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Op-Ed: Don't Be Fooled by Shiny Objects in Governor's Race

Recently, an opinion piece written by a Jack Conway ally and published by The River City News criticized GOP candidate Matt Bevin for showing “ignorance on key issues”.  It is not surprising to read such a hit piece. It is just the latest in a coordinated effort from the Conway camp to use misleading claims about Bevin as shiny objects to distract the electorate from the ineptness of their candidate—the uninspiring and unimaginative career politician, Jack Conway.

You may ask then, why would the Conway camp take this approach? Why would they want to use attack ads against Bevin that recycle material that has proven time and time again by independent fact-checkers to be false or misleading?  Why would they want take attention away from their candidate?

Because, of course, they don’t want you to look to closely at Conway’s record. They don’t want you to notice that Jack Conway has looked the other way, becoming “a complicit partner” in Governor Beshear’s partisan board appointments that are contrary to Kentucky Law.  They don’t want you to see that Conway has taken donations from a political ally who was subject to state audit. Because if you did, you might see that Conway is part of the problem—part of what keeps Kentucky atop the list of most corrupt states

They don’t want you to see that Conway offers more of the same policies that helped Kentucky earn a ranking of 45th in overall state fiscal health.

In a state where most residents value the unborn, not for the (financial) sum of their body parts, but for value inherent in human life at every stage, they don’t want you to see that Jack Conway supports abortion and has taken thousands of dollars in political donations from Planned Parenthood. 

In a state that relies on coal for jobs and affordable energy, they don’t want you to know that Conway receives political donations and PAC support from anti-coal advocates like the Sierra Club.

In a state that has voted overwhelmingly against Barack Obama, they don’t want you to know that he has twice served as a delegate for Obama at National Conventions.

The article implies that Bevin is not knowledgeable on pension issues. This is a distraction from the fact that despite having the most underfunded pension system in the country, Conway offers no ideas for pension reform.  Bevin, on the other hand, is an experienced investor who started a pension fund that today manages over $5B in pension assets. He understands that we cannot continue to use unreasonable rates of return and expect to stay solvent. Using his knowledge and experience, Bevin has offered a plan to comprehensively reform our pension system.

The article also criticized Bevin’s plan to transition people to the federal exchange and shut down Kynect, because we do not spend any general fund money on Kynect.  But just because we do not use general fund appropriations to pay for it does not mean we are not paying for it.  Kentuckians will spend about $28M operating Kynect each year, which is paid for by a mandatory surcharge (tax) on every health insurance plan in the state—a fee no doubt ultimately paid by consumers of the Commonwealth.  Such money could be used to lower premiums or be earmarked for other healthcare related costs, like addiction treatment, for example.  It is important to remember that Kynect is essentially a website/marketplace used to compare/order health insurance—analogous to Travelocity, a website/marketplace used to compare/order airline tickets.  The federal exchange offers the same service as Kynect and we are already paying federal taxes to supplement its operations. Why pay twice for the same service?

In sum, this is what I ask:  Do your homework. Meet the candidates. Look at the plans of Bevin and Conway and decide for yourself who has the best plan and ideas for solving Kentucky’s most pressing problems. Most importantly, don’t be distracted by the shiny objects thrown at you from the left. Because, unfortunately for Conway and company, Matt Bevin is no flash in the pan. He is the best choice for Kentucky Governor. He is my choice for Kentucky Governor. And I hope that you will give him a chance to be your choice for Kentucky Governor.

Adam Meier is an attorney licensed in Kentucky and Ohio and a member of the Fort Thomas City Council.