Talking points are a reality of our current political system. Take for example Ernie Fletcher’s need to hand out more checks so he can get reelected. Ernie is willing to spend $60,000.00 a day of our money so he can get the legislature to rubber stamp him handing out even more of our money.
The proclamation by the Governor can be seen here.
Some of the things that can’t wait until the Legislature meets in January are:
1. Funds for a potential Presidential Debate.
2. A grant for the Louisville Zoo
3. Funds for a parking structure at Kentucky State University
4. Buying property for parking lots at Western Kentucky University
5. Funds to expand Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium
I’m not going to argue that value of these proposed expenditures and the others in the proclamation. But really can’t these wait 6 months?
As we’ve seen on numerous occasions, the Democrats in the Legislature have lacked the intestinal fortitude to tell Ernie to take it and shove it. Faced with the opportunity to pass the pork around to the home folks, I don’t really see them standing up now.
But the war of talking points goes on. Here are the two sides.
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Fletcher today signed a proclamation calling for a special session of the Kentucky General Assembly to begin Thursday, July 5. The primary purpose of the session is to provide incentives for energy companies looking to build alternative fuels facilities.
The proposed energy legislation would encourage the production and use of alternative fuels and renewable energy resources while promoting energy conservation and efficiency through economic development and educational incentives.
“We cannot sit idly by and let tremendous economic development opportunities pass us by,” said Governor Fletcher. “Peabody Energy has expressed an interest in locating a facility in the Commonwealth. I believe it is likely they will locate a facility in Kentucky, but only if these incentives are available.”
In addition to an energy bill, Governor Fletcher has directed the General Assembly to discuss other issues including:
The appropriation of funds and the approval of bonds supported by the General Fund for capital projects at state universities;
The appropriation of funds and the approval of bonds for new capital projects;
Legislation that ensures that health insurance coverage for employees of public agencies adheres to the Constitution;
And legislation that exempts active duty and reserve military pay from the Kentucky income tax.
“While the urgent need to pass an energy bill to attract jobs and economic development is the reason for calling this special session, there are other issues that the legislature should consider that are very important to the Commonwealth,” said Governor Fletcher.
For the past few weeks, Governor Fletcher has flip-flopped on a decision to call a $60,000-a-day special session of the legislature. Last night, he issued the call for Thursday, giving lawmakers just one working day to prepare to tackle a five-page agenda of issues. The special session simply provides welfare for politicians, and it is very unfair to Kentucky taxpayers. Included are talking points and a set of quotes from a diverse group of political and policy experts to help you communicate this important bi-partisan message. As always, we encourage you to distribute this document to your email lists as well as to other outlets in your community.
RAPID RESPONSE ALERT
STOP THE SPECIAL INTEREST SPECIAL SESSION:BAN WELFARE FOR POLTICIANS
This Thursday, Governor Ernie Fletcher is calling the General Assembly in for an extraordinary special session, for no reason except partisan politics, at the cost of $60,000 a day, to be paid for by Kentucky taxpayers. Please help us put a stop to this transparent effort to try to rescue his failing re-election bid. Contact your legislators, local media outlets, and friends today to urge a ban on welfare for politicians:
Ernie Fletcher’s special session would cost taxpayers $60,000 every day; $300,000 every week; $1.2 million every month. This is our money, and it should not be used for political purposes. We need to ban welfare for politicians.
Dr. Ernie Fletcher’s re-election campaign is in Code Blue; many experts have pronounced it brain-dead. The special session is a desperate attempt to infuse taxpayer dollars to resuscitate his dying campaign.
Ernie Fletcher’s call for a special session is also an attempt to distract attention from the continuing scandals of his Administration. Just last week, former Fletcher aide Sam Beverage testified that transportation dollars were being used in a blatant attempt to reward political allies and punish partisan enemies. The drip, drip, drip of political scandals is turning into a flood: soon we may need to build an ark and gather the animals.
There is no urgent need for this special session. Most of the measures were proposed and passed by the House earlier this year. Senate President David Williams did not think the energy incentives were urgent when he killed them only a few months ago. Governor Fletcher did not think the state university projects were urgent when he vetoed them last year and went MIA this session.
As a legislative hearing revealed last week, coal-to-liquid technologies need further research and investigation. This was made clear recently when the U.S. Senate struck down federal incentives, making these projects less financially viable.
This week’s Scooter Libby pardon reminds us that our current state and federal leaders believe that they are above the law. We cannot let Mr. Pardon himself, Ernie Fletcher, get away with yet another attempt to use public funds to advance his own personal, partisan interests.
WHAT’S THE BUZZ?
WHAT BI-PARTISAN EXPERTS SAY ABOUT FLETCHER’S CALL FOR SPECIAL SESSION
Chris Derry, president of the conservative Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions: "Precious little evidence supports Fletcher's call for a special session…that is, unless the wager is a political one in which the governor simply wants more fodder for his reelection campaign.”
House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover (R-Jamestown): “After you look at [the session agenda], a lot of those items are projects for universities, that the House passed actually during the 2007 session and that the Senate, for whatever reason, did not take action on it. It’s the same list of projects that the Governor vetoed in 2006. But there are still a lot of items on the call…We could be in Frankfort for, in my opinion, four or five weeks or longer.”
Tom FitzGerald, director of the non-profit environmental advocacy group Kentucky Resources Council: a special session will be a “waste of taxpayers’ money…to throw more incentives to companies who have already committed to Kentucky.”
House Speaker Jody Richards (D-Bowling Green): Fletcher had "loaded [the agenda for the special session] up" to appeal to a wide range of people for political reasons. "It certainly looks about as political as any call I've ever seen."
Conservative political columnist John David Dyche: Fletcher “hopes to score some easy political points by calling a superfluous special session. Nothing on his agenda justifies returning legislators to Frankfort at $60,000 daily.
I’ll finish with a few of nit-picking comments for the Democrats:
First, I hate the term “welfare for politicians”, if this is the best you can do get some new writers. I seem to remember this from when the Republicans were scrapping campaign finance reform.
Second, when you send an attachment to an email, please clean up the mail merge information. The email I received from Allison Haley, Communications Director for the Democratic Party, or the intern that actually sent the email, had way too much information about the SQL database and the server that houses that database, among other things. The master.mdb is mapped to the root of the N drive, right?
Third, six changes in font size in one email, what style manual are you using?
Fourth, why isn't this on the front page of the Democratic party website?