Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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January 10, 2014

RONNIE ELLIS: Dull week? Never in Frankfort

FRANKFORT — When I was a kid, a show briefly aired on American television called “That Was the Week That Was,” an American imitation of a satirical British program.

On Friday concluding the first week of the 2014 General Assembly it doesn’t seem like much was accomplished — but things did happen.

How can you to top lawmaker Leslie Combs’ accidental discharge of her pistol in her Capitol Annex office while fellow Rep. Jeff Greer, D-Brandenburg, was seated across from her desk? Naturally, the incident prompted jokes about the session “beginning with a bang.”

House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, reportedly fired off some pretty good one-liners about the incident at the Kentucky of Chamber of Commerce dinner Thursday evening, suggesting House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, who also is a spokesperson for Morgan and Morgan, a large personal injury legal firm, could represent Greer in a personal injury lawsuit.

Greer, a former college football lineman, meanwhile was explaining why he faced no danger by reminding listeners of the movie “The Matrix” in which a character is able to instantly contort his body to avoid bullets in flight.

Of course, in Kentucky we have a different concept of gun control than many other parts of the country. Our lawmakers, led by Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, are always prepared to shoot down any imagined threat to gun owners’ rights. Only last year, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, came to Kentucky to lampoon a measure sponsored by Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea, claiming the state could nullify federal legislation governing the sales and use of firearms. Our constitution guarantees the right to hunt and fish.

We also learned from the Chamber dinner that Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, believes the state “Senate will be bold” in 2014. Stivers is the person who commenting on a state budget which has been cut $1.6 billion in six years likes to make bold statements like: “We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.”

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