A western Kentucky Republican who's not a Bevin booster

EDITOR'S NOTE: We enjoy posting commentary from our friend Roy Pullam in Henderson This week he sent us commentary from a Caldwell County Republican who's not on Team Bevin. Roy got it from former Democratic state Sen. Dorsey Ridley of Henderson. It's particularly timely today on primary election day. It will be just as timely as we head toward Nov. 5.  


This statement was re-posted by a retired teacher friend from Caldwell County on May 20, 2019 and posted on Facebook. His name is Gerry “Jerry” Baker and he is the current president of the Caldwell County Retired Teachers Assn, a former agricultural teacher and a big Caldwell County Farm Bureau Board member.

Everything, to my knowledge, is correct and accurate. Please use any and all of the information.



Here’s a post I read on FB a couple days ago: He said he’d been asked why, as a registered Republican, he’s not supporting Governor Bevin. Here are just a few reasons:

1. As a retired teacher, I made life decisions based on the fact I had an inviolable contract with the Commonwealth that guaranteed a specified income and health benefits figured at a specified formula. I fulfilled my part of the contract and after 30 years of mandatorily paying into my retirement and health insurance fund I’m told there may not be enough money for the Commonwealth to fulfill its obligation to me, and then find out $479 million dollars was robbed by Governor Bevin from my pre-paid health benefits fund to balance the budget and now our health benefits end after FY 2020.

2. We’re continually told there’s not enough revenue to fund our pensions and health benefits, but a 1% tax cut was given to corporations costing the Commonwealth billions. If that’s not enough, we find out that Bevin had hired his hedge fund buddies to manage our pension investments and they’ve charged us almost $480 million in management fees, which is 10-20X what it’s costing other states. So on one hand, he’s saying no money to sustain pensions, then out of the other side of his mouth he pays his buddies grossly inflated commissions .....so inflated, that money in and of itself reinvested back into the pensions could have us back to solvency in 8-10 years.

3. Bevin looks the other way while casinos utilize a “historical gaming” loophole to avoid paying taxes on billions of dollars of income....again, more than enough to right the pension ship.

4. He targeted state workers with a tax increase by lowering the state tax exemption from $41K to $31K creating an additional $10K in taxable income. This is money that was already taxed as gross income in every check for 30 years, and wasn’t deductible.

5. He attempts to ram through a bill cutting our COLAs (which amount to only 1/2 the rate of inflation) by attaching it to a last minute sewer bill before anyone has the opportunity to vet....or even read the bill.

6. He says teachers use a “thug” mentality because they come to Frankfort to protest cuts to our pensions and benefits as well as cuts to funding for already struggling public education, yet wants to provide tax credits for charter schools, which only the wealthy can afford.

7. He claims to have grown up in poverty, yet he attended a private school that cost $63,000 a year.

8. He makes outrageous comments like blaming teachers who participated in the sick out for a tragic, but accidental shooting that occurred while adults were home, was outside of school hours and not even in a county where the sick out occurred.

9. He neglects to mention or consider the fact that teachers cannot receive social security so their KTRS retirement is all they receive.

10. Instead of focusing on the issues here in KY, he invokes Trump and Pence in an attempt to nationalize the election.

11. He’s pushing for what amounts to a power grab to seize control of the KTRS Board by changing it from an elected body to a governor-appointed Board.

Bevin’s minions are spreading the narrative that teachers are protesting because they want taxes raised so they can get a raise to “their cushy pensions and early retirement,” when in reality, the protests have been to pressure him and lawmakers to simply live up to their agreement, and to appropriately fund public education, not take money away from public education and give it to charter schools. Pensions can be fully funded without raising taxes.