Predictably, the state’s two largest newspapers, left-leaning to the extent that they make the leaning Tower of Pisa look ramrod straight, have begun their long-term program of Fletcher-castigation, now that that the short-term program has been short-circuited by the governor’s pardons of a gaggle of guys who should have done business the same way former democrat-patronage czar “Doc” Beauchamp used to do it – by phone, stupid! The intent is to make sure that Fletcher is degraded on a daily basis, beginning immediately, to guarantee his non-reelection in 2007. They may succeed in this, but the citizens who pay attention see Fletcher’s move as perfectly reasonable, and may consider him preferable to a member of the same-old, same-old bunch that has run the state for as long as anyone can remember.
Attorney General Stumbo made it plain a while back that he would not consider running in the 2007 gubernatorial sweepstakes unless Fletcher became “wildly unpopular.” Obviously, he has made every possible effort – and then some – to make Fletcher look at least somewhat unpopular. He doubtlessly will continue to work on his pet project until he either decides that Fletcher is wildly enough unpopular for him to take the chance, providing, of course, that he can outflank State Auditor Luallen, or stay where he is, assuming that he is not picked up for drunk driving again (or is that for having lost his “designated driver for the evening”) or for refusing to pay child support for his illegitimate offspring, no matter where he/she/they are or how many there are. And, palimony can be a drag, too.
Perhaps someday the truth in the merit mess will out. For instance, what was the connection between Stumbo and the so-called whistleblower, Doug Doerting, for the weeks, months, and even years preceding the breathtaking disclosures by Doerting, whose job it presumably was to see that merit violations didn’t occur? Both men had been in one democrat-controlled bureaucracy or another for decades and were bound to know each other, probably quite well. Doerting’s complaints or those of the allegedly mistreated, it would appear, should have gone for hearings before the machinery set up to make decisions regarding personnel matters. Instead, he just happened to stroll into the AG’s office with a bunch of e-mails that might have involved something as serious as a misdemeanor. A MISDEMEANOR! Does the august office of the AG go after convictions of misdemeanors? Former AG Ben Chandler went after felony stuff when he brought about the indictments of Patton protégés who actually attempted to – and probably did – rig an election. That’s a far sight more serious than misdemeanor stuff, and Patton pardoned those four guys, with never a backward look.
Appearing on one of the morning talk shows in Lexington the other morning was St. Julian Carroll, the Dragon-Killer – look out, all you sinners! – to whine about the pardons, dastardly deeds that they were. St. Julian headed one of the more corrupt administrations back in the 70s, and certainly knows sin – political and otherwise – when he sees it, since he produced enough of it himself. He was one of those, like the BopTrot gang of the 90s, whom the feds saw fit to investigate. He endured the slimy insurance scam of his tenure, but his fair-haired boy (also former legislator and party chairman) went to the Big House, and the “Warehouse Deals” come fast to mind, not to mention that beautiful boulevard in Woodford County that a cabinet buddy just happened to live by. What garbage! Much has been made of the fact that Fletcher has just hired high-profile lawyer James Neal. In Kentucky, Neal once represented former state Democratic Party Chairman Howard P. "Sonny" Hunt. Hunt went to federal prison for refusing to answer federal grand jury charges about activities in the administration of former Governor Julian Carroll. And the folks in Frankfort elected him to the State Senate. That should tell everyone what to expect from a grand jury or any jury in Franklin County, where the pardoned ones would have been butchered.
Ah well…this is Kentucky, where politics are probably the damnedest of any state in the nation. Kentucky democrat leadership doesn’t care a fig about merit employees – it just hates Fletcher, like the democrats everywhere despise George Bush…because they’ve turned the same old same olds out of office.
And so it goes.