1.14.2005

Let me tell y'all a little story...

about local politics in Eastern KY. As a backdrop, keep in mind that the BBC did a special on the violence prevalent in Kentucky politics in 2002. We’re talking candidates killed, and cars sprayed with gun shots over in Clay County. In this case, I’m going to talk about Knott County. I’m not directly involved with this case, so a lot of this is hearsay, but I believe it to be substantially true.

For many years, Knott county was run by a corrupt crew known around here as the Mountain Mafia. (No relation to La Famiglia - these are home grown crooks.) They were connected right up to Governor Patton, and while money came into the county for various public works projects, nothing ever seemed to get done. Well, the citizens got tired of this and voted them out. Unfortunately, the MM had a friend in the FBI who got the guy we voted for falsely convicted of vote buying. The people who DID buy votes, according to the sworn testimony of the drug-addled witnesses the FBI guy forced to speak under duress, are still at large. Mr. FBI man wasn’t told to investigate them. Since this was a Democratic squabble, the Judge - a Bush appointee - didn’t care to get involved, and was quite anxious to lock up our legally elected official. Oh, and I almost forgot - the “second in command” caught somebody planting drugs in his car, and another man who was charged with vote buying had his house burned while he was incarcerated.

Now, in 2000, I was a delegate to the KY state Democratic convention. I saw votes taken behind closed doors at the county meeting that looked a lot more like a negotiation than counting. I saw all kinds of wheeling and dealing designed to benefit a rich couple who were buddies of then - Governor Patton, including a rules change that allowed the wife to be a national delegate, even though she attended neither the county nor the state convention. I didn’t even stay at the state convention long enough to hear one of the younger Kennedys speak. It was the most disappointing experience of my life.

No one has campaigned in this area since Bill Clinton. I’ve appealed to all kinds of news agencies, near and far, corporate and indy, but no one gives a shit because there aren’t that many votes in this area.

Did I mention that the guy who ran for Senate for the Democrats this time around WROTE the anti-Gay marriage bill in KY?

Now If I weren’t disabled, I might risk my life and run for office, but I am, so that’s out. What would you do if you were me?
I can’t even write a letter to the editor because ... well, don’t get me started on what passes as a newspaper down here.