On Thursday I sent the below letter to Dorsey Ridley, the State Senator from Henderson who would be installed as the new “elected” representative of Lexington should the Thayer/Williams/Stumbo/Beshear disenfranchisement bill be reinstated by the Supreme Court.
The Supremes will hear the case this Friday and hopefully they’ll do the right thing. Dorsey has not, yet, replied to this message though he’s had plenty of time.
From: David M. F. Schankula
Date: Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 5:35 PM
Subject: From the Fighting 13th
Good to meet you. As you know — and stated eloquently at the rally and in the press — there are many people upset by the prospect of losing their duly elected representatives in the State Senate.
People in Lexington are very worried not just about losing a Senator they love and respect, but also about losing their voice in the Legislature.
We understand that currently you still represent the good people of Henderson, but there is a growing concern about how you will represent *us* should the Supreme Court toss Shepherd’s ruling.
There is no animosity toward you, be assured. Indeed, you seemed warm, honest, good at the rally in Lexington a few weeks ago.
But your votes on certain issues are directly opposed to the views held by many (if not most) voters in Ms. Stein’s district and, as such, are also opposed to Ms. Stein’s voting record on several critical issues.
I was hoping that you could address this worry.
How will you vote if you are (re)instated as the Senator for the heart of the Bluegrass?
Will you vote as Sen. Stein would vote? Or will you vote as the people of Henderson might expect you to vote?
This is a critical question here (as well it should be for any electorate). Your votes represent your voters in Henderson and Ms. Stein’s represent hers here.
Your vote in favor of forcing already distressed women to undergo undue pain at the hands of a doctor and under force of state law is not representative of the people of Lexington.
Thus, we are understandably curious if you would vote to represent us if installed as our Senator against, as you have said, your own wishes.
Ms. Stein voted against that bill. Would you, should you come to represent us?
That is but one issue. There are many. For example, last year you were one of just six Democratic Senators voting in favor making Kentucky a “coal sanctuary state.” Sen. Stein voted against that, representing the voters of Fayette County.
If faced with that vote again as the voice of Lexington, how would you vote?
I do not wish you to engage in hypotheticals but given the state of play, these are serious questions and ones which could, in fact, help establish the unconstitutionality of denying voters their vote (in both Henderson and Fayette).
Should Ms. Stein be removed from office, do you pledge to vote as Ms. Stein would have, holding up your position as the representative of her constituents?
Thank you for your time, and your service. Again, you seemed like a good man and I understand you work hard to represent your voters. All we want to know is whether you will extend the same service to us?
I write for the blog Barefoot & Progressive and I will be posting this as an open letter to you on Friday (tomorrow) afternoon. I would appreciate a response before then — indeed, many of the voters of Lexington would appreciate it.
Most sincerely and with good wishes,