Transparency is the key to better government
In the past few years, Kentucky has taken some steps toward strengthening transparency. Unfortunately, as we have seen in recent weeks, these steps are not enough.
Positive steps such as publishing legislators' votes online, the establishment of a spending transparency site by the governor's office and several legislative efforts to force openness in spending across all three branches of government are worthy accomplishments, but the battle is not over.
State Auditor Adam Edelen's recent investigation of former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer's office revealed a culture of waste and entitlement on the taxpayer's dime.
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The problem is that we found out about this wasteful spending years after the fact. The damage has already been done. Edelen's audit is proof that the transparency battle must continue.
Wasteful spending and abuse of power can be prevented with proactive, real-time, electronic self-disclosure of activities within a state agency. After all, if we want accountability for our state officials, transparency is the first step.
Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions
Fayette bad face for Derby
My wife and I made a trip to Louisville on Thursday prior to the running of the Oaks and the Derby. We were astonished and amazed to see the deplorable state of maintenance of our medians and sides of our roadways here in Fayette County, the "Horse Capital of the World."
From the Woodford County line through Franklin County, Shelby County and Jefferson County, the medians and sides of the roads had been recently mowed and properly trimmed.
You would have thought that the same would have been true for Fayette County. But no. Our roadways looked terrible. Way to go. We really put on a good face for all of the Derby visitors that were staying in or visiting our fair city.
Romney's boyish whoppers
Mitt Romney reminds me of a toy my brother had, and I suspect most brothers had, growing up in the '80s.
The toy was a little guy that was part of the Masters of the Universe collection. You could operate a small switch on the back of the guy's neck and different faces would flip around. I guess the little guy fooled unassuming victims in the Master's of the Universe cartoon by constantly changing his face.
In fact, Romney reminds me of little kids about my brother's age when he watched that cartoon. Little kids, when asked to explain why the cookies are gone or why they threw spit balls in class, they scratch their heads, look up at the sky and down at the ground as they carefully concoct another tale which may save them from disastrous consequences.
Likewise, poor Romney believes when he says he was the one that saved the auto industry and other tales he spews, that he can "shake the Etch-A-Sketch" like a little kid and everyone will believe his whoppers.
Angela M. Arnett
Senators snubbed Cats
On May 4, the University of Kentucky national championship basketball team was honored at the White House. Conspicuous in their absence at the ceremony were our senators McConnell and Paul.
Can we not put down politics for one minute and celebrate with a group of non-political kids who, collectively, have put aside personal interests for the good of the group? Is the example set by this team not shared by our senior leaders?
What is wrong with politics today, whether Democrat or Republican? Is the goal for our senators of regaining the White House more important than showing young people how to achieve through placement of group over self?
I feel McConnell and Paul have shown through their absence that they are willing to place more importance on personal goals than on sacrifice and the greater good which may result from it.
This shameful act on the part of our leaders should be remembered in the future and during the next election cycle.