2022 Legislative Summary & Upcoming Election Strategy
Written by Dr. Lance Pearson, contact info at bottom
This is my legislative summary and suggestions for KY Liberty candidates/primary election day campaigning. Feel free to relay this to your groups.
About the Bills
I believe there were 1165 bills (!) filed in the 2022 regular session, about 250 of them passed.
Despite that, Virtually nothing the base cared about in terms of legislation that addressed social conservatism or protection of individual liberties passed, despite a Republican Supermajority.
(a) The abortion bill HB3 passed, which is great (some other important improvements were in it), but it is a 15 week abortion ban bill. Who is fighting for the 6 week gestational baby? Is this what Republican politicians mean by pro life, 15 weeks (90% of abortions happen before 15 weeks)?
(b) All of the anti-CRT bills failed to pass cleanly. However, the most toothless and watered down of them, Max Wise's SB138, did pass through the backdoor as an Amendment onto SB1. This means there IS some language about what SHOULD be taught in schools in law (racial equality, etc.), including some founding documents, but there is no penalty for teaching contrary to that (as there is a provision specifically excusing the teaching of "controversial subjects"). Meaningless.
(c) SB1 passed. Now school-based decision making councils are merely advisors to superintendents who have final say on curriculum and (I believe) principal hires. This is a bad move AWAY from elected school based boards IMO, the better bill would have simply changed the boards to have a majority made up of parents.
(d) No limitations on COVID Mandates passed: The watered down HB28, and the good HB51 relating to exemptions in schools, both passed the House but got stuck in committee in the Senate. (I have it on good authority that Ralph Alvarado was key to killing them... though as far as the record is concerned, he voted for HB28, after getting others to kill it, such are political tricks).
(e) The budget passed. They got a lot of COVID dollars and have a $1.5B surplus for a rainy day. They put in place some auto tax breaks and a budget plan that most notably starts to phase out the state income tax over time, if they can get the tax money elsewhere.
I have mixed feeling about this plan: 0% income tax can be great a business marketing / outside investment plan (like it is for Texas, Florida & Tennessee). Until then, the income tax decreases disproportionately benefit the exceptionally rich (esp. given that the 1st $10K of (SALT) state & local taxes can we written off of your itemized federal taxes). Since income tax must be replaced by other tax revenue in the plan, the case wasn't made for why THOSE are better taxes.
(f) A small bill, SB121, did pass, so school boards must have a public comment period. The amendment to extend this to the legislature failed, but was a good idea.
(g) SB211, which removed the educational exemption for pornography and obscenity (eg in libraries), got no traction at all because Adrienne Southworth sponsored it and Senate leadership (Stivers, Thayer, Adams, ...) feel they must punish her for being a diligent representative, or something, more than protecting our kids.
(h) Most of the election integrity bills failed, but 2 passed (HB301, HB574).
We now have 3 days of any reason in-person voting, the Thursday, Friday & Saturday before every election (personally, I think this is fine: Republicans work...).
People can no longer use a credit card as a secondary form of voter verification (but people can still use photo IDs from out of state colleges.
Private funds cannot be used for election administration.
All of those are good moves, but even several of those are not far enough.
(Michael Adams subverts every strong election integrity bill so the news will give him good press coverage. He's up for election in 2023.)
The Senate is 85% of the problem
…with leadership being laden with liberal/moderate Republicans who use every tool available to squash conservative/liberty bills, candidates, and legislators:
Just this session: Redistricting Cooperrider, Maricle & Reed; Changing floor rules on the fly; Overt misogyny; Burying legislation to target legislators.
Back Senate candidates Mills, Tichenor, Williams, Cooperrider & Neal.
Techniques for effective Election Day Electioneering:
I just got done volunteering in Indiana to back https://INLibertyCaucus.com candidates. In Indiana, you are allowed to Electioneer (campaign) as close as 50 feet to the entrance door of any polling place (in Kentucky this number is 100 feet, still closer than you imagine). Up there, Every Candidate lines up and voters walk the gauntlet shaking hands in order to stand in line to wait to vote. If it weren't effective, it wouldn't be universally done.
The IN Liberty Caucus Voter Guide (a pared down version of the full slate tailored to the candidates in the area) was a HUGE hit doing this. At the right polling location, where voters essentially have to pass by a single area to get to the line (so it doesn't feel like you are tracking them down), it can be a powerful weapon here too.
Two candidates with a race that wasn't listed inquired as to how they could get on the list ("You didn't fill out our candidate survey.").
Two candidates who didn't make the list were vocally upset (lone aggressively so) about not being on it ("Be a more principled constitutional conservative").
All of the candidates are/were outside trying to SELL something (themselves) to voters.
By handing out the voter guide, we were trying to GIVE something to the voters.
The pitch is simple, position yourself where voters have to walk by you:
"How are you today? Can I interest you in a free voter guide, it helps with all of those ballot races where you aren't even exactly sure who is running? (smile, wink)"
85% of people took it from me, and then stared at the names and searched candidates on their phone for the 20 minutes as they stood in line.
**A KY Liberty Caucus Voter Guide would be highly effective here. The example is tailored esp. to Louisville; let me know if you want the template to substitute a slate of your local candidates.**
Using a headliner like Dr. Rand Paul on the top, star the candidates on the local ballot, and it associates all caucus candidates with somebody 95% of voters know they are definitely going to vote for, and sends the unstated message, "these people are like him."
**In my estimation, passing something like this out, esp. if properly implemented in places with multiple candidates (like Louisville), is definitely worth doing every day of early voting (with fewer polling locations open) and even more on election day at high traffic locations. It is a potential game changer.**
Regardless of that idea, every candidate (and organization backing any candidates) needs to be recruiting volunteers to sign wave and electioneer outside polling places on election day and the limited early voting places on Thursday, Friday, Saturday in their county.
A HUGE percentage of voters don't really make up their mind on most races until the day of election, and every person driving into a polling place is a definite voter.
Thanks so much, let me know if you have questions or comments,
Dr. Lance Pearson