Statewide and nationwide, Republicans offer best choices

Column by Thomas Roberts

Gov. Steve Beshear, as I predicted, is trying to cut the University of Kentucky’s budget by 12 percent in the upcoming budget cycle. Unsurprisingly, in the same speech, our dear governor mentioned that issue so dear to his heart and to his campaign’s checkbook: casino gambling. After staying quiet on the issue for much of his term, Gov. Beshear finally mentioned it. Senate President David Williams said it best when he said, “Well, he had to talk about the crazy aunt in the attic sometime.”

In addition to Gov. Beshear’s idea to reward his gambling buddies with casinos in Kentucky, Democratic leaders in the house are chomping at the bit to raise our taxes. Rep. David Watkins, D-Henderson, has filed a bill to raise the cigarette tax by seventy cents per pack. Rep. Harry Moberly, D-Richmond, mentioned a “revenue proposal,” which would include “traditional tax hikes.” Even Speaker of the House Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, is indicating his support for higher taxes. Kentucky does not need higher taxes. Instead, legislators and this governor need to get their priorities in line and cut spending on wasteful projects. Whatever tax increase the Democratic-led House desires will hopefully be rejected by the Republican-led Senate.

Speaking of the liberal love of taxes, Hillary Clinton suggested just the other day that, should she become president and have her healthcare plan pass, people who do not buy her mandated healthcare could have their wages garnished. I mean, perfectly healthy 25-year-olds in low-paying jobs should be financially penalized if they choose not to buy health insurance, right? Only in the mind of a liberal. Even Barack Obama’s plan has not gone that far, and he is more liberal than she is!

While Obama and Clinton continue to fight for the Democratic nomination, the Republicans are getting closer and closer to having a nominee. Depending on what happened yesterday on Super Tuesday (keep in mind my deadline for this column was before the results came in), it is looking like John McCain will probably be the Republican nominee. While this will leave several conservative Republicans scratching their heads because his record is not overly conservative, McCain will pose the most problems for Democrats in the fall. He has proven that he can work across party lines and draw support from Independents. Mitt Romney, while still fighting, is probably out if he did not show well yesterday.

What will be more interesting to me than this presidential race, is how Kentucky Democrats go about selecting who will lose to Sen. Mitch McConnell in the fall. Bruce Lunsford threw his hat in the ring. After Democratic voters rejected Bruce Lunsford as their nominee for governor in 2003 and in 2007, I really wonder why he is running now.

In his press conference in the Capitol Rotunda, Lunsford indicated that Gov. Beshear has asked him to run. Considering the reaction that Gov. Beshear and Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo received when, in my opinion, they strong-armed party officials in the 30th Senate District to handpick the nominee, I have to wonder how they have not learned to stay out of their own primaries. Their meddling in the 30th Senate District made that race much closer than it ever should have been. In fact, they may have alienated enough voters in Harlan and Leslie counties to keep their candidate from winning. So much for the rhetoric about working with everyone, huh?

Thomas Roberts is the president of UK College Republicans. E-mail [email protected]