Thursday, May 17, 2007

Benchmark Election For Southern Progressives

Progressives have an opportunity on Tuesday to prove hundreds of strategists wrong. Kentucky is holding its primary elections and the Governor's race pits Progressive former Lt. Gov and AG Steve Beshear against millionaire businessman Bruce Lunsford, a man who has strongly supported George W. Bush, Mitch McConnell, Ernie Fletcher, and Anne Northup. Lunsford has outspent Beshear nearly 3-1, but Beshear passed Lunsford in the polls this week and has a chance to topthe 40 percent mark needed to avoid a run-off and win the primary outright.

The importance of the race however, goes further than pure ideology. Yes, Bruce Lunsford said he will allow public schools to teach creationism. And he campaigned actively against Democrat Ben Chandler when Ernie Fletcher won the Kentucky Governors race in 2003, the first time a Republican won the office in 30 years.

This race involves a candidate in Bruce Lunsford, who not only belongs in the Republican primary, but he belongs in the Ken Lay wing of the Republican Party. Lunsford made his millions founding the healthcare company formerly known as Vencor. While he was the CEO, the federal government brought a fraud claim of $1.3 billion against it, alleging that Vencor overbilled Medicare.

The company eventually agreed to pay a $104.5 million settlement, and ended up in bankruptcy. However, Lunsford's attacks on Kentucky's working families may not have ended there. Lunsford split his Vencor company before it headed to bankruptcy and created a second company, Ventas. It may not be to anyone’s surprise that the wife of Senator Mitch McConnell, current Secretary of Labor to George W. Bush, Elaine Chao, was named to the Board of Directors.

In 1997, Lunsford and his partners were sued for "insider trading, fraudulent omissions and stock prices punctured by bad news in the health care industry." (Lexington Herald Leader, 6/1/2001) The lawsuit was tossed by a Louisville judge but in 2001, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati reinstated the case after holding that the plaintiffs arguments "permit a strong inference that defendants engaged in securities fraud." (Courier-Journal, 6/7/2001)

Lunsford never learned to steer clear of his crowd of Republican friends, and ran for governor with a coterie of advisors that looked like a Jack Abramoff foursome returning from a Scottish golfing trip. One of his top advisors in 2003, Larry Townsend, followed Lunsford's lead in supporting George W. Bush, and even took it a step further by co-chairing "Democrats for Bush" with Zell Miller.

Now Kentucky faces a scenario where Mitch McConnell's friend Bruce Lunsford is trying to masquerade as a Democrat and put a stop to the Ditch Mitch efforts in 2008. The contrast could not be clearer. In 1996, Steve Beshear opposed mitch McConnell in a race for the United States Senate. Bruce Lunsford has been one of Mitch McConnell’s top supporters.

If Bruce Lunsford succeeds, he will help McConnell stay in power and continue pushing George W. Bush's efforts to escalate the war in Iraq. It’s time for all Democrats in Kentucky to make sure that McConnell and Bush are not allowed to hijack the Democratic Party in Kentucky. Keep their friend Bruce Lunsford out of the Statehouse. Support a true Progressive in Steve Beshear on Tuesday.


At 12:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck!

At 10:21 AM, Blogger Tom3 said...

Any candidate who thinks public schools can teach evolution is unqualified to hold office, because they don't have the minimal knowledge of the law required for the job.

The US Supreme Court ruled in 1998 that it is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to teach Creationism in public schools. And in the Dover, PA case, the judge ruled that Intelligent Design is just "creationism in a cheap suit" and also violates the First Amendment.

Any candidate for public office who does not know this case is too freakin stupid to be in office.

At 10:21 AM, Blogger Tom3 said...

Oops, typo. That ruling was 1988.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Tom3 said...

Oops, another typo, I meant "creationism" not evolution.

I'm probably not qualified to hold office either, too many typos.

At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Beshear is trending the right way at the right way. Since Jonathon Miller dropped out last week, most of his supporters, myself included, moved into the Beshear camp. He's a good guy and I do like him but his running mate, Daniel Mongairdo is a fool.

Mongairdo nearly unseated Senator Bunning (what an embarassment he is) in 2004 and probably would have had he not been so desperate to prove his manhood. On the last day of the General Assembly, Mongairdo co-sponsored the Marriage Amendment, which up until that point wasn't going to pass, after State Senate President David Williams (R- Friend of Mitch) began hinting that Mongairdo was gay.

By helping to put that hateful amendment on the ballot, Mongairdo brought out a lot of fundies that might not have voted, and as a result he lost. So, I'll still vote for Beshear on Tuesday knowing that in Kentucky the LT. Governror doesn't do a damn thing.

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Zandar said...

Here in the NKY suburbs of Cincy, you'd think Fletcher was running unopposed. He's already got the commercials out touting how he's responsible for everything remotely good in the state, with images of a candle burning in the blackness and all. No mention of the deal he cut to avoid prosecution on nepotism charges, of course. Hell, I passed the Fletcher tour bus on Turfway earlier this week.

But I think people are strongly underestimating the creationist vote in this state, after all that whole Creationist Museum near Louisville is going to open here soon and it's expected to be a pretty decent draw. Creationism voters aren't limited to Republicans in KY.

Bruce Lunsford's job is to force a runoff, where he can do as much damage to Basheer as possible in a head to head race and drain his bank account, and soften him up for Ernie.

Meanwhile, Ernie can continue to run a "clean campaign on the issues" because Lunsford's doing all the dirty work for him.

It's a pretty depressing situation, but it's all the more necessary that national attention be put on this race to get Ernie Fletcher out of office. If Ernie stays, we'll *never* get rid of Mitch McConMan.

At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Jon, the Creationist Museum is nowhere near Louisville, it's in Northern Kentucky near Cincy. It's not something that would go over well in Louisville which is much more liberal than any other part of the state, especially Northern Kentucky. You never hear a single peep about creationism or intelligent design down here and anyone who ran for office advocating such a thing would go down in flames in Jefferson County. Just wanted to make that clear as those of us in Louisville don't much care for the political beliefs of the rest of the state. There is Louisville and then there is Kentucky.

At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beshear, "Progressive", huh? Well, Mr. Progressive's big plan for Kentucky is to invite casinos into the state. No calls for productive industries to come here have been heard from Beshear. Nope, only the single most parasitic type of business have enjoyed Beshear's welcome in his campaign.

Against Fletcher, I will of course vote for Beshear in the general election, but I do not expect his determination to bilk the suckers will do squat for my state.

As for the previous threadster's comment that Louisville is more liberal than Kentucky overall, 'tis true perhaps, but L'ville gave America Mitch McConnell, so I see no laurels for the town to rest upon.


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