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Charles Booker’s Misplaced Priorities
Dana Pico 6/10/2021 12:02 PM

As I previously noted, the hearts of the editors of the what my, sadly late, best friend used to call the Lexington Herald-Liberal must have been all aflutter when former, one-term state Representative Charles Booker (D-43rd District) of Louisville announced that he was forming an exploratory committee to see if he should run for the 2022 Democratic nomination against incumbent Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). In 2020, the editors endorsed the hard-left Mr Booker against faux moderate Amy McGrath Henderson for the nomination to run against Senator Mitch McConnell. After Mrs Henderson won the primary by an unexpectedly-close margin, the editors endorsed her against Mr McConnell, where she lost in a landslide.

     Well, being the news junkie that I am, I went ahead and followed Mr Booker on Twitter, and he had this one up on Tuesday:

Every single day, I am deeply ashamed that Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul claim to represent Kentucky in the United States Senate.

— Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) June 8, 2021

     Really? Well, a whole lot of Kentuckians would disagree with Mr Booker. In 2010, Dr Paul defeated Democratic nominee Jack Conway, who had already won a statewide election to become the state's Attorney General, 755,411 (55.69%) to 599,617 (44.26%) to win his seat in the United States Senate. Anything over 10% is considered a landslide win. Then, in 2016, Senator Paul defeated then-Mayor Jim Gray of Lexington 1,090,177 (57.27%) to 813,246 (42.73%) for re-election.

     Mitch McConnell? In 2014, Senator McConnell defeated Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes 806,787 (56.2%) to 584,698 (40.7%), and in 2020 he stomped Mrs Henderson 1,233,315 (57.8%) to 816,257 (38.2%), despite her spending $90.8 million to 'just' $60 million by the incumbent senator.

     If you visit Mr Booker's (exploratory) campaign website, you'll see a letter from him on the front page. In it, he said, "We all want a society where every single person can be safe in their homes without the fear of being killed by the government agencies we pay to protect us."

     Yeah, I get it: he's channeling the killing of Breonna Taylor, the ex-girlfriend of a notorious Louisville drug dealer, who died when police returned fire from her then current boyfriend when they broke in, serving a legitimate no-knock warrant.

     But, really, Mr Booker is worried about people being killed in their homes by police, an extremely rare event, when, as of May 30th, there had been 76 murders in his home town?

     That's 30 more murders than at the same time in 2020, a 65.22% increase. It was more than double the 33 homicides at the same time in 2019.

     Louisville saw 92 criminal homicides in 2019, and almost doubled it to 173 in 2020. Louisville is currently on pace for a new record of 185 murders for 2021, and the long, hot summer hasn't begun yet, but Mr Booker is worried about Breonna Taylor? One of us believes that Mr Booker's priorities are misplaced.

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Dana Pico
Dana Pico is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and alumnus of the Patterson School of Diplomacy and international Commerce, and has written for the Kentucky Kernel, UK's student newspaper, as well as a few articles for the Lexington Herald-Leader, all in the days just after Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. He is now retired and living on his small farm on the banks of the Kentucky River. You can find more of his writings at The First Street Journal.




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