1. This blog has a list of topics over on the right sidebar, one of which is the United States Constitution. That document is very important to me for a number of reasons. Twenty-six entries on this blog have been marked with a "US Constitution" tag. It serves as the Bible for our government, and if it is the Bible, then Robert Byrd certainly must have been God. United States Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia and the longest serving Senator in the history of the United States, passed away two days ago. While he was known to cite the Romans, Shakespeare, and the Bible, along with long passages of poetry as part of his oratorical skills, it was the United States Constitution he most often referenced when informing his colleagues on why things are as they are in the United States. There is a reason and it is spelled out in the Constitution, a copy of which he maintained in his breast pocket, and which quite often he pulled from there as a very strong and potent visual aide while speaking.
While his early life is marked with some errant decisions, he later rebuked those and became a leading liberal and beloved figure not only in Washington but more importantly in his home state of West Virginia, our neighbor to the east. Though some saw him as a throwback to a bygone era, he will be remembered as one whose first interest was that of the people, especially those he represented in West Virginia. And his adherance to the Constitution served as a strong protective element against the powers of the presidency which most often have been used against the less fortunate and underrepresented. Senator Byrd, Rest In Peace. +
2. The Louisville Metro Council tonight interviewed candidates to fill the open seat in the Sixth Council District, created by the unfortunate and untimely passing of George Unseld. Ten candidates made their pitch. I am supporting my friend Ken Herndon who sought the office in 2008. Two other candidates are friends, Mr. Keith Hunter and Ms. Bobbie Powell, and one other candidate is someone I knew many years ago. The LEO Fat Lip column (www.leoweekly.com) has reported that Herndon is the favorite. The vote to fill the vacancy until an election can be held this November will take place at a meeting of the Council tomorrow night beginning at 5:00 pm.
3. Finally, my friend and fellow blogger Tim Havrilek, a western Kentucky Democrat who blogs at www.undergroundrooster.blogspot.com, has an entry today on two different subjects, the first being a rumor concerning Frankfort. I try not to report all the rumors coming out about Frankfort because too many of them turn out to be true, which is usually not a good thing. But the second part of his entry concerns this fall's United States Senate race in Kentucky. Actually, it concerns the United States Senate races in Kentucky during the last twenty-six years, which is to say the era of one Addison Mitchell McConnell, Jr., which began with some hounddogs on a TV commercial seeking out the Democratic incumbent who apparently missed more meetings than he should have.
Tim's article on the McConnell era appears below in italics. He begins by taking a swing at what he perceives to be the plan put forth for this fall by the Kentucky Democratic Party's candidates and leaders saying it "empowers unions, liberals, and minorities." Those bastards! Ok, Tim didn't call us bastards - he is not that kind of guy. But here along the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606, if you take away the votes of the unions, liberals, and minorities, few, if any, Democrats would be elected to any county-wide offices. Those are important votes here. But, as Tim points out with numbers to back him up, those elements aren't important in most of Kentucky's other counties.
Tim's article caught my eye because not only does he provide the electoral returns - numbers - to make his claim, he also posits solutions to Kentucky's failure to elect Democrats to the world's most exclusive club - the 100 member United States Senate - with specific counties. I like "talking 'bout counties" and those who are in charge of the fall elections would do well to read Tim's ideas. The specific counties he mentions are Hardin (Elizabethtown, Radcliff, and Fort Knox), Barren (Glasgow), Christian (Hopkinsville and Fort Campbell), Warren (Bowling Green), and Daviess (Owensboro). I would counter that Daviess is already ours and would replace it with McCracken (Paducah) but that is just me. Tim makes some very good points, many we do not often think about here in the land of unions, liberals, and minorities. I urge you to read his article below, or better yet, go visit his blog and comment there.
One final cautionary and educational note, though. Based on Tim's figures below, the candidate who did come closest to defeating Senator McConnell after his initial vicotry over Dee Huddleston, was not an Ag-loving, gun-toting, military man from the First or Second Congressional District. No, it was a bleeding-heart leftie from the land of unions, liberals, and minorities, the red-jacketed, Ford Maverick driving Dr. George Harvey Ingalls Sloane, Democrat, a resident of Old Louisville, former Mayor of Louisville, and Judge/Executive of Jefferson County.
From The Underground Rooster, www.undergroundrooster.com, written by Tim Havrilek
It would appear to me that Gov. Beshear, Conway and the Party are putting together the traditional general election campaign that empowers unions, liberals, and minorities. A strategy that has spelled doom since 1984. Rand Paul will surely run against Obama and a liberal agenda. The usual "Golden Triangle" strategy has failed time and again but always looks good on paper to the DNC.
Obama garnered a 49,136 vote margin out of Jefferson and Fayette and ending up losing Kentucky by 296,477 votes. Lunsford had about the same margin of victory out of these two counties but lost by almost 107,000 votes. Here are some statistics of this failed strategy over the last 26 years.
1984: McConnell: 644,990 - Huddleston: 639,821
1990: McConnell: 478,034 - Sloane: 437,976
1996: McConnell: 724,794 - Beshear: 560,012
1998: Bunning: 569,817 - Baesler: 563,051
2002: McConnell: 731,679 - Weinberg: 339,634
2004: Bunning: 873,507 - Mongiardo: 850,855
2008: McConnell: 953,816 - Lunsford: 847,005
By my assessment of the last 26 years I have concluded that for the democrats to win they must employ a "must win" strategy in 5 counties which included Barren, Christian, Warren, Hardin and Daviess. Only a moderate to conservative stance on just about every issue will be required. The main themes will have to be agriculture, military, veterans and industry. The margin of error is very slim for the Jack Conway. Conway will have to prove that he is committed to staunchly defending Fort Knox and Fort Campbell as well as Agriculture. I think its important for democrats in Rural Kentucky and these 5 counties to hear that Conway will seek a seat on Agriculture and Defense Committees and Sub Committees.
In the last 26 years in these 7 U.S. Senate races the democrats have only carried 3 of these counties on 4 occasions. Huddleston carried his home county of Hardin by only 465 votes in 1984. In 1990, Harvey Sloane carried Daviess County by 655 votes over McConnell. In 1998, Scotty Baesler carried 2 of 5 by winning in Barren County by 187 votes over Bunning and he also carried Daviess County by 1350 votes.