In their first joint appearance of the general election, Democratic Governor Steve Beshear and Republican state Senate President David Williams discussed their differing views on a range of issues at a forum Wednesday in Louisville. The Kentucky Farm Bureau hosted the discussion, which covered agriculture, tax and education policy. Williams said Beshear has not led on those issues and the commonwealth has fallen behind states such as Tennessee, which doesn't have a state income tax.
Beshear says Williams is mistaken about the state's competitiveness and is more interested in cheerleading Tennessee policy than supporting real changes made in Kentucky.
"And we're nineteenth in the country in terms of best business tax climate nineteenth. Guess where Tennessee is? Twenty-seventh. Now I don't know the love that this fellow over here has for the Big Orange. I'll tell you I don't like their football, I don't like their basketball and that Jack Daniels is not bourbon," he says.
Williams says if elected governor he would stand against unfair federal restrictions and take the president to court, if necessary.
"I don't want the federal drug administration on our farms. I don't want the EPA on our farms. I think food safety ought to be consolidated in the department of Agriculture. The people in Washington and especially Barack Obama, who Gov. Beshear supports, think that the federal government created the states. Well I've got news for them. The states created the federal government." he says.
Behsear supports tax reform, but says he won't get behind raising taxes on any group as the commonwealth climbs out of the recession. Williams says the state tax code is a serious impediment to job creation and discourages innovation.
The general election is November 8.