Robotic phone calls (some of which were voiced by Pat Boone!!) called Kentucky constituents this past week in the run-up to the election for governor, with the incumbent, conservative Governor Ernie Fletcher far behind his more liberal-leaning Democratic opponent, Steve Beshear. The calls seemed to be a last-ditch effort to smear Beshear by using some previously tried and true scare tactics of the Republican party: the Gay Card. The calls accused Beshear of receiving major support from out of state gay activists and of supporting gay marriage and anti-discrimination laws.
Though he denies having had anything to do with the phone calls, incumbent Fletcher accused Beshear of having "San Francisco values" and linking him to the "homosexual lobby."
Nevertheless, yesterday the voters spoke and Beshear unseated the incumbent in a "landslide," taking 60% of the vote.
The election was clearly a repudiation of Fletcher, who was seriously damaged by a scandal over his administration's hiring abuses in the state merit system. Fletcher refused to testify before a grand jury, was indicted on three misdemeanor counts -- later dismissed -- and pardoned those around him who had been charged.
"The people of Kentucky have spoken, and they turned the reins of the government over to us," Beshear -- surrounded by his wife, Jane, and the rest of his family -- told a roaring crowd at the Farnham Dudgeon Civic Center in Frankfort last night.
Beshear said his dream is for a time when all children will have health insurance and senior citizens won't have to choose between food and prescription drugs.
"My friends, that time is here and that time is now," he said.
It's enough to make a christian nostalgic for the glory days of 2004.