Wednesday, June 06, 2001

Mike Wiley

Candidate not just a space case

        Republican Mike Wiley is gearing up for his congressional campaign in Northern Kentucky's vast 4th District.

        He's met with reporters. He's traveled to GOP gatherings. He's planning to head to all 22 counties in the district. He's checking with his supporters on Pluto.

        OK, I made the last part up. But when a political candidate has previously said he believes the federal government is hiding information about UFOs and aliens, I can let that go without joking about it about as easily as I can pass on a plate of chocolate chip cookies.

        So, Mr. Wiley, when you visit Henry County, will it be in a car or the space shuttle? Will your campaign manager be from Northern Kentucky or Saturn?

        Will you hire a political consultant or just use your mind to communicate with the mother ship?

        Enough cheap shots at a candidate's expense.

Some Republican interest

        We're talking about a serious campaign, next May's GOP primary, by a serious candidate. So there will be no more talk of Mr. Wiley bringing in E.T., the Men in Black and a bunch of Martians for campaign fund-raisers.

        All kidding aside, Mr. Wiley already has some Republicans interested in his message. My phone rang Tuesday morning with a call from a Kenton County GOP activist wanting to know more about the candidate.

        This is not to say that Mr. Wiley is going to waltz into the nomination and the right to take on Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas next year.

        He has raised no money, has no organization, has lived in the area only for about a year and has a platform that might be too conservative even for much of the ultra-conservative 4th District.

        What Mr. Wiley might do is help build some support for Geoff Davis, the Boone County Republican who any day now is expected to formally enter a race he's been building up to for months.

Anti-Clinton angle

        Some of the same backers of Mr. Davis who are vowing not to take Mr. Wiley seriously have been eager to surf the Internet for news stories about when Mr. Wiley ran, as a Democrat, in a 1994 U.S. Senate primary in Florida against Hugh Rodham. That's right, Hillary Rodham Clinton's brother. That alone should score him some points with the Clinton-haters — and there are lots of them — in the 4th District.

        It is in those stories, which conveniently landed on my fax machine, where Mr. Wiley's comments about aliens were reported.

        Asked about it during a recent breakfast, Mr. Wiley said, “Look out, there is a guy from Mercury stealing your eggs!”

        Actually, he laughed it off. Seems Mr. Wiley used to be in talk radio and he hinted that his thoughts on aliens were part of his on-air act.

        He does seem to know the issues. And he is certainly going to make the race interesting. Heck, there are probably a lot of people out there who believe in aliens and may jump on the Wiley bandwagon — make that Wiley moon rover — for that very reason.

        “Politicians can't run and win against other politicians in a race like this,” he said. “Lucas will have more money than other regular politicians, so he'll beat them.

        “But I'm not a regular politician.”

        Amen to that, brother.

       Patrick Crowley covers Kentucky politics for the Enquirer. Call him at 578-5581; e-mail:


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