Sunday, October 31, 1999
Governor race should scare you into voting
BY PATRICK CROWLEY
The Cincinnati Enquirer
It's absolutely fitting that on Halloween we are talking about Kentucky's gubernatorial race, which has been one weird, creepy deal from the start.
Voters have never seen a race quite like this one, and they probably don't ever want to see one again. They must be spooked by the prospect of actually casting a vote in what has never really been much of a race. The electorate is expected to stay away from the polls in record numbers on Tuesday.
Talk about whistling past the political graveyard.
Here's a quick look at the most recent developments:
Just when you thought the campaign of Republican Peppy Martin couldn't get any more bizarre, she used last week's statewide televised debate to roll out this gem: 80 percent of the county sheriffs and 30 percent of the state cops are dealing dope.
Priceless. Way to go after that law enforcement vote, Peppy.
Oh, wait. She didn't really mean it. She said as much last Tuesday during her appearance on the local cable access show Northern Kentucky Live.
That was just a wakeup call, Peppy said. I have really no idea what the figures are. I hope they're a lot less.
But I will tell that it is a great concern in every county in this state, and (Gov.) Paul Patton runs the state government, and he is the one to answer for it.
What don't you call Paul Patton (on) why he hasn't done more to watch over the drug dealing in this state, she said.
So, she admits to using unreliable and unconfirmed information to damage the reputations of hundreds of law enforcement officials.
Peppy has begged and pleaded to be taken seriously as a candidate. The media have tried, but episodes like this make it impossible to imagine her running the state.
Gov. Peppy Martin. Now that's scary.
Reform Party candidate Gatewood Galbraith has grown up from his last gubernatorial campaign four years ago. He has a much better platform, has campaigned harder and is even riding around in a bus.
In my last campaign I slept in the back of my car, Mr. Galbraith said last week. Now I'm traveling in style. This bus is nice, man.
Alas, Mr. Galbraith's campaign is suffering from a marijuana hang over. Despite his efforts to roll out a credible campaign, his platform in the 1991 and 1995 Democratic primaries to legalize marijuana will always stick with him. And the voters of this state just aren't going to buy making pot legal.
The Democrats use the pot platform to occasionally jab Mr. Galbraith, as earlier this week when he said Mr. Patton was going to lose.
I think Gatewood is once again lost in that purple haze of his to say something so ludicrous, said Kim Geveden, Mr. Patton's campaign manager.
Even the front-runner, Democratic incumbent Mr. Patton, has run scared this campaign season but not because he is really afraid of losing.
Mr. Patton is frightened that a low turnout will hurt his power and ability to push legislation through the General Assembly, especially since the GOP now controls the state Senate.
So just to get some buzz going, Mr. Patton spent the early part of the campaign talking about legalizing casino gambling in Kentucky and raising the gas tax, two positions he has backed away from as Election Day draws near.
And how about the news that came out last week about Lt. Gov. Steve Henry and Miss America Heather Renee French of Maysville dating and campaigning together?
Did that just happen to leak out to give the Patton/Henry ticket more publicity? Stranger, scarier things have happened, especially in this year's race.
Fort Thomas Democrat Connie Beiting was disappointed earlier this year when Mr. Patton didn't appoint her Campbell County property value administrator. The governor appointed Marian Guidugli Dunn, a Democrat running in Tuesday's election against Republican Kevin Gordon.
Mrs. Beiting, who worked in the PVA's office for a few years, could have done what a lot of people in politics do when they don't win or get something they want. But she didn't pout, act bitter or become vindictive.
In fact, Mrs. Beiting has endorsed Mrs. Dunn and written letters to newspapers touting her candidacy.
The Beiting name has always been well known and well respected in Campbell County politics. Mrs. Beiting showed one of the reasons why.
Henson jumping in
Independence Democrat Jaimie Henson will end months of speculation Friday when she formally announces her bid to run against state Sen. Jack Westwood of Erlanger.
Democrats think Mr. Westwood is vulnerable, at least in part because he hasn't seemed to attract a lot of early support and money from area Republicans.
But Mr. Westwood does have more than $30,000 in the bank, which is a good war chest to have going into a contested race. And a lot of Republican donors have been sitting back and saving their money, waiting to see whether Mr. Westwood drew an opponent.
Well, he has one now. So look for the cash to start to tumble in.
Fletcher helps out
U.S. Rep. Ernie Fletcher, the Lexington Republican who represents Kentucky's 6th District, will appear at state Rep. Paul Marcotte's Nov. 7 fund-raiser.
The two served in the Statehouse together in 1995 and 1996, before Mr. Fletcher left to run for Congress.
Mr. Marcotte, a Union Republican, has announced he will seek a fourth term in Frankfort next year.
Patrick Crowley covers Kentucky politics for The Kentucky Enquirer. His column appears Thursdays and Sundays. He can be reached at 578-5581, or (502) 875-7526 in Frankfort, or by e-mail at email@example.com
River on the rebound
Gravel mining altering character of the river
Riverside residents expect change
Shootout shocks Loveland
Some opt for anti-Halloween activities
Human egg auction model of stupidity
Council hopefuls mount final blitz
Governor race should scare you into voting
Majority of voters will skip election
Marchers rally for school tax
School officials dispute findings of new survey
Voters may be scarce in N.Ky.
A stink in Butler Co.
Mating urge sends deer across roads
Prisoner found dead in Middletown jail
Rebel flag still excites passions
Seniors told of HMO cuts
Speaker: Hate begat Holocaust
Holocaust talks keep prof on go
CSO's guest conductors hint at future leaders
Many maestros are candidates for top spot here
'Scrabble' master competing this week in world championship
'The Greatest?' Try Billy Noddin, one of many
Columbus artist invites you into her work
Enter our Dress A Turkey contest
GET TO IT
'Grapes of Wrath' showcases Conservatory's growth
Need communication, ingenuity for hiking
OhioDance honors Jefferson James
Second jazz CD as good as the first
Starting the millennium with a wedding? Tell us about it
Gumbel latest weapon in morning wars
Caucus hears variety of views
College starts equine center construction
Lawmaker's tobacco interests under scrutiny
Students guided to career paths
Teens accused of plot to recreate Columbine
Union question at nursing homes divides judges