant, according to a press release from Gov. Steve Beshear’s office.

“For more than three decades, Kentucky and General Motors have shared a deep connection,” the governor said in the release. “This expansion only makes the relationship stronger and will create a foundation for future growth.”

Nobody is happier over the plant expansion than Bill Londrigan, president of the Kentucky State AFL-CIO.

“But it is ironic that this enormous investment in Bowling Green, the fulcrum of anti-unionism in Kentucky, is taking place at a union shop,” he said.

Last December, Warren County, of which Bowling Green is the seat, passed a “right to work” ordinance. Since, 11 more of Kentucky’s 120 counties have approved similar measures.

In January, nine unions filed suit in federal court in Louisville against the Hardin County ordinance. The suit could be expanded to cover all 12 ordinances.

Attorney Gen. Jack Conway, the state AFL-CIO-endorsed candidate for governor, issued an official opinion agreeing with the unions that only states and territories can approve RTW measures.

Meanwhile RTW proponents regularly claim that unions in non-RTW states like Kentucky keep companies away or that they drive companies from non-RTW states to RTW states.

In any event, Londrigan sees more irony in the press release where two of the most vocal local RTW boosters, Republican State Rep. Jim DeCesare, and Warren County’s GOP County Judge- Executive Mike Buchanon, fulsomely praised the expansion at the union plant.

“I’m pleased with the confidence GM is showing by making this large investment in Warren County to guarantee more cars will roll off the assembly line for years to come,”DeCesare said.

Buchanon pushed the RTW ordinance in the fiscal court. But in the release he said, “Yet again, GM has proven south central Kentucky is an ideal location for companies by finding great success and continuing to invest in our region.”

Mum was the word from DeCesare and Buchanon about RTW.

Anyway, shortly before the GM announcement, DeCesare hosted a pro-RTW forum at the National Corvette Museum near the factory.

Predictably, the panel, which included local and out-of-state union-busters, praised RTW and panned unions. They crooned the same tune: companies don’t go – and by implication don’t grow — where RTW is absent.

The crowd was sparse. Empty seats far outnumbered filled ones.

The panelists probably wished Eldon Renaud hadn’t shown up. A former Bowling Green mayor, he is the outgoing president of Local 2164.

Renaud said one of the RTW flacks claimed that because of the RTW ordinance, Bowling Green and Warren County have attracted interest from 47 economic development projects “with a potential investment of about $9 million.”

Renaud was ready with a reply. “I told them to just wait a couple of days and they’d hear an announcement about one of the largest plant expansions in Warren County history.”

Renaud also told the panel that holding the forum in the Corvette museum “was a real slap in the face to our union. We contributed over a quarter of a million dollars, through payroll deductions, to help build this museum.”

He and Londrigan dismissed any notion that the RTW ordinance prompted the expansion.

“The union has been pushing for a new paint shop for years and years,” Renaud said. “We need a better paint shop to better compete with other manufacturers.”

Londrigan said companies like GM plan major expansions for many months before they are announced.

Arvin Jones, GM North American manufacturing manager, said nothing about RTW in the release: “With this major technology investment, we can continue to exceed the expectations of sports car buyers for years to come. These types of investments are evidence that the customer is at the center of every decision we make.”

The Corvette plant has been a union shop since it opened in 1981. “In spite of the illegal county ‘right to work’ ordinance, it continues to function as a union shop,” Londrigan said. “This is not a ‘right to work’ facility, and the membership of UAW Local 2164 plans to keep it that way.”

The press release also said GM’s latest expenditure at the factory “builds on approximately $135 million invested in the plant over the last four years for the new seventh-generation Corvette and Performance Build Center. Last month, GM announced it would invest $5.4 billion in its U.S. facilities over the next three years.”

Those facilities are unionized.

The plant expansion is an example of good “things that can be accomplished when the union and management partner together,” said Ray Curry, the Lebanon, Tenn.-based UAW Region 8 director.

Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen, union officers, plant management and others spoke at the announcement ceremony in the plant. Beshear and Luallen oppose RTW.

The podium was in front of a giant screen TV that showed an American flag and the GM and UAW logos side by side.

“This expansion further solidifies the future of that manufacturing facility and is a tribute to both the leadership of UAW Local 2164 and General Motors management,” Curry said.

With Matt Bevin or Jamie Comer, it’s lose-lose for unions

By BERRY CRAIG

Right now — will all precincts reporting in the Republican primary election–Louisville business owner Matt Bevin leads Agriculture Commissioner Jamie Comer of Tompkinsville by 83 votes out of 214,187 cast.

Comer wants a re-canvass. That means election officials will double check their math.

History is not on Comer’s side. Re-canvasses seldom change the outcomes in elections.

A full recount is a possibility. But if the re-canvass goes against Comer, a recount probably would, too.

Meanwhile, Matt Bevin is talking like he’s the winner, hands down.

The tea party-tilting Bevin insisted he was the most conservative Republican in the primary.

He made the same claim in last year’s GOP senatorial primary against Mitch McConnell.

On his Facebook page, Bevin bragged about having a good time with a Kentucky chapter of the John Birch Society, the far-right wing group that claimed President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican, was a communist dupe if not a traitor, that fluoridated drinking water was a communist scheme and that the civil rights movement was a secret communist plot to establish “a Negro Soviet Republic in the United States.”

The Birch Society is an ancestor of the tea party.

In any event, unions would lose big-time with a Gov. Bevin or a Gov. Comer.

Both of them are gloves-off union-busters.

Both of them support “right to work.”

Both of them oppose the prevailing wage.

Both of them oppose raising the minimum wage.

Their idea of “free enterprise” is union free.

Check out their websites.

Bevin’s: Our plan will update our current labor laws that currently result in self-inflicted economic wounds. This begins with passing comprehensive Right to Work legislation and eliminating prevailing wage requirements for state contracts.

Comer’s: A top priority of the Comer-McDaniel Administration will be to pass “Right to Work” legislation. “Right to Work” is a litmus test for many businesses looking to locate in Kentucky. Kentucky continues to be passed over by companies that could offer good paying jobs to Kentuckians. Passing “Right to Work” would be the single most effective piece of legislation to improve the business climate in Kentucky. I have a proven record of passing tough legislation through the General Assembly, and we pledge to pass “Right to Work” in the first legislative session as Governor.

Attorney General Jack Conway of Louisville, the Kentucky State AFL-CIO endorsed candidate, opposes right to work and favors the prevailing wage. He’s for boosting the state minimum wage.

Lobbyist Prepare For Jesus’ Return

A leaked document from the CIA indicates that Jesus will be returning soon to check on us and see how things are going.

The document goes on to say: “We have no idea where Jesus is going to appear. We can only hope that it’s here in the USA so we can deal with him.”

Church leaders, the healthcare industry, the fast food industry and the wine industry are really concerned and have hired lobbyist to bribe Jesus to keep him healing the sick for free, making wine out of water, making churches obsolete, feeding thousands with only five loaves of bread and two fish, etc.

Concerned that Jesus will not accept a bribe the lobbyist have bribed enough politicians to pass a law, punishable by death, making it illegal for Jesus to heal the sick, feed the poor, turn water into wine and preach to the masses making churches obsolete.

As one church leader put it: “Jesus will empty our pews and decimate our cash flow and we can’t let that happen.”

A fast food industry spokesperson was furious and said: “We simply won’t allow anyone and that includes Jesus to turn two of our hamburgers into 5000 hamburgers.”

A billionaire healthcare insurance executive was quoted as saying: “Who in the Hell does Jesus think he is healing the sick for free.”

A spokesperson for the beer industry had this to say: “If Jesus can turn water into wine he’ll probably do the same thing with beer. That means free beer and there goes our business.”

A millionaire Wall Street broker threw up his hands and said: “There goes the economy.”

Reckon the politicians will be praying that the leaked CIA document has no merit at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.?