Gubernatorial candidate Moffett tells WKU students they are key to change

Elizabeth Beilman

Phil Moffett, Republican gubernatorial candidate, bridged the gap between politicians and students on Friday by speaking to a political science class in the Grise Hall Auditorium.

“The answer is you guys,” Moffett said. “The only way things can change is if people like you get involved.”

Moffett, an entrepreneur from Louisville and Tea Party member, is running on a “4-Corners Platform.”

These four corners are state sovereignty, jobs and improved business environment, improve education and smaller, more efficient state government.

Moffett said the highest priority of the state government is to “get the spending under control.”

“We have the highest debt per capita than any state in the nation when you compare it to personal income,” he said. “It’s your future that we’re squandering right now.

“So get up and do something about it.”

In October of last year, Forbes Magazine ranked Kentucky as the worst-run state in the nation, he said. Ten years ago, the state debt was $3 billion, and now it’s $44 billion, Moffett said.

“It’s absolute nonsense,” Moffett said. “This is something that we have to change, and we have to change now at all levels of government.”

Moffett said he would run the government like a business and let competition dictate how things operate.

One of his solutions to the debt problem is to change the tax code to a single-rate consumer sales tax on all goods and services, which would replace 240 state taxes, fees and surcharges.

“This tax system we’re proposing will be the single largest transfer of power from the government back to you people that this state has ever seen,” he said.

When asked about budget cuts for higher education, Moffett said the problem lies in government spending, not funding.

“Higher education gets the second-highest allocation of funds in Kentucky,” he said. “We’re getting a lot of money.”

Another of his platforms involves improving the way public education functions.

Moffett said one way he will do this is to give parents a right to send their children to whichever school they choose as opposed to the school within their district.

Louisville sophomore Paige Breedlove said she agreed with Moffett’s ideas on public education.

“My parents had to fight really hard to get me and my sister in the same school,” Breedlove said.

This school, within the Jefferson County Public Schools system, was 30 to 35 miles away from home, meaning it was not in her district.

Joel Turner, assistant professor of political science, said he invited all the gubernatorial candidates, but Moffett was the only one to respond.

“Phil Moffett was gracious enough to accept our invitation,” Turner said. “Hopefully we’ll have all of them in here, but at the very least we’ve extended the invitation.”

Turner said Moffett’s visit went well because he was able to engage with students directly.

“I think A, they’re important, and B, they often get ignored,” he said.