We called this on April 5th.
It’s official. Rep. Joni Jenkins will challenge Rep. Larry Clark as Speaker Pro-Tem of the Democratic House Caucus. Oh snap! It’s on.
This is a good move for women in government. More importantly, it’s a great move for Kentucky. It’s high time we step up and demand good government-types take on leadership positions and this is the perfect opportunity for Joni to step up. It’s high time we put working together as Kentuckians ahead of partisanship and corrupt self-interests.
Larry Clark has proved time and again that he’s disconnected and less-than-fit for leadership. He’s repeatedly caused drama in the House, he’s aligned himself with Steve Henry knowing fully well what he’s been up to, he’s repeatedly put his interests ahead of our interests as citizens of this great Commonwealth and he’s (along with his cohorts) gone so far as to threaten reporters at WLKY for reporting facts. For these reasons alone it is time for Clark to peacefully retire from House leadership.
For the purposes of full disclosure: We support Rep. Jenkins’ candidacy for Speaker Pro-Tem. Not just because we like her, but because she is right for leadership and right for Kentuckians. She is no stranger to working together as a team and is no stranger to being a leader. She’s served as Vice Chairwoman of the Kentucky Democratic Party and has served her constituency of the Shively area of Louisville with honor. We recommend all Kentuckians begin calling their respective State Representative to urge their support of Rep. Joni Jenkins as Speaker Pro-Tem.
We obtained a copy of the letter Jenkins sent to the Caucus announcing her candidacy. Have a look:
I hope this letter finds you well and enjoying the respite between the session and the beginning of the interim committee schedule.
For me this has been a period of reflection. Each year, during this time, I look back at the past session and think about how it could have been improved. Every year, there are successes and there are missed opportunities. This past year, however; there was one overriding issue that adversely affected the entire session – the conflicts within the House Majority Leadership team.
It is very clear to me that the House Democratic Caucus must have a five member leadership team that works together for the benefit of the entire Democratic membership.
For this reason, I am running for the leadership position of Speaker Pro-Tem.
Peep the rest along with a few highlights from Larry Clark’s stint as Speaker Pro-Tem after the jump…
I believe that I have much to offer my fellow House Democrats:
I am honest. I do not and will not say one thing to your face and something totally different behind your back.
I respect my colleagues and treat them with dignity. While you and I may occasionally have philosophical differences, I believe we can work together to find compromise and we will always, as Democrats, have more in common than we have differences. As a member of leadership, I will work to unite the caucus, not divide people.
I think strategically and politically. I will work with other members of leadership to construct an agenda we can all support and that will not only move Kentucky forward, but assist each legislator in his or her re-election campaign.
I am loyal. Disagreements within the leadership team or between caucus members should never be aired in public. I will never spread unsubstantiated rumors or personal slurs against a member or staff person to progress my personal agenda.
I am tough, but fair. I believe very often leadership, either as a team or as an individual, must take the “hits” for the caucus and I am prepared to stand up and do that. I will not introduce and push controversial legislation that may put other caucus members at risk – even if it would benefit me and my own political future.
I am pragmatic. I understand the political climate in which we exist. I know that as a caucus, we must be well-funded, well organized, have the most up-to-date technology available and the counsel of political experts. I will work with the other members of leadership to raise sufficient funds to accomplish these goals.
I understand the role and duties of Speaker Pro-Tem. I will support the Speaker of the House, not compete with him. I will certainly not hesitate to offer my advice and counsel, but will support the decisions of the Speaker and the rest of the leadership team.
I had intended to issue a very short letter announcing my decision to run, but I also realize the decisions in selecting the team that will lead the caucus through the 2009-2010 term are important and critical. We all need as much information as possible.
I hope as you are evaluating the merits of all the candidates, you will consider the points that I have outlined today. I will be contacting each of you throughout the summer to gather your input, answer any questions and personally ask for your support.
Enjoy your summer.
Rep. Joni Jenkins
A brief history of Larry Clark and his stint as Speaker Pro-Tem:
- Larry Clark tried to sell Kentucky a bill of goods on energy policy [September 5]
- Larry Clark worked against the House leadership in an attempt to get his way with casino gambling legislation [February 26]
- Larry Clark supported alcohol wholesalers and then pretended it wasn’t because he takes tons of money from them [March 4]
- Larry Clark wants to limit choice when it comes to primary elections [March 11]
- Larry Clark flip-flopped and tucked tail on Stream Saver legislation [March 12]
- Larry Clark said he was embarrassed to be a part of House leadership in Kentucky [April 17]
- Larry Clark allegedly endorsed a candidate for U.S. Senate in an attempt to curry favor for his employer, United Electric. Why is it no one ever examines the number of state electrical jobs United gets? Museum Plaza, anybody? [May 8]
Now, back to your regularly scheduled waiting-for-Greg-Stumbo-to-pen-a-similar-letter programming.
P.S. If the rumors we hear about the Gubnuh coming out strong against Joni are true? Then she’s got this thing in the bag. Remember how badly his wrath damaged Brandon Smith in the special election? Oh, wait– I mean Senator Brandon Smith. It’s time to put good old boy politics to bed and if Steve wants to align himself with the epitome of corruption, then we know a couple hundred thousand Democrats who will align themselves with Trey in a few years.