Saturday, October 07, 2006

Even is registered?

In a bit of silliness I hope I inspired, Anne's people have also registered

Will we ever see anything on these?

Anne Northup Presses the Flesh at St. James Art Show

As I wandered the St James Art show, I was dismayed at the appearance of the Northup for Congress stickers. Finally we got to St. James Court and saw people handing them out. They were relentless, and I wondered how many people, like myself, did it to be polite.

Later, I saw Anne working another section of the court. She looked so friendly. I wonder why it is that so many of us disconnect the rabid attack dog of her ads when we see her in person. Isn't the friendly woman in front of you who really just wants your vote the same one who turns on the venom for her campaign ads?

I'm wondering how many people out there have, like I have, asked her office to look into something and never heard another word, or heard, "Sorry!". As much as I dislike Mitch McConnell's politics, he does take steps to make things happen when you ask him.

I wonder if Anne happened to get a look at the photography exhibit that had (GASP!) nude people in it. That certainly wouldn't play well to the base, seeing her attending a public event with nudity on clear display.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

More interesting comments from her old websites

What prompts you to ignore good manners, civility and decency? Why is it necessary to express your outrage by disparaging others just trying to do their best?

These comments were written by a Northup supporter in 2004 about protesters of Northup and found on her 2004 website.

Couldn't these same words be uttered about Anne Northup's campaign? Nothing about it has been mannerly, civil, or decent. John Yarmuth's columns were written from the heart with honest thoughts. He was doing his best to make Louisville a better place through the written word. All Anne can do is disparage him by taking his ideas out of context and ignoring the ones that probably fall 100% in line with her own views.

Let's visit Anne's website from four years ago.....

I know the wheels of progress move slowly, but it's interesting to see Anne's website from four years ago, where she talks about her efforts to build the bridges in Louisville. Really, in four years that's all the further she's moved the effort?

She also uses that great buzzword "liberal" to attack then opponent Jack Conway and even goes to the Republican standby of blaming the media for exposing the fact that she's a lousy candidate on her page marked "The Other Side of the Story."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Anne Northup to the NAACP -- :"You gotta eat!"

Anne Northup says she's skipping an NAACP debate for the 3rd Congressional District because she has a family dinner to go to. Is it that she wants to eat dinner or is she afraid the other candidates will eat her for lunch over issues that impact minorities.

Her campaign has more dodges than Daimler Chrysler.

NAACP unhappy with Northup
GOP candidate will skip debate
By Kay Stewart
The Courier-Journal

NAACP leaders are upset that U.S. Rep. Anne Northup is skipping their debate Sunday for 3rd Congressional District candidates that will focus on African-American issues.

Raoul Cunningham, president of the Louisville chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, one of the sponsors, said he learned Monday that Northup will not attend.

Democrat John Yarmuth and candidates Donna Walker Mancini of the Libertarian Party and W. Ed Parker of the Constitution Party are scheduled to attend the debate at Meyzeek Middle School in the Smoketown neighborhood south of downtown, Cunningham said.

The 6:30 p.m. event is free and open to the public and will be held in the auditorium.

Northup said yesterday that she has a conflicting family dinner and already has agreed to several debates this month.

Cunningham said invitations were sent in July for the local NAACP's first congressional debate.

"We're disappointed that she's not coming. I think it's unfortunate. The African-American community is 19.5 percent of the district," he said.

Cunningham said Northup's failure to participate doesn't allow citizens "or especially African-American citizens an opportunity for the candidates to respond to specific questions."

Yarmuth said he wasn't surprised that his opponent would not attend the NAACP-sponsored debate, especially after she had received an "F" from the national NAACP for her voting record.

Tim Chapman, a government and social studies teacher at Meyzeek, said he sent a letter yesterday to Northup signed by 30 teachers asking her to attend.

Keith Look, Meyzeek's principal, said he called Northup's office yesterday.

"The educational opportunity to have something here with full participation is tremendous," Look said. "This is the best a public school gets, to have a debate on a congressional seat."

Reporter Kay Stewart can be reached at (502) 582-4114.

Too Amusing For Words

That "fair and balanced" friend of Anne Northup, Fox News, decided they too would try to create their own reality on the Bill O'Really? show.

Disgraced Congressman Mark Foley's $1000 too good for Northup to give back.

$1000 is a lot of money to someone who works for a living, but to someone who campaigns for a living, it seems like a drop in the bucket. Still, even though Anne Northup has millions in her war chest to attack John Yarmuth, she has decided that the $1000 that SICK SICK SICK Foley gave her will not be returned or donated elsewhere. Why? I guess it is because after her "circumstance", she needs everything she can get to fund her campaign. I guess the family values that Northup and her buddies speak of involve the family of her Republican brothers and sisters in Congress.

Foley donated to Kentucky Republicans

Feedback: Offer your thoughts on the Mark Foley situation
By James R. Carroll
The Courier-Journal

WASHINGTON -- Former Florida Rep. Mark Foley gave $7,000 from his political action committee to Republican House candidates in Kentucky between 1998 and this year.

U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis, R-4th District, said he is giving his $1,000 to charity. Others say that the money has been spent or that old campaign committees that received the funds are closed.

Foley resigned last week over inappropriate e-mails he sent to a 16-year-old male House page.

Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher's 1998 House campaign received $1,000 from Foley's Leadership 2000 PAC, and Fletcher's 2000 House race got $2,000, federal records show.

Fletcher represented Kentucky's 6th District from 1999 until December 2003.

Asked how the governor would handle the Foley contributions, press secretary Jodi Whitaker said in a statement: "Those accounts are six and eight years old, and they are closed."

U.S. Rep. Anne Northup's 1998 congressional campaign received $1,000 from Foley's PAC. Patrick Neely, campaign manager for the 3rd District Republican, said that money has been spent and won't be returned.

Northup's Democratic opponent, John Yarmuth, said he thinks any contributions affiliated with Foley should be donated to the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children. He said that if Northup contributes $1,000 to the agency, he'll do the same.

Davis received a $1,000 donation in this campaign cycle from Foley's group, renamed Florida Republican Leadership PAC. Davis said he is giving the money to Boone County Court Appointed Special Advocates Inc., an organization involved in legal advocacy for youths.

Former state Rep. Gex "Jay" Williams of Verona collected $1,000 from Foley's PAC for a 1998 House race in Kentucky's 4th District.

There's nothing he can do about that now, Williams said.

"The (campaign) committee has been closed for years," the former lawmaker said. "I didn't even know he contributed."

State Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, R-Lexington, received a $1,000 contribution from Foley's PAC in the 2004 election, when she ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House in the 6th District.

Kerr, now running for re-election to the Kentucky Senate, can't do anything about the Foley money, said the senator's campaign adviser, Carla Blanton.

"The campaign account was closed after the 2004 election," Blanton said. "No account exists anymore."

Kerr said in a statement: "I have never met Mark Foley, but don't need to know him to understand that what he reportedly did is vile and disgusting. I am pleased that there is an ongoing investigation to get to the bottom of this sad mess. He deserves whatever punishment comes his way."

Foley's campaign and PAC gave nearly $200,000 to more than 100 other GOP candidates between 1995 and this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan campaign-finance watchdog.

During that same time, the ex-lawmaker also gave $550,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, which distributes money to candidates.

Reporter Kay Stewart contributed to this story.

Reporter James R. Carroll can be reached at (202) 906-8141.

The Stink Eye's take on the Northup Record

From the LEO

On The Scuzz of Campaign Politics: Is Anne Northup a big fat liar? (New attack ads, Web site, more of the same misdirection)

Submitted by The Stink Eye on Tue, 10/03/2006 - 3:43pm. Short News

Note: The Stink Eye thinks context is important, especially during political campaigns, many of which tend to thrive on the lack of it. So for the next five issues, we’ll be here to offer some context and analysis to the squabbling that will no doubt pollute your eyes, ears and minds until Nov. 7. If you’ve got something to say — about us or them — write to

It’s been two Fridays since Anne Northup unveiled, a Web site devoted entirely to making opponent John Yarmuth look like a flamboyant and drug-addled old-person-hater who wants you to sell your SUV and renounce your faith. By the site’s estimation, he also hates people who live in the South End, he’s a class warrior who wants the gays to get married, and would love to feed his son — and yours — booze before he’s 21.

This is, typically, a morally bankrupt and anti-intellectual distortion of reality. Northup has culled 16 years of Yarmuth’s written word — he was a newspaper columnist, a paid provocateur, for God’s sake — and distilled it into what amounts to a position paper from the most liberal jackass the world has ever known.

Here’s some context:
• On abolishing Social Security: Northup’s ad contends Yarmuth favors abolishing the Social Security system. In fact, Yarmuth’s 1992 column predicts the financial collapse of the system, something President Bush also forecasted when he spoke in Louisville in 2004 with Anne Northup. The column suggests something akin to personal savings accounts, a different version of which Bush, more than a decade later, began advocating.
• On legalizing marijuana: Yarmuth’s Nov. 6, 2002 column discusses the Canadian decision to decriminalize marijuana, which he calls “entirely sensible.” It made possession of small amounts of marijuana punishable like a parking violation. Decriminalizing marijuana is different than legalizing it, as Northup’s latest attack ad fails to discern. (The Web site has PDFs of the copies of Yarmuth’s columns that Northup’s campaign made; in this one, as in others, nearly an entire half of the column is obscured by what appears to be a poor copying job.)
• On doubling the payroll tax: Yarmuth suggested in a primary debate that one way to extend Medicare to all Americans would be to double the payroll tax. Northup’s ad misses the hugely important second part of that sentence, as well as this: doubling the payroll tax — by his estimation — would actually cost less to the average worker than paying for health coverage currently does. Of course, if everyone had Medicare — which would require a tax increase — we wouldn’t be paying for private health care. Ultimately, Yarmuth’s concept suggests a way to extend health care to all Americans and, in the process, save them money.
• On lowering the drinking age: Northup’s ad cites a column Yarmuth wrote in July 2002 about drinking a beer with his son, Aaron, then 18, in Ireland. Yarmuth used that to ruminate on the effects of most of Europe’s 18+ drinking laws and how they may work in the United States, given the right political circumstance. He writes that it’s worth “pondering the wisdom of drawing a clear legal distinction between drug and alcohol consumption.”

The Northup ad ends with the candidate saying she approves the message because “voters deserve to know where we stand on the issues.” Of Northup’s three TV ads, none discuss current political issues — nor do any mention that she is A) a Republican; or B) a current incumbent member of Congress (they call her a “candidate for Congress”).

The first ad touts her so-called accomplishments for the 3rd District, citing the Ohio River Bridges Project, airport expansion, more Homeland Security dollars and a forthcoming Veterans’ Hospital. Everything else attempts to smear and attack Yarmuth.

Of Yarmuth’s three TV ads, one mentions Northup by name, a facetious and direct response to the aforementioned Northup ad that suggests Northup’s recent smear campaign is as ridiculous as the Democrat playing golf with Saddam Hussein or snatching toys from children. Northup has issued a response to that one, claiming Yarmuth doesn’t take the campaign seriously.

Still waiting for the Here's help.....

Well, as of September 27th, Anne's campaign has registered the following domain names:

Perhaps if she wants to cover all bases and still have a place to post her record, she could try or Both are still available.

And yet.... there isn't a single one operating. Wonder why.

Maybe I just have to give her a few weeks. After all, was registered on 9/11 of 2006 and it took about 10 days before she announced it to the public.

But in case you're looking for Anne's stated position on things, at least when she is voting, let me direct you to a few websites:

More on the Northup Record from Tim Saler at The Stakeholder

Since Anne won't share her record, we'll try our best to seek it out for you.

This appeared on the Stakeholder.

Congressional Cronies: Anne Northup (KY-03)
Posted by
Monday, October 31, 2005 at 2:59 PM

Ed. Note: Welcome Tim Saler to the Stakeholder, who will be popping in to post in depth on particularly interesting and intense races across the country.

When Anne Northup was running for re-election to Congress in 2004, her campaign told voters that she was not afraid to take on the tough issues. What she didn't tell the voters of Kentucky's Third Congressional District is that her idea of taking on the tough issues is to play follow-the-leader.

Anne Northup has failed in her mission to be an independent voice for Kentuckians. When she was faced with the tough decisions, she caved. When push came to shove, Northup voted with recently-indicted Congressman Tom DeLay 94 percent of the time, often to the detriment of Kentucky families. She doesn't just vote with DeLay; she's in his pocket too.

Anne Northup is among the top ten recipients of dirty money from Tom DeLay's political action committee, ARMPAC. She has received $42,000 from DeLay, even while over half of her constituents earn less than that a year. When she had to choose, she put Tom DeLay and the Republican money machine ahead of average Kentuckians.

The disparity between Northup's record and the needs of her constituents is shocking to say the least. With over 41,000 acres of farm land in her district, she has voted consistently against agricultural legislation that would provide support for family farmers. As a case in point, the National Farmers Union gave Anne Northup a 20 percent ranking for the period of 2003 through 2004. Does Anne Northup care about anyone who actually tries to make a decent, honest living in her district? All signs point to no.

She has tried to act like a Democrat come election time, telling senior citizens that she will not take away their Social Security. But, when it came time to decide between the Republican machine and her constituents, she sided with big money yet again. She voted against strengthening the Social Security lockbox, and she supports the President's plan to privatize Social Security, even when it's crystal clear that it would hurt Kentucky families. The Alliance for Retired Americans gave Northup an abysmal 13 percent rating for 2004, demonstrating in short her complete lack of commitment to the issues affecting senior citizens. The Republicans claim to be the party of family values, but what family teaches its children to say one thing and do another? It's time for Anne Northup to come clean.

Kentuckians are hurting in the pocketbook. They long for the days when Democrats controlled the White House. Democrats balanced the budget, grew the economy, and created widespread prosperity. The Republicans took record budget surpluses in 2001 and flushed them down the toilet, showering the ultra-wealthy with tax handouts. Anne Northup and the Republicans should be ashamed. They have no problem telling the needy in society that they don't deserve a little help, but those who have the most could always use a little more. These are not Kentucky values.

When Kentucky families are struggling to make mortgage payments and send their kids to college, Anne Northup put the interests of the wealthy ahead of the interests of average folks. Rather than cutting taxes for the middle class like Democrats do, Anne Northup and the Republicans slashed the capital gains tax so that wealthy fat-cat money manipulators can buy a third home in the Hamptons. Republicans must answer a fundamental question: where are your morals?

When her district's public schools are performing below the state average across the board, Anne Northup's solution is the same as it's always been: what does Tom DeLay think? Tom DeLay and the corrupt Republican leadership want to de-fund public education. It wasn't too long ago when the Republicans planned to abolish the Department of Education. Now they've got a new message, but they have the same intention.

Anne Northup and the Republicans want to destroy the public education system. Anne Northup has voted in favor of school vouchers, which would strip funding away from public schools in your neighborhood and decrease the quality of education for kids who can't go somewhere else. The National Parent Teacher Association knows the truth about Anne Northup. They gave her a pitiful 0 percent rating for the period of 2003 through 2004. These are not Kentucky values.

Anne Northup and the Republicans say they're for our brave men and women fighting overseas, but they are anything but. The Disabled American Veterans gave Anne Northup a 0 percent rating in 2004, highlighting her failure to support our troops, especially when they come home and need our support the most. Democrats know that you have to support the troops all the time, not just when the television cameras are rolling. That's why they've been fighting for years to expand Veterans Administration health care coverage and benefits. Anne Northup and the Republicans are on the side of the big HMOs and against regular Kentuckians.

Gas prices have shot up through the roof in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and the Republican reaction has been to repeal environmental protections and give handouts to oil companies. We are supposed to feel bad for oil companies, whose refineries were damaged by the hurricane, and reward them with tax handouts and repealed regulations that Anne Northup and the Republicans voted for. Now it's come out that the oil companies have made record profit in the past quarter, yet the average gas price in Anne Northup's district is still around $2.30 a gallon. Anne Northup has demonstrated her priorities. She cares more about big oil companies making record profits than her own constituents struggling to heat their homes and drive to work.

Anne Northup doesn't care about workers either. She voted to eliminate essential regulations that would improve the safety and health of workers who are exposed to potential injuries on the job. The AFL-CIO, UAW, SEIU, CWA, AFSCME, and IBEW all gave Anne Northup failing grades in 2003 and 2004. When her district is losing good-paying jobs, Anne Northup is more concerned with how she can deliver tax handouts to financiers and speculators on Wall Street.

Kentucky knows it's time for a new direction. That new direction isn't coming from Anne Northup and the crooked politicians she supports, like Ernie Fletcher and Tom DeLay. In 2006, Kentuckians will send the Republican machine a message: we demand better, because we deserve better!

The path to peace and prosperity is in view, and it is found in the Democratic program for America. The Republicans have had their chance to lead, and they have failed.

America can do better than Anne Northup, Tom DeLay, and corrupt congressional Republicans. Together, we will take this country back from the leaders who have betrayed our trust.

Billy Reed on Anne's Staged Seizure of the Yarmuth Record

From the LEO.

I can’t speak for my colleagues here at LEO, but, personally, I’m thrilled that U.S. Rep. Anne Northup held a press conference in front of our offices on Fourth Street. It’s not often that we radical left-wing journalistic scumbags get such an up-close and personal look at democracy in action, and who would have ever thought our esteemed Congressperson would have brought it right to our doorstep?

This historic event happened the day after the Fourth of July, about the time LEO managing editor Sara Havens and others were just beginning to get over their holiday hangovers. It was such a slow news day that three local TV stations and The Courier-Journal actually dispatched reporters to record it for posterity, and I just can’t understand why the ever-earnest Steve Burgin of WLKY-TV didn’t look real happy about it.

Just before the appointed time, some Northup functionaries arrived to set up a table right in front of our door. On the table they put a podium, with a microphone attached, and a big stack — I’d say it was at least as tall as John Yarmuth — of what looked suspiciously like official papers.

Upon the arrival of Congresswoman Northup, whose tan indicated that she may have been girding for her campaign against LEO founder Yarmuth by spending some quality time at her palatial home in Naples, Fla., our crack LEO news team went on red-alert status.

The security contract: for accompanying a Northup staffer to copy back issues of LEO, at $18 an hour.(As you fans of the Fox News Channel and our Office of Homeland Security already know, red alert stands for “Oh, my God, they’re going to blow us to hell!” and is the signal for Vice President Cheney to either go into a bunker, shoot an innocent bystander or get on a plane to Saudi Arabia.)

Editorial designer Ben “Buddy” Schneider grabbed a camera and turned into Bill Luster, which is quite a feat considering that Buddy is about a zillion times as big as the diminutive C-J star photographer. Staff writer/music editor Stephen George took notebook in hand, in case Rep. Northup said or did something that was actually newsworthy, such as revealing that she’s a secret fan of the Flaming Lips.

Before Rep. Northup began her remarks, I went up to pay my respects. I got to know her family back in the days when I was covering the exploits of her sister, Mary T. Meagher, who was known in the international swimming world as “Madame Butterfly.” I’ve always liked Rep. Northup personally.

“What are you doing these days?” she asked, pleasantly.
“Well,” I said, “besides writing for LEO …”
“You’re writing for them?” she interjected.
And so was I again reminded of the power of the press.
I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that Rep. Northup apparently hasn’t read LEO for the six-plus months I’ve been here. After all, she apparently has never read the paper at all, which was the point of her being there at our front door on July 5.

On the campaign trail, Yarmuth has repeatedly said that he will stand behind every column he has ever written for LEO if Rep. Northup will stand behind every vote she has ever made during her four terms in the House.

Taking him at his word, Rep. Northup wants to get those columns and presumably have some of her campaign volunteers go over every one in search of evidence that Yarmuth is a neo-communist liberal pussbag devil who’s every bit as traitorous and unpatriotic as, oh, The New York Times.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t image Rep. Northup hating any of her volunteers so much that she would force them to read 15-plus years’ worth of John Yarmuth columns. This is the kind of tactic you might use to torture Iraqi prisoners — something else we Americans apparently know something about — but not to win elections.

The only punishment worse than having to read that many years’ worth of anybody’s columns, including my own, would be having to read through the stack of papers on the table next to Northup, which turned out to (purportedly) be all of her Congressional votes.

Just looking at the stack was depressing. Going through it all was equally unimaginable, especially considering that — unlike the past issues of LEO — there are no adults-only ads to provide distractions of the come-hither persuasion.

When she stepped to the microphone and began reading her prepared remarks, the TV cameras began rolling and the reporters started scribbling. The crowd of onlookers consisted mostly of LEO employees and a handful of curious passers-by.

(We get a lot of curious passers-by at LEO, some of whom are broke, homeless, demented, angry, inebriated, wild-eyed, semi-violent or any combination thereof. I suppose I should be grateful that none of them stumbled along during Rep. Northup’s press conference, although I do admit to harboring deliciously evil thoughts about possible confrontations that ended with vomit on the Representative’s shoes. I’m sorry. The devil made me do it.)

As she neared the conclusion of her remarks, LEO editor Cary Stemle stepped forward to present Rep. Northup a copy of the current edition of LEO. It was a blatant, transparent and thoroughly admirable attempt to exploit the situation to the newspaper’s advantage.

Parrying Stemle’s thrust, our Congressperson declined to accept the paper by saying, “No, I want them all.”
Happily for LEO, this was all being recorded by the TV cameras and the C-J reporter. From the paper’s standpoint, it was the kind of exposure money cannot buy. Although our surveys indicate that LEO readership has been soaring in recent months, maybe the publicity will generate even more new readers, not to mention advertisers.

(We interrupt this column for a commercial announcement. If you’re a business owner who wants to reach a hip audience of all ages, an audience that’s growing rapidly, you might want to invest some of your advertising budget in LEO. Even now, operators are standing by to take your order. Thank you. We now return to our regular columnizing.)

On the whole, I thought it came off rather well. LEO got a big dose of free publicity. The political pundits got something to talk about — namely, the question of whether Rep. Northup’s sneak attack at LEO might indicate that she has far, far too much spare time on her hands. We were all treated to some excellent street theater. And Rep. Northup got away without being exposed to seamy side of life on Fourth Street, including your basic profane screams from drive-by voters.

In fact — and, again, I can’t speak for my colleagues — I hope she comes back to take a tour of LEO’s, ah, palatial offices, including our kitchen. (Oh, crap. This is my week on kitchen duty, and I haven’t cleaned up a thing. Wonder what David Hawpe does when it’s his turn for kitchen duty at The C-J?).

If she wishes, we also will be happy to show her the office where Yarmuth used to type his columns. His bookshelves seemed filled with more books about golf than about politics, which is sort of embarrassing to some of our long-haired, hippy, bomb-throwing radicals. I mean, when somebody mentions the religious right and the first thing your founder thinks about is Augusta National and “Amen Corner,” it tends to damage your street cred as an alternative newspaper, if you get my drift.

The day after the big event, The C-J stripped the story across Page 2 of its Metro section. As I said, it was a slow news day. Unfortunately, The C-J didn’t take advantage of the photo op. However, our man Schneider got some great photos of Stemle talking to Northup (see cover and these pages). Some, praise be, even show the bald spot on the back of his head, which is arguably growing even faster than LEO readership.

Not to advise the Northup campaign on tactics (everybody knows we’re nothing but a bunch of wacko Yarmuth suck-ups), but the next time she wants to promote LEO, she might want to consider moving the show down the street to The Palace.

After all, its stage is as perfect for theater of the absurd and political grandstanding as it us for an Abbott & Costello Trivia Contest.*

Contact the writer

*Sponsored by LEO

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

School shootings, high murder rate in Louisville, and Anne wants to help corrupt gun dealers

My original headline said "drug dealers". I'm sorry I meant gun dealers. Drug dealers would only benefit indirectly from Anne's vote.

From Josh Sugarmann in the Huffington Post:

(T)he U.S. House yesterday confirmed its role as head cheerleader for gun crime by passing legislation (H.R. 5092) that makes it harder for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to revoke the licenses of corrupt gun dealers. Ignoring, as usual, law enforcement opposition such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police and, well, facts (corrupt gun dealers are the highest volume supplier of illegally trafficked guns), the House voted 277-131 to pass legislation that actually makes ignorance of the law an excuse whenever ATF moves to revoke a dealer's license (which they hardly ever do anyway).

The House had more gun happy legislation waiting in the wings, including a bill to further restrict the access of state and local governments as well as law enforcement agencies to the crime gun trace data that is crucial to stopping illegal gun trafficking, but, mercifully, ran out of time to pass it.

Ms. Northup, of course, was for it, because the NRA was for it. Wonder why she's more willing to be in the pocket of the NRA than she is to support the people who keep us safe.

Northup's Spokeswoman about keeping $36,000 from corrupt congressmen -- No Comment!

Davis to donate funds from Foley
By John Cheves
WASHINGTON - Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Ky., will give a $1,000 donation he took from Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., to a non-profit, he said yesterday. Foley resigned Friday following reports that he had sent inappropriate e-mails to young men in the House page program.

But even as Davis sought to distance himself from the growing GOP sex scandal, an aide said Davis will keep $45,000 he has taken since 2002 from campaigns and political-action committees of three other House Republican colleagues who fell from grace this year. They are:

n Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, who resigned and is under indictment for alleged campaign-finance crimes. DeLay gave Davis $30,000.

n Randy "Duke" Cunningham of California, who is in prison for taking bribes. Cunningham gave Davis $11,000.

n Bob Ney of Ohio, who awaits sentencing on federal corruption charges for his involvement with Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Ney gave Davis $4,000.

The donations from DeLay, Cunningham and Ney were legal and won't be returned, said Justin Brasell, Davis' chief of staff. However, in a statement, Davis said he's giving the $1,000 from Foley's PAC to Boone County Court Appointed Special Advocates, a non-profit program for abused and neglected children.

"I am appalled by the actions of Mr. Foley," Davis said. "Had he not resigned, it is my belief that he would have been expelled from the House, and rightfully so. The people of this country will not tolerate this kind of behavior, and neither will I."

No other member of Kentucky's congressional delegation took money from all four of the disgraced House members, although Rep. Anne Northup, also a Republican, received more than anyone but Davis. She has taken a combined $36,000 from all but Foley since 2002.

"We're not going to comment on any of this," said Northup spokeswoman Katie Greenan.

Republican members of Congress who took money from Foley's Florida Republican Leadership PAC are scrambling to unload it, now that Americans are hearing of his sexual approaches to underage House pages, said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington.

It's ironic that Davis -- and so many others -- are keeping the donations from colleagues who sold their offices for money, she said.

"The Foley scandal certainly is troubling, but it had nothing to do with money or campaign fund-raising or influence-peddling," said Sloan, a former federal prosecutor and congressional aide. "Whereas the scandals with DeLay, Cunningham and Ney are all about money. The way they got their money was corrupt, so I'd argue that all donations from them are tainted and should be returned."

Brasell, the Davis aide, said his boss does not feel compelled to return money from colleagues who have been indicted, imprisoned or forced from office, because some Democratic members of Congress have kept donations under similar circumstances.

"Congressman Davis has been outspoken in his condemnation of corruption in Congress," Brasell added.

But actions speak louder than words, said Jim Creevy, campaign manager for Democrat Ken Lucas, Davis' challenger in the Nov. 7 election to represent Northern Kentucky in Congress.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Anne Northup's Campaign Chairman feels true patriots don't support peace?

Remember the signs that papered Louisville a few years back that said, "Support President Bush and Our Troops"? Well, that was the idea of Anne Northup's campaign manager Ted Jackson. I always found the signs interesting in the way they put Bush ahead of the troops. It sounded more a statement of politics than national pride. It wasn't until I did some digging that I found this article in which Anne's trusted advisor to her numerous smear campaigns seems to take issue with anyone who thinks war is a bad idea.

War with Iraq Local views; Political worker organizes show of support for Bush, U.S. troops
Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY)
March 21, 2003
Estimated printed pages: 2

Ted Jackson

Louisville businessman Ted Jackson was driving to his office on Frankfort Avenue one morning this year when he saw a large sign that read, ``Peace is patriotic.''

Jackson, a 47-year-old Republican political worker who has organized three successful election campaigns for U.S. Rep. Anne Northup, R-Louisville, said he realized he had to respond.

On Feb. 5, he called Viacom Outdoor and signed a contract personally guaranteeing $5,500 for one month's cost for a billboard. His sign went up the next day along southbound Interstate 65, near Jacob Street.

Against a dark blue field with red and white stripes rippling across the bottom, the billboard reads: ``Support President Bush and Our Troops.''

After signing the contract, Jackson called a few friends to help he and they made some phone calls and sent e-mails and quickly rounded up nearly 100 donors who chipped in $10 to $500.

About a third of the contributions came from Democrats, he said two of the friends he called were Tim Mulloy and Bob Gunnell, prominent local Democrats who are Jackson's partners in the Commonwealth Group, a governmental affairs, lobbying and consulting firm.

Jackson, who also set up a Web site called, said he has nearly enough contributions to cover the second, 30-day run of the billboard. And he said he expects to raise enough to have the billboard up ``for as long as needed.''

The message in April will be moved to a different location, a billboard along northbound I-65 near Hancock Street.

Jackson said he has received dozens of positive e-mails about the effort and only a handful of negative ones.

He described as especially touching and rewarding an unsigned e-mail he received recently from the wife of a Fort Campbell soldier. It read, ``I would be one of the first ladies to say I do not want to go to war. But supporting my husband and all of our troops, along with the president, is something I take pride in.''

Jackson said he believes that those protesting the war are a minority, but one that sometimes is ``more vocal and energized and is able to get their message out.''

``Well, we believe we need to get our message out and to be heard.''

Jackson described his feelings about the onset of the war ``as apprehensive.''

``But I support it 100 percent. The risk of not acting is much greater than acting. I trust President Bush. . . . He has the best interest of the country at heart.''

Jackson said people who want to donate to the billboard effort can make checks payable to Viacom Outdoor c/o Ted Jackson 2306 Frankfort Ave. Louisville, Ky. 40206.

- Sheldon S. Shafer

Anne Northup's Campaign registers Will it see the light of day?

Anne Northup's campaign has registered the domain name as of September 27th. Only a few short days ago, this was available. Is this registered so that Anne might finally give us pages of written records about her beliefs and where she stands, as John Yarmuth has? Or is it just a defensive tactic meant to keep someone else from registering it and attacking her?

I e-mailed Dennis Lindsey, who is listed as the contact for this domain name AND to find out when the website might see the light of day. I'll let you know if I hear something. The registration record for the website is below.

WHOIS Record For

Certified Offer Service - Make an offer on this domain
SSL Certificates - Make this site secure
Site Confirm Seals - Become a trusted Web Site
The data contained in, Inc.'s WhoIs database,
while believed by the company to be reliable, is provided "as is"
with no guarantee or warranties regarding its accuracy. This
information is provided for the sole purpose of assisting you
in obtaining information about domain name registration records.
Any use of this data for any other purpose is expressly forbidden without the prior written
permission of, Inc. By submitting an inquiry,
you agree to these terms of usage and limitations of warranty. In particular,
you agree not to use this data to allow, enable, or otherwise make possible,
dissemination or collection of this data, in part or in its entirety, for any
purpose, such as the transmission of unsolicited advertising and
and solicitations of any kind, including spam. You further agree
not to use this data to enable high volume, automated or robotic electronic
processes designed to collect or compile this data for any purpose,
including mining this data for your own personal or commercial purposes.

Please note: the registrant of the domain name is specified
in the "registrant" field. In most cases,, Inc.
is not the registrant of domain names listed in this database.

Dennis Lindsey
2306 Frankfort Ave.
Lousiville, Kentucky 40206
United States

Registered through:, Inc. (
Created on: 27-Sep-06
Expires on: 27-Sep-07
Last Updated on:

Administrative Contact:
Lindsey, Dennis
2306 Frankfort Ave.
Lousiville, Kentucky 40206
United States
(502) 499-8978

Technical Contact:
Lindsey, Dennis
2306 Frankfort Ave.
Lousiville, Kentucky 40206
United States
(502) 499-8978

Domain servers in listed order:

Some highlights from Bush's campaign speech for Northup in 2002

Bush's campaign speech for Anne Northup was full of nuggets that would be amusing in retrospect if they didn't point to his woeful mishandling of foreign policy.

Some quotes from the speech (full text here)with my comments in italics.

You see, what we need in the political process is people who put the people ahead of partisanship. They put people's concerns and hopes and aspirations ahead of personal success, their own personal success. Wonder how this coincides with her blind following of the administration and her numerous attack ads.

I value her advice. I value her friendship. I value being able to work with her to do what's right for America. I also like the fact that she loves her family. She's got her priorities straight. (Applause.) She loves Woody. (Laughter and applause.) And she loves her kids. I love the fact that Anne is an adopted mom. It shows something special about her heart and her willingness to love. I enjoyed meeting her mother and dad. She probably listens to her mother about as much as I do -- listen to mine. (Laughter.) But she is -- she's got her priorities straight -- her faith, and her family, and the people of Louisville, Kentucky. (Applause.) Judging by the recent letter she wrote asking for campaign donations, it seems as though fundraising comes before any of these.

And we're just traveling today from Washington to here earlier with another fine United States senator, and that's, of course, Jim Bunning. And I appreciate his leadership and his support. (Applause.) I want to thank Ellen Williams. I want to thank State Senate President David Williams. I want to thank the members of the statehouse who are here. I appreciate the fact that Jeff Davis, candidate for the U.S. Kentucky 4th District, is with us. And, Jeff, I appreciate you putting your hat in the ring. Jim Bunning and David Williams, two wonderful men who have no trouble questioning a democrat's sexuality if they think it can get them votes. Wonder how they feel about Mark Foley.

We need to make the tax cuts permanent. We need to make the repeal of the death tax permanent. (Applause.) And Anne understands that. She understands that. That's the kind of mentality we need in Washington. Yes, the mentality we need is to run up a deficit by spending uncontrollably on Iraq while reducing the amount of money we take in, even on the wealthiest. You know, the ones who have no need for the money provided by military service.

I also appreciate the fact that Anne understands that the stakes are high for our future, that our country has entered into a new era, that our homeland is a battlefield, and that our most important job as a government is to protect the American people, is to do everything in our power to keep America safe, is to prevent the enemy from hitting us again. The enemy is still out there. They're people who just hate America, they just do They hate us because we love -- we love freedom. We love our values. We love the fact that our citizens can worship an almighty God freely in America. That's what we love. We love -- (applause.) We love free speech, we love a free press. We love all aspects of our freedom. And the more we love our freedom, the more they hate us. Free speech and free press. We love them both, don't we George? Unless they're one of the hundreds of critical reports that are now surfacing about your handling of Iraq and the "war on terrorism".

And that's why I went to Congress, by the way, because this is our priority, to get them to give us a new type of arrangement about how to deal with the new threat of the 21st century. Listen, I promise you I didn't run -- or you know I didn't run on vote for me, I want government to be bigger. (Laughter.) I ran on vote for me, I'll try to make it work better when it's supposed to work. And one way to make it work better is to collect the agencies involved with the homeland security and put them under one department of homeland security, so that we can make the number one priority of the people that are working hard in these agencies the protection of homeland. So that we can do a better job of protecting our borders.

Yes, George, that Government's just gotten smaller, hasn't it? And that homeland protection worked really well during Katrina.

I also asked for the increase because any time we send our troops into harm's way, they deserve the best pay, the best training, and the best possible equipment. Hahahahahaha..... guess you were lying about that too.

Anne was right, we are enforcing the doctrines, however. We're enforcing the doctrines of this first war of the 21st century. One of the doctrines is, if you harbor one of these people you're just as guilty as they are. If you feed a terrorist, harbor a terrorist, hide a terrorist, you're just as guilty as those who murdered thousands of innocent citizens on September the 11th. And the Taliban found out what we meant. See, it's important in the world, when you say something, that you do it. Unless, of course, you're in Saudi Arabia.

That's the way we think as a nation. We think about peace for our children and other people's children, and we think about liberating people. Because every life matters to us, see. Everybody counts. When I say every life matters, I'm not talking about just American lives. I mean every life around the globe. We believe in the value of human life here in America. That's what we hold -- we hold that dear to our hearts. Unless you're a guy on death row in Texas, then we like shootin' you full of killin' drugs.

One of my jobs is to think ahead and to think -- is to cause debate, and I started that yesterday, to encourage the American people to listen to and have a dialogue about Iraq. And I meant it when I said that I'm going to consult with Congress. I want there to be a discussion about the threats that face America. Tomorrow I'm calling leaders in Russia, China and France to talk about the threats that face us all. I will see Tony Blair on Saturday. I'll see Jean Chretien Monday. My point to you is, not only will I consult with Congress and talk to Congress -- my administration and I will do so -- I will also see many of the leaders of the world and remind them of the facts.

The facts are, this is a man who gassed his own people, has invaded two countries, a person who stiffed the international organization time and time again.

I look forward to the debate. I look forward to the American people understanding the threats we face. But one thing is for certain -- I'm not going to change my view, and it's this -- (applause.) And my view is, we cannot let the world's worst leaders blackmail America, threaten America, or hurt America with the world's worst weapons. (Applause.) And we know President Jackass, that you really didn't consult with anyone did you? Iraq was a done deal.

I believe -- I believe -- I believe that good is going to come out of the evil done to America, because I know America. I know the strength of our country. I truly believe that we have an opportunity to achieve peace. These killers hit us, and in their hatred they have given us a chance to achieve peace. If we're tough and strong, if we stay focused on how to achieve peace, if we remind the world in clear terms the difference between good and evil, and speak clearly about the two, we can achieve peace. We can achieve peace not only for America, we can achieve peace for the people of Israel and Palestinians. We can achieve peace; I believe it. I believe we can achieve peace in South Asia. No, this enemy, these killers hit America. They in so doing created an opportunity to achieve peace. How's that peace process coming Georgie?

They hit us at home, and out of that evil will come some incredible good. America is a compassionate country. The irony of the attacks is that America became a more compassionate place. In the face of the evil, thousands of our citizens understood that in order to fight evil they needed to do so by doing some good. That you can fight evil by loving your neighbor just like you'd like to be loved yourselves. That it's the gathering momentum of millions of acts of kindness and compassion which define the true character of America.

And that's happening. You see, the definition of patriotism has changed in America, for the better. A patriot is not only somebody who puts a hand on their heart, a patriot is somebody who helps somebody in need. A patriot is somebody who mentors a child. A patriot is somebody who goes to their church or synagogue and mosques and organizes a way to feed those who hunger, or house those who need shelter. A patriot is somebody who goes to a shut-in and says, I love you. A patriot is somebody who knows that somebody can't do everything, but somebody can do something to help America change one heart, one soul, one conscience at a time.

Wow, that love and compassion lasted about five minutes when it came to the other party across the aisle, didn't it? And that definition of patriot soon shifted to anyone who bought your load of crap lock, stock and barrel.

And that's happening. No, out of the evil done to America is coming a new culture, a culture which says each of us are responsible for the decisions we make. When was the last time Bush owned up to any wrong decision he made?

More on Anne's Corrupt Reading First Program from David Hawpe

Opinion; Reading First, Northup's pet education project, mired in controversy
Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY)
September 11, 2005
Estimated printed pages: 4

David Hawpe

Anne Northup's biggest contribution to President Bush's signature domestic program is facing charges of favoritism, conflict of interest, and federal intimidation and badgering.

The inspector general of the U.S. Department of Education is (take your pick) investigating or auditing.

Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana has expressed "considerable concern" to Education Secretary Margaret Spellings about the way Reading First, a major part of the Bush No Child Left Behind legislation, is being administered. He said that "at best, it seems there has been a lack of clarity." He warned, "At worst, one or more officials contracted to work for the Department of Education may be working to further their own interests."

All of which is a long way from ensuring that science-based, research-tested methods and materials are used to teach kids how to read, which was supposed to be the Northup-backed program's purpose.

The congresswoman points to good results achieved by Reading First in many places. She says, "The intent of Reading First is to help states and local school districts establish high- quality, comprehensive early reading programs that actually teach kids how to read. For too many years, kids were passed along, no matter if they could read at grade level or not. I continue to have complete confidence that the Reading First program will effectively teach kids this most basic skill. Because so much is at stake, any individuals who might be inappropriately profiting from this program will and should be held accountable."

There are always those who resist change, including some who complain because they can't profit from it. But let's look at where Reading First came from, and what's being said about it around the country.

Northup introduced the legislation to create a National Reading Panel, out of whose work came Reading First. A Northup re-election Web site credited her with championing a program that, "for the first time, funds reading programs based on proven, scientific research."

In testimony, she disdained "all the federal dollars" spent on liberal favorites such as Title I, Head Start and specific literacy programs for early grade children. She lavished praise on her friend Bush for understanding what liberals don't: "We can no longer throw enormous amounts of money at reading programs that just don't work.…

"There is a serious disconnect between reading research and classroom practice," she testified. "I've seen this disconnect first hand."

But Robert Slavin, co-director at Johns Hopkins University of the Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk and chairman of the Success for All Foundation, says schools have been discouraged from using reading materials his group developed, despite evidence from 50 studies that they are effective. He told USA Today that Reading First relies on the work of "consultants with major conflicts of interest."

The newspaper reported that "several well-known experts have both advised states on federal grant applications and worked for major publishers," and that critics say Reading First "all but forced schools to buy textbooks and related materials from a handful of large publishers, several of which have retained top federal advisers as authors, editors or consultants." The Scott Foresman firm touts two former Reading First officials on its Web site.

An Education Department spokesman says such allegations "have absolutely no merit."

In The Christian Science Monitor, Kenneth Goodman from the University of Arizona College of Education described the work of Northup's National Reading Panel as "raising quantifiable data to the equivalent of truth and saying nothing else is true." One panel member, Joanne Yatvin, wrote a dissent, predicting its report might be misunderstood and misused, by the government and phonics promoters, to dictate reading instruction. "And that is in fact what happened," she told the Monitor.

The Sept. 7 issue of Education Week described "mounting evidence that federal employees may have directed or even pressured states to choose specific assessments, consultants and the criteria for evaluating core reading programs as conditions for getting funding" from Reading First. The story, which cited Kentucky as a case in point, is published in today's Forum.

So much for the Bush claim, in his 2002 campaign speech for Northup, that "We believe strongly in local control of schools."

That speech made clear Reading First was Anne Northup's baby. Bush told a Seelbach crowd, "Anne's biggest contribution - and I mean a significant contribution - was to fight for and get funding for a Reading First initiative.… Anne, working with some of the best experts in the country, calling together the best minds, put in this (No Child Left Behind) bill a significant reading program, one that's not only funded for a billion dollars, but one that recognizes [sic] is a science, not an art."

The disconnect seems to be between what Northup and Bush promised and what they delivered. "We know what works," Bush told cheering Northup supporters. But works for whom?

David Hawpe's columns appear Sundays and Wednesdays on the editorial page. You can read them on line at

David Hawpe

President Bush embraced U.S. Rep. Anne Northup at a campaign rally in 2002, as Sen. Jim Bunning and her husband, Woody, looked on. At that event, Bush declared his devotion to 'local control of schools.'
Edition: METRO
Section: FORUM
Page: 02H

Index Terms: OP OPINION; U.S. CONGRESS; Reading First; Anne Northup; BUSH GEORGE W
Copyright (c) The Courier-Journal. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc.
Record Number: lou2005091214012782

Reading First-- Bush lauds Anne for a program the government later criticized

In a fundraising speech that George W. Bush gave here in Louisville in 2002 at the Seelbach, he said, "But Anne's biggest contribution -- and I mean, a significant contribution -- was to fight for and get funding for a Reading First initiative. It is a federal initiative that recognizes all this talk about structuring our schools, all the talk about making sure the public education system is reformed doesn't matter a whit if our children can't read. And so, Anne, working with some of the best experts in the country, calling together the best minds, put in this bill a significant reading program, one that's not only funded for a billion dollars, but one that recognizes is a science, not an art. We know what works and we expect the curriculum around America to be in place that teaches every child how to read."

But, just four short years later, we see that Reading First was another questionable Republican initiative that may have benefited Republican friends more than the children in danger of being left behind. In a critical report by the Office of Inspector General, the OIG made the following findings:

(W)e found that Department officials obscured the
statutory requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by NCLB; acted in contravention of the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government; and took actions that call into question whether they violated the prohibitions included in the Department of Education Organization Act (DEOA). The DEOA at §3403(b) prohibits Department officials from exercising any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum or program of instruction of any educational institution, school, or school system. Specifically, we found that the Department:
• Developed an application package that obscured the requirements of the statute;
• Took action with respect to the expert review panel process that was contrary to the balanced panel composition envisioned by Congress;
• Intervened to release an assessment review document without the permission of the entity that contracted for its development;
• Intervened to influence a State’s selection of reading programs; and
• Intervened to influence reading programs being used by local educational agencies
(LEAs) after the application process was completed. These actions demonstrate that the program officials failed to maintain a control environment that exemplifies management integrity and accountability.

An Editorial in the Washington Post nicely summarizes the issues at hand:


By Michael Grunwald
Sunday, October 1, 2006; B01

President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act was premised on three revolutionary goals. The first was to focus on low-performing schools and students; hence, No Child Left Behind. The second was to beef up the federal role in education, enforcing national standards through testing. The third was to bring facts and evidence to the notoriously squishy world of education policy, promoting teaching methods backed by "scientifically based research" instead of instinct and fad. This was the least-publicized goal, but arguably the most vital; the phrase "scientifically based research" appeared more than 100 times in the landmark 2001 law.

The centerpiece of the new research-based approach was Reading First, a $1 billion-a-year effort to help low-income schools adopt strategies "that have been proven to prevent or remediate reading failure" through rigorous peer-reviewed studies. "Quite simply, Reading First focuses on what works, and will support proven methods of early reading instruction," the Education Department promised.

Five years later, an accumulating mound of evidence from reports, interviews and program documents suggests that Reading First has had little to do with science or rigor. Instead, the billions have gone to what is effectively a pilot project for untested programs with friends in high places.

Department officials and a small group of influential contractors have strong-armed states and local districts into adopting a small group of unproved textbooks and reading programs with almost no peer-reviewed research behind them. The commercial interests behind those textbooks and programs have paid royalties and consulting fees to the key Reading First contractors, who also served as consultants for states seeking grants and chaired the panels approving the grants. Both the architect of Reading First and former education secretary Roderick R. Paige have gone to work for the owner of one of those programs, who is also a top Bush fundraiser.

On Sept. 22, the department's inspector general released a report exposing some of Reading First's favoritism and mismanagement. The highlights were internal e-mails from then-program director Chris Doherty, vowing to deny funding to programs that weren't part of the department's in-crowd: "They are trying to crash our party and we need to beat the [expletive] out of them in front of all the other would-be party crashers who are standing on the front lawn waiting to see how we welcome these dirtbags."

Doherty has since resigned, and Education Secretary Margaret Spellings has pledged to review Reading First, emphasizing that the "individual mistakes" detailed in the report occurred before she became secretary. Still, Spellings expressed full confidence in the overall program: "Thanks to Reading First, struggling students are far more likely to get the help they need from teachers using scientifically based classroom reading instruction."

But the report barely scratched the surface of the incestuous process that dominated the formation of Reading First. The initiative didn't promote scientifically based reading instruction, the third goal of No Child Left Behind. And it's providing ammunition to critics of the second goal, strong national standards. The billion-dollar question is whether it may imperil the first goal: Will some children get left behind?

Bush administration officials frequently say that Reading First does not play favorites or intrude on local control, that states and districts are free to choose their own textbooks and programs -- as long as they're backed by sound science. But aggressive muckraking by the newsletter Title 1 Monitor and reading advocates at the Success for All Foundation have eviscerated those claims, and the inspector general's report officially contradicted them, accusing the department of breaking the law by promoting its pet programs and squelching others. In his internal e-mails, Doherty frequently admitted using "extralegal" tactics to force states and local districts to do the department's bidding. A report by Success for All documented how state applications for Reading First grants that promoted the preferred programs were the only ones approved.

In fact, the vast majority of the 4,800 Reading First schools have now adopted one of the five or six top-selling commercial textbooks, even though none of them has been evaluated in a peer-reviewed study against a control group. Most of the schools also use the same assessment program, the same instructional model, and one of three training programs developed by Reading First insiders -- with little research backing.

"They kept denying it, but everybody knew the department had a list," said Jady Johnson, director of the Reading Recovery Council of North America. "They're forcing schools to spend millions on ineffective programs."

To some extent, the controversy over Reading First reflects an older controversy over reading, pitting "phonics" advocates such as Doherty against "whole language" practitioners such as Johnson.

The administration believes in phonics, which emphasizes repetitive drills that teach children to sound out words. Johnson and other phonics skeptics try to teach the meaning and context of words as well. Reading First money has been steered toward states and local districts that go the phonics route, largely because the Reading First panels that oversaw state applications were stacked with department officials and other phonics fans. "Stack the panel?" Doherty joked in one e-mail. "I have never *heard* of such a thing . . . ." When Reid Lyon, who designed Reading First, complained that a whole-language proponent had received an invitation to participate on an evaluation panel, a top department official replied: "We can't un-invite her. Just make sure she is on a panel with one of our barracuda types."

Doherty bragged to Lyon about pressuring Maine, Mississippi and New Jersey to reverse decisions to allow whole-language programs in their schools: "This is for your FYI, as I think this program-bashing is best done off or under the major radar screens." Massachusetts and North Dakota were also told to drop whole-language programs such as Rigby Literacy, and districts that didn't do so lost funding. "Ha, ha--Rigby as a CORE program?" Doherty wrote in one internal e-mail. "When pigs fly!"

Said Bruce Hunter, a lobbyist for the American Association of School Administrators: "It's been obvious all along that the administration knew exactly what it wanted."

But it wasn't just about phonics.

Success for All is the phonics program with the strongest record of scientifically proved results, backed by 31 studies rated "conclusive" by the American Institutes for Research. And it has been shut out of Reading First. The nonprofit Success for All Foundation has shed 60 percent of its staff since Reading First began; the program had been growing rapidly, but now 300 schools have dropped it. Betsy Ammons, a principal in North Carolina, watched Success for All improve reading scores at her school, but state officials made her switch to traditional textbooks to qualify for the new grants.

"You can't afford to turn down the federal money," Ammons said. "But why should we have to give up on something that works?"

The answer lies in the Reading First grant process, which was almost comically skewed. Michigan was the first state approved, after it simply proposed to adopt the five best-selling textbooks. But when Rhode Island officials proposed to require "high-quality reading programs that meet the test of having a scientific research base," they were rejected. Doherty told them to check out Michigan's list, so they cut and pasted it into their application, while suggesting that districts could still adopt other programs justified by research. They were rejected again. So they limited their program to the textbooks. Only then were they approved. Similarly, Oklahoma unsuccessfully proposed to require reading programs backed by three years of longitudinal data before it got the hint and proposed the Michigan list.

So instead of advocating scientifically based reading programs, Reading First has promoted programs with "key elements" endorsed by a national reading panel, which could describe almost any program. It may not be a coincidence that the initiative was essentially outsourced to a few experts with a dizzying array of apparent conflicts of interest.

For example, when the department needed reviewers to evaluate reading assessment programs, it contracted with a University of Oregon team led by Edward Kame'enui, Roland Good and Deborah Simmons. Good had developed an assessment called Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), and Kame'enui, Good and Simmons had all served on the design team for Voyager Passport, a remedial program built around DIBELS. Ultimately, DIBELS was the only assessment used in Reading First, and Voyager was the most popular supplemental program.

Similarly, the department steered states to just three providers of professional development services: Kame'enui and Simmons at Oregon, Louisa C. Moats at the for-profit Sopris West, and Sharon Vaughn at the University of Texas at Austin. Vaughn was the other member of the Voyager Passport design team, and one of the four chairmen of the secretary's Reading Leadership Academy, which exerted enormous influence over Reading First; the others were Moats, Kame'enui and his Oregon colleague Douglas Carnine. States such as Alabama, North Carolina and Washington specified in their Reading First grants that every one of their reviewers for local proposals would have to be approved by one of those chairmen.

Kame'enui and Simmons also wrote the "Consumer's Guide" that most states agreed to use to evaluate Reading First programs, and ran one of Reading First's three "technical assistance centers" at Oregon. They co-wrote one Reading First textbook, and Kame'enui earned more than $100,000 last year from royalties on another, according to his financial disclosure when he moved to an Education Department job. In her 2004 book "In Defense of Our Children: When Politics, Profit, and Education Collide," Elaine Garan recalled color-coding the various financial connections running through Reading First; when it came to Kame'enui, she wrote, "I ran out of colors."

The department declined a request to interview Kame'enui, but Undersecretary Henry Johnson said the department takes conflicts of interest seriously, and will adopt all the inspector general's recommendations. "We're going to dig into this," he said.

But Johnson said states are ultimately responsible for making sure their programs are scientifically based, which is small comfort for applicants pressured into adopting programs they didn't want. "It's been very frustrating for those of us who really believe in evidence-based programs," said Richard Long, a lobbyist for the International Reading Association, which represents 90,000 reading teachers and specialists nationwide.

Then again, Long thinks spending $1 billion a year on reading is a great idea. And he thinks it's helping kids to read: "Have there been mistakes in implementation? Oh yeah. But teachers in Reading First schools believe progress is being made."

The bottom line, Johnson said, is that Reading First works. A department report found that teachers in Reading First schools spent 19 minutes more per day on reading than teachers in other schools, and were more likely to place struggling students in reading intervention programs. A new report by the nonpartisan Center on Education Policy suggested that Reading First is having a positive effect on state reading scores, although Johnson said much more needs to be done.

"Despite all the problems with Reading First, there's evidence that it's helping states," said Jack Jennings, the center's president.

Of course, $5 billion over five years ought to help states; the question is whether it's helping as much as it should. Without the kind of rigorous studies the law promised but the implementers failed to deliver, it's not clear.

But it is clear that Reading First has been a terrific boon for the textbook publishing industry, and for the department's favored programs. For example, the company that developed Voyager Passport was valued at about $5 million in a newspaper article before Reading First; founder Randy Best, whose Republican fundraising made him a Bush Pioneer, eventually sold it for $380 million. He then put Lyon and Paige on his payroll.

Local domination of education is an American tradition, and Bush took up a storied cause in challenging it; reformers since Horace Mann have promoted national education policy as a way to encourage common culture and equal opportunity. But local-control advocates have always warned that empowering heavy-handed federal bureaucrats would breed self-serving, one-size-fits-all solutions. Now, Reading First is making them look like prophets.

Michael Grunwald is a

Washington Post staff writer

Sunday, October 01, 2006

An Open Letter from Leslie to John Yarmuth

Found this on My Space Via Technorati

An Open Letter to 3rd District Congressional Candidate John Yarmuth

Hi, John –

Sorry for yakking your ear off at last week's Waterfront Wednesday concert. I'm sure you're already tired of having well-meaning folks accost you and thrust their own personal political "wisdom" upon you, but it's something of an occupational hazard. The good news is, it usually happens most to the well-liked underdog candidate, and that's you. Hey, we carp because we care.

Your most recent ads are a step in the right direction, but you're still letting Northup's machine lead you astray. You're a tad off-message right now as a result of pure self-defense, and you need to re-focus. You're correct to swing back hard, but next inning, pitch her a ball she has to catch and return.

Northup's platform is simple and weak in several key areas. Her biggest flaw is her blind loyalty to Bush, to which you've already alluded. Take the next step and make the point that her commitment to the so-called "War on Terror" is a single-sided one (we'll kindly let go for the moment the fact that wars on nouns such as terror and poverty are almost always unwinable). She's committing more federal money – and more Kentucky lives – with Bush's ill-advised "stay the course" strategy. That kind of money can be better spent here at home, beefing up homeland security in areas specific to Kentucky, such as railroad security (not much passenger safety at risk here, but plenty of hazardous material travels our rails every day!) and riverport security (ditto), not to mention the obvious terrorist target threat issues of having the UPS hub here in Louisville and having Ft. Knox right down the road. She's all about Iraq, and it needs to be all about the 3rd Congressional district of Kentucky. Make her fight the war on terror on our ground, not on foreign soil. While you're at it, make her read the 9/11 Commission Report. Seems like not many Republican lawmakers have.

Her healthcare platform is pure GOP propaganda – all about caps on lawsuits. Sure, that's part of the problem, but only part. That would help reduce liability costs for physicians, which I'm all for, but also for the pharmaceutical industry and its multi-billion dollar lobby. She's all for allowing US citizens to buy their prescription drugs from Canada, but for pete's sake, why should they have to? Bush says he can control AIDS in Africa for approximately $300 per year per person. Why does it cost over $2400 per year per person here? Why is the pharmaceutical industry allowed to pat itself on the back for providing low or no cost drugs to the impoverished rather than being forced to curb its hideously monstrous advertising budget to make the drugs affordable to everyone in the first place? It's plain to see they're spending as much or more (probably much more) on advertising than they are on research. And while you're at it, ask why that same industry can seemingly make enough Viagra for every federal inmate who wants it for obviously recreational purposes, but can't seem to promise enough flu vaccine for a potential pandemic? Here in the land of Kentucky Fried Chicken, bird flu ought to be taken fairly seriously, one's personal thoughts on PETA notwithstanding.

Her economic platform is based on immediate job creation rather than long-term sustainability. This means she's willing to dish out tax incentives to mega-monster corporations like Wal-Mart which threaten the mom-n-pop operations everywhere and bring more and more foreign goods into the country which used to be manufactured here. Economic growth needs to be about more than just job creation. It's a short-sighted approach to the problem.

Northup's latest ads say voters deserve to be informed of the issues. So, why won't she share her stand on the issues with voter information sites like, which uses a standardized non-partisan National Political Awareness Test for all candidates? (Uh, you might want to answer those questions yourself before you attack her on that one, of course).

MAKE HER DEBATE YOU. You're better informed on a wider spectrum of issues and you're quicker on the draw to boot. Let her stammer the way she does in front of WHAS's Mark Hebert in front of a more public crowd.

Meanwhile, congratulations on the results of the first WHAS-TV viewer poll. Your strong showing proved exactly what I told you the other evening – Northup is fighting dirty because she knows you can win, and she's scared.

No charge for all the free advice, of course!

Yer pal,

Frank N. Stine
(inside joke)

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