Governor Fletcher and Challenger Steve Beshear In Battle Of Words

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Governor Fletcher and Democratic challenger Steve Beshear have battled verbally before a Kentucky Farm Bureau forum in Louisville.

Fletcher denounced casino gambling this afternoon as a "get rich scheme" that he said wouldn't produce the long-term revenues promised. He raised concerns that it would lead to organized crime infiltrating Kentucky. Fletcher said casinos would divert spending away from existing businesses.

Beshear said Fletcher had "flip-flopped" on the issue. For most of his term, Fletcher had said he personally opposes gambling, but was willing to allow Kentuckians to vote on whether to allow it. Beshear says the governor has since said he opposes putting the issue on the ballot. And the Democrat said casino gambling should be limited to racetracks and two or three freestanding facilities.

On farm policy, both candidates pledged support for the continued use of tobacco settlement money to strengthen Kentucky agriculture. They also promised to focus on nurturing ethanol and other alternative fuels that use raw farm products.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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