Will Kentucky’s governor, Matt Bevin, prove to be a cautionary tale of a leader that was eventually removed from office due to his own foolhardiness? Matt Bevin’s fate looks grim as ethics-related lawsuits continue to pile up against him — and this is hopeful news for Kentucky because the state has strict impeachment guidelines and no recall vote laws for their governors.
Just a few months after he took office, Matt Bevin was ranked number four on a list of the worst governors, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.
Sadly, most of the reasons Matt Bevin is looked down on by Kentuckians is due to his inability to “fix” a problem with the state’s budget without throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Just to clarify- I'm unemployed because Matt Bevin cut NKU's budget to the point where they had to lay me off for the summer.
— Emily (@EmilyBrogarden) July 12, 2016
In an opinion piece published in USA Today around July 7, one Kentuckian described Governor Matt Bevin’s current reign as a “raid on Medicaid and affordable care” and that Matt Bevin has a “plan to blackmail the federal government with the lives of Kentuckians.”
Soon after taking office in January, Matt Bevin caused thousands of Kentuckians to go without Medicaid, Food Stamps/SNAP benefits, or other federal aid managed by the state by cancelling the state’s computerized enrollment system (Kynect) without having a proper backup.
Adding to this, Matt Bevin has also recently asked Kentuckians to pick up trash to get dental benefits.
While those actions are considered by many to be insulting and immoral on multiple levels (but not necessarily illegal), Matt Bevin has been accused of crossing the line into territory that could get him permanently removed from office.
In particular, Matt Bevin has decided that his reach as governor is further than it actually is, and an ethics lawsuit has been drawn up against him that will likely determine his fate in the next months.
— Jeff Marsh (@Fidgeteur) July 11, 2016
According to Courier Journal, around July 6, “The head of an organization that pushes for honesty in government said he has filed an ethics complaint against Governor Matt Bevin after his executive order that will give the governor authority to appoint all members of the Executive Branch Ethics Commission.”
Richard Bellies, chairman of The Common Cause of Kentucky, wrote in their complaint that Matt Bevin’s new activities concerning the Executive Branch Ethics Commission “‘would violate the spirit’ of state ethics law and would undermine public confidence in state government,” and felt that the commission should have its “independence” protected.
This latest ethics-related claim adds to the seven lawsuits Courier-Journal noted in July that involve Matt Bevin from his first six months in office.
One other ongoing ethics issue with Matt Bevin that is getting a fresh lawsuit concerns the University of Louisville and other boards in Kentucky. About the new lawsuit, Louisville Business Journal reported the following on July 5.
“[Andy] Beshear challenged Bevin’s claim that the governor had ‘absolute authority’ to disband and recreate any board. And he said the governor’s actions ‘eviscerate’ the state’s system of checks and balances.”
In mid-February, Matt Bevin also tried to go after Kentucky’s Executive Branch Ethics Commission by slashing their budget, WKYT reports.
However, it should be noted that Matt Bevin is losing some of his battles. For example, Planned Parenthood won a victory when a judge dismissed a lawsuit that Matt Bevin had filed against them for performing “illegal” abortions, according to a July 1 report from WDRB.
In the end, the message some Kentuckians want Matt Bevin to know is that they are very concerned about ethics, and they take the issue seriously.
In an opinion piece in the Lexington Herald-Leader on June 29, one Kentuckian talked about how ethics scandals have a history in Kentucky, and the last governor, Steve Beshear, “chose to diminish his own power as governor to enhance that of the ethics commission.”
In other words, Kentuckians know how to get rid of an unethical governor with bureaucracy thanks to the Ernie Fletcher scandals and BOPTROT.
Given Matt Bevin’s track record so far, it can be assumed that his days in office as Kentucky governor are likely numbered, and this is especially true if an alleged FBI ethics investigation of Matt Bevin produces results, according to an April report by Reuters. At that time, former governor Steve Beshear stated the following about that alleged FBI investigation.
“[Matt Bevin] demanded that Democratic legislators switch parties and threatened to cancel road projects in their districts if they didn’t comply. When they refused, [Bevin] said he would destroy them.”
[Photo by Timothy D. Easley/AP Images]