Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Columns

January 4, 2010

Hatchett the right choice; Beshear numbers up; Webb will run for re-election

Dec. 30, 2009 — The Kentucky Association of Counties made a lot of mistakes and it got a lot of deserved bad publicity over the past few months. But it appears ready to do something right

KACo was exposed by the Lexington Herald Leader and state Auditor Crit Luallen for excesses by its staff and some board members for improper expenditures and behavior. But if the KACo board follows the recommendation of its search committee to employ Edward Hatchett as its new director, it will take a big step toward restoring its image and credibility.

Hatchett is a former state auditor and banking commissioner. He’s an attorney, a former banker, a businessman and a farmer. He knows the state and its county officials from his political campaigns and his days as auditor. He’s not part of the good old boy culture which plagued KACo. He’s as solidly honest, competent and straight as they come. Hatchett was once endorsed by the Courier Journal twice in one week for the same office. How many Kentucky politicians have that kind of reputation and stature?

Hatchett isn’t “Mr. Excitement,” but then KACo, with revelations staff and board members used the organization’s credit cards for lavish dining, escort services and strip clubs, has had more than its share of excitement. It needs competence, accountability, and moral credibility.

Ed Hatchett has them all. He is exactly the type of person the organization needs to restore its credibility.

•••

I’ve highlighted Gov. Steve Beshear’s poor poll numbers in this space before, and it’s only fair I point out they’ve improved. His favorability rating increased from 39 percent to 47 percent in last week’s SurveyUSA poll by WHAS-TV.

Now, less than 50 percent still isn’t good but an 8-point improvement isn’t bad either. He’s over 50 percent in western Kentucky and Louisville and his favorable rating improved in north central and eastern Kentucky – although it’s still a dismal 35 percent in eastern Kentucky.

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Columns
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