Thomas Massie's résumé makes him an attractive candidate to represent Kentucky's 4th District in Congress. Unfortunately, this obviously intelligent, successful young man has chosen to sign on with the robotic Tea Party program rather than use his gifts to seriously wrestle with the challenges facing his district, state and country.
His campaign is funded by large amounts of money from individuals and organizations with no interest in Kentucky, which raises questions about whether he's interested in representing Kentucky, or like his supporter, Sen. Rand Paul, is using Kentucky as a springboard to a national stage.
That alone would be almost enough for his Democratic opponent, Bill Adkins, to earn our endorsement. But Adkins, a lawyer and Democratic Party activist from Grant County, has other attributes that make him a good choice. He's thoughtful and well-informed, and draws on a wide variety of life experiences in articulating his positions.
Perhaps nothing illustrates the difference better than what they said about the "fiscal cliff" during their KET debate, the only time Massie, elected in 2010 as Lewis County judge-executive. deigned to appear with Adkins.
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A combination of harsh spending cuts and tax increases will take effect in early January if Congress does not come up with an alternative. The winner of this race will take office immediately because of Geoff Davis' resignation, so will have a say in deciding what happens.
Many economists warn the economy would dip back into recession and unemployment would rise because the agreement would extract $600 billion from a still recovering economy. The National Association of Manufacturers last week warned that nearly 6 million jobs would be lost through 2014, sending unemployment to 12 percent. Just the threat of what's coming has cost nearly 1 million jobs this year, the manufacturers said.
Determined to fight the deficit, Massie said he would vote for the cuts and is "absolutely against postponing a decision."
Adkins favors a moderate approach, preserving tax cuts for small businesses and working people, while tempering cuts in domestic and defense spending until the economy is stronger.
Their answers on abortion were also enlightening. Although hoisting the torch of liberty in his campaign, Massie didn't hesitate to thrust the government into this area, saying all abortions should be illegal.
Adkins didn't dodge this hot potato. He took the risky position of saying government should not be involved in decisions about continuing or terminating pregnancies. He noted that in his law practice he daily sees the tragic results of unwanted children being brought into the world. Finally, he said that three of his own children are adopted.
Massie's total receipts in the most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission reflected $728,296 in contributions, This does not include enormous expenditures in his favor by the Liberty for All Super PAC of young Texan John Ramsey, who spent $561,000 on ads supporting Massie in the spring.
Adkins, on the other hand, reports contributions of only $76,249.
But Adkins has demonstrated an understanding of and genuine interest in promoting the interests of the district and the state. He deserves the support of voters in the 4th District.