Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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December 20, 2013

RONNIE ELLIS: Some gifts for state politicians

FRANKFORT — By RONNIE ELLIS

CNHI News Writer

FRANKFORT ‘Tis the season, so here are tongue-in-cheek gifts for some we cover.

Too late for Hanukah gifts, but Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson shouldn’t be left off our list, so how about the presidency of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System?

No lumps of coal in Gov. Steve Beshear’s stocking this year. He deserves sugar plums for joining with Congressman Hal Rogers to address the economic woes of eastern Kentucky and for trying to improve the health of our less fortunate neighbors. Let’s hope St. Nick also leaves some extra money for education under his tree. If that’s not possible, then maybe the jolly elf can provide a copy of George Harrison’s recording of “Taxman” — you know, just for ideas.

Rogers gets a full stocking for the SOAR effort but he’s feeling pretty blessed anyway now he actually has a budget number with which to work as he writes 13 appropriations bills.

Last year, we gave Sen. Mitch McConnell a miniature wood-chipper lapel pin to reflect his former chief of staff’s description of the way McConnell dismembers his political opponents. This year, we’d offer him the real thing. He’ll need some way to dispose of Obamacare after he’s pulled it out root and branch.

His campaign manager, Jesse Benton, needs some “Breathe Right Strips” in his stocking so he can free his hands and put them to useful work on McConnell’s campaign churning out those “Bailout Bevin” and “protect Christmas” emails.

Matt Bevin needs some whistles to go with his bells for his campaign and he could also use a good fourth quarter of fundraising so he can get on the airwaves and fight back.

Alison Lundergan Grimes needs some extra closet space for all those empty dresses the Republicans say she favors. Maybe she can find some extra time in her schedule as well to spend time talking issues with reporters.

Kentucky’s only Democratic member of Congress, John Yarmuth, is looking for playmates, but he’ll have to wait at least until next Christmas to find any. Republican Congressmen Andy Barr and Thomas Massie should find copies of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

Sen. Rand Paul could use one of those too as he worries about the long-term unemployed but he’ll instead find a copy of the “MLA Style Book” so he’ll understand when and how to attribute quotes. If Santa thinks he’s been extra nice, Paul might also find an NAACP membership card.

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Republican Minority Leader Jeff Hoover each get a new abacus to help them figure out how to get to 51. Stumbo famously favors cowboy boots for footwear, but he may need a set of waders as he explains away the inaction of the House Select Committee he appointed to investigate sexual harassment allegations.

We know what Agriculture Commissioner James Comer wants to find in his customized hemp fiber stocking: the 2015 Republican nomination for governor. On the other hand, he’s probably worried he’ll find a couple of lumps of coal left there by party bosses and Hal Heiner who also is hoping Santa delivers a gubernatorial nomination.

State Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, gets a toy wrecking ball so he can demolish “big Daddy government.” He’s also hoping for an invitation to appear again on The Daily Show, maybe this time to discuss legislation to make libraries beg magistrates for room at the inn.

What I genuinely hope you find in your own stocking is peace and good will and that you are surrounded by the warmth and love of family. God bless us every one. Merry Christmas.

RONNIE ELLIS writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.

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