Sen. Rand Paul
Sen. Rand Paul

OK, nobody looks to the overheated summer rhetoric at Fancy Farm for policy details. The meat and potatoes of the annual impolitic picnic are the snide aside, the snarking while snacking, the ribbing between ribs and the tongue-in-cheekiness of the delivery.

But that’s license for creativity and humor, not outright falsehood. Sen. Rand Paul’s baseless and clumsy slam of Mayor Jim Gray for the years-long fiasco at CentrePointe was, to be kind, deceptive.

Leave aside that it’s always been a private project, then-Vice Mayor Gray had exactly nothing to do with an entire historic city block being leveled. He led efforts to increase community input in what should happen there and to prevent such demolition-by-neglect from being repeated. As mayor, he has pushed for more accountability by the developers.

Paul’s punchline — that Gray has somehow had work stopped at the site lest coal be found — surely amused Paul’s speechwriters; but nothing in Gray’s pro-business record suggests animus toward the industry.

Eastern Kentucky’s economic prospects will be hashed out in future debates, assuming the incumbent agrees to them. Surely Paul, who showed up for endless GOP presidential forums, will be eager to give Kentucky voters the opportunity to comparison shop in a serious setting. Fancy Farm is fun, but Kentuckians deserve an actual exchange of ideas. Fancy that.