I may live in South Carolina, and we certainly have our share of batshit crazy stuff here, but I grew up in Kentucky, and I still keep tabs on it. Which is how I know that the Dishonorable Governor Matt Bevin is one of the most hated men in that state. Bevin was a precursor to Trump, elected in 2015. I don’t know anyone who likes him, which makes it all the more puzzling that he was elected with a margin of victory of 9 points, not exactly a close election.
Bevin made no secret of what he wanted to accomplish. He *said he wanted to cut Medicaid and get rid of the healthcare exchange, he *said he would withhold funds from Planned Parenthood and would restrict abortion, he *said that he would cut the pensions of state employees and teachers, and he *said he would dramatically slash the budgets. And apparently 53% of voters were okay with those things.
Matt Bevin has continually taken aim at education. He’s cut education budgets. He’s badmouthed teachers. He wanted to make cuts to the teachers’ pensions retroactive, meaning that retired teachers might owe the state money. Who does that? He finally got his wish recently, with a pension reform bill that was tucked into, of all things, a sewage bill. Teachers will now have to contribute to their own pension plan, making their paychecks even smaller. Matt Bevin has called teachers greedy and says that they want more than their fair share. The reality is that they want what they were PROMISED. Kentucky teachers start off making about $36,000, before taxes. Before health insurance. Before they contribute to their retirement pension. Which is pretty funny, considering how much the governor makes (6 figures).
But the crowning touch was last week, when the wonderful governor, in response to teachers rallying at the Capitol, said that he could guarantee that at least one child had been sexually assaulted after being left home alone because the schools were closed due to teachers calling out and going to Frankfort to rally.
And then he pretended to apologize, after backlash from virtually everyone. He says he was misunderstood. Misunderstood. Right. Because it’s really hard to misunderstand a direct quote, not even taken out of context.
There’s a reason I won’t live in that state again.