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Monday, September 12, 2005

New Kentucky Based column by Don McNay

Don McNay will be publishing a bi-weekly column about Kentucky politics and government.    It will run on the editorial page of the Richmond Register and several other publications.


Don will continue his popular business column, which will continue to run each Sunday in the Register and a growing list of publications.


Unbridled Super Cop


For several weeks, the Kentucky state police ran a television advertisement encouraging people not to drink and drive.


The ad ended with Lt. Governor Steve Pence surrounded by  policemen.


Pence should not have been in the ad.   Taxpayers should not pay for politicians to promote themselves.


I don’t think any elected official should have been in the commercial, but if you absolutely had to pick one, Pence was a good choice.


Along with being Lt. Governor, Pence is the head of the Kentucky Justice Cabinet.  He is a former federal prosecutor and serves as a Military Judge.  His life has been devoted to law enforcement.   


The ad ran again recently but Pence was gone.  Governor Ernie Fletcher took his place.


Mr. Law and Order was replaced by a guy who recently told a Grand Jury that he refused to answer questions on the grounds he may incriminate himself.


It’s like the television show “Law and Order” replacing one of their actors with O.J. Simpson.


If the commercial’s goal is to scare people out of driving drunk, you need real law enforcement personalities encouraging people, not politicians.


Even though Pence is an elected official, he looks like someone you don’t want to mess with.   The commercial makes him look tough, like Buford Pusser in a business suit.


The commercial makes Fletcher look like Barney Fife.


A drunk might be scared of Pence.  No one is going to be scared of Fletcher.


Inebriated Kentuckians will see Fletcher and figure that driving drunk is not any worse than noodling.  Fletcher lumps all misdemeanors into the same category as catching fish with your hands.


Republican drinkers will believe if they get into trouble, Ernie will let them off with a pardon. 


Or help hard drinking relatives get a state job.


Pence was dumped from the advertisement about the same time Fletcher handed out pardons to his indicted cronies.  


It is well known that Pence did not agree with Fletcher’s pardons.  I wonder if Fletcher yanked Pence from the ads as a way to punish him.  


It is obvious that Fletcher was added to the commercial with hasty editing.    The latest commercial reminds me of when they dub characters into to a really bad Kung Fu movie.


Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has been one of the most effective organizations founded in my lifetime.   They have made a real change in the way society treats drunk drivers. 


Politicians like Fletcher want to be associated with a popular cause.


I don’t know how much the state spent for the commercials with Fletcher but they were on almost every time I turned on the television.


The state spent over $645,000 for its “Unbridled Spirit” logo.


I hope we paid less for Fletcher to play “Unbridled Super Cop.”


Don McNay is President of McNay Settlement Group where no one tries to act like a law enforcement officer.  You can write to him at or read other things he has written at