Recent editorials from Kentucky newspapers:
The News-Enterprise on the U.S. presidential elections and the legal challenges brought forth by Texas and President Donald Trump’s legal team:
Despite dozens of lawsuits and continued allegations of systemic voter fraud across multiple states made by President Donald Trump’s legal team, the 2020 presidential election is all but complete. The electoral college officially confirmed Joe Biden as the nation’s next president on Dec. 14.
All 538 electors cast votes that Monday after election results were certified in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Their votes carried Biden beyond the 270 threshold necessary to win the election with a total of 306 to Trump’s 232 electoral votes. It has been reported that Biden topped Trump in the national popular vote by more than 7 million.
Now all that’s left are two other important steps. Paper ballot results from votes cast by the electoral college will be received and tallied Jan. 6 during a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Vice President Mike Pence will preside over the session. Then comes Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.
While these events are important and constitutionally necessary, an equally important step remains the least likely to occur. That being a gracious and public acknowledgment by Donald Trump that he lost the election to his political adversary.
The U.S. Supreme Court with its three justices appointed by Trump, refused to hear the case brought by the state of Texas against the battleground states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Texas argued these states used the pandemic as a basis for illegally changing election rules and expanding mail voting procedures, disenfranchising voters in their own state and others. Texas requested election results in the four states be thrown out.
In their brief response, the court stated, “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections.”
The high court’s refusal to hear the case all but closed the door on any overturn of state election results.
Further, almost all of the legal challenges filed by the Trump campaign challenging election results, most of which have been filed in Pennsylvania, have been denied, withdrawn or otherwise settled.
The president’s legal team released a statement Dec. 20 stating it will continue to challenge the results. However, most legal experts say their chances of any overturn get slimmer by the day.
History will remember Trump as a polarizing president in an unprecedented period of time. Either loved or hated with a very narrow middle ground, it has been Trump’s mannerisms and behaviors more so than his policies in office that left few without overly emotional opinion of him.
His continued refusal to concede the election could very well be the headline that history remembers of his presidency.
He shouldn’t allow his pride during these final days in office to add to the detest his detractors feel for him or overshadow the accomplishments of his administration of which his proponents are so very proud.
So far, there’s no sign he plans to concede. Time is running out.
The Daily News on a high school football team that won the Class 5A state champion in Kentucky:
A season that once seemed unlikely could not have had a better finish for Bowling Green High School’s football team.
In a year marked by so much uncertainty because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Purples successfully navigated a season unlike any other in a way that few other programs could match.
On the University of Kentucky’s Kroger Field in Lexington on Dec. 19, Bowling Green etched its name in the record books one more time as the Class 5A state champion with a 17-7 victory over previously unbeaten Owensboro.
It’s the seventh state title for the Purples, but this one will be remembered as one that came with a set of unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic.
Simply playing a season – let alone winning a championship – in this trying year is worthy of congratulations to the Purples and to all the other high school sports programs that complied with myriad changes, precautions ranging from social distancing to mask wearing, temperature checks to fan limits in the stands in the effort to fend off the virus and give the players and coaches the same opportunity that so many before have had – the chance to compete.
Few did that better than the Purples in 2020.
On offense, the Purples had obvious weapons – dangerous dual-threat quarterback Conner Cooper, punishing running back Javy Bunton, massive Kentucky-bound tight end Jordan Dingle and tough-as-nails wideout Eli Burwash among them, all benefitting from a rock-solid offensive line.
Perhaps overshadowed a bit, despite posting three shutouts in the regular season, was Bowling Green’s defense. In the playoffs, that group completely took command. After opening with a 35-7 win over Greenwood, the Purples earned a rematch with arch-rival South Warren – a team that beat Bowling Green 10-7 in the regular season.
In the second go-around, the Purples forced a staggering eight turnovers to knock off the previously unbeaten Spartans 41-24 and earn one last home game at El Donaldson Stadium.
Bowling Green sent its venerated venue out in style with a 55-7 win over North Bullitt – forcing six more turnovers – to move on to the state semifinals.
Up next – Covington Catholic, the defending state champion and the team that knocked the Purples out of the playoffs the year before.
The Purples came up with six more turnovers en route to a 20-0 road shutout victory, earning that shot against Owensboro for the championship.
True to playoff form, Bowling Green’s defense was absolutely dominating against the talented Red Devils. The Purples picked off two passes from Owensboro’s star quarterback, Gavin Wimsatt, and the offense did enough to secure a 17-7 victory.
And so, against so many odds in a year unlike any in memory, Bowling Green left the field as champions.
Congratulations to Purples head coach Mark Spader and his staff, and all the players who performed and prevailed in this toughest of years. It is a championship hard-earned, well-deserved and never to be forgotten.
The State-Journal on the Frankfort City Commission curtailing the powers of the city's manager:
The good news about a curiously aggressive and ill-timed decision to curtail the powers of Frankfort’s city manager is that it can be reversed by the incoming city commission as fast as the outgoing commission enacted it.
In fact, rescinding the changes should be item No. 1 on the agenda at the new commission’s first meeting in January.
Mayor-elect Layne Wilkerson and rookie Commissioners Leesa Unger, Kelly May and Kyle Thompson have the opportunity to immediately fulfill a campaign pledge to respect the city manager form of government, which has been under assault in Frankfort for decades. They have a sure ally in returning Mayor Pro Tem Katrisha Waldridge, who cast the lone opposing vote Monday night when outgoing commission members fired a final petty shot at her and, in the process, saddled their successors, at least briefly, with bad public policy.
Frankfort has had breadbasket turnover in the city manager’s post over the years in large part because of micromanaging elected officials who refuse to let City Hall’s CEO do his or her job of managing city government.
Until the city commission learns to butt out of the daily operations of city government, Frankfort will have a difficult time attracting and retaining capable city managers who stay more than a year or two.
Wilkerson, who ran on a platform of consensus-building within the commission and in the community, should be particularly resistant to the outgoing commission’s decision to make the mayor all-powerful in setting agendas for commission meetings. Any commissioner should be able to call an apolitical, appointed city manager and have an item placed on the agenda for public discussion, within reason.
The alternative of requiring the blessing of another elected official who can use agenda-setting power to grind political axes is largely to blame for the friction and theatrics that have dominated commission meetings for the past year and cost at least one commission member his job. The open hostilities between Waldridge and her commission colleagues has been an embarrassment.
Wilkerson and the new commission must be better. They have an opportunity to set the right tone next month by fully restoring the authority of the city manager and getting about the important business of setting Frankfort on a course of growth and prosperity, putting behind the petty politics that have held our city back for too long.