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Paul, Conway face test from Farm Bureau

by Joe Arnold


Posted on July 13, 2010 at 2:00 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 12 at 11:05 PM

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul has raised eyebrows in Kentucky's agricultural world by his repeated criticism of federal subsidies for farming operations, which he says disproportionately favor corporate farming.

He'll have a chance to explain his position and perhaps defend it when he and Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway appear before the Kentucky Farm Bureau's Board of Directors on July 22 in Louisville for a "Measure the Candidates" forum. 

The Farm Bureau plans to compare the candidates responses to Bureau policy on energy, environmental regulations, fiscal policy, health care, immigration & farm labor, international trade & marketing and national farm policy.

While Conway will be quick to critique Paul on subsidies, expect Paul to hammer away at Conway's position on the Estate Tax, otherwise known as the Death Tax and which is due to be reinstated after being temporarily repealed during the Bush administration.   Family farmers complain that the tax makes it difficult to keep farms family owned.

Kentucky Farm Bureau to host "Measure the Candidates"
forum on July 22 for U.S. Senate race nominees
Louisville, KY (July 9, 2010) - The Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) Board of Directors will host U.S. Senate nominees Jack Conway (D) and Rand Paul (R) at a "Measure the Candidates" forum on Thursday, July 22, in Louisville. The event - held at the KFB state headquarters, 9201 Bunsen Parkway, from 10 a.m. to noon ET - is designed to provide the candidates with an opportunity to share their views on current agricultural issues with the KFB board and staff.
"Measure the Candidates" is a forum, not a debate, and open only to the KFB Board of Directors, staff and members of the press. During the forum, each candidate is offered two minutes to make opening comments, and then presented with a series of topics from the KFB policy book. Questions specific to those policies will accompany each topic so that the candidates can provide insight into their alignment to the interests of KFB and its membership.
The forum will be moderated by KFB president Mark Haney of Pulaski County, while seven members of the KFB Board of Directors will address the candidates on the following topics:

     Energy - David Campbell, Lincoln County
     Environmental Regulations - Larry Thomas, Hardin County
     Fiscal Policy - Charlie Benge, Laurel County
     Health Care - Fritz Giesecke, Hart County
     Immigration & Farm Labor - David Chappell, Owen County
     International Trade & Marketing - Russell Poore, Logan County
     National Farm Policy - Eddie Melton, Webster County

The board members addressing the candidates were specifically chosen to discuss each topic based on a close relationship of the issue to his farming operation. Candidates will be given three minutes to respond to each question.
Following the policy discussion, any member of the KFB Board of Directors will be recognized and given the opportunity to address the candidates in an open question and answer session. Closing comments from the candidates will conclude the forum, which is expected to last approximately two hours.
After the "Measure the Candidates" forum has concluded, both candidates, if their schedules permit, will also have the option to participate in a brief press conference with members of the media.