Western Kentucky Chapter Insists on Answers | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Western Kentucky Chapter Insists on Answers


Greg Capillo, a member in our brand new Western Kentucky Chapter, wrote this post about some members' participation in and reaction to Governor Beshear's Town Hall Forums in Bowling Green and Owensboro.  Thanks for the update, Greg!  And thanks to Greg and members Nick Asher and Kristin Houser and their friend Nathan for going to the forum and making sure that important issues of justice got a proper airing!


We arrived a bit early and took our seats spread out among the audience with a rough idea of the kinds of questions we wanted to ask.  The governor started by introducing his wife and saying some words about the condition of the state. I was a little nervous when he opened the floor to questions, thinking my long hair and cut off shorts didn't belong in this room full of suits and patent leather

Fortunately, the first question went to a man sitting right on front of me who brought a dossier full of information and news articles about mountain top removal named Steve Campbell. He asked several questions one would think no politician could get out of, but the governor figured out a way to answer Campbell's question by not saying anything at all. You might say that was the theme of the evening.

Governor Beshear answered question after question from concerned citizens asking for adequate funding of specific agencies, or for relief of their burdens. Finally Nick got called on and he asked a question about restoring voting rights to felons. Steve swung right through the pitch, merely recounting the process to restore voting rights to felons as it currently stands.

While we were very excited for the opportunity to speak truth to power, we weren't satisfied with the answers we got. We went to a show that night, but not before agreeing to follow the governor to Owensboro the following week to get the answer we deserved.

Only Nick and I could make it to Owensboro, but we were much better prepared. We wrote down exactly what we wanted to say, worked out where we wanted to sit, and who was going to ask our questions. This time the governor would have to address our question.

We asked him what he was going to do about the 186,000 Kentuckians who won't be able to vote in this year's vital presidential election, and why there isn't an amendment on the ballot, or why he won't even issue a blanket pardon. He started out with the same old procedural stuff from before, but by the end he said he wouldn't object if an amendment passed the legislature.

Afterwards, a legislative liason named Mark Mangeot came up and talked with us about the efforts of Jesse Crenshaw in Lexington around HB 70. Nick talked to the Secretary of Energy and Environment about MTR, but only received the same tired administration line of carbon capture and storage. Apparently, there was an engineer there as well who talked to the secretary about the implausibility about the idea of carbon capture and sequestration. It was really cool to share cycling stories with this 70-year-old engineer.  People like him and Steve Campbell showed just how many people out there in the commonwealth have a vision a truly healthy Kentucky.

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