COMMENTARY: Big Biz, Big Govt: Voters Beware | Perspectives

Four days before the primary election, Rep. Adam Koenig, a Republican from Erlanger, tweeted about Fayette County Constable Wade McNabb – with whom he argued over legislation restricting police powers constables – hoping his nemesis would lose a re-election bid when he apparently entertained no possibility that he might fall short in his own campaign.

“Glad we got my bill passed this year so I don’t have to deal with him anymore,” tweeted Koenig, who was first elected in 2006 and was running to represent 69and District for a ninth term. “Let’s hope the voters take care of him on Tuesday.”

In fact, voters “took care” of both, sending McNabb and Koenig packing.

Voters also removed Republican Union Rep. Sal Santoro — another eight-term lawmaker — and Hebron Republican Rep. Ed Massey, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Positions on critical issues matter and citizens pay more attention to them than the political establishment realizes.

Consider what happened to Massey, an outspoken opponent of school choice who is seeking a third term.

While we’ve praised Massey in this column for his groundbreaking work in helping reform the teacher pension system, he ignored the voices of parents and citizens in opposing more educational alternatives for children.

Voters responded by handing Massey his marching papers, indicating a growing rejection of what growing numbers of citizens view as a “great education” – a monolithic establishment often hostile to parents that also fails to educate children. children.

Free-market voters in Kentucky, as elsewhere, are also growing increasingly concerned about comfort between government and business, making them both bigger.

Consider Marianne Proctor’s 52% to 48% loss to Santoro – despite her massive $122,000 war chest, “much of it” “came from road contractors”.

Santoro raised that re-election money while chairing the influential transportation budget subcommittee.

Voters were willing to give up whatever Santoro’s seniority might mean for their region — a consequence lamented by local politics and even the Northern Kentucky establishment media — for someone who is not so indebted to the big business elements that permeate our transportation budget and policies.

Apparently it matters to voters that Santoro served as a point of contact for big business during a failed five-year campaign to raise the state’s gas tax by a whopping 10 cents a gallon, which would have already added half a billion dollars to Kentuckians. heavy overall tax burden.

Highway contractors and big business went all out for the gas tax hike but luckily weren’t successful.

Such political — and political — defeats of tax and spending policies favored by Frankfurt-rooted lobbyists point to “different attitudes toward big business, a fault line between establishment and liberty factions within the GOP.” observed Andrew McNeill, visiting scholar at the Bluegrass Institute. , who worked with the Republicans in Frankfurt for two decades.

It also signals concerns from voters who favor small business, entrepreneurs and are highly skeptical of the big business lobby’s continued push for special treatment.

Tuesday’s primary results match what is happening in other places – voters more determined to make change ensuring those chosen to represent them will govern with the same skepticism.

While Republicans will continue to enjoy supermajority status in both houses of the Legislature, McNeill sees “a market correction of ideas” trickling down to Republican caucuses nationwide – a change from the mindset that “the pro-business, pro-House agenda is the dominant strain of conservatism within the Republican Party.

Previously, party leaders may have had no reason to question that orthodoxy, but now McNeill says it is becoming clearer.

“A significant part of the conservative movement is becoming as skeptical, and rightly so, of big business as they are of big government – and they certainly don’t like to see the two working together,” adds- he.

Jim Waters is president and CEO of the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Kentucky’s free market think tank.

Comments are closed.