FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A Southern humorist and political
candidate who angered Appalachian residents with jokes they
considered offensive won't be allowed to sell CDs in a state park
in Kentucky's hill country.
The Kentucky Department of Parks ordered recordings of
comic-turned-politician Robert Farmer off the shelves at Cumberland
Falls State Resort Park late Tuesday.
Farmer, who is running for the elected office of agriculture
commissioner, drew no laughs from mountaineers with a stand-up
routine that stereotypes them as toothless, inbred and living in a
place "where cars are up on blocks and houses are on wheels."
Republican Party Chairman Steve Robertson called on Gov. Steve
Beshear, who is up for re-election, to order the CDs removed from
the park gift shop. The Department of Parks had the material
removed shortly afterward.
"Why in the world would the Beshear administration allow this
man to peddle his bigotry through the state parks?" Robertson
asked. "You can't condemn the man's jokes and promote them at the
Farmer, a Louisville marketing consultant and comedian, had no
immediate comment. His campaign spokesman Brian Wright said the
issue was political.
"He has a commanding lead in the polls," Wright said of
Farmer. "And this attack is just another desperate attempt to
salvage our opponent's losing campaign."
Farmer faces Republican James Comer, a longtime state lawmaker
and farmer from Tompkinsville, in the Nov. 8 election.
Department of Parks spokesman Gil Lawson said in a statement the
decision to pull the CDs was made by consensus at management level
in Frankfort because Farmer is a candidate for elected office.
"Local gift shop managers routinely make choices on the
products offered in park gift shops," Lawson said. "Mr. Farmer's
CDs have been on sale at the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
gift shop for some time, and that is the only state park gift shop
where they are sold."
In a video clip distributed online by the Comer campaign earlier
this year, Farmer joked that people in eastern Kentucky don't trust
him because he has shoes on and has all his teeth.
In the stand-up routine recorded in Indiana, Farmer joked that
the FBI won't conduct investigations in one mountain county "cause
all the DNA is alike and there ain't no dental records."
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)