Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Lexington Comair Crash, Part 35: Idiot Wind – Return of The Mob


"Visions of your chestnut mare
shoot through my head ...

You hurt the ones that I love best
and cover up the truth with lies ...

"One day you'll be in the ditch,
flies buzzin' around your eyes ...

"Idiot wind, blowing through the flowers on your tomb,
Blowing through the curtains in your room ..."

– Bob Dylan,
"Idiot Wind"

The newspapers described her simply as Flight 5191 passenger Betty Bond Young, 74 years old, a Lexington native. Ms Young was bound for Atlanta, the first leg of her trip to her Naples, Florida condominium, the winter home she shared with her husband, W. Richard Young. "Mom was a very expressive person," James Butler, her son, told reporters. "She entertained a lot of people. She always treated everybody the same, whether it was the governor or a bank teller," Butler said, unable to restrain his tears. Her pall-bearers included Calvin Grayson, former state transportation secretary, and Lamar Hight, an assistant to Kentucky secretary of state Trey Grayson.267

"Young had lived in Lexington since 1960 and was involved in a myriad of charitable and civic organizations. For 18 years, she was married to W. Richard Young of Lexington, whose brother was the late businessman W.T. Young."268 That said a mouthful and must have creased brows in Blue Grass country, but obituaries dwell on fond memories of the dead – "the good is oft interred with their bones," per Shakespeare – not the slough of hypocrisy and iniquity the loved one may been immersed in. Cathy Jacobs, a neighbor in Naples where the Youngs spent the winter months, recalled that Betty "talked a lot about her family."269

And that may have been her undoing ...

Tom Butler (in red), son of Comair casualty Betty Bond Young

Tom Butler, another son, is a fledgling politician in Murietta, California, vice chair of the city council's Community Steering Committee. He was born into the Dixie Mafia and has acquired certain trademark CIA-Repulican traits – particularly the art of histrionic public posturing for political gain. Tom Butler has made a name for himself in Murietta demanding a recall of the mayor – who, in response, made the mistake of criticizing the house-cleaning habits of Butler's wife, thereby inciting a flood of tears. On June 23, 2006, the Temecula Valley News reported that the Murrieta City Council voted three-to-one to sanction Mayor Kelly Seyarto:

Kelly Seyarto

"Nobody seemed pleased.

"Moments after Murrieta Mayor Kelly Seyarto made a public statement from the other side of the dais in response to the complaint filed by Councilmen Rick Gibbs and Doug McAllister, he was escorted out of the building by two Murrieta policemen. The two officers had spent several minutes outside earlier in the meeting plotting the best possible route to get Seyarto out safely. ... "

But the mayor stood up to the rabble. "He even joked a bit, saying that 'the incident occurred on 6-6-06 and no, the devil did not make me do it.' Seyarto did say, though, that he was growing tired of personal attacks."

The struggle began with the "last meeting’s contentious verbal sparring between Seyarto and a few members of Rescue Murrieta, which ended with Seyarto asking one member to leave in an ungracious manner and saying to another, 'Why don’t you just go home and clean your house?'

After a statement from Seyarto, "the council heard from members of the public regarding the matter. 

“'I’m here because character counts,' said Tom Butler, an attorney and the husband of Deborah Butler, who was involved in the incident. Deborah, who tearfully described herself as a victim, asked the council to render the 'harshest punishment possible,' and to then put the matter of Seyarto’s removal as Mayor on the agenda. Barbara Nugent, a frequent speaker at council meetings, fought back tears when she asked the city council to “do the right thing.” Even Butler’s neighbor, who said she has never been to a council meeting before, cried and denied news accounts that Butler’s house is not well kept. Former planning commissioner Kassen Klein was reduced to tears when he invoked memories of his father and expressed a longing for more civility. 'What are we fighting for?' asked Klein. Emotions ran high. ... 

"The matter then went before the council. 'I cannot in good faith ask for his resignation,' said Gibbs, 'but I can sanction him.' According to Gibbs, the code has some loopholes in it. Admonishment is a slap on the wrist and censure would almost take a criminal act to impose. ... 

"Before the final vote, Enochs made a motion to have Seyarto removed as mayor. The motion failed. Imposing a sanction is mostly symbolic."270

In Lexington, Betty lived on a farm with her husband, W. Richard Young, the brother of Royal Crown Cola baron William T. Young – a local horse breeder and core conspirator in the criminal net collectively known as The Bluegrass Conspiracy.

W.T. Young died two years ago. Like his sister-in-law, William Young was a graduate of the University of Kentucky. There was no one in town more "prominent," with the possible exception of William Farish. The library at the University of Kentucky is named after him. Young was a director emeritus of Churchill Downs and a member and former steward of The Jockey Club. One of his greatest successes as a breeder was Storm Cat, a horse who may not have been a classic champion, but went on to become the country's leading sire, commanding a stud fee of $500,000.

His greatest success as an entrepeneur was Jif Peanut Butter. The UK Alumni Association's newsletter notes that Young "began his career as an engineer with the Bailey Meter Company, a subsidiary of General Electric and Babcock and Wilcox, and remained with this firm until 1941 when he entered military service." He served with the Army during World War II and was discharged in 1946 with the rank of major. He founded W. T. Young Foods, Inc., in Lexington, "for the manufacture of Big Top Peanut Butter, which business was expanded to national distribution and sold to the Procter & Gamble Company in 1955. He headed the subsidiary for P&G until 1957. The following year he founded W. T. Young Storage, Inc., and related companies, and continued to operate the businesses which included a general warehouse facility with related trucking and frozen food distribution." Young was a director of First Security National Bank and Trust Company, the Kentucky American Water Company, Lexington Center Corporation, Lexington Cemetery, and Humana, Inc., a health insurance provider. He was chairman of the Transylvania University board of curators and Humana, Inc., a director of Reynolds Metals Company... "His principal occupation since 1966 has been as Chairman of the Royal Crown Cola Company, Atlanta, Georgia." He was active in Habitat for Humanity, a local charity, and was "a past trustee of the University of Kentucky, vice chairman of the Cabinet under Kentucky Governor John Y. Brown, 1979-81."271

There lies the rub. Governor Brown maintained deep-seated Mafia ties. His second-in-command was Betty Young's brother-in-law – at least until a stock scandal forced him to resign. Governor Brown – the Kentucky Fried Chicken magnate, husband of Phyllis George, friend of Dan Lassater, the Clinton crony sentenced for cocaine smuggling – was a focal antagonist in Sally Denton's investigation.

Brown began his meta-checkered career as an attorney in his father's law firm. "Through the law firm John Y met one of his father's old friends and clients – a former bootlegger, insurance salesman, and rural restauranteur named Harland Sanders. The white-haired, crochety old man who had had no formal education had been running Sanders Cafe in Corbin, Kentucky since 1929." Sanders sold over six hundred Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises, and "John Y. saw Kentucky Fried Chicken as a potential gold mine. He fel that his sales aplomb and innate business sense suited him better that law, and he saw financial success as a perfect springboard into politics. To john Y., politics and sales were synonymous." Brown pressured the Colonel to sell. "Sanders was apparently disenfrancised with the deal, which consisted of $2 million – paid over time at a three percent interest rate – and a lifetime annual salary of $40,000, which was later increased to $75,000 for advisory and publicity work."

"I don't like some of the things John Y. done to me," Sanders later complained to the Washington Post, though he refused to discuss specifics ...

"He overpersuaded me to get out."

"At the helm of Kentucky Fried Chicken, John Y. gave lucrative jobs to several of his college buddies. He made Dan Chandler head of public relations ..."272

Dan Chandler, who suffered a fatal heart attack death, natural or induced, three months after the death of W.T. Young, was the uncle of Congressman Ben Chandler (D-Ky.) a principal in House hearings on the Flight 5191 crash, according to syndicated political columnist James Carroll:

First Comair hearings will begin this week

"The first congressional hearing focusing on issues raised by last month's Comair crash is scheduled for this week. The House Transportation and Infrastructure's aviation subcommittee is set to hold a hearing Wednesday.... Rep. JOHN MICA, R-Fla., is chairman of the subcommittee.... Rep. BEN CHANDLER, D-6th District, is on the panel ... "273
Kentucky Congressman Ben Chandler

(Ben Chandler a liberal line but often votes like a Republican. On October 15, 2006, the Bluegrass Report lamented that Chandler voted in favor of H.R.-6166, "the Military Commissions Act of 2006, otherwise known as the Detainee bill. This is the one that allows coerced confessions and hearsay evidence. It prohibits the use of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum which gives someone the right to claim that the grounds on which they are being held in custody are contrary to the U.S. Constitution. All these things run contrary to the foundational laws of this country and the basic tenet that everyone deserves a fair trial, no matter what their crime."274 He has also promoted the full-blown legalization of casino gambling in Kentucky.275

Brown's partner in the KYC buyout, Dan Chandler, died in 2004:

Son of former governor dies at Versailles home

'He knew all the high rollers'
Kentucky Herald-Leader
April 28, 2004

"Dan Chandler, described by friends as a great ambassador for Kentucky and a legend in the casino gambling industry, was found dead yesterday at his home in Versailles, apparently of complications from congestive heart failure. He was 70 ....

"He had a book full of telephone numbers to choke a horse," A.B. Chandler Jr. said. "He knew all the high rollers. That's one thing that kept him employed, because he knew all of them. ... Later, an in-law got into trouble, and 'that gave Dan a few pages in the book called The Bluegrass Conspiracy,' his brother said. The book [is] subtitled An Inside Story of Power, Greed, Drugs and Murder .... Mr. Chandler also was referred to as the 'wayward son' of Happy Chandler. ... "276

Albert Benjamin "Happy" Chandler, Sr. was governor of Kentucky, 1935-39, and again, 1955-59. He was also a U.S. senator and commissioner of baseball (1945-51). George Wallace considered his for his running mate in the 1968 presidential election, but finally settled on General Curtis LeMay.277

Two years after persuading Colonel Sanders to sell out, John Y. took Kentucky Fried chicken public at $15 dollars a share and made his first millions. So did his 31 partners. It was at this time that a gambling compulsion took hold and Brown took up with Mafia figures in Las Vegas. He became close to the owners of Ceasar's, Cliff and Stu Perlman. "Through them he met other big players, such as Lee and Jimmy Chagra." After running KFC for seven years, he grew bored with it and sold Kentucky Fried Chicken to Heublein, Inc. for $288 million worth of stock in Heublein.

"Brown's friendship with the Perlmans went hand in hand with his high-stakes betting habits. Chandler had publicly taken credit for introducing John Y. to the Perlmans." Due to "the Perlmans' corporate ties with alleged lieutenants in the Lansky crime organization, the Perlmans were under investigation at the time by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and the SEC. Meanwhile, Ralph had learned that Ceasar's Palace was under investigation by the DEA for allegedly allowing drug dealers such as Jimmy Chagra to launder narcotics profits through the casino."278

When he ran for governor, gambling and organized crime connections were an issue. Denton: "The basis for much of the controversy swirling around John Y.'s gambling associations began with Gil Beckley. When Beckley had been arrested in 1967 in Miami on illegal bookmaking charges, FBI agents raided his plush home and seized a little black book that read like a Who's Who of sports figures, entertainers and gamlbers. John Y. Brown's name surfaced along with celebrities such as Bob hope, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Hoffa, Paul Hornung, Rocky Marciano, Barren Hilton, and Jules Stein."279

As governor, Brown's most trusted aide was W.T. Young, whose sister-in-law died on Flight 5191.

[To be continued ... ]

NEXT ...


267.) "OBITUARIES & MEMORIALS."|&p_product=LH&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_text_search-0=betty%20AND%20bond%20AND%20young&s_dispstring=betty%20bond%20young%20AND%20date(last%20180%20days)&p_field_date-0=YMD_date&p_params_date-0=date:B,E&p_text_date-0=-180qzD&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no

268.) Betty Young obit., Kentucky Herald-Leader, Aug. 28, 2006.

269.) Betty Young obit, Naples News, Septebember 1, 2006.

270.) Nancy Fay, "Murrieta mayor targeted by conflicted council," Temecula Valley News, June 23, 2006.

271.) William T. Young obit.

272.) Sally Denton, "The Bluegrass Conspiracy," Lincoln, Nebraska: Authors Guild, 1998, pp. 161-62.

273.) James R. Carroll's Notes from Washington, "First Comair hearings will begin this week," Louisville Courier-Journal, September 17, 2006.


275.) Wes Irvin, Gov. Fletcher's office press release, "Chandler Signals Strong Support for Full-Blown Casinos," mirrored at Bluegrass Report, November 1, 2003.

276.) Jennifer Hewlett, "Son of former governor dies at Versailles home," Kentucky Herald-Leader, April 28, 2004.

277.) "Happy Chandler," Wikipedia.

278.) Denton, pp. 164-65.

279.) Ibid., pp. 171-72.