Well, only four-and-a-half months from the Kentucky gubernatorial election and both sides are out running — much to the chagrin of those of us who will have to abide the cacophony to come.
This immediately brings up a question (obviously rhetorical since our laws will likely never be changed to address it). Should a constitutionally elected officer be allowed to run for another constitutional office without giving up his current position?
Regardless, some comments about the campaign as it already unwinds, most specifically about the campaign of Daniel Cameron.
The AG is presently leapfrogging around the state (and obviously keeping him from his duties in office) but his tone is remarkably different from that of the primary campaign. Before, he readily touted the fact that he has been endorsed by former President Trump. News services have taken note of his avoidance of that position now that Trump is facing numerous legal difficulties, both civil and criminal.
Responding to a question about Trump’s indictment, Cameron responded that Kentuckians are concerned about the “weaponization of government power,” a phrase that has become universally popular with Republicans who prefer to ignore the seriousness of the information that was so loosely handled by Trump and his attempts to retain it. And, as the state’s chief law enforcement officer, Cameron should certainly understand the process which resulted in Trump’s indictment as one which followed the basic tenets of jurisprudence.
Of course, it’s always a good ploy to introduce a “big, bad boogey man” into political campaigns and cloud issues while voters concentrate their concerns elsewhere. Such tactics worked for Joe McCarthy with his “communists running rampant in the government” and against Barry Goldwater, suggesting an imminent nuclear war if he were to be elected (although many truly believed that Goldwater was just a little bit nuts and unpredictable).
When asked about Trump’s troubles with hoarded federal classified documents, Cameron segues quickly to trying to detail similar flaws of Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. He assiduously avoids mentioning that another Republican, Mike Pence, had similar problems. Of course, Clinton’s failures are years in the past and both Biden and Pence handled their possession of classified documents far differently than did Trump who, according to the indictment, deliberately attempted to conceal his possession of those documents and tried to thwart their re-possession by the government.
During the primary campaign, Cameron alluded to the many lawsuits he had launched against the Beshear administration. Oddly, he never mentioned how many of those lawsuits were litigated in his favor. Could it be that the larger percentage of wins in those legal actions fell to the administration rather than to his office?
It has also been noted that the Attorney General’s office, under Cameron, has worked harder than any of his predecessors to decrease government transparency. And that he supported legislation that would have allowed litigants to shop for more favorable court venues — a direct assault against the court of the Franklin County judge who is deemed far too liberal by Cameron and other Republicans and has consistently ruled against overreach by the legislature and other government offices. Such “court shopping” would result in stretching litigation even beyond its current glacial pace as well as skewing dockets which are already far too crowded.
Beshear doesn’t get by without complaint, either. His early TV commercials are lambasting Cameron (even if there may be truth in them). But it would sure be a wonder, and a welcome one at that, if the remainder of the campaign, on both sides, would deal with issues and solutions. Not bloody likely!