After months of linking his Tea Party campaign hopes to the ascendancy of Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Republican gubernatorial hopeful Phil Moffett is separating himself from Paul on Tuesday, as both men plan appearances at the Kentucky State Capitol.
Between Paul's 10am testimony before a Kentucky Senate committee and his subsequent address to the full Senate at 1pm, Moffett plans a noon speech in which he will pan Paul's proposal to call for a constitutional convention.
With Congress unlikely to consider Paul's push for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Kentucky's newly elected U.S. Senator hopes to tap a previously unutilized portion of the U.S. Constitution which allows for state legislatures to force a constitutional convention. During his Frankfort appearances, Paul will lobby the Kentucky General Assembly to become the first state to vote for the unprecedented proposal, which is sponsored by Senate President David Williams (R-Burkesville), who is considered the favorite to win the GOP gubernatorial nomination.
"Asking states to call a federal constitutional convention is fraught with peril," Moffett said in a statement posted on his website, "First this has not been attempted since the Constitution was passed. There are not any established protocols or limitations that can be placed on the convention, therefore the entire Constitution will be open for modification. I do not have confidence in today’s politicians to do the same level of work our Founding Fathers accomplished in the 1780′s."
On February 11, the same day that Moffett introduced Paul at the CPAC gathering of conservatives in Washington, D.C., Moffett's campaign manager, David Adams, released an e-mail blast from the Moffett camp under the heading "Rand Paul's Endorsement."
The conservative blog, Bluegrass Bulletin, posted the e-mail, in which Adams makes the leap of a presumed Paul endorsement because Moffett's views are so similar. Paul, however, has stated that he does not plan to make any endorsement in the primary.
In the e-mail, Adams - Paul's campaign manager through the GOP primary - describes Paul as dismissing Williams as a "liberal" during a phone conversation two years ago, when Adams says Williams was considering a run for Jim Bunning's U.S. Senate seat.
Moffett calls Williams his "main competitor in the Republican primary," yet does not mention Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw, who filed for the governor's race at the deadline and enjoys a built-in constituency and name recognition in Louisville.
Holsclaw plans her own appearance in Frankfort on Tuesday, "to discuss circumstances surrounding passage of Senate Bill 110," according to a media advisory. The bill broadens optometry practices into procedures currently only performed by actual eye doctors.
Paul, a Bowling Green ophthalmologist, has lobbied unsuccessfully against the bill, which was approved by overwhelming votes in both chambers on Friday. Governor Steve Beshear has not announced whether he plans to sign the bill.