Starting at 1pm and ending around 6pm on the grounds of the recently opened Hopkins County GOP Headquarters, the festival gave local citizens and GOP supporters the chance to meet local, state, and national Republican candidates. In addition, the festival offered live musical performances from the Alonzo Pennington Band, Tessa Oglesby, James Michael Harris, and J.T. Oglesby, as well as food and refreshments.

Around 5pm, Congressman Ed Whitfield took to the podium at the festival and spoke about what he sees as our nation and state’s main issues, while also endorsing US Senate Candidate Rand Paul.

“Barak Obama, himself, said that if the Cap and Trade Bill passed, that it would double the electricity rates for most people in America,” said Whitfield. “We know that 51% of our electricity in the country comes from coal, and in Kentucky, 92% of our electricity is produced from coal, yet this administration is determined to put coal out of business.”

In relation to what he sees as a lack of transparency in the current administration’s policies, specifically the Healthcare Bill, Whitfield stated that, “Our number one issue today is jobs and we can’t create jobs with all of this uncertainty. We don’t know what the Healthcare Bill is going to be; we don’t know what it’s going to cost. So, small businesses, as well as large, are not willing to invest because they don’t know the cost of the Healthcare Bill and they don’t know what the tax policy is in America. As you know, if Congress does not take some action before this Congress ends, there’s going to be a $3.8 trillion dollar tax increase next year.”

With an introduction from Congressman Whitfield, US Senate Candidate Rand Paul came before those in attendance, stating that, “I sense a lot of momentum. I feel it every time I’m back here in Madisonville.”

Following his initial statements regarding the TEA Party movement and what he sees as its continual growth throughout Kentucky and the nation, Paul commented on the current administration in the country, stating that, “It really appalls me. President Obama and his advisors actually envy Europe. I’m not making this up. The person he appointed to be head of Medicare has said that he envies the British socialized medicine system. The person that President Obama appointed to be head of Medicare said, ‘It’s not about whether we will ration medicine, it’s about whether we will ration it with our eyes open.’ He has also said, that with Obamacare, it’s about redistributing wealth—I thought healthcare reform was about giving more people health insurance—but he tells you frankly that it’s about redistributing wealth.”

“They talked about these ‘death panels’ a while back, and I weighed in on that, and I said, ‘You know what? They may not pull the plug on your grandmother; they’re just never going to plug her in to begin with,” said Paul. “In Oregon, a woman received a letter that said, ‘Your chemotherapy drug is too expensive and we’re denying it’—she was on government insurance—‘but as a consolation, you are eligible for assisted suicide.’ That’s what we’re coming to. I mean, is that the kind of country we want to live in, where you don’t get to make a decision about your mother, your wife, or your children, that you give up those decisions to the government? I don’t want to live in that kind of country.”

Paul went on to mention other issues with what he sees as high government spending, stating that, “I think there is a grave danger to this debt we are accumulating. I think it also is not just our kids and our grandkids who are going to pay for this—it is more imminent than that. Our young people who are getting out of school looking for jobs are going to have trouble finding jobs because the government is soaking up so much money paying for this debt, that there’s not enough money left for us in Kentucky to create the jobs.”

In conclusion, Paul urged those in attendance to come together and win the races for the local Republican candidates, while also thanking everyone who attended the festival.

Luke Short
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Posted on 2/2/14
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