Local, national politicians sound off at Kentucky Ham Breakfast

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's an event hallmarking Kentucky Pride: eggs, hams, and dairy all from the Commonwealth, for the Commonwealth. The political appetite is also taken care of, and no one goes hungry.

Last year, it was all about the Senate seat when Rand Paul and Jack Conway squared off.

"You know it's not quite as difficult a project when you're not campaigning," Senator Rand Paul joked as he made his way into Thursday's breakfast, commenting on what a difference a year makes.

This year, it's the governor's race that's getting all the attention.

"My mission for the last 4 years has been to do help you to do just that and that's going to continue to be my mission as long as I'm governor," Governor Steve Beshear said at the podium during the Kentucky Farm Bureau's Country Ham Breakfast.

The current governor speaks every year at this event, but at this years, he's also asking for his job, and Senator David Williams wants it.

"They're mud slingers and I'm not going to lower myself to get involved in that," Senator Williams said.

And there it begins. Senator Williams stands by his statement last week that he and his wife paid for a TV in the senate and didn't spend tax dollars on it. But state democrats are still not buying it, and still claim he's lying.

His response?

"They are mud slingers. They ought to tell Gov. Beshear to get with it and to get an agenda he's been up there for four years and he's hired an Arkansas company to do an economic development plan after he's been there 3 ¾ years," Senator Williams said.

So we went to get the other side to see why Kentuckian's cant study what jobs Kentucky needs.

"They put out a bid to hire someone and of course those things are done by bid and we want the lowest bidder but a very good company," Governor Beshear said.

And while he says he'll take the high road, it may be a smelly one for Senator Williams.

"I invite them to come out to the KY state farm there's a lot of hogs and pigs out here and they'd be at home with the mud slingers," Senator Williams told WAVE 3 News.

And remember former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson?  He's not been in the limelight as much in Louisville, as his attention now is spent running as Lieutenant Governor with Governor Beshear.

"I think I've been to 91 of the 120 counties already and I've got the rest of them on the schedule, I've been traveling around the state a great deal and it's been wonderful plus I'm teaching at Belleramine University," Abramson said.

The event also featured national political figures, all agreeing that federal spending needs to be cut.

"I'll say this for the president, he didn't inherit a good situation, no question about it, but after 2.5 years, he made it worse. He made it worse by over spending by over borrowing by over regulating," said Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell.

"I think sometimes there's empty partisanships where we're calling people and saying the other side's wrong but I think there's enough room to blame for both parties because I think both republicans and democrats have both spent money we didn't have," Senator Paul said.

As for the governor's race, it will pick up after Labor Day.

A ham is auctioned off every year at the breakfast. Now in it's 48th year, the money raised from the ham auction goes to charity.

Republic Bank once again won the ham, bidding $600,000. Steve Trager of Republic Bank said, "A few years ago we had a little breakfast benefit for a philanthropy and this year I don't know we may have a little breakfast for associates. We have 780 Kentucky associates."

That amount is down from the $1.6 million bid in 2010, which was when two parties each bid $800,000 which was Trager and the owners of Dr. Bizer's Vision World.

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