Here’s to doubt that this election improved anything
by Justin McGill, General Manager --
Nov 09, 2011 | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Something happened over the weekend that inspired me to write a political-themed column. How ironic that I work for a weekly newspaper that published this week the day after the election, with a deadline preventing us from having the results in this issue..

Friday, there was a missed call on my home phone from an unidentified person or group in the 304 area code, which serves West Virginia. They called again Saturday morning, and we ignored it.

Early Saturday afternoon, the called again and I bit the bullet, fully expecting the call to be from a telemarketer. The five-second delay between answering and hearing another person’s voice nearly confirmed that assumption.

Here’s how the call started from their end: “Hello, I’m calling on behalf of the campaign of Steve ... ”

After about six or seven seconds, the person finally said “Beshear” as if it were some foreign name they’d never seen or attempted to pronounce before.

Annoyed, I asked to be taken off the call list and hung up. Looking back, I could have handled the situation differently. I should have asked if the person had ever heard of the Kentucky governor before.

Seems like the last person you’d want campaigning for you would be a person who can’t even say your name. That, in addition to the fact that the call originated from West Virginia instead of Kentucky, is confusing.

Did Beshear hire out a West Virginia company to help him win re-election as governor of Kentucky? Or is some political group in West Virginia helping Beshear on their own?

Either answer bothers me. If Beshear hired out-of-state workers to call voters on his behalf, couldn’t those jobs have been given to Kentuckians? Given that Beshear was expected to defeat David Williams in a landslide, shouldn’t it have been fairly easy for him to find people willing to make those calls from the Commonwealth?

If the calls were from a West Virginia group, why should we care who they want us to elect? Better yet, why would their agenda join with Beshear’s in any way?

Maybe there is some other reason for this that I’m overlooking. Maybe the person making the call lives in far eastern Kentucky but has a cell phone from a company just over the state line. It’s possible, I suppose.

Would any of that be enough to persuade you to vote against Beshear? How about this: I contend that many people in this state voted for Williams simply because his running mate was former University of Kentucky basketball player Richie Farmer. Is that any better or worse of a reason than campaign calls originating from out of the state?

My problem with state and national elections, in general, is that many voters make their selection based in situations just as trivial as these, if not more so. Many times, however, it’s the best information these voters have to go on, as too many candidates spend too much time telling us why we shouldn’t vote for the other guy.

Or making promises they never keep. Or forgetting that they’re supposed to be representing the people ahead of themselves.

Justin McGill is general manager of The Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at
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