Political candidates visit Murray

Chris Wilcox
Staff writer

Kentucky Senate President David Williams, Republican, gave a campaign speech Friday in the CFSB Center Murray Room.

Ken Winters, Republican senator of District 1, started the campaign meeting by introducing Williams.

“I am delighted to have David Williams here today to share his jobs and economy plan,” he said.

On Sept. 1, 2010, Williams announced he would seek the governorship in 2011.

Williams is currently state Senate president, has been a state senator since 1987 and served as state representative from 1985 to 1987.

Winters said the David Williams Jobs and Economy Plan is a large component as to why Williams should be elected.

Williams said his plan is to create jobs and grow Kentucky’s economy for the future. Kentucky’s mismanagement of state government, Obama-style government spending and the state’s high unemployment is out of control.

“These political races are all about the future; I’m here to present one,” he said.

Williams gave a pamphlet designed to summarize several key goals to those who attended the meeting Friday.

Williams said he wants to eliminate personal and corporate income taxes. The plan will institute a commission to draw up an entirely new tax system.

Another of Williams’ goals is to jumpstart the economy through local tax offsets, business energy tax suspensions, building tax suspensions, expensing of business assets and eliminating the state taxes on hay, feed, cars and bourbon, Williams said.

He said he wants more jobs and less government. The proposed idea is to reduce the negative impact of large government bureaucracies on job creation.

The ideas for job creation are based around new administrative regulations, the plan stated.

Williams is pushing policies that include fighting Obama’s healthcare law. Williams said the Obama healthcare law was an unconstitutional intervention by the federal government and was economically crippling.

Williams’ plan also calls for legal and labor reforms.

He also wants to protect coal from the Environmental Protection Agency and to promote nuclear power, he said. He said if the French can use nuclear power so can we.

Other goals of Williams’ plan involve promoting and strengthening Kentucky’s agriculture through the Kentucky Proud organization and by opposing Obama’s EPA attacks on farms, reforming unemployment insurance and creating a sustainable pension reform.

Williams said Kentucky has the second highest expensive unemployment system.

“Kentucky is troubled economically and we need someone who can lead us into the future,” Vickie Travis, former campaign manager for senator Ken Winters and previous member of the Murray State Board of Regents, said. “My adult daughters and their families don’t live here because of limited job opportunities,” she said.

Travis said if Williams’ plan was put into action she could see Kentucky being restored to a place in which people fought to live.

Greg Delancey, Chair of the Calloway County Republican party, said Beshear isn’t the right choice for re-election.

Said Delancey: “(Beshear) hasn’t confronted the issues and has maintained the same attitudes as Obama.”

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Austin Ramsey

News Editor

 

Gov. Steve Beshear made a stop on campus Tuesday night at the Sid Easley Alumni Center, where he urged a group of about 40 local Democratic leaders to continue their support of his campaign for re-election.

Beshear spoke for approximately 30 minutes on his contributions to the Commonwealth as governor, after an introduction from state Rep. Melvin Henley. Beshear said he adopted the governor’s seat at a time of intense economic difficulty.

“We’ve all been fighting through the worst recession of our lifetimes,” he said. “You’ve struggled as families, you’ve struggled as businesses, you’ve struggled as county government, city government and we’ve struggled at the state level.”

Beshear said he responded to the Commonwealth’s financial crisis with more than $1 billion worth of cuts in budget spending and executive branch consolidation through cuts on hires and extended furloughs.

“Today we’ve got fewer people doing a lot more work,” he said.

To accomplish the cuts and consolidations, Beshear said he had to cross party lines and make difficult compromises.

“In cutting this billion dollars, we didn’t do it with a meat ax,” he said. “But you know, every time we had to do it, this guy I’m running against said the same thing: ‘Cut everything across the board.’”

Beshear said while his office was forced to make tough cutting choices, he set several statewide policies above the blade.

He said a few items on the Commonwealth agenda should remain intact. First on that list: education.

“We made education a priority,” he said. “And we worked hard to keep K-12 funded at the classroom level. We worked hard with higher education, with Murray State and with our other universities around the state.”

His efforts have made Kentucky education stand out nationally.

Beshear touched on the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems’ findings that Kentucky higher education has excelled beyond any other state in the nation.

Beshear said he considered himself and his staff responsible for statewide job growth due to the implementation of economic incentive packages aimed at existing Kentucky companies.

Following Beshear’s speech, he thanked several of the event’s attendees for coming, including President Randy Dunn, whom he congratulated for a successful job at Murray State.

Kyle Shupe, president of the College Democrats, who attended the event, said he was proud Beshear was able to speak in western Kentucky.

“This region of Kentucky sometimes feels neglected,” he said, “especially Murray State, as it is one of the best higher education institutions in Kentucky.”

Mike Pittman, a Murray attorney, sponsored the evening’s speech. He said he thinks Beshear’s acknowledgement of this region will not go unnoticed.

“Since he is from western Kentucky, I think this part of the state certainly means a lot to him,” Pittman said. “He’s been very supportive of Calloway County and the city of Murray and Murray State University.”

Beshear currently leads Republican Senate President David Williams in citizen polls, garnering up to a 57 percent lead in some. Williams holds approximately 26 percent of prospective voters, while Independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith a rapidly falling 8 percent of voters.

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