Cameron Discusses Role Of AG and Differences With Beshear, Biden Administrations
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron made a stop in Brownsville today and addressed a group in the Edmonson County Courthouse.
Cameron, who announced his candidacy for Kentucky Governor just over a week ago, discussed his role as Kentucky's highest-ranking law enforcement official and spoke about his sharp contrasts to Governor Andy Beshear and his administration.
"I try to get out to as many counties as I can. I think it's important for any of your statewide elected office holders to get out and have conversations and be embedded in the fabric of our communities across Kentucky," he said.
General Cameron said his goal when he took office in December of 2019 was to do his job without fear or favoritism. The challenges of the pandemic that came shortly after soon made Cameron a name that was well-known throughout the Commonwealth and the nation as his actions clashed with many of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear's mandates and executive orders.
"We have an equally important responsibility to stand up and defend Constitutional rights," he said. "And that's what we endeavored to do during the pandemic."
Cameron said all down through history, the leaders that made the biggest impacts were that ones that led based on common sense. He referenced Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan, and said that common sense and fair play has to be a factor in successful future leadership.
"So you look at some of our leadership right now, whether it's in Washington or Frankfort, what we've seen in terms of the decisions that have been made in the midst of the pandemic has been a lack of common sense and fair play," he said.
He noted several examples where mandates were put in place for only certain groups of people and that the government had the authority to determine what businesses were essential and those that were not, which ones could be open or closed, and the closings of churches.
He also discussed travel bans, decisions that hurt gas prices for Americans, and other decisions made an the executive level that he described as being "unfair" and without common sense and fair practice.
"The decisions that we make in this office aren't based on animus or political gain," he said. "I think you all know based on 2020 I won't do things for political gain. I will do things because they are right and based on the Constitution and the laws of our state, not because somebody on Twitter's telling me I need to move in a certain direction. I want to do right by you all because I know that this office is a public trust and at the end of the day, I'm put in this office by you all to uphold and defend the laws of the Commonwealth and our whole team recognizes that, values that, and respects that, so we're going to continue to do that."
He discussed having a "common sense agenda," that represents the values of all 120 counties, which includes protecting the unborn, supporting and standing up for law enforcement, and ensuring the integrity of women's sports.
The Edmonson Voice asked General Cameron about the current lawsuit filed by Governor Beshear against him and other Kentucky constitutional officers that include the secretary of state, state auditor, treasurer, and agricultural commissioner over House Bill 334. The bill reduces Beshear's authority to appoint members to the Ethics Commission and was vetoed by Beshear in April of this year; however, that veto was overridden by the Republican majority. We asked Cameron to comment on the lawsuit and the other disagreements his office has had with Beshear's, most of which are widely known.
"I tell people that we have policy disagreements and he's a good family man, but we just have differences of opinions on things" he said. "But my perspective on things is, you all put me in this office to stand up for your Constitutional rights so I'm going to do that without fear or favor. When it comes to that particular piece of legislation, look, we'll let the courts decide. Obviously, I think the legislature is in the position of making the changes they want to and I think that this governor in particular has bristled at that notion--that they are in charge of policy in Kentucky and it's my perspective that, for instance, in my role, we don't offer a lot of bills out of our office because I think it's my role to defend the legislation that is passed by the General Assembly. I think the governor needs to be in a position of executing the laws that are passed by the General Assembly, but he takes a different view of that."
He said it depends on what day it is on what lawsuit you want to discuss coming out of Beshear's office.
General Cameron took several questions from the crowd, from seniors, students, and a few in between.
Cameron concluded his visit by thanking those in attendance and took a few minutes to speak to individuals as well accommodate photo requests.
Click here to contact the Kentucky Attorney General's Office.