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October 18, 2012

Publisher's Notebook: Robinson won’t have much to do

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Based on his stated priorities, Albert Robinson won’t have a whole lot to do in Frankfort if he is elected senator from Kentucky’s 21st District, which includes Laurel County.

The lifelong politician has adopted a platform of extreme conservative values designed primarily to appeal to the extremely conservative voters in the heavily-Republican district, who he hopes will be enough to win him the election.

Robinson’s stated priorities are clipped straight from the coattails of Mitch Romney’s platform, but they will have little bearing on his duties as a senator in Kentucky. In fact, he can’t pursue one of his top priorities, unless he wants to be chastised by the courts again.

For example, Robinson says he is opposed to Obamacare and lists it as a top campaign platform. But what is he going to do about it Frankfort? The Affordable Health Care Act has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and has survived more than 30 attempts by the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal it.

Even if Romney wins the election, the Republicans hang on to the House and squeak out a slim majority in the Senate — the best outcome they can hope for — there still won’t be enough votes to stop a Democratic filibuster. In short, Obamacare is here to stay. Romney himself has lowered expectations for its repeal.

The state doesn’t need Robinson’s help to establish an exchange that will make it easier and more affordable for people to buy insurance. About half a million uninsured Kentuckians will benefit from a bill that Robinson vehemently opposes.

Yet he plans to strap on his guns, go to Frankfort and fight against Obamacare. But there won’t be anything or anyone for him to shoot at.

About the only thing Robinson could do is go to dinner with the insurance company lobbyists and console them about all people they will to have to insure under Obamacare, even those with pre-existing conditions.

In another part of his platform, Robinson will go to Frankfort and fight against abortion. Who is he going to fight with? Most people in Kentucky already oppose abortion and it’s on the back burner at the moment.

Even Romney won’t come to Kentucky and fight with Albert on abortion, because he vowed last week not to propose any abortion-related legislation if he is elected.

Robinson is big on getting the 10 Commandments put back into schools and courthouses, and may work to get them posted again. He proudly states he was the sponsor of a Senate resolution in 2000 to put a large monument with the commandments posted on capitol grounds in Frankfort.

But he doesn’t mention how that worked out. His resolution was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. There was that thing about the constitution again.

If Robinson wants to work on 10 Commandments issues, he can go over to Pulaski County and volunteer to help raise money to pay off a $450,000 legal bill for that county’s own constitutional loss.

The fiscal court asked for donations from churches, politicians and others, like Robinson, who supported posting the 10 Commandments at the county courthouse. But the court only raised about $6,000. At last report, magistrates were forced to take out a loan to pay the enormous legal bill.

Robinson’s platform plays well with his extreme Republican base, but will have little impact and effect on the ground in Frankfort.

He will have little to do except to examine his pension benefits to see if he’s getting the most out of his plan, and to hang out at the Transportation Cabinet and assist them with road plans.

He’s shown the district his true priorities.

wsawyers@sentinel-echo.com

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

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