Monday, January 2, 2012

The Ex-Professor

The fool has said in his heart 
"There is no God."
Psalms 14:1

A gaytheist prof faced adversity.
Complaints from his small university:
His lectures were dismal; his poems abysmal;
He constantly spread his perversity.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Madam Mayor: Rest-In-Peace

Crazy Jane's "R.I.P." on the side of a pool hall.

This is about the only epitaph our former mayor deserves.


If you care about the future of Portsmouth, please take the time to read the comments below.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

City Website

Note to whoever is in charge of city website ( :

Please update ASAP. Thanks.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from P-Town Underground!!


A secret meeting took place in the basement of Jane Murray’s house. Thanks to a tiny electronic device we hid in the collar of Murray’s dog, Annie, we were able to listen in and we can now share the details with our readers.
Those at the meeting were Mayor Murray herself, her attorney, and some of her major supporters.

Jane Murray: Thank you all for attending this very important meeting. Let us now begin with the CAVE Prayer.
Many voices in unison say: “Our Mayor, who art on Dorman, Madam, be thy name; Thy queendom come; thy will be done, in Portsmouth as it is Kentucky. Give us this day our daily meds. And bless all of our recalls, but don't forgive those who recall against us. Lead us not into Penn Station; but deliver us some pizza. For thine is the queendom, and the power to be mayor for ever. Awoman.”
Jane: Awoman. Now, Austin! Austin! Where are you?
Austin Leedom:  Yes, madam savior. How may I serve you?
Jane: There should be more people here. Where is Harald Daub?
Austin: I’m afraid he is in the emergency room, my lady.
Jane: Oh, Lord! Was he beaten up by Tim Loper again?
Austin: No ma’am.
Jane: Was it that, senior citizen, Jerry Albrecht?
Austin: No ma’am. Even more humiliating.
Jane: Not Jo Ann Aeh!
Austin: No, your majesty. Harald was circulating a recall petition against Nick Basham at the Hillview Retirement Center. This enraged the residents. One elderly lady struck him repeatedly with her walker.
Jane: Oh, the fools. Why don’t they respect my greatness? Remind me to raise their water bills again.
Austin: Also the Mollette's have begun avoiding me. Ever since Tom Bihl announced his committee had over 1400 signatures for the recall.

Jane: Of course, they avoid you. I saw the Mollette’s the other day and they acted as if they did not even know me. There is only one logical explanation for this.
Austin: They are embarrassed to be seen with a mayor who is about to be recalled?
Jane: Of course not! The real Bob and Teresa have been abducted by the SOGP and replaced with identical pod people.
Austin:  That must be it, Your Grace.
Jane Murray’s attorney, speaks Jane, may I speak with you?

Murray (interrupting): As I’ve told you many times, Counsellor, I prefer to be addressed as Madam Mayor Murray, Ruler of Portsmouth.
Attorney: I'm sorry, Madam Mayor, I have a few questions. First of all, why are we meeting in your basement?
Murray: Why, it’s the only safe place left! My office and every other place in Portsmouth where we could possibly meet has been bugged by city council, the police chief, the mafia, and the SOGP.
Russ Doyle cries out excitedly: SOGP! SOGP! Da bouys! Da bouys!
Jane: My house is constantly occupied by large dogs that I personally, from the goodness of my heart, rescued from shelters. They would not let anyone in my home to plant a listening device. But mainly, we meet in my basement because Austin will turn into dust if he is exposed to sunlight.
Attorney: And why is there a coffin against the wall?
Jane: Well, Austin occasionally likes to sleep over.
Attorney: Are you telling me that Austin Leedom, your closest advisor, is a “vampire”?
Jane: Don’t be ridiculous. There is no such thing as a vampire. Mr. Leedom is merely a “sunlight-challenged volunteer oral phlebotomist.”
Doyle:   PDTs! PDTs! Corruption! CORRUPT!
Doyle:   1. Look, Jane. 2. Look what I wrote. 2. See! I put a D in “Corruption” and now it says “CorruPDTion!” 3. Just like the Portsmouth Daily Times is corrupt! 6. Do you see it? 4. Now you have evidence of corruption in Portsmouth!
Jane: Yes, Russ. I see it. Such a clever boy. Now, go back to work.
Attorney (Whispering): Mayor. Who is that deranged mental case you just spoke to? And why is he chained to that computer desk?
Jane: Oh, that’s just Russ Doyle. Never mind him. I just keep him around to write clever rejoinders whenever the Portsmouth Times prints an article about me. Did you know he has over 100 screen names on alone? That doesn’t even include the ones he uses over at Moe-ron's Forum!
Unidentified local businessman: Let's get to the main point of this *$!%@ meeting. How are we gonna keep *$!%@ Dave Malone from gettin’ to be *$!%@ Mayor?
Jane: Yes. That IS the point, isn’t it?
Doyle: Danger! Danger! Ma-lone Ranger! The SOGP arranger. Martings!!!!
Jane: Calm down, Russ. This is the gentleman I told you about. One of my financial backers. He has said he will contribute any amount of money to fight this recall. He is a local businessman who prefers to remain anonymous.
Businessman: Damn right.
Attorney:  Madam Mayor. I have checked out this man’s record. I've learned that he is a convicted felon, a suspected arsonist, and an admitted drug user?
Businessman: What’s yer point, lawyer-boy?
Attorney: I don’t feel comfortable taking payments from this individual, mayor. Were you aware of his background?
Jane: As my attorney, I'm sure you understand that when you are the Mayor of the most corrupt city in the universe, sometimes you are forced to avert your gaze from such trivialities...for the greater good of the citizens.
Businessman: I just don’t want my town run by no n….
Jane: Now, now, we discussed this. Only Mr. Peck is allowed to say the N-word. He’s IS from Kentucky, you know.
Attorney: Mayor, are you also aware that, in January, this man also stated on the internet that he would spend “any amount of money” to have YOU recalled from office?
Businessman: Yeah, well, I hate Jane's guts, but when I thought about Dave Malone being mayor I changed my mind.
Attorney: I see. Well, I have yet to be paid for my services. To date, the total legal fees for me and my staff is nearly $10,000.
Businessman: Ten thousand! Are you nuts? Do you realize how many of my deadbeat relatives I have to send to South Carolina to buy garbage bags full of oxycontins to make that kind of money. I ain’t throwin’ it down no rathole. I’m out of here. (Sound of man walking out, slamming door.)
Jane: Now, now. Don’t worry. As soon as we win our case at the Supreme Court, I’ll just fire the City Solicitor and contract with you for all of the City’s legal services. You will make your money back in no time.
Attorney: Are-are you sure you can fire the City Solicitor?
Jane: Of course. I can fire anyone. It’s in something called the “City Charter.”
Attorney: What exactly is a “City Charter,” anyway?
Jane: I’m not really sure. But Austin Leedom assures me that it says I can fire whomever I want to.
Attorney: Mayor, may I be frank with you?

Jane: Of course, you can, Frank.

Attorney: I don’t think our chances look too good at the Ohio Supreme Court.
Jane: Oh-high-oh? Oh-high-oh? Exactly what is this term “oh-high-oh” that you keep bringing up? I have heard that phrase used frequently...ever since I moved to Portsmouth.
Attorney: I’m talking about “Ohio.” The state that Portsmouth is in.
Jane: But…but… Portsmouth is in Kentucky!
Attorney: No Jane. It’s in Ohio.
Jane: I’m sure you’re wrong, sir. I grew up in South Portsmouth, Kentucky, so I’m quite certain that North Portsmouth must also be in Kentucky!

Leedom: Excuse me, your excellency…
Jane: Austin? Why must you always interrupt me?
Leedom: I’m afraid your attorney is correct, your majesty. Portsmouth is in Ohio, not Kentucky.
Jane: Well, no matter. I’m sure my friends in Frankfort will be very helpful when the case gets before the court.
Attorney: Frankfort? Kentucky? But the appeal is going to Columbus. You know. The OHIO Supreme Court.
Jane: What!!!?  You yankee fool!!!  I wanted you to appeal to the Supreme Court of Kentucky! My ex-husband, Richard Vimont, is a respected attorney there. I’m sure he would help me!! I’m certain the restraining order has expired by now!!
Leedom: I’m sorry, Your Worshipfulness, but I fear your hapless shylock is correct. Our City is not within Kentucky’s jurisdiction.
Jane: How can this be? How can Kentucky be so ungrateful? After I’ve built so many failed museums and bankrupt cultural centers all over the state! As mayor, I’ve hired engineers and consultants from Kentucky every time I had the chance! I even gave them back their rock! They must rescue me from these evil North Portsmouth voters!

Leedom: Alas, my dear municipal goddess. It seems a river lies between us and your salvation.
Jane: A river? A river, you say? Then, perhaps, all is NOT lost. In fact, I have just thought a new plan. A plan that I had planned all along, that is. Yes. A plan that cannot fail!
Jane: PECK! I have need of you!
[Heavy chains rattle, and a voice is heard from a man in the corner, a large, trembling man, who has been sitting quietly throughout the meeting, whimpering with an unmistakably Kentuckian accent.]
Peck: No, ma’am. Please, no more madness.
Jane: Silence, Peck. I have a job for you.
Attorney: (Horrified by the scene before him). Gasp. What…what is that?
Jane: This is Jeffery Peck. My czar…my director…, no, no, my commissioner of water, sewer, services, and toenail trimming. The fools at city hall thought they made me get rid of him, but he’s been here the whole while. Ha ha!
Peck: Please, get me out of here, mister. She keeps me chained up and feeds me nothing but dog chow. I’ve lost over 100 pounds.
Attorney: But, but you appear to weigh over 400 pounds.
Peck: And what’s your point?
Attorney: You poor man. You smell like you haven’t had a bath in months.
Peck: No, I always smell like this.
Attorney: And your suit. It’s wrinkled and tattered.
Peck: No, this is how I always dress.
Jane: No need to worry, Peck. I’ll have you back to the Ramada Inn inhaling hot wings at the bar in short soon as you complete my latest assignment.
Peck: N-n-no, ma’am. Let me go. I can’t take it anymore. I-
Jane: Silence! Or no more Beggin’ Strips for you!
Peck: Yes, ma’am. (Then Peck’s voice can be heard whispering, excitedly : “Bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon!  It’s bacon!”)
Jane: Please focus on the task at hand. The only solution to our problem is now apparent. We must re-route the Ohio River! We shall make Portsmouth a part of Kentucky!
[Gasps are heard on the recording as all in the room are stunned by the Mayor statement.]
Peck:  Aw, no, ma’am. You gotta be kiddin’.
Jane: Yes! Yes! I have it right here. From your resume. “Jeffery Peck, Professional Engineer. Experience: Have toppled mountains and changed the courses of mighty rivers.”
Peck: Well, uh, I might have exaggerated a little bit.
Jane: Come now. I clearly remember you told me that, once after consuming large amounts of alcohol at Damon’s, you had urinated a bigger stream than the Ohio River. That's my Jeff. That's my wild, beer-guzzling crazy-man…that’s the man I need at my side now. Together, we WILL re-direct that river… north of Sciotoville, right through Eden Park and down Rosemount Road. We could even flood New Boston, while we’re at it. (That will teach Jim Warren to call me crazy!) Come on. We can use the pumps we bought for Grandview Avenue.
Peck: I just don’t know, ma’am.

Jane: Yes, my dear Jeff. It will be simple. Austin! Bring me my "Traffic Calming Plan." It will now become my "Ohio River Re-Route Plan." Wherever it says "Dorman Drive" just mark it out and write "Ohio River."

Austin: As you command, oh, beautiful lady of wisdom!
Jane: Just think of it, Jeff. You don’t meet the qualifications to be an engineer in Ohio. But if Portsmouth were a part of Kentucky, as it should be, then...just think. You could be an engineer again! And I could expose City Council for the fools they are.  Let them just try to deny my pay raise then!
Peck: Me? An engineer? A really, for real engineer? Oh, how wonderful that would be!
Jane: Take my hands, Jeff. Close your eyes. Click your magic slippers together and say it with me. “There’s no place like Kentucky!”
Peck: Yes, Jane. Yes. I’ll do it. It hasn’t rained in months. The river is practically dried up. I can make this work! We can call it a shovel-ready project.

Several voices are heard chanting in unison: “There’s no place like Kentucky! There’s no place like Kentucky!”
Attorney: Stop it! Stop it, all of you! Jane, your plan is just crazy!

Jane: Peck! Is my attorney questioning my sanity?

Peck: Uh--. No ma'am. I think he meant to say "Jane, your plan just might be crazy enough to work!"

Peck (whispering to Attorney): Please don't say "crazy." It sends her into a rage. How do you think I ended up down here?

Attorney: Jane. You must face reality. Over 1400 citizens of Portsmouth have signed petitions to vote on your recall--TWICE. The first time we got lucky and fooled the Board of Elections into throwing them out. But the second time, I used every excuse, every argument, and every legal dirty trick I could think of, but I still couldn't get the Board to rule in your favor.

Attorney: Now your only hope...your last the possibility that the Supreme Court of Ohio will completely ignore the will of the people of Portsmouth and the voting rights of the citizens and throw out the recall based on some obscure technicality.
And even if by some slight chance they do so, what makes you think the recall committee will stop? I'm sure they will just try again, and eventually there will be nothing we can appeal?
If you really believe you are a good mayor, Jane, maybe you should just face the voters. If the people support you, then that will be the end of it. No more recalls. City council will see that you are right. There can be progress in Portsmouth. The squabbling would be over. The citizens of Portsmouth would see you as a hero. You may get a vast majority of the vote, and even assure your re-election in 2013!
Mayor. I plead with you. Drop your appeal. Face the voters. It's the only honorable thing to do. If you lose, so be it.
Jane. Be a leader. Just do the right thing!

[There is a brief silence. Then the mayor speaks.]

Jane: Mr. Peck, if you ever want your freedom, you know what to do.

Peck: Sorry, Mr. Attorney, sir.  I told you not to cross her. It's not so bad down here. You'll get used to it.

[There is the sound of heavy chains clanking.]

Attorney: Wait! No! You can't do this to me!!

Jane: Everyone!! Grab a shovel! To the Ohio River! We must begin digging immediately!

Peck: Bye, Mister. Don't worry. Tomorrow is Kibbles and Bits Day! Yum!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


'Twas the day of the recall and all through the city,
The people were voting Jane out without pity.
Neither blizzard, nor ice, nor new-fallen snow
Could save Jane now. 'Twas her time to go.
Even the Supreme Court said Jane had 'no merit.'
They voted unanimously to declare it.

Jane never gave up, though her hopes were fleeting.
She went to her house and she called for a meeting,
Now Jane was still weary from a long winter’s night
Of  tearing down ev’ry recall sign in sight,
While visions of vengeance danced ‘round in her head.
She was wishing that Nicholas Basham was dead.
Her CAVE People faithful soon came for their mayor.
They opened things up with the CAVE person prayer.

Our Mayor, who art on Dorman,
Madam, be thy name.

Thy queendom come; thy will be done,
in Portsmouth as it is in Kentucky.
Give us this day our daily meds.

And bless all of our recalls,
but don't forgive those who recall against us.

Lead us not to Penn Station;
but deliver us some pizza.

For thine is the queendom,
and the power to be mayor for ever.


After the meeting, she hooked up a sled,
Not with reindeer, but CAVE People pulling instead.
She cracked a big, bullwhip and  looked so insane
We all knew in a moment it had to be Jane.
Swarming down Dorman, her minions, they came,
She cursed and she grumbled and called them by name.

“Now, Leedom! Now Doyle! Now Mollettes and Daubs!
On, Jynxie, on Beaumont, if you still want your jobs!
Now up to the porches, deliver these flyers.
But only to those who don’t know that we’re liars.
Get on Topix and Moe’s. Spread my message some more,
To the perverts and meth addicts looking for whores.
Away to your duties, you must fly like a flash.
And where is Lee Scott? He promised me cash.”

Then, Mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my coat,
We suddenly realized we’d forgotten to vote.
We got dressed and got into the car in a hurry,
Today was our last chance to get rid of Murray.

Soon we were entering our polling place,
And found ourselves staring down Jane face-to-face.
She was dressed in a pant-suit from her head to her foot.
Out of her ears billowed hot steam and soot.
Her eyes, so dilated. Her dimples, so scary.
Her hair was so spiky, she looked like a fairy.

“You can’t vote to recall me. In fact, I forbid it.
This town is corrupted. The good old boys did it.”
From the glare in her eyes and the things that she said,
I was convinced I had something to dread.

But Mamma, she’s a brave one. She wouldn't back down.
“We read all about you on P-Town Underground.”
When Jane heard those words, it caused her to pause.
She looked like the witch on the Wizard of Oz.
December 7, 2010

She started to melt, and her flesh--it just boiled.
“Curses,” she said. “My schemes are all foiled.”

She melted away in a cloud of black smoke,
And those were the last words that Jane ever spoke.

We rushed to the booth to make our selection
And await the results of this crucial election.

Now we all can exclaim on this wonderful night,
"Merry Christmas to all." And to Jane, just "Good night."

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Last Days of Cr@Zy-T0wN?

In what appear to be Jane Murray's last days in office, Madam Mayor seems to be getting more and more delusional.

In a recent Portsmouth Times article, Murray was asked:

Why should citizens of Portsmouth vote against your recall?

Her answer was that she has many projects to complete. When asked to give an example her is what she said. (Click here for the article).

“I’m working on a plan to bring solar arrays and to do a pilot project with the Sunrise Reservoir site. We have room for the solar arrays, we harvest the energy, and we operate the pump stations and so forth." (Murray: There's Lots of Work To Get Done, Ports. Daily Times, 12/5/10)
Maybe Jane should drive up to the reservoir sometime.

(Jane Murray plans to install solar panels on deteriorated Sunrise Reservoir)
 This was her example of the great ideas she has for the City of Portsmouth: "Solar Arrays on the Sunrise Reservoir"? Obviously there a few problems with Jane's hare-brain idea.

1. Solar panels only work in the daytime and on sunny days. Water pumps have to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
2. Solar panels do not generate the high-voltage electricity needed to operate the City's water distribution pumps.
3. Tennis courts and softball fields, over the years, have been removed from the top of the reservoir, as well as a foot of dirt, in order to reduce the weight of the reservoir roof. Also vehicles are no longer permitted to drive on the reservoir for the same reason. Now Murray wants to add an array of solar panels to the reservoir. The vehicles needed to build and maintain Murray's planned "solar arrays" will not be able to drive on it.

As usual, this is Murray just talking out of her hat about things she does not understand. As we reported previously, one of the characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is when a person:

Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
Jane thinks she is knowledgable about generating electicity from the sun. Unfortunately, judging by her latest hairstyle, we believe Jane's only experience Jane with electricity is from sticking her fingers in light sockets.

Thursday, December 2, 2010



When Elvis heard Dean Martin's great hit song about Jane Murray ("That's a Moron"), he wanted to contribute to the Recall Jane effort as well. Of course, we couldn't say no the King, so here's is his latest song, "Kentucky Jane."

(by Elvis Pressley and Eddie Rabbit)
Eleven crazy months ago in the January snow,
We woke up with a lunatic as our mayor.
Is she Vimont? Is she Murray?
Jane screwed things up in such a hurry,
Now all we know is it’s time for her to go.
So we’re having us a recall,
because Portsmouth is just the sequel,
To Jane's failures down in Lexington.
If the Supreme Court doesn’t save her,
They will do our town a favor,
And we’ll send Jane back to her old Kentucky Home.
Kentucky Jane came to our town,
And ever since, we’ve been going down the drain.
But when December’s through,
She will be, too.
Who will she sue?
We’ll say good-bye to Kentucky Ja-a-a-a-ane,
Recall old Kentucky Jane.


The Supreme Court has rejected Jane Murray's suit against the Scioto County Board Of Elections! The Recall Election scheduled for December 7 is upheld. Congratulations to the Tom Bihl and the Recall Committee and also to the Board of Elections Attorneys for the excellent case to the the Supreme Court. (And thank you, Elvis.)

All of legal arguments and the Court decision can be found by clicking here!

Now go out and vote!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


A new website has been started with a lot of key information about Jane Murray, in a simplified format.

Click the link below:

Please share this link with your friends and anyone who may be undecided about the recall of Jane Murray.

Keep in mind that the website is still a work in progress. Thank you.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


One of Ms. Murray's major claims is that she is taking on the Good Old Boys of Portsmouth----even though she never really says who those good old boys are or exactly how she is taking them on. So far, it seems like the only good old boys she has taken on are the EPA, ODOT, and the A-Plant.

But there was a time in her career that she took on a very famous "good old boy." His name is Muhammad Ali.

On Jane Murray's website,, she makes the following claim:

She says she was "project manager" for "Round One," a special exhibition on the life of Muhammad Ali for Muhammad Ali Center (in Louisville, KY), but she gives us no date for this project (or any others). This is quite a resume' enhancer. Of course the average citizen, conisidering who to vote for as mayor, would be suitably impressed.  

However, also on her website, we find this:
We know she worked for Scotty Baesler in Lexington from 1986 to 1993, and in Washington from 1993 to 1995. Jane did not leave Baesler's office until sometime after September 1995. So just when did Jane work for the Ali museum and what did she really do?

The Muhammad Ali Center did not even open until 2005. Up until then it was in various stages of site selection, fund-raising, and planning. In 1996, the museum was an idea without a home, still struggling to meet its financial obligations. The following story about the Ali Museum's progress appeared in June of 1996.
(Click on image to enlarge)

Jane didn't leave her job in Washington until after September 1995, but this article says in June 1996, she was a bill collector for Lord Cultural Resources of Toronto, Ontario "which did some early museum planning and research." But Jane's resume says that, as JVA, Inc., she was the "project manager" for "the first phase of the Muhammad Ali Center." Which is it?

Project Manager sounds a lot more impressive than bill collector. Again we ask. Where are the references? Where are the recommendations by the museum board or pictures of Jane with important people involved with the museum, to verify that Jane truly has the impressive credentials she claims? As usual we have to take her word for her claims.

Unfortunately, we were unable to determine if Jane was able to collect the $23,000 owed to Lord Cultural Resources.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


about Jane Murray and the Future of Portsmouth )

Anyone who followed the Portsmouth Mayoral Campaign last year heard a phrase repeated over and over by candidate Jane Murray. At every appearance and each debate, Murray referred to the "Cultural Master Plan" that she developed for Lexington. She assured the voters of Portsmouth that she would use her skills, abilities and contacts developed in Lexington and Washington to create a similiar cultural master plan for Portsmouth that would bring museums, visitors and 1000s of jobs to our area....IF she were elected. The Lexington Cultural Master Plan was and is featured prominently on Jane's website. This was a very impressive-sounding promise! After all, it didn't seem likely that Jim Kalb or Jerry Skiver would ever be able to create such a plan!

(Click image to enlarge)
 One of the tragedies of the 2009 election campaign was that the truth about Murray's plan's colossal failure in Lexington was never revealed to the public. This was information that was fairly easily available, that the citizens should have been informed of well before the election.

Murray's "UK Basketball Museum Scandal" that we wrote about on Monday was tame compared to the other embarassments she caused for Lexington and her former boss, Mayor and Congressman Scotty Baesler. The UK BB Museum fiasco could be written off as someone with great ambition reaching for a difficult goal and failing, and certainly that would be no cause for ridicule or shame.

But the museum failure is just one of series of failures that the citizens of Portsmouth need to be made aware of, especially since she is trying to sell the same snake oil in Portsmouth that she sold in Lexington.


During the mayoral election in 2009, Jane Murray made repeated promises that she would make Portsmouth "a regional cultural center" and implement a "cultural master plan" for Portsmouth. This master plan would include museums, and parks, and historical centers, as a part of her plan to "restructure" our entire city.
On her website, Murray lists the following achievements in her statement of qualifications:
Lexington Cultural Master Plan – project director for planning, coordinating, and implementing final plan which included more public monies for the arts, an arts & culture district, a children’s museum, and a new cultural center

Lexington Children’s Museum – project director for design/build and grand opening of KY’s first children’s museum; worked with a public committee and design team on planning and design

Lexington Cultural Center – director for project planning, design, and operations; headed team of museum planners, theatre consultants, architects, engineers, community members

University of Kentucky Basketball Museum – director for feasibility study; organized and directed professional consulting team, all meetings, functions, reports
At first glance it is an impressive list. However, as we reported a few days ago, there is much more to the story. Murray's responsibility for the UK Basketball Museum failure was a true financial fiasco for the City of Lexington and the University of Kentucky, which remains as $100,000 a year burden to the University to this day. We are amazed that she would even include the Museum on her resume. The only sense in which the museum was ever a success was the amount of money that Murray earned from her services in connection with the now-bankrupt museum.
Jane Murray's bankrupt UK Basketball Museum (now defunct)

We believe that the protracted, embarrassing failure of the Basketball Museum, after a string of failures in government and business, was the real reason Jane Murray dropped her married name, Jane Vimont, in favor of her maiden name, and returned to Portsmouth. But the museum story merely opens the door on a much larger story of broken promises, failure, and scandal for the City of Lexington, the State of Kentucky, and Murray herself.

The basketball museum failure had its beginning several years prior with an even bigger fiasco and financial loss for the City of Lexington: the Ben Snyder Block scandal. It remains a nightmare for Lexington officials.
As you follow the story below please note the words in BOLD text and how they are interconnected. (Anyone who believes the Marting's project was a dastardly scheme should really be shocked by the Lexington "Art & Culture District" scandal.)

All information from Lexington Herald-Leader stories is indicated in parentheses. (LHL, date of article.) All Lexington Herald-Leader articles are available on-line for a fee at

As we described in our previous article, Jane Murray-Vimont worked as Mayor Scotty Baesler's legislative liaison, begining in 1987. In that position, Jane was responsible for the development of the City's "Cultural Master Plan" for Lexington to help revitalize the downtown area. Her responsibility included extensive travel to other cities and meeting with major lobbying and consulting firms.

Another of Jane Murray-Vimont's responsibilities was the acquisition of Downtown property, in an area that came to be called the Art & Culture District. (This district never materialized. The "cultural site" is now occupied by the Fayette County Courthouse. More on that later.)  The major portion of the property was located in the "Ben Snyder Block," the site of the old Snyder downtown department store, a former City landmark. Jane Murray's involvement in the City's acquisition of this property has ramifications that continue to this day.

In 1989, two years after Jane Murray-Vimont joined Baesler's staff and served as his liaison for the planned cultural center, Baesler convinced the State of Kentucky to buy the Ben Snyder block at cost of $9 million dollars. In return Baesler committed the city to build a number of projects on the site, totalling nearly $100 million, or else the City would have to pay the state back the entire $9 million purchase cost. This caused quite a stir in Lexington, due to the enormity of the commitment, which included:
  • A $60 million World Trade/Cultural Center with high-rise office tower
  • A large parking garage
  • 34,000-square foot museum "to celebrate the science and technology of Kentucky"
  • A UK Basketball Museum
  • Renovation of the Lyric Threater, a traditional Black Theater in downtown Lexington with a historic legacy, and
  • Two new theaters, among other improvements
This is the Lexington Cultural Master Plan that Murray takes credit for in her statement of qualifications  on her website, and mentioned frequently during her mayoral campaign.
Lexington Cultural Master Plan – project director for planning, coordinating, and implementing final plan which included more public monies for the arts, an arts & culture district, a children’s museum, and a new cultural center (from Murray's website)
As we will see, Murray's Cultural Master Plan was quite a failure.
For over three years, Murray-Vimont led the City's efforts to recruit developers to build the improvements the City had committed would be built on the Ben Snyder Block in accordance with the Cultural Master Plan. During this time, no developers could be recruited. None of them believed the City's Master Plan figures and projections were accurate (HLH, "Finances May Spell 'Curtains' for Cultural Center," 7/5/92).

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Murray-Vimont and Baesler went back to the state with scaled-down plans. The state ultimately accepted the new less ambitious plans, but still required certain things to be built as originally agreed.
  • Rather than building the proposed "World Trade Center High-Rise," they allowed the City to substitute a much smaller "expansion" of the nearby Lexington Center. (The World Trade group that was supposed to be housed in the new high-rise relocated their staff to Louisville when the new building was scrapped. This was  major loss ann embarassment for Lexington.)
  • The state allowed the city to buy an older parking garage nearby as a substitute for a new one, as originally promised.
  • They accepted Baesler's commitment to build the basketball museum at the University of Kentucky, instead of at the downtown cultural center site.
  • They accepted a children's museum as a substitute for the original museum which was to "celebrate the science and technology of Kentucky."
  • They allowed to City to acquire two historical buildings (Embry's and Lowenthal's) which would be renovated and substituted for the two theaters in Jane's first plan..
  • The Lyric Theater, a historic black theatre, still had to be restored.
All of these items, except the last one, were major changes (downgrades) to Jane's original "Cultural Master Plan" that the City had committed to financially.

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But despite all of the substitutions, the State still required Lexington to at least build a $14 million cultural center (way down from Jane's original $60 million promise) on the original site (the "Ben Snyder Block").
Otherwise the city would still have to pay back the $9 million that the State paid to buy the block.

By 1992, Mayor Baesler was already preparing to run for Congress. He put the responsibility for getting the scaled-back cultural center built squarely on Jane Murray-Vimont's shoulders, the woman who was responsible for the "Master Plan" in the first place and had pushed for the use of state funds. She led an uphill, and ultimately fruitless, battle to convince the City Council to borrow over $14 million more from the State of Kentucky to build the downtown cultural center. In promoting her ideas, she gave the Columbus City Center Mall as an example of what was needed in Lexington. (The Columbus City Center is now defunct.) 

Pam Miller,
Lex. mayor
following Baesler
But the Lexington City Council was reluctant. As the Herald Leader stated at the time : "Over the last five years, Lexington has debated what a cultural center should contain and whether the city can afford to pick up the tab." One councilman said, "a $14 million project is such a dead weight right now that it scares me." Even Baesler's Vice Mayor (who became mayor after Baesler) Pam Miller was hesitant. She worried about the cost and said that a cultural center "is not going to be the turning point" in the City's economic problems. (LHL, 7/5/92, page A4)

Two more years of fund-raising and lobbying by Jane Murray-Vimont failed. The cultural center project was dead. As the deadline of 12/31/1994 approached, the State demanded their money, but the City was at a loss as to how to repay it. But Baesler had been elected to congress and he and Jane Murray-Vimont were already in Washington, DC. The new mayor Pam Miller ultimately decided that the city would have to default on the $9 million debt to the State.
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Instead of Jane Murray-Vimont's "cultural center," Lexington's leaders built a County Courthouse on the controversial site. It's called the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse. By coincidence (?), that's where Jane Murray's ex-husband Richard Vimont still practices law today.

Lexington County Courthouse
(Not Jane Murray's promised cultural center)
The state finally tired of the City's shenanigans, and sued Lexington for "misappropriation of funds." Eventually a settlement was reached that involved the City paying back only part of the money. Other terms of the settlement included the completion of several commitments that Jane Murray-Vimont had made on behalf of the Mayor, which still remained unfinished-or even un-started.

Even though she was now in Washington on Congressman Baesler's staff, as his former liaison, Jane Murray-Vimont sent to participate in the negotiation of the settlement. The terms of the agreement were finalized in a "Memorandum of Understanding" or MOU, which is now infamous in Lexington city government.


The secret memorandum was agreed to in Feb. 1995. Jane Murray-Vimont (the champion of openness and transparency in Portsmouth government) was part of the closed-door meeting where the MOU was signed, as Baesler's representative. However, the group refused to release the MOU or the meeting minutes to the public. Local arts groups, who had been intimately involved, helping Jane with the cultural center planning for many years, were outraged! They wanted to know why the City was breaking all of its promises and where all the money committed to the projects had gone.

The arts groups filed an information request for release of the documents, which the City of Lexington ignored for many years, forcing the arts groups to take the City to court, under the Freedon of Information Act.. The full MOU was finally released in 2005. (Note that the MOU was not released until six years after the opening of the UK Basketball Museum in 1999.)

The State Court decided that the meetin Jane was involved in was a violation of state's "Open Meetings Act." The decision in the memorandum controversy is now incorporated into Kentucky's Open Meetings Act, or OMA, case law.
"The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government violated the OMA when it met in closed session to discuss its dispute with the state concerning the "Ben Snyder Block." 95-OMD-57. Even if the discussion concerned a sale or acquisition of property, a public discussion "would have no effect on the prices of the property" which had previously been agreed upon." Ky. Rev. Statute 61.81.810 (1)(b).
(No wonder Murray claims she is such as an expert on the Sunshine Law.)

To some extent, most of the scaled-down projects that Baesler and Murray had previously committed to, in order to try to pacify the state over the failure of the Cultural Center Complex, had been completed by the time of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding. Only two major projects remained that had yet to be started.

1) A new Basketball Mueum for the University of Kentucky

We already told you about this.

2) Renovation of the Lyric Theater

The Lyrc Theatre was a historically Black theater that Lexington had acquired through eminent domain under Baesler and Murray-Vimont. It was to have been made into an African American cultural center as part of Jane Murray-Vimont's original "Cultural Center Master Plan." This how it looked when Jane Murray-Vimont developed the Cultural Master Plan, in 1988 and how it looked when she left Baesler's office in 1995. It's also the way it looked until late last year.

Murray's 1995 Memorandum of Understanding agreed to penalties to the city of $500 per day if the renovation of the Lyric was not complete by 1/27/2010. But the museum sat abandoned until July 2009, when community leaders finally broke ground on the project, with penalties looming. (At last, the City of Lexington was keeping the promise to the community that Jane Murray had made and broken decades earlier.)

The Lyric's very fine facebook page can be found
here. (No thanks to Jane Murray.)

The Lyric Theatre
(Newly Re-opened)


In 1995 after years of various scandals and leaked stories to the press that she was leaving Baesler's staff (LHL 7/3/93, LHL 9/18/94, LHL 9/25/95), Jane Murray-Vimont finally severed her long-term professional relationship with Congressman Baesler. She announced that she was taking a position with Lord Cultural Resources of Toronto, Canada, a major consulting firm that develops master plans for museums and cultural centers. Murray-Vimont represented Lord in 1996. Whether she is still connected to Lord Cultural Resources is not known. (
But according to the Seretary of State's Office of Kentucky, Jane Murray-Vimont already started Jane Vimont and Associates (aka JVA) in 1993. And JVA's first client and its major client was the UK Basketball Museum, the very project that the City was under the gun to complete under the memorandum of understanding that Jane helped to negotitate. And our story has come full-circle.


(Jane takes on the Muhammad Ali Center Museum in Lousiville.)