Beshear and Williams Trade Jabs Over Special Session

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Senate President David Williams are again butting heads. This time it’s over next week’s special session on Medicaid.

Since lawmakers failed to balance the state’s Medicaid budget during the 30-day regular session, Gov. Beshear is ordering them back to Frankfort for a special session that starts Monday. And Beshear is blaming Senate President David Williams.

“He’s holding the future of Kentucky’s families hostage to his political games and his aspirations. He’s playing the political version of ‘My way, or the highway,” he says.

Senator Williams fired back.

“It’s very unbecoming for the chief executive officer to make personal attacks like that in a press conference. We really never have experienced anything like that. But in the Good Book it says the guilty flee when no man pursues,” he says.

The verbal jousting between Williams and Beshear is likely a preview of this year’s governor’s race. Beshear is seeking a second term and Williams wants his job.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.