Today it is being reported in the Herald-Leader that State Sen. Julie Denton (R) is being brought before the Ethics Panel in Frankfort for questioning of her absences during ethics training, and apparently this is not the first time she has missed this training. However, before one judges Sen. Denton we should probably back up and understand a few things instead of reacting to the headlines and thinking, “typical politician.”
To hear Sen. Denton explain why she missed was one, her actual job required her attention. Granted she is an elected official and that duty should take precedent, we must realize we are all human and we have lives outside of politics and this does happen. Furthermore Sen. Denton makes the claim that she thought she could make it up as she has in the past. Finally she affirms for us what we all believe goes on in Frankfort anyway, that few take their job seriously. She notes that some sign in and then leave, others read the newspaper not paying attention at all. I personally have witnessed some come into committee hearings late and leave early, some for legit reasons, most likely though most are not. I have seen some almost spinning in chairs, looking at the ceiling, yawning, and rolling eyes not paying a bit of attention to what is going on like an anxious middle school kid at the end of the day.
Now I have one question, is this politically motivated? I think so and here’s why. Considering the above I think it is much ado about nothing for one, but it certainly gets headlines. On the surface it appears the Republican controlled Senate is keeping it’s own in line as Sen. Denton is Republican. However, lets dig a little deeper. Sen Denton had considered challenging Senate President David Williams for his position before the session started. Then when it came time to vote on SCR 134, David Williams little Con Con charade, she was the lone Republican voting no. The fact that she was considering the Presidents job I would say rules her out in just siding with the liberals and puts her more in the category of standing for what’s right. She had to know that trouble would blow her way if she voted against David Williams and she opted not to be the good little Republican, but vote her conscience.
Now she may pay for it. Will anything come of this hearing, probably not, but it looks bad in the paper and when it comes time for re-election it won’t help her. This investigation is a farce as we have seen in Frankfort the ethics training has not worked, even for those that do attend. The only real rule in Frankort is don’t buck leadership, it matters not your political affiliation in the end. Just keep the political power structure where it is and all will be fine regardless of how you do your job. We have seen in the past when Committee Chairmen like Rep. Darrell Owens doesn’t hold hearings for 3 straight weeks claiming there’s nothing to talk about when there were several liberty bills just sitting in his committee. Nothing happened to him. I don’t know all the processes up there in Frankfort, but this would not be heard unless David Williams wanted it to be.
Of course if cornered he’ll be indignant, claim the high road about doing what he is elected to do, and blow sunshine and feed us BS.