State of Kentucky Archives: on Government Reform

James Comer: Self-imposed term limit of 6 terms

Our founding fathers never envisioned a Congress where elected officials stayed in office for decades. In fact, most of the founding fathers were farmers. I support term limits and pledge to take a self-imposed term limit of 6 terms. I have also signed the U.S. Term Limits Amendment Pledge to co-sponsor and vote for the U.S. Term Limits Amendment.
Source: 2016 Kentucky House campaign website Nov 8, 2016

Jim Gray: Campaign finance system is broken; root it out

Super PACs are running amok, and anonymous donors have too much control over our political system. Let's put the American people back in charge of elections. It's time to clean it up and get the government working for the people again.

Kentuckians are fed up with Washington and politicians that are out to help themselves and their cronies. It's clear that our campaign finance system is broken, and we need to elect new leadership to root out this rigged system.

The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United has opened the floodgates for billionaires and special interests to spend unlimited, untraceable money in America's elections. It is a cancer in our democracy that billionaires are using to tip the scales in their favor.

The voters deserve to know who is influencing their elected leaders, which is why Jim supports increased disclosure. There's no good reason why political spending should be kept secret.

Source: 2016 Kentucky Senate campaign website, Aug 8, 2016

Mitch McConnell: Federal shutdown was just a 2-week paid vacation: bad policy

Q: What about this Republican brawl over trying to tie the defunding of ObamaCare to shutting down the U.S. government?

McCONNELL: You know, one of my favorite old Kentucky sayings is there's no education in the second kick of a mule. The first kick of the mule occurred back in 1995 when the Republican House shut down the government. Shutting down the government, in my view, is not conservative policy. I don't think a two-week paid vacation for federal employees is conservative policy. A number of us were saying back in July that this strategy could not and would not work, and of course it didn't. So there will not be another government shutdown. You can count on that.

Q: Well, how badly do you think the country was hurt by all of this?

McCONNELL: It certainly didn't do the country any good to have both a government shutdown and a pending fiscal crisis right on top of it. I think it was important to do the right thing for the country [by ending the shutdown]. And we did it.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 series: 2014 Kentucky Senate race Oct 20, 2013

Alison Grimes: Lifelong commitment to protecting the right to vote

Secretary Grimes has a lifelong commitment to public service and, in particular, protecting the right to vote. She grew up canvassing Kentucky's precincts to make sure all citizens had access to vote. Additionally, she has served as a precinct officer for the 75th Legislative District and a member of the 2008 DNC Rules Committee.

In 2011, Grimes [ran for office with a] commitment to creating jobs, encouraging business growth, promoting civics education and increasing participation in elections.

Source: Kentucky Secretary of State website, "Biography" Jun 6, 2013

Steve Beshear: Smart Government: sell surplus land, buildings and vehicles

The biggest challenge is finding the resources we need to strengthen our core. After inheriting a global recession, we spent five years bringing common sense to state spending--and we've done so in three ways:
  1. Cuts. We reduced the state budget 13 times in five years, cutting spending by $1.6 billion and trimming the state workforce to its smallest size in nearly four decades. Some agencies have been slashed up to 38%.
  2. We found more efficient ways to run daily operations. Through our multi-year Smart Government Initiative, we've realized both one-time windfalls and annual savings by selling surplus land, buildings and vehicles, consolidating offices, renegotiating contracts and bids, and changing how we buy goods and services.
  3. And we made revolutionary changes to huge budget drains--closing a state prison as part of a wider Corrections reform, privatizing Medicaid and reining in benefits for public employees.
Source: 2013 State of the State speech to Kentucky Legislature Feb 6, 2013

Steve Beshear: 6-day furlough for state workers; cut top staff salaries 10%

Talking about shrinking government is easy. Actually doing it requires courage and commitment. Faced with crushing shortfalls, we have balanced Kentucky's budget eight times in three years, slashing over a billion dollars in spending.

We have reduced the executive branch to its smallest size in decades, including a reduction in the so-called non-merit work force by an additional $5 million, starting at the highest levels. In my own office, six of the most important jobs--including budget director and chief of staff--are being performed by three people. Perks like take-home cars are a thing of the past. And when we made the tough decision to save $24 million by furloughing most state workers for 6 days, we included my entire staff. I'm taking the 6 days without pay myself, & I also voluntarily cut my own salary an additional 10%--as have my top staff and cabinet secretaries. My message to the people of the state is this: We are in this together. We will share your sacrifice because we work for you.

Source: 2011 Kentucky State of the State Address Feb 1, 2011

Jack Conway: I stood up for the people against price-gouging & lies

Q: What's the choice for Kentucky voters?

CONWAY: We need to put the people of Kentucky first. The special interests in Washington have enough people standing up for them. As attorney general, I have stood up for the people of Kentucky. I've taken on pharmaceutical companies when they have lied to our Medicaid program. I have taken on oil companies that have gouged us. There's a real clear choice between someone who has taken on the drug issue and someone who says that drugs aren't a pressing issue in Kentucky, someone who stands up to criminals and someone who says that nonviolent behavior shouldn't be a crime. I mean, that's a really clear choice.

Q: Attorney General Conway, you have even gone further than that. On the campaign trail you have called Dr. Paul "crazy." Your campaign ads call him "out of touch."

CONWAY: I'm not saying Dr. Paul is crazy. I think some of his ideas are out of the mainstream and they're out of touch with the values of normal Kentuckians.

Source: Fox News Sunday, 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 3, 2010

Steve Beshear: Comprehensive ethics package to restore trust

It is critical that trust and credibility be restored if weíre to accomplish anything else. Thatís why I announced just last week a comprehensive ethics package that includes a Constitutional amendment to limit a Governorís power to pardon. It reduces th Governorís influence in making appointments to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission and requires more disclosure of donations to a public officialís legal defense fund while banning lobbyists and those doing business with the State from contributing.
Source: Kentucky 2008 State of the State Address Jan 14, 2008

  • The above quotations are from Commonwealth of Kentucky Politicians: Archives.
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