Opinion: Lexington Herald-Leader

By Jim Kimbrough

Jim KimbroughThere will be no end to the slings and arrows aimed at the AARP when we stand up to special interest groups and their allies, as seen in a recent commentary (“AARP serves its bottom line, not Kentucky’s seniors,” Jan. 24).  In today’s corrosive and partisan driven political arena, any principled organization fighting for its mission and members is going to take some hits.

For almost 55 years of staying true to its mission, AARP has remained committed to speaking out and being a leader on tough issues affecting everyone as we age. So, why does AARP take action on hot button issues like telephone deregulation? It’s simple: our mission and members demand that we take action, engage in the debate and help them make their voices heard — whether here in the statehouse or in our nation’s capital.

Basic landline telephone service is no luxury; it’s a lifeline for seniors and rural consumers.

AARP supports the use of advanced technologies; however, we will not ignore the risk of leaving rural, low-income and fixed-income Kentuckians without access to basic phone service, including 911-emergency service.

On behalf of our 460,000 Kentucky members, we will stay in the fight on telephone deregulation in our state. AARP and its grass-roots citizen advocates are in this fight to win it for our members and all Kentuckians who want a choice in keeping their landline telephone service. Politics may get nasty and personal, but AARP is drawing the line in Kentucky on protecting seniors’ access to affordable and reliable telephone service.

James T. Kimbrough
President,
AARP Kentucky