Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Billy Harper Answers John David Dyche

Here is Billy Harper's Response to the John David Dyche column in the Courier Journal:

Billy Harper: nice guys can finish first
By Billy Harper, Republican candidate for governor

This paper recently published a column by John David Dyche that was childishly critical of me personally, and I write today to address each of the points he raised.

First, he claims that I only entered the Republican gubernatorial primary as an alternative to the current governor, and now that GOP voters have three choices my candidacy is no longer viable. That’s just wrong. Dyche mistakenly dismisses the powerful alternative my campaign represents to Kentuckians who recognize that the leadership vacuum in Frankfort has paralyzed our state government institutions. What’s more, my campaign is not merely an alternative to any one individual but rather a true choice for voters who have grown weary of this state’s political establishment.

I’m a businessman, not a politician. I believe we need new and innovative ideas in state government, not more of the same. Dyche goes on to assail my personal appearance and public speaking ability, a trivial reaction that avoids the real issue here. As an aspiring author, Mr. Dyche should know better than to judge a book by its cover. Yet that’s exactly what he’s done – reject my ideas based on how I talk and what I look like, a poor precedent for selecting candidates for public office.

If we used Dyche’s standards, Franklin D. Roosevelt, for example, might never have been elected Governor of New York or President of the United States because he was confined to a wheelchair and forced to use crutches. That’s pure nonsense. The people of Kentucky need to ask themselves an important question. Do they want more of the negativity and mean-spiritedness used by politicians to get elected, or do they want a positive approach to discussing the issues and solving the problems our state now faces? I don’t look like the candidates you’re used to seeing.

I don’t sound like them either. I see this state in different ways. Moreover, I’m not focusing on the issues in this race just because it’s an election year or politically advantageous for my campaign. I’m addressing education, economic development and other important matters because it’s what I’ve done now for more than 20 years as a school board member, education activist and business owner.

Can I win? That answer is up to you, the Kentucky voter. I can guarantee you, however, that I will do my part as governor to set a new course. I’ve been traveling this state tirelessly over the past two months meeting Kentuckians and discussing their own views on how we get better together. As a businessman, I’m independent of this state’s political establishment and won’t be beholden to any interests other than those of the Kentucky people.

I will fight to improve our children’s education system and won’t take no for an answer. I will fight to cut the wasteful pork-barrel spending on political pet projects and won’t back down. And I will fight to repeal the punitive Alternative Minimum Tax and won’t stop until the job is finished. The choice in this year’s Republican primary is simple: two career politicians or a leader in business. In Kentucky, it’s time for a nice guy with proven ability and the right experience to finish first.

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