Bunning should be voted out

October 17, 2004

Dear Editor:

Recent polls show Jim Bunning's lead over Dan Mongiardo quickly shrinking. Bunning's behavior has become an embarrassment for the state of Kentucky and has even raised questions about his mental health.

His recent TV ad labeling Mongiardo as a "Medicaid millionaire" is dishonest and assumes that Kentuckians aren't smart enough to notice. The ad claims that Mongiardo is "growing rich on our tax dollars," having billed Medicaid for $3,000,000 and purchased a "sleek private airplane" and "a plush, luxurious home." The home and plane shown in the ad are not Mongiardo's. His house is much more modest, and his plane is a 1991single-engine model. The ad doesn't mention that the $3,000,000 was billed over thirteen years and includes overhead.

If Mongiardo had been interested in getting wealthy, he would not have opened a practice in Hazard serving poor patients, and he would not have helped open a free clinic there. Bunning seems to think that there's something sleazy about taking part in a government program designed to help the poor get medical care.


Bunning seems to avoid contact with the press or public whenever possible. He goes to public gatherings in Kentucky surrounded by police guards. According to the Paducah Sun, Bunning is worried about being attacked by al Qaida.

He denied in April that he said Mongiardo (who has a Mediterranean complexion) resembled the sons of Saddam Hussein and "even dresses like them, too." Finally, he had to admit it when he was told that his talk had been videotaped.

He backed out, at the last minute, of a face-to-face debate with Mongiardo in Lexington, claiming he had to stay in Washington. He declined Mongiardo's offer to debate him there or re-schedule. Instead, he insisted on being videotaped alone at Republican headquarters in DC.

According to the Courier-Journal, Bunning shocked many Louisville civic leaders last February when he falsely claimed that construction of a bridge in Louisville will have to be delayed because Northern Kentucky needs a new bridge across the Ohio River at Cincinnati. Louisville Republican Rep. Anne Northup had to explain that Bunning is "confused" and "mistaken."

I hope Kentuckians will have the good sense to vote him out.

Brian Cooney


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