Congressional candidate speaks at Rotary club

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By Lisa King

Last week's Rotary speaker, State Sen. Brett Guthrie, Republican candidate for Congress in Kentucky's Second District, spoke of issues he would like to address if elected.

He began with saying that he didn't intend to give a partisan speech, but just wanted to "talk about myself and why I'm running and what I believe in."

He opened with saying that his main concern was what he was going to bring to Washington.

"We need to quit worrying about petty politics and focus on prosperity and the future of our children," he said.

Before his speech, he opened the floor to questions from Rotarians. He first addressed the question, 'What do you think of constitutional checks and balances?'

"I think the checks and balances that our founding fathers put into the constitution are what protects the American people," he said. "Our constitution says that no funds shall be spent without the approval of the general assembly."

When asked what he thought of the fact that Congress has just voted to send $50 billion to Africa, he began to speak about the budget deficit, a problem he says we shouldn't burden our children with.

"The fact that Washington continues to spend more than it takes in is causing problems in the credit market and so forth, and that feeds into economics," he said, adding that the United States deficit stands at $458 billion.

"We have to develop an acceptable budget that everybody can live with," he said. "If we don't live within our means, there's going to come a day of reckoning."

Guthrie said in addition to the budget deficit, he is also focusing on other economic issues.

"We need to have a comprehensive energy plan," he said. "We have to really revitalize manufacturing; we can't be a nation that just buys things, we have to build things. Not everybody can be a professional, not everybody wants to be a professional. We need to have ways that people can get skills training and working companies that provide a middle class income and benefits."

The Bowling Green resident also spoke to Rotarians about national security, another topic he is concerned about.

"I think that Islamic terrorism is real, and we have to be vigilant against that," he said. "We need to have a plan for Iraq to become self-sufficient, and on a timetable that's predetermined...because we don't want our soldiers to come home and have to go back again because they haven't finished."

He added that he also thinks that veterans need to get the support they deserve.

"I want to be very focused on Iraq veterans and ensuring that they're well-taken care of because some people have been injured...and we have to take care of them when they come back."

Guthrie, a 1987 West Point Academy graduate, is vice president of Trace Die Cast, a manufacturing business started by his father with five employees that has now grown to more than 500 employees.

Guthrie was elected to serve the 32nd District in the Kentucky Senate in 1998 and serves on numerous committees, including the Education Committee. He has focused on educational issues and has been awarded the African American Equity Coalition's "Children's Champion" award and the College Board's "State Education Leader of the Year."

Guthrie faces Democrat state Sen. David Boswell in the November general election. Boswell will speak to the local Rotary club on Sept. 2.