Mention Breathitt Politics to anyone and 9 times out of 10 you will hear a reply that has to do with vote buying. Over the years there have been some real winners who have bought their way in to office. Do not be mistaken, it isn’t just local offices either. Vote buying is rampant from school board elections all the way up the political chain. I must point out, not everyone buys votes in these elections. And this is why they can never win. The vote buying crew will vote dead people, people out of state and will buy votes using everything from Gravel, Bridges, Money, Alcohol and the new favorite, Pills.
I remember a phone call I got from my mother when I was stationed in California. She asked me why I never visited her when I was there, in Kentucky, to vote in that years election. Of course she was kidding because I was in California. The problem however, was someone did in fact vote on my behalf at the Caney School Voting Precint. No big deal right?? Well, the fact is, I was never in Kentucky during the election. Someone signed my name and cast my vote. Makes you wonder just how many people voted and had no clue. Vote buying is a way of life in Breathitt County.
Why won’t local or even state authorities do something about it you may ask? Well, mostly because it is political. If they are not the benefactor of prosecuting voute buying, then nothing is ever done. What about the recent prosecutions that included former Breathitt Superintendent Arch Turner? To be honest, as one friend put it to me, those arrests and prosecutions may have done more to help vote buying that anything. You see, vote buyers feel secure now that the Feds and Kentucky Attorney General won’t come after them because the authorities already made their splash in Breathitt County. How else can you explain this years elections and the people who won. Some of the very people who are supposedly still under investigation for vote buying during the same election Arch Turner was busted in, are running wild in Breathitt County. The State and Feds were provided with, photos and videos in a couple cases of vote buying and dozens were interviewed by the Feds for clear violations of vote buying. They still walk the streets free men and some are still in office.
During the May elections in Breathitt County, The Attorney General released the following Statement;
|ATTORNEY GENERAL CONWAY’S ELECTION FRAUD HOTLINE RECEIVES 205 CALLS ON PRIMARY ELECTION DAY|
|FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 21, 2014) – Attorney General Jack Conway announced today that his Election Fraud Hotline received 205 calls from more than 60 counties between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. (EST) during yesterday’s primary election. Forty-nine calls involved allegations of vote buying/selling.“The Election Fraud Hotline is an important tool for voters to help protect the integrity of Kentucky’s elections,” General Conway said. “My office will thoroughly review each complaint for possible criminal violations. If an investigation is deemed necessary, the complaint will be referred to the appropriate agency.”
Election Fraud Hotline Calls by Issue for 2014 Primary Election
49 Vote Buying/Selling (8 – Breathitt, 8 – Clay, 4 – Pike, 3 – Bell, 3 – Floyd, 3 – Harlan, 3 – Laurel, 3 – Owsley, 2 – Carter, 2 – Knott, 2 – Magoffin, 1 – Bath, 1 – Clinton, 1 – Knox, 1 – Lee, 1 – Morgan, 1 – Muhlenberg, 1 – Perry, 1 – Wayne)
43 Legal Questions
25 Procedural Questions
25 General Election Fraud/Other
16 Electioneering within 300’ of Polls
12 Election Official
11 Special or Absentee Ballot
6 Voter Identification
5 Voting Machine
3 Voter Assistance
3 Disrupting Polls
2 Request for Assistance/Monitoring
2 Campaign Violation
1 Campaign Finance
Top Election Fraud Hotline Calls by County
Breathitt – 15 (8 – Vote Buying/Selling, 2 – Disrupting Polls, 2 – Electioneering within 300’ of Polls, 1 – General Election Fraud/Other, 1 – Legal Question, 1 – Procedural Question, 1 – Residency)
Floyd – 12 (3 – Vote Buying/Selling, 2 – Legal Question, 2 – Voter Assistance, 1 – Campaign Finance, 1 – Campaign Violation, 1 – Election Official, 1 – General Election Fraud/Other, 1 – Procedural Question, 1 – Special or Absentee Ballot)
Pike – 11 (4 – Vote Buying/Selling, 3 – Procedural Question, 2 – General Election Fraud/Other, 1 – Election Official, 1 – Electioneering within 300’ of Polls)
Pulaski – 11 (3 – Electioneering within 300’ of Polls, 3 – General Election Fraud/Other, 2 – Residency, 1 – Legal Question, 1 – Procedural Question, 1 – Special or Absentee Ballot)
The Office of the Attorney General, by law, cannot provide details regarding specific complaints or possible pending investigations.
In addition to the hotline, investigators from General Conway’s Department of Criminal Investigations patrolled precincts and polling places across the Commonwealth yesterday to respond immediately to complaints. The Attorney General’s Office, which has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute election law violations, is also a member of the Kentucky Election Integrity Task Force.
Breathitt County was selected as part of the Election Audit by the State Attorney Generals office. Don’t hold your breath folks. There aree no votes in it for them to pursue anything.
I am told, by several people under anonimity, that some high profile offices were bought by a group in the so called “clique” for $130.00, or pills and or alcohol. Will authorities do anything about the May Election and the rampant vote buying? Only time will tell, but for now, it doesn’t look like anything will be done. Vote buying may be on of the most UNPATRIOTIC things anyone can do. Thousands of brave Men and Women are giving their lives daily while serving this country so that a bunch of lazy scum and Power hungry politicians can buy & sell votes.
(Opinion voiced by writer and not necessarily the views of East KY Media)