Burying the Lede on the Edelen-Babbage-Coldiron Story
John Cheves has been busy over at the Herald-Leader, digging into the finances of the Lexington airport and attempting to find intrigue in the relationship between Adam Edelen, who is Governor Beshear's chief of staff, and Bob Babbage, Frankfort's most well-paid lobbyist.
Edelen and Babbage are business partners, but I can assure you that Babbage is one of the most powerful lobbyists in Frankfort regardless of whether his business partner is the governor's chief of staff.
The real intrigue is between Edelen and the third business partner, Ralph Coldiron. You probably remember Coldiron from his $20,000 raise after being appointed into a position in Kentucky's Office of Homeland Security.
Cheves buries the juicy details he dug up at the bottom of his story:
Even as Babbage lobbied the Beshear administration last year, he and Edelen sent a stream of unhappy e-mails to each other — and to another man, Ralph Coldiron — about a large house the men built in Bourbon County for which they could not find a buyer. They finally sold it in December for $530,000, far less than they wanted.
Coldiron in particular complained in e-mails throughout the fall that he was hurting financially and lacked a steady source of income. "I need to keep cash coming in the door," Coldiron wrote to Edelen on Oct. 6.
Weeks later, Beshear appointed Coldiron to a political job in the state Office of Homeland Security and arranged for an immediate pay raise from $80,000 to $100,000 a year.
"Thank you very much!!!!" Coldiron wrote to Edelen on Oct. 22, after Edelen confirmed that he had signed the hiring paperwork.
But Edelen's friendship and business ties with Coldiron were not the reason he was hired or given the $20,000 raise, Blanton said Monday. Coldiron said the same thing, adding that his e-mails to Edelen were only to hurry the paperwork along.
"To say that my salary had anything to do with my real-estate investment is ridiculous and absurd," Coldiron said.
Ridiculous and absurd.
Don't forget that, with the hiring freeze in place, all hires have to come through the Governor's office, so said Governor Beshear last night on Kentucky Tonight.
Leaning across Greg Stumbo, Senate President David Williams half-jokingly replied that Governors have been indicted for less...