February 25, 2012
LEXINGTON, KY—The Family Foundation today blasted Gov. Steve Beshear for blaming other people for the defeat of a constitutional amendment to expand gambling in the state. "The governor has only himself to blame for the defeat of his bill," said Martin Cothran, referring to Thursday’s 21-16 defeat of SB 151. "The governor needs to stop blaming Senate President David Williams and take a look at his own incompetent legislative strategy."
Cothran criticized the proponents who said they were going to try to defeat state senators who opposed the bill. "If the casino interests really want to improve their chances to pass expanded gambling legislation, they don't need to replace David Williams and Republican senators; they need to replace Steve Beshear."
"David Williams didn't need to do anything to kill this bill. All he had to do was sit back and watch Beshear self-destruct. This is one of the worst handled legislative initiatives I've seen in 20 years in Frankfort," said Cothran, spokesman for the group.
"We have a governor who apparently can't count votes," said Cothran, who publicly announced over three weeks ago that the bill did not have the support to pass. "We knew weeks ago that this bill didn't have the votes. You're telling me the governor didn't know that?" He said Beshear, who said publicly he had 23 votes, either knew the bill didn't have votes and was misleading the public or he just wasn't competent enough to know what the votes were.
The governor's bill couldn't even garner the support of all the Democrats. "Four members of his own party voted against it. So how is that Williams' fault?"
Cothran said Beshear's incompetent handling of the bill alienated even supporters of casino gambling, and pointed to the fact that even the past president of KEEP couldn't support it. "If you can't even get the support of Brereton Jones, then you need to go back and get some remedial training in legislative politics."
"This bill wasn't even unveiled until four weeks into the session, and the reception was so bad the governor had to announce the same day that he was going to have to change it. They didn't even begin airing commercials until less than a week before the vote."
"Kentuckians don't want monopolies for rich corporations and neither do most legislators."