Yesterday I was invited to attend a meet and greet by Gubernatorial candidate, and current Senate President David Williams, at Ernesto's on Dixie Highway at 2 pm. I wasn't sure what to expect, as it was not billed as a fundraiser, but as a meet and greet. I have to say each time I meet with Senator Williams I am more impressed.
What I expected was a stump speech, and there was certainly part of that, but I also got a history lesson on Williams family ties to Louisville. I have to admit we continue hearing about the "Senator from Burkesville," but many do not know just how far his reach is.
His family ties to Louisville in a nutshell are very strong and that to me is a good indicator that perhaps Louisville will not be left behind in a Williams Governorship.
One of the most interesting things to come out during Senator Williams speech was his insistence that Republicans must reach out to conservative Democrats and Independents if we are to move forward as a State. While listing several problems in Kentucky Williams also listed solutions and they were vast.
He mentioned restructuring the tax code and how it would benefit Kentucky in creating jobs. He also mentioned revamping retirement systems and moving towards a 401(k) like retirement. One thing he mentioned most did not even know. Teacher's do not contribute to Social Security. This is one bit of information that many need to know to explain just why we need the retirement plans for teachers.
He spoke of how Kentucky had to borrow over $800 million last year alone to keep the pensions intact. He also compared that to Tennessee who only borrowed $25 million. There were many examples listed by Williams comparing us to Tennessee, Indiana, and Ohio and why we are being left behind.
He mentioned of course the usual digs at JCTA and the need for neighborhood schools (one I agree with) but fell a bit short of a detailed plan on how to accomplish this. It wasn't a big issue as this was a different type of meet up.
And for those who would say that Senator Williams is only including Independents and Conservative Democrats in his speeches now because he is a Gubernatorial candidate, I must point out that "proof" as they say "is in the pudding."
For the last two years Senator Jimmy Higdon has proposed a semi open primary bill that would include independents in the primary elections. As Senate President, Williams has the power to kill that legislation and yet did not. The bills have passed the Senate easily only to be defeated by the Democrats.
I would argue that is some proof that Williams is not just giving "lip" service but is actually backing what he says.
What I expected to be a stump speech turned out to be a slight history lesson on the Williams family ties, and a welcome breath of fresh air on the issues that plague us. In short he dealt with solutions not negative attacks on his opponents. That in itself was a refreshing change.
With the exception of someone deciding my recording device should not be on (whoever moved it knows who you are and so do I), an issue that will be handled assuredly as other media outlets were allowed to record, I truly was glad I was there.
After listening to so many stump speeches over the years, and being quite frustrated because none offered substance, it was a nice change of pace to hear someone of Williams caliber actually deal in truth and reality and not negative attacks on his opponent.
One can only hope we see more of this during the electoral season.