Saturday, February 21, 2004

Bunning opponent sees poll as reason to hope

Political notes

Pat Crowley

An independent statewide poll gives high marks on job performance to Sen. Jim Bunning, the Southgate Republican running for re-election this year.

But Bunning's opponent, statehouse Democrat Dan Mongiardo, said the poll also exposes vulnerability for the incumbent.

The Louisville Courier-Journal's Bluegrass Poll shows that 62 percent of likely voters strongly or somewhat approve of the way Bunning handles his job. The poll also shows that 41 percent would vote to re-elect him, 13 percent would vote to replace him and 27 percent were undecided.

Mongiardo said the 41 percent figure indicates Bunning can be defeated.

"If I can get my message out, I will win this race," Mongiardo said.

The telephone poll of 658 likely voters was done the first week of February. It carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percent.

DOWN PAYMENTS: Bunning and Rep. Ken Lucas, a Boone County Democrat representing the 4th District, have been lauded for supporting a measure designed to improve home ownership opportunities.

Bunning and Lucas worked to persuade Fannie Mae to offer 30-year loans with 5 percent down payments to buyers of manufactured homes.

Fannie Mae had considered requiring buyers to have 5 percent down on 20-year loans and 10 percent down on 30-year loans.

Kreil Moran, president of the Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute, said the policy will make it easier for people to buy new homes.

LITERACY SUMMIT: Two Northern Kentucky Republican leaders are helping put together a committee that will convene a summit for civic literacy at Northern Kentucky University.

State Sen. Jack Westwood, R-Crescent Springs, has filed a resolution to establish the committee. Secretary of State Trey Grayson of Park Hills is helping with the effort.

Westwood, who is running for re-election this year, and Grayson have made increasing civics instruction in public schools part of their political platforms.

"One issue from the campaign for which I am most passionate is civic engagement," said Grayson, who was elected in November. "This summit will undoubtedly raise awareness of this important topic as well as generate meaningful ideas to increase involvement in the political process."

Laurie DiPavoda-Stocks, founding director of the Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement at NKU, is also involved in the effort.

Westwood said his resolution encourages Grayson, the Department of Education, the Administrative Office of the Courts and the Scripps Howard Center "to host the summit in order to determine a strategy for enhancing long-term civic engagement."

GROOB EVENTS: Kathy Groob, the Fort Mitchell Democrat challenging Westwood in this year's 23rd Senate District race, has two campaign events planned.

She will hold a fund-raiser Wednesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Covington law firm of Adams, Stepner, Wolterman & Dusing, 40 West Pike Street.

Groob is also hosting a March 19 event in Covington's MainStrasse neighborhood called "Groobin' on Main." Seven MainStrasse bars and restaurants will join in the event from 5:30 to 9 p.m. - Chez Nora, Otto's, Zola Bar & Grill, Strasse Haus, MainStrasse Village Pub, Cock & Bull English Pup and Pachinko.

Groob's Young Professionals group organized the event.

KENTON WOMEN'S GOP: The Kenton County Republican Women's Club will meet Mondayat 11:30 a.m. at Five Seasons Sports Country Club, 345 Thomas More Parkway in Crestview Hills. The program includes information on air travel security and an update on Megan's Law and the Amber Alert system, used to find missing and abducted children, from the office of Kenton County Sheriff Chuck Korzenborn.

Information: (859) 342-7620.

CAMPBELL GOP: The Campbell County Republican Party will meet Tuesdayat 7:30 p.m. at the Highland Heights City Building, 175 Johns Hill Road. Mark Hayden, the Wilder Republican running for 67th District state representative, is to give an update on his campaign.

For more information call 859-441-9100 or go to the party's Web site,

To submit an item contact Patrick Crowley by e-mail,; fax, (859) 578-5565; or mail in care of The Kentucky Enquirer, 226 Grandview Drive, Fort Mitchell, KY 41017.

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