He's going WHERE to do WHAT????
This afternoon, Gov. Fletcher's office announced that he will be in Prestonsburg tomorrow to announce a major renovation project at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park.
Our initial reaction was, "What? Is he crazy? Why in the world would he do that?"
As a commenter noted earlier this week, we have been staunch in our defense of the embattled governor, but on first glance this one was hard to defend, let alone understand.
You see, Jenny Wiley is located in the home county of Attorney General Greg Stumbo, the man most responsible for Gov. Fletcher's problems the last three years and the person to whom most of the credit (or blame) should go for the increasingly slim chances that Fletcher will be re-elected.
We were advocates of a "scorched earth" policy for Floyd County ever since Stumbo's office began the unprecedented personnel investigation. We felt a prudent course for the Fletcher administration to take was to shut down all state offices in the county (the usual welfare/human services offices and two state highway garages) and transfer all the workers to adjoining counties. We also felt like the administration should cease maintaining state roads in the county, cancel all highway and other capital construction contracts, and leave the state park as the only state enterprise still operating in the county -- and then make it clear that Greg Stumbo was responsible for what had happened in his home county and it was up to Stumbo as to when state services would be restored and the offices reopened.
If one of us had been governor, no way would we have OK'd a major improvement project for Jenny Wiley and we certainly wouldn't go up there to make the announcement or break ground. (Fletcher's not going to get many votes out of that overwhelmingly Democrat county anyway).
But our initial disbelief and disapproval of what it was announced today that Fletcher plans to do has turned instead to an even greater admiration of the man.
Fletcher is going into the belly of the beast (we would say "heart" but we don't think Stumbo has one) and is giving the green light to a project will benefit the home community of his biggest enemy, while gaining nothing for himself or his administration. A new and improved Jenny Wiley won't earn him a single vote in Floyd County (although adjoining Johnson and Martin counties, which have a GOP majority, may turn out some additional support for him because of this project). Fletcher is showing that he's a bigger and better person than any of our blog collaborators are.
We certainly wouldn't be doing any favors for Floyd County, considering what that county's most prominent politician has done to our governor and the rest of us conservative Republicans in Kentucky, but the fact that Gov. Fletcher is speaks volumes about him as a man. We won't forgive Floyd County for a long long time for foisting Stumbo on us, but it looks as if perhaps Ernie Fletcher already has. God bless him for that.