Saturday, October 27, 2007

Commissioner of Agriculture -- No Endorsement

Our first endorsement is a non-endorsement. In the race for commissioner of agriculture, incumbent Richie Farmer is taking on Democrat challenger David L. Williams. We offer no endorsement in this race.

Commissioner of agriculture is an elective office that should be abolished. No other commissioners are elected in this state. We don't elect our highway commissioner or property tax commissioner or public health commissioner. We see no reason to elect the commissioner of agriculture. By abolishing this as an elective office and having it become an appointed position in the executive branch, some duplication of government services could be abolished. There is currently a Governor's Office of Agriculture Policy, which we see as not needed. This office was started by the Patton administration to handle the tobacco buyout program, but has carried over because agriculture is such an important part of our state's economy yet the Department of Agriculture operates independently of the rest of the executive branch.

But until such time as the legislature and the voters see fit to eliminate this elective office, we will still be holding an election for it every four years. And this year our choices are Farmer and Williams.

Farmer, of course, is the University of Kentucky and Clay County High School basketball legend. By most accounts he's done a decent job of marketing the state's agriculture industry during his four-year term. Williams is a perennial candidate who's changed parties between Democrat and Republican several times.

In ordinary times, we'd endorse Farmer for this post, but these are not ordinary times. During a period in which Kentucky's Republican governor has endured the slings and arrows of the Democrats, the enormously-popular Farmer has done little or nothing to show support for his party's under-siege executive. Farmer is from one of the few GOP stronghold areas in the state and his vocal support of Fletcher could have been helpful. We're not sure what Farmer's motivation was. He's a rock star in Kentucky but we aren't sure if he has aspirations for higher office. And we're honestly not convinced that he'd be qualified to move further up the ladder. He's personable and can hit the 22-foot jump shot, but we aren't sold on his intellectual capabilities to be secretary of state or auditor or lieutenat governor or governor.

We don't think Williams is worthy of your vote and support. But quite honestly, we don't think Farmer has earned the right to be supported by conservative Republicans in his re-election bid. We believe Farmer to be the superior candidate, but we are withholding our endorsement of him in this race. And we are looking forward to the time when the commissioner of agriculture will no longer be an elective office.


At 12:35 PM, October 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen. Finally someone has the courage to tell it like it is. Best analysis of this race that I have read anywhere!

At 10:09 AM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw, Richie didn't help poor widdle Ernie, aawwww. Nobody in November except Farmer, Lee and Grayson.


At 1:17 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous nicholasville conservative said...

The "Blame Game" will kick into high gear after election night, and until we can ever get past the fratricidal attitudes we will continue to be the minority party in KY. This applies whether or not you happen to like Fletcher (and I speak as one who think he repeatedly shot himself in the foot, AND received several stabs in the back to compound the situation).

Republican activists on all sides of the divides are far too parochial for their own good. I've posted related thoughts as to systemic causes under your Sec of State non-endorsement, which is particularly appalling.

Yes, Farmer is shallow and politically limited, in glaring contrast to Grayson who simply may not have the affiliational pedigree some (but not all, and that's the point - KY is too big to be driven by personality cliques) would like. To non-endorse either of them (or to abstain from voting for Lee, as some will do because he's associated with sharp-edged social conservatism, or for Fletcher because of blah blah, regardless of the merits of your pet argument) reveals that we're all about to receive what we collectively deserve as a party: a near-total sweep (with the rock-star Farmer being a possible exception).

At 10:07 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will be voting for Richie Farmer and the whole Republican slate because they are the best candidates and their election would serve Kentucky best. Farmer has two degrees in agriculture from UK and has put together an outstanding staff. He has done a good job as Commissioner of Agriculture. The Democrat candidate is a joke (that is the best I can say about him). Anyone who would not vote for Farmer over Williams cares nothing about our state.

At 11:24 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As if anyone gives a rat's ass who you endorse. Stop tooting your own horn and get a real blog instead of making excuses for Ernie Fletcher.


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