Written by Scott Wartman
COVINGTON—Two of the three gubernatorial candidates debated in Covington Thursday afternoon, Republican State Senate President David Williams and independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith.
Gov. Steve Beshear announced earlier in the week that a scheduling conflict would keep him from attending the debate at the joint conference of the Kentucky County Judge/Executives Association and the Kentucky Magistrates and Commissioners Association held at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.
Williams criticized Beshear as having no agenda.
“My favorite Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, talks about people in the arena who have the blood and sweat and get in there and try,” Williams said. “Gatewood, thank you for being here today and offering yourself for public office. You’re in the arena. Two out of three candidates are here, and the other will be engaged when he chooses, but he’s not here today.”
Galbraith blamed partisan politics for Kentucky’s woes and said as an independent, he will work with both sides of the aisle.
“I foresee that after my stint as governor, I’m going to be one of the most disliked people in the state because I’m going to have to make decisions that neither party candidate can possibly make, because they’ve got to answer to the party,” Galbraith said. “I don’t answer to anybody except God and an occasional judge or two.”
One of the questions involved the state gas tax, which funds road improvements throughout Kentucky.
Williams believes the state’s entire tax structure must be revamped. The gas tax revenue, based on consumption of gas, goes down as gas prices goes up. But the cost of maintaining the roads gets more expensive with rising gas prices.
“We should take a long hard look at how we tax gas, and how we provide money for roads in the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Williams said.
Galbraith said the state should allow the growing of hemp as a source of bio-fuel.
“If you planted 7 percent of the U.S. Agricultural land in hemp, we wouldn’t have to import another drop of oil,” Galbraith said. “Gee, reckon if there’s anyone out there that doesn’t want that to happen? People I call the petrol-chemical-pharmaceutical-industrial-transnational-corporate-fascist-elitist SOBS.”
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