Petition Demands Beshear Rescind Agreement with Kasich

The same process that Covington residents used to launch a petition opposing the redistricting of State Rep. Arnold Simpson's House district is being dusted off for another battle in Frankfort.

The CovingtonIan is hosting a petition that demands Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear rescind his agreement with Ohio Governor John Kasich to work together toward constructing the Brent Spence Bridge project. The website is owned by the Merlot Group which is co-owned by former Covington city commissioner Shawn Masters. (Merlot also hosts RCN's website.)

The City of Covington, which is not officially tied to this petition, took an official stance last week opposing tolls for the project for at least the next year. Meanwhile, Kasich angered many in the city and the state legislature when he vowed to continue to "steal" Kentucky jobs by luring them to Ohio with generous tax incentives. In 2011, the Republican successfully recruited hundreds of jobs from Omnicare and the Nielsen Company when the companies left Covington for Cincinnati in favor of tax breaks.

Kasich's threat was likely in response to the cold welcome tolls have received from lawmakers in Kentucky.

The letter attached to the petition reads as follows:

Honorable Governor Beshear,

I greatly appreciate all of your hard work on behalf of my fellow Kentuckians, including your efforts at a bipartisanship approach for the Brent Spence Bridge project. However, You and Ohio Governor John Kasich came to Covington in December and said that tolling was the only way the new bridge would be constructed.

As someone with a vested interest in this community, I adamantly oppose tolls and believe there is not enough awareness about the possible effect of tolls on the community, particularly Covington.

Additionally, with the recent article where Governor Kasich promised to continue "stealing" businesses from Kentucky, I respectfully ask that you immediately rescind your agreement with Governor Kasich and let's work with local, state, and federal elected officials to lobby for a replacement without tolls.

In addition to Governor Beshear (D), the automated letter will also be sent to Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson (D), State Reps. Arnold Simpson (D-Covington), Thomas Kerr (R-Taylor Mill/Covington), Sal Santoro (R-Florence), & Joe Fischer (R-Ft. Thomas) State Senators Chris McDaniel (R-Taylor Mill), Katie Stine (R-Ft. Thomas) & Damon Thayer (D-Georgetown), J.D. Chaney of the Kentucky League of Cities, and Covington Mayor Sherry Carran and City Commissioners Chuck Eilerman, Steve Frank, Mildred Rains, and Michelle Williams.

To view the petition: The Covingtonian

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

Photo: Governors Beshear and Kasich sign their agreement in Covington/RCN file