By Beth Musgrave
FRANKFORT — A proposal to legalize marijuana for medical purposes in Kentucky will carry the name of perennial Lexington political candidate Gatewood Galbraith, who died of complications from pneumonia in January.
State Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, said he knows the measure has slim chances in the 2013 legislative session, but he encouraged dozens of supporters who gathered at a news conference Thursday to call their state lawmakers.
“No, we do not have the votes,” said Clark, who acknowledged he has smoked marijuana and would likely qualify for a medical prescription because of chronic back pain. “It’s going to be very, very difficult.”
Clark filed the Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act shortly after Galbraith’s death during the 2012 legislative session, but the bill never received a hearing. Clark said he plans to refile the bill for the 2013 session, which begins in January.
FRANKFORT –State Sen. Perry B. Clark, D-Louisville, will hold a press conference July 5 to introduce legislation that would make marijuana a schedule II drug, legal for doctors to prescribe.
His bill is being titled the “Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act” in honor of the late pro-marijuana advocate from Lexington.
Clark will be joined at the 2 p.m. news conference in room 154 of the Capitol Annex by Galbraith’s daughter, Molly Galbraith, and other supporters of medical marijuana.
By Jack Brammer
Republican David Williams sharply criticized Democrat Steve Beshear on taxes, gambling, and other issues and independent Gatewood Galbraith said he was the only one who could change the state during Monday night’s second and final debate for the candidates for governor before next Tuesday’s general election.
Williams and Galbraith tried to put Beshear, who holds a substantial lead in the polls in his quest for a second four-year term, on the defensive for much of the contentious 90-minute debate with host Bill Goodman at the KET studios in Lexington.
But Beshear did not take Williams’ and Galbraith’s criticism against him without firing back, especially at Williams.
On defending his tax incentives plan to attract businesses and create jobs, Beshear resurrected his comment that Williams’ father-in-law, Russell County businessman Terry Stephens, applied for incentives to create 25 jobs for his pipe and steel company.
By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT – The re-election campaign of Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear is airing a new TV ad addressing an outside political group’s legal hurdles this week in running TV ads in support of Republican challenger David Williams.
The 30-second Beshear, called “Clear Violation,” contends that ads by Restoring America are misleading and a violation of Kentucky law.
It says the court “ordered them off the air as an illegal attempt to influence the election and help David Williams.”
Editor’s note: This is the second story in a series about Kentucky’s candidates for governor in the Nov. 8 election.
At 6-foot-4, Gatewood Galbraith stands out in a crowd, even at the annual Scarefest convention, where he weaves his way around Elvira impersonators, uniformed ghostbusters and a variety of aliens at the Lexington Civic Center on a recent Saturday.
He’s wearing, as he always does, a coat, tie and wide-brimmed fedora. And he’s campaigning, as he always does, too — this time as an independent candidate for governor.
He has lost seven political races but, as hope springs eternal, so, it seems, does Galbraith. At Scarefest, at least, he finds voters who appreciate his candor and unconventional platforms — which include favoring the licensing of medical marijuana and a ban on mountaintop-removal mining.
Beth Willinder of Stamping Ground voted for Galbraith four years ago, when he sought the Democratic nomination for governor.
“I think we need someone with original thinking,” says Willinder, who is wearing a “Vampires from Hell” T-shirt. “We don’t have that right now. He speaks out where everyone else would stay quiet.”
Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories about the candidates for lieutenant governor.
In Gatewood Galbraith’s eighth run for statewide office, observers have noticed a new focus, attention to detail and online presence missing from previous campaigns.
The credit, the gubernatorial candidate said, goes to his running mate, Dea Riley, an economic development and marketing professional who has managed several previous political campaigns.
“She is such a good writer, and she’s so good with people,” Galbraith said recently of the woman he picked to be lieutenant governor. “She’s helped so much with social media.”
But Riley also has made questionable decisions in the past that have put her at odds with former allies, and created embarrassing legal problems.
For example, in 2003 she was issued a citation in Nelson County for breaking into a house in Bloomfield. She was charged with criminal trespassing and paid a $150 fine, according to court records.
By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT — Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s re-election campaign has raised more than $9.5 million, it said Wednesday in a news release.
Beshear and his running mate, former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, collected more than $4.1 for the most recent filing period — from May to early October, according to disclosure forms filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.
The campaign reported having $1.07 million cash on hand. It said it has pre-purchased $1 million of television advertisements for the final weeks of the campaign. Election Day is Nov. 8.
RICHMOND — Less than a month before the Nov. 8 general election, in their first debate together, the three candidates for governor sparred over jobs, the economy and gambling.
The contentious tone of the evening became evident at the beginning of the hourlong, fast-paced debate at Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for the Arts when Republican David Williams and independent Gatewood Galbraith welcomed Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, who has been avoiding his opponents as he holds big leads in the polls.
During opening remarks, Galbraith looked at Beshear, then turned to Williams and said, “I told you it was him.”
Williams replied the event was “a tremendous opportunity” for Kentuckians to see the three candidates together.
By Beth Musgrave
Two candidates for the state’s top office criticized incumbent Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear for being a no-show in the first televised debate of the governor’s race.
Republican David Williams and independent Gatewood Galbraith appeared Monday on KET’s Kentucky Tonight to discuss education. Beshear, who is leading in most polls by more than 20 points and has amassed millions in campaign donations, declined the invitation to attend.
Williams, who has been state Senate president for more than a decade, said that the “‘education governor’ won’t even come here tonight and talk about education.”
Williams said that besides pushing a measure that would increase the dropout age to 18 — which Williams opposes — Beshear has not made any significant changes in education during the past four years and has been an “obstructionist” when it comes to education. Williams said there was no data to show that raising the dropout age would improve education outcomes.
Galbraith questioned how Beshear got the nickname the “education governor.”
By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT –Gov. Steve Beshear wants to meet with President Obama when the president travels to Cincinnati next week to urge Congress to approve his $447 billion jobs bill.
“We are reaching out to the White House to see if Gov. Beshear can meet with President Obama to discuss several issues that are of importance to Kentucky families,” Beshear’s director of communications, Kerri Richardson, said without elaboration when asked if there were any plans for Beshear and Obama to meet.
The White House announced Thursday that Obama will travel to Cincinnati Sept. 22 to deliver remarks at the Brent Spence Bridge across the Ohio River that connects Ohio and Kentucky. He will be in the backyard of House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.