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SHEPHERDSVILLE - People are fed up with government, no matter the level.
And that will be a key to victory as Russell Webber tries to reverse a 101-vote defeat two years ago to Linda Belcher in the race for state representative for the 49th District.
The campaign has been totally different this time for Webber. Seeing the 49th House seat as one the Republican Party can secure in Frankfort, Webber said the energy level locally is totally different. And the interest shown by state party officials have brought forward a new burst of energy and funding.
With that being said, Webber’s message has not changed.
The employee of AmeriSource Bergen in Hillview said that the federal and state governments couldn’t continue to spend, spend, spend and expect the people and the businesses to suffer the consequences.
At the state level, revenue is not a problem, said Webber.
The problem is spending.
“The problems in the state have not changed over the past two years,” said Webber. “The revenue is sufficient but the spending is the problem.”
His first goal is to look at every component of the state budget and to prioritize services and programs, which are truly needed.
He said there might be some services which could be better provided by the private sector.
Then, the state must change its climate to be more business friendly. Webber doesn’t believe Kentucky has gotten its share of good paying jobs that would be enough to keep young people from fleeing the commonwealth.
“We need to create a better work environments,” said Webber.
Webber hopes to be part of a movement to stop Obamacare, which he said would bloat the state’s budget.
“I don’t think Kentucky can afford it,” said Webber.
More importantly, the uncertainty about the affects of the Affordable Care Act is scaring small businesses, said Webber. With the uncertainty, Webber said, many are unwilling to hire more employees at this time.
Webber would like to see pension reform in the state. He said all employee pension funds should be fully funded, especially the government.
Finally, Webber would like to see the pension plans for all legislators are abolished. Some legislative action has been proposed to stop retirement benefits for new legislators but he would like to see it occur for all legislators.
While the part-time job may be more than that, Webber said it should not become a career for politicians. He would rather see legislators serve a period of time and then return home to live under the laws they passed.
In talking with people, Webber said most are very concerned on the national and state levels on issues such as debt and spending.
The economy is still a concern, as well as Kentucky’s lack of ability to create quality, good-paying jobs.
He said legislators should be pro-business. Webber pointed to House Bill 290, which he said Belcher supported, that placed more burden on small businesses and allowed new debt.
Webber said there is a clear difference between himself and his opponent. He said her self-imposed label of a fiscal conservative was incorrect. His goal is to get businesses into the state to hire more people and to get the unemployment figure to drop.
“It’s a much better feeling this time,” said Webber. “We worked hard two years ago but the response is much better this time.”