Wednesday, January 31, 2007
In today's Herald-Leader, Julian Carroll was quoted as saying: "What Ernie Fletcher has done -- his one major accomplishment -- has been to show strong proof of the fact that we need to change governors," Carroll said. "It's created this enormous excitement among Democrats."(emphasis mine)
Excitement among Democrats? This quote is bipolar.
Yes, we need a gubernatorial switch. No, we do not need a Democrat.
It’s good that former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup got into the Republican gubernatorial primary. The GOP faithful will have a chance to decide whether they believe Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s claims that: 1) he’s the party’s best bet for holding the governor’s office, 2) he’s the best choice for those who want competence in the governor’s office, 3) he’s earned the thanks and support of his fellow Republicans.
It’s good that Paducah businessman Billy Harper will offer another, well-financed Republican voice, given his special interest in, and insight into, education. There is no more important issue for the voters of this state, and its biggest city.
It’s too bad neither U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler nor Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson would brace up to the Democratic race. In their absence, their party’s primary could turn into a Charge of the Lite Brigade. We hope not.
It’s good the Courier-Journal penned this editorial. As for their opinions… Governor Fletcher is not our best bet, he’s obviously not the best competence choice, and his hiring scandal lost him the support of his fellow Republicans. As for their charge this primary is a charge of the Lite Brigade, have they seen the Democratic contenders?
This Herald-Leader article is ridiculous. Fletcher and Northup should sponsor the runoff repeal. Neither can garner 40% in the primary and they are scared. Both would struggle in a runoff and they are terrified.
As I stated previously, these purported frontrunners need to simply play the laws as they are and shut up! From the Lexington Herald-Leader:
Secretary of State Trey Grayson expressed concern today about the cost of a primary runoff election if one is needed in this year’s race for governor.
Grayson, the state’s top election officer, said a primary runoff would cost about $5 million -- $2 million from the state and $3 million from local governments.
“At the state level, we made it a necessary government expense so the state will find the money to do it,” Grayson said. “My concern is the counties. It’s late in the fiscal year for them. It will be a real big burden.”
Under state law, the top vote-getters in the May 22 Democratic and Republican primary elections for governor must get at least 40 percent of the votes to win their party’s nomination to run in the November general election.
If no one in a primary reaches that threshold, the state must hold a runoff election a month later between the top tow finishers in the primary.
Political observers say a runoff would be advantageous for independently wealthy candidates who could open up their pocketbooks to finance their campaigns.
Grayson said he does not like the current law but does not think it should be repealed now. “I don’t like changing the rules in mid-stream,” he said.
Grayson noted that House Speaker Jody Richards, a Bowling Green Democrat running for governor, has said a bill might get out of the House this year to do away with the primary runoff. Senate President David Williams has said he favors repeal of the law and Gov. Ernie Fletcher has said he would sign a bill that removes the runoff provision.
“I suspect it will become a bargaining chip in the final days of the General Assembly’s session,” Grayson said. “My prediction is that it still probably won’t be repealed because it is such a political issue.”
Lawmakers return to the Capitol next week for this year’s legislative session.
If the primary runoff does get repealed, Grayson said, it will be because of its cost. “It’s just a lot of money,” he said.
Grayson added that he plans to meet soon with the state Board of Elections and county clerks to plan for a possible runoff.
The Lexington Herald-Liberal is reporting that there is renewed interest in the repealing the state's primary runoff election law because "wealthy candidates" in both parties have entered this year's race for Governor.
Under current state law the top vote-getter's in the May primary must receive at least 40% of the vote to avoid a runoff between the two top finishers a month later.Supporters of repeal argue the runoff system favors rich candidates who can self-finance a runoff. I believe the current runoff system should not be changed for the 2007 election cycle as it would constitute changing the rules in the middle of the game and possibly result in the nomination of a candidate with less than a majority of those voting.
Primaries in Kentucky have notoriously low turnouts (10-20 % of registered voters) which means that a minority of a minority of those eligible to vote could determine the election.Bruce Lunsford's ill-fated last campaign in 2003 demonstrated that you can't buy an election even if you have more money than God and are willing to waste it on a quixotic attempt to put the word Governor before your name!
According to sources familiar with the situation, Ms. Northup became visibly upset with transportation officials, when the Fletcher Administration refused to give in to her's and other Louisville Republican's demands that the state fund the two Louisville bridge projects.
The projected costs of the project would have stripped the rest of the state of needed transportation funds for as long as twenty years. Thus, areas of the state that are in need of infrastructure upgrades, like Appalachia, would have gone wanting for a long time. Some speculate that the Northup candidacy is fueled in part by the desire of Lousiville Republicans to get their bridges. Fletcher Administration officials were told repeatedly that Louisville did not get it's "fair share" of tax revenue.
We have seen similair comments from Louisville based members of Kentucky's new conservative media. Considering that the Fletcher Administration tries to spread the transportation money evenly around the state, Appalachian Republicans may want to consider carefully, who they choose as their candidate for Governor. In fact, all of Appalachia will want to vote for their next Governor wisely.
After Fletcher's botched pick of Hunter Bates as running mate (maybe the best thing that ever happened to Bates, in retrospect), 2003 R primary opponent Rebecca Jackson was asked by Al Cross of The Courier-Journal what she thought of the lawsuit filed by Curtis Shain and Bob Heleringer to remove Bates from Fletcher's ticket.
"I'm not making a legal issue of it," she said. "Let's get over it and let's discuss the issues," such as her proposal yesterday to give tax credits to National Guard and military reserve troops called into action for more than 90 days.
That's a pretty good idea. I guess that's why Fletcher held it in his pocket for a while to propose something like it when he really needs it, like today, for example. Jackson also said in April of 2003 that she would "require executive-branch employees to be educated about the ethics code and sign a pledge to observe it, so she could take immediate action against violators without waiting for the ethics commission to act (Cross)." Yeah, that would have been nice, too, but now, thanks to Fletcher, Republicans look like the bad unethical people.
We have to turn this thing back around. The RPK has been seriously derailed by Fletcher's political incompetence. If Fletcher were all we had, I would be behind him 100%, trying to justify, stay positive, talk about accomplishments, etc. As is, though, there is an alternative. Things can be better for Kentucky next year. All we have to do is hold our leaders accountable.
This is correct. There is an alternative. Fletcher walked himself into this position. Now, we have to boot him out of office.