That Other Kentucky Horse Race

Republicans here in the Bluegrass State will be heading to the polls in two weeks to decide which GOP nutbar will get a crack at destroying the state’s wildly successful Kynect insurance exchange and Medicaid expansion.  So far, the polls have Louisville businessman Hal Heiner in the lead for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, ahead of KY Ag Secretary and Sudden hemp advocate James Comer, Cockfighting enthusiast and failed Senate candidate Matt Bevin, and That Other Guy Will T. Scott.

But things just got interesting with Comer waking up to this lovely story in the Louisville Courier-Journal this morning.

A woman who dated gubernatorial candidate James Comer while the two were in college said in a letter to The Courier-Journal on Monday that he was physically and mentally abusive to her during what she said was a two-year relationship.

“Did Jamie Comer ever hit me? Yes,” wrote Marilyn Thomas, who attended Western Kentucky University with Comer in the early 1990s.

Comer’s lawyer, Dick Plymale, of Lexington, said in an interview that Comer “profusely denies” all the allegations in the letter and promised a “devastating lawsuit” against the newspaper if it published the story.

Plymale went on to criticize Thomas, saying “I’ve heard unpleasant things about her personality and mental state.”

First of all, yes, Jim Comer’s lawyer is named Dick Plymale. Ruminate on that for a smidge.

Dick. Plymale.

Second, Comer is a spectacular asshole and all, and if these allegations are true, he’s even more of a spectacular asshole than I thought.

Of course, Hal Heiner is no prize either.

Republican candidate for governor Hal Heiner has apologized to fellow candidate James Comer after emails surfaced in a local newspaper linking a Heiner campaign associate with a blogger who has accused Comer of committing a crime while in college.

In a statement, Heiner personally apologized to Comer but did not admit direct involvement. He called the rumors “un-Christian” and said they were the worst kind of politics. Comer said he is disappointed with Heiner but said he is focused on winning the primary and uniting the Republican party.

And Bevin?  Well, Bevin’s gonna Bevin whenever possible.

Kentucky Gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin is challenging his three Republican rivals to participate in the “read or pie” challenge.

Donations support early literacy programs through “Read On”.

Bevin challenged them saying, “if you’re real men and care about the children of Kentucky, you’ll make a contribution and you’ll take a pie to the face. Now I will have one of my daughters do the honors”.

So far, we have only hear from Will T. Scott, who has already taken a pie to the face.

That also sums up Will T. Scott’s campaign, who has been in a distant fourth the whole time.

Democrats are running Attorney General Jack Conway, who has token opposition at best. So, November will come down to a Republican who wants to take health care away from 450,000 voters, and a Democrat who refused to defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban in court.

Which one is the bigger liability in Kentucky?  We’ll find out in six months.

84 replies
  1. 1
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Jack Conway is a very decent guy, though in most other states (at one time) he’d be a Republican. These days, of course, he’s not nearly RWNJ enough to manage any kind of Republican credibility.
    I hope he can prevail against the Kentucky clown car. Full disclosure: while born there, I no longer live in KY.

  2. 2
    Laertes says:

    You need to read more closely. Comer doesn’t merely deny the charges. He profusely denies them. So that’s that, really.

  3. 3
    Derelict says:

    Once KyNect is destroyed, Kentuckians can use the Republican replacement plan. Which should be ready for an initial reading sometime around the next transit of Venus.

  4. 4
    Amir Khalid says:

    Profusely denies”? Was heißt das? One might meaningfully describe a denial as categorical, absolute, vehement, or strong, among other adjectives. “Profusely” doesn’t make any sense, unless Comer is merely denying the allegation a lot.

  5. 5
    shortstop says:

    I think I speak for all Kentuckians when I say that dying of a horrific untreated disease is hugely preferable to letting homosexuals get above themselves. Because religious freedom!

  6. 6
    Laertes says:

    @Amir Khalid: Plymale responded “You know, profusely. Absolutely? Vehemently? Catego…whatever? Take yer pick, buddy. Point is, whatever the charges are, my client denies them in the most convincing way possible.”

  7. 7
    shortstop says:

    @Amir Khalid: I think that’s it. He’s denyin’ here, he’s denyin’ there, he’s denyin’ all over town. He’s wading in a torrent of denials. There’re so many he’s having to offer wholesale pricing on them.

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Amir Khalid: I think stridently would have been an interesting choice.

  9. 9
    shortstop says:

    He’s severely denying this.

  10. 10
    Bobby Thomson says:

    So what you’re saying is that Comer is now favored for the Republican nomination?

    And I assume your closing question is rhetorical. No offense, but . . . .

  11. 11
    Tommy says:

    @Derelict: Of course there has been a ton of coverage about KyNect, because well it worked in a red state. I wonder if the almost million citizens might get a little hot under the collar when they find they are about to lose something, by all polls I’ve seen they flat out LOVE. Oh and most of those people, in deep red districts. Lower income, Worse health. Coal part of the state.

  12. 12
    JustRuss says:

    Ack. Somebody just turned on CNN, and it looks like Huckabee is entering the race. That’s the great thing about the clown car: always room for one more.

  13. 13
    kindness says:

    What happened to the South? It always had it’s version of traditions and ettiquite but when did it dive into the deep end of derp and call that The New South?

  14. 14
    Tommy says:

    @JustRuss: @JustRuss: That appears to be the case. I can’t bring myself to turn on CNN, but just got a NYT alerts on my phone, Huck is running.

  15. 15
    Belafon says:

    If Kentucky voters are actually paying attention during the election (which I wouldn’t count on) they will have to decide if health care is more important than gay bashing.

  16. 16
    Tommy says:

    @kindness: I don’t know. Assume it has always been there, just below the surface. As a Yankee I’ve spent a ton of time in the deep, deep south. I like to joke I have never met a more polite racist in those parts of the Nation. If nothing else people were always polite, steeped in traditions. Not so much anymore.

  17. 17
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Both interesting and quite accurately descriptive, I suspect.

    OT: May is Mental Health Awareness Month.I’ve set up the Team Bella Q page for the May 9 NAMI SW Ohio walk. It’s a good cause, and I hope people can help support it, to the extent budgets permit. Donations can be made both anonymously and without an amount displayed.

    Team Bella Q includes people from all over the internet and the 3D world, each of whom cares about someone who lives with a medical illness known as mental illness.
    NAMI offers all its programs at no cost to the participants. Team Bella Q hopes you will join us to raise money for NAMI Southwest OH. Donating is easy, fast, secure, and may be done anonymously.

    You may join the team without a donation, and you can do so with your nym from here! Full disclosure: NAMI will require an email address, and will send you emails, but you can unsubscribe from their list pretty easily. In addition, I will not have access to your email address, as NAMI does not disclose them to team captains, though I will thank you through the site from the form there.

  18. 18
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    but when did it dive into the deep end of derp and call that The New South?

    I think the dates on that timeline would include 1865, 1954, 1964/5, and 2009.

  19. 19
    Amir Khalid says:

    It can’t be true. Mike Huckabee can’t run. I mean, just look at him.

  20. 20
    Paul in KY says:

    You’d think the race is Conway’s to lose (and it probably is). Only problem was Jack ran a bad campaign against Aqua Buddha & must run a much, much better campaign to beat either Comer or Heiner. Excellent summation, Zandar.

  21. 21
    Paul in KY says:

    @Amir Khalid: I’m guessing that’s what it is: I categorically deny all allegations eleventybillion times.

  22. 22
    Paul in KY says:

    @shortstop: You are a true Kentuckian!

  23. 23
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    “Profusely denies”? Was heißt das?

    Think “Busby Berkeley meets Richard Nixon.”

  24. 24
    Bobby B. says:

    @kindness: CMT’s got a show called “My Big Fat Redneck Election”.

  25. 25
    Paul in KY says:

    @shortstop: Hope he doesn’t get into the ‘methinks he doth deny too much’ territory. Actually, I’d rather run against Heiner than Comer. Zandar, who would be your preference among the duo?

  26. 26
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Belafon: you say that like we don’t already know their preferences.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Paul in KY: understatement. And I don’t see how he can win after refusing to stomp gays.

  29. 29
    Belafon says:

    @Paul in KY:

    You’d think the race is Conway’s to lose (and it probably is). Only problem was Jack ran a bad campaign against Aqua Buddha & must run a much, much better campaign to beat either Comer or Heiner. Excellent summation, Zandar.

    It would be if the state weren’t Kentucky, or Texas, or Louisiana, or any other Republican state.

  30. 30
    Belafon says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I know. But I’m just imagining a Republican on Kynect:

    Voter: I voted for you to protect my marriage, not end my healthcare.
    New Governor: But I did protect your marriage. Gays won’t move here if they can’t get their AIDS meds.
    Voter: Oh, that makes sense.

  31. 31
    Paul in KY says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Jack Conway has twice won statewide election for Attorney General. That is something. I think he can splain away the not-stomping-on-the-gays by saying that it was a freakin waste of money, after those libtard Supremes did what they did & Mr. Conway is not one to throw away the Commonwealth’s money on magic beans, etc. etc.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Belafon: Voter: But I’m gay.

  34. 34
    trollhattan says:

    @Paul in KY:
    Infinity, plus one.

    The politicians emanating from Kentucky are deeply depressing, even from three time zones away.

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @trollhattan: I think you meant “profusely depressing,” didn’t you?

  36. 36
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I heard the headline that he was announcing from Hope, AR, and wondered why he chose that small town: Was he just trying to stick it to the Clintons?

    Nope, I looked him up and it seems that’s Huck’s home town as well as Bill’s. Had no idea.

    So I guess it makes a kind of reasonable sense that he would announce his candidacy in Hope. (Well, as much reasonable sense as anything he does or says. It’s a low bar.)

  37. 37
    Tommy says:

    @Paul in KY: I so hope. I have a lot of connections to KY (long stories). I flat out love the state. I love all states in our union but something about KY, TX, LA, my history with the states, that I just love a little more.

    All far right. Red. But I as a Yankee I love spending time in them.

    I so hope KY gets it act together and saves Kynec.

  38. 38
    JasonF says:

    I’m hoping that by November, gay marriage won’t be an issue thanks to the Supreme Court. In fact, if the Republican nominee tries to attack Conway on that issue, he can take advantage of some political jujitsu and paint himself as a fiscally responsible AG who refused to spend state resources defending a law whose days were clearly numbered.

  39. 39
    Tommy says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Huck is from Hope as you noted. Little town produced two pretty charismatic people. I can’t stand anything about Huck, but I do have to admit the man has charisma. Pretty much everybody else running for the Republicans ought to try to get some of his charisma and they’d be doing better in the polls.

  40. 40
    shortstop says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Didn’t he title his book with something referring to Hope?

    Which one of these guys is going to follow Reagan’s lead and announce from the site of the Chaney-Schwerner-Goodman murders? You know, thinking about him consciously choosing to do that still fills me with rage after all this time.

  41. 41
    El Caganer says:

    I dunno about ‘Plymale,’ ‘Plywood’ might have been cool. And let’s fact it, nobody’s gonna beat out the late Dick Trickle.

  42. 42
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Gracias, mi amigo.

  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): De rien.*

    *Just to keep this thread multilingual.

  44. 44
    Tommy says:

    @JasonF: I saw the numbers Kansas is putting up and they could choke a horse. Tens and maybe even hundreds of millions. It appears it is not “cheap” to take a case before the SCOTUS.

    Maybe all the small g as in Government Republicans might note these law suits are a total waste of money. Look I am almost all in with these states fighting for their rights as they see them. I’d want my state to do the same.

    But don’t fight a legal battle you can’t win just to say you fought it.

  45. 45
    Ruviana says:

    Speaking as a non-Christian I resent the conflation of “un-Christian’ with “bad”. (And yeah, I know they think that but just sayin’.)

  46. 46
    boatboy_srq says:

    He called the rumors “un-Christian”

    Apparently unChristian rumors are regrettable – after they’ve been spread around.

  47. 47
    nastybrutishntall says:

    @El Caganer: Or Dick Wadhams.

  48. 48
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Ruviana: In context, I think here “un-Christian” is synonymous with “effective”.

  49. 49
    Calouste says:

    @shortstop: Ah, no. Huckabee’s latest book is titled “God, Guns, Grift and the Gravy Train”, although due to an unfortunate accident at the publishers it is in the shops under the title “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy”.

  50. 50
    boatboy_srq says:


    I saw the numbers Kansas is putting up and they could choke a horse.

    So that’s where all their education funds went (whose lack caused districts to close early this year). Brownback sure does have his priorities straight clearly defined.

  51. 51
    Calouste says:


    But don’t fight a legal battle you can’t win just to say you fought it.

    Au contraire mon ami, these people do fight a legal battle, or any battle, they can’t win just to say they fought it. It’s called martyrdom. And it’s not their money right? And how are their lawyer friends going to donate to their campaign funds if they can’t bill the state for a losing cause?

  52. 52
    Tommy says:

    @boatboy_srq: It was on Democracy Now. The total looked to be $38M, most of it outside council. That is the bill to argue “gays” should not get married. Something the Supreme Court might make moat. What sane governor argues this case?

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tommy: @Calouste: The ACLU has been known to do it.

  54. 54
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Indeed, but for the ACLU, it’s rather more accidentally like a martyr, in my view.

  55. 55
    cmorenc says:

    It’s hard to get hopeful about Kentucky politics when significant majorities of their electorate choose to vote for toxic ass-clowns like Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul as their US Senators, most especially the folks in the eastern Appalachia region of Kentucky whose interests these two are most brutally harsh upon. McConnell may be supportive of coal, but what he’s supportive of are the coal corporations, not the actual mine workers.

  56. 56
    shortstop says:

    @Calouste: Ha! I must have been thinking of his first, From Hope to Higher Ground. As I recall, it included a subtitle that was an apparent smack at the 12-step program, which is ironic since Huckabee exhibits a number of signs of an addictive personality.

  57. 57
    Calouste says:


    What sane governor argues this case?

    A governor who wants to shovel $38 million of state money to his lawyer buddies. I would totally not be surprised if a review turned up some rather creative billing practices.

  58. 58
    Paul in KY says:

    @cmorenc: Don’t know about Heiner, but Comer will not get the level of support in Jefferson County that the Senatortise gets.

  59. 59
    Botsplainer says:

    Comer, Heiner and Bevin are angling for the mantle of which is the MOST BESTEST CONSERVATIVE, according to their commercials. Comer is a creepy guy that gives off a vibe of being a creepy loser frat douche and Bevin is the sort of businessman who’d fuck somebody over while ruining their lives financially, and if caught unawares for a physical pummeling by his victims, would whine about how “this isn’t civilized, it was just business, there’s no call for violence”. Heiner has this ugly “used car salesman” demeanor, and there are enough people with true dirt on him to bury his lousy pay-to-play ass under the jail (including one tale I personally know, and could produce the goods on). The only regular person in that bunch is Will Scott, who can’t win.

    The big strike against Conway is his deep and abiding loyalty and true connection to The People’s Democratic Socialist Shariah Republic of Louisville. We are the economic engine for this benighted state, yet constitute only 25-30% of the populace, depending on how you count the media market numbers for this side of the Ohio Rivier.

  60. 60


    What sane governor argues this case?

    One who didn’t have a giant gaping hole in his budget might have a more reasonable case.

  61. 61
    Botsplainer says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Howdy Doody gets some bipartisan support still among the totebagger crowd and some of the reform synagogues out of recollection of truly good pork delivered in years past on a nonideological basis – that goodwill is evaporating more quickly than he’d like,

  62. 62
    Punchy says:

    Comer’s lawyer, Dick Plymale

    Sounds like a pr0n name. I call shenanigans.

    Whoops, looks like Zandar already beat me to it. Heh.

  63. 63
    shortstop says:

    @Calouste: not just enriching lawyer buddies at taxpayer expense (though it is), but also maintaining cred with the dead-ender bigot fundies who are his base. He fails to make a stand against marriage equality even after the fact, they start screaming “RINO!” and take their business to the candidate who’s even further out there. And there’s always another even further out there.

  64. 64
    Paul in KY says:

    @Botsplainer: He’s going to have to whip that horse to the finish line. Get the big turnout in the West End, etc.

  65. 65
    Steeplejack says:

    @shortstop, @shortstop:

    Yes, From Hope to Higher Ground: Twelve STOPS to Restoring America’s Greatness, 2007. The “STOPS” are things we need to stop doing, America!

    Now out of print, sadly, but still available on Kindle.

  66. 66
    Punchy says:

    you’ll make a contribution and you’ll take a pie to the face. Now I will have one of my daughters do the honors”.

    There’s an enormously sick subtle double-entendre buried in this quote. My Lord….

  67. 67
    shortstop says:

    @Roger Moore: That’s how it looks to someone who isn’t easily distracted from economic disaster by the sight of shiny gay-bashing objects. There may be as many as a dozen citizens not answering to that description in his state.

  68. 68
    misterpuff says:

    Plymale went on to criticize Thomas, saying “I’ve heard unpleasant things about her personality and mental state.”

    Beeeeyotch be cray-cray and beeeeyotchy!

  69. 69
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @JustRuss: Isn’t it a clown bus at this point? Or at least a van?

  70. 70
    boatboy_srq says:


    What sane governor argues this case?

    Why, the governor whose tenure in office is determined by the number of wingnuts in his state and/or the depth of the pockets willing to fund his next hate-filled campaign. Brownback has already doubled down on Kansas’ “Great [Failed] Experiment” in Trickle-down Objectivist Prosperity; this is just one more part of that. It’s probably coincidental that their SCOTUS case is proceeding with a tab that high and the state’s schools are closing for lack of funds, but it is a good illustration of what matters most to wingnuts.

  71. 71
    Brachiator says:

    He criticized the Medicaid expansion for lacking any level of personal responsibility.

    Sweet boneless Jebus! What the hell does this have to do with affordable health care?

  72. 72
    Yatsuno says:

    @Brachiator: Obviously, if you get sick it had something to do with your own behaviour and why should the government pay for that you worthless hippie?

  73. 73
    Paul in KY says:

    @Yatsuno: See, the poors only get sicknesses caused by eating to many T-bones & repetitive injuries from scratching off too many lottery tickets & hitting the remote button too much. Thus, if they weren’t poor, they would get boner diseases like hardworking Mericans get all the time.

  74. 74
    Mike E says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Moar like a clown TARDIS.

  75. 75
    Zinsky says:

    These people are literally shit wrapped in skin. Nothing more – nothing less. Is there a normal person left in the Republican Party?

  76. 76
  77. 77
    Mike J says:

    @Mike E: It’s dumber on the inside!

  78. 78
    MomSense says:

    @Mike J:


  79. 79
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    @misterpuff: I found the attack on the woman the most noteworthy part. Denying the charges is one thing, but to go the extra mile kinda shows that extra bit of vileness that the Right likes to cultivate.

  80. 80
    Paul in KY says:

    @MeDrewNotYou: I think it also shows that there is a whiff of panic in the air.

  81. 81
    JustRuss says:


    he was announcing from Hope, AR, and wondered why he chose that small town: Was he just trying to stick it to the Clintons?

    Actually, that’s a shot across the bow of the Clintons and Obama, quite a twofer. The fact that it’s his hometown make me glad I don’t believe in predestination.

  82. 82
    jake the antisoshul shoshulist says:

    There is an outside money group, citizens for responsive government or something like that, backing Heiner. At least, they have ads attacking Comer and Bevin.

  83. 83
    Fine Swine says:

    Yeah, this is an interesting situation developing. However, I don’t think it’s the domestic violence allegation that’s the problem for Comer (it IS a Republican primary, after all). If you read the ex’s letter to the Courier-Journal, she also claims that he accompanied her to and from an abortion clinic during their time together. If people believe her on that, he’s done.

  84. 84
    Fine Swine says:

    Update: on her Facebook page today, she also states that he paid for the abortion. Boom!

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