Beshear and Bevin are desperately trying to win the votes of Eastern Kentucky. The problem is that Beshear shows no interest in the region and Bevin’s latest attempt may never become reality.
We saw major grandstanding last year with Beshear when he held a press conference about fighting the rate hikes for Kentucky Power. The press conference was a big to-do. It was held at the gigantic library off Cassady Boulevard. It appeared as if it was a free-for-all against Kentucky Power. It lasted a bout 30 minutes and that’s the last we saw of Andy Beshear.
I will say that he has done good things as Kentucky’s attorney general. Most of those good things benefited individuals and businesses west of Winchester.
Bevin declared that if he gets re-elected that he would return 100 percent of coal severance money back to coal producing counties. That attempt to gain votes in Eastern Kentucky will go a long way. That is until the educated voter understands the process.
The likelihood of that happening is slim. And now that coal companies are filing for bankruptcy and, in some cases, ceasing production, 100 percent of nothing is nothing.
Coal production is vital to this region. However, unscrupulous operators have spoiled it for the good operators.
The companies owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice just made a deal with Kentucky to pay his bills as long as we forgive the interest and penalties, which Kentucky did. I think I’m going to try that tactic next year and see how far that gets me. In addition, the companies owe lots of other smaller vendors, which may never see those payments. That business plan sullies the industry and we allowed that to happen.
I don’t always agree with Bevin’s decisions or policies. However, he has taken a hard line that needed to be taken in some cases. The state has been off the rails for many years and he is attempting to redirect the state’s government. Some decisions are unpopular but necessary.
What concerns me more than anything is if Bevin’s campaign measure does get approved, will he still believe Eastern Kentucky gets too much? Bevin made that gaffe once before and there was little or no clarification to the statement.
And by that statement even being a thought, let alone being said in public, means he really doesn’t know Eastern Kentucky. Not only has the federal government started to pull away, the state government only seems to care about the region when it’s election time.
I’m not a party voter and I think that people who vote for party only are the problem with politics. I vote for the person and what they propose as well as their history.
Show me a candidate who is willing to roll up their sleeves and listen and actually direct resources to this region and they will have my vote. Show me a candidate who will allocate funds for responsible job creation in this region and you’ll have my vote.
Show me a candidate who will stop feeding the likes of Lexington, Louisville and northern Kentucky like they are the only areas that matter and you’ll have my vote.
Kentucky has about four million people, of which roughly 20 percent live east of the Winchester wall. Show me a candidate who really cares about this region and has a realistic plan to help us not just survive but strive, and they’ll have my vote.
Until that time, it appears to be politics as usual.
Thanks for reading the Floyd Chronicle and Times.