News - Beshear, Williams attend KFB “Measure the Candidates” forum
- July 21, 2011
Kentucky Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors met today with gubernatorial candidates Steve Beshear and David Williams to discuss positions on issues affecting the state’s agriculture industry, farm families and rural communities.
Video available online:
To view video of the “Measure the Candidates” forum, click here.
Governor Beshear (D) and Senate President Williams (R) fielded questions from the KFB leaders and explained their positions during the two-hour meeting at the farm organization’s state office. It marked the first time the two have appeared jointly at an event during the general election campaign.
KFB President Mark Haney said the meeting gave the organization’s leadership an opportunity to gauge the differences between the two on the organization’s key issues.
“Although we do not endorse candidates, we make a concerted effort to inform our members as to where candidates stand on our key issues so they can make an informed decision,” Haney said. “Forums such as this enable us to gauge how our policies mesh with the philosophies of those who seek to represent us.”
Both Beshear and Williams come from rural communities. They expressed a strong commitment to agriculture and an appreciation for Kentucky Farm Bureau.
In his opening remarks, Beshear described the farm community as “the heart and soul of Kentucky.” Williams quickly noted that he is a Farm Bureau member and later stated that he regards a strong agriculture industry “as a matter of national security.”
Both candidates pledged continued support for the state program that over the past 10 years has invested hundreds of millions of dollars of Tobacco Settlement funds toward agricultural development projects. They also agreed with KFB policy calling for the development of biofuels and other energy projects involving the utilization of farm products.
They voiced opposite positions in regard to the state’s tax system and expanded gaming.
Williams repeatedly called for overhauling the state’s tax code while Beshear said on several occasions that the National Tax Foundation has given Kentucky a favorable rating for “tax environment.” The governor said he was not advocating any broad-based tax increases; Williams also decried tax increases and vowed to put together a commission to recommend reforms to the state’s tax system.
Among many issues, the candidates were questioned about their positions on agricultural marketing and development, fiscal policy, energy, transportation, education and environmental issues.
Photo available online:
To download the photo accompanying this cutline, click here.
Cutline: Kentucky Farm Bureau President Mark Haney (center) shared a light-hearted moment with Senate President David Williams (left) and Governor Steve Beshear (right) during today’s “Measure the Candidates” forum at the KFB state office in Louisville.