First lady Jane Beshear questions Paul’s comments on federal funding for breast cancer

October 07, 2010 | | Comments 15

FRANKFORT – First lady Jane Beshear and state Democratic Rep. Joni Jenkins of Shively took issue with Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul Thursday on his comments about federal funding for breast cancer research.

In a telephone conference arranged by the campaign of Paul’s Democratic opponent, Jack Conway, Mrs. Beshear voiced concern about a Paul comment at a Northern Kentucky town hall meeting in September 2009 in which he said he generally favors more research funding at the state level than at the federal.

In response to the phone conference, Jesse Benton, Paul’s campaign manager, said in an e-mail, “As a doctor and devoted husband of 20 years, Dr. Paul is deeply concerned about the scourge of breast cancer and will fight to ensure we do all we can to find a cure.”

The Conway camp released a video of the town hall meeting in which a woman asked Paul, a Bowling Green eye surgeon, if he would protect federal funding for breast cancer.

Paul said his “general thought is the more local the better, rather than federal.”

He quickly added, “And I am not saying I will or will not promote more federal funding for breast cancer research. I am in favor of breast cancer research.”

He said the only debate about the research is whether the funding is through federal block grants, the federal National Institute of Health or public universities.

“And most of the universities get most of their funding through state funds,” Paul said.

“So it is not a matter of being for or against the funds, but being my general proposition that more things should be done at the state and less at the federal level, unless there is a constitutional mandate at the federal level.”

Mrs. Beshear, a Democrat who said she has lost “two best friends” to breast cancer and that the disease has affected more than 3,000 women in Kentucky in the last year, said the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville receive a significant amount of funding from the federal government.

The Conway camp cited the National Science Foundation in saying the federal government provides public universities 59 percent of the nearly $42 billion for basic research funds.

It did not know exactly how many federal dollars Kentucky receives for breast cancer research and the percentage of federal support it receives compared to other funding sources.

“To say we shouldn’t marshal everything that we can from every resource – federal and from every other place toward finding a cure greatly concerns me,” Mrs. Beshear said.

Jenkins said federal funds are necessary to combat breast cancer.

–Jack Brammer

Filed Under: Democratic PartyElectionsFeaturedJack ConwayRand PaulUS Senate Race

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  1. Chris says:

    Keep your mouth shut Jane. You aren’t anything in this State and I don’t recall you running for Office.

  2. Eric says:

    Yawn. Another hit piece. I wonder, if one was to go back to May 19th and look at every story between then and now; what the number of these absurd, flimsy-relevance stories against Paul would be here at the Obama-endorsing Herald-Leader.

  3. Chris Mallory says:

    And exactly where in the Constitution is the Federal government given the ability to fund medical research of any kind?

  4. PikeCoGOP says:

    Chris: AMEN BROTHER!!!

  5. Constitution says:

    Chris, that is quite easy.

    Article 1, Section 8:

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    I think making sure that women’s breasts don’t become cancerous and kill them is providing for the ‘general welfare’.

  6. Constitution says:

    Oh, also, Chris…I hope that you feel the same way about Sara Palin. She does not currently hold any elected office, and is not running for office. I hope you tell her to keep her views to herself as well.

  7. Chris/Avon says:

    Constitution: Sarah is not the wife of a sitting Governor running for Political Office. Large difference my friend.

  8. respect says:


    The First Lady of the Commonwealth has every right to speak up on this or any other issue. Did you tell First Lady Laura Bush to shut up when she spoke on issues? I found your comment very disrespectful.

  9. Granny Grump says:

    We may have missed our chance to buy American and keep former jobs and income here. Jack Conway\’s friend Bill Clinton was a big contributor to these losses for American citizens. We should ask him about NAFTA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to name a few. We clearly missed our chance to stop governments (on every level) from crippling us with unfunded pensions. We may have missed our chance to prevent union deals and their exorbitant pensions from crippling our industrial base. We fell asleep at the wheel when choosing many of our current and recent politicians (RINOs and Democrats). Let\’s not miss the chance to hold teachers accountable, to allow people to be responsible for their own bills, and to get what we need from our elected officials (that would be life, liberty and the pursuit of a little happiness–not bigger government). Everyone knows that government spending is way off track, but no one wants to give up their goodies. We need true conservatives, not career politicians. Most of us will contribute to cancer research, but we shouldn’t be required to do so.

  10. teabagger2514_section_42 says:

    What’s really funny is that somebody named “igslops” or something like that is publishing almost the exact same comment that Granny just made, all over the newspaper website.

    Man, if they’ve got automated commenters now that’s gonna be the s##t.

  11. Tommy Caudill says:

    Toxic coal sludge pollutes Ky. town 10 years later:

    If this doesn’t prove Rand Paul is wrong for KY nothing does. Can you imagine letting giant coal companies police themselves on these matters? We would all be dying at an early age from cancer and other numerous diseases. These people are just like the republican party, they care nothing about who they hurt as long as they get theirs.

  12. Tommy Caudill says:

    Granny Grump,

    Actually Nafta began under Ronald Reagan and was signed by George H.W. Bush. Wow, people really need to get educated in this country.

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