Tuesday, February 27, 2007

On the Mark Pounds Pence

One of the more interesting sidelights of the Pence-endorses-Northup news conference today was Pence's reasoning for staying on the job as Lt. Governor.

It's clear that Fletcher and Pence aren't speaking and Fletcher hasn't given his Lt. Governor any job duties, taking some away instead. So a reporter asked Pence if he would quit, now that he's endorsing Northup. Pence said no, that he was elected to serve four years and that's what he plans to do. The second part of his answer was the most interesting. He says he needs to be the one taking over the reins of state government if something happens to Fletcher. In other words, Pence says he's staying on just in case Fletcher dies or resigns.

He says he's done alot of soul searching on this issue and thinks he's doing the right thing. But there's a good argument to be made that any Lt. Governor with few job duties is wasting taxpayers money and should voluntarily relinquish the job to someone who will work with Fletcher for the last few months of his term.

Fletcher wouldn't elaborate on his earlier request for Pence to resign. But he gigged Pence by saying he went down to the Lt. Governor's office a few days ago but Pence wasn't there, Fletcher adding "I'm sure he was out doing something". Fletcher also says his 2007 running mate, Robbie Rudolph, is "hard working and loyal". That's another obvious dig at Pence. As for Pence, he says he's got a job waiting for him when he leaves office.

He plans to return to a private law practice. When I asked him if he might try to switch jobs with Irv Maze, if the Jefferson County Attorney wins election on his ticket with Jonathan Miller, Pence said he hadn't thought about running for county attorney again, but wouldn't rule it out. Pence joked that I should call his wife and ask her if that would be OK. Pence's wife is Louisville attorney Ruth Ann Cox, who has reportedly been pressuring her husband to get out of politics, get back into a law practice and earn some real money to help take care of their four kids.

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