DYCHE | Grimes: Bogus claims but no straight answers - WDRB 41 Louisville News

DYCHE | Grimes: Bogus claims but no straight answers

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By John David Dyche
WDRB Contributor

The Grimes campaign bus caper is so very Jerry. Lundergan, that is. He is the daddy of Kentucky's Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, Alison Lundergan Grimes, and personifies old-fashioned Kentucky Democratic Party politics.

Her daughter's campaign is awash in liberal cash from the Left Coast and Manhattan, but they could not resist using papa's company to run a two-bit scam for practically pocket change. That is just how they are.

Grimes gives no explanation, much less a good one, for the sweetheart deal on the bus that bears a big picture of her. Contradictions and unanswered questions litter the documents, excuses, and filings her staff has peddled. 

This shabby episode shows why the Lundergans and the Clintons are such cronies. Bill and Hillary are kindred spirits when it comes to sleazy financial schemes. Remember Whitewater? Cattle futures? Selling pardons? 

It is outrageous for Kentucky's foremost Clinton groupies to accuse someone else of "selling access." Desperate to distract attention from the improper corporate contribution the discount bus constitutes, Grimes is doing just that.

Democrats carp that her opponent, Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, got contributions from a longtime friend, the CEO of Delta Air Lines, after a Senate Dining Room breakfast. Like the rest of her campaign, however, this hypocritical claim falls flat.

In her distinctive stilted style, Grimes has taken to complaining about McConnell's poor attendance at Agriculture Committee hearings. How typical of a liberal to so prize style over substance!

To them gestures and symbols are the main things. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that raising the minimum wage "would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers." Democrats like Grimes say do it anyway because it polls well and looks caring. 

McConnell knows that influence and results matter more than merely responding "Here!" when someone calls the roll. For example, he recently used his clout in Congress to help get the government go-ahead for the growing of industrial hemp in Kentucky. 

The tobacco buyout he engineered is called the "McConnell Miracle." It helped many Kentucky farmers and almost certainly saved some from bankruptcy. This year McConnell successfully fought to get farmers the full amount of the final buyout payment. The head of the U.S. Growers Tobacco Company said McConnell has "once again proved to be one of the strongest allies for tobacco and agriculture in Washington."

When farmers hear Grimes tut-tutting about McConnell's committee attendance they must ask, "What has she ever done for Kentucky agriculture?"  The answer: Nothing at all.

Another Grimes attack is that McConnell cannot help Kentucky in a "post-earmarks" environment. But if you seek a monument to what McConnell has done for Kentucky, just look around. Evidence of his efforts is everywhere and continues to grow.

Last year McConnell led the Senate effort to reprogram money to the Blue Grass Army Depot that helped avoid layoffs. He also helped level the playing field for U.S. manufacturers with legislation allowing the Commerce Department to impose duties on certain products from nonmarket economies.

Thanks to McConnell's "Freedom to Fish" provision, the Army Corps of Engineers cannot restrict access to some of Kentucky's most popular fishing areas. McConnell had the clout to help force withdrawal of President Obama's anti-coal nominee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. 

There are countless smaller, but nonetheless important, examples across the state. They range from equipment for small community fire departments to multiple health care programs to military initiatives to economic development actions. It is ludicrous for Grimes to suggest that she could somehow do more for Kentucky as a first-termer in a likely minority than McConnell can do as either the Senate Majority Leader or the Republican Leader. Rand Paul, she ain't!

Grimes cannot back up her big talk. Maybe that explains why she has opted to attend her college reunion in Tennessee instead of debating McConnell in Louisville. Sure, wanting to look like a big shot to one's classmates is understandable, but is it more important than doing a debate that she has so noisily cawed for? 

Perhaps Grimes plans on returning to campus aboard the bus blazoned with her image. Maybe she will dazzle her fellow Rhodes College Class of '01 co-eds with tales of the Hollywood hunks and starlets -- like Ben Affleck, Woody Allen, Nicolas Cage, Danny DeVito, Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Garner, Jon Hamm, Tom Hanks, Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Spielberg, and Barbara Streisand -- who have lavished their riches on her campaign.

At least Grimes is going to participate in a debate (of sorts) with McConnell on Kentucky Educational Television. It will be interesting to see if the skillful moderator, Bill Goodman, can get straight answers out of her.

Would she have voted for Obamacare? Would she vote for the House-passed H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans most abortions after 20 weeks? Is she proud of her role as an Obama delegate at the 2012 Democratic National Convention? If she had it to do over again, would she? Yes or no?

Grimes makes a lot of baseless claims about McConnell. Will she ever tell Kentuckians the truth about herself?

John David Dyche is a Louisville attorney and political commentator for WDRB.com. His e-mail is jddyche@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @jddyche.
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