Edmonton Kentucky Republican Don Butler tells voters in the state's 9th Senate district he will never follow the crowd in Frankfort in voting to raise taxes. On Thursday, he put that promise in writing.
Butler signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), committing to "oppose and vote against any and all tax increases." So far, only four other state Senate Republicans have signed the ATR pledge. Butler's opponent in the May 22 Republican primary is not one of them.
"Most people don't realize what Frankfort has done to us in the last four years in terms of overspending and debt," Butler said. "The new legislators going up there next year will be under great pressure to raise taxes on Kentuckians and they just have to know that I won't be supporting that."
According to Kentucky's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, state government in the last year has increased General Fund debt by $1 billion. Earlier this week, a federal whistleblower on the Board of Trustees of the Kentucky Retirement Systems said the state pension system will run out of money within three years, costing $600 million a year. Butler said the state's fiscal problems will only be fixed by cutting spending.
"In the last four years we have had enough overspending and tax increases to last us several lifetimes," Butler said. "We can't afford anymore to elect or keep politicians who buy our votes with our own money and pretend that everything will just work out fine."
Butler faces incumbent Senator David Givens in the GOP primary.