Sunday, April 22, 2007

Interview with Dr. Dick Robinson

(Dr. Dick Robinson is a candidate for Secretary of State in the Democratic Primary.)

Daniel Solzman: Thank you for joining The Kentucky Democrat. How are things going in Central Kentucky and the radio show?
Dick Robinson: The Joe B Hall and Denny Crum show is a blast...The show, heard live Mon-Fri 10-noon Eastern in 20 cities throughout Kentucky, has been the #1 ranked Fox Sports radio show in Kentucky for the past 2 1/2 years...The coaches are fun guys to be around and are truly wonderful people...They are icons across the state and relate so well with the fans and callers that it makes easy radio...

DS: How did come to your decision on running for Secretary of State?
DR: I am running for Kentucky's Secretary of State because I believe our Party offers citizens a change for the better...I believe that a majority of Kentuckians do not agree with the direction that has been taken by the political leaders of our government...I believe that a majority of Kentuckians want a change...Dick Robinson is glad to be a part of this opportunity for change...

DS: What's the campaign been like for you?
DR: A thought-provoking question...It has really been fun to go across the state and meet with such acceptance as we have encountered...It has been exciting and fun...My wife, Christie, has been terrific with her encouragement and understanding of what we are doing...She is the perfect candidate's spouse...

DS: What is your position on voting machines and do you believe that there needs to be a paper trail?
DR: I will work hard to maximize the election process so that every voter has confidence that his or her vote is properly recorded and counted...I will research other states to determine the most cost-effective way to bring about such confidence in the system...There are many variabilities in search of a near perfect system and I will examine the cost, the infrastructure, the timing, etc. so that the county clerks will be able to provide that system...

DS: If elected, what are some of your primary goals?
DR: I will work to bring to Kentucky the highest standards of the election process in all 120 counties across Kentucky...
I also will:
1) work to repeal the Governor's Runoff Law...It is a bad idea that will cost the taxpayers of Kentucky $5-7 million...The county clerks will be burdened this year with the first such runoff...It will present huge manpower problems, polling place problems, cost, etc....The runoff election is scheduled for the Tuesday before the Fourth of July weekend after schools are closed and I estimate that only approximately 8-10 % of the registered Party voters will participate...We will end up with a situation where only 8-10 % of a Party's voters will potentially select the next governor of our Commonwealth...It's a bad idea...
2) I will form a task force to improve the Secretary of State website so that business people and attorneys can go to a 1-stop shop for their business needs on a user-friendly site...I have had many people talk with me about improving the site...

DS: When can we expect advertisements on TV or the radio?
DR: The Dick Robinson for Secretary of State campaign will utilize several methods of targeting expected Democratic Party voters for the May 22nd Primary Election...TV and advertising are planned for the November election (if we prevail in the Primary)...

DS: The internet has become a popular way of campaigning in recent years. Will you be taking advantage of placing advertisements on blogs or uploading ads on YouTube.com?
DR: Yes, we will be utilizing the YouTube and MySpace elements of today's culture...

DS: While not politically related, how did you conceive the idea of the Joe B. and Denny radio show?
DR: I was sitting across from Joe B at Wheeler's Restaurant in Lexington while he was being interviewed via cell phone by former Alabama coach Wimp Sanderson from a radio station in Birmingham Alabama...I got to thinking and took a napkin and wrote down "The Joe B and Denny Show" and turned the napkin around and slid it over to Coach Hall...He smiled. We went outside and he said "That's a good idea"...He said "let's go see Jim Host"...We did and Mr. Host, the best in the business, gave us initial counsel on how to do the show...We then went to Louisville to see Coach Crum...He said "Count me in", and the show was born...It was easy after that as we had 2 of the most popular and respected basketball people in Kentucky going on the radio to talk about basketball and other things...I still have the napkin !!!!

DS: Have they been appearing at campaign events with you?
DR: Coach Hall and Coach Crum, as co-honorary chairmen of the campaign, play interesting roles...Coach Hall is a strong Democrat and participates in many, many campaign activities...Coach Crum is a strong Republican who has fun with me stating that he has never voted for a Democrat but he will support me and vote for me...I'll be his first...'I'll take that on both counts from both of the coaches...!!!

DS: In the past few weeks, more people had their attention turned to the UK coaching vacancy rather than the political races. How do you feel about the hiring of Billy Gillispie as head coach?
DR: I was fortunate to get to go to the initial press conference where Billy Clyde Gillispie was named head coach of UK...Every single person that I talked to that day at the press conference from former players, high ranking UK administrators, all levels of media, etc., without exception, thought it was a good hire...I am especially confident because he has paid his dues...He has coached at every single level of men's basketball as he worked his way up the ladder...He understands what each level is and can relate to the experiences of each...He has a tremendous work ethic...I have long thought that the most successful coaches are the ones who outwork the competition...bill G is a 14-hour a day worker...And recruiter...A good hire...

DS: One of the biggest issues around is expanded gaming. If the state were to pass a bill to expand gambling in the Commonwealth, where would you like the revenue to go?
DR: It is a divisive issue that is not germane to the Secretary of State race...It, and a few other such issues, give "one issue voters" reasons to not look at the entirety of a candidate...

DS: Thanks again and keep up the good fight. Is there anything you would like to say in closing?
DR: Thank you, Daniel, for taking the time and the interest to reach out to those of us who seek more information about the process of government and democracy...You do a good and valuable service...

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