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I’m one of Jerry’s kids.

Wednesday, 15 November, 2006

I’m on the jones for politics, so I’ve been following the Kentucky governor’s race next year. The base came out for the GOP in Kentucky in ’06, but the other 80% of the population made a special point to GOTV for the only plausible alternative … and a handful of “Constitution” candidates.

From where we are today, that the next governor of the Commonwealth will be the Dem candidate is as much of a certainty as it was before 1982. In ’08 Bitch McConnell, despite his high position in the Senate, will get his walking papers. After all, his position has permitted him to do great things for the Commonwealth, but he has done precious little. Indeed, he co-sponsored a package of FAA budget cuts which arguably lead to that most devastating plane crash in Lexington this year.

Therefore the Jackass candidate is of much interest. The two most likely prospects?

  • Eugenia Crittenden Blackpool Luallen [sic], aka Crit Luallen who started as a muckity-muck for Thelma Stovall, an ERA-era feminist and among the last Roosevelt Democrats who nearly won the candidacy in 1979 and would have been the first female governor of Kentucky. Stovall was elected Lt. Governor that year. Louisville-native “Genie Blackpool” has been wandering around the halls of Frankfort ever since, most recently capturing regional headlines trying to reign in the spending habits and the corruption of currently serving Gov. Patton – (R).
  • Credited with bringing the UPS Next Day Air hub, Humana, Presbyterian Church USA, to his native Jefferson County, and keeping two Ford assembly facilities, the HQ of Yum Brands (the holding company over indigenous Kentucky companies Long John Silvers and KFC, as well as Taco Bell, A&W and Pizza Hut), the arrival of the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice, particularly in the era in which it opened, and the low-cost, high-results program Operation Brightside which was an effort to clean up the city as it stood in 1986 while raising precious revenue and marginally increasing the profile of the community. Abramson also played a major role in the arrival of Toyota to Georgetown KY and has helped sell Louisville and Lexington as rational and low-cost destinations for conventions. However, Abramson is a native Louisvillian, instant death in statewide races although he would be able to overcome this by focusing on development, and he is a Jew. Nationally, indeed internationally, the news of an aggressive, progressive in the pre-2004 sense, Jew becoming Governor of the humble commonwealth of Kentucky would stand out boldly. Of course, Abramson lost Navistar and did not win the Harley-Davidson plant which eventually opened in Overland Park, KS and is now slated to close.

Yesterday, Luallen held a press conference at the steps of the Capitol building. It was expected to be her announcement that she was a candidate. In fact, this high-profile press conference was held to announce definitively that she would not be a candidate for Governor. End of story. A reporter from the Commonweath’s leading newspaper, the Lexington Herald-Leader [sic], called Abramson for a comment. While on the phone Abramson added that he played no role in his promotion for the gubernatorial candidacy and was not interested in the office. Now what?

The selection process goes back to the smoke-filled rooms of what is now called Network 39. In short the old school Dems from the 70s and 80s have nominated themselves to a panel and aspire to be king makers. If this were twenty years ago, the list would read as a coalition of the most powerful individuals with political interest. Today, it reads as a coalition of has-beens. In short, the old school who got Kentucky in this situation in the first place, and never dared to get it out, are running the show as no alternatives have presented themselves.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m still pulling for Abramson in ’07. It will be a long year.

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