Bevin’s Grassroots Grumble

Published on 28 March 2016 by in News, Uncategorized


Many grassroots conservatives and liberty activists got behind Governor Matt Bevin in the Primary, some would even say it caused some hostilities between supporters in the Bevin and Comer Camps. Bevin tried presenting himself as the more fiscally responsible and liberty oriented of the two, and it worked for some. Ultimately Bevin won the Primary after what many believe were made up attacks by Hal Heiner against Comer, Bevin indicated as much during the KSR debate himself. This made him look on the surface as the reasonable candidate, above all the bickering, it worked, he benefited greatly and the party and base started to gravitate toward him more, and away from Comer, who only lost by 83 votes. During the General Election grassroots organizations coalesced around Bevin in hopes that his actions if he won the Governorship would match his rhetoric.

The first sign of trouble was when he assigned Hal Heiner to his transition team, which gave many pause. Not only did he make Heiner a part of the transition team, he made him the Secretary of Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. He appointed a man that came in third, and dragged this race into the gutter, we thought Bevin was above this, but apparently he was not.

The next sign of trouble was the first piece of legislation that Bevin came out in support of, which was HB 441, the Hotel Tax increase in Lexington, now dead in the water in the Republican Senate. This bill would essentially have the government collect taxes on behalf a non-profit entity to remodel the Convention Center, while the state was modestly reimbursed for its fronting of about 24% of the funds needed to make the project happen. If one takes the time to do the math on the terms outlined in the legislation and brought forth in the committee hearings, it would take the government almost 75 years to be reimbursed for this project.

Flash-forward to this past Friday, Governor Bevin came out with a full throated endorsement of Public Private Partnerships (P3’s) – HB 309, REAL ID – SB 245, and the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) – HB 2.  We had seen signs, and heard rumblings of support for these pieces of legislation throughout the session; however, we never expected an open betrayal of his base as he has now done, the people that worked hard on the ground to get him elected to office.  Governor Bevin assured those in Northern Kentucky he was against P3’s, but once in office he changed his tune. P3’s across the state will be a mechanism for Government and Business to fleece the citizens of Kentucky.  Northern Kentucky was arguably one of the key factors in flipping the election in Bevin’s favor. He promoted himself during the Senate campaign as the liberty alternative to Mitch McConnell, and used those credentials to further himself in the Governor’s race, yet now he has come out in favor of what liberty activists would consider one of the greatest Bush Era affronts to liberty, REAL ID.  He campaigned as someone that would make the state more business friendly, but he is now for LOST being put on the ballot this November, tax increases are not the way to go about that. Republicans are supposed to be about cutting taxes and shrinking budgets, yet he proposes a tax increase before an overhaul of the tax system is presented, which he probably will not achieve, as the temporary trend toward Republicans is coming to an end, as evident by the recent special elections which House Democrats retained the majority.

What does the future hold after this session? One would hope he gets to work on ending Common Core at the Education Department, but unfortunately we have not seen any substantive changes to top level personnel, with the exception of Heiner, which was none to impressive. So considering these recent revelations, we are not confident in his campaign promise that “Common Core will be no more”.  We believe at this pace Governor Bevin will be a one term Governor. The establishment in the Republican Party cares nothing for him and are only tolerating him, the Democrats are ready to pounce, and his Grassroots is grumbling. He has boxed himself into a corner, and he should take our words as a warning.

Take Back Kentucky is a grassroots coalition of individuals and organizations across Kentucky dedicated to the advancement of the Constitution, Liberty, and Free Markets. Founded over 20 years ago by Norm Davis, TBK has been monitoring and holding the Kentucky Legislature accountable on the issues.  To get more information on our response to the Governor on these issue and more go to


8 Responses to “Bevin’s Grassroots Grumble”

  1. David Adams says:

    The really frustrating thing is that if Bevin merely stuck with conservatives, the GOP establishment would continue to tolerate him and the Dems would be powerless to do anything about it.

  2. ray embry says:

    I was a supporter of matt putting many hours and dollars into both campaigns but willnot do it again if he supports these bills

  3. John Kemper says:

    The governor STRONGLY campaigned in opposition to these liberty robbing issues, some would say opposition to these type issues were the cornerstone of his campaign(S).

    I am disappointed in the Governor’s early surrender on these progressive issues, we could have stayed home and allowed a Democrat take the office IF we wanted the state to continue in this direction.

    All 3 issues will have a negative impact on our Liberties, but “nothing to be concerned about here” as the Governor says, “Spot on” TBK.

  4. Bruce Layne says:

    Matt’s general election comments about Public Private Partnerships were nuanced. That gave me a very uneasy feeling. I wanted to believe that Matt understood the issues and was cautious in his statements because P3s sound good to those who don’t know the facts. It sounds like government doing less and the private sector doing more, but it’s the opposite of that. It’s MORE government, MORE public spending, MORE corruption, but much less accountability because it’s taxation without representation. The P3 indirect taxes are collected by companies that essentially own our bridges, roads, university dormitories, etc. P3s are a method for a bankrupt state government to spend more money they don’t have.

    Local sales taxes? Really? What part of Taxed Enough Already does Matt suddenly not understand? If LOST makes it onto the ballot, it should be in spite of the governor’s bully pulpit condemnation, not with his support and blessing.

    Everything about Real ID is anathema to individual liberty. It doesn’t matter how much lipstick they put on that pig, Real ID is the next giant step to the totalitarian goal of “Your papers, please!”

    Governor Bevin just hit the Tyranny Trifecta.

    Disappointed doesn’t even begin to describe what I’m feeling. This is why it’s so difficult to grow a grassroots movement in support of limited fiscally conservative government and individual liberty. Pour your blood, sweat and tears into getting someone elected and their actions betray their campaign rhetoric. Nobody is going to keep signing up for this abuse. What could demotivate a grassroots liberty activist more than this?

  5. Georgette Nordloh says:

    Where has our Liberty champion gone! TBK has stated this issue very well. My husband and I campaigned, donated money and elected him and now feel our trust has been broken on not just one issue but several! Who has his ear and informing him on bills? Has he lost his Liberty viewpoint?

  6. Dale the Truth says:

    I am glad I voted for James Comer for Governor in the GOP primary. Just image if 85 – 90 more had voted with us. Or if only 45 – 50 had voted for Comer instead of Bevin. Even better, just imagine if some hadn’t wasted their time on that dumb ass, twilight zone campaign of Will Scott.

  7. Frank Harris says:

    It does seem that Governor Matt Bevin has betrayed the Liberty movement. One can only hope that the handful of people from the Liberty movement who are working on his staff will be able to tell us more about some of the thinking on these issues. For now, to say that I am disappointed is an understatement. To assume that we can get him out of office in 2020 is a big assumption – incumbents tend to win no matter how bad they are – just look at Mitch.

  8. Bubba Davis says:

    PPP? I can see how someone might think that would work well (it won’t, but I can at least understand why someone would go down that path). And in theory, PPP does work, it just fails in practice. There’s a saying about devils and details.

    LOST? Anyone who thinks that still another (new) tax is a good idea is living in a state of denial and ignorance. Yes, Tennessee does have such a tax, and it runs between 3% and 4%, depending on the location. As a tradeoff, Tennessee has no income tax and no local payroll tax. I actually prefer a local-option tax over income and payroll taxes, but that’s not what is being suggested here. Anyone who supports LOST without a simultaneous rescinding of the income and payroll taxes has LOST his ability to reason.

    REAL ID? Now that one cuts to the core. When I saw Bevin’s video making it sound like it was a mere technicality and that there was no sharing of info without a warrant? Yeah, right. Just like your IRS data will never be misused for political (nazi) purposes. The facts, the FACTS, on REAL ID is that the data base will be immediately accessible to the TSA and other federal agencies. And frankly, the whole “have to get a warrant” thing is a ruse, because all the information is already available to someone with a warrant; the true purpose of the REAL ID is to centralize the data into a central source, and then make it available to various government bureaucrats each and every time a person has interaction with a government agency. Have to have a warrant my ass. If there were some actual enforcement of immigration laws tied to REAL ID, at least there would be a carrot on the end of the stick that will be used to beat us with. Yet, there isn’t even a carrot. REAL ID is a horrid horrid horrid horrid thing.

    I really thought Bevin was different. I knocked on a lot of doors for that man. But what do I have to show for it? A direct attack on my liberty and an attempt to jack up my tax bill. I noticed on the night of the election that things were changing. Once the win was solidified, there suddenly was a new crew surrounding Bevin. The tea party types were pushed aside. The Heiner types (the disgusting establishment people) were suddenly on the inner circle, and given positions on the transition team. Heiner and Heiner supporters (like David Dickerson) were placed in top leadership positions. Sure, a few crumbs fell off the table for Bevin’s most loyal of backers, but those were crumbs, not big juicy hunks of meat. Look at the hundreds of appointees since Bevin took office, then tell me how many were actively and directly supporting Bevin in the primary? Now, compare that to the number of appointees who were opposing Bevin in the primary or even the general election. Something truly strange is going on.

Leave a Reply