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Who is David Williams' Harshest Critic? David Williams

Still reeling from the abrupt departure of his handpicked, Tea Party-approved campaign manager, Senate President and Republican gubernatorial nominee David Williams is confronting a stubborn new enemy on the campaign trail: himself. In the past week, Williams’ past words have come back to haunt him on several occasions, directly contradicting the rhetoric he is employing today.

“The least challenging game in Kentucky politics at the moment is to find another example of David Williams saying one thing and doing another,” Kentucky Democratic Party chairman Dan Logsdon said. “First he was for releasing tax returns, then he was against it. Now he’s for debates, but he used to be against them. This is a guy who will say or do anything to get elected, and that’s exactly why Kentuckians can’t trust him.”

DEBATES

1991 David Williams on Debates: Debates are a relic of a bygone era, and the preferred tactic of underfunded candidates. According to the Courier-Journal, Williams lashed out at 1991 primary campaign opponent Larry Forgy’s call for more debates, saying: “The days that people rode a wagon around together and stopped at every courthouse and had a debate are over…The only people who want to do that are the people who can’t afford to get on television and do the direct mail they need to do.” [Louisville Courier-Journal, 8/22/11]

2011 David Williams on Debates: Debates offer a “robust discussion,” and not attending is “disrespectful.” According to a campaign press release, Williams said: “I am honored to take part in this forum and once again call on Gov. Beshear to show up and discuss the important issues facing Kentucky…I appreciate very much that the Area Development Districts and all the forum sponsors recognize the importance of a full discussion of the issues. I’ll be there. Governor Beshear should stop disrespecting such important organizations and show up for this robust discussion of the problems we collectively face.” [Williams-Farmer campaign press release, 7/29/11]

TRANSPARENCY

1991 David Williams on Tax Returns: Refusal To Release Full History Of Tax Returns Is “Arrogant,” “Desperate Attempt to Hide Pertinent Facts.” In April 1991, Williams accused gubernatorial candidate Larry Forgy of deliberately hiding important information from voters. Williams said: “For him to declare that the public's right to know about his background does not extend beyond the past two years . . . shows an arrogant, deliberate and almost desperate attempt to hide pertinent facts from the electorate.” [Lexington Herald-Leader, ellipsis in original quote, 4/10/91]

2011 David Williams on Tax Returns: Campaign Said Williams Will Not Release His Tax Returns And Said LRC Disclosures “Fully Depict” Williams Finances. In an e-mail to reporters after GOP gubernatorial candidate Bobbie Holsclaw released her tax returns, Williams’ then-campaign manager Scott Jennings said: “We will not be releasing his income tax records to you, as we feel all pertinent information that any person could reasonably need to know has already been disclosed. These documents fully depict his financial situation and that of his spouse and include information related to business dealings, property, gifts, debts and investments.” [Louisville Courier-Journal, 4/9/11]

SPENDING OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS

2006 David Williams on Spending: $17,400 Plasma Screen Was Justified: According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, David Williams justified a new $17,400 plasma screen and video system in his office by saying “It's not like other senators' offices. And that was the location that I felt like—and our technical people felt like— it would be best used.” [Louisville Courier-Journal, 12/6/06]

2011 David Williams on Spending: “As your governor I’ll tackle the tough issues: reducing spending…” [Williams-Farmer ad, May 3, 2011]