GOP candidate Bobbie Holsclaw signs no-tax pledge but defends fee increases

02/24/2011 07:07 PM

Republican candidate for governor Bobbie Holsclaw signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge not raise taxes this month and said on Pure Politics Thursday that raising fees as Jefferson County Clerk wasn’t the same as raising taxes.

After the state legislature allowed clerks to increase certain fees, Holsclaw’s office increase vehicle registration fees from $15 to $21. Holsclaw, when asked about it, said those fee increases were justified.

“I guess you can look at it any way you want to look at it, but those had not been done in over 20-some-odd years,” she said. “And you cannot find me a business anywhere — insurance rates whatever it is, groceries — that can operate on whatever the fee was 20-some-odd years ago.”

Holsclaw said state government must live within its means and has been wasteful in its spending.

The tax pledge is offered by the Americans for Tax Reform, a Washington-based advocacy group run by fiscal conservative Grover Norquist.

Holsclaw answered questions on Pure Politics on what types of tax reforms she would support, as well as her statements in support of allowing expanded gambling in Kentucky:

In the second segment of the interview, Holsclaw talked about how she came to form a slate with U.S. Navy veteran Bill Vermillion Jr., who lives in Grayson County.

She also said she didn’t believe Vermillion was referring to President Barack Obama when he referenced having a birth certificate showing he was born in the United States as part of his speech to Republicans in Paducah on Jan. 29.

Vermillion said he told one person that part of his credentials for running for lieutenant governor was that he had a birth certificate proving he was born in the country.

“I said, ‘I’ll tell you what, this I have — I have a certificate, a birth certificate, that proves I was born in the United States of America,’” Vermillion said, then smiled as some in the audience laughed.

Some people have questioned whether Obama was born in the United States even after officials in Hawaii produced his birth certificate.

Holsclaw said she thought Vermillion might have been referring to questions about whether he had lived in Kentucky enough to be eligible to run for statewide office.

“I don’t think he was implying anything about Barack Obama,” she said.

Holsclaw denied that she or Vermillion questioned Obama’s birth certificate.

“No, I don’t have any questions or any thought either way about his birth certificate,” she said.

Also in the second segment, Holsclaw also answered questions about potential initiatives regarding unions and organized labor in other states.

“Unions are just about trying to make people’s lives better,” she said. And she said state employees should be allowed to push for collective bargaining rights — which currently are just reserved for the teacher’s union and certain police and fire fighters unions.

“I guess if they want them, they might be able to have them,” she said.

- Ryan Alessi

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

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