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January 9, 2009

Stumbo supporters rewarded with committee posts

Moberly out as budget chair; Pasley loses subcommittee post

FRANKFORT — After the winners and losers in committee assignments were announced in the House on Friday morning, both sides had the same reaction.

“It’s part of the process,” said Rep. Harry Moberly, D-Richmond, after Rick Rand, D-Bedford, replaced him as chairman of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee, a post Moberly held for 14 years.

Moberly supported long-time Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, who was unable to fend off a challenge by Rep. Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg. Moberly wasn’t the only Richards supporter to lose a committee chairmanship. In all, Stumbo and his leadership team of Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark, D-Okolona, Majority Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook; Whip John Will Stacy, D-West Liberty, and Caucus Chairman Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, named six new chairs.

They are Rand; Carl Rollins of Midway (Education): Jeff Greer of Brandenburg (Banking and Insurance); John Tilley of Hopkinsville (Judiciary); Rick Nelson of Middlesboro (Labor and Industry); and Dennis Keane of Wilder (Licensing and Occupations). Moberly will remain on A&R; as a vice chair.

Rep. Don Pasley, D-Winchester, was replaced by Sannie Overly, D-Paris, as chair of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Transportation. Stumbo said those like Moberly and Pasley who lost posts were good chairs.

“None of these replacements were done because of any type of action or inability to perform their duties,” Stumbo said. “These were political decisions that were made collectively setting forth a theme of change.” He noted Overly is a trained engineer and attorney who once worked in the Transportation Cabinet. “She is extremely well qualified for that job.”

Both Moberly and Stumbo said they had a “very good” conversation Thursday night, and Moberly was not surprised to lose his A&R; chairman’s post.

“I was expecting it,” Moberly said. “It’s a natural consequence of the process when you support the other candidate in the Speaker’s race.” He noted he first became chairman after supporting Richards’ move to replace Joe Clarke as Speaker in 1995.

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