Monday, March 19, 2007

Assessing Fletcher’s Ad

Kentucky Kurmudgeon:

Haven't seen Gov. Ernie Fletcher's first campaign ad yet. But from Herald-Leader Political Writer Ryan Alessi's description of it as featuring a schoolboy who resembles Fletcher ignoring the taunting of schoolyard bullies, I can't help but wonder if it doesn't reinforce his image as Boy Governor. Or at least the Little Orphan Ernie nickname he got tagged with when Daddy Warbucks (U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell) deserted him.

On the Right:

I think we need real men as leaders who stand up to bullies! Ernie looks like a pathetic wimp in this ad. Please keep playing it.

Conservative Edge:

One of the truly amazing aspects of the Northup campaign is the level of vitriol that she and her followers throw at Governor Ernie Fletcher. It's hard to imagine a liberal "Ned Lamont" candidacy being any more extreme in their treatment of Fletcher.

Today, Steve Manning, who appears to be the Northup campaigns chief internet outlet, called Fletcher a "pathetic wimp". Next thing you'll know, the Northup people will claim they are running a positive campaign.

Conservative Edge Rips Northup Reaction

When Governor Fletcher rolled out his first campaign commercial today, the Northup team jumped into action and offered a pitiful " response to the ad. Normally, a well funded campaign would respond to an ad, by running one of their own.

Instead, Team Northup tried to convince Kentuckians that the economy really isn't good, and the Governor Fletcher spent 3/4 of a surplus while simultanesouly maintaining that no surplus existed. Now, Louisvillian John David Dyche, a columnist for the left wing Courier-Journal and apparent Northup ally, begged Billy Harper to get out of the three-way race. Something that is unlikely to happen. Eye witnesses have reported lack luster support for Northup outside of Louisville. In addition, sources tell us that Northup is not doing well on the fundraising trail.

Add to that, Northup's actions at joint Lincoln Day appearances that are becoming the source of derision in many GOP circles, and things don't look like they are going well for Northup. Finally, Northup has failed to fire on campaign policy issues. (This despite the fact that her running mate, Jeff Hoover, personally assured me four weeks ago that they would have policy positions coming out in short order). Yes, Northup is for better education. But aren't we all?

One of the original KERA supporters will have to do better than an "educationally challenged" policy paper, to get that albatross off her their neck. But when you get right down to it, when you have to beg an opponent to quit the race, things are not going well. But, I am sure that Team Northup can find some lame statistic somewhere to prove that the economy really is bad in Kentucky, and that there really is no surplus.

Elendil’s Blog Questions Fletcher Ad

Governor Fletcher’s new 60 second TV spots are unusual to say the least. It’s easy to see now why his campaign needed a full minute to let the spot develop. The first 16 seconds are simply music while a child walks around "bullies" that taunt him on the school grounds. Once the mood is set… the announcer compares the schoolyard victim to the governor’s situation in Frankfort. The spot then shifts emphasis again and goes on to tout the administration’s accomplishments.

It’s a very interesting strategy. With an almost half million dollar spot buy… the Fletcher campaign must have done some research that backs up the approach. I have talked to a variety people who are all over the board. Some say it brings the question of fair treatment out into the open and makes them more likely to consider being for Fletcher. Some others have described it as making the governor appear "pouty." If the intended result is to get people talking about the governor, it has probably reached its target.

Interesting strategy? An interesting strategy is spending more money is questionable districts. When your ad elicits “pity,” “pouty,” and “looking for sympathy” as responses… that is not strategy.

Northup: Spinning, Stuttering, and Slipping

Northup Senior Advisor Ted Jackson: "What an insult to the voters of Kentucky for Ernie Fletcher to play the "pity card." Since he has never taken responsibility for the transgressions of his administration, his campaign theme should be "the buck doesn't stop here." He takes credit for everything and responsibility for nothing. A leaders he is not."

A leaders he is not? Obviously, my criticism of her education proposal was warranted.

I concur with this statement. Fletcher has never assumed responsibility. With that stated, Jackson’s phrasing was poor. “The Buck doesn’t stop here?”

Given RINO Anne’s pork barrel predilection, those bucks will continue flowing.

Voicing You’re Delusional

From Blue Grass, Red State:

Northup for governor Republicans across the commonwealth will have an opportunity to vote in a primary election for governor in just more than two months. There clearly is only one candidate in the race who would be viable in November and preserve our hold on the governor’s seat — former U.S. Congresswoman Anne Northup, R-Louisville. Northup has proven to be a leader and stateswoman of the highest integrity over the course of two decades in public service.

Northup never has strayed from her conservative principles of lower taxes, better education, commitment to pro-life policies and — most importantly in this race — honesty and ethics in government. Anne Northup would be a governor who appreciates the hard work of every state employee, regardless of party affiliation. Anne Northup would be a governor who does not abuse her power to pardon to protect those who do wrong in her administration.

Anne Northup would be a governor who would make Kentucky proud — not one who finds herself indicted on misdemeanor charges. There is an obvious choice in this year’s Republican primary for governor. I urge all of my Republican friends to join me in voting for Anne Northup to preserve the future of our party and our great commonwealth.

Christopher Thomason

Whatever Christopher has been drinking, I request a triple.

Biting Legislation

House, Senate agree on minimum-wage; bill goes to governor

Thousands of low-income workers moved closer to a pay raise Monday, as the House approved the Senate's changes to a measure increasing the minimum wage. If signed into law by Gov. Ernie Fletcher, the measure would raise Kentucky's minimum hourly wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over the next two years. Fletcher's office has not said whether he will approve the measure.

Raising the minimum wage is en vogue. Thousands move closer to a pay raise? Thousands move closer to losing their job.

Kentucky legislature approves Ford incentives

A bill that would make $200 million in incentives available to Ford Motor Co. to upgrade its two Jefferson County plants is on its way to Gov. Ernie Fletcher today. By a vote of 98-0, the House gave final legislative approval to House Bill 536, which is intended to help save more than 8,000 jobs at the two plants.

Cursing concerning Ford success is muted.

Education bill ties incentive pay, alternative fuels

In a dramatic move, the state Senate approved an amended bill Monday night that ties together advanced mathematics and science in the schools, incentive pay for math and science teachers and a massive economic development plan to produce alternative fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel.

Alterative fuel and education have what commonality? Oh yes, desperate politicians.

Legislature approves revised mine-safety bill

The Kentucky General Assembly today approved a revised mine-safety bill and sent it to Gov. Ernie Fletcher. The Senate acted first, approving the bill by a vote of 36-0, before the House voted 96-0 to accept changes made by the Senate. The House sponsor, Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville, said he was satisfied with the compromise on House Bill 207.

The bill is approved. The bills is dead. The bill is…

Bills to raise dropout age stall

Two House bills calling to increase the minimum age to drop out of high school - to 17 or 18 - are quietly dying on the legislative vine. Opponents of the measures, House Bills 221 and 279, argued that a better approach would be strengthening partnerships with vocational colleges and businesses, and intervening with failing students long before they reach dropout age. Otherwise, says State Sen. Jack Westwood, "I'm thinking, you are just putting a Band-Aid on the problem."

Raising the dropout rate? The dropout rate should be abolished. Dropping out should be abolished.

Adoption reform bill likely dead for session

The Senate sent a bill involving adoption reform back to committee Monday night, most likely killing the measure. Asked if the proposal was dead, Senate Health and Welfare Chairman Julie Denton, R-Louisville, said, "It appears to be."

Politicians say dead… Assume bill is alive.

Senate approves Horse Park projects

The Senate voted 37-0 today for a bill that provides $28 million for building improvements at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington for the 2010 World Equestrian Games. The funding includes $24 million for a new outdoor stadium and $4 million for an indoor arena. There also is $10.3 million for road and pedway projects at the park. "We're holding the biggest party Kentucky has ever had," said Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, R-Lexington, in sponsoring the funding. "I'd hate it if Kentucky is not prepared."

Apparently, Governor Fletcher enjoys tourists.

Museum Plaza gets state aid

The Museum Plaza project for downtown Louisville cleared a major hurdle today when the General Assembly passed legislation authorizing the use of $130.million in state and local tax revenue for road, floodwall and other improvements in connection with the $465.million project. "Museum Plaza will be built," said Craig Greenberg, a member of the project’s development team, which was waiting for approval of the legislation as the last piece of the economic puzzle for the 62-story riverfront structure at Seventh Street and River Road in Louisville. "We will definitely have shovels in the ground later this year."

Congratulations Louisville… Another addition.
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