Congressional hopeful may surprise you

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 Column as I see ’em …

The newspaper industry is dying, which is why there is a ridiculous number of paid inserts in this week’s paper.

There are so many, in fact, that we had to print this week’s paper Monday instead of Tuesday.

If only actual death were so profitable.

The fear, and it’s real, on the part of the ink-stained wretches or operator of our printing plant in Cynthiana, is that the machine that shoves all of those inserts into the newspaper will break down, leaving them hopelessly unable to finish the job in time to get thousands of subscriptions to the post office on time for Wednesday’s mail.

That fear is real because that’s exactly what happened a few years ago. We did our level best — the staff here was literally chasing down mail carriers already on their routes and handing them bundles of newspapers — to get the papers out on time, many of our faithful subscribers didn’t get their papers until Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

That not only frustrated the tarnation out of our readers, it left those who spend money pitching their Black Friday sales bug-eyed with anger.

Yours truly had, as Lucy told Ricky, lots of ’splainin to do for something I had absolutely no control over.

I run the risk of boring you with all of this inside baseball information because that same early deadline forced me to put on hold two significant news stories.

One is an in-depth look at school bus safety after state inspectors showed up a couple of weeks ago and took several buses off the road. After a week of filing open records requests and otherwise bugging the life out of Superintendent Sheila Mitchell, I finally secured most of the documents I needed late Thursday afternoon. 

That’s a fairly significant stack of paperwork to sort through and there simply wasn’t enough time to interview Sheila — I’ve already interviewed some bus garage folks who blew the whistle on some of these problems — and compose an accurate news story.

It will be in next week’s paper, and I can tell you right now it’s a real eye-opener.

Another good one I had to put on hold until next week is a story about Amy McGrath, the retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel and fighter pilot gunning for the seat in Congress currently occupied by Andy Barr.

I sat with her for nearly three hours last Friday and bounced dozens of questions off her ranging from her views of President Trump (spoiler alert: she detests him) to climate change and the recent tax reform bill Barr voted for.

BTW: She’s no fan of Barr, either.

McGrath, a Kentucky native who entered the race with no money and  is given zero chance to win the Democrat primary, has taken her party by storm, thanks to a viral video she used to introduce herself. She’s already making the rounds among national media types, and recently appeared on a Netflix show hosted by Chelsea Handler, whom I’d never heard of but is apparently a smash hit among those who adore lefty comedians.

More importantly, she’s drawing rave reviews from local Democrats who have met her, including a couple of folks in my office who actually posed with her for photos while she was here.

Politics and viewpoints aside, I’ll say this: I’ve interviewed enough politicians to make a skunk hold its nose and found McGrath remarkably straightforward, honest and unafraid to say exactly what’s on her mind. 

Not one of her answers sounded scripted or rehearsed, even knowing full well that some of her responses won’t set will with many of you.

You might be surprised, though, at how many of her positions you might agree with, which apparently has her fully at odds with Democrats at the national level.


Speaking of disagree …

Those familiar with Judicial Watch know it’s political leanings, which are decidedly to the right.

On this week’s front page, you’ll see a news article in which that group calls the state’s voter rolls “dirty,” which they very well may be.

Frankly, I think the group is much more eager to assign that moniker to our secretary of state, who thumbed her nose at it and the Trump administration when it requested voter information that can be purchased, but apparently not shared with a duly constituted federal agency unless the party affiliation matches that of the secretary.


Speaking of voting …

There’s rumbling among county clerks statewide that voters may be able to cast their ballots on what amounts to an iPad next November, and most are far from happy with the idea.

They’re not being technical Neanderthals. Their opposition is with the secretary of state, of course, who comes up with these ideas but has no means of to help fund them.

Please let me know if that comes as a surprise.