Thursday, February 22, 2007

Stumbo and Wells: "He loves me, he loves me not"

Back when Greg Stumbo was indicting everyone in sight in the Fletcher administration's Office of the Governor and Transportation Cabinet, one of his biggest cheerleaders was Charles Wells, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Democrat Patronage Hires ... err, we mean Kentucky Association of State Employees.

Every time the attorney general's office levied a new charge or turned another Fletcher administration official into an indicted ham sandwich, Wells was out there in the forefront, bleating about what a fine fellow Stumbo was and how the state employees were lucky to have such a civic-minded public servant on the front lines looking out for them and their rights under the merit system.

Now, Wells and Stumbo are in the middle of a messy breakup in which each side is accusing the other of inappropriate behavior.

Because Stumbo has hitched his gubernatorial aspirations to Bruce Lunsford's campaign, and because Lunsford endorsed Ernie Fletcher in 2003, and because labor unions don't like Fletcher because he dared to propose eliminating the prevailing wage requirements for state contracts and actually thinks workers shouldn't have to join unions as a condition of employment, and because Fletcher is accused of screwing over state merit employees, a number of unions have announced they won't consider the "Lunsbo" ticket when they ponder endorsements for the Democrat primary.

Put in terms of marital infidelity, something Stumbo should understand very well, Wells has accused Stumbo of cheating. And he has also accused Stumbo of the political equivalent of verbal spouse abuse (terroristic threatening) because he claims Stumbo threatened retaliation because of the refusal to endorse.

We don't know if this little dust-up will become Kentucky's version of the Clinton-Obama-Geffen love triangle, but we do find it ironic and amusing that only a few months ago, Wells was praising Stumbo for sticking up for state employees and basically saying that merit system workers couldn't find a better friend than Mr. Stumbo. Now he's ripping Stumbo a new one.

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch, if you ask us.


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