Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Not So Bad, All in All

We knew that Democrats would reclaim the Governor's Mansion, and the margin (59-41 percent) confirmed the polls. But there was considerable good news despite this loss.

At the outset, Beshear forgot his coat tails. As a result, enough Kentuckians split their tickets to reelect Secretary of State Trey Grayson (57-43 percent) and Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer (64-38 percent). Notwithstanding an historic win for the office of governor, two Republicans still carried the state with comfortable margins. The lesson: Kentucky is still a right of center state, as long as the candidate appears to be competent.

As to competency, it was not the hiring scandal that sunk Fletcher. It was when he caused the Capitol to be evacuated by flying his plane too close on the way to Ronald Reagan's funeral. That was "game over" for the Fletcher administration. No, the governor didn't personally fly his official plane. But every time his campaign reminded us that he was a former fighter pilot for the Air Force, the image of staffers running from the Capitol sprang to mind.

But back to the good news. There was the library tax in Jefferson County -- the most liberal part of the Commonwealth. Voters rejected that tax 68-32 percent, even after a relentless ad campaign, that included celebrity commercials and the Courier-Journal's longest-running endorsement series. This was a serious slap in the face for the C-J and the liberal elites who litter its pages.

Several implications flow from the library tax defeat. First, even the last liberal holdout in Kentucky rejects the "progressive" prescription of improving all aspects of life by tossing taxpayers' money at the issue. Beshear must understand that Kentuckians voted against Fletcher but not in favor of Beshear (or a Democratic agenda). He has no mandate. None.

Second, no matter how much the "progressives" tried to obfuscate their endgame -- including a three paragraph referendum that neglected to mention the word "tax" -- Kentucky voters saw through the smoke. At the end of the workday, Kentucky workers prefer to spend their hard-earned money as they see fit, rather than delegate that task to Frankfort -- or Washington.

What this means for 2008: a Republican who is a fiscal conservative with a record of competence is exactly the sort of candidate whom Kentucky is inclined to elect at this point in history. That bodes well for Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, and as for the presidential candidate, time (and your comments and votes) will tell.

Locally, it is time for Metro Councilman Hal Heiner to push for library construction funded by bonds. He deserves credit for pointing out that we can improve our county's infrastructure without resorting to a tax and for offering an alternative plan. If Heiner can deliver on this issue, we should draft him to run for Metro Mayor.


Anonymous said...

The defeat of the library tax shows you what a few citizens who take a stand can do. They had $400,000, we had $20,000. They had a who's who list of advocates, we had no "big hitters". This was plainly a case of citizens standing up to another ill conceived money grab by government. Viva democracy! Thank you Hal Heiner and Chris Thieneman!

pizzaman said...

The mayor for "life" lost a little credibility with the defeat of the library TAX and make no bones, that is what it was. Presented to the public in many ways, including a fee, the public got it right. Not only was the tax increase defeated but so was the sleazy way the CJ,mayor and the tax advocates tried to deceive the public.
The CJ and Greg Dumbo were able to do it with the election but the voters got the tax vote right.

Hey is it just me or has anybody noticed how the media is saying the Congress is now "led" by the Democrats instead of "controlled" by the Republicans?