Thursday, October 05, 2000

Politics


Williams funny like a razor

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        Just about a month to go before the election. Time to up my dosage.
       

Political carnivore
        Kentucky Senate President David Williams, a Burkesville Republican, is easily the most entertaining and eloquent speaker in the Kentucky General Assembly.

        He had them chuckling and nodding in agreement during a speech last week at Covington's Metropolitan Club. The event was sponsored by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the crowd was packed with Republican elected officials like a pay lake is stocked with fish.

        Mr. Williams is always funny, but his words can also sting an adversary. Many a political foe, Democrat as well as Republican, has lost an argument to the quick-witted Senate president.

        But Mr. Williams is also becoming more of an attack dog for the GOP, delivering plenty of red meat to the hungry, GOP-friendly chamber gathering.

        He went after a couple of downstate Democratic Senators for holding jobs that depend on state tax dollars. David Karem of Louisville heads the authority developing Louisville's riverfront; Joey Pendleton of Hopkinsville works for Murray State University.

        He lambasted the media for “trivializing” Kenton County's state Senate race between Republican incumbent Jack Westwood of Erlanger and Independence Democrat Jaimie Henson, a clear indication the shots the Dems have been taking at Mr. Westwood are beginning to find their mark.

        He whipped up on Frankfort Democrats for taking too much credit for bills he said Republicans helped pass, such as the early childhood education initiative.

        And in a direct slam at Gov. Paul Patton, Mr. Williams went after Sally Davis, the feisty head of constituent services in Northern Kentucky for the governor's office. Mrs. Davis has a running feud with a couple of local Republicans.

        “You've got some character assassins running around up here,” Mr. Williams said with a grin as he referred to Mrs. Davis.

        Mr. Williams did reveal a little bit of news during his talk, saying that statehouse Republicans will push for the repeal of the controversial bill that doubled lawmakers' pensions.

        Of course, that is an overtly political move, because Mr. Westwood's support of the bill is giving the Henson campaign lots of ammo. And Mr. Williams can also bet that the Democrats will be just as eager to repeal that bill as they try to rub GOP faces in it.
       

Bunning busy
               U.S. Senator Jim Bunning is feeling better after his recent surgery — in August doctors at the Mayo Clinic removed his gallbladder and a benign tumor — and pledged to get out on the stump for GOP candidates during Congress' recess.

        Mr. Bunning, a Southgate Republican, said he will help Mr. Westwood as well as Senate President Pro Tem Dick Roeding of Lakeside Park, who is facing a challenge from Fort Mitchell Democrat John Stephenson.

        He said he'll also do some campaigning for two incumbent Republican U.S. House members, Ann Northup of Louisville, who represents Kentucky's 3rd District, and 6th District Rep. Ernie Fletcher of Lexington. Both are locked in tough re-election bids against, respectively, former state Rep. Eleanor Jordan and former Congressman Scotty Baesler.

       Patrick Crowley covers Kentucky politics for The Kentucky Enquirer. He can be reached at 578-5581, or by e-mail at Pcrowley9@home.com.

       



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