KDP strong-arming pro-Fletcher Democrat local officials
How badly do the Democrats want power back in this state?
So badly that the party apparatus is threatening local officials, particularly county judge-executives, who come out in support of Gov. Fletcher's re-election.
We recently heard of this from a very highly placed and unassailable source both with the governor's office and the campaign. If you can't figure out who it is, here's a hint: He used to work in Washington, D.C. and before that, he was a doctor in Lexington.
A number of Democrat county judges, especially some of those in rural counties who were neglected for years even with Democrats in power in Frankfort, are very grateful for the attention and the projects sent their way by the Fletcher administration the last four years. They appreciate that Fletcher has keep their needs in mind, even though he could have very easily and understandably passed them by because of their political affiliation. But Fletcher didn't, and they want to repay him by supporting his re-election bid.
However, the Kentucky Democratic Party has other ideas. The KDP has sent word to these judges that if they support Fletcher, the party will recruit primary opponents for them in 2010. So they, in turn, have been very reluctant to show any kind of public support for the incumbent. They may not outwardly support Steve Beshear, and they may not vote for him themselves, but they sure aren't going to show any kind of public support for Fletcher lest the party recruit challengers and provide financial and other support to them.
Democrats who weren't happy with the leadership style of ex-party chair Jerry Lundergan said the new leadership of Jonathan Miller would be different. Sounds like the same old KDP to us, only nastier and more power-hungry and vindictive.
The truth is that the Fletcher administration indeed has taken great pains to help communities that were neglected in previous years by the state government. Most of them are Republican counties, to be sure, but there are plenty of Democrat counties that haven't gotten a fair shake because the D's wanted to shore up their support in Louisville and Lexington and Pikeville and Bowling Green. Don't think the local officials in the counties who have benefitted from this administration haven't noticed.
It's obvious there is no code of party loyalty in politics. A number of Democrats supported Fletcher four years ago (most notably Franklin County Judge-Executive Teresa Barton) and this year, there are some known quantities within the GOP who are backing Beshear. But we can't say we're fond of the goons in the KDP leadership strong-arming local officials who are only trying to do what's best for their communities, even if it means crossing political lines.
Shame on the KDP. And now we'll see if any of these Democrat county judges have enough testosterone to stand up to the KDP thugs.