John Y III and the Coach on Rusty #12

John Y. Brown III

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When John Y. Brown III pulled up at the Highlands HQ of, he was able to park right by the door. Which, if you read Brown’s various “Musings from the Middle” on Facebook or the Recovering Politician, is the kind of thing that makes him happy. Brown, a former Kentucky Secretary of State, talks with me about politics, and how the site he works for (operated by Johnathon Miller, the ex-Finance Secretary and now more famous for winning at poker) gives former politicians a chance to say the kind of things they can’t say in office.

I couldn’t help but think of jail-bound former Ag Commissioner Richie Farmer, who might be a good candidate to write for the site, given the time he will have after negotiating a two-year sentence with authorities. John brought me a copy of his new book, which is selling in the tens of copies. John joked that he’s only a few dozen sales away from the 100 mark, which is the nature of self-published books. I’m looking forward to reading the copy he gave me.

We had an inspiring Breakfast of Champions this week. If you don’t know, I co-host a breakfast the 2nd Monday of odd-numbered months at the University Club with my friends Dick Wilson, Nick Gardner, Katie Gaughan, Ken Grossman and Jeff Peden. Our speaker was U of L baseball coach Dan McDonnell, who I learned is a great proponent of reading self-help and motivational books. In fact, he requires players to read them, too, and regularly sends tomes to former players battling their way up the professional baseball ladder.

It’s hard to argue with his kind of success — the baseball Cards went to the College World Series last spring for the second time since McDonnell’s been here, and crowds at Patterson Field are bigger than anyone expected, prompting a recent expansion. The team will be playing scrimmages there for the next six weeks, including during U of L football games.

Speaking of THOSE Cards, I talk about the big rivalry game this week, being played up in Lexington, in which I think U of L is about to lay a big number on their in-state rivals. The Cats, of course, already lost to one Bluegrass-based school, my own Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

You can also listen to my rant on the misguided methods of the Metro Council and that body’s attempt to curb crime by cutting off liquor sales (while exempting beer) at 2 a.m. The proposal, brought by West End Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, will probably pass. Opponents, including some liquor store owners, threatened to push to make Fourth Street Live’s district the locale for a wet-dry vote.

The point is — if you want to see lawmakers make fools of themselves, bring a vote on sin — tobacco, alcohol, sex — to the table and watch the senseless points they try to make.

Also this week, we learned that tolls for the Ohio River Bridges project will cost from $1 to $12 per crossing. Not gonna be popular. Or, in my opinion, necessary. But like it or not, the bridges are being built, as evidenced by blasting in Prospect and all the construction along I-65 downtown.