Monday, October 23, 2006

Line of the year (news story division)

Ryan Alessi, political writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader, unwittingly had the line of the year in his story this morning about the 56th District House of Representatives race.

He referred to the state's civil service workers as "so-called merit employees."

That is really an apt description in the eyes of those who know how the Democrats controlled patronage hiring into the civil service jobs for decades.

If state employees and retirees really are fed up with the Republican governor, it's only because they are angry that their kids and grandkids can't get jobs just because they are Democrats, like they did and had done for years with breaks only for the Nunn and Fletcher administrations.

Despite all the allegations of politics in merit hiring under the Fletcher administration, the percentage of merit system employees who are Democrats has gone down from 73 percent to 71 percent. Hardly the stuff of scandal, is it?

Alessi also drew a chuckle (inadvertently, no doubt) in his political analysis column when he quoted Mike Haydon, former Revenue Cabinet secretary and former deputy to Crit Luallen when she was Secretary of the Executive Cabinet, as denouncing the use of personal rumors such as of marital infidelity in political campaigns.

Or perhaps Alessi knew exactly what he was doing when he quoted Haydon, and the irony was not lost on him despite his youth and inexperience with Kentucky's political figures.


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