Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lex. H-L, C-J Push Back on McConnell Ad

The Courier-Journal and the Lexington Herald-Leader have published editorials that purport to show the fallacy of the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's current ad. Predictably, both are illogical and biased.

The C-J editorial isn't even consistent with its previous own analysis of the ad. Just this week, the C-J confirmed the truth of the ad's main point:

Lunsford, as Brown's chief legislative liaison, did push for a change in the gas tax formula.

A few days later, the C-J reiterated the point:

The ad makes two claims: Lunsford was behind legislation in 1980 to index the state's gasoline tax to the price of gas and that he will raise taxes if elected to the Senate. In 1980 Lunsford was Gov. John Y. Brown Jr.'s chief legislative liaison on the issue and helped push the new gas tax formula through the General Assembly.

The Herald-Leader's editorial relies on a straw man argument. (Oh, wait, the H-L only uses straw-persons.) It compares the price of gas to the date of Bush's inauguration. How about comparing it to the date of FDR's inauguration? That would be just as relevant.

Voters understand that the price of gas has shot up in a matter of months. That's why Barack Obama said he preferred a more "gradual" increase in gas prices. And in those months, the Democrats have "led" Congress, most notably by the Pelosi-Reid plan to oppose any new drilling anywhere.

Unlike the C-J, the H-L pretends that Bruce Lunsford was somehow not the cause of the automatic Kentucky gas tax:

Furthermore, McConnell accuses his opponent, Bruce Lunsford, of being responsible because he was part of the John Y. Brown administration 28 years ago when the legislature approved the gas tax formula.

Most disturbing about both editorials is that they whine that the country needs a solution, and a coherent energy policy and yet ignore the bill that McConnell authored that would give consumers relief at the pump, with more drilling, while we develop long term solutions of conservation and alternative fuels.

The McConnell bill has 42 Republican sponsors; roughly a dozen Democrats have come round on domestic drilling. Even the New York Times noticed (see previous posts). And yet neither the C-J nor the H-L says a word about the bill.

That's downright dishonest, and a disservice to the (declining) readership of both papers.

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