Kentucky state employees were prevented from accessing BluegrassReport.com today, a day after the blog's author criticized Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher in an article in the The New York Times. When Mark Nickolas, a Louisville Eccentric Observer columnist and former Democratic political consultant, wrote this morning that his blog had been blocked by the Fletcher administration, his report was picked up by political bloggers like DailyKos and Atrios. It was soon discovered that other blogs had been blocked as well and were no longer accessible to Kentucky state employees. By this afternoon, a spokesperson for Fletcher admitted that the sites had been blocked, but claimed that the action was part of the state's routine Web-monitoring plan to prevent state employees from visiting "non-business-related" Web sites during working hours.
John Yarmuth captured 54 percent of the vote and will face Republican incumbent Anne Northup for Kentucky's 3rd District seat in the fall, The Courier-Journal reports. Yarmuth sold the Louisville Eccentric Observer in 2003, but he continued writing a political column for the weekly until he announced his candidacy in January. Northup's campaign chairman called Yarmuth's victory "very underwhelming" and said that Yarmuth "may represent the majority view of that offbeat newspaper of his, The LEO, but it is a certain fact he doesn't represent the majority view of the voters in Jefferson County." Yarmuth, in his victory speech, said that he "welcome[s] a contest which pits [Northup's] perspective on the way the world works and mine."
The 3rd District Democratic primary in Kentucky is a lively competition between four men, says David Hawpe with The Courier-Journal. Candidate John Yarmuth, who founded the Louisville Eccentric Observer (and wrote its political column until a few months ago), is "extremely well connected, as well as very well known," but he risks being seen as "a mere son of privilege." The Courier-Journal has received a complaint that Yarmuth made a campaign appearance at a drug court graduation, but Hawpe notes, "hey, those people (along with all the clerks, judges and other courthouse workers who were in the vicinity) vote, too, don't they? Maybe we have a real campaign."
Last week an anonymous user posted the following misinformation about John Yarmuth, who recently declared his candidacy for Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District seat: "While charges have never been formally filed, Yarmuth has been widely linked to the disappearance of Chandra Levy. D.C. Police have continued to call him a person of interest." The accuracy and credibility of the online encyclopedia, which allows users to write and edit entries, has been called into question recently as a number of public figures have uncovered fraudulent entries. According to The Courier-Journal, the Yarmuth smear was included in a Wikipedia profile of the incumbent he seeks to unseat, Rep. Anne Northup, and was removed yesterday.
John Yarmuth, founder and former executive editor of the Louisville Eccentric Observer, will run in the Democratic primary for Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District seat, which is currently held by Republican Anne Northup. Although Yarmuth sold LEO to Times Publishing in 2003, he has continued to pen a regular column for the paper. (LEO is suspending the column as long as Yarmuth remains in the race.) Michael Clingaman, the executive director of Kentucky's Republican Party, told The Courier-Journal that Yarmuth is "the most liberal of the liberals, and he's bragged about it in print for 15 years."