This past week I attended and took part in the 130th Annual Fancy Farm Picnic. For years it has been a bi-partisan event where partisanship was part of the fun. This year there were a few different people who dressed up and partook in political satire to make a political statement. The former mayor of Louisville dressed up as a Neanderthal and was called “NeanderPaul” and claimed Paul will take us back to the Stone Age. Additionally, there were two men dressed up as grim reapers who walked through the crowd holding signs that said, “Conway’s Death Tax” and a man in a dolphin suit who held up a sign that read Conway flips on “Cap and Trade”. Unfortunately, the dolphin does not end my summary of the Fancy Farm theatrical getups.
I did something that was stupid, not in the best of taste, and that I have regretted since the moment I left Fancy Farm, and for this act, I deeply apologize. I wore a tin foil hat “to keep the government out of my head”, sported a Rand Paul 2010 sign on my back, and had a sign with a Dora the Explorer piñata (a Hispanic cartoon character) that was duct taped to it that read, “They take our Jobs, Steal the American Dream, corrupt our children, Rand Paul 2010.” The purpose was to use satire to protest the lack of sympathy that I felt Hispanics were not given considering some of their situations. I respect all opinions and justified convictions that people who disagree with me may have.
I paraded around Fancy Farm as a Rand Paul supporter and sorry to say was taken seriously by some. While there are a few people who are motivated by race in whom or what they support, I do not believe that includes the majority of Rand Paul supporters. While I have criticized the TEA party movement in the past, I recognize them as Patriotic Americans who want to make a difference and bring about change that this country is in desperate need of, and my words have not been guarded as well as they should have been. For that I cannot express enough remorse. I have never tried to infiltrate a Tea Party event and I never will. Furthermore, I believe that infiltration is wrong—period , even if someone believes that the end justifies the means. There is no justification in trying to infringe on anyone’s 1st amendment right, and I believe Tea Party infiltration fits that bill.
I am not associated nor do I stay in contact with either the Rand Paul or Jack Conway campaigns. There is a huge difference in merely being a supporter of a candidate and being asked by that same campaign to parade around in a derogatory costume. I was not asked by anyone to act as I did. Those that truly know me understand that unfortunately I “did stupid” all by myself. I didn’t need any help. I would like to apologize for the disturbance and hurt feelings that I caused this last week and I have denied contact with the media because I have no desire to become “Joe the Plumber” of 2010.
When being interviewed by Channel 11 News, the reporter asked me a few questions in which I am addressing in this article. I reacted the way I did because I had never been interviewed before, and I was struggling with the spur of the moment decision to explain it as satire or stay in character. I wrongly chose staying in character. I have not released an apology sooner because I have tried to shield my family from any backlash, and I did not want a sensationalized media story. I further apologize to my family, Crittenden County and my readers for not holding myself to the standards that I have for myself. What I did was wrong and I will not try to justify it.
I have always tried to fight for people who do not have a voice and are afraid of being bombarded if their views might differ from someone else’s. For several reasons I have decided to stop writing for the Crittenden Press and put a temporary hold on any political involvement during this campaign cycle except for voting. I do encourage everyone to look at all of the issues in full and think long and hard before they cast their ballot this November.