Speaker of the Kentucky House David Osborne Snarkiest Speaker of FFP 2022
The award for the St. Jerome Picnic Political Speaking 2022 Snarkiest on the Platform had to go to Speaker of the Kentucky House Rep. David Osborne (R- 59 Oldham County), the Master of Ceremonies.The job of the master of ceremonies in past years consisted of telling contestants the rules on length of their speeches, playing whatever cut off song chosen (Rocky Adkins introduced "Rocky Top" several years ago), conduct the coin toss for who speaks first in the case of two candidates for the same office, then BRIEFLY introducing each speaker.
Representative Osborne attained the first jobs but on the last, he went on longer than some of the speakers. He had especially unkind things about the Democratic side of the stage. In fairness, he didn't spare members of his own caucus who had gotten under his skin. Representative Maddox got a full bore of snideness from one of her leaders. She gave back as good as she got so there is that.
Past MCs have tried to remain above the fray, even when they were from one party. Matt Jones, a Democrat (I think he still is?) was funny. Retired Judge Bill Cunningham used his invisible gavel to keep order. I have not been the only one to suggest a less partisan MC next year (if there is a next year).
Rep. Osborne had to work to win. There was plenty of competition from his colleagues on the GOP side of the podium. The Dems brought their own snark - but that's in a different story.
I am going to hope that sweet faced Kelley Paul, shown at left, doesn't believe her claim that Kentucky Democrats want "a drag queen in every classroom" or that Dr. Anthony Fauci, AKA spawn of the devil according to Senator Paul, is conducting "risky experiments" in league with the Chinese government to cover up their manufactured virus.
Curiously, what the crowd didn't hear was a tribute by a loving wife for her husband's congressional accomplishments. She didn't mention why her husband was compelled to stay in Washington. He stayed to propose multiple bill killing amendments (all defeated) to the Inflation Reduction Act and finally to vote against it. The bill will cap seniors out of pocket medical expenses, capping the price of insulin at $35 for Medicare and Medicaid recipient. Republicans defeated the portion of the bill that would cap insulin for seven million other diabetics. IRA will allow Medicare to finally negotiate with drug companies on pricing, something the VA has been doing for years. The bill grants tax credits of $7500 for electric vehicles and supports other programs targeted to combat climate change. She also didn't say why her husband was voted against the PACT act, a bipartisan bill that mandates VA assistance for vets injured by wartime burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Only a few speakers got musiced out when their time was up. Kelley Paul and Rep. Maddox had their last sentences drowned out. Rep. Richard Heath, who is running for his present seat representing Graves County spoke at length of his next run for Agriculture Commissioner in the 2023 cycle. An exception should be created for candidates running for multiple offices. Give them an extra minute for each office they're eyeing.
There were a few speakers who deserve mention because no one else will.
Thanks go to First District Senator Jason Howell, at right, for not competing in the negativity bell ringing contest.
Constitutional officer Auditor Mike Harmon had a comparatively mild foray into political hate speech. Harmon is reportedly running for governor along with a stampede of other Republican candidates. Harmon could have better spent his time touting his job performance. From accounts I've seen, he's done a good job at the office he holds. But then... it wouldn't be Fancy Farm, would it?
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron soldiered on through his speech, over deafening protestors saying "Breeona Taylor". The Attorney General is endorsed in his run for governor by both Senator Mitch McConnell and former President Donald Trump. Cameron's pitch was primarily his opposition to Governor Andy Beshear and the number of times he has sued the Governor. He tried one joke - "Mitch McConnell is not my father-in-law."
Secretary of State Michael Adams, who is running for a second term, forgot to mention his being a Paducah attorney before he went to Frankfort. Adams has recently drawn opposition in his primary from the right side of the GOP. Was he not paranoid enough in the last election cycle? By all accounts, Republicans won so it must have been fair. Or so one would think unless one distrusts all elections even the ones your party wins.
Adams had some advice for Republicans in the majority. His observation, true as it is, will be ignored. Democrats lost the majority for three reasons: 1.- they disrespected rural voters; 2.- they began attacking each other and 3. - they became more extreme. With the exception of 1, it's pretty clear the Kentucky GOP is well on its way to disregarding the other two cautions.
Also running for the next office is Alison Ball (described as the "good Alison" to differentiate her from Allison Lundergan Grimes). She's term limited out of being Kentucky State Treasurer, an office akin to the human appendix. It's not going to hurt you until it swells and busts. Ball is going for the Auditor's job to follow Harmon who's also looking to move to a bigger office.
Kentucky Ag Commissioner Ryan Quarles joins a long line of Ag Commissioners looking to move to the Governor's office. He told the crowd it is time to "stop paying people to sit home watching Netflix". Forgetting about parent decision making councils (it was before his time), Quarles said that "parents should have a say in what their children learn." That may be a message to those who want to clear school libraries of questionable materials or a reminder that for some critical race theory still stirs conservatives to voting their passions. Or he could be signaling support for charter schools. Only time and more speechifying will tell.
Quarles will have stiff competition in the GOP primary in May 2023. The number of candidates to run against Governor Andy Beshear is not in the double digits but it may get there before the deadline the General Assembly set in January 2023.
Last on the program, but certainly not least, was 61st House District Representative Savannah Maddox who represents Boone (Part), Gallatin, Grant, Kenton (Part).
Maddox came to the podium barely able to see over it, but she brought enough poison to kill all the rats in the barn. Rarin' back like she was about to belt out a Patsy Cline classic, Maddox let loose on everybody who is supposed to be on her side. Her campaign strategy is obvious: leave 'em bleeding in your wake.
She called the previous GOP speakers "the least interesting men in politics". After bragging she was the first to stand up to Governor Beshear from Day One, she announced - just beating the music buzzer and the exodus of the Golden Triangle press corps - that she had received an endorsement from Northern Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie.