19th Senate Dist. candidate Cunningham, focused on greener environment and economy

05/09/2012 05:09 PM

(Third in a series on the 19th Senate District primary) – Sarah Lynn Cunningham, one of four Democrats candidates running to replace Louisville Sen. Tim Shaughnessey, said the best way for Kentuckians to see more green is to be more green.

Cunningham, an environmental engineer, said it’s time for Kentucky to move away from coal as an energy source and invest in green jobs.

“We apparently need some people with the guts to say, gang we’ve gotta start transitioning. There’s a whole lot of weight in Frankfort to keep the thing going,” Cunningham says (at 1:20 in the video).

In addition to supporting eliminating pay for legislators when a special session is required to finish their work, Cunningham wants to see more reforms of the system. She doesn’t support term limits.

“That’s one of those situations where if one person acts bad, the whole class is punished,” she said of term limits.

But she said she favors adding a “None of the Above” option on voters’ ballots, which is an option in Nevada.

That way, she said, voters could register their frustration with a field of candidates, and if the “None” option gets a plurality of votes in an election, it has to be run over again.

Cunningham who has been endorsed by the Sierra Club said, if elected, she would consider “user fees” for coal and utility companies whose vehicles damage roadways. She said the way to offset hypothetical losses incurred to coal companies is through a green initiative of blue collar workers installing energy efficient utilities. And, in a Pure Politics first, Cunningham brought some props for show and tell:

Cunningham gained notice in the Louisville area eight years ago when she blew the whistle on political patronage in the Metropolitan Sewer District, where she worked as an engineer at the time. She later won a federal lawsuit against the lawsuit for improperly laying her off.

The 19th state Senate District is one of the most competitive primaries this election year with Cunningham – who is an environmental engineer facing off against lawyer Morgan McGarvey, University of Louisville lawyer Amy Shoemaker, and golf pro Gary Demling.

(Programming note: McGarvey will be featured Thursday night on Pure Politics. Shoemaker appeared on Pure Politics Friday, and Demling appeared on Tuesday.)


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