One hundred fifty Democrats gathered at the Columbus Park Activity Center on Saturday night for barbecue and politics. Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo came down from Frankfort to keynote the program, emceed by Hickman County Jailer Chad Frizzell. Music was provided by Hickman County gospel singers “Work in Progress” and Ballard Countian Larry Kelley at the piano. The event was sponsored by Hickman, Fulton, Carlisle, Ballard and McCracken County Democratic Executive Committees. Hickman County Chair Betty Morrow received praise from fellow Democrats for her work organizing the event.
Mongiardo told the crowd that Democrats needed to be as good at marketing as they are at governing. He expressed astonishment that the bailout of the financial system is being blamed on Democrats. It was Bush’s bailout, he told the crowd. Mongiardo, a medical doctor, compared President Obama to an emergency room physician trying to save the bleeding economy.
Mongiardo expressed frustration that there is a vaccine that will prevent 80% of cervical cancers if young women are vaccinated. Mongiardo supports making the vaccine for girls and young girls mandatory. “Imagine” he said “if polio and smallpox vaccines were not mandatory.” That stance was opposed in the Legislature. Mongiardo said the fight against the cancer vaccine has nothing to do with medicine and everything to do with politics.
Regarding the slowed economy, Mongiardo said “we couldn’t afford to pay the house mortgage and the mortgage at the gas pump. There was no reason for the jump in oil prices from $1.25 to $4 during the Bush Administration, according to the Lt. Governor.
Mongiardo, a strong advocate of the coal industry, got applause when he said that “We are building resorts over there and can’t afford schools over here.”
Mongiardo, who lost the Democratic primary to Attorney General Jack Conway, said he didn’t know whether he would run for another office after his term ends in December 2011. “I’ll be where God leads me.”
Candidate for Kentucky First District House seat Mike Lawrence told the crowd that Steven Rudy has turned into a career politician – a person Rudy ran against six years ago. Lawrence said that Rudy had proposed seven bills in six years and passed none. He said that Rudy should not have taken a salary for a special session to pass a budget that he should have passed in regular session. Lawrence vowed that he would not take a paycheck for a special session if he is elected.
Rex Smith, candidate for the Second District Senate seat currently held by Bob Leeper, echoed Lawrence’s remarks about the $65,000 a day special session. Leeper, who is chair of the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee, couldn’t pass a budget in the sixty day session. The budget was passed in a five day special session. “What did Bob Leeper learn in five days that he couldn’t learn in sixty?” he joked.
Smith, a contractor, said that he doesn’t get paid if he doesn’t do the job in the time allotted. He told the crowd that he would not make the Legislature his full time career because the body is intended to be a citizen body.