(Full Disclaimer: I am on record in support of Andrew Horne. I believe in a democracy where candidates are allowed to be heard and readers should have the opportunity to see what they have to say.)
Danielle Solzman: Thank you for joining the Kentucky Democrat today. How are things going in Louisville?
Greg Fischer: Fantastic. The reaction to my campaign has vastly exceeded the aggressive expectations we had set. Support from Democrats across the Commonwealth has been very energizing from Labor to precinct activists.
DS: When did you officially decide to run for Senate and what factored into that decision?
GF: January 16 was my announcement date. I had been seriously considering this opportunity for the past six months. One of the great aspects of this decision making process was the amount of family discussion that took place. It brought us even closer together as a family that is already very tight knit.
From a personal standpoint, I am just fed up with the direction of our country and the broken political system in Washington. There has been a complete failure of career politicians like Mitch McConnell to address the pressing issues of our day. I want to give voice to all the people of Kentucky who struggle to make ends meet. I have been a creator of thousands of American jobs and I look with dismay as a large part of our economy withers.
DS: How do you feel that the Iraqi situation needs to be handled? With our armed forces stretched so thin, what should happen in the event that America does something about Iran?
GF: Clearly the American people are tired of seeing our troops referee a civil war in Iraq. Our troops should return home safely and as soon as possible while we maintain adequate strike force capability in the region for those extremists who seek to destroy our principles of liberty and equality for all.
I am concerned that neither President Bush nor Mitch McConnell has learned from the Iraq debacle when I hear their saber rattling about Iran. We do have differences with Iran but differences that are best resolved through peaceful means in concert with our allies, both diplomatically and economically.
DS: Do you plan to outreach to bloggers or, as they are being called, the netroots? Do you have any thoughts on the way that blogs have revolutionized politics altogether?
GF: Blogging, and all modern forms of communication, will absolutely be critical components of our campaign. Blogs are great in that they provide real time dialog opportunities. I may not always like what I read but I love the passion of the net roots community. It gives me great energy.
The crafters of our Constitution would be pleased with the way that blogs have democratized and revolutionized American politics. Our forefather's goal was to distribute the power of the government to the people and blogging certainly serves this role. We often see bloggers leading MSM in breaking important news stories. Blogging is modern America's embodiment of the First Amendment.
DS: On that note, and I don't want to get off on the wrong foot here but it was bound to come up sooner, rather than later. Some Kentucky bloggers are trying to make the argument that you are Republican-lite because you donated money to some GOP candidates a few years back. What can you say in response to that?
GF: Thanks for letting me set the record straight on this. 97% of my political giving has been to Democratic candidates, causes and organizations. I was born and raised a Democrat and have been registered as a Democrat since age 18. My strong record of community service is a representation of my Democratic values. One thing is for sure, you'll never see me on YouTube with Mitch McConnell and Ernie Fletcher :)
DS: Do you feel that the state party is heading in the right direction?
GF: I am enthused by the dynamic new leadership of Jennifer Moore, Nathan Smith and their great team. The energy and passion they bring to their mission is changing the face of Kentucky politics.
DS: How about the national party given the perception in the commonwealth?
GF: Chairman Dean's 50 state strategy is paying off despite the initial skepticism and criticism of the Washington establishment. Kentuckians are independent people and will not allow their common sense judgment to be replaced by the conventional wisdom of Washington insiders.
DS: Do you think it's possible that the party will make more gains in the US Senate?
GF: Absolutely. The winds of change continue to blow across America in reaction to Bush/McConnell style politics. The Democrats will expand their Senate majority. With your help, we will defeat the Senate's number one obstructionist - Mitch McConnell.
DS: Several folks want to unseat Mitch McConnell. What is your plan for doing so?
GF: Kentuckians want a US Senator that they can trust. My entire life has been based on building great teams of people to make the community and Country a better place. Every decision I make as a US Senator will begin and end with considering with what is best for all Kentuckians, not special interests.
I will be well funded and seen as a fresh, common sense face to help Kentucky move forward. I am in the final stages of assembling a talented and experienced staff that knows and understands Kentucky. We will compete for every vote in every region and every community.
My lifelong reputation as a problem solver and team builder will be a welcome contrast to the obstructionism and political division that Mitch McConnell created and perfected.
DS: What do you believe should be the three most important priorities for Congress?
GF: First and foremost, Kentucky needs a US Senator that represents Kentucky values and will work for real solutions to address:
1-The economy/jobs -what I call the "assault on the pocketbooks" of working Kentuckians
2-Access to quality, affordable heath care
3-The war in Iraq / bringing our troops home safely
DS: Jon Stewart or Bill O'Reilly?
DS: On that note, what is your stance on kittens and wood chippers?
GF: Appearances can be deceiving, depends on the kitten. Gotta go—Colbert is calling.
DS: Thanks for joining the Kentucky Democrat and keep up the good fight!
GF: Thank you - I enjoyed it!!