Editor's note: In an effort to maintain balance, Louisville.com's The Arena beat has both liberal and conservative writers with distinct viewpoints (read the full explanation here). Keith Rouda, one of our lefties, decided to make the trek to cover Fancy Farm.
Aaaaaaaaaaand... that's all folks! The Fancy Farm speeches are over for this year. Thanks for staying with us!
5:15 pm Bob Farmer, candidate for Agriculture Commissioner - pretty hard hitting speech. Touts his marketing experience. Says he'll sell the SUV. Says this isn't a stepping stone position for him. It is time for him to give back. Jamie Comer gets a standing O from David Williams. Says 9 county judges banned Farmer from entering their counties, including six Dems.
5:04 pm Crosbie and Hollenbach both give good speeches. Crosbie supporters hold up an empty suit to represent Hollenbach. She says H. is awol. Never does press releases. Never speaks to the people. Says she is not running for State Janitor. Hollenbach returns fire with pretty reasonable sounding results and decisions.
4:55 pm Todd P'Pool - again with the not allowing Kentucky women to terminate pregnancies. Connects Conway to Nancy Pelosi via... cocktail parties? ok. Complains that Conway supports the President, hasn't launched frivolous lawsuits against the healthcare reform law, and is okay with the EPA doing its job. So far the two AG candidates both ran out the clock and are the only ones.
4:49 pm Jack Conway, Attorney General and former candidate for Senate says it isn't about national partisan politics but things that are important to Kentucky. Talks cyber-crime, prescription pill abuse, and good management. Says his office has removed 300,000 child porn images from the Internet. Have improved hard drive inspection for the courts from a year to a week. Talks his work with the AG of Florida to reduce pills being exported to KY. Says Medicaid fraud collections are up 600%! He's a good speaker. His Senate campaign experience shows.
4:43 pm Adam Edelin and John Kemper, running for state auditor. Edelin says it isn't Republican-Democratic partisanship destroying the country. Says it is Republican-Tea Party. Ballsy. But Accurate. Kemper, meanwhile, says he wants a debt free Kentucky. Debt free? Not deficit free? But debt free? Really? Um... why?
4:33 pm Bill Johnson, Republican candidate for Secretary of State speaking.... ah ha! Now we have opposing candidates talking policies. Makes a full throated support for the GOP efforts to disenfranchise voters across the country. Promises to do the same here in Kentucky.
4:26 pm Alison Grimes, who wants to be the next Secretary of State, says Kentuckians are tired of empty sound bites. Says she has a plan and a vision. Calls it "Grimes Goals". Ah. Distinguishes from Republicans in other states by saying she'll protect voter rights. Says her opponent is using scare tactics.
4:24 pm Elaine Walker, current Secretary of State in Kentucky spoke. Didn't say much.
4:20 pm Dea Riley. Ouch!! Suggests Richie Farmer's wife might want to vote for Dea. Would like mountains to keep their tops. She says she has a marketing and economics background, unlike anyone else in the race. I'll have to look into that.
4:16 pm Richie Farmer is up now. Says the Democrats are lying about jobs, lying about spending, and blames the Bush recession on... Steve Beshear? Farmer is the first of the speakers who needs some public speaking work. His speech sounds read word for word. Doesn't sound natural. Recommend Toastmasters for the man.
Like Williams, makes sure the Kentucky crowd knows that they will prevent Kentucky women from getting abortions if they need them.
4:14 pm Jerry Abramson gives a straight up speech. Talks about Beshear integrity, jobs, his and Beshear's veteran status, "four more years" but steers clear of policy.
4:00 pm Gatewood Galbraith, Independent candidate for Governor, launches into the tried and true "pox on both their houses" approach to the Republican and Democratic candidates.
Uniquely, he has talked about his education plan. Stated opposition to mountain-top removal coal mining. Says we need to freeze tuition in Kentucky. Pricing kids out. Says we need to protect our state workers and "stop these damn furloughs". Says only an Independent can stop corruption and, bizarrly, credits Ronald Reagan with saying "the parties and government aren't the solution... the parties and government are the problem". Reagan didn't actually say that....
3:50 pm State Senate President and candidate for Governor, Republican David Williams says he appreciates the Governor's "late support" for the armed forces. He's a pretty good speaker. Better than I expected. Told the story about lawyers banging on the facts if the facts are with them, banging on the law if the law is with them, and banging on the table if you have nothing. That was about Beshear's avoidance of issues. Like McConnell he blames the Bush economy on Steve Beshear...?
He spoke quite a lot about taxes and borrowing, and then made sure everyone knows that he is going to do everything he can to make sure women cannot get abortions in Kentucky and that everyone will be allowed to carry guns.
3:43 pm Governor Steve Beshear opens up by trying to step up over partisanship. He just got back from visiting troops in Afghanistan per the Pentagon's request. Thanks a nurse from Louisville he met in Afghanistan who won a Bronze Star for valor for dragging injured soldiers off the battlefield. Clever tactic. Managed to silence the boisterous crowd, talk a lot about patriotism, look very "leader like" and he has not mentioned a single policy, result, or anything.
3:35 pm Ed Whitfield on now. Just told a rambling story about... something. Now he's making a case that Medicaid is going to end up picking up the tab for large company employee's health insurance. Huh?
3:30 pm Rand Paul speaking now. Proves my point that when conservatives try to be funny they just end up sounding mean. His "humorous" digs at Jack Conway came across more like he was personally hurt by Conways campaign ads than humorous.
3:25 pm Mitch McConnell is up first. Asks for a moment of silence for the 31 soldiers killed in Afghanistan today when their helicopter was shot down.
Well, that was short. Launched right in to poking fun at Governor Beshear and the investigation into whether state employees have been coerced into making campaign contributions.
Moved right on from that into twisting our recent economic history, saying that Kentucky hasn't had an unemployment rate as high as it has under President Obama in decades. Interesting that he didn't mention that the unemployment stems from the economic collapse brought to us by his good friend George W. Bush.
3:02 pm A little theater to get things started. A coin toss decided Gatewood Galbraith, Independent candidate for governor, will sit over with the Republicans for the program.
2:58 pm Mark Williams is opening up the presentation now. A lot of people to recognize and thank, and then we'll be ready to start.
1:35 pm I am crushed! Was looking forward to my first Fancy Farm and have been foiled by car troubles. But there will be running commentary about the speeches none-the-less!