Tuesday, December 13, 2011

711. Section 73; Section 228, and a visit to Choateville

Section 73 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky reads as follows:

The Governor and the Lieutenant Governor shall commence the execution of the duties of their offices on the fifth Tuesday succeeding their election, and shall continue in the execution thereof until a successor shall have qualified.

Today was the fifth Tuesday succeeding the recent election for governor and lieutenant governor wherein the slate of incumbent Governor Steve Beshear and the former mayor of both the City of Louisville and of its successor-in-law the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government Jerry E. Abramson defeated the slate of State Senate President David Williams and the now-former Commissioner of Agriculture Richie Farmer. As such, Beshear and Abramson today celebrated their inauguration by taking the celebrated Oath of Office, as prescribed in Section 228 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which reads, in part:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and be faithful and true to the Commonwealth of Kentucky so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully execute, to the best of my ability, the office of [governor, lieutenant governor] according to the law, and I do further solemnly swear (or affirm) that since the adoption of the present Constitution, I, being a citizen of this State, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within this State nor out of it nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, nor have I acted as second in carrying a challenge, nor aided or assisted any person thus offending, so help me God.

Both gentlemen having sworn or affirmed that they were in the business of upholding constitutions and not in the business of duelling with deadly weapons, even as a second, even in another state, they were dutifully sworn into office by the Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court, the Hon. James Minton.

As I have done twelve previous times, I attended these ceremonies up and down Capital Avenue in Kentucky's very beautiful capital city of Frankfort. My first inauguration was for Governor Ned Breathitt as a three-year-old with my mother, Barbara Hockensmith, and her mother's aunt, Dorothy Borden Collins Austin Hedger, who, at the time, lived on Second Street just east of the VFW Post. The house is gone and the lot now serves as a parking lot for the VFW.

I participated in the inaugurals of three successive governors, Martha Layne collins (1983), Wallace Wilkinson (1987), and Brereton Jones (1991), although the latter was purely by accident, being invited at the last minute by a high-ranking official to whom I could not say no.

I was fortunate enough to have seats in the inauguration of Steve Beshear four years ago and even better seats for today's event, which I attended with my dear friend Michael (Eli) Garton, also of Louisville.

While there are at this hour festivities continuing, we have returned home, here along the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606. We had viewed parts of the parade, which included marching bands from 54 high schools across the Commonwealth and a total of 4150 participants. We were treated to some food and drink in several places, among which were offices of the House Leadership including Speaker Greg Stumbo (of Prestonsburg) and Speaker Pro-Tem Larry Clark (of Okolona). We also spent some time at the public reception held in the Thomas Clark Kentucky History Center on Broadway in downtown Frankfort.

Before leaving town, we dropped in on my maternal grandmother's younger sister, Frances Moore, 91, of Choateville. She was taking a break from making candies and bourbon balls for the holidays and chatted for about a half hour. We looked through a picture album from her 90th birthday event last Summer at the Choateville Christian Church where she has been a lifelong member. (Although my grandmother, Frances' sister, was not a regular at church, she was also a member of Choateville, having been baptised there in 1930). We talked about family, friends, and politics, all common themes in Frankfort talk. Politics is a mainstay in my family. Aunt Frances reported having retired from "working the polls" - something she did for 53 consecutive years in the Choateville precinct of Franklin County.

We've returned home and the Commonwealth goes to work tomorrow under the continued guidance of Governor Steve Beshear and his second lieutenant governor, Jerry E. Abramson.

Incidentally, the best line of the day came from the governor's speech when he said, "We need leaders who will build bridges instead of dams." So true on so many levels.

God Bless the Commonwealth.

Below is a picture from Kentucky's leading newspaper, the Lexington Herald-Leader, from the parade review stand of Mrs. Abramson, Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, Gov. Beshear, a Beshear grandson, and Mrs. Beshear, who was also celebrating her birthday today. An unscheduled part of the governor's speech was to invite the crowd in attendance to join him in singing Happy Birthday to Mrs. Beshear.

Photo from www.kentucky.com, the Lexington Herald-Leader

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The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.