Attorney General Ben Chandler—Democrat
Kentucky is a special place. I’m excited about our opportunities as we start a new century. With low energy costs, strong universities, central location, and wonderful people, we are perfectly poised to take center stage in our national and global economy. If we are to achieve the goal of bringing opportunity to every Kentucky family, our leaders must have the vision and experience to get the job done.
As your attorney general, I’ve enjoyed a good working relationship with electric cooperatives. My office represents consumers in the regulation of electric rates and our work together has helped Kentucky achieve the lowest rates in the country. That means more money in your pocket and a great reason for industries to locate here. In fact, my relationship with electric cooperatives began before I was even born! As governor, my grandfather called the legislature into special session in 1936 to pass the legislation that created cooperatives, and he pulled the switch to turn on the lights at the first rural cooperative in Kentucky.
One of the great benefits of cooperatives is that as members, you own the utility. You’re not controlled by out-of-state corporations and you put the interests of your family and community before profits. That has been my focus as your auditor and attorney general: putting the interests of Kentucky first. Whether it was creating a no-call program to stop telemarketers from invading your privacy, recovering $45 million from a large insurance company for the health needs of Kentuckians, recovering over $12 million from drug companies who have cheated consumers, or identifying $900 million in inefficiencies, I have always put the people first.
I’ve been all over Kentucky listening to thousands of people talk about issues important to them, and I have the plans to take action. To address the over 56,000 jobs lost since 2000, I’ve released detailed plans to create 100,000 new jobs by creating innovative partnerships and training programs and involving our universities in creative new state investments. To lower health costs, I’ve proposed a groundbreaking program to allow seniors and those without insurance to buy prescription drugs at the state’s cost—up to a 40 percent discount over retail. And I’ve announced tough new ethics rules to hold public officials accountable. Our plans will put Kentucky first and hold the line on taxes.
But when it comes to energy, our federal government is unfortunately pushing policies to deregulate electricity that would hurt Kentucky and raise our rates—even though deregulation has cost consumers billions in California and contributed to the blackouts in New York and Ohio. New federal rules could even force Kentucky utilities to cut off power to their customers so that out-of-state companies could move more power through Kentucky and increase profits. These federal policies put corporations before people—that’s why I’m now in court fighting them.
As your governor, I will continue to fight to keep electric rates low, so you can save your hard-earned money and we can create good-paying jobs. And more important, I will always put Kentucky first to protect our families, provide affordable healthcare, improve our schools, and give you an ethical government that serves you while living within its means. Together, we can make sure Kentucky is the place our children will always want to call home.
Congressman Ernie Fletcher—Republican
I am running for governor to end the bygone era of good-ole-boy politics that has held our great Commonwealth back for too long. Kentuckians are hungry for change in Frankfort. We need new leaders of rock-solid values and integrity in Frankfort to end wasteful spending and fiscal irresponsibility.
Kentucky must be more business-friendly in order to ensure more opportunities for our future—our children. Since the beginning of our campaign, Steve Pence and I have offered up numerous forward-looking solutions for our fellow Kentuckians. I have announced that, as governor, I would work to secure a federal research lab for Kentucky, address the tax burden on Kentucky business, provide an immediate temporary extension for current Enterprise Zones in Kentucky, and work to expand broadband and wireless technology across the state. We can attract quality businesses and high-paying jobs and raise the standard of living for Kentucky’s families.
As a physician, I understand the impact of skyrocketing healthcare costs. We must make quality healthcare affordable and available to everyone. I have a record of working in Congress to ensure quality healthcare, return medical decisions to physicians, and hold HMOs accountable for their decisions without driving up the cost of healthcare or the number of uninsured. I have also worked to make health insurance more affordable. I will bring this healthcare experience to Frankfort and work to return a more consumer-driven healthcare system to Kentucky. As governor, I will provide the leadership to pass comprehensive medical malpractice reform so we can keep our doctors in Kentucky and find ways to reduce prescription drug costs for seniors.
In the area of education, Kentucky has made some progress, but we must find ways to ensure that our children are getting the best education possible. This must be a priority. We must not only provide a quality education for our children, but we must ensure that we keep and attract the best and brightest teachers in the profession by paying them fairly and getting them the resources and training they need. We must ensure that every child can read by the end of the 3rd grade, and support the Kentucky Center for School Safety in order to provide the safest learning environment for our children. We can cut out the bureaucracy and provide the necessary classroom resources to allow teachers to do what they do best: teach our children.
For too long, Kentuckians have seen the same faces in Frankfort; that must change. It’s been a revolving door for the same insiders who have been a part of the problem, rather than part of the solution. Kentuckians want and deserve more than backroom deals, political paybacks, and countless scandals. In order for our state to reach its full potential, we must have new, innovative leadership that finds proactive solutions for dealing with the problems that face our great state. If we are going to clean up the mess in Frankfort, we must have real change that will work for not just a few political insiders—but for every Kentuckian from all parts of our Commonwealth. I ask for your vote on November 4 so that my running mate, Steve Pence, and I can work together with you to “Restore Hope” and opportunity to our great Commonwealth.