Scott Ritcher

1. Ensure that everyone in Kentucky has sufficient food, housing, and medical care. Our state has more resources than many countries where they take better care of each other.

2. Replace state income taxes with a simple, fair system that taxes everyone at the same rate and doesn't require calculations by taxpayers.

3. Revise elections to include voter-verifiable hard copies and allow voting from any location.

4. Limit the influence of big money in politics by creating clean campaigns, district-limited fundraising, voter-initiated ballot referenda, and eliminating paid lobbying.

5. End corporate welfare and taxpayer assistance to profitable companies.

Scott Ritcher Sticker


June 28
Visit our booth at the Germantown Shotgun Festival

September 18
Visit our booth at the Original Highlands Neighborhood Festival

September 27
Talent Show at the Rudyard Kipling, 422 W Oak St in Old Louisville, 10pm

October 6
Last day to register to vote to participate in the general election

November 4
Election Day

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Scott Ritcher for State Senategoals


I shouldn't have to stand up and say anything on this page. The United States is the richest country on earth, and yet I see homeless and hungry people in my Louisville neighborhood almost every day.

Our part-time legislature is populated with assorted attorneys and executives of private companies, many of whom have ridden into office with the help of big-money contributions from corporate interests.

Kentucky would have the greatest schools in the world if our students and teachers could afford the same teams of lobbyists who funnel our tax dollars into corporate subsidies.

Poverty would be a thing of the past if coal mining communities had the same political clout as the companies that destroy their landscapes and consume their workers.

Kentuckians would be infinitely healthier and would never again worry about the threat of medical bills turning into bankruptcy if campaign contributions from individuals were able to rival those of insurance and pharmaceutical corporations.

The simple fact is that voters just cannot compete on the same scale as these powerful interests. Corporations and special interests have our system on lock-down from virtually every angle. The result is the Kentucky government we know all too well.

They're too busy giving the coal companies a pass for the 100 miners who have lost their lives in the past ten years to bother treating this industry like the dirty polluter and backbreaking machine it is. They're too busy arguing about the Ten Commandments or putting God's name on our license plates to truly make him proud of something that could actually help those in need. They're too busy squabbling over casinos and same-sex marriage to realize we're losing all our teachers to the thirty-three other states that offer them a better living.

Our legislature carries on as if they're hobbyists around a model railroad set. Campaigning with corporate money and swarmed by lobbyists once in office, the individual voters have almost given up hope of ever being heard from. But it doesn't have to be this way.

An old friend of mine once said, "I'd rather be forgotten than remembered for giving in." That's exactly how I feel. And I believe it's exactly how thousands of Kentuckians feel.

I hope you'll join me in this important effort to show Frankfort that a candidate can rise from among ordinary people and be elected without the help of corporate backers. We can have our true voice heard in the Kentucky Senate whether they like it or not. We've lost way too much already to be afraid we have something to lose by taking a chance now.

Thank you so much,

Scott Ritcher

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Health Care

We should treat health care with the same level of shared obligation as the fire department, libraries, and police, by creating a statewide health care system that covers every Kentuckian free of charge and is included in our taxes.

The program should provide a basic level of coverage as a safety net for all residents to ensure that medical conditions can no longer result in financial problems.

Institute a minimum period of Kentucky residency before services are available to individuals, to ensure that people moving to the state for the health care program have paid into the system for several years.

Allow each patient to pick their own doctor and the freedom to see any doctor as conditions arise.

More than a quarter of health care costs now go into marketing, executive salaries, paperwork, profit, and other non-medical costs. These costs can be greatly reduced if Kentucky negotiates bulk prices for pharmaceuticals and medical services with providers on a wholesale, statewide scale as a single customer.

Nationally promote Kentucky's health care system as a competitive edge for businesses and a standard of living for residents that no other state could match. Moving the burden of basic health care costs off the shoulders of business owners will allow them to invest in expansions and improvements, increase wages for workers, and hire more employees.

Ensure that existing services and commercial insurance billing remain available at competitive rates for non-residents visiting Kentucky. Commercially available insurance should still be available to those who wish to augment their state coverage. Employers may choose to continue offering private insurance as an incentive for employees.

In the event that the federal government creates a national health care system, we could expand Kentucky's program to offer more services, or transition it to a new benefit such as drastically discounted college education for Kentuckians or free public transportation.



Paid lobbying must be completely eliminated. Currently, lobbyists in Frankfort outnumber members of our legislature by 5 to 1. In Washington, it's 54 to 1. This system that tolerates the influence of big money in our public affairs must be made a thing of the past.

All citizens should still be free to individually solicit their representatives and officials, however, no one should ever be paid for performing this service, nor compensated in any way, directly or indirectly, including gifts, trips, or implications of future compensation, employment, or benefits.

Significant penalties should be instituted for anyone who breaks or bends these laws. Elected officials must be directly accountable to the voters with no middlemen, no outside forces, and no corporate influences.



Completely revise the way elections are conducted. Develop, pilot-test, and deploy a new voting system that meets the following criteria:

Allow voters to vote from wherever they are on Election Day, no longer requiring them to travel to their home district; either make it possible for voters to go to the nearest polling place, or vote by telephone or computer.

The new system must be easy to use, more accurate than the current system, and provide proof to the voter that their vote was cast and counted accurately.

No longer require pre-registration for write-in candidates and ensure that the system efficiently tabulates write-in votes.

Election Day should be expanded to a period of several days – one of which should be a Saturday, Sunday or holiday – to allow for maximum convenience and increased participation.

The media must be prohibited from reporting exit polls at any time while voting is still being conducted.

Create voter-initiated ballot referendums. Voters must be able to propose legislation and get it on the ballot for a public vote by collecting a reasonable number of signatures, without requiring the participation of the legislature.

Begin keeping records for the party affiliation of voters who aren't Democrats or Republicans. Kentucky currently tabulates these voters' parties as "other" which prevents any minor party from accurately estimating its voter base in the state.

Split Kentucky's presidential electoral votes proportionally to the state's popular vote. Encourage the Federal government to replace the Electoral College with a direct popular vote for president.



Create clean, publicly funded campaigns - like those in Arizona and Maine - which eliminate the influence of big-money interests and allow less affluent people to seek office. Require publicly-funded candidates to collect signatures in their district in order to qualify for funds and ballot access.

Provide an opt-out system for candidates who wish to continue using traditional fundraising methods, but match those funds publicly for opposing candidates.

Require all candidates seeking office to raise funds only from donors within the district or area they are campaigning to represent. Currently, it is legal for huge corporate PACs and other entities from anywhere in the country to use their money to influence local elections in Kentucky. No one outside Kentucky or any particular district should have any ability to sway the outcome of our local elections. Alternatively, any out-of-district contributors could be required to donate an identical amount to the opposing candidates or to a fund for Kentucky's schools.

Remove the barriers that make it difficult for independent and third-party candidates to get on the ballot. Ballot access requirements should be identical (and simple) for all candidates and organizations, regardless of their political affiliation. The ability to run for public office is a basic American right.



Replace the state income tax system with a simple sales tax that eliminates the need for individuals to file tax returns. An expanded sales tax instead of income tax ensures that everyone is taxed at the same rate.

For most Kentuckians, the sales tax rate would be much lower than what they are currently paying in income taxes, and it would mean that no money would be deducted by the state from payroll checks.

Everyone eventually spends everything they earn, so all income is taxed more accurately than through income taxes and there is no way to fudge the numbers and no margin of error for mathematical miscalculations.

Because food, energy, and other necessities are sold at a fixed cost to everyone regardless of income, the new tax system must be created in a way that exempts Kentuckians who earn less than a designated minimum level from paying any state taxes. Alternatively, like the system in Rhode Island, necessities could be exempted from being taxed; items such as unprepared food, clothing, and home energy.

Professionals in the tax preparation business would receive free training so they could make the transition to providing services for retail establishments and tax rebate services for individuals.

All posted retail prices should include all applicable taxes to eliminate the need for on-the-fly calculations while shopping.

Optional tax rebate applications could be filed in place of deductions, but only if the taxpayer wants to take the time to submit them.

Require that any tax increases be approved by the people or a 3/4 majority of the legislature.



Make teaching a lucrative and comfortable career choice in Kentucky in order to attract serious teachers from across the country.

Kentucky currently ranks 34th nationally in teachers' pay, 16th in student-teacher ratio, and 30th in what we spend per student. Even if we were in the top ten in all of those categories, our schools would still lag behind much of the industrialized world. Kentucky needs to commit itself to the goal of being recognized for having some of the best schools in the nation. We should settle for nothing less.

Spread the school year across the entire 12-month calendar, keeping the same number of school days but eliminating the three-month downtime in the summer.

Start children in school a year earlier to advance their exposure to different, dynamic, stimulating environments. Children living in energizing environments during their earliest years have a future learning advantage over children who have lived in non-stimulating environments, even if they are offered the same education for the rest of their lives. A child's capacity for learning ultimately determines what he or she will be capable of as an adult.

Quality public education influences everything from productivity levels to crime rates. I believe education is the single most important factor in determining the quality of our society as a whole. It is imperative that we do everything we can to provide Kentucky's teachers and students with the tools the need to excel, regardless of the cost. Investing more money and resources in schools today will save us vastly greater amounts of money and resources in the future.



Kick-start the transition to renewable energy. I'd like to see some of our hardworking coal miners be able to make the transition out of the mines and into fresh air, working on safer, cleaner, renewable energy systems like solar and wind. There's only so much coal in the ground in Kentucky, and there's only so long people will continue to tolerate the pollution and destruction that come from collecting and burning it.

The younger generations will be increasingly more environmentally conscious. We need to think into the future, so there's no downtime or loss of jobs in Kentucky as America makes the transitions to cleaner, renewable fuels. Kentucky needs to be ahead of the curve on producing new forms of energy so we can continue to be a valuable provider while retaining the related jobs that accompany these industries.

Double, triple, or quadruple the coal severance tax. Currently, the corporations who destroy Kentucky's hillsides and communities to remove coal from beneath ground pay the state only 4.5% of the value of the coal. That's practically nothing in exchange for what they're taking from Kentucky.

This money is supposed to go back into the communities it comes from, but little of it finds its way there. With this money, coal mining communities should be the most beautiful places in Kentucky. They should have the best schools, the safest streets, and anything else they could possibly need.

Kentucky is one of the top three places in the country to get coal, so it's not as if coal companies will abandon our state if we have a higher tax rate on coal production. This is where the coal is and in order to get it out of the ground you have to pay our rate.

We are giving these companies the right to come into our state and take our non-renewable resources out of the ground and leave. When the coal is gone so, too, will these employers be. If we have retained only 4.5% of the massive revenue this resource has generated and not invested it completely in our communities, infrastructure, and social programs, we have allowed ourselves to be played for fools.


Workers' rights

Mandate a living wage. The minimum wage must be calculated by a formula which insures that a person working 40-hours-a-week at that rate can afford sufficiently reasonable housing, utilities, transportation, food, and entertainment. Just like the salaries of our legislators, the minimum wage should update automatically based on changes in the cost of living.

Hold companies accountable for their actions or inaction with relation to the safety of their workers. This should apply to every company, but I'm thinking of coal mining companies in particular. So much electricity is generated from the backbreaking sweat of our Kentucky miners. It sickens me that these companies are able to go on earning gigantic profits after a miner gets hurt or killed on the job. The penalties after such accidents should be substantial enough to force coal producers take these events seriously - seriously enough to prevent them. The company's bottom line should feel the same pain as the miners' families. Over 100 miners died in Kentucky between 1996 and 2005 - no other industry gets away with this, mining should be no different.



Make automobile insurance no-fault. Your insurance covers you and your car. This reduces accident disputes, litigation, police involvement, and the timeframe in which claims are settled.

Incorporate all highway and automobile infrastructure costs into the price of gasoline.

Institute mandatory, aggressive fuel efficiency minimums for new vehicles sold in Kentucky at rates higher than the federal levels.

Recognize that $2-a-gallon gasoline is never coming back and create a forward-looking plan for the transition away from individuals driving gasoline-powered internal combustion vehicles. Build substantial new investments in public transportation, including the exploration of a plan for a publicly-funded connection of the state's non-urban population centers.

Regulate the noise level and pollution emissions of motor vehicles. Provide assistance to low-income drivers who cannot afford to keep their vehicles up to standards.


Ethics and values

Mandate the highest ethical behavior for all levels of government in Kentucky. Create time-out penalties that prohibit offenders from participating in government for designated periods.

Poverty and homelessness must no longer be acceptable or tolerated in Kentucky. We are judged by how we treat the most vulnerable among us. Serious steps must be taken to ensure that no Kentuckian ever again dies from a lack of shelter, food, work, or medical care.

Discontinue the celebration of Columbus Day. Replace it with a Native American & Pioneer Heritage holiday that recognizes America's native cultures and pioneers ranging from Red Cloud and Sacagawea to Daniel Boone and Neil Armstrong.

Hold public votes on propositions to legalize, regulate, and significantly tax casino gambling, marijuana products, or any other controversial issue which is legal elsewhere and could potentially create new jobs, economic growth, and revenues for state programs.


Separation of Church and State

Amend Kentucky's constitution and write separation of church and state into the law. Religious groups cannot be involved in government and government cannot be involved in religion.

Churches and religious organizations that participate in public policy debate, advocate political views, make use of the airwaves, or host political functions must be taxed at the same rate as everyone else.

Prohibit the state from using "In God We Trust" or any other slogan which may be interpreted as an endorsement of any particular religion or belief. Mandate that if the state wishes to use belief-based slogans on official documents or products, it must also make alternate versions available, at no additional charge, bearing any slogan a citizen requests.


Corporate Welfare

End corporate welfare immediately. No more use of taxpayer dollars as incentives, rebates, or bail-outs for corporations. If you can't successfully operate your own company, perhaps you should work for someone else. Taxpayer money cannot be used as a safety net for poorly-run capitalism.


State Budget

The Commonwealth must operate within its means and never borrow money. Small surpluses must be created each year and placed into savings in order to ensure we have the resources to handle any unforeseen shortfalls, disasters, or events. These funds should be used only in the event of an emergency.



Prohibit banks from implementing stealth fees. Programs like "courtesy overdraft protection" allow overdrafts and add large fees without notifying the customer that a transaction would exceed their account balance. The customer may not know until days later that their account has been overdrawn and by then the fees have compounded.

Systems like these that quietly add large fees to a customer's account without their knowledge must be eliminated or be implemented only at the customer's request. Transactions in excess of a customer's balance must be declined by default. Exceeding one's balance is already against the law and the technology to prevent it has existed for decades. Banks must be prohibited from enabling illegal transactions and generating profits from them.





"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a time of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality."


This is the official campaign web site for Kentucky State Senate candidate Scott Ritcher.
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Ballot Revolution .org : Scott Ritcher, 1998 Reform Party candidate for Louisville Mayor and 2008 candidate for Kentucky's state senate, political site