Partisan mudslinging has no place on campus

In response to Thomas Roberts’ column on Wednesday, I must say that I am ashamed that a prominent political leader on UK’s campus would resort to petty insults and poorly researched accusations.

Beginning with Rep. Harry Moberly and the author’s assumption of the presence of a conflict of interest due to his position at Eastern Kentucky University, I would refer him to the Kentucky constitution, which has set up our Legislature in such a way that our senators and representatives are all part-time government employees with full-time jobs in the private sector. One could just as easily attack Republican state Sen. Damon Thayer for his support of equine legislation while working in that industry himself.

That, however, would be wrong, because it is impossible for a conflict of interest not to be possible when legislators have jobs outside of their representative roles. Simply pointing out the possibility of wrongdoing is anything but productive, demonstrating, at best, partisan bickering, and, at worst, libel.

Instead, Roberts’ should point out specific circumstances where he can prove that Moberly used his position to the benefit of EKU in a way that would not improve the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a whole. Roberts is unable to accomplish this, however, because it has not happened.

Roberts’ claims regarding Gov. Steve Beshear are also unfair characterizations of the political climate in Frankfort, as much of his loss in popularity has stemmed from budget cuts forced by the deficit left to us from former Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

The bottom line is that the problems faced by Kentucky and this nation cannot be solved by a single party making claims of moral superiority. Both the Democratic and Republican parties contain a wide spectrum of ideas and personalities, and to generalize them and condemn their members solely on the basis of that membership is profoundly irresponsible.

“Arguments” such as these by either a Republican or Democrat have no place in the pages of a newspaper associated with an institute dedicated to higher learning, and I encourage both Thomas Roberts and Robert Kahne to dedicate future columns to political discourse conducive to a stronger and more effective political system instead of dragging this university into a mire of partisanship and short-sighted mud-slinging.

Chad Reese

Philosophy junior