Thursday, July 24, 2008

Taking the wrong tour

Here is a column that ran in this week's newspaper. We put it here to see how our bloggers might feel about it:

In political circles it has been long understood that unless you live in a place with a large voting base then you really don’t matter enough to get a visit by a gubernatorial candidate and about once a term you might — and I really mean might — get a visit from a sitting governor.

Kentucky is a state with more width than Paul Bunyan’s britches and, yes, it is hard to get to all of the state in a short amount of time … say, four or eight years.

Still, my britches were in a bunch when I heard that Gov. Steve Beshear would be having a series of 13 town hall-type meetings around the state and the smallest place he would visit would be Pikeville.

Now, compared to the almighty “golden triangle” — Louisville, Lexington and Frankfort — most of the places he is stopping might seem small, but it goes against the spirit of his tour, which is not aptly named “Beshear About Kentucky.”

It should be called “Beshear Wonders From Big Town to Big Town Because That’s Where the Votes Are Baby!”

Though, I think that title would be a little long for a banner.

Here are the cities that Beshear is coming to near our home base of Todd County: Bowling Green on Aug. 6 (48 minutes from Elkton) and Madisonville on July 31 (50 minutes from Allegre). If you drive like a maniac you could get there quicker, but with the price of gas it might be best to putt-putt along. All of the events will start at 6 p.m.

The following is from a press release the Standard received from the governor’s office:
“Kentuckians are, by their very nature, a resourceful people,” said. Gov. Beshear. “I am anxious to hear what they have to say and listen to their ideas on how we can work together to move Kentucky forward.”

The governor is inviting citizens to join him in discussions about ways to provide more with less.

Here is the problem, Kentuckians are more resourceful people who know how to make more with less because they have, for several generations, been taking the slow train to I’mScrewedville and the state leaders have been in the caboose trying to steer!

Gov. Beshear, you are from Dawson Springs, which is small town America personified. If you think about it, you should have known better. You should have taken this tour to the small places that might never see you again.
I think that you meant well, but us pesky journalists have already given you a hard way to go.
You talk about energy initiatives and show up in SUVs that get negative miles per gallon. (Though I read you took a car to the meeting in Somerset Monday.) You also took considerable flack for spending $7,000 to fly three planes full of high-ranking state officials to Pikeville.

But, crazy spending or not, we’d be glad to get you here on the public square and ask you about education cuts, why health insurance is so expensive and what will happen when all the good jobs have gone somewhere else.

We’d just like to talk to you in person.

I know you might think that I’m full of sour grapes and that you shouldn’t pay any attention to a half-crazed country newspaper editor, but I’m not wrong.

Here, in this place, people live and die and never see their governor. They’ve never been to Frankfort (except maybe on a field trip in school) but they are Kentucky as well.

They need to know their voice is heard, but their cries are but a soft whisper when those that listen never come close enough to hear …

Here are some places I’ve been to over the years that would make good spots to visit if you, Gov. Beshear, or your people actually wanted to see places that aren’t seen and hear voices that aren’t heard: Guthrie, Powderly, Morgantown, Sedalia, Sebree, Cloverport, Albany, Liberty, Owingsville, Salyersville and Possum Trot/Gilbertsville.

Or you could just throw a dart at a map. That would work out just about as well.

So, Gov. Beshear, please come and sit for a spell and chew the fat with us.

We are in every little town and we are waiting to be heard.

Posted by Ryan


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here a idea to possibly get candicates to come to todd county-ky during election campaigns.The todd county standard newspaper and others could sponsor a election campaign debates and invite all of the candicates on a local/state/federal level that are running for election or re-election to debate at this forum.It might could be something like the fancy farm type style picinic forum held in western-ky each year.

3:07 AM, July 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever been to Fancy Farm??Let me re-phrase that, "Have you recently attened the Fancy Farm Picnic? It is not the old fashioned stumping that Ky politics are known for, it is a "bash-o-rama. It wins the grand prize for negativity.On the other hand a spirited debate in Todd County could be quite interesting.

9:24 AM, July 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree; Beshear is from Dawson Springs and should realize the stuggles that the smallest communities face in Kentucky.

Todd County seems to me a perfect hot spot for activity: here you have the second poorest county (in county money, not the people mind you) in the state and yet practically inches away from Hopkinsville, Ft. Campbell, and Clarksville (the fastest growing city in Tennessee, by the way.)

Why not spend a little time down in the ol' Western K-Y and see how we can sponge off our neighbors for a little growth? Do that Beshear, and maybe we can generate the revenue you cut from schools back (and perhaps have a few bucks left over for you to fill your SUV.)

1:07 PM, July 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give the Governor a chance! He has only been in office 7 months. He can't get to every community on his first tour.It looks like he is making regional stops on this tour,and could do local/rural stops on another occasion.Also,I think that it is shared responsibility of our State Representative to interact with Todd Countians and share thier views with the Governor and the legislature. We have an opportunity this November to elect such a person, Mrs. Martha Jane King. She will definately work to make sure our voices are heard.Oh,by the way, this is Kentucky,you're supposed to drive a 4 wheel drive vehicle!

7:59 PM, July 25, 2008  
Blogger Something to say said...

It is a disappointment when the Governor chooses to by-pass hundreds of rural Kentuckians on his town hall meetings schedule.

In Todd County he has the perfect chance to actually stand on the steps of a historic courthouse, if he were to actually step foot in our county. I would think that the beautiful photo-ops alone would give his handlers a great thrill.

I must say, there was a long time when a former county judge executive wouldn't show up to welcome any Republican candidate to the county because they were from a political party other than his own. I often thought, what kind of message does this long time county leader send to the candidates who may well win an election? A message that Todd County is all about the politics?

Thankfully we seem to have younger and wiser courthouse personnel who seem to understand "it's the person, not the party".

Governor Beshear, do come and meet some real Kentuckians who actually live, work and love rural Kentucky. You cannot imagine what you have been missing.

If you let us know you are coming I bet there will be some iced sweet tea and homemade cookies waiting on more front porches than you can count.

Good job Ryan! Let's just hope he's a reader of your blog!

5:48 AM, August 01, 2008  

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