The Herald-Leader's endorsement of John Mark Hack, based on business and agriculture misses the mark.
No one doubts the value of the farm community in the district, but we've been hampered by failure to attract industry and manufacturing, and failure to properly educate our young people for new age jobs and post K-12 education.
We need to attack the roots of our problems. Education, the antiquated tax system, and the lack of high paying manufacturing and distribution jobs are interrelated.
If Hack has all the answers, why hasn't he entered the arena before now? At the forum, he was well spoken, but seemed smug, authoritarian and dictatorial — excellent qualities for an administrator, but not what is needed for compromising, negotiating and sharing ideas to reach viable conclusions.
Hack also indicated that he has worn all three party tags at various times but now calls himself an Independent. Is that someone who sticks with a plan?
James Kay has life's qualities and the political qualities to get the job done. He's grown up with the generation who has had less opportunity. He recognizes Kentucky's problems and shortcomings and is well equipped to tackle them. I've known him and his family all his life and he has excelled at every goal he has undertaken.
I've never seen him without a smile on his face and I vision him as having never met a stranger. He's neither contentious or obstructive and would work well across party lines. James Kay is the correct choice for District 56.
Harold Steele Jr.
Questions and answers
Some questions for the 56th District voters:
Are you tired of legislative gridlock in Frankfort? Worn out by representatives who must fall into line with political bosses? Frustrated by inept, unworkable proposals to save our Thoroughbred industry?
Bothered by the gambling industry's relentless push to add one more item to the growing list of addictions in our commonwealth?
Worried that good folks are rapidly becoming prisoners of their own political parties? Weary of Frankfort bureaucrats who see education as nothing but test scores? Concerned that neither the Republican nor the Democratic party candidate has addressed real agricultural, economic or job related issues?
So am I, and it's time for change.
I have nothing against Lyen Crews or James Kay, but neither has the impeccable credentials to lead the 56th District like Woodford countian John-Mark Hack, who will reach across the aisles and bring folks together as only this creative independent leader can do.
As a former chief agricultural aide, he is the only candidate with the experience and know-how to break down political walls in Frankfort and actually get state representatives working together.
John H. Buckner
Retired principal Southside Elementary School
All the registered voters for the 56th District have a unique opportunity in the June 25 special election to benefit the future of our communities.
On that day you will enter the voting booth and make a decision to either endorse the current performance of state government or choose a different direction.
It is really quite simple. If you want to change the output you have to change the input. So, make a difference for your family. Press the button for Independent candidate John-Mark Hack.
A vote for John-Mark declares that you know it is possible to have a real conversation about resolving public policy issues. It is distressing that our current political situation impedes productive decision making. The democratic will of the informed voter is distorted, because everything is about winning the next election.
All discourse is condensed, distilled and mediated through the political parties, which control the primaries, nominations, legislatures, and consequently, our identities as a voters.
The two biggest lobbying organizations in the United States are the Democratic and Republican parties and they are holding you hostage for perpetual control without regard to your happiness.
We can have healthier government. John-Mark Hack is not the appointee candidate that will continue political partisanship that is so hateful, divisive and fails to move us forward. I would ask you to consider the possibilities your vote has for our future.
The Kentucky Right to Life Association Political Action Committee has endorsed Lyen Crews in the special election on June 25.
Crews is the only candidate to receive a 100 percent pro-life rating from the association.
For the past nine years, the Democratic leadership in the state House of Representatives has thwarted all efforts to pass significant, life-saving legislation.
Crews is an honorable man who supports traditional family values. He will work to save the lives of Kentucky's future children.
Your vote is crucial in order to elect a pro-life representative in the 56th District. A vote for Lyen Crews is a vote for life.
Kentucky Right to Life Association
Not a mudslinger
In the opinion section May 21, Larry Totten hit the nail on the head. Lyen Crews did nothing but use the code words: Barack Obama, liberals, and Washington in his speech accepting the Republican nomination.
If the representative of the 56th District plans to sit around and badmouth the powers that be, he won't be much help to the people. It sounds like he only wants to be obstructionist rather than helpful to the district.
I know James Kay and I am sure he is willing to work with anyone to help our district. I have never heard him disparage people because of party affiliation.
George W. Bush, Ernie Fletcher and Richie Farmer are names that the Republican Party don't tout much anymore, but I have never heard James use them to fling mud on current candidates.
I hope the message Crews sends to Washington and Frankfort, with your help, is "I've lost again!"
I encourage voters to vote for John-Mark Hack in the 56th House District special election. Even if I didn't know him personally, the antics and negative ads of the other candidates would be enough reason to vote for an Independent.
Lyen Crews and James Kay don't even have control over the negative ads their parties are running, which makes one question if they are simply being controlled by their handlers.
Vote for John-Mark Hack; he is not ruled or controlled so he will make the right decisions for you.
In my mailbox recently, I found another slick mailing concerning the special election for state representative in the 56th District.
As usual, it had little to do with Kentucky, the election itself, or any of the issues. Sadly, it did go where the others have not.
It attacked candidate James Kay on a personal level. Watching him grow up and achieve all that he has, I can assure you that Kay will be a great state representative and put community and state before party.
I do not know Lyen Crews, but this is a small community and people have told me he is a good man. If so, why allow his campaign to be tainted by lies and name calling? To win at any cost?
An earlier mailer from a political action committee supporting Crews asserted that he would work to repeal Obamacare, which he can't, because it would pay for abortion, which it doesn't. It is against federal law for abortion to be paid for with federal dollars. I am sure Crews and the authors of the malings are aware that the statement is false.
I would ask Crews to dismiss the party line and run a clean campaign on the real issues, not work toward the lowest level of politics.
As I have traveled through Versailles over the last two or three weeks I have seen lots of small yard signs supporting James Kay for the special election for the Kentucky House of Representatives seat. I have seen some signs for John-Mark Hack. This past week I have seen some much, much larger signs for Lyen Crews.
More significantly, in this same two-week period I have received at least seven very slick mailings from the Crews campaign. They started out as introductory pieces: "Lyen Crews, family man." The next one declared "Lyen Crews will fix Frankfort." Most recently the mailers have resorted to smear tactics.
Your June 13 editorial, "Peek into murky campaign finance," posed questions about the smug relationship between big, special interest groups and elected officials.
So my question is, how can a retired administrator from a small college pay for all of these slick mailings to the voters in Kentucky's 56th District? Based purely on what is showing up in my mailbox, I get the impression that someone is trying to buy an election.
Deserves a chance
I have known James Kay since he was a child and I have known his family since I was a child.
James is a fine man from a fine family and he deserves the chance to serve the people of the 56th House District. Most importantly, we deserve to have his service.
James is a principled person who has done well both personally and professionally. But he has never lost sight of where he came from and the needs of the folks who live there.
James has had the benefit of a great education; but it is his common sense, bolstered by a forthright demeanor that will serve the people of the 56th District well.
Simply put, we deserve someone of his caliber in the General Assembly.
I was born and raised in Woodford County and live there today. I lived in Lexington for 27 years and I practice law there today.
Please get to the polls on June 25 and cast a vote that is forward-thinking for James Kay.
Anita M. Britton
Until I met John-Mark Hack on the first of June, I had not even heard his name. However, when we talked I was immediately struck by his thoughtful, sensible opinions.
The discussions of the candidates at the forum last Tuesday served to emphasize that this man has the depth of understanding and ways of looking at problems that make him a superior candidate. Some of his special qualifications were superbly captured by the Herald-Leader in its editorial endorsing him.
I encourage voters to find and read this endorsement with an open mind; it captured what I have concluded about this well-qualified candidate. John-Mark Hack is a new hope for the 56th District and Central Kentuckians should be smart enough to elect him.