Sunday, July 10, 2005

Kentucky Reminds Us of Newark

Three subordinates of Governor Ernie Fletcher, of Kentucky, were indicted yesterday on charges ranging from criminal conspiracy to political discrimination. The Democratic National Committee gives its insight here.

For those readers who don't understand the charges, political discrimination is the illegal version of a practice that virtually every successful politician uses: patronage. However, the specific type of patronage that is being prosecuted in this case is the defendant's alleged discrimination against Democrats working as state employees. A simple example would be the replacement of a state policeman who you know to be against the governor with one who is sympathetic to the administration and can deliver favors in the future.

These type of actions have defined the legacy of Sharpe James, who has served as a virtual dictator in Newark for the last 16 years. James has had a chief of staff convicted of bribery and a police chief convicted of embezzlement. However, unlike Newark, it's almost certain that Kentucky, which has moved increasingly towards a one party republican system over the last decade, will hold its governor more accountable than the voters of Newark do James. Note, there is a sharp distinction between convictions and an indictments. Fletcher can still say that he doesn't employ criminals.

For excellent insight on Kentucky politics, check out Bluegrass Report.


At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is another example of a liberal attorney general with a political agenda going after what is essentially just "politics as usual". similar things are happening to Tom DeLay.

At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sharpe james (shaking of the head)



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