Lt. Gov. Abramson Offers Opinion of Fancy Farm
By Candice Freeland
LOUISVILLE, KY - Kentucky Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson is going into the weekend taking some intense heat for his comments this week at the Louisville Rotary Club, in which he described the Fancy Farm picnic as "an anachronism."
Video of the remarks can be viewed below.
Abramsom appears to scoff when expressing his views on the picnic, which is Kentucky's premier political event.
No one from the Lt. Governor's Office, would comment Friday, but Matt Erwin of Kentucky Democratic Party said that "The Kentucky Democratic Party is proud to have a strong showing of Democrats at Fancy Farm year after year, and we remain committed to its tradition."
Kelly Whitaker, the Democratic candidate for 2nd District State Representative, was dismayed at Abramson's comments, and issued the following statement:
"It's sad that Lt. Governor Abramson couldn't have simply explained to his Louisville audience that his reason for skipping this year's Fancy Farm Picnic was because it was his anniversary and he wanted to spend the day with his wife. I would have understood. The people of Fancy Farm would have understood...The fact that the Lt. Governor found it necessary to disparage our picnic and demean our community instead of telling the simple truth is unfortunate and disappointing."
Mark Wilson, Political Chairman of the Fancy Farm Picnic released this statement:
"As the organizer of political speaking for Fancy Farm, I along with the emcee have always made a good-faith effort to tame the crowd and for the visitors to be respectful to the invited speakers. It is hard for us as organizers to pull the reins on the crowd, so we deal with this issue the best we can and let the speakers speak and allow for the crowd to have a good time. I was pleased with the lineup of speakers and number of visitors that attended our 132nd annual picnic. I have the utmost confidence that the Fancy Farm Picnic will remain a vibrant institution and tradition for the Commonwealth of Kentucky in subsequent years".
Todd Hayden, Chairman of the Fancy Farm Picnic, released this statement.
“The Lt. Governor in his comments referred to the picnic as an anachronism and a institution. I believe if he knew what the St. Jerome Fancy Farm Picnic was really about he would have a different view. He, as most of the politicians, believe that they are the reason for the existence of the picnic. The fact is that several years ago they just started showing up because we had a lot of people to politic to. The organizers at that time were gracious enough to give them a platform and the organizers today are gracious enough to still invite them. Had he done his homework he would realize that the picnic is really a whole lot more than politics and a few boneheads yelling from the crowd. Not only is the picnic a fundraiser for the St Jerome Church, but it is a homecoming to many of the people who used to live here and a fun experience for those who are here for the first time. It is families and friends coming together and volunteering their time, talents, and treasures for a great cause. It is an economic boost to this area of Western Kentucky. A boost in which he and others chose not to be a part of this year. And isn't that what all politicians promise, to help the economy. Because they didn't show up our crowds were down a bit, but those who did come out spent much money, because our numbers were still very good. Had he known all of this I'm sure he wouldn't view us as something that is out of place in time. Hopefully he would view us for what we are, a church community along with all of our families and friends coming together for a great cause. And in today’s society, quiet frankly, isn't that what we need more of.”
Some members of the community have taken to facebook to express their concerns about Abramson's comments.
"REALLY?!? He may not have heard of the importance of the 'Happy Chandler' events... We should send him our website so that he can read-up on what goes on here. :) "
"Nice to know how he feels about small-town traditions."
"Reminds me of a fraternity brother of ours. Weasel!!!"