Last week there was a special election to fill a vacancy in the state house from this district, including Woodford County, and parts of Fayette and Franklin. It was a disaster.
First, the pundits predicted a very light turnout, typical of special elections. Actually, 29% of the voters went to the polls, considered high for such elections. Christians 1, Lions (pundits) 0.
Part of the reason for that higher turnout may have been the many tv ads taken by national (not local or Kentucky) PACs (political action committees). 100% of the ones I saw were negative; running down the opponent of the candidate the PACs favored. This is the dirty extension of the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision—and the candidates or local parties can not object under that case. Christians 1, Lions 1.
While I am told most of the advertising was done by radio and direct mail, the one TV ad I saw for one of the candidates, Mr. Crews, was badly done, and while he mentions some of the issues..casinos, taxes..he just listed them and didn’t tell us where he stood. None of the candidates ran ads I saw telling us who they were or where they stood. Christians 1, Lions 2.
Because Kentucky Republicans have been telling everyone they have a chance to take control of the state House next year, lots of pundits believed them and saw this election as a “bellwether” for next year, and in part that view, I think, drove the national PACs, to spend many dollars on those negative tv ads. I disagree, no momentum has been established by this one race for next year, where House races will be decided, basically, by local issues. Christians 2 Lions(pundits) 2.
Of the 3 major Lexington TV stations, of the newscasts I saw, only WTVQ covered the candidates at all, and that was at a joint forum. (WTVQ 1, WLEX, WKYT 0)
Of course, the Herald-Leader, even with its diminished staff, covered this race, and editorially endorsed the independent. Didn’t work, but good try. (print journalism 1, TV journalism 0)
Now, the new House 56 member, Mr. Kay, can vote in the special legislative session in August, taking home his part of an estimated unnecessary expenditure of over $300,000 because the legislature didn’t handle the redistricting issue in its regular session. Wonder how he feels about having public hearings, issuing the proposed voting district maps early so the voters can study them, or maybe just opposing that exercise in “incumbent protection?”
Citizens 0, Insiders 9.
I'm just sayin'...