FRANKFORT — After the filing deadline, Kentucky Republicans found themselves with a "four-play" 2015 gubernatorial primary.
Attorney General Jack Conway got a virtual walkover on the Democratic side when Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes opted to seek re-election instead of vying for the more prestigious office just down the hall from her current one.
State Sen. Brandon Smith said he would not use an obscure provision in the Kentucky Constitution to claim immunity from a DUI charge, a wise move considering the number of jokes the immunity defense generated while it was in play.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul got vaccinated, presumably with parental permission.
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And Kentucky distilleries shipped a blended "Bourbon Barrel of Compromise" to the nation's capital in response to President Barack Obama's post-election comment about the possibility of enjoying a sip or two with now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Each of these events from the past couple of weeks seems worthy of expanded commentary. (As something of a purist, I'm particularly concerned about compromising the taste of one good bourbon by mixing it with another.)
But when the circus is in town engaging in its usual hijinks, you gotta go with the circus. In the spirit of compromise, however, this will be a bipartisan circus review.
Start with new House Democratic Whip Johnny Bell firing Yolanda Costner, one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment by former state Rep. John Arnold.
Yes, it is customary for a new member of legislative leadership to replace the previous leader's office staff with people of the newcomer's own choosing.
Everyone understands this. But there is nothing customary about firing a whistleblower. Doing so just gets you added as a defendant in the Arnold suit and starts legal bills mounting.
If Bell, an attorney, didn't see the problem here, his fellow members of House Democratic leadership should have said, "Whoa, dude! Not a smart idea."
For their part, Republican legislative leaders mucked it up Wednesday when they killed, on an 8-8 party-line vote, House Speaker Greg Stumbo's proposal to begin the search for a new Legislative Research Commission director (a position that has been filled on an interim basis for 17 months), who presumably would be tasked with remedying the problems outlined in a performance audit of LRC conducted by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Ostensibly, Republicans want to finalize the NCSL audit report before moving on to hiring a new director. But legislative leaders have had the report in hand for 10 months with no action taken. And when Democrats finally proposed to do something that would start the process toward bringing closure for the troubled agency, Republicans said no.
Whatever the rationale behind their vote, Republicans now have assumed complete ownership of the continuing delay in repairing LRC's myriad ills. Once again, not a smart idea.
Reach Larry Dale Keeling at lkeeling at herald-leader.com.