Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Carroll Pummels Pence

From Pol Watchers:

For the second time this legislative session, state Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort, railed against Lt. Gov. Steve Pence for his "disloyalty" to Gov. Ernie Fletcher and challenged him to repay taxpayers for his salary and expenses. In a speech on the Senate floor, Carroll questioned Pence's use of a "new Chevy Tahoe" and communication equipment provided by the state. "Where is he driving that Tahoe?" Carroll asked. "I want to know whether or not he's using it for political purposes around the state."

Carroll also alleged that Pence is transported by Kentucky State Police in a limousine.Pence, a Republican, has endorsed former Louisville congresswoman Anne Northup in the Republican primary for governor. In an interview, Pence described Carroll's comments as "out of touch." "Perhaps he forgot that he gave this speech once already," Pence said.

As lieutenant governor, Pence said his loyalties lie with the voters and the state Constitution, not Fletcher. "I was not indicted. I did not take the 5th. I didn't pardon anybody. I don't have a secret legal defense fund," he said.

Pence has said Fletcher pardoned his administration from any charges related to an investigation of state hiring practices in an effort to cover up actions taken by workers in the governor's office. Pence said he has driven the same Chevy Tahoe for more than two years. He said he drives himself to events and has no limousine. Pence said he uses a private cell phone and has not made a call from his state-provided Blackberry in several months. Carroll, a former governor, said Pence should resign because "the people of Kentucky elected Ernie Fletcher governor, not Steve Pence. He didn't get a single vote."

Carroll said he understands why Fletcher has not assigned Pence any tasks in recent months. "Anybody who is disloyal as he is, it certainly wouldn't be carried out to the governor's instructions," he said. Sen. Tim Shaughnessy, D-Louisville, defended Pence, saying the lieutenant governor is "a man of great character." "We should perhaps take a good look at ourselves before we start throwing rocks at others," Shaughnessy said.

"Shaughnessy said he is "embarrassed" that lawmakers have not completed important work this year, including restoring $370 million of building projects vetoed from the budget last year by Fletcher.

"I don't have a Chevy Tahoe, but we've all been paid to be up here and I don't want people telling me to write a check," he said.

As previously stated, Pence has no staff, no political responsibilities, and no reason to remain Lieutenant Governor. He should resign. However, Pence has neither humility nor character.

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