Corruption Corrupted in Kentucky

The American voter has grown inured to mudslinging during campaigns for public office. Perhaps it's no worse now than it's ever been, though the amount and kind of it in this campaign season is disgusting. The candidates have so much to spend on making their campaigns helpful and enlightening that it's a shame for them to center on such things as lipstick on pigs and hypocrisy vis-à-vis earmarks. Petty sniping at the opponent says more about the sniper than it says about the target.

The mainstream media has added a touch of perfidy, its agenda centering on getting Obama elected too transparent to miss…and nauseating as well. The by now hard-to-miss observation – resulting from a half-century or so of viewing/listening – that TV corrupts everything it touches is set in concrete, whether applied to sports or politics or entertainment. Supposedly neutral news organizations that betray their trust earn the disdain and consequent low approval ratings with which they are now accorded by the public. Some of them such as NBC and its spinoff MSNBC are virtual propaganda arms of the Democrat Party. The New York Times and Washington Post represent the worst in the newspaper world.

And then there's the matter of corruption. For instance, among the most misleading of commercials in the Kentucky senatorial campaign is the one released this week by millionaire democrat Bruce Lunsford in his third effort in the last five years to buy an office in government. He has spent some $16 million or so during three campaigns, the first two for the Kentucky governorship and the latter currently for the U.S. Senate seat of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. He never made it out of the primary for the state offices, despite spending about $14 million in those races.

In the new TV ad, Lunsford accuses republican McConnell of corruption, showing clips of him and Senator McCain in such a way as to make this into fact (accusation by McCain), despite there being absolutely no proof of corruption and despite the fact that McCain did not even mention McConnell or anyone else in the clip that was used. This is reaching far beyond the pale of honesty and actually makes Lunsford look both intensely desperate and hypocritical to an unbelievable degree with respect to corruption.

In his first gubernatorial race, Lunsford became incensed, dropped out of the primary (despite the $7 million investment), and supported the republican in the general election. That may not connote corruption per se, but it gives an insight as to the thinking of Lunsford with respect to any philosophy of government he might have. Whether on the basis of expediency or intellectual stability, Lunsford is a loose cannon. He either doesn't know what he stands for or merely stands for whatever the market seems to buy at any given time. This is dangerous, representing government by poll and notwithstanding any personal convictions. This is from WAVE-TV of 20 October 2003: "'I will support the congressman [republican Fletcher] anyway he wants me to,' Lunsford told reporters."

It goes deeper than that, however, with respect to corruption. Lunsford was a founder of Vencor, a highly successful company that he took public and then led into bankruptcy while apparently keeping for himself a "golden parachute" allowing for the millions he can spend uselessly on one election after another. Indeed, at one point Lunsford's Vencor paid a $270,000 fine. His company actually evicted Medicaid patients from its nursing homes in Florida in favor of patients for which payments, both private and governmental, would be higher. That kind of action virtually defines corruption.

Particularly at this time when it has become increasingly apparent that corruption is devastating the nation's financial systems to the point that government is forced to take them over (actually nationalizing them a la the socialist model), there needs to be no consideration of yet another "slick" operator like Lunsford leeching his way into office. Replacing the minority leader of the Senate with a man whose corruption HAS been proven is too intolerable a proposition for even a second's worth of consideration.

In the 90s it was the evil Enron/WorldCom axis of evil. Some of those "golden parachute" guys went to prison. Lately, there's Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Countrywide (sugar-daddy benefactor of Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd), Lehman Brothers, and AIG. When and/or if the government does its job, it should find plenty of other customers for the nation's "Big Houses."

People who pant for more and bigger government are seeing now what that amounts to – the gradual usurpation of private enterprise, the element driving survivability through the personal/private innovativeness upon which this nation has been built. For a look at what that means one has only to scrutinize "Olde Europe" for the "benign" approach to decline or Russia for the "harsh" approach. Either spells doom to the American way of life. Rich democrats like Lunsford don't have to worry, but the average family does.

Lunsford reportedly has many more millions stashed in the landing-pad under that "golden parachute." He's virtually certain to lose this race as Kentucky probably will go for McCain and House republicans big-time, though he would probably lose handily to McConnell just on the merits. Perhaps he can attempt to buy Senator Bunning's seat in 2010 or take a shot at Congressman Chandler's seat that year. After all, what's a few million here or there when an office is to be bought? In any case, he should never entertain the use of corruption as a rallying cry for his side.