Sunday, June 01, 2008

King David's Court

The other day KSN&C smacked around King David Williams. Today C-J takes a shot at his court...with editorial liberties taken by KSN&C.

The enablers

David Williams gets a lot of criticism -- most of it richly deserved -- for the insensitive and spiteful way in which he runs the state Senate and controls the Frankfort agenda. With one eye on Steve Beshear, lest the Democratic governor earn credit for anything, and one ear cocked to Washington, from which Kentucky Republican leader Mitch McConnell coaches the game, Mr. Williams is perfectly situated to control the action.

But what about his enablers? What about the members of his caucus, who let him get by with affront after abuse after outrage?

Good questions.

For example, what do his Republican colleagues -- including our area's Dan Seum, Ernie Harris and Julie Denton...
(Here you should insert the name of your local Lexington's Alice Forgy Kerr. I think we can safely leave Ernesto Scorsone out of this.)
-- think of the Senate office renovation in the Capitol Annex, including new office space, caucus rooms with kitchens and a Senate lounge?

What do they think about this kind of spending for legislative comfort, when the lawmakers' refusal to raise new revenue has produced big, new tuition hikes for college students, elimination of legal help for poor clients, cutbacks in social services and health programs, stalled momentum in elementary and secondary education and a general falloff in the quantity and quality of state government help for Kentucky citizens?

Do Sens [insert your senators' names here], and the others think it's right to build themselves new kitchens and lounges, when thousands of Kentucky kids go without health insurance for lack of state funding?

Do they agree with Mr. Williams that poor folks without legal help and kids without health care show the state budget is in "relatively good shape?"

Are they willing, like Mr. Williams, to dismiss hard-pressed college students and cash-strapped families with a snarl? Do they agree, as Mr. Williams put it, "You're talking about people who you couldn't print enough money for?"

David Williams gets a lot of criticism, richly deserved, but his enablers get by with hiding behind him.

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