Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Russ Salsman on Ernie Fletcher

Russ Salsman penned a nice editorial in the Courier-Journal. I keep up with Louisville politics online.
Lack of driver's license further burdened hurricane evacuees

A simple driver's license: It's amazing how important a license can be when you don't have one. Just ask one of the many Gulf Coast evacuees who relocated to Louisville recently. Without a picture ID or driver's license, these people, who have already had enough grief, pain and sorrow, can't cash a check, drive a car or open a bank account.

The Jefferson County Circuit Court Clerk's Office is one of many agencies assisting storm victims at Louisville Gardens. As chief deputy of that office, I know firsthand that many of the evacuees have lost virtually everything. If they have a credit card but no picture ID, they can't even check into a hotel provided by the Red Cross. To make their situation worse, many evacuees can't pay the $12 and $20 fees the state requires for an ID or license.

Staff members and I have pooled our money to pay the fees in some cases. But something more concrete needed to be put in place. That's why I called Gov. Ernie Fletcher's office in early September. Along with state Sen. Gerald Neal, I asked the Governor to create an executive order waiving the fees for the evacuees who need a license or picture ID.

Several days later, the Governor refused to waive the fees, citing concerns of fraud and abuse. That's hilarious coming from a Governor whose own office is accused of defrauding the state of Kentucky. Fletcher is more concerned about pardoning members of his own administration who were accused of breaking the law, than helping 2,100 Americans who lost their homes and virtually all of their belongings. These evacuees deserve better.

The Governor is a former preacher. He must have preached about compassion to his flock. He should get in the game and grasp the fact that it's about more than a simple driver's license.

Chief Deputy
Jefferson County
Circuit Court Clerk's Office
Louisville 40202
Another reason to show why Ernie Fletcher must be defeated.

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