Gov. Steve Beshear is skipping the Kentucky Press Association’s forum for gubernatorial candidates on Jan. 21, claiming “he’ll be busy being governor.”
Bill Hyers, Beshear’s campaign manager, says in an e-mail to KPA executive director David Thomson that the governor “will be happy to appear … after the primary.”
Of course, Team Beshear knows full well that the KPA meets each January, meaning that another forum with this number of reporters, editors and publishers won’t occur again until long after November’s gubernatorial election.
I wonder: Which of those reporters’ questions is the governor trying to avoid?
Perhaps this one:
“Governor, one of the primary duties of Kentucky’s chief executive is to propose — in good faith — a balanced-budget proposal to the General Assembly. However, in 2010, you offered a spending plan that included nearly $780 million in expanded-gaming revenue, even though you knew the idea had little support in the Legislature, even within your own party. Isn’t it a dereliction of duty for you to offer a budget you knew would cause the Legislature — on the people’s dime — to essentially start the budget process from scratch?”
Or, maybe this one:
“Governor, the current budget was balanced only because of an infusion of hundreds of millions in federal bailout money. Given that those are one-time dollars, how do you propose — assuming you are reelected — that Kentucky’s next budget be balanced?”
Surely this one:
“Governor, in August, a state legislative oversight committee voted to disapprove renewing the contract of the Kentucky Climate Action Panel, expressing concern about the panel’s involvement with the radical Center for Climate Strategies, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental group committed to discouraging the use of fossil fuels and diminishing consumer freedoms. You overrode this decision by the people’s representatives and funded the group anyhow. How could you agree to fund a warming-alarmist organization that supports policies that not only hurt Kentucky’s economy but also damage its coal industry and even go so far as to threaten private property rights and individual liberties?”
Come to think of it, there’s plenty of reasons for Beshear to avoid meeting with an association representing 160 newspapers and other organizations, including the Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky’s free-market think tank.