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Hey Kentucky, write to your representatives!

It’s time to put fingers to keyboard and let our representatives hear from us.

3 min read

They can throw you out of the House and Senate gallery for screaming, and they can limit your time testifying in committee hearings, but your elected officials can only silence you if you let them.

Please write to your Representatives and Senators and tell them the truth about what you think of their egregious abuse of power this legislative session. I have never in my life seen anything like this.

Here is the email I sent to my House Rep. James Tipton — James.Tipton@lrc.ky.gov today.

Dear Rep. Tipton:

I am writing to let you know how disgraceful many of your legislative actions were during the 2023 Kentucky General Assembly. While I have already written publicly about your part in the larger disaster of this session, there is more to say.

You and I often exchanged pleasantries in Anderson County, and I have heard you speak many times in town halls, school board meetings, and in casual events among county and city officials. While we do not agree politically, I have always figured you for a reasonable person.

This is no longer the case.

What I witnessed in Frankfort these last weeks, and your part in it, was some of the most despicable behavior I have seen in local government. You and fellow members of your party appear to have no purpose or agenda other than to flog FOX News and OAN talking points, none of which helps parents or children, and I can’t quite figure out why except that it seems you — like Senator Adrienne Southworth, a person you often claim you are nothing like — have doubled down on extremist ideology and talking points. And for what? A few votes?

While I was in Frankfort for much of this legislative session, I was traveling in the car all day last Thursday, watching on video as you performed your last hoorah, chairing what can only be called a sham of an Education Committee meeting which lasted all of 23 minutes and in which you, the leader (the leader!!) shoved through SB150, one of the most hateful, harmful pieces of anti-transgender legislation in the country.

Your actions as chair of this committee were not only egregious in content but in process. You had to know your Democratic colleagues were unaware of this last-minute meeting and might not make it for the vote; you had to know you would be giving a big chunk of testimony time to Senators Wise and Meade for specious arguments; and you had to know that you needed to get this done in record time.

Well, bravo Rep. Tipton. Bravo. You did it. You made a complete mockery of the legislative process and brought shame to your district (my town) while pushing through a bill that will hurt kids and parents across the Commonwealth.

Are you proud? Is this why you ran for office, to parrot hateful, national talking points that will, as you were repeatedly told, kill kids?

Two days before your 23 minute meeting, I talked to a dad in committee. He was wearing a Navy blue suit. He looked completely wrung out, exhausted after spending days and days at the Capitol. And you know what he said to me? He said, “I’m just trying to keep my kids alive.”

During these last weeks, parents and kids and doctors and transgender adults begged you — begged you and your colleagues — to pump the brakes, to slow this down, to listen to medical advice, to do some real research, to think this through, to listen to parents like the dad trying to save his kids. You inexcusably chose to do NONE of the above.

Shame on you.

And shame on me for allowing myself to be fooled these last few years. You are not the upstanding man of principle that I once believed you to be. You are not reasonable. You are not cautious or fair-minded or thoughtful. You are just as dangerous and extreme as Sen. Southworth. And now I know. We all know.

Kids will suffer and families will suffer because of the legislation you pushed through during KYGA23 in the name of ‘family values.’

And I will work every single day, talking to my neighbors and spreading the word to get you out of the office you have so misused.


Teri Carter

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Teri Carter

Teri Carter writes about rural Kentucky politics for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Washington Post, and The Daily Yonder. She lives in Anderson County.