Politicians always take credit for anything good (and nothing bad) that happens on their watch.
But at the rate he's going, by the time November rolls around, Mayor Jim Newberry will be taking a bow for putting the blue in bluegrass.
In the television campaign just ended, one of Newberry's commercials gives him credit for "moving Eastern State Hospital and putting Bluegrass Community and Technical College in its place."
We agree with Newberry that this new education triangle could have great benefits. But the mayor of Lexington has no control over Eastern State or BCTC, both of which are state-owned and state-controlled.
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The city has been involved, as it should be, in the planning and agreed to issue bonds for construction of a new Eastern State which the state will pay off and which is expected to begin this year.
But if any one individual deserves credit, it's Rep. Jimmie Lee of Elizabethtown who shepherded the complicated deal through the 2008 legislature.
In another commercial touting his job-creation prowess, Newberry stands in front of a busy construction site — at the University of Kentucky Hospital, a project that he had nothing to do with. The hospital project was set in motion before he became mayor, without any significant involvement by city hall other than agreeing to some street re-routings.
Newberry also claims credit for Lexington having the lowest unemployment in Kentucky. During this recession we have edged out Woodford and Oldham for lowest unemployment rate among Kentucky's 120 counties.
But Lexington has historically had lower unemployment than most Kentucky counties, some of which are the nation's poorest and not exactly who Lexington should think of as its competitors.
Among 372 metropolitan areas in March, Lexington-Fayette had the 124th lowest unemployment, just behind Hattiesburg, Miss., according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
It's probably too much to ask going forward, but Lexington deserves a more reality-based campaign for mayor.