Friday, December 29, 2006

Gerald Ford & Kentucky Politics

"I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your president by your ballots, and so I ask you to confirm me as your president with your prayers." -Gerald Ford, August 9, 1974.

Someone asked me yesterday where I was and what I thought when I heard that Gerald Ford had passed away... I wasn't sure how to answer because I didn't remember and I felt bad because I didn't really have a reaction. I was too young to remember him as a President and I probably knew more about his wife than I did about him. I do know if he wouldn't have lost the election (because he pardoned Nixon?) in '76, we wouldn't have had to endure 4 years of a "misery index" with Carter... So, feeling guilty I was reading through some news stories and biography pages last night when I came across this quote:

"President Ford was a humble public servant who led our country to calm in a time of turmoil and who did so with a kindness, dignity and sincerity that wasn't overlooked. President Ford's passion for public service and his love for our country will never be forgotten." -Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher (source)

Ernie Fletcher...why did that name ring a bell? So I looked him up. He's a Republican Governor in Kentucky that seems to have more allegations and charges against him than Nixon did:

"...On May 11, 2006, Fletcher was indicted by a grand jury for three misdemeanors; conspiracy, official misconduct and political discrimination. All were related to the merit system investigation. The grand jury has returned a total of 29 indictments in the case - 14 of which remain sealed by the court.

On August 11, 2006, Special Judge David E. Melcher ruled Fletcher is protected by executive immunity and cannot be prosecuted while in office. This ruling "essentially stayed the case until Fletcher's term expires, or unless he is removed through impeachment by the Legislature..."(source)

Despite all this, Fletcher is running for re-election in 2007 (I found one of his Republican challengers: Billy Harper). I think the opponents' campaign should use this quote about Ford...Fletcher is praising him for being the one to come in after a scandal and creating calm...and it would seem that's just what Kentucky needs now...

So prompted by the question about Ford, I did do a lot of reading about him and found this interesting Kentucky, though "where were you when you heard Ford died" seemed strange to ask a 30-something year old at the prompted what could be an interesting discussion...

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