Kentucky Club for Growth
fighting and winning for economic freedom

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September 28, 2011

Statewide Links for September 28, 2011

Candidate for Agriculture Commissioner James Comer asks for ethics complaint to be dismissed

Three new ads on behalf of Governor Candidate David Williams originating from Attorney General candidate Todd P'Pool's media firm

Kentuckians should be "steamed" at Governor Steve Beshear, says the Courier-Journal

Ridiculous Attorney General candidate Jack Conway doesn't agree to the lawsuit he agreed to participate in

Steve Beshear uses taxpayer dollars to help his political donors and friends

September 26, 2011

Williams Discusses Philosophy of Eliminating the Income Tax

In a recent article describing his jobs proposal, Governor Candidate David Williams described the advantages of moving to a consumption-based tax code:

"If you tax productivity, under the laws of economics, you discourage productive businesses," Williams said. "If you tax consumption, people will make discerning choices about consumption and you will encourage productivity. If you look at states that have done away with income taxes, states like Texas, Tennessee and Florida, many jobs there were created after they adopted that."

It is inherently better to tax things you can decide for yourself whether to consume, instead of taxing the activity we must all participate in -- earning an income.

September 23, 2011

Beshear Open to Broad-Based Tax Increases

In a non-nonsensical response to David Williams pro-growth policy proposal, Governor Steve Beshear's campaign said this:

"Gov. Beshear has balanced the budget nine times in three-plus years, without broad-based tax increases and while protecting critical areas like education, health care and public safety," Erwin wrote in the statement. "Gov. Beshear is open to hearing ideas on how to improve laws and policies regarding revenues. However, he does not favor any broad-based tax increases on families or businesses at this time."

We're sure Matt Erwin didn't really mean that Beshear plans on considering broad-based tax increases at some other time, but that's certainly what the careless statement indicates.

It's just another indicator of how little the Beshear campaign cares to engage the citizens of Kentucky.

September 22, 2011

A Quick Analysis of the Williams Jobs Plan

This is a reprint from our newsletter. If you do not currently receive our newsletter, you can sign up for it for free here.

Candidate for Governor David Williams has unveiled an ambitious jobs plan which would make Kentucky a much more competitive state for job creation. There is no qualification needed to this statement.

Rather than rewrite the entire plan in this space, I'll just mention a few of the strongest proposals, and highlight a few areas of weakness.

The plan supports comprehensive tax reform through commission as Williams proposed in SB1 during the 2011 regular session. He strengthens it in this proposal by clarifying that the objective would be the elimination of individual and corporate income taxes.  He offers seven immediate tax suspensions that would encourage investment and consumption. He will limit regulatory activity by requiring state regulations to be no more stringent than federal regulations, and would impose a universal 24-month sunset to all regulations. Perhaps his most important elements are championing reform of medical malpractice torts, reforming Kentucky's excessively expensive unemployment insurance system, and proposing the necessary reform of the state pension system to a defined-contribution plan.  These are all incredibly important.

I'm not sure whether to consider it innovative or ducking the issue, but he suggests allowing local options on right-to-work and prevailing wages. From one perspective, prevailing wage needs to be repealed across the state, and all Kentucky employees should be protected from having to pay union dues if they so choose. This should not be a local option, but a statewide issue. Considering the practical consequences of such a policy, it would seem that as some counties implement these options and begin to receive the resulting attention from new employers, few counties would be willing or able to be left out.  Perhaps this is a way forward.

The proposal contains a few disappointments.  I am skeptical about the creation of a venture capital fund as a part of the state's economic development efforts, as it would seem to compete with venture capital efforts not directed by the state.  Also, he proposes a program patterned after the GeorgiaWork$ program, even though the director of GeorgiaWork$ questions the effectiveness of the program.

Overall, we hope David Williams continues to champion these proposals next year no matter what office he holds.

Beshear Criticizes Beshear's Cowardace

From Joe Gerth:

The Democratic governor has found time to attend ribbon cuttings for factories that have announced they are creating a handful of new jobs in Kentucky, and he's made other stops around the state, but he can't find time to talk face-to-face with Republican Senate President David Williams and independent Gatewood Galbraith.

Beshear even found time to attend a football game this weekend, but he couldn't find time to go helmet-to-helmet with his opponents.

...Beshear has turned down debates sponsored by the Kentucky Press Association, the Louisville Forum and chambers of commerce across the state.

Last week, the Bowling Green Chamber canceled its debate when Beshear said he wouldn't show.

He's refused church picnics and community celebrations that he knew Williams would attend. Heck, he even reneged on his pledge to attend an event in Democrat-friendly western Louisville after Williams confirmed his appearance.

What's Steve Beshear say about such tactics?

"I think it's time that candidates such as (U.S. Sen.) Mitch McConnell quit hiding behind the 30-second ads and come out and discuss issues all across this state," Beshear said in 1996 as he challenged McConnell, then a two-term incumbent.

September 21, 2011

Who's Excited for the Barack Obama Visit?

No one.

A NKY.com article covering the visit couldn't find any legislator or elected official who would say anything nice about the President other than they're glad he realizes that there's a bridge between Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.

OK, one Democratic NKY lawmaker, Rep. Arnold Simpson, suggested the the President was trying to create jobs:

"Now the president has recognized the span, and it is now more likely we will have the situation remedied, hopefully in the immediate future," Simpson said. "This is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. We've been in unison with all the members of Congress. This should be greeted with some optimism throughout the region."

"What the president is trying to do is promote his jobs bill and is giving examples of what could result if the bill was passed."

And Covington Mayor Denny Bowman thinks the President is doing well:

"I think he's doing the right thing now and going around to the people," Bowman said of Obama. "I hope he continues to do that. I hope both parties can look at this infrastructure and make it a priority."

But mostly, state lawmakers welcomed his sudden recognition that the region existed.

Rep. Sal Santoro:

"I'm glad the president recognizes the Brent Spence project as of national significance," said State Rep. Sal Santoro, R-Florence. "That's I-75. It handles traffic from Michigan to Florida. I only wish he had become aware of it last year."

"Those federal regulations across the country have delayed shovel-ready projects," Santoro said. "They've crippled the Kentucky coal industry. He needs to suspend these regulations and get these projects going."

Sen. Damon Thayer:

"I'm not sure the president knew what the Brent Spence Bridge was before last week," Thayer said. "I think it's a political ploy. Why did it take him nearly three years for this major bridge project to appear on his radar screen?"

Statewide Links for September 21, 2011

Candidate for Treasurer Todd Hollenbach gets endorsed by nobody cares

Attorney General Candidate Todd P'Pool says Jack Conway is letting Barack Obama destroy America

Some Republican candidates will appear in Hopkinsville on Thursday evening

The Executive Branch Ethics Committee may be investigating accusations of illegal/unethical activity in the the administrations of Steve Beshear and Richie Farmer, but they aren't saying

Some columnist's senior cousin thinks David Williams' shirt is a bad color

Jack Conway Obviously Desperate

Attorney General candidate Jack Conway recently said this about his opponent:

The Conway campaign said the police log is alarming.

"These revelations are disturbing and raise serious concerns about our opponent's fitness to potentially serve as the state's top law enforcement officer," said Conway spokeswoman Allison Haley.

ALARMING!

What's so alarming about Todd P'Pool?

Once upon a time, his wife's aunt was listed in a police call log accusing him of causing a disturbance.

The log lists P'Pool's aunt by marriage, Nita Smaldone, as the caller. It gives no details about the nature of the disturbance at her residence, and P'Pool declined to elaborate.

Smaldone said in a letter five years later that it involved "a dispute over something very silly."

So the police were called. They investigated and found...what?

Madisonville Police Maj. Chris Taylor said the police log entry on Aug. 29, 2001, obtained by The Associated Press under the Kentucky open records law, is the only record of Smaldone's complaint. He said that the dispatching center has no recording of the actual call, and that the investigating officer wrote up no incident report.

"We don't usually do any type of report on a situation of this nature," Taylor said.

There's no report, no arrest, not even a disturbance. There was no follow-up.

Oh, except this -

The campaign provided the AP with the letter Smaldone wrote during P'Pool's 2006 race for Hopkins County attorney.

"I deeply regret that this harmless event is being used to attack Todd," she wrote at the time. "Anyone who knows Todd knows that he is a good and decent man who loves his family and has impeccable integrity."

No report, no disturbance, and the only person in the record calls it "harmless."

There is nothing in Todd P'Pool's activity that is "alarming".

What is alarming, is Jack Conway's obvious desperation to roll this out, and Roger Alford's complicity in writing about this complete lack of an incident.

September 16, 2011

When is Gatewood Actually for Limited Government?

We're beginning to think that the only time Gatewood-Riley actually supports limited government is when it comes to guns and weed.

The first tip-off was his proposal to allow casinos in Kentucky, but only if they're government-owned:

"The Gatewood/Riley ticket truly differs from all the other candidates and hopefully earns your support as we see the Horse Industry as a worthy investment. We believe our Commonwealth should own Kentucky's gaming enterprise (like the Native Americans own their casinos)..."

Next, in a letter to state workers, the ticket promises automatic raises...

"Every budget will contain cost of living adjustments for all employees."

...and suggests that more tax dollars are all the only solution necessary to fix the $31 billion underfunded state pension system...

"Every budget will make positive steps to correct the underfunding of the Kentucky Retirement System. We cannot fix decades of legislative underfunding of the retirement system in four years, but we can start moving the system to a sound actuarial base."

...and specifically suggests that higher state revenues are needed.

"We will work with the General Assembly to adequately reform our tax system so it will adequately fund the operation of state government and end the chronic budget problems..."

Fortunately, they promise not to raise taxes ("WE WILL NOT RAISE ANY TAX") and they promise to consider cutting some:

The people, individuals and small business owners shoulder too much of Kentucky's tax burden, as it is and we believe and fully support relief. This is not a promise to cut taxes, but if we can, we will.

Most recently, Galbraith running mate Dea Riley was found joining unions to protest Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Dea Riley, running mate with Galbraith, participated in the protest against Walker.

She said Walker "has no real business in Kentucky and should return to Wisconsin posthaste."

What were they protesting? A most simple principle of liberty -- that no person should be forced to pay dues to a union if they do not want to belong to a union.

Gatewood once wrote that he was "the last free man in America". His campaign certainly seems to lean much more towards government and union control.

September 14, 2011

Ridiculous Legislators Passing the Buck

Yesterday, the "Administrative Regulation Review" Subcommittee of the General Assembly, members were on hand to review the proposed regulations that will allow non-physician Optometrists to preform eye surgery in Kentucky, codifying RS11 SB 110.

At the hearing for the regulations, Kentucky ophthalmologists continued their objections to regulations that they feel did not require sufficient training to preform eye surgery.

Ophthalmologists testified that the regulations require an insufficient amount of training -- 32 hours -- for optometrists to perform certain laser surgeries under a new law.

"How can you approve a regulation requiring only 32 additional hours of training when cosmetologists require 1,700 hours before they are licensed to style hair independently in this state?" said Julie Lee, an ophthalmologist from Louisville.

Additionally, they felt that the regulation drafters did not follow open meeting requirements.

The ophthalmologists and the Kentucky Medical Association also complained Tuesday that the process used by the Board of Optometry in writing the regulations violated the state open meetings law. They argued they had no notice of meetings of a 10-member task force created by the Kentucky Optometric Association to draft the regulations.

"This secrecy raises questions of possible conflicts of interest of task force members who possibly stood to gain financially," Lee said.

These are serious concerns that should give any legislator pause. However, if you believe the spongy legislators on the "Administrative Regulation Review" Subcommittee, it is not their place or responsibility to judge or even criticize the proposed regulations.

"The law is passed, we can't do anything about that," said Rep. Danny Ford, R-Mount Vernon.

Rep. Johnny Bell, a Glasgow Democrat and chairman of the subcommittee, said an open meetings conflict was beyond his panel's responsibility and "would have to be taken up in the court system."

Next time you see Representatives Ford or Bell, you may be curious to ask them if, since they feel so constrained in their ability to review regulations, shouldn't they give their seats on the Regulation Review committee (and perhaps the General Assembly) to someone who is more interested in looking out for the interests of Kentuckians?

September 13, 2011

American Family Association of Kentucky Wants Green's Council Seat

Now that Judy Green has finally resigned her seat on the Louisville city council, the American Family Association wants to lobby on behalf of Ray Barker.

From an email:

Time for New Leadership On Metro Council District 1

Judy Green, Metro City Council Member from the 1st District of Jefferson County resigned recently. We would like to see Ray Barker take her place. He is an outstanding community leader; served in the military and as a Louisville Policeman. He is a conservative Christian.

Mr. Barker ran against Ms. Green in the last election and did very well.

Please click here now to send a message to Mayor Greg Fischer, the council members and their staff, and ask them to consider Ray Barker for the remaining term of Judy Green in the 1st Metro Council District.

Green's replacement will be selected by the council:

It's unclear when that process will start, but state law calls for the council to choose an interim replacement after Green's removal is official. The council will accept applications from District 1 residents interested in filling the vacancy, interview them, and elect the interim replacement by a majority vote.

Scott Walker to Visit Lexington, NKY

Scott Walker, as you probably know, is the Governor of Wisconsin.

In his short tenure in office he has truly worked to address the long-term problems facing Wisconsin and make Wisconsin a more business-friendly state.

Earlier this year, he defeated President Obama and a cabal of unions to simply stop the state government from doing the unions' work for them.

On Thursday, Gov. Walker is visiting Kentucky.

All are invited to come out to rallies in Lexington and Northern Kentucky to meet him. Here are the details.

Lexington
9:45 am
Lexington Victory Office
241 Southland Drive; Lexington

Edgewood
1:45 pm
Northern Kentucky Victory Office
3005 Dixie Highway; Suite 60; Edgewood

Statewide Links for September 13, 2011

Candidate for Governor David Williams receives Right-to-Life endorsements

Governor candidate Steve Beshear lacked the courage to attend a forum in Louisville's West End

Williams says President Obama's new spending plan reminds him of Beshear's budget efforts

The Courier-Journal suspects that Governor Beshear is scared of David Williams and is "cheating the voters"

Attorney General candidate Jack Conway avoided the Sierra Club's questions

September 8, 2011

Statewide Links for September 8, 2011

Governor candidate Steve Beshear cancels on a forum organized by State Rep. Reggie Meeks

Beshear's timidity really comes across as arrogance, according to the Herald Leader

Everyone except Beshear will attend an Owensboro picnic on Monday

Attorney General candidate Jack Conway didn't even show up for discussion with Fraternal Order of Police

Also, Democratic Fayette County Attorney Larry Roberts endorsed Attorney General candidate Todd P'Pool

September 7, 2011

Statewide Links for September 7, 2011

Attorney General candidate Todd P'Pool is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police

Kentucky Democratic Party alleges improper activity by Lt Governor candidate Richie Farmer

Previous KDP compliant against Governor candidate David Williams dismissed

Horse people hosting fundraiser for Governor candidate Steve Beshear

Attorney General candidate Jack Conway supports collective bargaining for state workers [email]

September 6, 2011

Williams Unveils New Television Ad

Governor candidate David Williams launched his new television ad today, noting that Kentucky has been ranked as the worst-run state in the country under Governor Beshear's leadership.

September 1, 2011

Sen. Westwood to Retire Opening up Opportunity for Conservative in NKY

CN2 has reported that Republican Senator Jack Westwood announced that he does not intend to seek reelection in 2012, creating an open seat in the Kentucky Senate that is likely to remain Republican.

The 23rd Senate district overlaps several Republican members of the House of Representatives, who have pledged not to run against one another.

The 23rd Senate District currently includes three state representatives, who could be potential candidates to replace Westwood.

Republican Reps. Alecia Webb-Edgington of Fort Wright and Adam Koenig of Erlanger live in the district as does Democratic Rep. Arnold Simpson of Covington.

Both Webb-Edgington and Koenig indicated interest in the race but hinted that they wouldn't run against each other in a Republican primary.

"I'm not going to close the door to anything at this juncture," Webb-Edgington said. "But we're not looking to have any bloody primaries among Republicans."

Koenig said the Senate seat "is something I'm going to look at."

"But I'm pretty darn happy in the House. I'd like to be part of the first group of Republican majority in the House since 1920," he said.

Sen. Westwood has bounced around in the top portion of our Senate Scorecards, ranking as 4th and as low as 11th and generally scoring around 60 (a minimum score of 70 is required to be considered 'acceptable').

Of the two replacements mentioned, Rep. Adam Koenig has the much better record for taxpayers. While he has faced primary opposition from the right in the past, his ranking has risen from 11th in 2008 and 2009 to 3rd in 2010 with an acceptable score of 73.

Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington is considered a rising star in the Republican party, but has disappointed on our scorecard, never reaching the threshold score of '70' and only receiving a '53' in 2010.

While they may agree not to primary one another, we would not be surprised to see other candidates arise to challenge for the seat from an area of the state with strong conservative activists.

Quality Sites

Cato Institute
National Club for Growth

Blogs

AFP Blog
Alarming News
American Spectator
Ankle Biting Pundits
Betsy's Page
Boudreaux's Blog
Business & Media Institute
Cafe Hayek
Callaxy.net
Cato @ Liberty
CNBC's Squawk Blog
Constrained Vision, A
Coyote Blog
Dean's World
Federalist
Flash Report
Grassroots PA
Kudlow's Money Politics
Manufacturers' Blog
Marginal Revolution
NTU's Government Bytes
Newmark's Door
One Man's Trash
PoliPundit
Politics1.com
Politics of Money
Poor and Stupid
Porkopolis
Professor Bainbridge
Raising Farrahzona
RedState.com
Rossputin.com
Sibby Online
South Dakota Politics
Sports Economist, The
Tax Guru

Kentucky Blogs

Bluegrass Policy Blog
Blue Grass, Red State
ConservaChick
Conservative Edge
Conservative Musings
CyberHillbilly
Elendil's Blog
Jefferson Review
Jim Clark's Muckraker
Kentucky Pachyderm 2
Kentucky Progress
KY Wordsmith
On the Right!
Osi Speaks!
Page One Kentucky
The Pure Investor
Vere Loqui

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The KY Club for Growth seeks principled candidates who are committed to the following:

* Free market principles
* Lowering taxes
* Reducing spending
* Decreasing the size of government
* Judicial reform
* Protecting property rights
* Expanding school choice
* Reducing needless regulation

We will hold endorsed candidates accountable for these principles by monitoring each candidate on a vote-by-vote basis. As a Club member, you will receive candidate monitoring updates and scorecards on a regular basis. Join us today.