Thursday, January 18, 2007

Conservative Edge Scorches Northup

Anne Northup? What were they thinking?
I have to wonder what the Republicans were thinking when they talked Anne Northup into running for Governor. Her list of negatives is high, yet they talk about Fletcher's electability problems.

For Northup you have to start with the thumping she and the rest of the Congressional Republicans took in 2006. That Congress bore the imprint of being ethically corrupt, big spenders. Northup was thrown out on her ears by the 3rd district congressional voters. That's hardly a good imprint to bring to a Governor's race, when you are accusing the Governor of ethical short comings.

Then, as the Herald-Leader pointed out, Northup marched in lockstep with President Bush on Iraq. In case people hadn't noticed, the Iraq war isn't popular. To think that Northup can escape that problem was naive, as the Herald-Leader aptly demonstrated today.

Hailing from Louisville has never been a good start for any gubernatorial candidate. Just ask Bruce Lunsford or Rebecca Jackson. Add to that, the absolutely horrible track record in elections for Louisville Republicans in recent years, and the head scratching becomes more intense.

Now factor in Northup's abysmal record on 2nd amendment rights, and her siding with Big Tobacco over tobacco farmer's and you begin to see a candidate who is out of touch with the average Kentuckian. It's hard to imagine a candidate who does not represent the majority of Kentuckians outside of Louisville, anymore than Anne Northup.

In addition, being a surrogate for Mitch McConnell is not the advantage that conventional wisdom says is true. Many rank and file Republicans are growing more resentful of the Senator each day. His abandonment of Fletcher, exacerbates the hard feelings.

Finally, the stated reason that Republicans have turned on Fletcher and turned to Northup is because they say that Fletcher can't get elected. You have to wonder: Ernie can't get elected but Anne can? What were they thinking?

Northup/Hoover bungle initial task
Remember that Anne Northup and Jeff Hoover have a combined zero years of experience running any state level executive branch of government. But today, they asked the voters of Kentucky to entrust them with the 30,000 employee strong Kentucky state government.

Yet, they were unable to pull off the simple administrative task of filing their election papers without a screw up. Here's how the Herald-Leader reported it:

But when turning in their papers to the Secretary of State’s office, neither Northup nor Hoover had a checkbook.

Northup looked around to her family, who was with her, then her eyes got big when she remembered her Christmas money from her mother.

She and her husband, Woody, each pulled out the $200 in cash that her mother gave them for Christmas.

“I’ll throw in $100,” Hoover added.

From the post below, it's obvious that Leland and I disagree about this. And were it not for the fact that Northup is trying to replace the first Republican Governor in 30 years, who has a solid track record of accomplishment as the state's chief executive, I might give Northup and Hoover a pass as well. But, I will expect perfection from Northup, since she is demanding it of Fletcher.

As well, the symbolism of one of the members of the fiscally irresponsible 2004-2006 Congress, having to spend christmas money, and borrow the rest to pay a debt can't be missed. Wasn't that the Congressional Republican's plan for Social Security? Northup/Hoover will have to do far better.

Remember, Anne picked this fight
Anne Northup gave a speech yesterday at her press conference announcing her candidacy for Governor. Unfortunately for Northup, the short speech was long on gaffes. For instance Northup had this to say:

Our states potential is so great, but lacking strong leadership, it will always remain unrealized.

Apparently Anne forgot, that Jeff Hoover is the House Minroty Leader. Which makes him a state leader. So why would Anne pick a weak leader if strong leadership is what is needed? Or was Northup referring to Governor Fletcher as a weak leader? If so, why start your campagin by being negative. Leaders need to cast a positive tone for the followers, not a negative one.

Northup also said this:

Jeff Hoover and I are committed to the belief that strong leaders do not isolate themselves, refusing to listen to new ideas, refusing to build coalitions and consensus. Strong leaders seek out new ideas, and look to involve as many people as possible in the pursuit of a shared vision.

Apparently Northup has spent to much time in Washington, D.C. How else to explain the fact that Governor Fletcher has brought numerous new ideas to Kentucky. His medicaid plan is a national model. His new ideas brought tax relief to Kentucky's working poor for the first time in modern history. Kentucky is a top business destination beause of Fletcher, and his foresight on our debt problems has allowed top bond companies to lower the cost of financing the state's construction. I guess someone who has spent to much time in Washington D.C. would not be aware of those things.

As well, Hoover was sought out by the Fletcher team. Unfortunately he routinely broke standing meeting with the Governor's key staff members. You can't build a coalition with people or bounce new ideas off them, if they cancel meetings. Someone who hadn't been in D.C. to much might know that.

Northup also had this little nugget:

Together, we are answering the call to service, and offering our vision of a thriving and prosperous Kentucky.

Had Anne not spent so much time in D.C., she might have known that Kentucky is thriving and prosperous. Our unemplyment is low. More Kentuckians then ever are Foley, the wasteful, ethically challenged 2004-2006 Congress, and the Iraq war. The cworking. The state is a top business destination. Governor Fletcher has helped recruit 21st centruy businesses. If Anne can do better than that, she's got a tall order.

Finally, Anne had this to say:

First and foremost, our Republican party must ensure that our standard bearer can be elected this November. Like it or not, the Democrats would love nothing more than to spend June through election day dragging the current Governor's problems through all 120 counties.

I think the Democrats won't enjoy bringing up their abuse of the merit hiring system for the past 30 years, as much as they will enjoy dragging Anne through Tom Delay, Mark harges against Governor Fletcher were dismissed with prejudice. The Democrats can't bring up the merit hiring system without running into Paul Patton, John Y. Brown, Steve Beshear and others. They can bring up the last Congress with impunity. Northup might have known this if she had not been spending so much time in D.C.

Northup must have been spent to much time in Washington D.C.
During her press conference yesterday, Anne Northup had this to say about Governor Fletcher:

Jeff Hoover and I will bring the openness and honesty to state government that Kentuckians were promised four years ago.

Northup must have been spending to much time in Washington D.C. to notice that citizens were not thrilled with her and the rest of the GOP lead Congress. But we are curious by what Northup means when she says she will bring "openness and honesty" to state government.

Does she mean the type of openness that she and her Congressional colleagues practiced in the House. Like preventing the Democrats from having the opportunity to offer amendments to legislation. Or the openness from her colleagues on Mark Foley. Maybe Northup means the honesty that was practiced by she and her Republican colleagues that kept votes on legislation open, while Republicans strong armed members until they changed their votes.

Perhaps by openness and honesty, Northup is refering to the GOP practice of slipping earmarks into spending bills in the wee hours of the morning so no one would notice. Or maybe it was the openness and honesty of going on "trade junkets" to foregin countries all paid for by lobbyists. Maybe Northup means the "K street" project.

Or perhaps Anne Northup spent to much time in Washington D.C. to realize that Kentuckians aren't as stupid as she might have thought.

Memo to Northup/Hoover- ignore the new media at your own peril
In yet another sign that Anne Northup and Jeff Hoover are not prepared to take the helm of state government, the two failed to send press releases about their candidacy to members of Kentucky's new media. We would count this as arrogant, inasmuch as Northup is a McConnell surrogate, but considering her openeing gaffe, I consdier it to be incompetent.

Governor Fletcher has been aware of and utilized Kentucky's new media almost from it's inception. Billy Harper was savvy enough to grant an interview to CE, and his campaign manager sent out e-mails and set up contacts with members of Kentucky's new media.

The fact that Northup/Hoover failed to do so shows that they are way behind the curve regarding infomration dissemination. And Kentucky desn't need leaders who are way behind the curve. Northup/Hoover will have to do alot better real fast.

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