I had the opportunity to meet and speak at length with Col. Andrew Horne tonight and was quite surprised at his candor and understanding of the issues important to Rural and Western Kentucky. Answering my questions for almost 30 minutes, Col. Horne addressed all eight issues that I selected as a sampling. Many of these issues have been a draw back for most Democrats seeking to go to Washington the last 15 years. I found Horne to be impressive in his delivery and appreciated his honesty. At no time did Col. Horne try to dodge a question or spin an answer. He was forthright and appeared eager to hear about some of the issues that affect the Pennyrile. I will go through these issues and attempt to paraphrase the positions he gave.
Horne stated that he supports the Second Amendment Right to bear arms.
Land Between the Lakes(LBL)
Committed to the continued support and protection of the LBL.
Coal & Energy
Stated that although he is an avid supporter of the environment, Kentucky must have the opportunity to harvest our largest natural resource. Horne did say that he believed that we needed to strive to provide the most environmentally safe methods for harvesting our coal. He commented that our nation needs an energy policy and he understood the reality of Kentucky needing to use coal in the short term until long term solutions for our energy needs can be developed. While appearing to be far from a coal advocate, Horne seemed resigned to the practicality of not turning our backs on the opportunity to create jobs and energy here in Kentucky.
I-69 & I-66
Horne stated that he supported these projects and others that would continue to build infrastructure and create economic opportunities for Kentucky. We discussed the long history of these projects and the funding roadblocks that will probably continue for many years to come. As politics in Washington change so does the politics of these projects.
The Farm Bill
With all the implications to Kentucky farmers, Horne said that he was committed to working for a Farm Bill that would be beneficial to Kentucky Farms. Horne seemed eager to have the opportunity to listen and speak with Agriculture Leaders regarding this important legislation.
Col. Horne did not have to be briefed on this subject so we did not spend much time on it. Horne was obviously committed to Fort Campbell and a strong National Defense. He has serious reservations regarding the war in Iraq and how it has been handled.
Christian County and the surrounding area has had a large number of families who choose to home school. Col. Horne stated that he supported the right of families to home school their children. Col. Horne while not giving up his support for public education, stated that he believed families were guaranteed this right under the Constitution.
Like so many of us, Col. Horne did seem to struggle with this issue. He did not waiver on his opinion but you could tell that he would prefer that people chose not to have abortions. He stated that he would support programs that would educate and help limit the amount of abortions in this Country.
Col. Horne made it pretty clear that he believes in the Constitution and that his political convictions were not the convictions of a Democrat or a Republican but were convictions derived by someone who believes in the United States Constitution.
I found Col. Horne to be unique in his positions and philosophy about issues. Whereas we in Rural Kentucky have always required a litmus test for our candidates, Col. Horne seemed to make his candidacy very simple in this regard, If the Constitution affords you the right to do something then he supports your right to do so as protected under the Constitution.
As a Conservative on most issues, I'm known for being a hard sell for Democrats trying to get elected down here but I will have to admit that I found Col. Andrew Horne very appealing. He has all the qualities of a good candidate. While not giving up his personal beliefs and support of issues like the enviorment, Col. Horne came across as someone who is practical in his approach to finding solutions to our Nations problems. It was obvious to me that Col. Horne was very sensitive to the prevailing view that Republicans and Democrats have failed the middle class and that Rural voters are looking for new leadership that will provide a no non-sense and common sense approach to government. While we don't always like what others do, I believe Col. Horne will fight to preserve our God given rights and the rights of others whom we may not always agree with. For Col. Horne it is not about left or right, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican its about an oath he took to protect, defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States for all Americans.
It is still a little early but I think Col. Andrew Horne may have enough matches in his box to start a big fire down here in Western Kentucky.