Someone Is Lying In Frankfort

Bruce Maples (bruceinlouisville@gmail.com)
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Let me be clear right up front: I do not know any of the players in this saga personally. Whether they are known for being truthful, or whether they are one of those people who lie smoothly and without shame, I cannot say with certainty.
But there is one thing I CAN say with certainty: Someone is lying in Frankfort.

The Courier-Journal did us all a favor by publishing a timeline of the details of the “He Said / He Said” brouhaha between Governor Bevin, his chief of staff, and various Democratic members of the Ky House. For the purposes of this piece, let’s ignore for now the interesting thread of the Jessamine County road contract, and focus on the statements of the players.

From the C-J article:

  • Dem Representative Russ Meyer says he met with Governor Bevin at the Governor’s Mansion on Dec. 15, supposedly where Bevin tried to get him to change parties.
  • Meyer then got a call from Blake Brickman (Bevin CoS) the next day threatening to “punish” Meyer for saying No to changing parties.
  • Brickman then denies threatening Meyer.
  • Bevin then leaves a voicemail for Meyer saying he needed to understand how the decision would impact “you, your seat, your district.”
    Dem Representative Kevin Sinnette meets with Bevin and Brickman (and others) in the Mansion. Sinnette says Bevin threatened him in that meeting.
  • Bevin then “absolutely, categorically” denies Sinnette’s charge.
bevin photo
Photo by Gage Skidmore

See the pattern? One person makes an accusation; the other denies it and calls the first person a liar. Then another person makes an accusation, and charges of “liar!” fly around again.

Is it possible that one side is relying on their own interpretations of certain words, and therefore think the statements they are making are not lies? “I didn’t threaten him. I just listed in a vague sort of way some of the possible things that could happen if he said No.” Yes, I would imagine some of the players in this drama are doing just that.

Unfortunately for whomever might be doing that, it’s like the strong-arm guys in the old protection racket. When one of them says “Nice little place you got here. Be a shame if anything happened to it,” both the person speaking and the person listening know what this is: it’s a threat.

Someone is lying in Frankfort. Probably multiple someones. And the whole thing feels a lot like a strong-arm play, telling the other person that it would be a shame if anything happened to them, their seat, or their district.

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