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Governor's race: Does Williams have a prayer?

Governor's race: Does Williams have a prayer?

by Joe Arnold


Posted on August 29, 2011 at 7:36 AM

After the state urged Bell County High School to stop its traditional prayer after football games, Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams blamed Governor Steve Beshear, as reported in the Lexington Herald-Leader:

"It is a travesty that Gov. Beshear will not stand up for freedom of religion in Kentucky, and instead sides with an organization called 'Freedom From Religion Foundation,' " Williams said. "As governor, I will stand up against out-of-state liberal organizations who want to stomp on our freedom to voluntarily pray in public places."


Beshear's director of communications, Kerri Richardson, said Williams "should know that the Department of Education is an independent department that does not answer to the governor."

Louisville Courier-Journal political columnist Joe Gerth writes Monday that Williams hasn't moved to close the gap in the race, and suggests that a big loss could sap Williams' power as Kentucky Senate President:

.... the big question is whether the tightening of the contest will be enough for Williams to make it a race and potentially pull ahead.

Or, at this point, is Williams’ best hope to pull close enough to Beshear that he doesn’t look politically weak?

Kentucky legislators have not been forgiving in recent years when their leaders have sought higher office and lost badly.


Meanwhile the Kentucky Democratic Party had some fun on GOP lieutenant governor candidate Richie Farmer's birthday last week, paying for a hotel room similar to what Farmer used while attending the Sweet Sixteen boys basketball tournament in Lexington.  Farmer, the Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner,  said that the hotel costs were justified because of the long hours he was working at the tournament to promote the Kentucky Proud agriculture program.

“Richie, I’m sure you’ll agree that there are few things finer than staying in a luxury hotel room, especially when someone else picks up the tab,” Kentucky Democratic Party chairman Dan Logsdon said. “So on your special day, we’re providing you one more night at a posh hotel suite just a short drive from your house – only this time it’s on us, not the taxpayers.

Finally, indepedent candidate Gatewood Galbraith continues his crusade against the Beshear administration's use of personal service contracts, which he says are used as a quid-pro-quo for campaign contributions:

"... the Beshear administration has been dishing out hundreds of millions of Kentucky taxpayer dollars in Personal Service Contracts over the last four years.  The Governor continues “business as usual.  He shovels out Kentucky tax dollars to favored contract recipients at election time as to secure the expected contributions to his campaign.”

Pointing to the Transportation Cabinet in July 2010, the department awarded fifty-five blanket Personal Service Contracts (PSCs) for $10.6 million ($200,000 each) for right-of-way appraisers; forty-five more, at $200,000 each, went to attorneys for miscellaneous legal services accounting for another $9 million.