New Auditor Adam Edelen - the new sheriff takes over.
The newly minted and elected Commissioner of Kentucky Department of Agriculture just got tough. He ordered an air strike on his own position. In one bold action, James Comer defined the Rules of Engagement for the 2015 Governor’s Race.
If he can lead the Ag department to reach its true potential over the next three years as the engine of 21st century rural and regional development, then Comer will have in his short tenure achieved what no other Republican since Louie Nunn, a progressive forward thinking vision of a workable modern Kentucky.
By calling attention to the wild side of Richie Farmer and the whole culture of UK sports worship in Kentucky, he fired the first salvo across the bow of the Governor, legislators, and special interests that he will be a force to be reckoned with.
His timing is perfect. He can now stand next to the new President of UK and ask serious questions about how public monies have been spent over the past few years to reward a good ole boy culture. UK sports has for decades driven the energies of UK leadership over the best interest of academic excellence.
Comer arrived at Agriculture Department ready for business. In his first week on the job, (1) he fired 15 holdovers from the Farmer administration, including Farmer’s girl friend who was working on staff, (2) had a series of staff meetings and learned just how bad morale was, (3) and came face to face with the possibility of public funds being misused by Farmer and associates.
Republican Comer called in Kentucky’s new financial management expert, State Auditor Adam Edelen to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Agriculture Department. Quick on his feet, Edelen assigned one of his best operatives within the Auditor office, Brian Lykins, to head up the management and financial audit. Lykins played a key role in the Kentucky League of Cities and Kentucky Association of Counties major audits.
From the outside looking in, this series of events foretell that public life in Frankfort, during a major budget shortfall and crisis will be even more exciting as determined and dedicated new public servants search out waste, fraud, and misuse of public trust.
During this 2012 year of Presidential elections where hundreds of millions of special interest monies will be spent to buy public offices, where redistricting will be crafted around the political agendas of the rich and powerful in Frankfort, Comer actions and the potential actions of Edelen’s team all signal a refreshing approach to the people’s business of public service and good old fashion common sense government.
As T.R. (Teddy Roosevelt) would say, “Bully for you Comer and Edelen. Show the voices of protest from this era of Tea Party and Wall Street Occupiers that change is on the way."