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  • Saturday, July 30, 2005

    TARGET THE CORRUPT REPUBLICAN: Kentucky Focus

    I want to focus on a new target: the Kentucky Republican Party. So far the Ohio and Missouri Republicans were looking to be the most corrupt state parties in the nation, but looks like the Kentucky Republicans are giving them a run for their money. This is partly drawn from a Daily Kos diary from a while back.

    Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher's (R) administration is facing a slew of indictments for corruption. Fletcher's administration, which took office in January 2004, is suspected of violating the state's merit system laws and using politics as the basis for hiring or firing government employees. The state GOP's response has been to cry "political witch-hunt"! But the truth is the spoils system of political appointments is back in place in Kentucky.

    From the Louisville Courier-Journal:

    The state Transportation Cabinet kept a "hit list" of "politically motivated merit job actions," according to affidavits for search warrants filed in court yesterday.

    The affidavits include a Feb. 16 e-mail message between two administration officials stating: "Sadie asked for a list today."

    It was not immediately clear which list was being sought. But as part of its investigation into allegations of political favoritism in civil-service hiring, the attorney general's office filed with the affidavits two alleged hit lists. One of the purported hit lists remained under seal yesterday.

    Gov. Ernie Fletcher confirmed yesterday that he had opened a personal e-mail account under the name "Sadie" in his office. Sadie is the name of his deceased golden retriever. Fletcher said he was unaware of a "hit list," and e-mail messages filed in support of the affidavits include denials by two administration officials that such a list existed.


    This scandal is now reaching the Kentucky Republican Party chairman and two state officials. From a Salon.com article:

    A grand jury indicted Kentucky's Republican Party chairman and two state officials Monday on charges alleging they conspired to violate state personnel laws.

    The allegations revolve around the state's Merit System jobs and whether a few Republican officials conspired to hire and fire employees based on their political views. Merit System rules prohibit such actions.

    All three men indicted Monday have close ties to Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

    Basil Turbyfill is in charge of filling political positions for Fletcher, and Bob Wilson is part of the governor's Personnel Cabinet. GOP Chairman Darrell Brock was director of local government in Fletcher's office before he took the party job this year.


    Let's remember something here. The "spoils system" was once the way our nation did politics. This was ended on the Federal level by the Civil Service Act of 1883 which made it illegal to fill various federal offices by the spoils system. Kentucky also has a law, the Merit Law, that makes the spoils system illegal. Sadly, the Kentucky Republicans seem to feel we need to go back to an earlier, more corrupt form of government.

    Here's the important part. Please write a letter to the editor to as many newspapers as you can (national, your local papers and, if you like, Kentucky papers) complaining about the pattern of corruption in the Republican party, from Tom DeLay to Ohio's Coingate to Kentucky's devolution to the corrupt spoils system of government. Remember, it is due to grassroots anger that Tom DeLay, Randy Cunningham and the corrupt Republicans in Ohio are on the run. LetÕs make it clear that this pattern of Republican corruption is nationwide and discredits the entire party as long as they refuse to clean house.

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