Wedgies to the left
John J. Coupal
On the other hand
They are just as guilty as Fox News of dancing for the White House puppeteers, but being less obvious subjects for parody and ridicule, they are even more dangerous.
James Miller Lexington
November's Closer Than You Think
Wrong. On two counts.
One is, how do you forget about something that you never gave any thought to? The turnout in the primary was abysmal.
Stay-at-home voters apparently saw the primary as a "choice between cancer and polio," as the Rolling Stones once so colorfully put it. None of the candidates excited voters' interest, so why bother? Reality shows were on television.
Or else, voters don't think state government affects them-that they won't notice when the state runs out of money and starts shutting down services.
But how does either candidate propose to raise revenue?
"Guru" Lunsford, before dropping out, predicted that no matter WHO gets elected, he'll HAVE to raise taxes. Otherwise, I might add, we'll see Kentucky government start shutting down bit by bit, like the state of Tennessee did last summer.
Both candidates "won" with less than 10 percent of their parties' registered voters.
Why was the turnout so low? Why do more people vote for who will be the next American Idol than for who will be the next Kentucky laughingstock? Or did I just answer my own question?
Kentuckians are thoroughly disgusted by our legislature refusing for nearly a year to do its job and pass a budget, not to mention the failure of our education system to improve our children's test scores compared to students nationwide, and to actually prepare them to compete in the great "reality" show called life.
"[Lunsford's] sales pitch in this election was timely-clean up a state capital soiled by scandal and increasingly influenced by lobbying interests," the Courier-Journal's Al Cross said. "But to be successful in a short time, a political message must have an effective messenger, and Lunsford carried too muchbaggage."
Okay, so voters might have bought the monkeys wagging bananas at Frankfort in Lunsford's $8 million worth of 60-second TV spots. So the pundits say. That's a big "what if," because most voters could see Lunsford was just another Wally Wilkinson, not a John Y.
But the commentators who are trying to mold public opinion and Do The Right Thing, rather than simply observing it like politics was some sort of sport, say now's the time to hold the candidates' feet to the fire, make them take stands, outline plans, and get specific. Don't forget the governor's race just because the primary's over. But will it work?
The candidates who lost were the ones with specific plans, like Steve Nunn who wanted students, teachers, and parents alike to enter into educational "contracts" to boost students' performance. Or Jody Richards, who promised comprehensive tax reform including a break for the state's overtaxed working poor.
Both parties' winning candidates presented little more than Madison Avenue images and slogans.
Commentator John David Dyche said during KET's primary election coverage that no candidate discussed Kentucky school funding being several 100 million dollars short from the formula mandated by KERA.
That was just one of the serious issues ignored, Dyche opined. "Somebody please say something about the environment in Kentucky," he pleaded. "Sprawl, land use," he listed.
Still, if taking an actual stand keeps candidates from getting elected, both Chandler and Fletcher would be fools to do it.
Jimmy Carter won the Democratic nomination from a whole gaggle of liberals by promising to give our country a government "as good and decent and honest as the American people."
That was his entire campaign platform in an America disgusted by Vietnam lies and the Watergate burglary. And it worked-he won.
So did Franklin Roosevelt's campaign to give "a new deal to the American people" and end the Great Depression.
He won the presidency without giving any specific plans-by just promising to take action and DO something, anything at all.
But there ARE voters out there who want something more than vague promises.
Chandler is promising to give teachers raises, but how?
Fletcher's agenda is to cut, cut, cut and "live within our means," but what if his cuts don't cut it? What's his agenda THEN? Hadn't he better tell us FIRST, before we elect him?
Maybe "legislative leadership" will take on real, true meaning next year and force the man in the Governor's Mansion to do a little actual "leading" himself, just to keep up.
In Media News
The Lexington Herald-Leader announced Tuesday that editor, Amanda Bennett, will be leaving the HL to become editor of a substantially larger Knight Ridder paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer. A search for her replacement is under way, and she will take over the editorial reins in Philly late this month. She was at the HL a little less than two years.
n other media news, free speech just got a little less free when the FCC, as expected, ruled to relax its already loosened rules restricting how news media outlets can be owned-rules that were designed to prevent media monopolies that unduly controlled the flow of information and communication. Although opponents have been outspoken and vocal, they have, shockingly, received surprisingly nominal mainstream media coverage. (Visit http://www.aan.org for links from the independent press and weekly news outlets.)
On June 4, a press conference was held announcing the details of "Summer in the City," which includes familiar favorites such as the Farmers' Market and Thursday Night Live. New items were added, such as Dinner Concerts, which features the music of UK and Transy students and will kick off this Friday.
Thursday, June 5 the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government will hold a meeting regarding the possible acquisition of the KY-American Water Company. 200 E. Main St. at 7pm. Get there early to get a seat.
Deadline for entries for July 4th parade floats is Friday, June 6. For an entry form, call 258-3112.
At press, LexTran and union representatives were scheduled meet June 12 with a federal moderator to attempt to resolve labor-management issues. LexTran's lame duck Executive Director Stephen Rowland is scheduled to vacate his position by the end of the month.
After a two-year study the Fayette County school board is considering expanding the alternative calendar from three schools to 54. The so-called "Enhanced Calendar" has the same 175 days in school a year as the traditional one.
The difference is a two week Fall break after the first 9 weeks of school and a two week spring break instead of just one, as well as starting school two weeks earlier. The three schools in Fayette that employ the enhanced calendar are Mary Todd Elementary, Johnson Elementary, and Arlington Elementary.
The school board would like to apply the calendar to the entire district in the fall of 2004. But before they choosing, the board wants feedback. You can go online to the Fayette County Schools webpage or your can