Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Good Politics And Good Public Policy

Robbie Rudolph was smart to mention domestic partner benefits as an issue for the inevitable special session last night on KET. Smart politically because of how it got everyone's attention and smart as a pre-emptive policy measure that will benefit the state.

Tax dollars for public school domestic partners would be a minor cut with little bloodflow, though it would surely open up more such wounds if allowed to go untreated. And the unkindest cut to the body politic is the Democratic candidates who insist straight-faced that no tax dollars would pay the benefits. Even the universities' reports that advocate for the extension of benefits admit this is not true.

It is convenient politically that domestic partner benefits through state entities violates the Constitution. This is really about moving forward on government control of healthcare, which is neither cheaper nor more efficient as its advocates -- still with straight faces -- claim. But talking people out of voting themselves largesse from the public treasury is getting harder to do. We don't really want to have the full battle on this now, but this skirmish remains very winnable.

I'm going to the UK Board of Trustees meeting today, where they are set to vote on proceeding with this battle. It's good politics for fiscal and social conservatives to rally together on if they vote for the benefits and good public policy if they vote against.

They will, of course, vote for the benefits.