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Op-Ed: Schickel's Record Lacking, Disappointing, Full of Missed Opportunities

The following op-ed is written by Jim Fiorelli, of Hebron, a Democratic candidate for state senator in Boone County who faces incumbent Republican State Sen. John Schickel of Union in November.

Now, more than ever, it’s important for us to know where our elected representatives stand, and what they are doing to improve the lives of everyday people in our community.

Boone County, like the rest of the state, is facing public health, education, and job crises, all at the same time. We should be demanding that our elected officials are working around the clock to address these issues.

I’ve found John Schickel’s record to be lacking, disappointing, and full of missed opportunities. 

Actions speak louder than words. After twelve years in Frankfort, Senator Schickel has little to show for his time in office. He’s introduced and passed shockingly few bills, and since the pandemic, has been nowhere to be found. 

None of the bills for which he was the primary sponsor improved the lives of anyone in Boone County. Two dealt with arrests in hospitals, three with prison inmates, five with sale or licensing of beverages, one with the creation of a commission, another with a shift in board membership, yet another with charitable pharmacy technicians. And, of course, there was the one about out-of-state embalmers. 

Did any of his bills address education? Women’s rights? Labor? Job creation? Health insurance? Teacher pensions? Anything suitable for discussion at the kitchen table? No. None. 

John Schickel’s noteworthy and remarkable can be found in what he has voted against. 

  • Against a ban on child marriage

  • Against pregnancy accommodations for women

  • Against putting a suicide prevention hotline on the back of a high school student ID

  • Against a criminal charge if you were to break a car window to save a suffocating pet

  • Against giving workers on public projects a fair wage

Then, there was Schickel’s 2015 lawsuit where he SUED SO HE COULD ACCEPT FREE GIFTS AND LUNCHES FROM LOBBYISTS. Google “John Schickel ethics lawsuit” and see for yourself. The suit was tossed by the US Court of Appeals in 2019, citing the damaging effect of corruption. No new golf clubs for John. 

And in the realm of the unbelievable, his effort to end sexual harassment training for lawmakers, calling it “totally ridiculous,” and a waste of time. To condone an atmosphere of sexual harassment in the private sector would get one fired or worse. 

What do I think is important? Clean air and clean water. Bringing accessible voting to nursing homes and college campuses. Bail and prison reform, resulting is savings of tens of millions. Restoration of a decimated middle class. Decisions based in science. Health care for the one in ten Kentuckians who go without. Money for books, raises for teachers, pensions that permit one to live in dignity. 

John Schickel’s better days are long gone. 

I hope to move us into the 21st century .

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