Outside of Washington, D.C. and the official conservative movement there are still a few old-style men of principle on the right. Here’s one, Kentucky state representative candidate Bernie Kunkel:
He home-schools his children; is against abortion and more taxes; believes government spends too much money; backs the Second Amendment and gun ownership rights; and decries Republican-backed legislation such as the Patriot Act, the federal anti-terrorism bill he says is a danger to American’s civil rights.
“I call it the unpatriotic act,” Kunkel said.
Raised on a farm, Kunkel is active in the region’s property rights movement, which fights local zoning attempts that restrict what farmers and others can do with their property, and is against what he calls “abuses” of eminent domain, the taking of private land by the government.
The party nabobs can’t stand him, naturally, but it seems like he isn’t afraid to tell them where they can go:
Soon after Kunkel announced his candidacy in late January a number of Kenton County Republican leaders sent out e-mails informing members of the party that Kunkel had recently contributed money to Perry Clark, a Louisville Democrat and former House member who won a special election in February to fill an open seat in the state Senate.
Kunkel offers no apology for the contribution, saying Clark has been a strong Frankfort advocate of property and gun rights. He also shrugs when told that some in his own party consider him a right wing, anti-government extremist.
“I’m a constitutionalist,” he said. If people use those labels to describe him “then I’m in good company with Jefferson, Henry, Madison … and the Founding Fathers.”