Friday, August 8, 2008

Progressive Steps Forward in Kentucky

Two small but positive signs of political and social progress here in the still-red Bluegrass State:

DINO Rep. Ben Chandler, D-KY6, has bolstered his pre-primary endorsement of Barack Obama with a post-Iraq-trip endorsement of withdrawing troops.

After making his first whirlwind trip through Iraq over the weekend, Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler said the United States should begin to withdraw troops now and force the Iraqi government to stand on its own.

”As long as we continue to fund this thing and as long as we continue to provide security, there is less incentive for the Iraqi government to do the things they need to do to control the country,“ Chandler told the Herald-Leader. ”I think we need to leave them with as stable a situation as we can but we need to lift off from the country as soon as possible."

What, didn't Chandler rate the everything's-hunky-dory tour treatment that McBush gets?

(More after the jump.)

As Media Czech says:

I feel it is the responsibility of all grassroots activists and KY bloggers to criticize our own when we let us down, and praise our own when they stand up for us. To do otherwise is not only dishonest, it greatly hurts our own cause. (ahem!)

PS- I'm personally taking time out of my day to call Ben's office and thank him for these words on Iraq and the way he's conducted himself this year. I strongly encourage you to do the same.

D.C.- Phone: (202)-225-4706
Lex- Phone: (859) 219-1366

The same day as Ben's epiphany, repug tool Governor Steve Beshear appointed Progressive Icon Ernesto Scorsone to a Circuit Judgeship.

Scorsone said he was honored by the appointment.

"Lexington has a strong tradition of an excellent bench and I hope to continue that," he said.

Scorsone, a Lexington attorney, will serve until the Nov. 4 general election to replace Sheila Isaac, who stepped down to enter the senior judge program.

Scorsone, 56, is the only person thus far to file papers to run in November for the circuit court seat. The deadline to file is Aug. 12.

It'll be interesting to see if the repugs put anyone up to run against Ernesto. They failed to challenge him for reelection either this year or in 2004, even though he was the most liberal member of the General Assembly. His freedom from opposition could be because his Lexington senate district is heavily Democratic and liberal and its voters revere Scorsone.

But the Circuit Court District in Lexington encompasses all of Fayette County, including the republican southern suburbs. If the repugs let Judge Scorsone run unchallenged, it'll be the strongest sign yet that republicans are as endangered in Kentucky as they are nationally.

The Herald neglects to mention that Ernesto Scorsone was the only openly gay member of the Kentucky General Assembly, and is apparently the only openly gay Circuit Judge in Kentucky.

I hope the reason the Herald chose not to mention this significant facet of Sen. Scorsone's biography is because it is irrelevant to his qualifications for Circuit Judge.

It is, however, highly relevant to the state of civil liberties and tolerance in the Commonwealth.

Cross-posted at Blue in the Bluegrass.