We all know that I do not Care for Rep. Bill Farmer. His history in the state legislature has been one of voting for everything on the Republican agenda, and occasionally introducing a piece of legislation proposing changes to tax codes or paperwork requirements. I can understand an accountant wanting to improve tax codes: Kentucky has a pretty unwieldy system, but I expected more from my representative. This year Farmer faces a challenger from within his party. (I guess consistently voting the party line isn't enough to keep the Republicans happy.)
In response to the heat from his side of the aisle, Farmer has gotten more active. Since January of 2005 he has introduced eleven bills, only four of which pertain to his profession. The others are...well, interesting.
Farmer has introduced legislation to grant hardship drivers licenses to individuals who lost that privilege for driving under the influence. My daughter grew up without a father because of a drunk driver. Those of us who have worked hard to get stop the deadly combination of drinking and driving have excellent reasons to oppose this measure.
He has proposed the federal government be given control of state spending, giving the federal government sole power over reimbursement rates for private automobiles used for state functions. This bill would strip authority to set rates from our finance officials, and give it to the Feds. Is this because they have done such an excellent job in Washington?
My personal favorite Farmer fiasco is Bill 47. This effort is best described as an incumbent’s dream. Rep. Farmer wants to criminalize using a person's name, or image, in advertising or other ways without their consent. In other words, he wants to make it illegal for you and I to say anything about him without his permission. Nice. To be fair, he has offered to exempt the media, but a Blog like this is not considered media by our state government. Just a short time ago this fact was brought home to bloggers when a few tried to get media passes to the legislative sessions. What does it matter if his plan infringes upon freedom of speech? It stops us from saying anything negative about his actions. What more could an incumbent want?
Given the quality of Rep. Bill Farmer's bills, perhaps he should go back to being a do-nothing legislator. I liked him better when he was not actively trying to make law.