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Ken Rechtin's Another Voice: Campbell Co. Political Rumors & Predictions in the Governor's Race!

This week’s column has a little something for everyone.

If you are a public policy wonk, there is a follow-up discussion on other solutions to our inefficient common school system.

If you like political rumors, I offer you another slice of “Rumor Has It” to feed your addiction.

If you are interested in this fall's gubernatorial election, I give you my opinion and seek your opinion!

Let's get started!

Nobody has shown any interest in defending the inefficiency of the common school in the Commonwealth!

If you will recall from prior columns, the Kentucky General Assembly is charged by the Kentucky Constitution with the mandate of providing for an efficient system of common schools throughout the Commonwealth. Since no one has come to the defense of the current system of 173 districts and no one has come to the defense of the current funding mechanism, I proposed in the last column a solution called “the money follows the child”, which would allow parents to choose the school district which best meets the needs of their child. With “education dollars” in their hands, parents would shop and compare various schools. This competition among the districts would
force them to be the best option for the parent and child.

There are other ways to improve efficiencies. As I promised, what follows are more bureaucratic ways to fix the inefficient Kentucky Common Schools system.

Since it is the General Assembly’s responsibility to provide for and maintain that the system is efficient, the General Assembly could mandate that the Kentucky Department of Education develop standards of efficiency. What those standards might look like would be developed by the Kentucky Department of Education with guidance from a General Assembly Committee. Those school districts failing to meet the standards would be first encouraged to improve. Failing to do so, those less efficient districts would begin a process to merge with others or go out of business and be taken over by the county district.

Other suggestions that I have received from readers include a program which would financially incent smaller, less efficient districts to combine with others.

Or, the General Assembly could redo the SEEK formula (the formula used in calculating the state dollars assigned to each district) to “encourage” those less efficient districts combine, merger or go out of business.

I really do not think that the General Assembly has the political will to even begin a process of improving efficiencies. I believe that, as they did in the case of Rose v. The Council for Better Education, it will be the Supreme Court of Kentucky that will determine that the current system established by the General Assembly is unconstitutional. It will take such an action challenging the SEEK formula and the inefficiencies to get the General Assembly to move.

Moving on...

An earlier edition of the “Another Voice” column had a feature called “Rumor Has It”.

As I said in the earlier column: “The amazing thing about what is said as a rumor is that it can be all correct, partially correct, or totally incorrect, if you begin with “I heard” or “Just sayin;”. In order to be a true rumor, from whom the rumor was heard must not be disclosed in order to protect the innocent rumor mongers!

So, here goes with the latest political rumors in Campbell County (I will address the rumors that are coming out of Kenton and Boone in later columns.):

Rumor has it that a Christmas Poker Party at the Sheldon house in Campbell County included the following guests/players: retired Judge/Executive Lloyd Rogers, then newly elected Campbell County Commissioner Charles Coleman, political consultant Steve Megerle and Newport City Commissioner John Hayden. Rumor has it the discussion included planning for the future leadership of the GOP in Campbell County (Please don’t tell Jeff Kidwell!).

"The Donald” was called to the Republican Home Office, aka “the woodshed”, and forced to get in line and take the Republican loyalty oath. He has now pledged to support the winner of the Republican primary. This “loyalty pledge” is just a national oath which does not apply to local elections. Rumor has it that, in large numbers, local prominent Republicans are running away from Matt Bevin as fast as possible. Judge/Executive Steve Pendery scheduled a Campbell County Fiscal Court meeting during the Alexandria Fair Parade so that none of the Fiscal Court Republicans could walk in the parade supporting their candidate, Matt Bevin. Rumor has it that this scheduling conflict was not by accident.

Not one of the Republican Party Leadership of Campbell County, aka the Executive Committee (a list of these names is on their website), was present to walk with the
Republican Governor nominee’s float. Rumor has it that some of them are secretly supporting the Democratic candidate, Jack Conway.

The Campbell County Fiscal Court is made up of all Republicans. Rumor has it that Campbell County Commissioner Charles Coleman, is openly complaining that his opinion doesn’t matter to Judge Executive Steve Pendery, a fellow Republican. Rumor has it that Commissioner Coleman has been overheard saying, “Judge Pendery has the two votes that he needs with Brian (Painter) and Tom (Lampe). He doesn’t need me.”

Moving on...

The race for Governor of the Commonwealth is now beginning to heat up. Get ready for the deluge of negative campaign TV commercials from both candidates. This battle will be decided by which candidate is better at moving their “base” straight-party voters to get out and vote. Both Jack Conway and Matt Bevin have put forth proposals which appeal only to their base. To rally his base, Jack Conway proposes extending early childhood education support. Meanwhile, Matt Bevin fires up his base by showing his support of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who has refused to issue marriage licenses since same-sex marriage became legal nationwide.

Neither candidate has proposed significant broad based solutions that would appeal across the party divide! In addition, they each are motivating their base using scare tactics of what might happen if the opponent is elected. So, since neither one of them has appealed to the independent voters, most of those swing voters will stay home. Independent candidate Drew Curtis will finish in third place, but his numbers will be a surprise to everyone!

At this point in time, considering the performance of Drew Curtis in the debate this week, I think that Matt Bevin will win the race.

Those marginally supportive Jack Conway supporters who watched the Bluegrass Debate are enthused with what they see in Drew Curtis. Whereas those supporters of Matt Bevin will not be moved by Curtis. This dynamic of Drew Curtis will give the win to Bevin!

What do you think? Who will you vote for? Take the survey by clicking here.

The views and opinions expressed here in “Another Voice” do not reflect the views or opinions of The River City News, its owners, writers, or editors. These are solely the ideas of Ken Rechtin. If you wish to make comment to Another Voice, Ken can be reached via email at [email protected] or you may leave a comment here. All rights to use of Another Voice in any fashion are retained by Ken Rechtin. Please contact him for any use of his columns.