Thursday, May 17, 2007

Exclusive Interview with Steve Beshear

Daniel Solzman: Thank you for joining the Kentucky Democrat today. How are things going in Lexington?

Steve Beshear: Our campaign has tremendous support in Lexington. As you know, I have lived in Lexington most of my adult life.

DS: You served in the state legislature, as Attorney General, and Lt. Governor before going to work in the private industry. What did you think of your experience so far?

SB: As we have traveled across our state, we find Kentuckians crying out for strong, experienced, and competent leadership in Frankfort. I feel both my public and private experience have placed me in a unique position to provide that kind of leadership.

DS: Things have changed a lot in Kentucky since your last electoral race in 1996 for the U.S. Senate, how is your campaign taking advantage of the technology provided by the internet?

SB: We have taken advantage of both our website and email to communicate with voters. I am very proud of our website and the wealth of information available to people because of it. We have taken advantage of YouTube, FaceBook, and have started a MySpace page. After the primary we plan on having active blog with guest bloggers from around Kentucky.

What I have found fantastic about the new technology in campaigns today is that they are able to facilitate a two way communication. I don’t want to simply talk to voters, I want voters to be able to talk to me as well.

DS: How do you feel about the image of the state party? Do you think the party is running the way it should be running or do you think that there are some areas that could be corrected?

SB: The image of our party should be one that is inclusive and embraces new ideas and new technology. We need to reach out to all Kentuckians. Our party needs to reenergize at the grassroots level and we need to bring a younger generation into the party to that will play an active role.

DS: How about the national party?

SB: Chairman Dean has done a wonderful job at the DNC, energizing the party and making sure we have good, strong Democratic organizations in every state.

DS: With all the mess going on in Frankfort, do you believe that Governor Ernie Fletcher will be one-and-done?

SB: He will if I have anything to do with it!

DS: You are running for governor and it seems that your big issue is expanded gambling. Where would you like the revenue to go and do you have any response to Speaker Richards' comments the other day?

SB: Gaming tax revenue should be dedicated to certain specific areas such as education, health care and economic development. Other candidates are making numerous campaign promises, but we are the only ticket willing to tell the voters where the money will come from to pay for our promises.

DS: How did you decide on Dr. Daniel Mongiardo? Were there any other people you were considering as possible running mates?

SB: I choose Dr. Mongiardo as my running mate for the only reason one should be Lt. Governor; he has the experience to be Governor of Kentucky.

Dr. Mongiardo was the only candidate I seriously considered as my running mate.

DS: What about 2008? Anyone out there that you would like to see run for president? Who do you think has the best chance to win back the White House?

SB: We have an abundant crop of good Democrats running for President. I have not decided who I will support yet.

DS: How do you feel about Jonathan Miller and his future in Kentucky politics?

SB: By their decision to endorse Daniel and me, both Jonathan Miller and Irv Maze placed the future of our party and our state above their own political ambitions. Both of these men have a great deal to offer Kentucky. I hope I can convince them to help me in some capacity when I am Governor.

DS: Jon Stewart or Bill O'Reilly?

SB: Bill O’Reilly? Are you kidding me? Jon Stewart’s my guy.

DS: What do you believe should be the three most important priorities that you would want the General Assembly to deal with not including expanded gambling?

SB: Improving our children’s education, lowering the cost and increasing the accessibility of health care and creating more high paying jobs for Kentuckians.

DS: How do you feel about the status of education in Kentucky and the low national rankings?

SB: Education in Kentucky has come a long way since the KERA reforms of the 1990’s, but we still have a long way to go. I am determined that every Kentucky child have a world class education so they can compete in the global economy.

DS: Thanks for joining the Kentucky Democrat and keep up the good fight, and you will have my vote in the primary election!

SB: Thanks Daniel. I appreciate the opportunity.

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