Only a few weeks remain until Kentucky’s general election is held. On Nov. 5, voters will elect a governor, lieutenant governor and constitutional officers for the next four years. For Republicans, this is a pivotal election to reaffirm Matt Bevin and his running mate Lt. Governor candidate Senator Ralph Alvarado along with Ag Commissioner Ryan Quarles, Auditor Mike Harmon, and Treasurer Allison Ball. As important, it is vital to elect Daniel Cameron as attorney general and Michael Adams as secretary of state.
While candidates are busy these last few days, I was grateful to watch the debate between Gov. Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear sponsored by the Paducah McCracken County Chamber of Commerce. Clearly and quite handily, Gov. Matt Bevin proved his wisdom and command of Kentucky’s issues. Andy Beshear on the other hand, sounded indecisive and rote, with canned memorized responses.
For example, when asked about his employment plan for the Commonwealth, Beshear said he would develop jobs with six-figure salaries for Kentucky workers. But he didn’t reveal how he would do it.
On the other hand, Gov. Bevin has created jobs and outlined accomplishments. Manufacturers and agricultural related businesses have invested heavily in our state to add even more to the economy. In fact, billions are being invested with the prospect of thousands of jobs still to come. Good jobs with excellent wages! But, forever Democrat majorities of the past promised the same thing, never delivering. Too late, Andy Beshear; Republicans are creating jobs and opportunity for the future.
Yes, the governor has had some tough messages for Kentucky residents over the past 3 1/2 years, but his delivery has been accurate and true. At the end of his first term, I am confident we are better for his efforts and will be an even stronger, more vibrant Kentucky in his second term.
For instance, one of those subjects at the debate involved the failed Democrat leadership surrounding Kentucky Wired, the long overdue internet access project that has cost Kentucky taxpayers well over a billion dollars thus far. Curiously, Democrat Attorney General Andy Beshear has never attempted to unravel what appears to be a web of crony deals during his dad, Gov. Steve Beshear’s, administration.
Reportedly while in office, Gov. Beshear appointed the husband of one of his cabinet secretaries, Frank Lassiter, as a paid consultant when the state’s application for federal grant money was rejected. But the real story is that Mr. Lassiter had no experience in telecommunications or understanding the complexity of the Federal Communication Commission’s program rules for such projects. Lassiter reportedly advised resubmission of the grant.
Along the way, the Beshear administration struck a deal with an Australian group of investors for $1.2 billion with the hopes of repaying the investment with federal funds. However, haste turned to waste, as they say, and federal authorities rejected Kentucky’s plan once again. So, who picks up the tab? You guessed it, Kentucky taxpayers. And while the Kentucky Wired project is underway, unsurprisingly it is $100 million dollars over budget and won’t be complete until the fall of 2020.
Contrast this waste with our Kentucky budget concerns over the past four years. State officials have been forced to make across-the-board budget cuts in the face of skyrocketing pension and Medicaid costs, slicing deeply into higher education.
So, when Democrats ratchet up the rhetoric saying how Republicans are trying to reduce benefits, remember that GOP members have been forced to balance the inequities of the past with its hideous ties to incompetence and crony behavior. Gov. Bevin emphasizes that Republicans have fully funded annual pension commitments, released road fund money without bias and opened the door to business creating jobs.
Gov. Bevin has been transparent too, welcoming auditors to discover the truth about the state’s business. Andy Beshear’s Democratic roots, however, have failed Kentuckians.
Finally, while Gov. Bevin scored a rhetorical victory over the attorney general in Paducah’s televised debate, conservatives of all parties should take note. Clearly, Gov. Bevin is the leader Kentucky needs for another four years and deserves our vote, as do all the constitutional officers running in November.
Greg DeLancey is the 1st District chairman for the Republican Party of Kentucky. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.