- Special Sections
- Public Notices
A private show of hands, please, from those who think that the state Transportation Cabinet’s efforts to use political candidate Kent Stevens to deliver “contingency” road paving funds to Anderson County was not politically motivated in any way. (See story, A1.)
C’mon, no one’s looking. Even you lifelong Democrats who can’t stand Republicans — especially Republicans like Kim King — can raise your hands.
There. That was relatively painless and now that most of us are willing to be honest — those who refused to raise your hands are dismissed; go on, now, find something else to read — the rest of us can have an honest discussion about this issue and its root cause.
During the past week we’ve talked at length with local Democrats about this issue. Most begin by defending Stevens wholeheartedly, saying that this is how the system works and, like it or not, that’s not going to change.
As those conversations progressed, though, they started to equivocate, correctly saying that if given the chance, Republicans would do the same thing.
Then, in a moment of clarity, most admitted (albeit in a hushed voice) that what happened during last week’s fiscal court meeting just didn’t feel right. In fact, a couple of card-carrying, rock-ribbed Democrats with whom we spoke referred to it as “greasy.”
Now, before you rascally Republicans get too carried away with glee, drop the pious attitude because your party demonstrated that you’re capable of the same types of shenanigans when Ernie Fletcher was in office. You all have plenty of grease on your hands, too, so knock it off.
This is not the individual fault of Kent Stevens, Judge-Executive John Wayne Conway, Kim King or anyone else left to swim in the flotsam and jetsam wrought by the carrot-danglers in state government.
For instance, let’s take a close look at the Transportation Cabinet. It’s bad enough that Secretary Michael Hancock is allowed to have (or at least gets away with having) what King called a “slush” fund to hand out loot apparently at his own discretion. (Those who honestly feel the governor doesn’t know where that loot lands are dismissed, too.)
But the blame doesn’t lie solely on his shoulders, either. That, we’re sorry to say, lies at the feet of every single person who buys into the notion that only through having their political party of choice in power can they get what they “need” from the state or federal government.
That includes not only local politicians who have structured their own political fortunes based on the election of others vs. their own skills, but the voters who keep them in office under those pretences.
So long as we as a community, state and nation continue to look to the next level of governance to satiate our needs, we will forever be subservient to those we’ve allowed to wrest from us our ability to take care of ourselves.
If nothing else, last Tuesday’s episode in fiscal court shows that even those we’ve elected at the local level are willing to “play the game,” even when, in an honest moment, every single one of them who hasn’t already been dismissed joined you raising their hands.
The question isn’t really whether what happened that day was motivated by politics. Instead, it’s whether as a community we’re willing to continue electing people who want to “play the game,” or those willing to raise their hands, even when everyone is looking.