Saturday, April 14, 2007

Conservative Edge Excoriates Northup

The Northup/Hoover campaign has put out a press release that basically accuses Governor Fletcher of lying during Monday night's debate. Unfortunately for Northup, the attack is based on faulty reasoning, illogical arguments, incomplete facts and simple minded rhetoric. It continues her arrogant, liberal like "I am smarter than you" campaign that has sickened many in the GOP. Over the next few days, I will take apart the Northup press release argument by argument. Here's the first installment. Northup's release is italicized, my rebuttal is in bold print. In Monday night’s televised KET debate, Ernie Fletcher made the following claims, now you can read the facts… "

And I think it’s important to focus on how we’ve begun to change the culture in Frankfort" Fact: Fletcher has been embroiled in a merit hiring scandal for the last 2 years and was himself indicted on 3 misdemeanor charges. Northup's sole fact does not refute Fletcher’s claims. Had Northup/Hoover bothered to check for more facts, they would have discovered that Fletcher’s change to the Frankfort culture is what triggered the investigation. Frankfort Democrat’s didn’t want Fletcher messing with their jobs. In addition, the merit system is not the only "culture" in Frankfort, that Fletcher has changed.

Under Fletcher's leadership, wasteful spending, indemic over employment and unaccountability are no longer the culture in Frankfort. The fact that Northup/Hoover think that their one, misleading fact, refutes Fletcher’s assertion is troubling. It demonstrates an arrogance, that Kentuckians aren't smart enough to think for themselves. Another very important fact that Northup failed to mention, is that all charges against Governor Fletcher were DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

I'd suggest that the Northup team consult with unbiased former prosecutors to learn what that dismissal means. In short, this attack by Northup gets an F- in thought process, honesty and originality. Next up: "We put in people based on experience and that shared our conservative values. And we said to all of our folks, we want to level the playing field." Fact:

A grand jury comprised of everyday Kentuckians issued a report stating the following: "People less qualified were hired simply because they supported Governor Fletcher financially and politically. Deserving and qualified people did not get jobs simply because they had a different belief system from that of Governor Fletcher and his supporters." Again, Northup’s one fact doesn’t refute the contention made by Fletcher. Is the Northup team unable to understand a complex thought?

Or are they again arrogantly insinuating that Kentuckians are incapable of thinking for themselves? Fletcher hired people "based on experience AND that shared our values". Surely Northup cannot be that dense to not catch the second part; the part that makes the thought, complex. As well, the grand jury foreman and at least three other grand jurors were merit employees. To call them "everyday Kentuckians" without mentioning the fact that they were merit employees is disingenuous.

Those jurors had a vested interest in protecting their turf. In addition, it’s preposterous for Northup to criticize the Governor for wanting to hire people who shared his values, just as the grand jury is ridiculous for raising that criticism. Any chief executive is perfectly within his rights to hire an individual who will carry out his wishes, over a more talented person who will undermine the chief executive. Plus, every person hired by Governor Fletcher was qualified for the position. If they were not qualified they could not have been placed on the hiring roll. The grand jury and Northup insinuate that the people hired, were not qualified. For Northup to imply that the Governor was being deceitful in the debate, while leaving out pertinent facts herself, is hypocritical and dishonest. I have hired numerous people.

I didn't always choose the most qualified. Sometimes the most qualified person is over qualified. Sometimes the most qualified person doesn't really want the position. They are using it as a stepping stone. Even a junior level human resources executive would know something as basic as this. It is almost beyond comprehension that this issue was raised by the Northup team. But, if Northup truly thinks the hiring practices of the Governor were a problem, she should pledge to hire people who do not share her values if elected Governor.

Of course, if she made that pledge, she would be unqualified to be the state's chief executive. We couldn't afford to have a Governor who would hire people that were unwilling to help her achieve her goals. I realize that my criticism of Northup is harsh. Some may even claim that it is unfair. But Northup put out the press release. If she thinks that she will get a free pass, or won't have to have her work scrutinized, she's mistaken. In additon, her press release is equally harsh on Governor Fletcher. If she and her supporters can't take the return fire, they shouldn't be in the game to begin with.

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