Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Update on KY-29 - Candidate James Sexton (D)

It would be careless of me not to mention Rep. Kevin Bratcher's (R-29) opponent in this year's State House race, recently-turned Democrat James Sexton. I reached him by phone this evening and gave him the opportunity to answer the same questions I asked Rep. Bratcher. Again, we started off with specific legislation.

On House Bill 70, the bill that would restore the voting rights of convicted felons after one's debt to society had been paid, Sexton echoed the sentiments of his opponent in that he would allow the process in place to continue, but left himself an out: "If, on the other hand, the people I represented wanted it, I'd vote for it."

When asked about "right to work" laws and other anti-labor nonsense, the Democrat said he strongly opposes any legislation that would remove a workers protection or a workers right to form or join a union. He touted his endorsement by the UAW as proof of his pro-labor policies. More on this in a minute.

On legalized gambling in Kentucky, again a little cagey. Sexton said the "legislators did the voters a disservice by not allowing a vote on the issue." But did say "If the people want it, fine." but it remained the responsibility of the voters to choose.

For the MSD proposal to pipe in waste from the east end of Louisville to be treated at the waste water plant in Southwest Louisville, Sexton declared the move a "cheap" way to go, and instead backed a plan that would put the water treatment facilities in the areas where they are needed. Sexton blamed the current plan on the fact that the Valley Station area has less political clout than Jeffersontown. Understatement of the freakin' year.

In all, he seemed to give few specifics, and promised to "check with constituents" before he makes votes on legislation affecting the communities in the district. The problem is, that is why voters elect State Legislators, so the citizens don't have to make all the calls. Right before hanging up, he uttered the words, "pro-life, pro-gun and pro-development and supports unions." An uncommon mixture of politics, indeed. Also, I was unable to find a picture of him anywhere, which I found to be odd for a man asking for your vote.

A quick check on the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance (KREF) shows James Sexton raising only $2200, including $1000 from himself. He received $1000 from the UAW, his only labor contributor, and had $200. He has $306.72 left as of October 20, 2008. It's not exactly the kind of cash you'd expect from someone claiming to be endorsed by labor. Unlike his opponent, Sexton did answer the questions asked by Project Vote Smart. You can see his results HERE.

In 2004, James Sexton ran against Kevin Bratcher in the primary as a Republican for the same seat. He lost 75% to 25%.

After our conversation and subsequent investigation, I am sticking with my original endorsement.

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