Friday, October 21, 2011

Kentucky's dumber than usual governor's race

Despite having millions of dollars at their disposal, the Beshear/Williams lovefest this fall has been a pretty disheartening affair. And Kentuckians will be paying a price for it for some time to come.

I understand that not everyone is a policy wonk and that races such as this are often turned on emotional appeals rather than rational debate, but in a time of real crisis such as this people are looking for real answers and that opportunity has been missed.

Governor Steve Beshear's message is that he has done a good job managing the state's finances (which is demonstrably false) and that David Williams has blocked his two great ideas, casino gambling and raising the school drop-out age to eighteen. Beshear has also lied about creating (or saving) lots of jobs and is now charging Williams with campaign finance violations.

Senate President David Williams' primary message is that Beshear isn't a leader, doesn't have a plan and that he (Williams) will be a "bold" governor. But nearly all of Williams' economic policy positions have shifted too much over time to be taken seriously now. Williams has also tried to pin campaign finance violations on Beshear.

Politicians often talk about "campaign finance violations" when they have nothing else to say.

The most important issues in this election would be our state's fiscal situation and the economy if we had candidates with credibility. Since we don't, we are stuck watching these two campaigns squabble over how they are funding their television ads.

Gatewood Galbraith is right when he says now is the perfect time for Kentucky to go in a different direction with a different kind of governor. He hasn't managed to capture the tiger even by the tail, though, for a variety of reasons not worth getting into here.

The bottom line is Beshear will win re-election handily and for all the wrong reasons while Williams goes back into the Senate with a higher profile. That may not work out very well for him, though.