Friday, December 5, 2014

DNC Appoints Corrupt, Anti-Gay, Pro-Pollution Governor to "Autopsy Report" Task Force

Yesterday, I talked about how Debbie Wasserman Schultz appointed an oligarch who funds the Republican Party to the DNC's post-election "let's-pretend-to-figure-out-what-we-did-wrong-and-do-better-next-time" task force.

Another questionable inclusion is Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky, the only elected official on the task force.

Steve Beshear deserves credit for making his state an example of successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act. But that doesn't mean he's a good governor.

Let's look at some other parts of Beshear's record.

First of all, there's his defense of discrimination:
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) announced Tuesday that his state will appeal a federal judge's ruling that the state must recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. Beshear's decision comes after state Attorney General Jack Conway (D) announced earlier in the day that he would not appeal the ruling, calling banning gay marriage "discrimination." Beshear will instead hire outside legal counsel to handle the appeal.
Marriage equality is bad, says Steve Beshear, because of birth rates:
Gov. Steve Beshear's lawyers say Kentucky's ban on gay marriage should be retained because only "man-woman" couples can naturally procreate — and the state has an interest in ensuring that they do.
Appealing a federal judge's decision that the state's ban on recognizing gay marriages violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law, Beshear's hired counsel say Kentucky has a legitimate interest in encouraging procreation to support "long-term economic stability through stable birth rates."
When he's not defending discrimination, he's using state tax dollars to fund religious propaganda like Kentucky's Creationism-themed theme park:
Gov. Steve Beshear (D) has been a strong proponent of the $150 million project, even holding a press conference at the Capitol yesterday to tout the state’s involvement. Saying there’s nothing “remotely unconstitutional” about taxpayers incentivizing the Ark park, Beshear said, “The people of Kentucky didn’t elect me governor to debate religion. They elected me governor to create jobs.” Daniel Phelps, a geologist and president of the Kentucky Paleontological Society, called the governor’s support of the proposal “embarrassing for the state.”
And he has no problem funding for such corporate welfare/religious propaganda while simultaneously cutting education funding:
When Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) proposed his 2012-2013 budget this week, he admitted that it was “inadequate for the needs” of the state’s people. “We should be making substantial investments in our physical and intellectual infrastructure to bring transformational change to our state,” Beshear said. “This budget does not allow us to do enough of that.”
Beshear’s assessment of his own budget is, unfortunately, correct. The budget makes $286 million in cuts, including a 6.4 percent cut to a higher education system that has been plagued by funding cuts and rising tuition for years.
Although the main funding formula for K-12 schools wouldn’t be cut, population growth means spending per student would decline. Also, education officials say the current year’s population estimate was low, resulting in a cut of more than $50 million to that funding formula.
Or maybe he's doing the bidding of the coal industry:
Gov. Beshear’s administration fired the director of the state’s division of mine permits after he refused to issue permits under a controversial policy that allowed companies to begin mining before obtaining the legal right to enter all of the land in their plans. The fired director sued under the state Whistleblower Act, and the state settled the lawsuit for $270,000.
Alliance Resource Partners, a coal producing company, had sought permits under the controversial rule. Documents filed as part of the whistleblower lawsuit hinted at the extent of the company’s influence on the Beshear administration’s decisions. The company recommended nominees who were appointed to a federal panel on mountaintop removal mining, and Gov. Beshear’s administration has also appointed other officials tied to Alliance to state positions.
The above passage comes from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington's piece on the worst (i.e., most corrupt) governors. He was one of only two Democrats (the other being Andrew Cuomo) to make it onto the list. What an honor!

As a friend of coal, Beshear also wars against the EPA for doing its job. He has opposed the EPA's power plant regulations and is planning to war against the EPA's new smog regulations.

His most famous moment in warring against the EPA and shilling for coal came in his "state of the state" address in 2011, in which he criticized EPA efforts to curb toxic runoff into waterways from coal mines:
Coal provides 90 percent of our electricity and — because our rates are low — has helped us build a robust manufacturing industry. But all that is in jeopardy because Washington bureaucrats continue to try to impose arbitrary and unreasonable regulations on the mining of coal. To them I say, 'Get off our backs! Get off our backs!'
I'm sure he'll have great advice.

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