Kentucky Club for Growth
fighting and winning for economic freedom

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June 29, 2007

Your Congress at work

The U.S. House voted on a pay raise for members.

The Club for Growth has noted that a NO vote on a pay raise is a good thing. How did Kentucky's delegation do?

Voting FOR the pay raise (a bad thing): Republicans Ron Lewis, Ed Whitfield and Hal Rogers. Geoff Davis did not vote.

Voting AGAINST the pay raise (a good thing, mind you): Democrats John Yarmuth and Ben Chandler.

it's a pleasant surprise and a bitter disappointment all rolled into one vote.

Oh, and basically the same thing occurred on one of several Jeff Flake anti-pork amendments. Our Democrat friends voted against the pork. Our Republican friends (?) voted for it. And Geoff Davis didn't make the vote.

What the heck is going on up there? 

June 20, 2007

Free-market cures

As a response to SiCKO, the new film by Michael Moore, fans of the marketplace have put up It's worth a look.

Waiting to exhale

China has surpassed the U.S. as the biggest producer of carbon dioxide.

Picking stocks

Who's gonna win CNBC's stock picking contest? It might be this waitress.

Good for her. 

June 18, 2007

Assigning blame for 'gouging' fight

There's plenty of blame to go around:

In a perfect world, this morning's story in the Herald Leader wouldn't be the first time the state MSM has considered whether AG Greg Stumbo was just grandstanding when he filed the price-gouging lawsuit against Marathon Oil.

In a perfect world, no one would have to be told this is what's going on.

Then again, in a perfect world Governor Fletcher would have already called off the three year old state of emergency that allowed Stumbo to file the lawsuit.

June 14, 2007

Hiding from choice

This actually makes perfect sense. Why give parents the information they need to make an informed choice if you don't want them to make the choice in the first place:

A popular retort to calls for school choice is: “It’s not popular.”

So opponents of choice argue against it.

For example, when the Kentucky Department of Education’s spokesperson Lisa Gross was asked about the Bluegrass Institute’s survey showing strong support for school choice, she responded: “What we’ve found is that parents want to stick with the public school and make that school better rather than take their children out, and we see that under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) transfer option. We found parents don’t take advantage of that. They tend to want to make the school better.”

What Gross may not know is that a new study shows that very few schools appear to even respond to requests from parents about options.

“You Can’t Choose If You Don’t Know: The Failure to Properly Inform Parents about NCLB School Choice,” a study conducted by researchers at the University of Arkansas Department of Education reform, found a surprisingly low response rate from schools duty bound to provide choices required by NCLB.

The study included 10 Kentucky schools, eight of which did not respond at all with information about NCLB options available to parents of students enrolled in those schools.

Overall, the study showed that fewer than 6 percent of schools nationally provided the information e-mail replies. Many schools responded without providing the requested information, but those schools did request more information about the person requesting the information.

Before Kentucky’s education establishment begins decrying the lack of popularity for choice, perhaps it should examine the extent to which schools even respond to requests for information from parents desperate to get students a better education.


June 12, 2007

Kentucky's constitution and choice

From the Bluegrass Institute:

While the constitutional merits of any school-choice legislation may deserve public debate, a new report sheds some light on steps Kentucky can take to make it even more difficult for opponents of choice to mount constitutional challenges.

The report, produced by the Institute for Justice and the American Legislative Exchange Council, indicates that a tax-credit plan likely represents Kentucky’s best option for creating a constitutionally sound school-choice program.

However, while the report states that a voucher program would be “difficult, if not impossible” to implement considering the current language of the state constitution, it indicates that a Kentucky Supreme Court decision “may create a limited exception for programs directed to special education students. The funding for such a program should explicitly come from a source other than the ‘common school fund,’ and the money should be allotted to parents rather than schools.”

The report cites the case of Butler v. United Cerebral Palsy of Northern Kentucky Inc., 352 S.W.2d 203 (Ky. 1961), which set up a distinction between providing funds for the education of exceptional children and educating children. As such, the report indicates that a disabled-student scholarship program should be termed as one that supports child welfare rather than education.

The current language of Kentucky’s constitution appears to limit school choice. However, other options – public-school choice, tax credits, charter schools and programs that provide better services for learning-disabled students – remain strong and viable options under the commonwealth’s constitution.

Honor them

June 10, 2007

Reese breaks it down

Lowell Reese, the former publisher of the Kentucky Gazette, offers a pretty fair assessment of what the gubernatorial candidates will have to do to win in November. (iTunes link here)

Stumbo flirts with Senate race

Perhaps lost in the talk of Greg Stumbo's flirtation with the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Mitch McConnell was what Stumbo told WKYT's Bill Bryant in this weekend's edition of Kentucky Newsmakers.

Stumbo told Bryant that during the campaign, he suggested to campaign management that much of the budget surplus should have been returned to taxpayers. Stumbo told Bryant that he was rebuffed by the managers of teh campaign about the suggestion.

Whether or not it's just post-loss posturing, it's encouranging that a Democrat recognizes the political value of returning money to taxpayers.

June 6, 2007

Zero-sum thinking

In order to achieve energy independence, Hillary Clinton says it would be necessary to “take away from some people.”

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The KY Club for Growth seeks principled candidates who are committed to the following:

* Free market principles
* Lowering taxes
* Reducing spending
* Decreasing the size of government
* Judicial reform
* Protecting property rights
* Expanding school choice
* Reducing needless regulation

We will hold endorsed candidates accountable for these principles by monitoring each candidate on a vote-by-vote basis. As a Club member, you will receive candidate monitoring updates and scorecards on a regular basis. Join us today.