Monday, February 27, 2012

One Right...One Very Wrong!

House Speaker Greg Stumbo professed not to be worried. He knew the redistricting bill passed by the Democratic House and the Republican Senate would pass constitutional muster. He even arranged for a top flight constitutional attorney to be hired (at your expense, taxpayer!) to argue the case before the Kentucky Supreme Court.

The court heard arguments in the morning, and a few hours later issued a unanimous opinion the new districts were unconstitutional. This is the legal equivalent of a Slam Dunk. So that senator from Henderson doesn't get to represent Fayette County, and Kathy Stein doesn't have to move to Bath County. Hoo-ray, hoo-ray!

All very important. Much more important is that the legislature realize its hand will be called in the future when it practices more "incumbent protection." But, the legislature will almost always try to do just that. Let's head them off in 2021--now. Let's get started on a bi-partisan commission to draw new districts and submit them to the free from political considerations as possible for an up/down vote. Other states do; it's past time for Kentucky to join those ranks. But it won't happen unless the ACLU, Common Cause, major papers, League of Women Voters, etc. start working now for this truly important change.

Guess what? David Le Terrible was Rat On! He told the guv there weren't enough votes in the Senate to pass the casino amendment, and there weren't. Not by a long shot; that one absent vote made no difference. The guv cried "sabotage" but it wasn't, just the Senate President being a much better vote counter.

Now what? Well, if I supported such an amendment I'd put up huge billboards so that as people entered and left the Commonwealth they'd be told just how much of our money was being sent to Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia gambling establishments. And I'd put up an even "huger" billboard in Frankfort, just like the National Debt Clock, and keep track of the millions going out of state that could be spent here on roads, schools, and health care.

There certainly are arguments against the casino amendment that just failed. There is no argument that a lot of badly needed Kentucky dollars are going out of state. Somehow, we need to get them back.

I'm just sayin'...

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