KDP petition to “gavel out” – plus Self and Adkins reactions

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The Kentucky Democratic Party is circulating an email petition calling on Kentuckians to tell their legislators to adjourn Gov. Matt Bevin’s special session of the General Assembly.

“It’s truly unbelievable the lengths Matt Bevin and the Republicans in the General Assembly will go to take away people’s hard-earned retirements,” wrote the KDP’s Kenny Colston in a message that came with the petition.

He said that at 3:45 Monday afternoon, Bevin, a Republican, ordered lawmakers to meet at the Capitol at 8 Monday night. “That isn’t even enough notice for all of the legislators to travel to Frankfort!” added Colston, the party’s digital director.

“And then, after they gaveled in, the Republicans started the same behind-closed-doors, secret legislating that got them in trouble in the first place.”

Colston also wrote that amidst “all the chaos, a reporter observed Democratic House leaders asking Speaker [David] Osborne [R-Prospect] to at least be included in the conversation about what was happening. In his reply, Osborne let his true feelings shine through: ‘Who says we’re having a conversation?’”

Amidst the chaos of the special session, Dem House leaders asked Repub Speaker Osborne to at least be included in the conversation about what was happening. Osborne replied: 'Who says we’re having a conversation?'Click To Tweet

Complained Colston, “That’s not right. But the Republican Party of Kentucky, led by Governor Bevin, isn’t interested in doing what’s right. They’re just interested in showing everyone they can do what they want, when they want.

“Bevin and his buddies are going to waste at least $300,000 trying to cut police, firefighter, teacher and other state employee retirement benefits in a special session. It’s wasteful on so many levels.

“We have to stop it — and we need your help.”

The KDP wants Kentuckians to sign the petition to tell their state representatives and senators to urge “a vote to gavel out the special session without wasting any more money. And to deal with pensions with openness and transparency in the 2019 regular session. It’s literally only days away, but Matt Bevin and the Republican-controlled legislature couldn’t wait.

“We need all the help we can get to defeat Bevin in his latest power grab. After signing, please share this with your friends and family. Then we’ll see you in Frankfort to protest these unnecessary bills and this unnecessary special session.”

Meanwhile, KDP Chair Ben Self and House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, blasted Bevin and the GOP in statements.

That Governor Bevin would call a Special Session just a few weeks before the 2019 General Assembly convenes is an unbelievable waste of taxpayer resources. Governor Bevin’s political stunt—which will cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars—is a slap in the face to hardworking Kentuckians.

– Ben Self, KDP chair

Adkins, who is running for governor next year, said Bevin’s call is appalling.

Neither I nor any member of the House Democratic Caucus was consulted or even given a courtesy call that this was happening, and many of our members are unable to make it tonight.

To expect legislators to be in the Capitol literally hours after calling a special session—especially during the holidays and three weeks before the next regular session—is the most short-sighted and unnecessary action I have ever seen a governor make. This is nothing more than a continued mockery of the legislative process and an attempt to silence the public.
This is a sad day for the people of Kentucky.

– Rocky Adkins, leader of House Dems

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Cross-posted from the KY AFL-CIO web site.
Visit the site for more news about the special session.

Berry Craig
Berry Craig of Mayfield is a professor emeritus of history at West Kentucky Community College in Paducah and an author of five books on the Civil War in Kentucky. The last one, published by the University Press of Kentucky, is Kentucky’s Rebel Press: Pro-Confederate Media in the Civil War. His critically-acclaimed Kentucky Confederates: Secession, Civil War, and the Jackson Purchase, also from the University Press, has been reprinted in paperback.