A Senate candidate is weighing in on the rally in Frankfort this past weekend that resulted in Governor Andy Beshear being hung in effigy.
Mike Broihier attributes the incident to the rhetoric from one of Kentucky's two U.S. Senators -- just not the one he's actually running against.
"It would be naive to think Senator [Rand] Paul's irresponsible rhetoric surrounding COVID-19 and the Governor is completely unrelated to the racist display in front of the Governor's Mansion on Sunday," said Broihier, "In this time of crisis, leaders should not be spreading conspiracy theories and promoting insurrection."
Broihier asserts that Sen. Paul -- who tested positive for the novel coronavirus in March -- stands alone amongst major Kentucky politicians in having no public statement regarding the effigy hung on the Governor's lawn, which had the words "Sic Semper tyrannis" and an image of Governor Andy Beshear's face tacked onto it. In recent weeks, Paul has gone on the record calling Beshear "drunk with power" and an "economic dictator" over the governor's efforts to slow the virus' spread in the commonwealth by shuttering many businesses and agencies.
"He's undermining our federal and state response, he is fomenting divisions within our country, and he is costing lives. He has a lot of apologies to make, beginning with Governor Beshear and his family," said Broihier. "You'd think that someone who had the snot kicked out of him over a lawn mowing dispute would better understand the results of angry words and lack of civil discourse."
Broihier, in turn, feels that Gov. Beshear has been "a calming and reasoned voice" during the pandemic in light of a lack in national leadership.
Broihier is a Democratic candidate -- not for Paul's seat but for the U.S. Senate seat that current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has held for 35 years.
A retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel, Broihier has made his home in neighboring Lincoln County -- Stanford, to be exact -- since 2005. He said he made the decision to run for office with his wife, who is also retired from the military.
"After having had a lifetime commitment to defending and protecting the Constitution, we took a look at what was happening in D.C. and just decided that what's happening in our country right now is decidedly un-American and a danger to our republic," Broihier said.
Broihier opined that Sen. McConnell cares neither for the Constitution nor for the people of Kentucky but only for money and power. He believes he is "uniquely positioned" to unseat the veteran politician -- not only as a combat veteran but as a farmer, former teacher and former newspaper editor.
"He has not run against anyone like me before," Broihier said.
As for campaigning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the candidate calls the experience different rather than difficult. Broihier said he's taken to social media to field questions from potential voters and constituents.
Among the planks in Broihier's campaign platform is universal basic income, for which he advocated "long before" the pandemic wreaked havoc on our economy. He's concerned that an estimated 80 percent of families live essentially paycheck to paycheck -- adding that Kentucky's economic health was not reflective of the roaring stock market of just five months ago.
The candidate also supports a transition to a single-payer healthcare system.
With Sen. McConnell's push for a judicial legacy, Broihier sees a self-serving agenda.
"He does not care about the truth; he doesn't care about the way politics should be conducted in this country," Broihier said of the current senator. "All he cares about, really, is packing the court [with conservative judges]. That is his gift to Donald Trump. He goes along with whatever Donald Trump says, and he's allowed to pack the courts."
But it's not just ideology to which Broihier objects. He noted that McConnell left Washington in March as legislators were working on the COVID-19 stimulus to attend the swearing in of a new federal judge, who according to Broihier, was deemed unqualified by the American Bar Association.
"He doesn't care about us or the health of the nation," Broihier said. "…Even in the midst of this virus, he has time to come home and celebrate the appointment of another unqualified federal judge. I think it says an awful lot about him as a person, a politician and a leader."
But to square off against the Republican McConnell in November, Broihier must first cinch the Democrat nomination in the June 23 Primary -- thus rescheduled because of the pandemic. He is one of 10 Democrats who will vie for the seat.
To learn more about Broihier, visit mikeforky.com.