Sellus Wilder concerned with Democrats running as GOP lite, seeking to be progressive voice in Democratic U.S. Senate primary

05/06/2016 04:39 PM

Former Frankfort City Commissioner Sellus Wilder is seeking to return to a progressive ideological standpoint from Democratic politicians running statewide in Kentucky, and with a straight-talking style and environmental backing, the candidate is running a different kind of campaign in the commonwealth.

Wilder is one of six men competing for the Democratic nomination and seeking to challenge likely GOP nominee incumbent Republican Sen. Rand Paul.

The former Frankfort politician, filmmaker and farmer is criticizing the actions of the Democratic candidates who have come before him running against GOP candidates in a state which trends to the right in federal elections.

“If you look at the race we normally run, and by we, I mean Democratic standard-bearers, we tend to focus almost exclusively on fundraising and rather than running campaigns based on ideas or platforms,” Wilder said. “We run campaigns based on convincing folks that the other guy is even worse than we are, and that’s no way to beat Rand Paul.

“We need somebody who can actually sit on a debate stage with him, who can actually sit on a debate stage with him, and I think I can certainly do that.”

Wilder says there will be some positions he overlaps with the libertarian-leaning Paul, especially on issues like criminal justice reforms, though he said in other areas, the two are miles apart.

One area Wilder is focusing on is healthcare, with Kentucky ranking 44th out of the 50 states in overall healthcare and epidemic levels of cancer and obesity. One problem Wilder sees in the healthcare market is profit-based insurance carriers.

“Their profit model is based on charging as much as they can for premiums while denying as much as they can, and that’s how they make money,” he said. “They are in the business of making money; they are not in the business of keeping us healthy.”

Wilder says the solution would be to expand Medicare to cover all Americans, though he recognizes what he calls “the big ball of wax” that would create from a budgetary standpoint.

To balance the budget, Wilder said it makes sense to readjust where discretionary spending is allotted. One area he looks to make up cash is by closing corporate tax loopholes and taking a hard look a military spending.

“We’re funneling billions of dollars to private defense contractors,” Wilder said. “The real shame of all the waste and abuse in that particular budget is the fact that we’re funneling all that money to private defense contractors to build vehicles and supplies that we don’t need that we either scrap or that we store away while failing to meet the basic healthcare and mental healthcare needs of the service people who actually make up the armed forces.”

Watch the full healthcare potion of the interview beginning at 6:50 in the clip below.

Wilder also spoke about energy policy, rights to privacy and the NSA’s gathering of intelligence without a warrant of American citizens and the Second Amendment and firearm policy.

Hear what Wilder has to say about those issues in the video below.

Wilder faces Lexington Mayor Jim Gray; Rory Houlihan, of Winchester; Jeff Kender, of Phelps; Ron Leach, of Brandenburg; Tom Recktenwald, of Louisville, in the Democratic Senate primary.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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