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C-J Editorial: Beshear exhausted all other options to further gambling bill

October 28, 2009

The Courier-Journal editorial board today defends the move by Gov. Steve Beshear to appoint state Sen. Dan Kelly to a judgeship and in doing so, help pave the way for changing control of the state Senate.

From the editorial

But governing effectively sometimes requires doing what’s necessary to overcome unyielding obstruction. In this case, the Governor in good faith had exhausted other, less drastic options to combat the unwillingness of Senate President David Williams to permit the full Senate to debate and vote on expanded gambling — the one achievable measure with the potential to offer state government meaningful financial relief and to reverse devastating harm to the state’s signature horse industry.

The editorial does make a good point – the Republican Kelly, who until recently was majority floor leader, or before him former state Sen. Charlie Borders, who Beshear appointed to the Public Service Commission, weren’t forced to take the appointments. And in the case of Kelly, it wasn’t as if Beshear was appointing a butcher to a judgeship, but rather “an experienced attorney and legislative leader,” as the C-J put it.

But I think this editorial goes a bit far to imply that Beshear was forced to resort to these questionable tactics by Williams and the opposition of Senate Republican leadership to expanded gambling.

From the editorial –

If Sen. Williams and other Republican leaders want to halt the raiding, they could start by allowing full and overdue consideration of an issue Mr. Beshear has a popular mandate to pursue.

Expanded gambling is an issue that should be debated on its merits, and the maneuverings of Williams aren’t alone in keeping Kentucky from handing the horse industry the golden goose.

Any thoughts?

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