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    Updated: Oct. 17 (22:03)

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    Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
    Did you know...that the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, first printed in 1903, is the oldest peer-reviewed publication dedicated to Kentucky history?Subscribe to the Register (only $40 per year).
  • Labor Day, Politics and Power
    Posted On: Oct 04, 2015

                             Labor Day, Politics, and Power

                                         joe brennan

                I just don't understand Kentucky Politics. I've only lived here for ten years, and such knowledge would take a life time, and I don't have much of that left. At the Louisville Labor Day Picnic at the zoo, there were plenty of cars, hoards of people black, white, Asian, Latino, young, old, physically challenged, but were these voters? I have heard that most of the state campaigns were too close to call. Say it isn't so. One Mini-Fancy Farms candidate accurately said "This election will impact Kentucky for decades to come". Kentucky as the 26 th "right to work state", is a scary thought, but it might be possible  if we don't get out the vote.

                One side of the state marches for topless wearing apparel, the other marches for a "religious liberty" for elected government employees to determine what law are enforceable, and what ones not. Nepotism ?, mom was the clerk for 37 years, and now the daughter, for an $ 80,000 annual salary in a county where many struggle with minimum wage jobs.

                Labor Day Picnics call out the labor supporting politicians who back workers, and labor leaders who back those same politicians, and well this should be. But why should such feel good ceremonies be limited only to such critical times of mutual needs? It reminds one of collecting Thanksgiving food baskets for the poor. The point is, that if this alliance is really to be meaningful and effective it must be an ongoing monthly process, and currently it is not. Labor is not promoting political leaders from its membership, politicians are not sitting down with labor to write legislation.

                 ALEC does just the opposite, and that is why each year the KY General Assembly faces a list of bills from right to work, charter schools, anti-minimum wage increases, and anti- prevailing wage laws. It is time for labor and progressives to get together and discuss what is actually on the menu. Without this it will be like holding the Labor Day picnic where burgers are served but only with the buns. Remember the old add "Where's the beef"? It is time for labor and progressives to get together before the only thing being served comes from the Koch cattle ranches. 


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