Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Beshear, Stumbo: what they knew and when

On Thursday, March 25, 1982 with Lieutenant Governor Martha Layne Collins presiding as Senate President, the Kentucky Senate passed a government reorganization bill known then as HB 345. Her Attorney General was future Governor Steve Beshear. The bill would limit interim executive orders filed by Kentucky governors by requiring them to gain subsequent approval by the immediate following General Assembly and provide that orders failing to receive approval could not then be re-introduced until the next session of the General Assembly.

When the bill, as amended by the Senate, got back over to the House, a new member named Greg Stumbo, now Speaker, voted for it. The bill became law, subject to take effect January 1, 1984.

By that time, Steve Beshear was then Lieutenant Governor and Kentucky Senate President.

So it is more than a little odd that on June 19, 2013 Governor Steve Beshear rescinded his failed July 2012 executive order he is currently in court fighting to keep alive beyond its legal death and then re-issued essentially the same executive order. He knows both actions are illegal because he was there holding three of the top offices in state government when it was made so.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo can't plead ignorance, either -- though such is currently in vogue for legislators who wish to escape accountability for inconvenient votes. Again, he voted into law the statute his Governor is now violating to cram ObamaCare down Kentuckians' throats. As a former Attorney General himself, what excuse can Stumbo possibly have for acquiescing to this lawlessness?

And the quiet Republican lawmakers in Frankfort are no better. What a disgraceful episode. Hard to imagine Kentucky's intrepid press corps sleeping through such a slam dunk case of waste, fraud and abuse for much longer. Any judges looking over Adams et. al. v. Beshear surely won't appreciate this blatant disregard for the law.