Op-Ed: We Must Come Together, Work Across Party Lines
The most divisive set of elections in my lifetime are now over, and Kentucky will not see another regular election until May 2018.
My congratulations to all of the winning candidates and to the Republican party, which will now control both chambers of the state legislature.
We have endured angry rhetoric on the state and national election. The name-calling and nastiness were too intense, and certainly did not live up to the values that we teach our children and should exemplify in our lives.
Now that elections are over, it’s time for leaders at every level to come together in a bipartisan manner to move our state and country forward. Our citizens expect their leaders to work together to not only address our issues but to also capitalize on the tremendous strengths of Kentucky.
In the Attorney General’s Office, we have worked every day both nationally and here in Kentucky to work across the aisle.
In late October, I joined Republican Attorneys General Mike DeWine of Ohio and Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia for a forum about our nation’s drug epidemic.
There was no talk of politics and there was no division.
Instead, we came together in common purpose to address this scourge that is taking so many lives. At the forum, we embraced groups from the faith, health care, advocacy and law enforcement communities knowing we are all in this struggle together.
This struggle is why, on the national level, I have taken a leadership role with the non-partisan National Association of Attorneys General as the Substance Abuse Committee co-chair alongside Republican Pam Bondi of Florida.
On the state level, we continue to reach across the aisle.
I seamlessly work with our state auditor, a Republican, to investigate and prosecute public officials who break the law and provide you the type of government you deserve.
It’s why I have worked with our treasurer’s office in a lawsuit against Delaware for keeping tax dollars that should be coming back to the Commonwealth.
And it’s why I am pushing for the passage of numerous bills to better protect our children, many of which were authored by Republican lawmakers. The bills are good legislation that help protect children, and that is all that should matter.
With regards to the rest of the executive branch, my office will continue to try to assist the administration in addressing non-partisan challenges.
Our office volunteered its services in bringing a civil suit against those responsible for dumping radioactive waste in Estill and Greenup counties.
And we have attempted to work with the Energy and Environment Cabinet on planning for a $19 million environmental trust secured through the Volkswagen litigation. While we have been told “no” on both occasions, we will not get discouraged, and we will continue trying.
Reaching across the aisle is our duty.
And it is what the people of Kentucky expect.
-Andy Beshear is the Kentucky Attorney General