Commonwealth Journal

Letters

November 19, 2013

Girdler has issues with Comer’s remarks at Chamber

Somerset — As a 7th generation Kentuckian, I admire and love Kentucky traditions. As such, I believe deeply in our state motto: United We Stand, Divided We Fall. That’s why it saddens me to witness so much division in our Commonwealth, our Country and as a proud Republican, in the GOP today.

Recently, those wounds were opened even deeper after baffling remarks from our Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. Commissioner Comer has been a public servant for over 13 years. He’s spent the majority of his adult life in public service and has a successful career. That’s why I invited him to speak to the Somerset-Pulaski Chamber of Commerce – to talk about his success as an elected official.

I expected to hear about the work he completed while in office as our state’s Agriculture Commissioner. Unfortunately, the Commissioner used a decidedly non-political event to jump start the 2015 race for Governor. This was neither the time nor place for such petty and paranoid comments.

Our chamber has hosted several statewide elected officials, both Democrats and Republicans, to have a civil discourse about ideas and each official’s work in office. Each time Pulaski County leaders spoke positively about the visits, regardless of their political views. This wasn’t the case after Commissioner Comer spoke. At best, the course James Comer took has been curious and strange.  The majority of members to whom I spoke were disappointed in the lack of political maturity to recognize this wasn’t the place for divisive statements. It especially wasn’t appropriate when the divisive statements were aimed at not just fellow Republicans, not just elected officials, but at Pulaski County’s own. I believe I speak for the majority who witnessed this oddity: “We’re not saying no to Jamie Comer, we’re just saying not yet.”

Commissioner Comer could have used this opportunity to unite Kentucky and Republicans for the future. As one of the few Republicans elected statewide, he has a platform that few others possess. However, he decided to ignore President Reagan’s 11th commandment “Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican,” and blistered some of the leaders of our party.

Another great Republican uttered one of the greatest lines pertaining to unity that history records: “A House divided against itself cannot stand.” Abraham Lincoln used that speech to distinguish himself in a campaign for U.S. Senator. The legacy for that speech is unmistakable. Our current elected officials should focus on the future of our Commonwealth not self-serving interests that splits us.

Lincoln’s comments also remind me that while Kentucky is a conservative state, Republicans are in the minority of voter registrations. If our party is to gain control of the Governor’s mansion (not to mention control of the state House of Representatives), we must be united.

So, for the good of our Party, and Kentucky, I hope Commissioner Comer and any other gubernatorial aspirants will turn from the politics of personal destruction and focus on uniting our party. Without that union, Kentucky will be void of the conservative leadership it needs to pursue our path to prosperity.

Kentucky Republicans need to be the adults in the room. We’ll disagree about approaches from time to time, but if we are to change Kentucky for the better, we must mature. This gubernatorial race is a chance to do just that. I hope we see an extensive discussion of conservative ideas that will propel Kentucky forward.  In the end, I will remind Mr. Comer and others that there is a difference between not being controlled and being out of control. Kentucky needs us. It’s time we start acting like individuals worth electing.

Chris Girdler is a Kentucky state senator representing District 15

1
Text Only
Letters
  • James Comer.jpg Comer: ‘People are fed up with old school politics’

    November 22, 2013 1 Photo

  • Chris Girdler Senate District 15.jpg Girdler has issues with Comer’s remarks at Chamber

    November 19, 2013 1 Photo

  • An Open Letter to the Community from LCRH

    March 31, 2014

  • Reader puts a face on battle over Libary

    November 28, 2012

  • When the parties are over, who will pick up the pieces?

    The City of Somerset recently voted to sell alcohol by drink and through store outlets. We believe that a number of city management members were quite pleased by this outcome by the support this vote received prior to that election. It means that the city will receive a boost in tax revenue, a big boost that will aid the city's financial picture greatly.
    A number of other Somerset citizens lament that vote because they have a number of realistic concerns regarding the consequences of that monumental decision. They are afraid, with reason, that the incidence of alcohol addiction will increase in proportion to the amount of alcohol consumed.We tend to share those concerns. Accidents, auto crashes, addiction related illnesses and social dysfunction related to alcohol will, by its nature increase.
    This vote comes at a time wherein methamphetamine and other drug addiction continues to soar. It seems that every issue of your paper carries stories about drug related violence, crimes, assaults and felonies of all description. How do you think the addition of an increasing alcoholism population will effect those numbers and this community? I am sure that the members of Somerset City management have considered that question and are seeking responsible solutions.
    We would like to suggest one: Help give Somerset something she has needed for decades, an effective and viable alcohol/drug treatment program. It is very doable and would prove to be very cost effective within a short period of time. We have all been misdirected to believe that we need to wage a "war on drugs" except that wars don't often have winners and America is far from winning the one we've been involved with since President Reagan declared it.
    Alcoholism and drug addiction are identical as disease entities, they share the same symptoms, pathology and, sadly, the same prospects of morbidity. On the positive side, they respond favorably to specific treatment.
    Localities where addiction was viewed realistically and treated effectively report high recovery rates and significant cost savings. The airline industry stated, in 1979 that they realized that they received $15 back for every dollar invested in employee addiction treatment. Sending addicts to prison is far more costly than sending them to treatment. Treatment works.
    I do not know what the projected sales of alcohol by the drink is, the city managers do, I'll bet. Well, if the city levied a 5-cent tax on each ounce of distilled alcohol, beer serving, and 4 1/2 oz. glass of wine, they would be able to fund a freestanding residential as well as an intense outpatient facility that would serve some 1,300 Somerset persons including their family members a year. Other funding would come from self pay, insurance, state and federal formula funds and court referrals.
    If readers of this letter care to discuss this issue further we give the editor of this newspaper permission to share our e-mail addresses to interested parties.
    We thank you for publishing this letter.

    Delbert Dyar
    Bronston, KY. 42518
    enidel@live.com

    Alden R. Phelps
    Bronston, KY. 42518
    adlenrphelps@newwavecomm.net

    August 30, 2012

  • '... Salt in the Wound'

    Dear Editor:
    As a Christian, local pastor and one who worked very hard with K.I.D.S. of Somerset in the recent local option election, I would like to express my disgust with the distasteful cartoons on your editorial page in the June 29 issue of the Commonwealth Journal.
    When the results of the local option election were announced on June 26 both sides of the issue were represented at the courthouse. I was pleased with how civilized both sides were in their reaction to the outcome. David Carr and I stood with Pastor Ed Amundson, spokesperson for K.I.D.S., as he was interviewed by CJ reporter Chris Harris.
    Bro. Amundson was very conciliatory in his response to all questions.
    In conversation with Mr. Harris after the interview Bro. Amundson was very careful to make sure there were no hard feelings remaining from the election in which passions ran very high on both sides of the issue.
    We had said we would and we did accept the result of a fair democratic process. My FB posts that night and the following day thanked those with whom I had labored in the process. I stated that I would pastor in a new Somerset with the same passion I have had since I came to Somerset almost 16 years ago. The city of Somerset had spoken loudly and I accepted the result.
    Mr. Weddle with Progress Somerset has been very gracious in his comments. As I stated earlier when the result was announced both sides conducted themselves in a very civil manner. The election was over so let’s move on. Then the editorial board of the CJ decides to rub a little salt in the wound.
    On Friday as I read the editorial page I found this very distasteful cartoon with the heading “Caution ‘Wet’
    Paint.” I must assume by this they are ready to paint the town, a term that I, in my mind, associate with drunken revelry. The first cartoon made light of the fact that we deemed the consequences of this vote serious enough that we would pray about it. The second cartoon seemed to insinuate that the only way we could handle defeat is to drown our sorrows in a very dry martini.
    Why would the CJ, which should have had a primarily journalistic interest in the Local Option Election, be taking a victory lap?
    Why belittle a group of people who simply had strong reservations about the benefit of legalized alcohol sales?
    Why make light of people who believe in prayer and of the God to whom they pray?
    What is the purpose?
    Does the CJ have more interest in stirring the caldron of division in our community than being responsible and fair reporters of the events that affect the everyday lives of all of our citizens?
    Could it be that the CJ has cast off the restraint of journalistic integrity and objectivity to we are not just happy to report the results but we are also happy with the results?
    By this very action the CJ has said that people who believe in God, people who pray and people who were against the legalization of alcohol in Somerset are worthy only of our ridicule and nothing more.
    It is very true that we, who were on the No side, were soundly defeated and I tip, not my glass, but my hat to you on the other side of the argument for the effectiveness of your campaign.
    To the CJ I say if your actions with these distasteful cartoons are a reflection of your excitement about the final tally or an attempt to make those of us on the No side irrelevant, I leave you with this: We are still here, not just sober and praying, but soberly praying, for the city we love and call home. 2,167 Yes, 1,464 No is the reality of June 26, but only history can reveal the true winners and losers on that day.
    Thank you,
    Johnny M. Dunbar
    Somerset, KY 42502

    July 19, 2012

  • Group opposed to alcohol at Eagle’s Nest

    Dear Editor:
    K.I.D.S. (Keep It Dry and Safe) of Somerset and Pulaski County is opposed to the sale of alcohol at the Eagle’s Nest Golf Course in the Caney Fork Precinct of Pulaski County, Ky.

    March 9, 2012

  • The Perils of Alcohol

    Dear Editor:
    The Feb. 1, 2012, front page news of the Commonwealth Journal, read in big, bold letters, ALCOHOL at Eagle’s Nest.

    February 9, 2012

  • Reenactment Poorly Planned

    Dear Editor:
    In response to the article by staff writer Chris Harris concerning the Battle of Mill Springs recently held in your county. I have concerns over the objectivity of the content, particularly with Bill Neikirk’s comments.
    I am a living historian and travel from Florida to Virginia taking part in approximately 30 events per year; thus, I do know something of which I speak.

    February 9, 2012

  • Rockcastle Hospital responds to article

    Dear Editor:
    This letter is in response to the article printed January 31, 2012, in the Commonwealth Journal titled “Local Nursing Homes on par with rest of nation.”  The article incorrectly noted that the only Kentucky nursing home with zero deficiencies was the Nursing Facility of Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown. I would kindly ask you to correct the information to include our facility.

    February 6, 2012

News Live
AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks