Kemper says Kentucky deep in red ink, both parties want 'big government'

09/13/2011 07:49 AM

Republican candidate for Auditor John Kemper said Kentucky’s unfunded public pension obligations and other bonded debt adds up to $44 billion total.

As for who is responsible, Kemper spreads the blame but is careful not to specifically call out Republican candidate for governor, David Williams, who has been state Senate president for the last 11 years.

“I see both parties, Republican and Democrat as wanting big government,” Kemper said. He added at the 4:45 mark of the clip that the only difference is where the opposing parties want government to be bigger. “Both state level and nationally, most Republicans are in favor of corporate welfare. Our Democrat friends who like the social welfare programs.”

Kemper, who is a Lexington developer going through personal bankruptcy, said addressing Kentucky’s debt would be his main goal.

“My message is pretty clear. If I’m auditor, I’m going to be working to pay down that debt, fund those pensions, meet those obligations to those state workers… 38,000 of them who are out there expecting a check every month,” Kemper said at the 5:30 mark of the clip.

Campaign contributions from people who might have to be audited by the auditor have been a concern from pundits in the race. Democratic Auditor candidate Adam Edelen said he doesn’t see a conflict of interest. Kemper agreed to a certain extent, but said Edelen will got many more contributions from people in state government than he will.

“I don’t have a relationships with those people other than they want an independent auditor. They want someone they can work with,” Kemper said at the 9:30 mark of the clip.

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Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.

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