The dumbest quotes from House Dems this GA session

The dumbest quotes from House Dems this GA session

The majority of big mainstream media in Kentucky is decidedly to the left. This means they’re always ready to share with you the dumb things that Republican lawmakers say in legislative sessions in Frankfort. This past General Assembly session, every news outlet was ready to tell you about these gaffes. So, what you really need is for someone to reveal and analyze the dumb quotes from the Democrats in the Kentucky House in GA ‘22.

Enter SEC. (That’s me.) I’m here for you.

Remember, the Democrats in Frankfort are fairly powerless. You wouldn’t know this by watching floor debates, though. I haven’t done any calculations but my impression is that the vast majority of speaking time, particularly in the House, is the Democrats railing against any given bill (or their perception of said bill) when all of them know their speeches make almost no difference at all. It’s got to be frustrating, I know. I’m not upset about it, mind you, but to try to take their perspective, it’s got to be frustrating.

Some of the Democrats endure this frustration with remarkable restraint, offering pertinent comments or no comments or sometimes passionate comments that are at least on point. Angie Hatton speaks like one of the most compassionate, dedicated politicians I have ever seen. Patti Minter is tireless, and sometimes even effective, and most of the time quite accurate in her commentary. Joni Jenkins is another House Democrat who asks relevant, important questions, and speaks as if she cares about the truth and the people in the room with her.

They’re not all like that, though.

So, without further ado, for those who (unlike me) do not enjoy streaming legislative meetings more than Netflix, here are the deceptive, convoluted, and outright dumb quotes from the Kentucky House Democrats in the 2022 General Assembly session.

HB3: The Pro-Life Omnibus Bill

It’s a sad fact: abortion debates can bring out the worst in us. When it finally came time to pass the pro-life omnibus bill that was House Bill 3 –and there was never any doubt it would pass– the House Democrats took the opportunity to come up with some really bizarre criticism, as well as outright lies.

Josie Raymond’s speech was simply stunning in the scope of its nonsense and deception. She started with calling abortion a “practice that’s as old as humanity itself” (is that even possible?), and then went on to say that Republicans “propose that we destroy medical privacy with public death certificates that identify the pregnant people who had abortions.” Her characterization of what was in the bill was deceptive there, but beyond that, Democrats have got to realize that one of the reasons they are hemorrhaging voters in Kentucky is their adoption of ridiculous off-the-left-deep-end phrases like “pregnant people.”

Here’s your reminder, if you needed it, that Josie Raymond believes men can get pregnant (at the same time she wants to educate you on the history of human biology).  She also went ad hominem, saying that Republicans “want to judge and shame teenage girls over their appearance and their intellect.” I have no idea what she was talking about, but I invite you to try to find that in the bill. In the debate, she seemed to be the only one who found that in it.

But my favorite comment from Raymond here was something she appeared to totally make up off the top of her head, implying the bill would overrule the will of the people because two-thirds of Kentuckians supposedly “support unfettered access to abortion.” The only way I can wrap my mind around where she got this is that perhaps she misspoke and said Kentuckians, but meant to say Louisvillians. There is no way we can twist any credible data to get to two thirds of Kentuckians supporting abortion. According to the (left-leaning) Pew Research Center, of Kentucky adults, only 36% believe that abortion should be legal in all or almost all cases. What math do you use to push that to two-thirds?

Here’s a better question: If you are so careless as to weaponize a lie about Kentuckians’ position on abortion, how can you say you are representing the people?

Moving on to Kelly Flood. Flood’s background as a Unitarian Universalist minister is almost always on display, which is to say, her fundamental theology is that everyone can have their own truth that is somehow all true at the same time, as long as it follows some rules that the person speaking at the time gets to set. In the debate on HB3, she wanted you to know that pregnancy is “such a remarkable gift, when planned.” This implies that pregnancies are not a gift when they are not planned. Speaking as a woman who has experienced 3 unplanned pregnancies out of 4 total, I beg to differ, and so do my kids.

Her other comment that caught my ear was when she declared that “planning for pregnancy is your God-given right.” What? The thing about comments like that is that you really need a source here. Where did this truth of hers come from? Not from the Bible that describes the one true God and His plans for human life, I can tell you that.

Another bizarre moment came when brand new Representative Keturah Herron essentially accused Nancy Tate of committing a crime. Tate had just described how she’d successfully (and far too easily) ordered a medical abortion medication over the internet that would soon be delivered to her home. Herron questioned her about it, and Tate replied “At this point it’s not illegal in the state of Kentucky.” Herron responded,

It also is very very concerning to me that there’s someone in the legislative body that is very aware of something that is illegal that could potentially hurt women and would not report that.

Keturah Herron – Debate on HB3

Did she not understand Tate? Or that the point of HB3 was that this type of mail-order abortion purchase was not illegal in Kentucky, but should be?

By far, the most egregious comment on HB3 came from the longest-running representative in Kentucky history. Unbelievably, Tom Burch at age 91 is running for another term in Kentucky’s House of Representatives. He represents a portion of southeast Louisville south of the Watterson Expressway in the Newburg/Buechel areas. He brought up the subject of foster children in Kentucky’s foster system. He had the audacity to say that

Nobody wants to adopt them. Nobody wants them.

Tom Burch, debate on HB3, speaking about Kentucky’s foster kids

First, it’s an outright lie. I have several friends who love their children that they adopted out of the foster system.  Second, listen to the argument here. Does he really believe that our foster kids should have been aborted because death is preferable to a life that may not be ideal?

God forbid anyone put Tom Burch on a suicide hotline. Or believe the signs around Buechel that proclaim his dedication to families and children.

But he’s old and he’s been in Kentucky politics forever, so did anyone say anything? No. Only me. Every time I think about this comment, my eyes burn, and I’ve been pointing it out on social media and in conversations ever since. But no one besides a mostly unknown state rep candidate is willing to call this man out on this hateful lie – and what if there were foster kids up in the gallery that day? Hear me: you are loved. You are wanted. You can build an amazing life. God has a plan for you. Stay strong. You are a life worthy of life, worthy of an abundant life. You can change the world for the better. Be amazing.

HB8: Decreasing/eliminating income tax

Another set of strange and egregious comments came from the Democrats’ opposition to HB8, the bill that aims to step down the state income tax until, hopefully, eventually it is eliminated. The goal of HB8 is to shift taxes to consumption (sales) tax instead of income tax, without hurting Kentucky’s economy. Many of the law’s proponents supported the bill because they believe it will spur population growth (and thus, economic growth) in Kentucky.

Josie Raymond had a different idea – keep the taxes up, to pay for pet government spending like free college and preschool, but on the point of population growth, the argument from this radically pro-choice representative was that “we’ve got to get the birth rate up.” I’ve debunked this argument in an extensive blog post, but to summarize, countries with paid leave, childcare, loan forgiveness, and climate protections do not have a higher birth rate than the United States. In fact, their birth rate is the same or significantly lower.

Longtime representative from the Highlands area Mary Lou Marzian had stronger words to say. She wondered why people would want to come to Kentucky, declaring, “Kentucky is a hateful state… do not come to Kentucky!” (Thankfully, Marzian’s days in the legislature are over, because anyone who believes our state is a hateful place no one should move to, does not belong in our legislature.)

HB215: Combatting fentanyl trafficking

Marzian also had an interesting comment on HB215, an anti-fentanyl trafficking bill with strong bipartisan support (including Raymond’s). For perspective, this bill was intended to strengthen the penalty for those who import enough fentanyl into Kentucky to kill the entire population of Frankfort. But it wasn’t on Marzian’s agenda to hold those to account who import this poison into our state. This quote is her response to the problem:

Locking people up is not the answer… It’s time to look at what we can do. Good jobs, good schools, pre-K, two-parent families.

Mary Lou Marzian, debate on HB8

So, according to Marzian, if we could provide programs like universal pre-K, we’d solve the fentanyl trafficking problem.

Joni Jenkins, a liberal Louisville Democrat who often stands with Marzian, was so moved to support this bill that she named in her support a specific person she knew who died of a fentanyl overdose. But no, not Marzian; for her, not even high-level fentanyl traffickers deserve to spend more time in prison. Perhaps more access to preK will help.

As I said, HB215 was a bill with bipartisan support – only 3 Senators voted against it, and they were all Republicans. But a full 9 of the 12 NAY votes in the House came from Louisville’s own radical Democrat contingent. Remember that when you vote this year. Remember someone you know who has died essentially at the hands of a fentanyl trafficker. For me, his name is Miguel.

SB83 – Save Women’s Sports

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the off-base commentary offered by House Democrats on the Save Women’s Sports bill, SB83, on March 17. Kelly Flood’s Unitarian Universalist philosophies came through in her opposition to letting biological males play on girls’ sports teams. Here’s what she said:

We know, as liberal religious people, this is why we know, fundamentally we believe in evolution, the evolving spirit of humanity, and that God’s creation, the dirt from which we all have been made by our God, is the same dirt… we believe that evolutionary process is the miracle behind it.

Kelly Flood, debate on SB83

Perhaps you have some insight that I don’t. Really, I’ve tried to make some sense of it, including what it has to do with biological males playing on women’s sports teams. I’ve got nothing here.

I also have to add Josie Raymond’s straw man arguments against this bill. It was one of the most fallacious speeches on the House floor this session. She claimed that banning biological males from girls’ sports was actually detrimental to women, an argument that has no logical support. She said, “This is the most anti-girl piece of legislation I’ve ever seen. It undermines and devalues girls who were born female.” No. What the bill does is protect girls’ sports against those who would edge out their incredible achievements with the scientifically provable advantage from male growth development.

Raymond also offered this deception: The bill “says that anyone born male could beat anyone born female, any sport, any day.” Of course, that is decidedly not what the bill says. Here is the actual text:

For athletic teams, activities, and sports for students in grades six (6) through twelve (12), an athletic activity or sport designated as “girls” shall not be open to members of the male sex.

Text of SB83

I exercise at least three times as much as my husband. Still, he could beat me in any contest of physical strength or endurance, any day. But give me an obese 70-year-old male and sure, I could beat him. What this bill does, simply, is keep biological males of similar development competing against each other and not against a girl that could probably never reach their level of physical strength, no matter the amount of training, because of irrefutable differences in biology.

Raymond also argued that the supporters of this bill were “not worried about girls who were born female scoring on boys’ teams.” At least on that point, she hit on the truth. Biological females who put up a good challenge to boys in the same sport deserve accolades, because they have actually overcome a biological disadvantage, as opposed to boys participating in that sport. All else being equal, men start out with a biological advantage over women. For an incredibly insightful look at how this would play out in elite sports, take a look at

To shed some Kentucky light on it, no matter how a horse self-identifies, male horses are still not allowed to run in the Kentucky Oaks, and should a filly have such a combination of genetics, training, and will as to win the Kentucky Derby, we actually celebrate the obstacles she overcame.

You know, I’ll end by pointing out what I’ve said before: Marzian and Raymond (and some of their fellow House Democrats) have gone so far off the left deep end that they sometimes won’t get behind common-sense bipartisan legislation, like this election integrity bill.

It’s time to send someone to Frankfort who 

  • stands firm on our values without compromise, while
  • standing up for conception-to-death policies that help neighbors thrive, including paternal responsibility, maternal health, education options, and affordable housing, and who 
  • can speak respectfully to the spectrum of KY 41 voters.

Kentucky Legislative District 41, I am that candidate.

Marzian withdrew. Here’s what I (really) told WLKY.

Marzian withdrew. Here’s what I (really) told WLKY.

In a year where the primaries are pretty much the only exciting elections, the primary for the 41st House District just got… a little less exciting. After 28 years, including 14 elections (including 6 unopposed and 8 landslide wins), Mary Lou Marzian has withdrawn from this primary.

In a press conference that was more like a temper tantrum, Marzian lashed out at the Republican establishment. She claims they are afraid of her and her colleagues and specifically targeted female lawmakers in the redistricting. In her new district, she would be opposite Josie Raymond in the new 41st Democratic primary. Of course, every political blog and radio show in the state and every news outlet covered the story. And one of them decided to talk to someone else with skin in this game – me.

I received an email from WLKY’s Gladys Bautista asking if I would meet her to “respond to a press conference held by a group of Democratic women lawmakers from Jefferson County saying the state’s GOP party is trying to silence them with gerrymandering.” I’ve been familiar with this argument since December and was ready to share my perspective, so I agreed to meet her. We sat at Sunergos in the heart of the 41st and chatted for several minutes about this issue. What came out of it was this story.

I readily admit it – I am very new to politics and forgot to walk into an interview with mainstream media with all my guard up. I thought, I know what I want to say on this topic. I’ll say it, and they can air what they want.

So much for journalism.

For the 5 o’clock news, they aired some silent video of me talking while they voiced a comment about Raymond’s Republican opponents. For the 6 o’clock news, they aired a 3-second clip that made it look like I agree. They broadcast one of the first things I said in the interview, which was that “the aggravation with the maps was valid.” 

Here, with you, I can say what I want. I can go on the record with my full comments, and no one else gets to edit them. So let’s go.

In the absence of facts, go ad hominem.

When you are planning a campaign based on a specific set of circumstances, such as a map, and then you are surprised by very new circumstances, it takes you aback. I told Ms. Bautista that this is what happened to Marzian, and to me. I had decided to run in the 34th district against Marzian because she so often has no opponent, and I had no other option on my 2020 ballot. Then, I was drawn out of the 34th, and the 34th still has no Republican option. Several of my nearby friends who were excited about my candidacy suddenly were no longer in my district. It was a lot to wrap my mind around, and I just got here – imagine Marzian’s perspective, facing this change after 28 years in Frankfort.

Still, it’s disingenuous and frankly rather immature (the phrase “hissy fit” comes to mind) for these women to continue this narrative. The GOP men did not deliberately draw the districts to target women, particularly the women of Jefferson County. They cite the incumbents that are facing each other. They mention the other female representatives who are leaving the legislature. They make all kinds of nasty accusations. In the absence of actual facts, Marzian’s comments went completely ad hominem. She called it “their sadistic and misogynist game of pitting Democratic women against each other.” She called it an “ultra-extreme, right-wing (attack) on every female in the House and every female in this commonwealth.” She told the GOP, “Shame on all of you Republicans for disgracing the legislature. Shame on you for castigating Louisville’s voice in Frankfort, and shame on you for hurting Kentucky, Kentucky’s women and children.”

So what are the facts? We could start with the obvious one: it’s not possible for anyone to draw a political districting map that eliminates women. There are plenty of women on both sides of the aisle ready to step up and run for these offices. I’m one of them. Can you see Jerry Miller sitting down at his desk in Frankfort and telling his cronies, “Look, guys, I think I’ve figured out how we can make sure there aren’t any more vocal, Democrat women in the House.” No. The man had a complicated enough job on his hands without trying to somehow draw a district that was entirely populated by men.

I did make that point with Ms. Bautista. Then I talked about the actual facts of who is running in these districts in 2022, and who is going to represent Louisville after this election cycle.

Did the GOP eliminate these women?

In no particular order…

  • Regarding the four specific districts that were significantly redrawn to form the new 41st, there are 11 people running in the primary. Seven of them are women.
  • In addition to the 41st, Lisa Willner and Mackenzie Cantrell were drawn into a district together. (There were also two sets of Republican incumbents who would face each other, so it’s even all around.) Yes, Cantrell has decided to not run again, in order to run for a judge position. Willner will take her district completely unopposed.
  • For the 34th District seat vacated by redistricting Marzian into the new 41st, this race has no Republican. There is a Democrat man, and a Democrat woman.
  • In Raymond’s old district, the 31st, she ran unopposed in 2020, and in 2018 she won by over 19 percentage points. This year, there are two of each party running in this primary. For each primary, one candidate is a man, and one is a woman.
  • Yes, Joni Jenkins is leaving, also after a 28-year run. The story here is that the GOP lawmakers increased minority-majority districts from 3 to 5 (who is telling that story?) and Jenkins’ district now boasts a majority of residents who are part of a racial/ethnic minority. She is withdrawing to let the current mayor of Shively take that seat, and that Democratic woman will do so completely unopposed.
  • Yes, Attica Scott is leaving, because she decided to run for Yarmuth’s vacated Congressional seat. Of her old district, part is now the 42nd, which will be taken by Keturah Herron, completely unopposed. Part is now the 43rd, where Pamela Stevenson is the incumbent woman. Her challenger in the primary is a Democratic man, but there is no Republican in that race.
  • Tina Bojanowski, the progressive Democrat in the 32nd District, is completely unopposed.
  • Nima Kulkarni, the soft-spoken Democrat in the 40th District, is completely unopposed.
  • Elsewhere in the state, sometimes Kelly Flood’s name gets brought up. After 13 years representing part of Lexington, with a series of landslide or unopposed election wins, she is retiring from the legislature. There is no Republican in that race for ‘22; her successor will be a Democrat, and she has endorsed the woman running for the seat.

Let’s review. Lisa Willner, Nima Kulkarni, Tina Bojanowski, and Keturah Herron will retake their seats with no opposition. Beverly Chester-Burton will take Jenkins’s seat. Pamela Stevenson will very likely defeat her Democrat challenger and win her seat again. A Democrat will take Marzian’s old 34th seat, with a woman vying for that one as well. If previous cycles predict correctly, in all probability a Democrat will take Raymond’s old 31st seat (50/50 chance it’s a woman). Here in our new 41st, Raymond has a strong chance to win the new 41st (well, you know I’d like to have something to say about that).

If the men in Frankfort were trying to get Louisville’s vocal Democratic women out of the State House, they did a really lousy job of it.

Are the GOP men afraid of women?

As you can see from the press conference, Marzian isn’t leaving Frankfort with anything that can be called grace. Instead, she keeps the narrative of ad-hominem attacks, as well as talking about her colleagues being afraid of her. When the maps were originally released, she asked, “What are they afraid of?” Last week, she said she was “a voice that the Republicans wanted to get rid of because they were afraid of truth to power.” (I’m not even sure what that means.)

I don’t believe this is true. I don’t believe anyone in Frankfort is afraid of Marzian or her colleagues. Before this election cycle, she didn’t even vote on half the bills. She didn’t vote on the new maps. And when I bring up my race and mention Marzian and Raymond – to sitting representatives – the reaction I often get is, “Who?

Don’t get me wrong – I sharply disagree with both Marzian and Raymond on much of what seem to be their primary platforms. They say, spend more money. Let women do whatever they want to their unborn children. Advance the LGBTQ cause at the cost of any constitutionally guaranteed liberty. But I believe in many areas, they genuinely care about Kentuckians. I think they care about the children in our schools, the hungry on our streets, the neighbors shopping with SNAP benefits. It doesn’t matter, though. Because they camp on such widely opposed platforms the majority of the time, lawmakers ignore them on everything else, too.

At least WLKY did print that point from my interview, buried in the print far below the video:

They’re very vocal but at the same time, they’re extraordinarily voiceless. As soon as they open their mouths, Frankfort plugs its ears.
If the 41st actually wants to actually be represented by someone, they need to elect someone who is not far-right, which is my primary opponents, but not on the Democratic side, because with all the valid things that Josie and Mary Lou have to say, no one is listening to them.