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By John David Dyche WDRB Contributor
Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is taking her time in deciding whether to run against Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell for U.S. Senator next year. Her prolonged decision-not-making process makes one wonder whether as a Senator she could make up her mind and cast her votes in the limited time allowed for roll calls.
Meanwhile, Grimes is ducking questions. But responding to a few queries might help her finally decide what to do.
McConnell's positions are well known. He has cast thousands of tough votes on specific issues. Grimes may try to get by with buzzwords, generalities, and platitudes, but here are some things the public has a right to know from her if she runs.
You were a Barack Obama delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Republican Mitt Romney beat Obama in Kentucky by 23%. Why should Kentuckians send you to Washington to help pass the policies of a President whom they so strongly oppose?
As a presidential candidate in 2008, Obama said "If someone wants to build a new coal-fired power plant they can, but it will bankrupt them because they will be charged a huge sum for all the greenhouse gas that's being emitted." Now Obama is proposing regulations to strictly limit emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.
Do you support Obama's new regulations that would hurt Kentucky coal? If not, would you praise McConnell for using his position as Senate Republican leader to obstruct Obama's anti-coal regulations?
A recent CNN poll reports that 54% of Americans oppose Obamacare and only 43% support it. Last year a Bluegrass Poll said Kentuckians opposed Obamacare by 49%-33%, with 70% opposing the individual mandate.
Do you support Obamacare? If so, why should Kentuckians send you to Washington to support a policy that they and most Americans oppose?
In April, Senator McConnell helped kill the Obama-backed gun control bill. Did you support that bill? What other new federal gun laws to you support?
The Senate recently tabled Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's "Trust but Verify" amendment to the immigration bill. Paul's amendment would have allowed legalization of illegal immigrants only if Congress voted that the border is secure, required a border fence built in five years, and banned a national identification card.
Would you have voted for Paul's amendment? If not, why not?
The Senate recently defeated another Paul amendment that would have blocked the transfer of F-16 fighter jets and Abrams tanks to Egypt. Paul has previously tried to end foreign aid to Egypt, Libya, and Pakistan.
Do you support Paul's efforts or do you back Secretary of State John Kerry's call to continue sending American tax money to these countries?
President Obama says he cannot not imagine circumstances in which it is legal for states to prohibit gay marriage. His administration has asserted this position in briefs in the Supreme Court. But Kentuckians have banned gay marriage by constitutional amendment. Do you stand with him or with them?
You have said, "I won't be bullied into any decision" on the race. Bruce Lunsford, whom McConnell beat by 6% in the 2008 Senate election, recently said, "There is really no sitting Democrat that I can think of right now that has the firepower, monetarily, or has enough gravitas to take him on significantly."
Lunsford added, "I'd be surprised if anybody can run against him who thinks they have a further career in politics." Is he trying to bully you out of the race?
When you ran for Kentucky Secretary of State you indicated that you would serve the full four-year term. If you flip-flop and run for the Senate now why should Kentuckians believe your answers to these questions or anything else?
John David Dyche is a Louisville attorney and political commentator for WDRB.com. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.