By John David Dyche
I have long argued that rather than pretending some superhuman detachment and objectivity news editors and reporters should disclose for whom they vote. The public could then factor that information into its consideration of news from those sources.
Having taken this position as to news people, as an opinions person I can hardly do less than disclose my own votes. My biases may be on open display in everything I say or write, but it is only fair that I do what I say others should.
What follows are my own endorsements, not those of any other entity or person, especially those who are brave (foolhardy?) enough to provide me with a forum. I hope my public support does not do too much damage to the candidates who have it.
I am voting for independent Drew Curtis for Governor even though I realize and have written that he cannot win. This should not come as too much of a surprise to readers since I have repeatedly expressed the opinion, only somewhat in jest, as to Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Matt Bevin that we are doomed either way.
My numerous specific criticisms of these two major party candidates for the state’s highest office are already out there for all to see, and I will not repeat them here. Not only did my last column contain a plea for more positivity, but negative pieces just before an election do not allow the subjects sufficient time to respond if they are so inclined.
Some of my critics, especially among Bevin’s more fanatical backers, say I merely want to be able to say, “I told you so,” regardless of who wins. Not so. I would sincerely prefer to admit that I was wrong, and I very much hope that the winner between Bevin and Conway gives me a heaping helping of crow to eat.
Casting a ballot for Curtis is to some degree a protest vote, but he is better than the usual alternatives. A vote for him may encourage future bids by good candidates from outside the two major parties and that might help make Democrats and Republicans do better.
Curtis was the only candidate to put forward a truly specific proposal on state pension reform. It may not be the best answer to the biggest problem the state faces, but at least he approached it the way a serious candidate should.
He not only respected voters’ intelligence, but in the debates that included him he demonstrated brains, humility, realism, and other appealing qualities. His biggest blunder was saying he would vote for Donald Trump, but he recanted that and every candidate is entitled to one do over.
Voting for Curtis will earn me plenty of hostility from a vocal minority of my Republican Party. So will a couple of votes I cast in the races for the rest of the constitutional offices.
So be it. There is all too much putting of party before state and country going around now anyway.
I will be voting for two Democrats, Adam Edelen for Auditor and Alison Lundergan Grimes for Secretary of State. The former should come as no surprise since I have repeatedly praised the job Edelen has done in office, but the latter may catch some off guard since I liberally (pun intended) lambasted Grimes during her unsuccessful U.S. Senate race last year against Mitch McConnell.
Edelen’s opponent, state representative Mike Harmon is a good guy, and Edelen’s ad depicting Harmon as flying on a private jet at state expense is laughably unfair, especially given how some legislators from Edelen’s party have junketed on the taxpayer tab. But as my columns have more than once observed, Edelen has put his considerable political talent to use tackling tough issues and improving Kentucky government at every level.
Simply stated, I think Grimes is the best qualified to do a job that is very important, especially as it relates to the administration of elections. Yes, I have some concerns that partisanship could enter into her actions in case of a closely contested election, but the same sort of concerns apply to her opponent, Steve Knipper.
I will be voting Republican, as I usually do, down the rest of the ballot. This means checking the box for Whitney Westerfield for Attorney General, Allison Ball for Treasurer, and Ryan Quarles for Agriculture Commissioner. Nothing against their Democratic opponents Andy Beshear, Rick Nelson, and Jean-Marie Lawson-Spann, respectively, but the GOP candidates are reasonable conservatives who would do a good job in the offices they seek.
Some of you may use my selections to vote the other way. Those who do so with my horseracing handicapping have emerged big winners from time to time.
But at least I am now on the record as I advocate others in journalism should also be. And you can hold me accountable and take my votes into consideration as you read everything I write about the winners.
(John David Dyche is a Louisville attorney and a political commentator for WDRB.com. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jddyche.)
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