(Editor’s note: Terry Boyd and Brian Tucker contributed to this post.)

West End neighborhoods are in danger of exploding.

Louisville’s arts organizations are dropping like flies.

The federal government is on the verge of shutting down.

But, hey, let’s see what Jake’s doing ….

The Jake Payne Watch plot thickens, and we must say, the whole sordid affair is like watching two fat chicks wrestle over the last cheese stick at the state fair: You just can’t look away.

Last month, the Jake Payne Watch website debuted as a parody of the Page One Kentucky/’Ville Voice political blog. On Sunday, the anonymous blogger started promising bombshells and smoking guns, though delivering precious little shock and awe. So far, the person has done little more than insinuate that he/she has the goods on the muckraker.

Since Monday, our Internets have rung off the wall with people sending “hot tips” revealing who’s behind Jake Payne Watch:

  • From Anonymous: “It’s XXXXX at the Courier-Journal. This is so something he’d do.”
  • From a different Anonymous: “A reliable (mainstream media) source thinks it’s Jonathan Miller because he’s tech-savvy, has a wicked sense of humor … and has a whole lot of leisure time on his hands.”
  • From Richard Hines: “I may know, and she’s not from Louisville. There is a political operative in Northern Kentucky, hired by the Democrats to do their dirty work, called Kathy Groob. She ran for State Senate in 2008 and was defeated but remains active in politics working on other campaigns. She and Jake Payne do not get along. Why do I think it’s Groob and the Democratic Party of Kentucky? Because of her website against me, a blogger and commentator.”

Miller, who resigned March 10 as secretary for the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet, starts Monday at the Lexington offices of Frost Brown Todd, Louisville’s largest law firm. Shockingly, Miller did not return calls for comment.

Groob runs NovemberStrategies, a Covington-based political consultancy and public relations firm. She adamantly denies having anything to do with Jake Payne Watch: “Good grief, no. Though I’ll be happy to admit I’m not one of his fans.”

So far, the only insider willing to go on the record is Hines, who blogs at www.hinessite.com. Hines has blogged in depth about a long-running feud with Groob, his neighbor in Covington.

Groob, who twice ran unsuccessfully for the Kentucky Senate, became a favorite Payne target after Payne accused Groob of spamming Page One with comments under various pseudonyms, of being a Democrat who criticized other Democrats and of being pro-choice. This is just a tiny sampling of what Payne directed at Groob:

  • “Don’t vote for her lying, pandering ass. I’m not telling you to vote for Jack Westwood, but don’t vote for Kathy. Or should I refer to her as Lemonysnip? Just don’t vote for her.”
  • Remember when I outed her ass as Lemonysnip/Kate Hudson for a bazillion different things? Attacking Democrats for doing exactly what she did. Attacking Bruce Lunsford. Attacking poor Otis Hensley. Attacking Greg Stumbo. Attacking Barack Obama. Or when she and Jennifer Moore spent Kentucky Democratic Party dollars on anti-abortion mail pieces? Maybe the time she melted down because I had the gall to criticize her for being a fake Democrat?
  • Unfortunately for Kathy, a woman I believe to be quite the heinous and hypocritical witch, I merely linked to mainstream stories that identified her “firm” at the time. She and her staffers have repeatedly attempted to attack me and my character, they’ve flooded our websites with nasty comments and they’ve even tried to do similar things with our friends and colleagues. She’s even gone so far as to attack her neighbors and create attack websites – like the one against Richard Hines – because they dare stand up to her. Enough is enough. What is it with Democrats who work so hard to demonize and beat down their own? You don’t see Republicans or even teabaggers doing this sort of thing. Guess it’s all about money. All about making sure you get to shake candidates down for the next 10-15 grand, as Kathy does. What a joke. If she contacts us again or says another word, you’ll find us in court with Miss Kathy. I’m tired of watching innocent people get trashed and flushed because they dare share their opinion.

Here’s a sampling from Payne’s January 13 post about Miller:

Jonathan Miller: Please Quit It For A Minute

I do, admittedly, like Jonathan Miller despite his foibles and boring books (I don’t have a book out, so it’s obviously just jealousy here). But the past few days he’s been trying like wildfire to hitch his wagon to the tragedy surrounding Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and rest of the Tucson massacre. (Yes, I was equally weirded out when Trey Grayson appeared on MSNBC to discuss his friendship with Giffords, who emailed him the night before the shooting.) It started on Twitter and seemed innocent enough. Then came this morning’s op-ed in the Herald-Leader. Again, innocent enough, PR push aside. But THEN came the additional Twitter promotions, the email blast and everything on Facebook. It’s a little too much self-promotion for my comfort level. Particularly regarding such a sad, murderous disaster. Normally I would allow this to slip by without making bitter commentary. But I’ve seen Miller pull this same stunt repeatedly.

So, here are our candidates:

THOSE CRAZY KIDS AT THE CJ

Reasons to think they might be behind Jake Payne Watch: Because Page One is such an irritant, and because they’ve had one week off each quarter to plot their revenge.

Reasons to think they’re not behind it: Who needs the grief if they’re outed?

And if we knew?: We’d never give them up. Gannett Co. Inc. already is making their lives miserable enough.

KATHY GROOB

Reasons to think she might be behind Jake Payne Watch: Payne has been unmerciful in the past toward Groob.

Reasons to think she isn’t: She runs a small company. “We’re really busy. When would we have time to do this?”

Her reply to Hines: “Prove it.”

JONATHAN MILLER

Reasons to think he might be behind Jake Payne Watch: Because Miller probably is in a better position than anyone to get the goods on Jake.

Reasons to think he’s not behind Jake Payne Watch: Because he’s going to be making a bazillion dollars at FBT, so who cares about Page One Kentucky?

Or, none of the above, obviously.

What is most enlightening about all this is to discover a creepy demi-monde of vicious political bickering, rancor and slander generated by people nominally in the same party, and who share (ostensibly) the same world view.

We know Jake has blown open a lot of stories the mainstream media would have missed, most notably the Felner scandal at the University of Louisville.

But taken in toto, is this really the future of journalism?

Is this journalism at all?

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12 thoughts on “Jake Payne Watch creator revealed? And the candidates are ….

  1. Sure, Kathryn Groob, I will be happy to prove it. Easily. (a) Since I’m your next door neighbor, you’ve been home all week working on your yard. That’s not being busy at your “firm.”

    (b) Busted: By using the same headline at your Get Payne site as he used against you.

    “Jacob Payne is making up shit again” ( March 27 at Groob smear site against Payne)
    “Kathy Groob is making up shit again” (October 27, 2010) No one would know to go back that far but you

    http://www.covingtonusa.com/groobpayne.gif

  2. Sure, Kathryn Groob, I will be happy to prove it. Easily. (a) Since I’m your next door neighbor, you’ve been home all week working on your yard. That’s not being busy at your “firm.”

    (b) Busted: By using the same headline at your Get Payne site as he used against you.

    “Jacob Payne is making up shit again” ( March 27 at Groob smear site against Payne)
    “Kathy Groob is making up shit again” (October 27, 2010) No one would know to go back that far but you

    http://www.covingtonusa.com/groobpayne.gif

  3. If anyone would like to see the site Groob has online against me, you will see that it is similar to the one against Jake Payne.

    BTW, the site has been kicked by 5 American webhosting companies, one after another, and she is now using a webhosting company in the United Arab Emirates, not subject to US libel laws.

    http://www.rickhinesexposed. com

  4. If anyone would like to see the site Groob has online against me, you will see that it is similar to the one against Jake Payne.

    BTW, the site has been kicked by 5 American webhosting companies, one after another, and she is now using a webhosting company in the United Arab Emirates, not subject to US libel laws.

    http://www.rickhinesexposed. com

  5. Not journalism at all. That implies balanced coverage. I admire Jake’s skill at finding and revealing hot stories, but Jake gives only his opinion, so it disqualifies it as journalism.

  6. Not journalism at all. That implies balanced coverage. I admire Jake’s skill at finding and revealing hot stories, but Jake gives only his opinion, so it disqualifies it as journalism.

  7. It disqualifies as traditional 20th century “balanced” journalism. But it’s indeed journalism, which is digging up facts the general public may not know about and putting them into some kind of context.

  8. Context doesn’t equal balance, Steve, and balance–or at least attempted balance–is the essence of good journalism. If facts and context were all that were required, the world would only need Fox News. Journalism also requires quotes from cooperative sources, not hearsay–no matter how accurate–and factual verification. Blogging doesn’t require that, and I’m OK with that. But to say that’s journalism in the new age cheapens journalism in any age.

  9. Context doesn’t equal balance, Steve, and balance–or at least attempted balance–is the essence of good journalism. If facts and context were all that were required, the world would only need Fox News. Journalism also requires quotes from cooperative sources, not hearsay–no matter how accurate–and factual verification. Blogging doesn’t require that, and I’m OK with that. But to say that’s journalism in the new age cheapens journalism in any age.

  10. It disqualifies as traditional 20th century “balanced” journalism. But it’s indeed journalism, which is digging up facts the general public may not know about and putting them into some kind of context.

  11. Again, your perspective is a 20th century anomaly. Journalism is traditionally not about “attempted balance” but presenting facts to the public that they may not have known about in context.

    That said, I’m not endorsing any news outlet that is for me so out of balance that I can’t figure out what the salient facts are. Generally, I trust my brain to ferret out the facts from the bias.

  12. Again, your perspective is a 20th century anomaly. Journalism is traditionally not about “attempted balance” but presenting facts to the public that they may not have known about in context.

    That said, I’m not endorsing any news outlet that is for me so out of balance that I can’t figure out what the salient facts are. Generally, I trust my brain to ferret out the facts from the bias.

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