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Transparency may be the word most often heard when one listens to the daily news. Because it is used so frequently, it almost passes us by without garnering much attention. Prior to becoming an expression associated with politics, transparency was a term often used in the photographic world to describe how easily light passes through an object. Basically, transparency means full visibility.  

In the investment world, transparency is a term used to describe the practice of reporting all data — good and bad — to investors. President Obama appropriated this word and applied it to his politics. Right after he took office in 2009, the White House website declared his administration would become “the most open and transparent in history.”

Sadly, the sun has not been shining through and certainly not revealing very much about this administration’s policy decisions. Need I mention “Fast and Furious,” Benghazi, the Justice Department’s incursion on AP and Fox News, the IRS targeting of conservative groups or the NSA surveillance scandal — just to name a few?

No administration official is willing to take responsibility. I feel like we are a nation being transported on an airplane that is flying on automatic pilot, and there is no pilot on the plane. It would be reassuring to hear “the buck stops here” and learn that someone is prepared and competent enough to take the controls.

Unfortunately, transparency is absent here in Kentucky, too. There is a special election in House District 56 on Tuesday. That is Woodford County (Versailles), and part of Franklin and Fayette counties. The candidates are Republican Lyen Crews, an accountant and vice president of financial affairs at Midway College, and Democrat James L. Kay II, an attorney.

Even though redistricting has not officially been accomplished, 114 voters have been added to the 56th District. Voters in the Turfland Apartments had always voted in a precinct that is in House District 75. They were recently notified in a letter from Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins that they “were inadvertently assigned” to the Pershing Precinct when they actually are in the Garden Springs Precinct, a precinct that is located in the 56th District.

Republican Party of Kentucky Chairman Steve Robertson told the Lexington Herald-Leader that there has been a “lack of transparency in this decision-making process.” Blevins, a Democrat, maintains he was correcting an “error” in the precinct boundaries “that has been in the books incorrectly for years.”

District 56 is currently represented by Democrat Carl Rollins. Voter registration is somewhat similar to other areas in Kentucky. There are 18,125 Democrats, 10,256 Republicans and 2,219 registered with other parties.  Also like much of Kentucky, the voters have traditional, conservative values, and they are realizing that the leadership in the Democrat Party is controlled by very liberal politicians.

It should be noted that Mitt Romney defeated Barak Obama in last year’s presidential election in the 56th District with nearly 60 percent of the vote. Republican Andy Barr pulled out a narrow victory in the district over Democrat Ben Chandler when he won the 6th District Congressional seat. Could 114 votes make a difference in this special election?

There are currently 45 Republicans and 55 Democrats in the Kentucky House. (Republicans have not been in control since 1920.) Gov. Steve Beshear and Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo have drawn a line in the sand regarding this election and are using their influence to pour excessive amounts of money into this race. They do not want the number of Republicans to increase to 46 because several “conservative Democrats” have indicated that they are on the verge of switching parties if Crews takes the Republican number to 46.

I recall when state Rep. James Carr, Hopkinsville, changed his party from Democrat to Republican. Then, that increased the Republican number to 44. The Democrat Party flooded the 8th District with tons of money and pulled out all stops to defeat Carr. The coming special election seems to be as equally important to the Democrat Party as was the defeat of Carr in 2006.

State Rep. Myron Dossett, R-Pembroke, reveals that currently there is no accountant serving in the House. With the run-away spending that the House advocates and the governor’s endorsement of the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare, the House desperately needs a professional accountant like Crews. He has the kind of background and experience to help put an end to the House’s liberal spending agenda.

Kentucky citizens deserve more transparency to reveal how the “error” involving the misplacement of 114 voters was discovered. It is very interesting “after years of incorrectly being in the books,” that Blevins has recently discovered and deemed it necessary to amend the “error” just weeks before Tuesday’s special election.

Will light vividly shine on House politics, or will we continue to view it through a partially drawn curtain? We Kentuckians demand full visibility.

WILLEE COOPER is a former teacher and military spouse. A Hopkinsville resident, she is past president of the Kentucky Federation of Republican Women. Her column runs on the first and third Friday of each month. Reach her at willeecooper@gmail.com.

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