Remember in November: Vote Beshear!

Jason Starr Nelson

When Kentuckians head to the polls on November 5, the clear choice for governor is Democrat Andy Beshear. For educators, it’s a no-brainer.

Regardless of political party, a vote for Governor Matt Bevin is a clear vote against public education, public employees, teachers, and the working class of our state. It’s a vote against the values of hard-working Kentuckians.

Andy Beshear has, and will continue, to fight for public education.

“I believe in a Kentucky where we fully fund every public school and make sure every child has a shot at the American dream,” Beshear states on his Web site. “It’s a disgrace that some of our kids read from ten-year-old text books held together with duct tape.”

Beshear’s running mate, Jacqueline Coleman, is an active educator.

Educators have endured verbal attacks, legislative attacks, and inhumane treatment under the Bevin administration. Our current governor will continue to attempt to strip teachers of their hard-earned benefits, raid teachers’ pensions, and falsely claim he is funding education. Kentucky is spending 13 percent less on public education than it did prior to 2008, when adjusted for inflation. Yet, money can magically appear to fund charter schools.

Andy Beshear

Beshear has fought and defeated Bevin in court. He now must defeat Bevin at the polls. It’s not just education on the line. While our governor and current legislature cuts taxes on the wealthy and corporations, they pass the burden onto working-class Kentuckians.

In Jefferson County, cuts to funding has forced local government to make tough decisions, such as closing public pools, library branches, limited the number of police officers in our communities, and more. Governments serve the people, not the other way around. So what is our state governor providing its citizens?

I can tell you what it’s not providing. Affordable health care, well-paying jobs, education funding, or a path out of poverty. What is our current government providing? How about one of the highest rates of incarceration, at a cost of nearly $84,000 per inmate annually. It provides sweet deals for pharmaceutical companies that dump tons of opioids into our state, feeding an addiction crisis.

Beshear believes healthcare is a basic human right, and annual income should not determine the quality of care. Beshear understands we need good-paying jobs, and to create the type of workforce we need to attract those jobs, we must have a strong public- and higher- education system. He understands higher education must become more affordable.

Beshear believes teachers deserve their pensions.

“The least we can do is protect the promised pension benefits they have paid into during their years of service,” he states.

The pension crisis was manufactured, by lawmakers like Bevin and special interest who view retirement funds as a cookie jar, to raid as they see fit. This affects all public employees, including police officers, EMS workers, social workers, and more.

Beshear understands the government simply needs to meet its funding obligation to restore the pension system to good standing. He understands the state must seek funding and not allow Kentucky dollars to leave the state. Medical marijuana, expanded gaming, and other revenue plans can fund job training, education, pensions, and more.

When you exercise your right to vote November 5, something Beshear believes should be expanded and not suppressed, you clear choice is Beshear. Some will blame his father for the pension crisis, but to blame a man for his father’s actions seems un-American. It would also be a false accusation.

The truth is, while democrats do share some responsibility for the pension issues, Andy Beshear is not one of those democrats. Also, in 2002, under democratic leadership, KTRS was funded more than 100 percent. When Republicans took the Senate in 2002, and Republican Ernie Fletcher became governor in 2003, lawmakers began raiding the system. By the time Steve Beshear was elected governor and took office in 2008, KTRS was funded at about 50 percent, just in time for a severe economic recession.

For those who have Christian values that require you to question your vote for Beshear, let me say, I too, am a Christian. My Christian values prohibit me from voting for a man who promotes and implements policies that benefit only the wealthy. My Christian values prohibit me for voting for a man that insults and ridicule hard-working Kentuckians. I cannot in good conscience vote for an individual who serves his own interest with no regard for others.

My faith requires me to serve those less fortunate, with compassion and without judgement. My faith commands me to act in the interest of those who need it the most, and to sacrifice some of my privilege. My faith requires me to do right by all Kentuckians, and not just a few.

The clear choice for governor is Andy Beshear. On Novemeber 5, all eligible voters need to march to the polls and vote for decency, transparency, democracy, and all the hard-working Kentuckians sacrificing every day.

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