Searching for a senator
This election year, please be sure to vote for the Senate candidate who:
■ Supports coal.
■ Wants to help women.
■ Wants to create jobs in areas like coal mining and manufacturing.
■ Believes our education and student loan systems need an overhaul.
■ Believes in the Second Amendment and the rights of gun owners.
■ Believes in small government (except, of course, where their pet projects are concerned.)
■ Believes that taxes can be cut and our deficit reduced at the same time.
■ Wants government spending slashed but somehow government services provided at modern levels or greater while still being a "smaller government."
■ Has a campaign that is primarily makes witty quips about the other person.
■ Gives no good reason to vote for them but plenty of reasons not to vote for the other person.
And once you figure out which candidate is which, let the rest of us know.
Steven A. Taylor
McConnell doing his job
When I was a freshman in high school at Burnside years ago, they taught us that senators' and representatives' jobs were to bring up bills, pass legislation and make laws — not make jobs.
Why does our secretary of state change the job description?
In 1983, the governor, not any senator, gave taxes incentives for Toyota to come here. Corporations and businesses bring jobs.
As governor in West Virginia, Joe Manchin was rated very highly by Wall Street for bringing jobs to his state. Since he has been a rookie senator he laments not being able to do anywhere near what he did as governor, so much so that he's talking about running for governor again.
To vote Democratic is to please the president. I am a Democrat for 40 years now, and I'm voting for Sen. Mitch McConnell. It would be stupid to give up our position in the Senate.
Ray E. Davis
Patterson for Senate
We are some days removed from Fancy Farm 2014, and I am not impressed. As it stands today, we have no hope for our future. Between the establishment in Washington and the establishment in Frankfort there's not a dime's worth of difference.
I am a Democrat and I support my party wherever and whenever I can. But I cannot in good conscience support Alison Lundergan Grimes or Mitch McConnell for U.S. Senate.
Instead, I will be voting third party this season. And I am voting for David Patterson, the Libertarian candidate for United States Senate.
Patterson is humble, passionate, loyal, determined, dedicated, driven and ready to lead (Western) Kentucky and help lead our great country into the 21st century and beyond.
A friend of nukes
As Senate majority whip, Sen. Mitch McConnell supported and helped pass the 2005 Energy Policy Act. This law gave new nuclear power plants the same incentives as solar and wind energy, plus billions in both guarantees and low-interest federal loans. Many more subsidies for nuclear than wind and solar get.
As a direct result of these subsidies, and $6.5 billion in federal loans, two new nuclear power plants are being built in Georgia and two more in South Carolina.
Together they will displace enough coal to generate 40 percent of Kentucky's electrical demand. A massive hit to coal demand is coming in 2017 and 2018 when these four 1,117 MW generating plants are completed.
South Carolina gets 49 percent of its coal from Kentucky. I could not find data for Georgia.
With "friends" like this, who needs enemies?
Barr wrong on health law
Rep. Andy Barr represents a district comprised of the following counties with many residents insured under Obamacare as of April 21:
Anderson (1,539), Bath (1,513), Bourbon (1,759), Clark (3,030), Estill (1,987), Fayette (22,557), Franklin (3.773), Fleming (1,880), Harrison (1,599), Jessamine (4,132), Madison (7,535), Menifee (751), Montgomery (3.022), Nicholas (939), Powell (1.603), Robertson (250), Scott (2,978) and Wolfe (1,175).
Now, before Barr and Sen. Mitch McConnell scream socialism and extol free markets, let's consider that between 1995 and 2012 alone, Kentucky's farmers received $3.79 billion in subsidies. Helping Kentucky farmers doesn't bother me. However, most farm subsidies were collected by 10 percent of state farmers.
Thanks to Gov. Steve Beshear, 413,410 Kentuckians have medical insurance through Obamacare and the subsequent Medicaid expansion. Why did Barr vote repeatedly to take medical insurance away from his own constituents?
I'm a registered independent and I no longer even consider voting Republican.
Don't be fooled
I simply cannot see how any Kentuckian could cast a vote for Mitch McConnell. He has been in office nearly 30 years and has done nothing for the average Kentuckian.
What is one to say about a man who opposes a much-needed increase in the minimum wage and voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act? What is one to make of a senator who led the filibuster against a bill that would have allowed Kentuckians to refinance student loans at lower rates?
One can say that he has no compassion for and no understanding of the financial pressures ordinary citizens experience. He calls himself a "friend of coal" but he did nothing when the number of mining jobs in Eastern Kentucky fell from over 30,000 to under 6,000 on his watch.
So don't be fooled by the rhetoric emanating from the Koch-brothers-funded McConnell campaign. Vote smart for Alison Grimes.
Accessible vs. effective
The recent spate of suspiciously similar letters praising Rep. Andy Barr's accessibility suggests that his campaign has calculated that this focus is their best strategy for securing his reelection.
It's time to point out that the critical question that voters should consider is not how accessible a congressman has or has not been, but how well he has represented and advanced the best interests of his constituents.
On the latter issue, Barr has failed miserably, ranging from his multiple votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act (which has benefited Kentuckians probably more than residents of any other state), to shutting down the government (to defund the law), to opposing financial and immigration reform, as well as measures empowering government to provide jobs or improve the nation's infrastructure.
In contrast, his opponent, Elisabeth Jensen, gives strong indications she will indeed be an effective representative of the people of her district.
Robert Emmett Curran
McConnell blames others
As I understand it, this is what Sen. Mitch McConnell actually said to the editor of the Beattyville Enterprise: "Economic development is a Frankfort issue. That's is not my job. It is the primary responsibility of the state Commerce Cabinet."
Take out that short second sentence and McConnell's comment changes dramatically. It seems like this sentence doesn't even belong here. It's out of place. Everyone knows he was visiting Beattyville to talk about jobs.
This mismatch gives us good reason to suppose McConnell meant to say something different in between the first and third sentences. Maybe something like this: You should blame them, not me.
That's the real problem, isn't it? Instead of offering constructive suggestions, McConnell wanted to blame someone else. It makes you wonder if he cares about anything besides politics.