Monday, January 25, 2010

Torture! A vote for Kenneth Stepp is a vote against torture!

Why would torture be an issue in an Eastern Kentucky election? Kenneth Stepp is opposed to torture. Kenneth Stepp will vote against torture every time the question comes up for a vote.
"Demand politicans as effective as our coaches"
By Dave Cooper
CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST
"* * *
Why do we good, hard-working Kentucky people continue to elect such mediocre politicians to represent us?
We don't accept poor performance from Tubby Smith or Rick Pitino: we demand excellence. Isn't the future of our commonwealth and our country more important than sports?
And it's not just Bunning. Rep. Hal Rogers of Somerset is currently receiving some rather unflattering national press coverage.
After Rogers voted against the December 2005 Murtha Amendment which banned torture -- even Bunning and Sen. Mitch McConnell joined the overwhelming majority to vote for McCain's Senate version of that bill, -- I called Rogers' D.C. office asking for an explanation why he thinks that America should be allowed to torture prisoners.
Maybe Rogers thinks that beating and torturing prisoners is good for America's reputation abroad. Maybe he thinks that it will make us safer. Or maybe he just didn't hear about Abu Ghraib.
I will never know the reasons because Rogers' office doesn't return my phone calls. He also apparently has a policy of ignoring the media's inquiries.
I've read too many times in the Herald-Leader: "Rogers' office did not respond to calls for comment." That is an unacceptable response from anyone who claims to represent the people.
It's one thing to believe that the media is biased. It's another to ignore the people they supposedly represent.
After the October 2000 coal sludge spill in Martin County -- "the worst environmental disaster ever in the southeast United States," according to the Environmental Protection Agency -- Rogers was nowhere to be found.
No one in Martin County that I have asked remembers Rogers personally coming to look at the spill, or coming to the public meetings about the catastrophe. Politicians usually love to show up at disaster scenes.
Maybe Rogers was busy taking one of his six trips to Hawaii, paid for by corporate donors. Maybe he didn't want to be seen at the site of a tragedy caused by one of his coal industry friends, Massey Energy. Or maybe he just doesn't care about the people living up a hollow in Martin County.
We'll never know the real reason. I called Rogers' press secretary to ask if she had any press releases or information about his visits to Martin County after the spill, but she never returned my call.
Well, I don't live in Rogers' district, so he can just ignore me.
Fine.
But I do live in Kentucky, so here is my challenge to Bunning:
Come to a free, open-to-the-public town meeting at the Kentucky Theater in Lexington and take unscreened questions from the audience. You can give a short speech.
I'll pay for renting the theater. All you have to do is tell me the dates that are convenient for you, and I will set it up.
Oh, and senator, this time you would have to show up."
Dave Cooper of Lexington is a community and environmental activist. Reach him at mtrroadshow@yahoo.com."

Vote against torture. Vote for Kenneth Stepp for U.S. House of Representative, Kentucky Fifth District, the Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives for the Fifth District of Kentucky.

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