Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Our view on Anne Northup and her candidacy

Let us be up front -- we heartily support Ernie Fletcher's re-election campaign (if that's any great secret). We believe that the policy accomplishments of his administration, made in the face of overwhelming political opposition, have earned him a second term.

We also believe that the merit system hiring investigation was overblown, unnecessary and politically motivated. We are further saddened to see Republicans whom we originally believed to be intelligent and reasonable buying into the partisan allegations made by Greg Stumbo and his accomplices on the stacked grand jury and hanging their opinions on the nails driven by selective leaks by the prosecution and the press' subsequent gobbling them up like emaciated dogs who find a 5-pound pack of ground beef lost by the roadside.

We agree with the Fletcher administration's contention that mistakes were made in the hiring of new state employees to fill vacancies, but there was no criminal intent. Those mistakes were properly dealt with by the firing of those who made them. We also note that none of the indictments was for the improper firing for political purposes of an existing merit system employee with status.

We believe that much of the damage done by the merit system investigation could have been blunted or avoided had this state's top Republican officeholders, officials and unofficial party leaders immediately denounced the investigation and instead turned the mirror on the investigator.

That list most certainly includes Sens. Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning, as well as most of the state's Republican members of the House of Representatives. Had they swiftly defended Fletcher, criticized Stumbo and then flexed a little political muscle, Fletcher would be cruising to renomination and we wouldn't even be having a discussion about a Republican primary.

We can give Anne Northup a pass for not originally standing tall for Fletcher, while we hold that against the others. After all, Northup represented a district that is overwhelmingly Democrat and she knew that she would be in for a tough re-election battle. But there is no excuse for McConnell, et. al, to have left Fletcher hanging.

We were wholeheartedly behind Northup in her Congressional re-election campaign and we were saddened when she lost. We want to see Northup back in public service sometime in the future.

But we definitely cannot support her candidacy for governor. Not only do we not endorse her candidacy, we do not even endorse the concept of her challenging the incumbent of her own party.

No thinking Republican could have ever imagined that the Democrats would give a Republican administration a free pass, considering that Democrats think that running this state is their birthright and the top two investigative offices were occupied by D's.

The press has never seen fit to print the real stories behind the merit system investigation because they don't reflect negatively on the Republican incumbent. Had there been a Democrat governor, any complaints about hiring practices would have been handled administratively, as they had been for more than four decades since Kentucky's civil service system was established. But because this state has a Democrat attorney general, suddenly administrative actions became criminal misdemeanor indictments.

It hasn't helped matters that most of those responsible for the missteps in the Fletcher administration were hired at the behest of the federal delegation.

It's particularly disgusting to hear Northup out on the campaign trail, parroting many of the same things Greg Stumbo has been saying -- the same Greg Stumbo that dropped the charges against Fletcher with prejudice.

We applaud Northup for her service in Congress and before that, in the General Assembly. At another time, she might make an excellent governor.

But not now. At a time when she should have been standing behind her former friend and Congressional colleague, she turned her back on him.

Doesn't she wonder what will happen at the first sign of trouble if she is elected? Will Jim Bunning defend and support her, or will he desert her the way he did Fletcher?

That's why we say Ernie Fletcher deserves better than he has gotten from his own party -- and why we say that if Fletcher is defeated in the primary, we aren't sure that the Republican Party of Kentucky deserves to win the race in the fall.

If we can't support our governor in the eye of the Democrat siege he's been under for two years, we aren't much of a political party. We say we value loyalty and integrity, yet as a party we've shown neither.


At 1:25 PM, March 28, 2007, Blogger jefferson poole said...

Do you support the concept of Billy Harper challenging Fletcher for the nomination? What about Grayson's expression of interest back at Fancy Farm? The only reason you pick on Anne (and not even Hoover) is because you know she has a good chance of winning and that her chances are getting better every day.

The serious problem I have with what you've said is that McConnell & Bunning & everybody else should have run to Fletcher's defense. Fletcher should have stood up for himself!! He ran and hid and now he and you are blaming everybody else for the fallout that has occurred because he wimped out.

Fletcher simply can not handle the political pressures of being Governor. Maybe he could in some wealthy, relaxed, tranquil state, but not Kentucky. The inter and intra party battles are too intense.

Northup is the only one in the field who can handle it.

The Judas comparison is simply wrong. That reminds me of that "intifada" analogy somebody made earlier.

At 2:21 PM, March 28, 2007, Blogger K-Pac II said...

Actually, no, we don't support the concept of Harper running or Trey floating his trial balloon. We had intended to comment on Harper's candidacy at a later date but to be truthful, Northup is the more formidable opponent. We disagree that her chances are getting better every day. From what we hear, she is gaining no traction out in the state and her campaign appearances in the Old 5th (ostensibly Hoover country) and in the Bluegrass region have turned people off. Even after Glenna and Rudolph deferred to her in Louisville, she returned graciousness with venom.

Had McConnell been governor and Fletcher in the Senate when all this happened, do you not think Fletcher would have been supportive of the man he endorsed and helped get elected? This is our major problem with McConnell and while we support him in his re-election bid for the Senate, we can no longer support him as the titular head of the GOP in this state and in fact we will soon start asking Republicans to repudiate his party leadership based on past failures to do what was in the party's best interests. (And the state's best interests, too, since we believe what is best for the Republican Party is best for the entire Commonwealth).

But that'll be a whole new topic.

Bottom line -- we don't endorse the concept of anyone challenging this particular incumbent Republican governor given the fact that the Democrats have been after him since December 2003 and the GOP is still the minority in this state.

We fear the party won't survive the divisions these intra-party challenges to the incumbent are creating.

At 2:35 PM, March 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to talk about loyalty, then let's talk about loyalty to the Republican Party. Governor Fletcher has not been loyal to the values of the party.

It infuriates me to see him brag about lowering taxes in his campaign ads when the alternate minimum tax significantly raised taxes on small business owners. These folks are the ones who provide new jobs, and it goes against everything the party should stand for to increase their taxes -- particularly to tax unprofitable businesses. This forces marginal businesses to fail and actually eliminates jobs from the economy.

Also, how much loyalty has Fletcher shown to those who helped put him in office? How many times has he failed to seek or accept advice from other elected Republican officials--e.g. Senators, state reps, state senators? How much input has he sought from local Republican officials (not counting the last few months when he has been seeking endorsements and contributions)?

FYI: Northup had a meet and greet in Monticello yesterday (part of the old 5th) where she was well-recieved by a crowd of more than 50(in the middle of the day, and middle of the week, nonetheless).

At 12:48 AM, March 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Anne Northup defeats Ernie Fletcher, I want to see this blog call for Republican unity and endorse her. I also think you need to wake up and smell the toast burning because Ernie CAN'T BE ELECTED IN NOVEMBER! Bottom line.

At 10:11 PM, March 29, 2007, Blogger K-Pac II said...

12:48, we don't believe that Fletcher can't be re-elected, especially against that bunch of second-rate choices the Democrats have to choose from.

No matter which ticket gets nominated, there's enough dirt on them to bury them under.

And if Northup gets the GOP nomination, we are not sure the Republicans deserve to keep the governor's office given the way they have treated their own incumbent.

We're already about as low as we can go as a state, thanks to decades of mostly-uninterrupted Democrat rule. A four-year relapse can't hurt that much.

At 12:36 AM, March 30, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, so willing to throw away our hard work for your foolish pride. When Anne Northup beats Ernie Fletcher and then wins in November, all of her enemies (they are a very loud, vocal few) on conservative blogs will be pariahs within the party.

At 10:00 AM, March 30, 2007, Blogger K-Pac II said...

12:36, we probably didn't make our feelings clear on this issue.

Yes, we will cast our votes for Anne Northup. None of the Democrats excite us enough to vote for them over Northup. But we will not actively promote Northup's candidacy. We will vote and we may point out the failings of the Democrat nominee, but we won't lift a finger to support Northup.

We'd prefer to see a Republican in office but it won't be the end of the world if we get a Democrat back in office in four years. We'll just come back stronger and unified and oust the Democrat in 2011 -- unless McConnell cuts another deal with the devil and doesn't help the party find a credible candidate; the same stunt he pulled in 1999.

At 10:28 AM, March 30, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's ridiculous. A true Republican committed to our noble cause would not have a such a selfish view. You are basically saying if your boy Ernie loses the primary, you are taking your toys and going home.

At 10:23 PM, April 11, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Ernie wins the primary I am either staying home or voting D in November.



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