Let me give alittle background here for you non-Kentuckians that may be reading this. First, Kentucky is probably second only to Louisiana for our political mechinations. It’s not at all uncommon for votes to be bought with all manner of promises, contraband, and cash. It’s not at all uncommon for our Senate and House to be embroiled in various tempests. In the summer of 1999 Republicans took control of the State Senate for the first time ever in what some called a “bloodless coup”. Many trees were killed to print the rhetoric following that event. Ever since politics in Kentucky has been a rough and tumble game. In 2003 Kentucky elected Ernie Fletcher to be Governor ending 32 years of Democratic “rule” in the Commonwealth.
Now then…in the last election a Senate seat was up for grabs in Louisville. Two fine ladies ran for the office. The day before the election Democrat Virginia Woodward sues in Jefferson Circuit Court to disqualify Republican Dana Seum Stephenson; claiming Stephenson didn’t meet state residency requirements and the brawl began. Read the full story here. Meanwhile…my rant continues…
I’m a pretty firm Republican but I also call things like I see them and this just smells funny. This legislative session is going to TRY to pass a budget for the Commonwealth. A novel idea for our fair legislators…we haven’t had a Budget for about 2 years relying instead on a “spending plan” that leaves the various agencies in the lurch when trying to come up with their own budgets. Anyway, this budget will require 23 votes in the Senate. Right now there are 22 votes. The seat to be filled by either Ms. Stephenson or Ms. Woodward is the pivotal seat. This is a gross violation of plain ole common sense. The Kentucky Constitution is there for a reason. It’s been in place since Reconstruction with a few amendments along the way. The Senate Republicans led by Senator David Williams are playing word games with the venerable document that would make Bill Clinton’s attorneys proud.
I’m particularly disappointed in my own Senator, Dan Kelly of Springfield Kentucky, who said:
“She resided in Kentucky,” said Senate Majority Leader Dan Kelly, R-Springfield. “Maybe it wasn’t enough for you,” he told Demo-crats, “but it was enough for me.”
Come on Senator, four of the six required years she lived, paid taxes, and VOTED in INDIANA! Now, as much as I would LOVE to cede Louisville to Indiana, for now Louisville is STILL IN KENTUCKY and Ms. Stephenson didn’t live here for the required time. Bob Hill of the Louisville Courier-Journal has a great piece filled with dripping sarcasm.
Perhaps Senators Williams and Kelly are taking a page from Senator Clinton and Ambassador Keyes’ playbook but that don’t mean it’s a good or even LEGAL play.
Ms. Stephenson should drop this fiasco, resign, and return to her apparently beloved Hoosier state.