Saturday, January 06, 2007

Press coverage of Stein nomination--and the tangled web Stumbo has woven for himself

I was quoted in both the state's largest newspapers today on the Stein nomination. Both the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Lexington Herald-Leader ran front page stories on the House committee chair appointments, the only controversial one being Stein. Both stories were well done and fair, although the Courier's story focused on the possibility of resurrecting the issue of same-sex marriage, an issue which is as politically dead as an issue can be. The Marriage Amendment passed two years ago with the support of 75 percent of voters.

Quod est demonstrandum.

I have a feeling that the Courier reporter may be new and not entirely familiar with the state's recent history on this issue. But she did report my comment that Stein's views on the issue are irrelevant, given the passage of the amendment.

Stein can certainly take comfort in gaining a key legislative position, but Democratic leadership cannot afford to be smug about the events of this week. From about Tuesday morning when the controversy over this appointment hit the papers, they had to realize that they were faced with a dilemma: either change course and look like they were caving in to conservative interests or make the appointment and pay the potential political consequences. They chose the latter. But neither outcome could be considered particularly appealing for them.

By the way, there is one very interesting potential irony here. If it is true, as some think, that Jody Richards will announce for governor next week, and that, as is also rumored, his running mate is Greg Stumbo, Stumbo could very well have shot himself in the foot with his involvement in events this week.

As I pointed out, Stumbo was involved in the election of Charlie Hoffman to the caucus chairman position in the House. And that victory secured Stein's appointment because it resulted in the ousting of Damron, a Stein opponent. But Stein's appointment will very definitely hurt Richard's candidacy, since he is trying to run to the right of the rest of the field. I was quoted to this effect in today's Herald-Leader. And any damage to Richard's candidacy for governor is damage to Stumbo's candidacy for lieutenant governor since they would be running on the same ticket.

Oh what a tangled web we weave.

No comments: