McDaniel makes pitch for right-to-work legislation; Has concerns about Medicaid expansion

10/13/2014 03:44 PM

Making a pitch for right-to-work, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill, said he and James Comer will be focused on economic issues heading into the 2015 GOP gubernatorial primary.

Comer’s pick of McDaniel as a running mate on his gubernatorial slate was promoted at the September campaign roll out in Tompkinsville, and since that time he and Comer have crisscrossed the state raising cash and talking issues with voters.

“I spend almost every night on the road somewhere working diligently on behalf of our campaign or on behalf of our House candidates that we’re working very hard to help,” McDaniel said. “You see me here and other media outlets because we both feel that it’s important as officers of government that people understand our positions.”

McDaniel said Comer has done an “outstanding job as commissioner” and that the two came together to run in a “natural synergy.” The two talked about running together over the course of the summer, McDaniel said.

While McDaniel promoted the work of Comer in his term as agriculture commissioner, he said another legislative agenda will guide the duo’s economic plan — right-to-work.

Using right-to-work legislation, which effectively ends open-shop workplaces by mandating employees must choose whether or not to be represented by a union, as a central component of a jobs plan, McDaniel said he and Comer want to focus on attracting high-quality businesses that provide “good middle-class jobs.”

“We’ve got good road infrastructure to be able to get to the majority of this nation’s population,” McDaniel said, adding that focusing on job issues would bring “unparalleled levels of economic growth” to the state.

With right-to-work seen mainly as a GOP issue, McDaniel said that the economic pitch would not hurt the campaign in Democratic strongholds. The campaign is already attracting moderates who are ready for a consensus on the issues, he said.

“They want to see politicians who, while they can be principled and conservative, can also find areas of consensus and say this is how we can advance good public policy on behalf of the citizens of the commonwealth, “ McDaniel said.

Hear what McDaniel had to say about Northern Kentucky issues of the Brent Spence Bridge (6:30) and the Northern Kentucky / Cincinnati Airport Board at 7:17 in the interview.

In addition to economic woes, McDaniel said he is bracing for the costs behind the expansion of Medicaid in Kentucky.

“We’ve obviously expanded Medicaid well beyond what its original intent was decades ago, and as it continues to expand we find more people on it. We’ve got to ask tough questions about the fundamental obligations of government,” McDaniel said.

Those questions, McDaniel said, should include how people should be included and who pays for it.

“Frankly, the commonwealth can not afford the expansion that was made, and I am very worried about what this means for us,” McDaniel said.


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