In the Ag Race this year we have seen some undesirable undertones, but it’s not between the two candidates themselves but of one’s supporters. Now I am confident Jamie can win this race, but these false attacks must be addressed as the media and his general election opponents will use them against him.
So let’s just go down them one by one.
False Attack #1 Comer has farms in Kentucky and Tennessee; the ones in Tennessee are to avoid taxes: In actuality Jamie lives near the Kentucky/Tennessee border and his farms run into Tennessee. If he wanted to avoid paying Kentucky Taxes why not just put them all in Tennessee?
False Attack #2 Comer has received somewhere around $85K in farm subsidies: This is true, but let’s examine the facts. In actuality most of that was to compensate him for a fence that the government required him to build on his property, some 2 miles worth to keep his cattle out of a waterway that went to be used for public water.
Also included in this attack is the lumping together of his father’s farm. These subsidies are over a 15 year period, not something recent or like he receives this all in one year every year like it has been presented.
Here are the facts: http://farm.ewg.org/persondetail.php?custnumber=A04303205
If you explore this site long enough, you’ll figure out Comer is nowhere near being a top recipient. In fact over the 15 years his average is about $5700 a year, not much in the farming world. I myself am against subsidies, but I recognize the reality in Kentucky that they are used and have been for quite some time.
However, Comer is not a major offender of the system by any stretch of the imagination. In fact I would say he is the family farm getting back a piece of what the government takes from him throughout the year in taxes like most other small to mid range farms in this state.
False Attack #3 Comer works for a lobbyist in Tennessee: Reality again is it’s not a lobbyist firm but a public Relations firm by the name of the RJD Group, and he was only affiliated with them and never did any real work for them.
False Attack #4 Comer voted for the same Pension grab HB 299 in 2005 that Williams pushed for: Go look on the dang website and you will see that it was a different bill in the House than it was in the Senate. http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/05rs/HB299.htm* Comer never had a chance to vote on the amendment if you look at the history of the bill! Equating Comer to being the same as Williams is asinine. Comer voted for one bill and then did not get a chance to vote on the changed bill which was the brain child of David Williams.
False Attack #5 Distorting Comer’s position on the Ag Dept. Budget:
Comer knows as a legislator that the Ag Department has been cut, because the legislature controls that. Would anyone be interested in knowing just where some of those areas have been cut? You have seen those fancy tags that has Richie Farmers name all over it informing you that the Ag Dept has inspected a gas pump. Well in actuality we are lucky if they actually do that cause they don’t have enough money to, but never mind that we will just trust that little tag all the while we might not be getting a true gallon of gas or the grade of gas we are paying for. Would you also like to know that we have Ag Inspectors (check Ag related vehicles coming into our state at the border) that because of the cut sit on their duff, because the vehicles and equipment used for that were taken away (except for Richie’s) and because their merit employees we have to keep the position. Comer wants to put them back to doing the work they were hired for (I am by no means saying these people do not work, but that they are actually victims of a stupid bureaucratic system) and pay for their positions. Comer is for a common sense budget, not a huge budget!
False Attack #6 Comer contributed to the Medicaid Debacle this year and blames him for the $60,000 a day special session:
Really! You’re going to blame that on him! He is one man, he can’t fix this mess unless party leadership is willing to offer up a real solution, which neither side did, they just punted and made political scene. Yeah I would say it’s not his best vote but stuff like that is already decided before the vote is really cast. Good legislators like Comer don’t have much of a voice in the matter. So what he voted for it not against it, when his sole vote would not have mattered. What would you have rather the House Republicans do, keep grand standing with Williams and keep us paying $60,000 a day for something that cannot be fixed in a special/extraordinary (I like to call it stupid) session any way.
While we are on the topic of the legislature, how many that have voiced criticism of Comer have come down to help this man in the crazy world that he works in to tell him what the heck is up with everything. Go to the House Chamber, it’s like an auction house, so many bills flying in every direction. Get in the game and help, or sit on the sidelines and shut up before you want to throw Comer under the bus for a supposed “better” candidate in Rob Rothenburger.
In fact let’s examine Rothenburger for a moment, shall we:
Fact #1: Rothenburger has a Firefighters pension (great for his service), he’ll have a County Judge Executives Pension, and if he wins he would have an Agricultural Commissioners Pension.
Fact #2: Rothenburger increased the size of his government to the point he needed an HR department to manage everything, going from 185 employees to 225.
Fact #3: Rothenburger campaigns in his government paid for SUV.
Fact #4: Rothenburger called Industrial Hemp the poor man’s joint in Lexington just recently, before he came out for it. However, Comer has been educating himself the past few years on Industrial Hemp.
Fact #5: This is the worst of them all in my opinion; Rothenburger instituted a UN style “land use” policy in Shelby County dictating to residents how they shall use their land. Here just look at all 72 pages.
Jamie Comer is one of the best legislators in Frankfort; he tries, cares, is honest, listens, and admits when he is wrong. Comer is someone that can bring the Republican Party back to its roots and to the grassroots at the same time; he is a win-win candidate. If anyone spent any amount of time in Frankfort they would know this, sadly there are a few, even within the TEA Party that are misinformed. However, for someone to make these kinds of smears against Comer and disregard the flaws of another candidate is intellectually dishonest.
*Correction, in the history it does say at the bottom passed by the House. I thought it was very odd I could not find it the first time, but as you can see a bunch of stuff happened on March the 8th in this bill alone. There is no link to the votes (like there are after 2005), but as pointed out KY CFG said Comer did vote for, in that case it is a bad vote.
However the original premise is the same, he was not the architect and to equate him as the same as Williams in this vote is not fair. All kinds of bills are flying especially at the end of a session, and as a young legislator you go with what little information you can and whomever you think you can trust. If any one can find me a legislator without a few bad votes then you have not looked hard enough, or they are brand new.