Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Competence is not the problem with Kathy Stein

I was quoted today in the Lexington Herald-Leader on the prospect of Kathy Stein being made chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. See the press release below, and my earlier post about this issue from which my comments were drawn.

Needless to say, Rep. Stein was not happy with my comments. Here is the section of the story with her response:
Stein, an attorney who has been a House member since 1997 and a member of the House Judiciary Committee for 10 years, said she was "very disappointed" with Cothran's comments and the Family Foundation "to single out this one chairmanship and suggest I would not be a good chair for a major committee in the House."
Note that I did not say that she wouldn't be a "good chair". I said she would be a very liberal chair--which would certainly be good for liberals. I did not question Stein's competency. In fact, it is her competency as a liberal advocate that is precisely the problem. She is a dangerous enemy for the very reason that she is a competent and articulate advocate for her positions.

In fact, she may very well be more worthy of respect than the other contenders for the position because she is honest about where she stands. She makes no bones about where what she believes on political and social issues, which makes her more worthy of respect than some other lawmakers, who will tell you one thing, and then do the exact opposite.

The question is not Rep. Stein's competence, but her positions on issues, which are not only out of the mainstream, by simply mistaken. The question is what her selection by Democratic leaders would say about the Party, and where she would take policy in this state.


Anonymous said...

While I always read and enjoy your postings, and even agree with most, I have to part ways with you on the question of Rep. Stein as chair of the House Judiciary. She would make an excellent chair for many of the same reasons that John Roberts has made an excellent Chief Justice: she has a strong sense of fairness, an unwavering commitment to the law and to justice, and a strong sense of obligation to the constitution. While she may have positions on certain issues with which I disagree, her commitment to justice makes her eminently qualified to serve. I suppose what motivated me to write was your characterization of her as an "enemy." She's anything but an "enemy." She might be an opponent on issues, but she in no way has ever acted in such a way as to be characterized an "enemy." Plus, she's one of the few Democrats willing to stand up and "Say No to Casinos." From my perspective on that issue, I'd love to have her in the Judiciary Chair. With all respect and admiration, as well as wishes for a Happy New Year,

Martin Cothran said...

Good points. I do not disagree with any of your particular points. I consider her a bad choice for the post mostly on the basis of her positions on the abortion issue and the gay rights issue. It seems to me that her positions on these issues disqualify her from such a post in any party that claims to represent the mainstream in Kentucky. Note that my use of "enemy" is entirely metaphorical and is used within the context of political contest. I have no problems with Kathy personally. We just disagree.

Anonymous said...

Kathy Stein is NOT qualified. I will give only two of the many reasons why Speaker Richards should NOT let Stein Chair the Judiciary Committee.

1. On July 13, 2006, Jonathan Miller publicly supported Kathy Stein to draft legislation to make it legal for taxpayer money to pay state employees to chat all day with Stein's good friend, Mark Nickolas on the blog Jonathan Miller conceived.

In the Spring of 2005, Kentucky Treasurer Jonathan Miller conceived the blog and wined and dined Mark Nickolas until Nickolas agreed to operate the blog. The blog has a reputation of slandering politicians, judges and public official, but naturally supports Kathy Stein and Jonathan Miller.

The legislation that Jonathan Miller supports and Kathy Stein is drafting illustrates that Stein and Miller play FAVORITES when drafting legislative bills. The bill shows a complete disrespect for how taxpayer money should be spent.

2. Stein showed a complete lack of respect for the families and friends of our men and women in the military when she vehemently and callously removed the POW/MIA flag hanging at the old courthouse building in Lexington. Whether you are for or against the Iraq War (and I oppose the Iraq War), her stance on that was anti-patriotic and anti-American. That flag should be there as a bitter-sweet reminder of the sacrifices men and women in the military make.

Jonathan Miller and Kathy Stein must be held accountable for their use of taxpayer money. Jonathan Miller encouraged Mark Nickolas to operate that blog full time. A legitimate question that I have seen raised on blogs is: "Has Jonathan Miller or Kathy Stein donated any taxpayer money into that blog from the funds they both can use to enable Mark Nickolas to trash talk public officials that stand in the way of Miller and Stein?"

Anonymous said...
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