Matt Bevin, the Republican nominee for governor of Kentucky, recently called his Democratic opponent Jack Conway a “coward” when it comes to addressing certain issues and appearing before certain audiences.
According to Bevin, “You want to be governor? Tell us what you will do if you’re given that responsibility.”
OK, Mr. Bevin. Here is your chance to set an example for your opponent. Do you have the courage to give straight answers to the following questions? Are you brave enough to do an interview so a reporter can follow-up on your answers in case you try to slide by with platitudes?
On state pensions, you were recently asked if you would promise to put the full ARC, or actuarially required contribution, in your budget. After demonstrating shocking unfamiliarity with the term “the full ARC” you said, “I cannot speak to the budget myself.”
Why not? Isn’t that being cowardly on a key issue? You want to be governor so tell us what you will do with the budget if you’re given that responsibility? After all, you will have to submit a budget very soon after taking office if elected.
Your Blueprint for a Better Kentucky document calls for decreasing corporate and personal income tax rates and says that any “short-term losses to the state treasury would be more than made up for over time by the compounded economic growth that would result from a consistent reduction in tax rates.”
On what do you base this contention and do you have any actual analysis to back it up? Isn’t this claim a kind of speaking to the budget?
What specific income tax rate cuts do you propose and what would the short-term losses to the state treasury from them be? What things would you cut from the state budget until your hoped for compounded economic growth makes up for the short-term losses to the state treasury?
You also call for eliminating certain tax exemptions. Which ones? Isn’t that raising taxes?
You call for withdrawal from Kentucky’s version of the Common Core academic standards and say that, “Local school boards, principals, and teachers need the power to set standards and implement curricula that will best serve the needs of their students.”
Does this mean that there will be no statewide academic standards? If there are to be statewide academic standards, what will they be?
You call for repealing the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. What happens – the next day and thereafter – to 430,000 Kentuckians who obtained healthcare through it?
Can you identify ten people you will ask to serve in important positions in your administration? From whom will you seek advice and counsel as governor?
Have you ever employed an immigrant to provide services at your home? If so, did you take any steps to determine their legal status?
Conway has released his tax returns for the last three years. You have not released yours. Why not?
You say you will release them if elected, but won’t that be too late for the voters to make any use of that information? Why shouldn’t voters conclude that you are hiding something?
Do you support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to either define marriage as between one man and one woman or to return the power to the states to do so? Do you believe that same sex marriage is a sin?
You criticized Governor Steve Beshear for his response to complaints by dissident county clerks who do not want to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. Would you have called a special session of the General Assembly at a cost to taxpayers of $60,000 per day?
You recently said that the government “should be out of the marriage business altogether” and that marriage should merely be a private contract as to which “government’s role should be limited to recording, interpreting, or enforcing such contracts in times of dispute.”
So could such private enforceable marriage contracts be plural and have more than two parties? Could they be between close blood relatives?
Do you believe that minimum wage laws are constitutional? Or do people have a constitutional liberty to contract for employment on whatever terms they desire? Do people have the constitutional liberty to contract for prostitution?
You have said casinos “will not be a priority for” your administration.” Whether or not casinos will be a priority, would you oppose or veto an expanded gambling bill if it gets to your desk? Do people have a constitutional liberty to gamble and to open gambling businesses?
Kentucky’s code contains an entire title regulating various trades and professions from barbers to pedorthists. Would you abolish such regulations? How do you draw the line on what economic activities are within the scope of constitutional liberty and which ones government can ban or regulate?
Kentucky Revised Statute 67C.117 mandates that the “percentage of minority citizens” employed by Louisville metro government and appointed to its boards and commissions be no less than the percentage of minority citizens in the community. Do you support these quotas or consider them unconstitutional race discrimination?
“Coward” is a strong word. If you aren’t able or willing to give straight answers to these questions isn’t it fair for Kentucky voters to conclude, “Takes one to know one”?
(John David Dyche is a Louisville attorney and a political commentator for WDRB.com. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jddyche.)
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