Friday, April 6, 2007

Kentucky Pachyderm’s Bizarre Criticism

No, we're not talking about the marriages of convenience between bootleggers and ministerial associations that occur in small towns all across Kentucky every time a wet-dry local option issue comes up for a public vote. We're talking about the union between Tokyo Mark Nickolas (, the Anne Northup campaign, and the Northup supporters who infest the Kentucky conservative blog network.

All seem to be on a mission to see Ernie Fletcher defeated in next month's primary election -- and this despite the fact that Nickolas and his Kool-Aide drinking lemmings who participate in the daily patting-each-other-on-the-back circle jerk sessions on that blog seem to think Northup will be harder to defeat in the fall. There have been reports of a pow-wow between Nickolas and Northup's press secretary, ex-WKYT-TV reporter Barry Peel.

Why anyone associated with Northup would have anything other than obscenities to say to Nickolas, who bashed Northup and praised John Yarmuth at every opportunity last fall, is beyond comprehension. When state unemployment figures came out earlier this week, Nickolas took a look at them and noticed that things haven't gone as well as could be hoped for in some of the more rural Republican counties in the state. He basically invited Northup's campaign and her supporters to use his "research" and sure enough, the Northup-lovin' Fletcher-hatin' bloggers (and you know who you are) took him up on it.

They lapped up Nickolas' posting like kittens after a saucer of milk. We have our doubts that Nickolas could find Owsley County or Butler County on a map, and we'd be highly suprised if he's ever been in any of the counties he singled out for analysis. It's definite, though, that he doesn't know much about those individual locales. Most of them are very isolated and cut off from good highway access to the rest of the state. Only one (Rockcastle) has an interstate and only one (Butler) has a four-lane parkway.

Many of these counties have a small local property tax base because so much of the land is owned by the federal government in the form of the Daniel Boone National Forest. And there are extenuating circumstances involved with some of the counties. Mid-South Electronics operated a factory in Jackson County that employed a large number of people from that county as well as neighboring Owsley and Clay counties.

That factory burned and a large number of employees were laid off. Not everyone was recalled when the factory began operating in a temporary facility, and that arrangement didn't work out well so the company severely curtailed its operations, resulting in even more layoffs. In addition, in a lot of these counties, the largest employer is the county board of education. Small rural communities are losing population, and as a result school enrollment is declining. When that happens, school boards are forced to cut back on staff. Young non-tenured teachers and classified staff are often not rehired from one year to the next.

And in a community with a small population, even the loss of as few as half-a-dozen jobs can move the unemployment percentage a significant amount. The types of things needed to increase employment numbers in communities like these can't be done overnight. The Tennessee border counties listed (Monroe, Cumberland and Clinton) suffer from extreme isolation and the highway projects designed to connect them to the rest of the state have languished in previous administrations.

The Fletcher administration has moved forward on major north-south highways such as KY 163 (Tompkinsville to Edmonton), KY 61 (Burkesville to Columbia) and US 127 (Albany to Jamestown-Russell Springs) but it takes legislative cooperation to move them from paper-only design projects to actual construction.

After years of neglect by the Patton and Jones administrations, the Fletcher administration is finally moving forward on the highway project that will link Jackson and Owsley counties to I-75. We don't know what the Northupians think they'll gain from striking a deal with the devil (Nickolas). Surely they don't think he'll support her if his preferred candidate, Jonathan Miller, doesn't win the Democratic nomination.

After all, Nickolas has been blasting Bruce Lunsford for his party disloyalty in 2003. Surely Nickolas wouldn't prove himself to be a hypocrite on this issue by ripping a Democrat for not supporting the party's nominee four years ago, and then turning around and not supporting the nominee this year. At any rate, it's fun to watch Nickolas spout off about subjects of which he knows little, and the Fletcher-hating Northupians accepting Nickolas' ill-informed analysis as gospel truth.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not tough enough to leave negative comments up, are you? Shame Shame
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