Lackluster governor's race missing key issues
The competition for Kentucky governor has been ho-hum; I'd hardly call it a race. The incumbent is leading from behind, the second place challenger is adored by few, and the rear guard has some good ideas but no chance. I did not partake of the debate, but judging from KET's Comment on Kentucky, I didn't miss much.
That's too bad, because there are a number of issues which, if addressed, could make a sizable improvement in the financial health of the commonwealth. These issues have been given little in-depth coverage in the media.
The issues are simple.
■ Should Kentucky replace its personal income tax with a consumption tax? In years past, the Herald-Leader has lamented that government receipts were down. Kentucky relies too heavily on an income tax. Actual data have shown that states with sales, but not income taxes, fare best in down economies.
■ Should Kentucky revise its tax structure to encourage business relocation to the commonwealth? Big tax incentives don't appear to be the real answer. And, of course, we'd like to keep the businesses already here.
■ Should Kentucky become a right-to-work state? Kentucky is the only southeastern state not right-to-work.
The issues are simple, but their resolutions are not. They should be vigorously discussed.
Say no back to GOP
2011 was the Republican "Summer of no love" for Americans.
GOP said "no" to everything and played dangerous "shut down the government" games, and got paid for it.
Corporations use Republican lackeys to shake the last dollar from American workers while keeping $1.3 trillion "entitlement" untaxed profits overseas. The Tea Party Republican debate was chilling and alarming: cheers and sneers of intolerance and bigotry barely concealed their "Let them die" attitudes.
That debate revealed GOP plans as anti-America: Republican state legislators joining forces with a Republican Congress, building their "no" consensus into guillotines.
The congressional supercommittee is classic GOP. Wars and deregulation created this elephantine debt they now demand be reduced by $1.5 trillion in 10 years with entitlement beheadings on the table.
Republicans don't know that since their 2008 meltdown, consumers reduced their debt by $1.3 trillion.
Unlike Congress, consumers wrote their own checks.
Vote "no" Republicans. It's all they understand.
Can't blame media
The Republican nominee for governor claims the news media have been unfair to him and tarnished his reputation. He claims that his positions have often been determined by the Republican caucus. If he cannot lead his caucus, how can he lead Kentucky?
He is drastically mistaken — the news media did not create his reputation; it is of his own making.
As for me, and any I might influence, Steve Beshear will continue as our governor. He has proven himself a most capable leader in these tough times.
James M. Groves
No immunity for banks
I am proud that Kentucky's attorney general, Jack Conway, has added his name to a list of state law enforcers who fear that a settlement being negotiated between the government and big banks is a "get out of jail free" card.
Americans have lost homes, investments and jobs. It is unthinkable and arrogant for banks to ask for immunity from criminal or civil action until investigations into wrongdoing are completed. The damage done to the middle class will takes years to heal, if ever. Yet banks are pushing for a broad release from any liability. They do this at the same time they are trying to limit any regulation that controls and protects America and the American people. They used lobbyists to remove the controls put in place after the Great Depression, abused the system and stole our prosperity, and now want immunity.
Thanks, Conway. I wish we had more elected officials like you.
I would guess people in Kentucky wish the governor's election was this Tuesday, as every person I talk with is tired of the useless, and mostly untrue, rhetoric. For example, Steve Beshear talks about responsibility, but I recall when he was hired to handle the legal matters involving Kentucky Central Life Insurance Co.'s bankruptcy.
Former Commissioner Don Stevens and Beshear agreed the legal fees involved in handling the bankruptcy would be billed at $130 per hour. The bill amounted to about $21 million.
Using the figure $21 million, as reported in the Herald-Leader, and dividing that amount by $130, it appears that Beshear billed the Kentucky Central stockholders for more than 161,000 hours. Or, 13,461 12-hour days, or, about 449 months.
That doesn't sound like accountability to me. Maybe Beshear has some documentation to support his billings.
If I vote Nov. 8, it will not be for Sen. David Williams or Beshear.
Scary debate crowd
Very scary Republicans: Crowds at debates cheer that Texas Gov. Rick Perry presided over hundreds of state executions, they scream for the death of an uninsured patient and boo a gay American soldier. If you are a Republican and are not ashamed of the radical religious-right, seek professional help for your mental problems before you hurt someone.
Neglecting the positive
I am convinced I remain one of the few who prefer hard-copy newsprint and home-brewed coffee over staff-selected electronic articles and corporate Kona. This intimate reading relationship ensures my attention to installments of the series "Voiceless and Vulnerable."
The stories outlined health care deficiencies surrounding the deaths of Larry Joe Lee and Larry Bruce Huff, Golden Years Rest Home in general, the disposition of elder family members at the new emergency site on Winchester Road and the amazing renaissance of Oakwood.
Each of these stories merits the public's attention, and every problem behind these stories demands redress and correction.
Yet a revolutionary, first-of-its-kind-in-Kentucky concept in health care has been all but snubbed by the Herald-Leader, in spite of the fact that more than one staff writer was invited to cover the event.
On Sept. 28, Wesley Village Retirement Community in Wilmore dedicated Holloway Cottage, the first small home for memory care in the commonwealth.
This concept, while only new to Kentucky, merited sufficient recognition that Gov. Steve Beshear chose to join United Methodist Bishop Lindsey Davis and 300 guests and dignitaries to inaugurate this privately funded and debt-free senior health care model serving residents suffering from substantive cognitive impairment.
That's a lot of important points in just two sentences.
I posit that the small, incomplete paragraph in the Life section announcing the dedication of Holloway Cottage, juxtaposed with that day's editorial advocating mental health care reform, is not only disingenuous regarding health care in toto, but egregious in your neglect to cover positive advances in health care.