McConnell continues to help Ky., so let’s keep him in the Senate

Column by Thomas Roberts

Bruce Lunsford, a perennial losing Democratic candidate, began airing ads this week about how much it hurts him to see working-class families in a bind. Maybe he could have taken some of the $14 million he has spent between the 2003 and 2007 gubernatorial races and give to some charities. But, then again, that would cut into his personal spending for his property in Chicago and Arizona. Maybe Lunsford and Hillary Clinton can get together in one of their expensive homes and count their millions of dollars while talking about how much it pains them that the working class is hurting.

I’m still waiting for Democratic senatorial candidate Greg Fischer, who’s running against Lunsford, to introduce himself to the state. A news release from his campaign said he’s happy to report having raised $1 million thus far. That sounds pretty impressive until you realize he put in $500,000. But, his campaign claims, his fundraising is picking up. While Fischer is becoming the choice candidate for most Kentucky liberals, it seems he will be wasting his money on this race. Lunsford is better known, willing to waste his money (as is evident from his losing gubernatorial bids in 2003 and 2007) and has the backing of the Washington establishment Democrats.

At this point, when the government has issued refunds to spur spending in the economy, I probably should be complaining that these two will be dropping millions of their own dollars into this race. However, I cannot help to wonder why they are pissing away their money. Do they really think they have a chance against Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell?

What has Lunsford done for Kentucky? His list of accomplishments is nonexistent. And Fischer’s record? Nada.

McConnell, on the other hand, has a long record of delivering for Kentucky. No matter where in Kentucky you live, McConnell has helped your area of the state. He created the tobacco buyout to help Kentucky’s tobacco farmers. He has secured more than $200 million for public universities in Kentucky. McConnell continues to fight for a speedy and safe disposal of the nerve gas stored at the Bluegrass Army Depot in Richmond. He has secured funds for the University of Louisville hospital.

Even the liberal Courier-Journal dubbed McConnell the “Godfather of Green” for his work in helping the parks system in Louisville. He has fought for better care for our veterans and better funding and support for our military nationwide, but also for those in Kentucky at Fort Campbell and Fort Knox. In Paducah, McConnell has secured around $20 million for economic development. Moreover, at the nuclear plant in Paducah, McConnell has helped injured workers at the plant to get the help they need. In Owensboro, McConnell has secured more than $50 million for riverfront and economic development.

Those are just a few of the highlights of McConnell’s accomplishments. How has he been able to do all of this? The first reason is that he is effective. But now he is even more effective as the top Republican in the Senate. In this role, everything that comes before the Senate goes through McConnell’s office. By default, that gives him the chance to help Kentucky on any issue.

With all of that said, there is a simple question that Kentucky voters must ask themselves this fall: Do you want to trade an effective, experienced leader who consistently delivers for a rookie who will have to spend the first couple of months learning the process?

Thomas Roberts is the chairman of UK College Republicans. E-mail [email protected]