Confounding And Despicable–Kentucky Version

Evidently, Mitch McConnell isn’t the only disgusting person from Kentucky.

On December 13th, NPR posted the following report

Former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin departed the governor’s mansion three days ago, but the reverberations of some of his final actions are still being felt across the state.

Bevin, a Republican who narrowly lost a bid for a second term last month, issued pardons to hundreds of people, including convicted rapists, murderers and drug offenders.

In one case, Bevin pardoned a man convicted of homicide. That man’s family raised more than $20,000 at a political fundraiser to help Bevin pay off a debt owed from his 2015 gubernatorial campaign.

In all, the former governor signed off on 428 pardons and commutations since his loss to Democrat Andy Beshear, according to The Courier-Journal. The paper notes, “The beneficiaries include one offender convicted of raping a child, another who hired a hit man to kill his business partner and a third who killed his parents.”

Some of the pardons were uncontroversial, but others were simply inexplicable. For example, Bevin pardoned one Dayton Ross Jones and commuted his sentence to time served. Jones had pled guilty to the 2014 sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy; the assault had been captured on video and shared on social media. Jones was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2016.

NPR quoted incoming Governor Andy Beshear about that particular pardon.

“A young man was attacked, was violated, it was filmed, it was sent out to different people at his school,” Beshear said. “It was one of the worst crimes that we have seen.

Bevin didn’t offer an explanation for that one.

A follow-up article from Vox focused on reactions to the pardons, and reported widespread disapproval, even among Republican supporters of the former Governor. Families that had been victimized by the people Bevin pardoned were understandably outraged.

On Twitter, Bevin pushed back against “suggestions that financial or political considerations played a part in the decision making process,” calling such allegations “both highly offensive and entirely false.” He also wrote he issued the pardons because “America is a nation that was established with an understanding and support for redemption and second chances.”

The pardon of Baker, the man convicted of homicide whose family had contributed thousands of dollars to Bevin’s campaign, generated special criticism, with Republican Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele calling into question why–if the pardon was based upon disagreement with the verdict– Bevin didn’t pardon Baker’s co-conspirators.

There were other mystifying pardons: a man named Hurt had been convicted of sexually abusing his 6-year-old stepdaughter in 2001, and several judges had subsequently refused to overturn his conviction despite his stepdaughter retracting her allegations. (The retraction came after a judge was accused of inappropriately meddling in the case.) Bevin simply ignored the considered decision of several judges who presumably had access to all of  the evidence.

He pardoned a child rapist because, he said, the hymen of the 9-year-old victim was still intact, despite medical consensus that most child victims do not show evidence of physical damage and that examination of the tissue is not a reliable test of sexual activity.

Bevin pardoned a friend of his sister, who had been convicted in a 2013 plot to hire a hit man to kill her ex-husband and his new wife.

Bevin pardoned Delmar Partin, who killed his former lover then chopped off her head and stuffed her body in a 55-gallon drum destined for a toxic waste site. He pardoned
Kathy Harless, who was sentenced to life in prison for throwing her baby in a cesspool after giving birth in a flea market outhouse. The list goes on.

It’s hard to know what to make of this burst of “compassion.” Bevin was an unusually unpopular governor who frequently seemed to go out of his way to be unpleasant. He reversed his predecessor’s decision to expand Medicaid, denying thousands of poor Kentuckians access to health insurance, and took other punitive actions that make it hard to attribute these pardons to a misplaced kindheartedness, or to credit his claimed belief in “redemption.”

He just seems intent upon outdoing his fellow Republicans in inflicting damage and creating chaos.


  1. Read Wikipedia article of Bevin. From being fluent in Japanese to taking his 10 children on a months long tour of historical sites to various successful business ventures to cycling from WA to Fl to…Then he commits a weird series of commutations and pardons. Not easily explained or understood.

  2. I suppose the guy who killed his patents was pardoned because he’s an orphan. Heinous fuckery increasingly typical of a party that sees governing as a cruel, vindictive, and destructive enterprise.

  3. Wayne; do you have to ask who paid for those trips to historical places with 10 children, the business ventures and that bike trip? Your observation is a good one but the winner is Patrick who questioned his pardon of the man who killed his parents being because he is an orphan.

    I reread this and can find no reasonable or intelligent response to such evil actions; actions which I am sure Trump and his party heartily applaud. I do have a question; is there no law which can undo the most egregious of those pardons or convict Bevin of felonies? He is endangering the general public and young children’s lives.

  4. Bevin is incredibly evil and hateful. The fact that he lost reelection recently by a slim margin is frightening. No wonder KY keeps reelecting the extremely evil and hateful McConnell. What is wrong with those voters?

  5. Bevin didn’t create much of a stir in Kentucky when he reversed Medicaid. He sold it as getting rid of Obamacare. The people of Kentucky hated Obamacare, as much as they loved their own system, which was Obamacare renamed. It’s all in the marketing.

  6. Nancy and Holly,

    Correct on all levels. The hollows (“hollers”) are deep there and the cousins are many. Count the teeth.

    The Republican disease is becoming a genetic condition.

  7. I’m sure the Trumpians enjoyed Bevin’s actions during his last few days in office. It probably got the attention of Trump himself. Just another egregious use of power by an authoritarian.

    He’ll probably get elected to congress or the senate someday, making Kentuckians proud.

    Kakistocracy is the new order in this country. If someone like Trump can ascend to the highest office in the land, there will undoubtedly be copycats all across the country, appealing to the ignorant masses.

    Paulo Friere called it “oppression,” and he was correct:

    “Leaders who do not act dialogically, but insist on imposing their decisions, do not organize the people–they manipulate them. They do not liberate, nor are they liberated: they oppress.”

  8. Every State and the Nation need Constitutional Amendments that read “no party having the ability to pardon can do so from one week before election to the end of their current term; no party having the ability to pardon can do so for and direct family members or past or present business partners or major donors.”

  9. While the Republican Party works hard to keep the joy out of the Season let me sneak in while it’s still legal that I wish all of you happiness for whatever religious or secular reason is most meaningful to you.

  10. A report on AOL News said the FBI is investigating those hundreds of pardons by Bevin; especially the most dangerous. But with the current administration, does that really mean anything will come of it?

  11. How about removing executive pardon from a political perspective altogether and instead give the pardoning power to a, say, five-member independent commission, and if there are state constitution problems, remove them via amendment? Merry One to my fellow contributors. . .

  12. Obviously the guy is a vindictive creep! But it does show, what is in store on a grand scale next year! It’s the scorched earth policy, make it so FUBAR that it will take superhuman effort to fix the damage. The proclivity for TRAMPLING civility and moral conduct, to show no empathy towards their fellow man, and subverting every sort of ethical boundary that exists, shows the true nature of those following a permissive cult. Do not doubt for one second that they will burn the whole thing down, with the hope of sticking together enough to pick up the pieces later on. Imagine, opening the prison doors on the way out. Imagine trying to get an emergency stay, except the judge is one of the incompetent buffoons placed in their position by the turtle.

    There is a reason for every sort of conduct, we can try and guess, but, I guarantee it is not a good one. It is not something that ordinary enlightened individuals would want to hear or agree with. It would be enough to make Night of the Long knives and Kristallnacht look like a vacation island paradise.

    Deception means to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid. Also, it implies imposing a false idea or belief that causes ignorance. Synonyms for this conduct are to Mislead and Deluded by underhanded means. These lemminglike followers are in a perpetual state of ignorance, “willful” or not, even if they are provided with irrefutable proof proving otherwise. Blinded minds have caused the most horrific historical instances of man’s deceitful inhumanity to his fellow man. Blinded minds are not always ignorant, but, some, those who have influence, who have recognition, those who are looked up to, (Reality Television?) (Tele-evangelists?) (The wealthy?) (Elite politicians?) (Lawyers and doctors?) And unfortunately, (certain power-hungry military leaders?) Fall in line behind their Pied Piper’s, to lead everyone else over the precipice.

    I guess you could say it’s the Manchurian (Muscovian) candidate on a grand scale!

    I suppose it’s kind of like in the book of Luke the 21st chapter: 25-27 which says that people will be like an angry sea, that they will crash against their leaders and not know the way out of their agitation and being faint with fear.

    That is if you believe that sort of thing!

  13. Nancy you are so right with your comment: “Bevin is incredibly evil and hateful. The fact that he lost reelection recently by a slim margin is frightening. No wonder KY keeps reelecting the extremely evil and hateful McConnell. What is wrong with those voters?”

    Hopefully, Moscow Mitch will face a strong challenger. You wonder if all these people deserved pardons and commutations why Bevin did not do so before the election???? Oh, we know why, it would not fit the Law and Order crap from the Republican Party. The Right Wing Reactionary Republicans are trying to disown Bevin in Kentucky.

    Democrats need to hang Bevin on the Republican Party like the albatross.

  14. We worked with Amy McGrath last year on her near upset for Congress – she is “unbought and unbossed” and now challenging Mitch in KY. Support her in any way you can. Check out her campaign video from 2018 which went wildly viral – it is stunning.

  15. and they say Bernie is nuts,bacause he wants to help people,after the likes of bevins has run his route..

  16. President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign on Tuesday launched a new website to help supporters win arguments with family members over the holidays, providing tips and talking points to help to right-wingers facing off against “liberal relatives” encountered at potentially hostile family gatherings in the coming days.

    “Ruining Christmas one family at a time.”
    “Nothing says Merry Christmas like hurling insults at relatives.”

    This is not a real surprise.

  17. Were the Governor’s actions a form of political corruption? The legal basis for political corruption is relatively straightforward.

    1. Did the exchange include a thing of value? Increasingly the courts have held that the exchange be able to be monetized.
    2. Was it a quid pro quo? Similarly, the courts have required that the linkage be very direct.
    3. Was it an “official act” by a public official? The Supreme Court has recently held in “McDonald” that an official act must involve a formal exercise of legal powers.

    (Citation for above Lynn Adelman, RARITAN Winter 2019)

    The two problems with this Governor’s action being public corruption: Establishing a quid pro quo and the unrestricted authority of the governor to pardon and commute.

    I lay all this out to differentiate and highlight the Trump impeachment for Abuse of Power to the extent it alleges, implies, or alludes to a criminal act.

    1. Can an “investigation” of the Biden’s be monetized?
    2. Is a “favor” a quid pro quo?
    3. Was simply “delaying” the funding an “official act” by the President?

    While I agree Trump was rightly impeached for this conduct, in an impeachment “trial” the Republicans will have some strong arguments based on recent legal precedents. The consequence may be the electorate is not moved.

  18. Is it conceivable that Lincoln was wrong in wanting to keep the union intact? From the start the South was reluctant to join, and from early on they made known their continuing dissatisfaction with the arrangement. Before and after the Civil War, to this very day, they have acted in ways that weaken and divide and undermine the nation. Now they uniformly support a president who mocks the laws of the nation and governors and senators who abuse those laws. Except for their Southern charities, there’s not half a gram of empathy to be found from South Carolina south. Each and every one, Southerners feel, is self-made in an uplifting and wonderful way, and none need any government for any reason. In other words. they wish to be left alone to simmer in their own juices.

    With just a modicum of effort, is it not possible we could find a way to accommodate this desire for independence? Wouldn’t this largely solve the problem of half a nation that believes in truth and the half that welcomes lies? Constant corruption appears to appeal to some people. Isn’t this a way to let them wallow without impacting the rest of us? And wouldn’t it be enlightening to watch a (Southern) nation divorced from science try to make its way in the 21st century?If you disagree, please suggest solutions for the Moscow Mitch and Matt Bevin and Roy Moore and Lindsey Graham class of problems.

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