ASHLAND Kentucky and West Virginia attorneys general came to Ashland on Thursday afternoon to chew the grease on the rule of law, guns, God and opioids.
The appearance at the Train Depot was part of a two-stop tour of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the first black man to hold a statewide post, and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who has held this headquarters in Mountain State since 2013.
Hosted by the Ashland Alliance, Tim Gibbs – the speaker of the chamber – acted as moderator, bringing questions from a list of topics under consideration to the two men who pretty much agreed on everything.
Here’s what the top cops in Bluegrass and Mountain State had to say:
Rule of law
Cameron: âThe rule of law means applying the constitution and constitution to all equally, without fear or favor. No one is above the law and whether you are an individual or a business it doesn’t matter.
Morrisey: âThe rule of law means applying the law regardless of political or economic circumstances. There are no Republican laws or Democratic laws. I think in this environment, attorneys general have to apply the law without political goals. “
Background: Cameron has come under fire nationwide after refusing to charge officers implicated in the death of Breonna Taylor, while Morrisey has joined the Texas Attorney General’s complaint to quash the results of a legal federal election.
Economic development in the Appalachians
Morrisey: âWe have to be optimistic because we have wealth in our people and this is where economic development begins. If you look at the COVID funds, we can use them for broadband capital spending and get many people from cities to relocate to West Virginia and Kentucky to work remotely. “
Cameron: âI was speaking with the Floyd County Executive Judge today and he said five years ago that his sons were going to move to the big city because there was no work there. Thanks to extensive internet access, they stayed and now work remotely. I think broadband will encourage people to stay home and stay put and we can stop this brain drain. “
Background: According to the Appalachian Regional Commission, broadband access in the entire region (ranging from western New York to northern Alabama) is about 78%, while it is 83% nationally. However, the central Appalachian counties still lag behind, particularly in Kentucky and West Virginia. They are about 70% access, according to the CRA. The CRA also notes that there is a divide between urban Appalachian and rural areas. Neither MA has discussed how blue collar workers will be helped by broadband access.
Cameron: âWe fight the excesses of the federal government on a daily basis. Whenever a new administration comes in, there is a grace period to see what they do. What I have seen from this current administration, from taxes to COVID to energy, is that they have tried to go too far in many different areas. The new clean energy rules contained in the infrastructure bill would be disastrous for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We could lose 30,000 jobs and see our electricity bill increase by 27%.
Morrisey: âWhen I started in 2013, I was at my alligator eye level with the Obama administration’s overbreadth. It’s Obama 4.0. The Biden administration does not have much respect for the rule of law. We see this in an unprecedented amount of illegal aliens and fentanyl crossing the border, vaccine warrants they are trying to impose on businesses, and an energy policy that would be cataclysmic for Kentucky and West Virginia.
Background: With all the talk about energy, in early July, Cameron opposed Morrisey by recommending that the Kentucky Civil Service Commission reject a request by Kentucky Power to upgrade $ 67 million in a coal-fired power plant in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. Biden’s current push for a COVID vaccine mandate in the private sector hasn’t received much backing from the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, or the Business Roundtable, some of the top business organizations. from the country.
The opioid crisis
Cameron: âI believe in a two-pronged approach of putting the people who distribute drugs in jail and suing the pharmaceutical drug companies who have marketed this poison in our communities. Kentucky is part of a global settlement in which our Commonwealth is receiving $ 482 million to help restore our communities. “
Morrisey: âI think the opioid crisis is an example of the importance of working together because this crisis does not recognize borders and jurisdictions. It’s everywhere. I think we should focus on supply and demand and look at the root causes of the problem. We need to spend this settlement money wisely.
Background: In July, the companies at the center of a massive class action lawsuit agreed to settle the dispute with a payment of $ 26 billion, to be signed by the affected states. According to an Aug. 24 Reuters report, West Virginia did not sign the deal. Kentucky, however, did.
The second amendment
Morrisey: âThe Second Amendment is one of the most cherished fundamental freedoms we have. When I took office, we increased reciprocity to 38 states, supported constitutional porterage, and now oppose actions taken by the Biden administration to regulate phantom weapons and pistol suspenders. They are trying to say that a pistol grip is a short-barreled rifle, when in reality it is just a tool that allows the elderly and disabled to exercise their rights.
Cameron: âOur General Assembly did a great job protecting the Second Amendment and my office helped craft resolutions for counties to say the federal government cannot infringe our freedoms. Right now we are fighting for our ability to have bump stocks and to continue supporting the Second Amendment. “
Background: While the Biden administration is currently studying the regulation of ‘ghost guns’ – assembled firearms with unfinished receivers – regulations on pistol slings and bans on stockpiling originate from the Trump administration . The gun splint rule was submitted for public comment by the ATF in December 2020, during Trump’s lame duck session, but was canceled within five days following an outcry from Republicans of Congress. The bump stock ban was put in place in 2019, in response to the Las Vegas massacre in 2017.
Cameron: âWe saw during a time of emergency the reduction in First Amendment fees when our executive here in Kentucky made the decision to close churches. You could go driving on a Sunday morning and not see any cars in church parking lots, but still see them in big box stores. I’m all for business, but religion is constitutionally protected while big box stores are not.
Morrisey: âWhen we started to see religions organize, people were sued for their faith. Our Constitution was new in that it protected the beliefs of the people. There are a lot of people who are eroding religion and we have to be careful about it because it is under attack. They force business owners and bakers to do things they don’t want to do and undermine the integrity of women’s sport.
Background: During the 2020 closures, Governor Andy Beshear issued an executive order banning mass congregations, including in churches. Several churches flouted the rule and it was quickly repealed. In addition, the Bible does not mention much about women’s sports.
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