After months of protests, threats, and contentious public hearings over the future of Kentucky’s employee pensions, it has now become clear the reason Governor Bevin has fought so hard to have his pension plan become law without allowing the public to review the financial analysis. Although the complete financial analysis remains secret as government attorneys continue to throw up roadblocks in an effort to run out the clock before the election, a recent legal opinion provides at least a snapshot of what the financial analysis concluded when a judge wrote:
“Though the actuaries do not express opinions about the merits of the proposal, the numbers do not lie….While the actuarial study of the governor’s proposal may be embarrassing to the administration in that it reveals substantial fiscal and economic problems with the governor’s proposal, the Open Records Act requires disclosure even if it causes ‘embarrassment to public officials or others.’”
Most Kentuckians have come to expect Gov. Bevin’s leadership style, a leadership style which is driven by his ego and belief that most Kentuckians are backward and will not survive to the end of the year unless he is reelected. Unfortunately, Gov. Bevin is incapable of concealing his disdain for Kentuckians and his belief that Kentuckians are simply backward, which is nothing more than political code that Kentuckians are too stupid to fend for themselves.
Almost like a Freudian slip, in an attempt to repackage his image before the election, Gov. Bevin’s own words have exposed his true thoughts about Kentuckians when he said, “After 100 years of backward policies in Kentucky, we’re finally working our way up, too.” There should be little doubt that Gov. Bevin’s use of the word “backward” was not intended as a term of praise for Kentuckians. Instead, the word “backward” was used as a pejorative term intended to belittle, demean, disparage, and reveal Gov. Bevin’s contempt for all Kentuckians who disagree with his so-called enlightened leadership.
Although it is too late for Kentuckians to review Gov. Bevin’s financial analysis which is the cornerstone of pension reform in Kentucky, it should be clear that if the financial analysis was favorable, it would have been released months ago, instead of being hidden from the public. Of course, now we know why Gov. Bevin has launched a war against teachers, public employees and public retirees, a war which continues to this day, the war was launched to silence anyone or everyone who would dare seek the truth.
Sadly, there is nothing that can be done to change Gov. Bevin’s belief that Kentuckians are backward. Sadly, there is also nothing that can be done to heal the wounds caused by Gov. Bevin’s harsh words not only against teachers, but anyone and everyone who has dared to disagree with him. However, Kentuckians do have the absolute power to decide their future, will it be a future under the leadership of a governor who believes that Kentuckians are backward, or will it be a future under the leadership of a governor who believes that Kentuckians are capable of charting their own future.
In the end, it is time for all Kentuckians to consider their future; it is time to exercise their right to vote, a vote which will define their future. In the end, it is time for all Kentuckians to consider the words of Andrew Jackson when he wrote, “The great constitutional corrective in the hands of the people against usurpation of power, or corruption by their agents is the right of suffrage; and when used with calmness and deliberation will prove strong enough.”
So, as I often do, I would invite all Kentuckians who want a governor and a leader who does not consider Kentuckians as “backward,” to join me on my imaginary mountaintop, a place where all Kentuckians can shout loudly to Gov. Bevin that Kentuckians have had it, that Kentuckians are sick and tired of being demeaned, belittled and cast in a light that they are too stupid to fend for themselves. In the words of Andrew Jackson, it is time to exercise their “great constitutional corrective,” it is time to vote!