Monday, October 29, 2007

Secretary of state -- No endorsement

By all accounts, Republican incumbent Trey Grayson has been an excellent secretary of state.

He’s considered a rising star in the Republican Party in Kentucky.

His Democratic opponent in his re-election campaign, a schoolteacher by profession, hasn’t even gotten the endorsement of the state teacher’s union and was bounced from office after serving only one term as mayor of Pineville amid a number of allegations of wrongful behavior.

This would lead one to believe that a conservative Republican blog such as this would heartily endorse Grayson, right?


While we cannot endorse Bruce Hendrickson, the Democrat challenger, neither can we give Grayson an endorsement because of the way he conducted himself in the face of the Democrat onslaught against his party’s governor.

Grayson would have earned our undying gratitude had he helped defend Gov. Ernie Fletcher against the witch hunt of a political investigation that resulted from the personnel probe. At the very least, he could have stayed silent as the Democrats took their shots at Fletcher.

Instead, Grayson actually floated the idea of challenging Fletcher for the GOP nomination this year during the 2006 Fancy Farm picnic. He quickly backed off that idea, but elephants have long memories and we certainly remember Grayson’s act of political opportunism instead of helping the governor upon whose coattails he rode to office four years ago.

Therefore, while we believe Grayson to be the better qualified candidate, we refuse to endorse him in this year’s race and will certainly be skeptical of any races he may attempt in the future. It’s a shame he’s being regarded as a rising star in the state GOP. It looks as if he’s gotten that title by stepping on the backs of those who helped get him that mantel.

And as an aside, we believe that secretary of state, like state treasurer, is an office that should be eliminated and its duties spread elsewhere. If we must have a treasurer, secretary of state or agriculture commissioner, those should be appointed offices in the executive branch, not elected positions.

We’ll be skipping this race when we go to the polls next week. We cannot in good conscience cast our votes for Trey Grayson despite his being the superior candidate.


At 12:58 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous nicholasville conservative said...

This article illustrates the childish factionalism which just won't go away among activists in Kentucky's Republican party. I'm talking about both sides in the recent years' squabble, pro-Fletcher and anti-Fletcher. Old Louie Nunn used to fan the same flames before anyone cared one way or other about Fletcher, accurately but misguidedly talking about how traditional 5th CD stalwarts had for generations been loyal to the Republicans, but had little or nothing to show for it.

As long as Republican activists continue to put their own regional and cliqueish (pro-Mitch, anti-Mitch, "Mitch has been great but it's time now to diversify the power concentration", etc) allegiances first, and seek primarily after "what's in it for me", we will remain the minority party in this state in non-national contests.

Democrats can more easily afford to be internally divided, simply because there's more of them. The Dems' perpetual division caught up with them in this state when the national GOP was ascendant during the past decade, but that's no longer the case. The pendulum has swung back with the crackup of ideological conservatism over whether and how aggessively to go after big government, immigration, trade imbalances and the accelerating "new economy" transitions, swelling entitlements, foreign policy entrenchments, and the always-present culture wars. Confused and with no clear leadership on the political Right, traditional Kentuckians go back to their comfortable old allegiances.

In our increasingly independent era, saying that "party doesn't matter" will be, in the majority of cases, cover for Kentuckians to go back home and vote Democrat most of the time. The media will cooperate - Republicans who shoot their own wounded will be highlighted much more prominently than Democrats who do the same.

At 1:39 PM, October 29, 2007, Blogger Steve Manning said...

Your refusal to endorse Trey Grayson is but another example of the petty vindictiveness and paranoia of the Governor and his supporters. Perhaps we would not be in the position we are in today had either Trey Grayson or Anne Northrup won the may primary!

At 2:30 PM, October 29, 2007, Blogger K-Pac II said...

We have always said that Republicans need to be united because we are in the minority. The Democrats can remain in their factions and still beat us because of their sheer advantage in registration numbers.

Unfortunately this logic escaped Grayson and Northup, and until recently McConnell and Bunning, because they did not stay united behind Ernie Fletcher despite their placements into state government (Dan Druen, anyone?) being directly responsible for most of the things that Stumbo brought charges on.

Ernie Fletcher is our governor and he deserved our support because those things Stumbo alleged happened did not in fact happen. There was no criminal intent in any of the contested personnel decisions, the administration is winning most of the appeals that are being filed with the Personnel Board, and the whistleblower Doerting OK'd all the suspect personnel decisions yet then cried foul. Grayson didn't support him.

We're first and foremost Ernie Fletcher supporters. We're for the party when they're right, but not when they're wrong. And in this case the party was wrong for not supporting its governor when the administration was doing exactly what the party leaders out in the state wanted.

At 2:43 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting that you identify yourself as first and foremost a Fletcherite, and only secondarily a Republican. Fletcher will likely be out of party politics after next week; what will you do then?

At 2:44 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous nicholasville conservative said...

KPAC position: support Fletcher without serious outreach for unity; demonize anyone who thinks differently as not a legitimate Republican.

Steve Manning position: abandon Fletcher without regard for short-term unity; demonize anyone who thinks differently as not a legitimate conservative.

Thanks to both combatants for illustrating the dysfunction in KY's GOP so well. Rank-and-file voters will increasingly wonder, why bother with any of your pet candidates in such an organization.

At 3:10 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read a rumour on another blog that the Fletcherites (who apparently are now a separate entity from the Ky GOP) are going to try to bring down McConnell by supporting an independent run for the U.S. Senate by Forgy. I'm not sure what Fletcherism stands for, but it certainly seems to be dead set on rolling back the Ky GOP's progress 30 years, and may well achieve that goal. Perhaps the objective is to make the Ky GOP the party of rural, protestant Kentucky, without the corrupting influences of urban Jefferson County or heavily catholic Northern Ky. Any other theories on what the Fletcherites want?

At 3:35 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous nicholasville conservative said...

3:10, your parochialism toward Louisville and denunciations of rural attitudes is as much a part of the perpetuation of the problem, as the rumored Forgy bid would be (if it's true, which I doubt it will be next year).

FWIW, when Fletcher is defeated next week, the only proper thing for him to do will be to go back to private life and kep any animosity to himself. If he's as much a gentleman of principle as his backers suggest, I think he will do precisely that. If he gracefully comes out in favor of future party unity, the zealots who want "revenge" will eventually fade from view.

And, when Fletcher loses, it's going to be very tough for the anti-Fletcher zealots to refrain from a smug told-ya-so attitude (even though their actions were partially a self-fulfilling prophecy) and attempt to kich the other side when they're down.

In fact, there should be no identifiable "sides" a couple months hence if we really want to begin true healing, but due to arrogance on both sides that status will be hard to achieve. It's time for folks of true maturity to step up. And, back to the original content of this KPAC's post, I believe folks like Trey Grayson (and Jeff Hoover, and Stan Lee) represent the sort of balanced maturity KY's GOP needs for its future.

At 5:24 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone knows this site is operated and maintained by Fletcher staffers. You guys are frustrated that you'll be out of a job come December so you are trying to blame everyone but the man at the top where the buck stops.

Successful politicians do not need to ask for loyalty, they receive it as their due. So you guys go off and play footsie with Bruce Hendrickson this year. Next year maybe you'll be able to give Larry Forgy an assist. In a couple of years you guys will be the has- beens of the KY GOP.

Anne or Jeff for RPK Director after election day!!

At 9:59 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will be voting for Gov. Fletcher and all the Republican candidates on the ticket. They are the best candidates and that is all that matters. That action is not only best for the Republican Party, but more importantly, it is best for Kentucky. Former State Rep. Woody Allen, who backed Steve Nunn four years ago and Anne Northrup in this year's primary, and is not pleased he did not receive a post in the Fletcher Administration, spoke strongly for Gov. Fletcher at last Saturday's Republican Dinner in Ohio County. That is what Republicans should do. When Republicans field the best candidate, we should vote for that candidate, period.

At 10:19 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous nicholasville conservative said...

"Successful politicians do not need to ask for loyalty, they receive it as their due."

5:24, I agree with that part of your comment. I just wish you weren't so gleeful over it.

In the primary, your candidate had a fair shot at competing for the nomination by discussing ideas, and substantive (i.e., non-Stumbo-induced) areas where she would offer better leadership. She squandered the opportunity by emphasizing only the merit probe, and thus inspired only those Republicans who already had a major axe to grind against the incumbent.

With "alternatives" like that, this party could be in a leadership drought for years to come. I won't miss Fletcher at all, due to his poor leadership, but I'm definitely not about to cozy up to Beshear as Steve Manning and Steve Nunn have done. We've already got fair-weather state legislators changing their affiliations.

What goes around comes around, so all Republican activists need to get over their petty animosities after the upcoming election losses. The rank-and-file of the party, and the hard-working but politically-rudderless Kentucky citizens as a whole, deserve better than you're currently giving them.

At 11:19 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I would be a Northupite and I am proud to have supported her in the primary. You people should be ashamed of yourselves for standing by this governor when we had a viable alternative. It's your fault that the Republican Party will be destroyed next week. I hope you're happy with yourselves.

At 11:21 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anne Northup would be an EXCELLENT choice for party chair. She'd turn the dogs lose on Forgy for sure!

At 11:22 PM, October 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'll skip over Trey while I'll skip over Ernie.

At 1:47 AM, October 30, 2007, Anonymous nicholasville conservative said...

Every comment on this thread continues to illustrate my point so well. This party's probably going to be in the wilderness for awhile if you all are indicative of the prevailing activists' mindset. Neither side of the GOP schism can admit culpability in this year's failure.

Fortunately, I think there are a lot of calmer heads who don't blog a lot.

At 9:21 AM, October 30, 2007, Blogger K-Pac II said...

Sorry, 5:24, but Ernie Fletcher's position has governor has nothing to do with any of our jobs. We'll all still have the same jobs come January, no matter who the governor is. Nice try, though. Is it not possible for you to believe that there are some of us out there who are willing to support Fletcher in the face of the Democratic siege? We aren't fair-weather fans here, staying with the governor only during the good times. The Democrats came after him and many of you didn't stand with him. We're lucky enough to know the truth behind the personnel investigation and it's a shame that more people haven't been exposed to that truth. If they had been, we wouldn't be in this position.

At 4:48 PM, October 30, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"we'll all still have our jobs..."

OK, so the Governor got you a merit system job and you feel loyal to him. In all liklihood, you also realize that in all liklihood your chances of advance are slimmer now that he's gone.


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