Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dangerous Nonsense - Some Kentucky Democrats lose their spine!

When pre-filing House Bill BR-204 Representative Smith and Henderson both claim they were pressured by constituents to reintroduce the legislation, which would block universities that receive public funding from offering domestic-partner benefits.

Henderson, specifically, was quoted in the Lexington Herald-Leader as saying he received between "1,200 and 1,500 calls" from his constituents urging him to take action. "I live in an ultraconservative district with 150 churches," Henderson said. "Between 1,200 and 1,500 of my constituents have called, not requesting but directing me to do this." This would suggest that the people of Montgomery, Powell and Wolfe counties are obsessed with denying partner benefits at a rate far beyond the people of the rest of the Commonwealth, since other legislators have not reported their telephones being overwhelmed in such a manner.

Representative Henderson’s figures seem to be skewed. According to the Association of Religion Data Archives, in 2000, there were 77 religious congregations in the three counties Henderson represents. Kentucky Equality Federation doesn’t believe that the number of churches in Montgomery, Powell and Wolfe counties has nearly doubled in the past seven years. How can we believe this Representative?

Kentucky Equality Federation is taking the stand on this issue that Representative Henderson’s report of between 1,200 and 1,500 phone calls isn’t realistic. We ask Representative Henderson, as a public figure, to show us the phone records and messages his office recorded that indicate that between 1,200 and 1,500 DIFFERENT people called, “directing [Henderson] to do this.”

Regardless of whether the figures are true or not, Henderson’s stand isn’t with a majority of his constituents. According to the Commonwealth of Kentucky – State Board of Elections Voter Registration Statistics Report, the three counties that Henderson represents have a total of 32,778 registered voters. If Representative Henderson received 1,500 phone calls, it would mean 4.57 % of his constituents are calling to “direct” Henderson to not allow domestic partner benefits. While 1,500 phone calls might seem overwhelming, it doesn’t mean that a Representative should base his actions on a very small minority opinion.

Likewise, it would seem odd that the most pressing issue that Smith, whose districts include Knott, Magoffin and part of Letcher counties --- communities where health care, education, and employment would seem like more urgent concerns --- has to do with micromanaging state universities’ employee health care policies.

Our elected officials should be working on legislation that improves health care access for all Kentuckians and not taking a discriminatory stand against one group of people.

Trustees at several Kentucky institutions, led by the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, have approved offering health care to domestic partners of unmarried employees, including to gay couples.


MIke said...

In the end, Dems are as corrupt as Republicans.

Anonymous said...

They are both lying. We need to call them out on this!

Anonymous said...

Uninsured cancer patients are nearly twice as likely to die within five years as those with private coverage, according to the first national study of its kind and one that sheds light on troubling health care obstacles.

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