Most of [Governor Ernie Fletcher's] former backers, including his mentor, Senator Mitch McConnell, have distanced themselves from him, and Democrats point to the case as another example of Republican corruption and overreach. Mr. Fletcher was indicted on three misdemeanor charges; while on vacation in Florida in early June, he had his lawyer enter a plea of not guilty.
The accusations have threatened to reverse a tide that Republicans in the state have worked for more than a decade to turn in their favor. With the party controlling the State Senate and just shy of a majority in the House, many Republicans viewed Mr. Fletcher's easy victory in 2003 as the dawning of a new political era for the Bluegrass State. (. . .)
The charges against Mr. Fletcher — conspiracy, official misconduct and political discrimination — were brought on May 11. The 14 other members of his administration who have been indicted are charged with a total of 23 felonies and 60 misdemeanors for, among other things, criminal conspiracy and evidence tampering. In August 2005, Mr. Fletcher issued a blanket pardon protecting everyone in his administration but himself from prosecution. (. . .)
An ordained minister, a family physician and a former fighter pilot, Mr. Fletcher, who was elected in 2003 by a 10-percentage-point margin, has spent much of his tenure trying to keep his administration in one piece. Of the nine cabinet members who started with him two years ago, only three remain in office. In early June, Mr. Fletcher fired Brett Hall, his fifth press secretary, after Mr. Hall accused leaders of the state Republican Party of scheming to undermine the governor.
Run as pious Christian, rule through corruption, go down as martyr. We've seen it on every level.
UPDATE: Also in the news today was the story that Kentucky state officials have moved to block access to progressive blogs on state computers. The propietor of Bluegrass Update says that his site and national sites have been blocked-- but not partisan conservative blogs.