No Beshear, but forum reveals Williams' latest tax plan and what he likes about Obama

09/12/2011 05:04 PM

LOUISVILLE — Republican candidate for governor David Williams made a pitch for his latest tax plan — to eliminate Kentucky’s personal income tax — as well as what he likes about President Barack Obama at a forum in western Louisville on Sunday.

Williams and independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith appeared separately at the forum, sponsored by the Yearlings Club and University of Louisville. Each got an hour with the 31 people who attended the event.

Gov. Steve Beshear last week canceled his scheduled appearance, which didn’t go over well with many voters — including some Democrats — who attended.

One of the organizers, Reginald Meeks, who also is a Democratic state representative, said the Beshear campaign informed him that the governor wasn’t appearing at forums with his opponents (see 1:40 of the video).

Galbraith gave his standard campaign speech, although he offered the harshest assessment of Beshear’s administration, calling him an “ineffective total waste as far as trying to move this state forward.”

Galbraith and Williams both called for eliminating the Kentucky income tax on both corporations and individuals. Up until the last week, Williams had talked about getting rid of Kentucky’s 4-6 percent tax rate on companies.

While Galbraith stuck to his usual stump speech, Williams was willing to go off message with the crowd, especially when it came to President Barack Obama.

In answering a question from the audience, Williams said he doesn’t agree with Obama “on everything” but pointed out he agreed with the president on many education reforms, including charter schools.

While Williams’ ads refer to him “standing up” to Obama if elected governor, Williams also praised Obama for going after Osama bin Laden and promised to work with the president.

One woman asked Williams to describe his political philosophy.

And Williams, who has had trouble corralling the Tea Party portion of the Republican base, told the crowd he was a “progressive conservative” because progressives want to see progress in their communities.

-Reporting and video production by Ryan Alessi and Kenny Colston

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