The Chatter: Fundraisers, a pulled endorsement and Paul's 5-year budget plan

03/17/2011 10:58 AM

A few weeks after unveiling a $500 billion budget cut for the current fiscal year, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is releasing a five-year plan to balance the federal budget, his office announced on Thursday.

Late in the campaign after moving away from claims of balancing the federal budget within a year, Paul said he would offer a plan to eliminate annual budget deficits within five years.

The plan comes on the heels of Paul saying he would be among a small group of Senators who would block any legislation in the Senate that didn’t deal with reducing the deficit.

Paul plans to introduce the plan at this afternoon in Washington.


After touting the endorsement of the United Mine Workers of America for months, the campaign for independent gubernatorial candidate Gatewood Galbraith issued a statement saying the union has rescinded the endorsement.

In the news release, Galbraith has said that the campaign still supports unions and mine workers’ safety, but opposes mountaintop removal mining.

It does not say if the campaign’s position of mountaintop removal cost it the endorsement.

Political blogger Joe Sonka of Barefoot and Progressive wrote today that by standing by his opposition to mountaintop removal, Galbraith could draw votes from Gov. Steve Beshear, who has been publicly supportive of the coal industry recently.

UPDATE: Late Tuesday, the UMWA endorsed Beshear for re-election, according to the Associated Press.


Speaking of gubernatorial politics, the campaign of Senate President David Williams, who is running for the GOP nomination for governor, is saying Beshear has changed his tune over the last four years.

In 2007, Beshear, a Democrat, criticized then-Gov. Ernie Fletcher about calling a special session without first ensuring agreement among lawmakers, according to an Associated Press article the campaign unearthed.

Beshear called lawmakers into session Monday for the 2011 special session to deal with the Medicaid budget even though Senate and House leaders hadn’t held negotiations to come closer to a compromise.

The text of the article the Williams campaign is citing is below:

Fletcher and Beshear also had sharp exchanges over the stalled legislative session.

The governor [Fletcher] called the session to deal with such issues as tax incentives for energy companies, domestic partner benefits for university employees and income tax breaks for military personnel. Lawmakers disagreed whether the session was necessary, and the Democrat-led House adjourned shortly after the session convened without taking action. Fletcher ordered a three-week cooling-off period and says he’ll bring lawmakers back to the Capitol on July 30.

Fletcher linked Beshear with House Democrats and said lawmakers walked away from an energy incentive plan that could create thousands of jobs by enticing an energy company to build a plant in Kentucky to convert coal into fuel.

Beshear accused Fletcher of failing to win consensus among lawmakers before calling the session, resulting in ‘wasted chaos’ at a cost to taxpayers._


Republican Secretary of State candidate Bill Johnson is receiving the support of Republican Louisville mayoral candidate Hal Heiner in the form of a fund-raiser in early April.

The event, hosted at The Club at Locust Creek by Heiner, is scheduled for April 5. The event asks for a minimum donation of $50.

In a statement, James Young, political director for Johnson’s campaign, said the campaign is excited about Heiner’s support.

“Our campaign is excited to have (Heiner’s) support and we plan on working with Hal to win Louisville in the Republican primary,” Young said.

Johnson is running against Hilda Legg of Somerset in the Republican primary for Secretary of State.

- Compiled by Kenny Colston


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.