A post by KYD Vice President Travis Scott from Leander, KY

Two weeks ago I found myself at home in Johnson County celebrating the decade that passed since I graduated high school. The class of 2000 came together, reminisced with old friends, shared pictures of our families, swapped stories of college, jobs, and marriages, and wondered at how much we had changed since we walked off of that football field at graduation ten years ago. Some of us became lawyers, some professionals, others members of the military, and others firefighters. I think I was the only politician present. Some of us however weren’t present.

Out of more than 250 graduates, nine have passed away in the last decade. Of those nine, at least one for sure and possibly another lost his or her life to the drug epidemic that has plagued the mountains. Every time I go home, I open the paper to see the names of more casualties: people I went to school with, rode the bus with, went to church with, played Little League with -- all destroyed because of a prescription pill epidemic.

As the body count rises in Eastern Kentucky, Rand Paul tells reporters that the drug epidemic is “not a pressing issue”. My jaw literally dropped to the ground when I read this comment. I can make a list of names of lives I’ve seen demolished, of funerals my Dad has preached, all of whom Rand Paul believes are “not a pressing issue”. Rand Paul’s call to withdraw funding for federal drug investigations would destroy this region's prosperity. Programs like Operation UNITE have made great headway into combating the problem. To withdraw now would be akin to landing on the beaches of Normandy and turning around and going home. We cannot afford that in Eastern Kentucky.

Jack Conway, however, knows the cost of the prescription drug epidemic in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. As Attorney General, he shut down a prescription pill pipeline from Florida to Kentucky, arresting more than 500 would-be distributors of prescription pills and methamphetamines. Working with Operation Unite, Conway has helped to take more than 100,000 illegal pills off the street.

Rand Paul has shown his true colors: from his deriding the Fancy Farm picnic as a beer throwing contest to thinking the “Dukes of Hazzard” was set in Harlan, he has made it abundantly clear doesn’t care about Kentucky and that he doesn’t want to learn our rich culture and what it really means to be from this great state. For him, Kentucky is just a pit stop on his way to some higher office. Let’s all work together to make sure his trip to Washington breaks down somewhere along the Mountain Parkway by sending Jack Conway to the United States Senate.

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