Williams' 'thin skin' could hurt him; Beshear should change tune on pensions, says Sen. Stein

06/08/2011 07:20 PM

State Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, said her fellow senator — Republican David Williams — could struggle in the governor’s race with his “thin skin,” while she said she hopes her fellow Democrat, Gov. Steve Beshear, changes his position on two key issues.

Stein echoed other Democrats who have said Williams’ demeanor could be his Achilles heal during the governor’s race.

“Senator Williams, as I have said in the past, is surprisingly thin-skinned to have been involved in the political arena for as long as he has,” Stein said (see the 1:00 mark of the clip). Stein joined the Senate in 2008 after winning a special election for the 13th District. She previously served in the House starting in 1997.

Stein said Williams is an intelligent man, and has had good ideas on educating Kentuckians and education reform, but has been misguided in his power.

“I think everyone who knows him, whether they will say it or not, recognize that he is —I hate the word offputting— but he is because of his brusk, authoritarian manner,” Stein said. (see the 1:40 mark of the clip)

She said Gov. Steve Beshear’s main claim of accomplishment during his first term has been balancing the budget, which she acknowledged was achieved only after prolonged negotiations with lawmakers.

“Both sides have been trying to play ball. There have been some foul balls, I believe mostly from President Williams,” she said. “I don’t believe during this campaign we will ever hear Gov. Beshear making a personal comment as the president of the Senate has been known to do.”

She said she hoped Beshear “will not be sidetracked” into negativity.

But Stein said she disagrees with Beshear on some issues, most notably over trying to do something with the state’s increasingly expensive public employee pension system.

Beshear said in an interview with Pure Politics in December that he didn’t think further pension reforms were necessary.

“I hope it has changed because it’s very clear that we do have a problem,” Stein said at around the 7:00 mark.

She said she also hopes Beshear changes his mind to push for changes to the tax code.


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