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1990-11-08 Interview with Frank Miller, November 8, 1990 Leg001:1990OH288LEG20 01:58:09 Kentucky Legislature Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Legislators -- Kentucky -- Interviews. Political campaigns -- Kentucky. Kentucky. General Assembly. House. Committee on Banking and Insurance. Kentucky. Governor (1971-1974 : Ford) Kentucky. Governor (1974-1979 : Carroll) Kentucky. Governor (1979-1983 : Brown) Kentucky. Governor (1983-1987 : Collins) Ford, Wendell Brown, Ed Huddleston, Walter (Dee) Carroll, Julian Garrett, Tom Powers, Georgia Davis civil rights death penalty banking legislation Smith, Al sales tax legislation Legislative Research Commission (LRC) Brown, John Y. Jr. Black Sheep Squadron Collins, Martha Layne Term/District: House (1974-1986), 32nd district Counties in District: Jefferson County (Ky.) Frank Miller; interviewee Jeffrey Suchanek; interviewer 1990OH288_LEG020_Miller 1:|15(4)|52(2)|72(2)|107(12)|137(3)|163(1)|195(7)|216(9)|231(5)|244(16)|269(14)|286(1)|311(8)|343(9)|363(6)|374(5)|389(12)|398(14)|409(3)|429(3)|443(12)|461(9)|474(12)|490(11)|510(4)|517(13)|527(4)|539(9)|551(4)|568(10)|578(9)|591(15)|613(11)|625(6)|643(6)|654(13)|667(2)|678(5)|701(4)|711(10)|724(1)|741(9)|766(11)|779(7)|800(1)|811(8)|824(9)|842(13)|860(9)|885(2)|900(1)|922(10)|939(12)|951(10)|964(13)|982(11)|1004(4)|1020(12)|1042(5)|1056(6)|1081(11)|1091(16)|1104(2)|1115(14)|1130(7)|1148(10)|1168(5)|1179(6)|1189(5)|1202(4)|1209(18)|1220(17)|1228(1)|1243(8)|1251(16)|1268(5)|1290(13)|1308(1)|1317(3)|1335(8)|1357(2)|1368(1)|1386(2)|1403(8)|1421(6)|1436(12)|1453(7)|1468(1)|1483(3)|1494(10)|1509(7)|1527(1)|1538(1)|1545(3)|1553(2)|1561(12)|1569(11)|1584(10)|1601(8)|1613(9)|1635(12)|1646(15)|1659(10)|1673(2)|1689(14)|1713(8)|1720(3)|1732(4)|1744(7)|1753(8)|1762(8)|1774(5)|1783(9)|1795(3)|1801(11)|1820(2)|1827(10)|1836(4) audiotrans Legit interview SUCHANEK: The following is an unrehearsed interview with former State Senator Frank Miller, who represented the 32nd district, which consisted of Butler, Logan, and Warren counties from 1974 to1986. The interview was conducted by Jeffrey Suchanek on November 8, 1990, at 9:30 a.m. in Mr. Miller's office in the State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky. [Pause in taping] This morning I'm talking with Mr. Frank Miller. Mr. Miller, can you tell me when and where you were born? MILLER: I was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky, February the 6th, 1936. SUCHANEK: Can you tell me your parents' names and what they did for a living? MILLER: My mother was Ola Mae Miller, or Ola Mae Brown Miller. She was a housewife. My father was Preston Miller, who was a businessman in Bowling Green. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. How far back in Kentucky do your family roots go? MILLER: Really, I have a history of five generations in Kentucky. SUCHANEK: Do you remember your grandparents at all? MILLER: Oh, yes. SUCHANEK: What did they do for a living? MILLER: They were, on both sides, were farmers. SUCHANEK:. Um-hm. How many people were in your immediate family? MILLER: I have two brothers and two sisters. SUCHANEK: Are they older or younger? MILLER: They're all younger than I am. SUCHANEK: Okay, you're the oldest in the family. MILLER: Right. SUCHANEK: All right. How extensive was your kinship network in Warren and the surrounding counties? Did you have aunts and uncles who lived nearby? MILLER: No. No, they all lived in other counties. SUCHANEK: Okay. Where did you live when you were growing up? MILLER: In Bowling Green. SUCHANEK: What was your address? MILLER: My address was 610 Old Morgantown Road in Bowling Green. SUCHANEK: Where did you go to school? MILLER: I attended College High School in Bowling Green, which is a training school for Western Kentucky University for high school. I attended Western Kentucky University and graduated from Georgia Tech. SUCHANEK: What year was that? MILLER: 1956. SUCHANEK: And what did you major in? MILLER: Gas engineering. SUCHANEK: Gas Engineering? Okay. When you were going to grade school and high school, do you remember who some of your teachers were? MILLER: Yes. I had a history teacher by the name of Polly McClure, an English teacher, her name was Miss Newman, and a science teacher by the name of N.L. Ross. SUCHANEK: What subjects did you take besides those? Do you recall any more? MILLER: Just the normal high school credits. SUCHANEK: Did you have a favorite subject? MILLER: Not really. SUCHANEK: Okay. Did you ever have a civics course in school? MILLER: Yes. SUCHANEK: Do you remember who taught that? MILLER: I can't remember the fellow's name. SUCHANEK: Okay. MILLER: It was a gentleman, but I can't remember his name. SUCHANEK: Did you have a favorite book? MILLER: No, not really. I have, one of my favorite books is, on Kentucky, is John Ed Pearce's book. I can't even tell you the name of it, "History of Kentucky," or something of that nature. SUCHANEK: Is it the one called Divide and Dissent on Kentucky politics? MILLER: Yeah, that's it. That's it. SUCHANEK: Okay. When you studied history, did you have a favorite historical figure? MILLER: No. SUCHANEK: When you think back, did any teacher in particular make an impression on you, perhaps to start, to form your political philosophy? MILLER: I would say that would have to be Polly McClure. SUCHANEK: Okay. Were you involved in any extracurricular activities in school? MILLER: I was very active in sports, basketball primarily. We didn't have a football team at that high school. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Were you on any debate team or anything of that nature? MILLER: No. No. SUCHANEK: When you were growing up, did you attend church? MILLER: Yes. SUCHANEK: Which church did you attend? MILLER: Forest Park Baptist Church in Bowling Green. SUCHANEK: Okay. Do you think your religious upbringing had any bearing or influence on your political philosophy? MILLER: Oh, yeah. SUCHANEK: In what way would you say? MILLER: Well, of course, everybody has their own philosophies, but I would have to say that my religious upbringing had to give me some thinking that probably did carry on into the legislature on issues from time to time, you know, right and wrong, this sort of thing. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. The moral-type aspect? MILLER: I never did, I you know, I never did really let that be the total influence on making legislative decisions, but that was always part that I did consider. SUCHANEK: Were you ever in the armed forces? MILLER: Yes, uh-huh. SUCHANEK: I believe you were a corporal in the Army, is that right? MILLER: Yeah. SUCHANEK: How did you get to be corporal in the Army? MILLER: I spent my two years and got to be a corporal before I got out (laughs). SUCHANEK: When were you in? MILLER: From `58 to `60. Served in the Panama Canal Zone. SUCHANEK: Oh, is that right? Um-hm. Do you think your military service had any influence on your political philosophy (laughs) at all? MILLER: Not at all. SUCHANEK: Not at all, okay. What is your wife's name? MILLER: Betty. SUCHANEK: When and where did you meet her? MILLER: I met her in church, about, oh, I'd say it was 1950 when I first knew Betty, and we got married in 1960. SUCHANEK: 1960. Did you court long? MILLER: A couple of years. SUCHANEK: How many children do you have? MILLER: Have two. SUCHANEK: Boys or girls? MILLER: One of each. SUCHANEK: Any grandchildren yet? MILLER: No grandchildren. SUCHANEK: Okay. Are any of your children involved in politics? MILLER: Not actively. They have a keen interest in politics, growing up while I was in the legislature, and they're attuned to state and federal government, and have a vital interest. My daughter lives in Nashville. She has lived there for about ten years and she's very much involved, as far as having worked in local campaigns there for different candidates. And my son, who is a graduate of the University of Kentucky Law School, now lives in Louisville, and he is very much interested in the political arena. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: Probably someday in the future, why, he will be involved somewhere. SUCHANEK: Is he a member of a law firm somewhere in Louisville? MILLER: Yes. Uh-huh. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. What law firm is that? MILLER: The Boehl, Stopher, Graves & Deindorfer firm. SUCHANEK: Okay. How did you get to be vice president of your father's company, Miller's Bottled Gas Company? MILLER: Well, I grew up in the business, and my training was in the gas industry. And I have two brothers that are also involved in the business. I'm still an officer in that company, and it's been a family business through the years that we've all been involved in. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. When did you become vice president, do you recall? MILLER: Not really. It's been fifteen years ago, I suppose. SUCHANEK: Okay. When and how did you begin to get involved or interested in politics? MILLER: Growing up, I always followed local races. I was always for somebody in a race, and would take a side. And really going back to my first involvement in the statewide race, was when Wendell Ford ran for lieutenant governor. And that was my first involvement in, really, state politics. Before then, I'd always been involved in school board races and city commission and magistrate's races and things like that. And then I was very involved in Senator Ford's run for governor. And it got to the point-and I spent a lot of time on that campaign. And I was- SUCHANEK: In what capacity? MILLER: I was organizational chairman in Warren County for him. SUCHANEK: Oh, okay. MILLER: And after that, you know, I decided if you're going to spend all the time being involved in these campaigns, you might ought to get involved yourself. You know, I was always one that, like I say, took a side. And I was interested in what was going on. And the senate seat in Warren County was open. The incumbent did not run, and so after much consideration and talking with my family, I decided to run for the Senate, which was my first office to seek. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Had anyone in your family ever been involved in politics before? MILLER: I had a uncle on my mother's side who was in the State House of Representatives. SUCHANEK: What was his name? MILLER: His name was Ed Brown. SUCHANEK: Okay. When did he serve, do you recall? MILLER: He served from, oh, something like, I think he was in the House ten or twelve years, from approximately `64 to `74, in that era there. SUCHANEK: Okay. Was he still in when you were- MILLER: Yes, my first term in the Senate, he was still in the House at that time. SUCHANEK: Okay. Did he serve as a mentor to you at all? Did- MILLER: No. We, our philosophies were not always alike, and we didn't agree on all legislation. I think I learned a lot from him, you know, in watching his activities and so forth, but I didn't consider him really a mentor in that regard. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Had you talked with him before you went up to Frankfort- MILLER: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. SUCHANEK: about how things went on and- MILLER: Well, I had been, I had visited the general assembly in session quite frequently for business legislation and so forth. So I had at that time, I thought, a pretty good reading on how the legislature worked. But, of course, when I got here, I found that it was different than what I had really thought before. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. When you ran for the State Senate, what was the local political situation like in Bowling Green and Warren County? Were there factions in the Democratic Party in Warren County at that time? MILLER: More so than we have today. Warren County is a fairly sophisticated county. The factions, even though they were in existence back at the time I ran, they didn't control things like we would know factions used to in the past. SUCHANEK: Like "Doc" Beauchamp? MILLER: Yeah, that was not a factor. That-"Doc" Beauchamp was dead at that time, and I, part of my Senatorial District was in Logan County where "Doc" Beauchamp's roots all were. SUCHANEK: Right. MILLER: And that county was much more factionalized than, say, Warren County was. And when I ran my first race, why, I tried to get some of the Beauchamp people for me. SUCHANEK: Oh, did you? MILLER: Yes. SUCHANEK: Who did you approach, do you recall? MILLER: I talked to Mrs. Beauchamp. And at that time, she was getting up in years and was not active politically, but she still had friends, and she was for me my first race. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. And I think the other faction in that, in Logan County would have been Bob Brown, Judge Bob Brown? MILLER: That's correct, um-hm. SUCHANEK: Umhmm. Was he- MILLER: He was for me, too. SUCHANEK: Okay (laughs). Now, your predecessor in the State Senate was Ray White, a Republican. MILLER: That's right. SUCHANEK: How strong was the Republican Party in Bowling Green and Warren County in 1973. MILLER: Not tremendously strong. That district, and the reason Ray White didn't run for reelection is because of the redistricting and he had some counties north of Warren County, he resided there, but his district was primarily Warren County and adjoining counties that was Republican. And that was the reason he didn't run after the redistricting. SUCHANEK: They basically cut his support out from under him. MILLER: Right. Right. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: When that new district was formed, it was comprised of Warren, Logan, and Butler counties, which Butler County was primarily a Republican county, the other two being Democrat counties. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now, when you decided to run for the State Senate, that was basically your idea then? MILLER: Oh, yeah. SUCHANEK: Okay. No one had approached you to ask you to run? MILLER: No. No. I never did, you know, I've heard these stories about being groups of people asking you to run and coming to you. I didn't have that. The only thing that I heard was in my own mind that I wanted to be State Senator. And nobody encouraged me. I got a lot of discouragement. SUCHANEK: (Laughs), from whom? MILLER: Oh, from family for one thing. And, not that they were against the political process, but didn't think I could win because of the other people that had already been involved in politics and were in that race, and the time that it would take away from my business, that it might not be good for business, but I have a philosophy that politics won't hurt you in business if you present yourself right. You know, everybody's got to-and you've got to respect the other person's opinion. I never did think I lost any business because of being in politics. What little business I did lose because of politics, they weren't very good customers to start with. And I picked up customers because of politics, so it was about a wash. And I never did figure that that cost me anything financially, as far as business was concerned. Didn't, it sure didn't make me anything, but it (both laugh) didn't cost me anything. SUCHANEK: Yeah. I noticed that during the campaign your mom and dad had put ads in the paper asking for support. MILLER: Um-hm. That's correct. SUCHANEK: Uh-huh. Was your dad concerned at all about your running? MILLER: Yes, I'd say he was. At the time, you know, he-I think he figured it would take probably too much of my time. But after I did get involved and I won, why, he was one of my staunchest supporters. He was one of these fellows that never was really involved in politics, other than to go vote. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Well, what professional qualifications, personal qualities, or experience did you feel you had that qualified you for the General Assembly? MILLER: No particular qualifications really stood out. I felt like that I had understood people, understood their needs in that district, and just frankly felt I could do a better job. You know, I was pretty easily self-motivated. SUCHANEK: Okay. Describe for me the social, cultural, and economic make-up of the 32nd District and your constituents. MILLER: The economic make-up would be, I think, moderate to, moderate income- class people. The social aspect, you know, we have Bowling Green, being the focal point of that district, has a better feel for the social aspects and the arts and education because the university being there. The balance of the district was primarily agricultural, rural area. Having been in business and serving rural people, you know, I did understand their problems and could communicate with them, and I think that was helpful. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. How did you campaign during the primary? MILLER: Well, there were five people in my first race, and I was the last one to get in the race. Some of them had been running for a year at the time I got in. I knew I had to do it with organization. I used, in fact, I used some of my customers that I was, had a good relationship with, I got them involved politically. Many of them never been involved before. I had a strong organization that we were able to put together in pretty short notice, made up of business people who wanted their business voice heard. And we took primarily non-political people and put together in that organization. I didn't have many old heads involved with me because the old heads didn't think I could win. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. So you basically had an organization made up of novices, in the- MILLER: That's right. SUCHANEK: political sense? MILLER: Right. Now, I'm not saying that was totally true, but primarily that was right. I had some political people that were for me, but they were for me because they knew me and liked me. They didn't go out on any limbs for me or anything like that, because as I say, I was the last fellow to get in, and was the fellow that wasn't supposed to win. SUCHANEK: Did you go door to door? Did you have a door-to-door campaign strategy? What was your campaign strategy? MILLER: We had a limited amount of door-to-door. We tried to be as visible in all parts of the counties, the three counties, as we could be. In a district like that, you just can't, you can do selected areas door to door, but you just, in the timeframe that we had, it was impossible for us to go door to door. SUCHANEK: I know you had newspaper advertisements. MILLER: Yes. SUCHANEK: Did you have radio spots and television spots? MILLER: Yes. No television at that time. I relied on the, each county had a newspaper. The Logan and Butler counties were weekly papers, and then Bowling Green was a daily paper, and you know, the daily paper out of Bowling Green goes into those counties. And I was always a strong believer in newspaper ads, not with a lot of information with them, but repetition and having your name out there with a brief message. People won't read long political ads, and I, as far as name recognition, I think it's better if you have that repetition and have a small ad in, you know, all the time. SUCHANEK: Were you the first one to use the vertical type advertisement, from top to bottom of the page? Because I noticed that after your first campaign, other people started to use that as well. MILLER: I think I was probably the first one in that area. I never had noticed it before in campaigns. But that was my idea I had, and I thought it stood out. And if you take, have that right-hand page, that vertical one-column length of the paper, it does show up. And I always did that. Since you've looked at them, you know they were always in reverse, where they would stand out. SUCHANEK: Right, um-hm. MILLER: With no real message in there except "Vote for Frank Miller." SUCHANEK: Right, right. Did you have a campaign manager or a campaign advisor? MILLER: No, I did it myself with a selected group of people. And I would have meetings with these people on a real regular basis, two or three nights a week, that we would sort of plan for the next week. And it was a group effort. You know, I was the leader and I had the ideas, but I would shoot them out there, and I always told them, I said, "If you don't like this, don't, I don't need to feel good." You know, "Tell me what you think." And we made decisions like that. SUCHANEK: Who was in that group? MILLER: Oh, one of my brothers, my wife, there was a lady from Butler County by the name of Evelyn Page who was in that group, there was a fellow by the name of James Elkin and his wife from a rural community there in Warren County that was in that group. A young man by the name of Bill Robinson, who was in that group who had roots in Logan County but lived in Warren County. And we would meet in my garage, and we didn't have any campaign headquarters, it was all run out of my home. SUCHANEK: Was it difficult for you to establish an organization in the other counties where, perhaps, you were less well known? MILLER: Yes, it was more difficult. I was real well known in Butler County because of business activities. I was not known in Logan County, and I had to develop that. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. And that was with help from the Beauchamp and Arnold factions, I mean Brown factions? MILLER: You know, I would counsel with those people, and primarily Brown, because Mrs. Beauchamp at that time was getting up in years. I would ask her from time to time about different people, and they would tell me key people that I need to go see, and I just hoofed it out there and talked to the people, and- SUCHANEK: What was your message to them? MILLER: I wanted to be their State Senator, and I thought I could do a better job, and I was not hard to communicate with, that I'd try to be the same fellow after I was elected as I was before I was elected, and I would be accessible to them, that was really my message. SUCHANEK: Now, you had four strong opponents, as you mentioned, in the `73 primary, Raymond McClard, Jody Richards, C. L. Cutliff, and Joe Huddleston. What do you remember about your first primary race against such formidable opposition? MILLER: You mean about the individuals? SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: Oh, they were, these fellows were all my friends and I'd known all of them for years. Probably of the three, I had less knowledge or less association with C. L. Cutliff. At that time he had just run, I think it was the year before, for State Treasurer, had run a statewide race, and he understood what had to be done to win a race. Joe Huddleston, who is now the circuit judge in Warren County, was "Dee" Huddleston's nephew. And I'd been involved, I was for "Dee" and helped him in his first campaign, and the Huddleston name was a popular name there, come from a good family. Jody Richards had been very active in Young Democrats work in that area, kind of on a regional basis, was a friend of mine, and he and I talked before I made my decision to run. And Raymond McClard was probably the most experienced as far as running political races, because he'd been jailer for twenty-six or twenty-eight years at that time (laughs), and knew a lot of people, was a tough campaigner and a tough fellow. Probably the most outstanding thing I remember about that campaign was Raymond McClard, and he called everybody "little buddy" and could shake more hands quicker and get a message out than any individual I ever met. And I remember one time, and, you know, he would almost intimidate you, because I was not used to running a campaign. I did well on a one-on-one basis because I would look them in the eye and ask them for their vote. And I couldn't work a crowd near as fast as Raymond could. And I remember one Saturday there was a big auction sale in Logan County, and I started about nine o'clock in the morning. I was down there early to start meeting people coming in for the auction, big farm auction, and about the time I pulled up, old Raymond pulled up and he said, "Hello, little buddy." And I'll never forget how he says, "I see you're out here working hard this morning." And he buzzed through that crowd and just, it was almost embarrassing because I couldn't do it that way. That wasn't my style, and I just couldn't do it the way he was doing it. And he was just working the fire out of that crowd, and I felt at that time he was doing a better job than I was. And I said, "I don't have to put up with this." I knew where there was a sale up in Warren County that I could go up there (Suchanek laughs), you know, and just leave him there. So I got in my car. I stayed, didn't stay too long. I was a little bit down. I said, "Well, I'll buzz up there and make this other one, and I'll be there by myself." And I drove as fast as I could. I did stop at a grocery store and make one call on the way up there and drank a Coca-Cola. When I got there, Raymond McClard was there, too (Suchanek laughs). I said (laughs), "Well, you know, I'll just have to fight this fellow on his own ground, you know, and the way he does it." And I did, but we had a good time in that campaign, and all those fellows remain my friends. Two years later, Jody Richards ran for the House, and I supported him. We've been friends through the years. Joe Huddleston, who was a gentleman, he was not, didn't run for office for some time after that, but he and the Huddleston family, we all always remained friends. And then when he ran for circuit judge, why, I supported him for circuit judge. I had an idea that in the future, why, he may have some other things on his mind, and I'll probably support him again. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now, one of your opponents, and I forget whether it was McClard, Richards, or Huddleston, in a newspaper ad, I thought rather slickly brought in the names of Wendell Ford and Louie Nunn, insinuating that they had endorsed him. And Joe Huddleston ran ads in the paper picturing him with "Dee" Huddleston, in their trench coats, indicating that he was the candidate who knew the influential people in government. MILLER: Yeah, I had a, that was the perception out there that I had to fight, you know. SUCHANEK: Right. You, on the other hand, ran no such ads, as you say, just a simple message with the message, "Vote for Frank Miller." And in the primary you received 29 percent of the vote. How did the large number of candidates affect your race, do you think? MILLER: I don't know. In what manner do you mean? SUCHANEK: Well, did you see the fact that four others running as an advantage for your candidacy or a disadvantage? MILLER: Oh, I think it was a disadvantage. I'd rather run one-on-one against any of those fellows because I felt like I could hold my own with any of them. In a district that big-and the disadvantage, if I had a disadvantage, it was because I was so late getting in the race, and the, and not having a real recognizable name like the Huddleston name, you know. And Jody had good name recognition because of his activity, particularly with Young Democrats. And the one that I feared most was Joe Huddleston, because of, "Dee" was a popular fellow in that area, and a lot of my friends were "Dee's" friends, and our acquaintances were, you know, the same. And the Huddleston family, you know, it's just a big family in that county. He had three brothers, and they were all active in it. He had an uncle who worked for the transportation department down there as an attorney, Charles Huddleston. And Charles Huddleston and I were good friends. And he said, you know, "Frank, blood's thicker than water," and he said, "I hate that it's got to be this way, but that's the way it is." And I understood that. So he was the one I feared most, and as it turned out, he did run second in the race. SUCHANEK: Right. Now, in the 32nd District, where did you see your greatest voter strength coming from? MILLER: Rural areas. The city situation in particular in Bowling Green, relating to Bowling Green, I knew, was going to be split up. And I knew my strength, if I had strength at that time, had to be in the rural area, and I concentrated there. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Were you surprised that you won the primary? MILLER: No, I knew I was going to win from the day I got in. SUCHANEK: (Laughs) okay. Just a positive thinker? MILLER: Yeah. Yeah. I always, probably overly so, was positive in my thinking, you know, and I thought I would win the day I announced. SUCHANEK: Well, given the fact that- MILLER: Some people will get in the race and say, "Well, I'll run this time and then get my name out there, and run the next time." And probably if I'd have gotten beat that first race, I'd never run again. SUCHANEK: Is that right? Um-hm, well, given the fact that the Huddleston name was so popular and these other gentlemen had been running for some time and had established their organizations, how did you win? MILLER: Just outworked them. I think I outworked them. And I think my advertising was better than theirs, particularly the newspaper, and had a, I had more people involved. A lot of them didn't know anything about politics, but they knew they were for Frank Miller and they'd go out and tell people. And I had a large organization and- SUCHANEK: How many people would you say were in your organization? MILLER: That were active in doing things. Probably 250 in the three counties that were actively doing something on a regular basis. And I always thought that a candidate, and I still have that philosophy, that no candidate can do enough on his own to win. I don't care how good a candidate he is or how bright he is or how much money he's got. If he doesn't have folks doing things for him, he can't win, and I really believe that. And as we see things today that the elections have changed, television is now more of a factor, and a very effective factor, I think, but you still got to have people involvement, and people that believe in you and your causes to win any election. And I strongly believe that. You can have all the money in the world, burn that tube up, and you can't win if you haven't got little people out there in place doing things for you and speaking your message and showing support for you. SUCHANEK: Now, even though Ray White had held the office before and the Republicans failed to run a candidate in the November general election, do you have any idea why they didn't? Was it the redistricting? MILLER: I think primarily the redistricting, yeah. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. They knew they didn't have a- MILLER: I think that's right. SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, the day after the election, the Bowling Green Daily News ran a picture of you meeting with Lieutenant Governor Julian Carroll in Frankfort, I think it was for a breakfast. Do you recall anything that Governor Carroll, Lieutenant Governor Carroll might have said to you that morning? MILLER: No, I really can't, other than I had known Julian from his days in the House. We weren't close or anything like that. And he knew I was the new kid on the block and he was going to be presiding over the Senate, and I think, and he also knew at that time that he had in mind running for governor. And he just told me that he would be glad to help me, and was extending his hand of congratulations, more than anything else. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Turning to a philosophical question for a moment, what is the role of a legislature, legislator in society? What function does a legislator play in society? MILLER: Oh, it's a broad role that he plays, and I think that whatever that whatever rung on the ladder that people have in society, whether it be things that they may have an interest in in state government, they relate to that individual. And it's a role that they feel like that they can project their voice and their desires into state government. And I think that's at all levels. SUCHANEK: Okay. When you first went to the State Senate, was your first priority your constituents or the state as a whole? MILLER: My constituents. Probably after I become more knowledgeable of state government, I probably took a somewhat different attitude, even though I always tried to make my district first, in my voting, I had to look at the entire state, you know. And I think that only comes after you're there a while, and you understand the process, and how even though something might be very, very good for your district, if it's detrimental to other parts of the district, or other parts of the state, then I think that tempers your thinking some. And you only get that through experience. SUCHANEK: Did you feel you were elected by the people to vote in their best interest? Or did you feel that they elected you to vote the best way you thought best? MILLER: Well, that depended. And I always had this approach that Frank Miller voted his convictions on issues, moral issues. But I also always talked to my constituents on what their thinking was, about moral issues and others. And you know, even though I knew that I was the fellow that had to make that last vote, had to make that decision on that vote, I always talked to them. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. [Woman in background: "Can you step out for just a minute?"] [Pause in taping] SUCHANEK: Okay, in other words did you see your role- MILLER: Have you got that going? SUCHANEK: Yeah, it's going. Okay, did you see your role of State Senator as being one of a messenger, or being one of a leader? MILLER: Oh, as a leader, not a messenger. SUCHANEK: Okay. Here's another philosophical question for you. When you first went to the General Assembly, what did you think the role of government was? What is government supposed to do? MILLER: Oh, I think government, there's certain services that they're supposed to provide. I know that government can't do anything for people that they don't take away from folks in the way of taxes. They're not a profit-making organization, their revenue all comes from taxes. But there are certain services that people do require that has to be governmental. I was a private-enterprise person, anything that could be done by private enterprise, I thought that was the way it should be provided. But in many cases, the government has to do things for folks, and I viewed it as that. I viewed it in protecting people, you know, through legislation, environmental things and things of this nature, that that was the function of government. SUCHANEK: Okay. How intrusive should government be in society in your opinion? Do you favor limited government, then? MILLER: Yeah, I really do. I think that we've got too much government now, and it keeps growing. SUCHANEK: How long did it take you to learn the ropes in the Senate? MILLER: Well, I was, like I told you earlier, I had some reasonable idea of how it functioned, but I would say that-and you continue to learn through the years, but before I was really a competent legislator, I'd say that that whole first session was a learning experience for me. I was fortunate in this respect, that when I got my seating assignment, I sat next to the majority floor leader in the Senate, fellow by the name of Tom Garrett. And Tom taught me a lot. He's a rough-and-tumble leader. At that time, you didn't have as much legislative independence as we have today, and things were controlled by leadership much more at that time. But I would have to say Tom Garrett was a great teacher for me and taught me a lot of the process. Taught me how to be tough, too. SUCHANEK: (Laughs), now, prior to the start of the `74 regular session, did you attend the pre-legislative conference? MILLER: Yes. SUCHANEK: And I think that was held at Kentucky Dam? MILLER: Right. SUCHANEK: What went on there? And who controlled the meeting? MILLER: Oh, leadership really controlled the atmosphere of the meeting. Committee assignments were worked on at that time, and it was more of a social event rather than a working event at that time. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now, being a freshman Senator, you probably weren't included in the Democratic leadership selection process. MILLER: No. No. SUCHANEK: Who nominated Bill Sullivan as president pro tem and Tom Garrett as majority floor leader? Is it your impression that they were nominated or put up for nomination by Governor Wendell Ford? MILLER: I would think that some of his people did that at the time, and I can't recall who it was. SUCHANEK: Um-hm, um-hm. Do you recall if there were any other candidates for those positions? MILLER: No, I think they were the only candidates at that time. SUCHANEK: (Laughs), okay. Now, at the pre-legislative conference, you being a freshman Senator, were you told by the Democratic leadership, namely Ford or Julian Carroll, what was expected of you by the party or what legislation the party wanted your support for? MILLER: No, I never did have any of those type conversations with either one of those governors. I think that you, as a freshman, you observe, and it doesn't take you too long to figure out what the program is (both laugh), you know. But no, as far as them ever calling me up and saying, "Well, this is what we're going to do," that didn't happen. SUCHANEK: Okay. MILLER: I never did feel-me, as an individual, I never did feel that strong arm people talk about. There were certain things you understood, but even at that time, I always had a sense of freedom and a sense of independence. I didn't always vote with the leadership. I had to make my own decisions, but I never did, you know, now I've heard about the heavy-handed tactics, and I won't say that I haven't been lobbied by a governor on a certain piece of legislation, but never did have the iron, heavy-handed tactics ever used on me. Really didn't. SUCHANEK: Okay. Just let me turn this over real quick. MILLER: Okay. [End of Tape #1, Side #1] [Begin Tape #1, Side #2] SUCHANEK: How did the other legislators treat you that first session? MILLER: Very cordial. You know, if you're going to have friends, you've got to be friends, and I'm sort of an outgoing-type individual. And I tried to make friends, and always realizing I was the new boy on the block up there along with, I think when I come in there were two or three new ones that come in at that time. But I always tried to understand where I was, and I knew that if you were going to ever get to where you could pass legislation and have some voice in the Senate, that you had to have friends to do it with. SUCHANEK: Um-hm, um-hm. How valuable was the LRC to you during your service in the Senate? MILLER: At that time, LRC was developing. It didn't play the role at that time as it does now. We were just starting the interim committee process at that time. They were good when you needed data or research, they provided it. But there was not the activity, it was not the total staff, they didn't have the funds, they weren't funded at that time to do a lot of the things that they can do for legislators today. They increasingly played a major role. SUCHANEK: Where did you stay in Frankfort while the legislature was in session? MILLER: At that time, my first session, I stayed where a majority of the other legislators stayed, at the old Holiday Inn here in Frankfort. Second session, I got an apartment and continued to do that through the years. SUCHANEK: Now, when you came here to Frankfort the first time, did you have a legislative agenda that you wanted to accomplish? MILLER: Not really, no. I really didn't have any burning issues or any agenda that I was particularly interested in. I had certain philosophies that I wanted to abide by, but I didn't think it was the role as a freshman to have any agenda. SUCHANEK: What philosophies did you have? MILLER: Fair and good government. That the people who I represented, paying particular attention to the farm families, people who didn't really feel like they had somebody that they could talk to, that I wanted to speak for those folks. SUCHANEK: Now, being from the western part of the state, how did you view the delegations from Louisville, Lexington, Covington, and Eastern Kentucky? MILLER: It didn't take me long to figure out if you wanted to be successful and pass legislation for your district, that you had to have friends in those two delegations. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: You couldn't do it on your own. And no matter how good the merits of what you were trying to do, that you had to have friends that were-would be helpful to you. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Did you see the, for example, the Louisville delegation as a powerful- MILLER: Yes. And many, most times, at that particular time, they did vote pretty well as a block, and not, much more so than they do today. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Did you have much in common with the legislators from Eastern Kentucky? MILLER: Not a great deal. SUCHANEK: Okay. MILLER: Not a great deal. They were individuals just like myself, and they had their particular problems. At that time, coal was king over there, and their legislative efforts related mostly to coal, the burning things that they wanted to get done. I tried to make myself knowledgeable of their needs, what their real problems were. Some of them were imaginary on their part, just like some of mine were probably imaginary (laughs), but I tried to make myself aware of the different type regional problems that existed, what they meant to their constituents. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. During your tenure in the Senate, did you ever have a certain Senator or a group of Senators that you just couldn't get to vote for your measures? MILLER: No, not really. Not really. That would always depend on the issue, you know. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: If it was a worthy issue and it was right, I'd go around and talk with my fellow senators, and I had a pretty good luck. SUCHANEK: Was there any Senator that you could count on to second your motion or support your bill? In other words, was there any close friend that you had perhaps in the Senate? MILLER: No, you had to have different friends for different issues. SUCHANEK: (Laughs), I see. Did you ever have any contact with Wendell Ford during your first session- MILLER: Yeah. SUCHANEK: either directly or indirectly? MILLER: A lot more indirect than I had directly, but (laughs), Wendell, I thought a lot of Wendell Ford. He was a people-type person, and if you had a problem or needed some guidance, you could always get in to see him and he would give you your best advice. He may not be for what you wanted to do or, you know, may not want to budget the money for a particular project or something, but he would always listen and give you the ups and downs of what his feeling was. SUCHANEK: Did you go see him often? MILLER: No, no, no. MILLER: I was one that never did want to wear my welcome out in the governor's office because, invariably, if you were there a lot asking for things, well, that was a two- way street, they were going to ask you for things. And I always figured if it was real important, they would get me the message. If it was something that was good for all of Kentucky, that there was a way of communicating through leadership or through the caucus. And I always kept an open mind to those things, but I was never-there are some legislators that felt like they needed to go to the governor's office two or three times a week, you know. I never did feel that way. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: Didn't. SUCHANEK: Did you know who they were? MILLER: Who? SUCHANEK: The ones that would go to the (laughs)- MILLER: Oh, yeah. Yeah, they were same ones over and over. SUCHANEK: Um-hm, okay. What were your impressions of Wendell Ford as a governor, from your view in the legislature? MILLER: I think he was a good governor. He did some innovative things, some reorganization moves that, some of them still hold true today. Particularly in human resources, and in that particular area, it was the time to, those services needed to be put under one umbrella. And I think now that that's grown too big, and you've got too much under one umbrella. It's just almost to the point that you can't manage it, that agency. And I think that Wendell did a lot of things for rural Kentucky, particularly in the road programs. People got service from the Transportation Department that never had been considered before. For that reason, I think that he was a good governor. SUCHANEK: Do you remember what your first speech on the floor was about? MILLER: No, I don't. SUCHANEK: Did you speak often on the floor? MILLER: No, I didn't. SUCHANEK: Okay. What was Julian Carroll like as lieutenant governor? MILLER: He was very cordial, very easy to work with. He had been a legislator himself, and he understood what you were trying to do when you were trying to pass a piece of legislation for, maybe, your district. He understood that, and he was very helpful to me as an individual. I liked Julian. He-probably the most knowledgeable fellow of the function of government that I've ever known to sit over there in that chair. But he was a student of it, and a very good one. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Was there anyone in the Senate whom you admired as a speaker or as a debater or as a leader? MILLER: Oh, the most outstanding fellow I ever knew in the Senate had to be Tom Garrett. Just in all regards, as a speaker and as a leader and as a fellow who could and would get things done, would take a stand. I just admired Tom Garrett greatly. SUCHANEK: Well, you also served with his wife, Helen Garrett. MILLER: Yes, um-hm. SUCHANEK: How would you compare the two? Is Helen anything like Tom? MILLER: No, they were entirely different people. Same sense of fairness in both people. Helen had not, she was around the General Assembly when Tom was there, but, and I tried after his death, and she sat next to me, too. And I had a sense of responsibility, I suppose. I tried to do the same things for her that Tom Garrett did for me when I first got to the Senate. And we become friends, and she's still my friend. But totally two different people. Tom was, Helen is a very kind person, was very cautious of not making people mad. Tom Garrett, you admired him because of his stern leadership. And he was tough as nails, you know, he didn't want to hurt anybody, but if he had a job to do, if you got in the way, why, you'd get hurt, you know, and that was the way he played the game. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: And I admired that. SUCHANEK: How about Georgia Powers? What was your impression of Georgia Powers? MILLER: Georgia was one of the fairest legislators I've known. Georgia had her issues that she was particularly interested in. She was, she believed in her issues strongly. She, her word was-I never did have Georgia Powers to mislead me. Now, she would trade with you. If you went to her and wanted to try to do something or get her help with something, she'd say, "Frank, I'll do that, but I'm going to need help on this over here." And she represented her people well, and she was a lady that I really respected. SUCHANEK: Did you ever envision the legislature as a career? MILLER: No. No, really didn't. SUCHANEK: Okay. Did you have a certain amount of terms, perhaps, set in your mind that you would like to serve? MILLER: No. No, I really didn't. SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, there's been talk of- MILLER: I wanted to serve as long as I could do my district good. SUCHANEK: Okay. There's been talk lately of annual sessions for the legislature, and in lieu of that, the amendment, of course, was just turned down two days ago, giving the legislature power to call special sessions. Do you think the idea of annual sessions is a good idea? MILLER: I think that annual sessions, as far as it pertains to the budget, could be something to consider. I don't think that the state of Kentucky needs annual sessions, other than the budget process. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: And you know, they could do that much easier in times-you know, we're in a fast economy, and we're in a fast society today, and I think it would probably be better to have annual sessions, have your normal session like we have now every two years, but then that off-year have a session strictly for the budget and do the budget every year. SUCHANEK: I see. During your first term, you served on a Committee on Business Organizations and Professions. You served on the Education Committee, and you were vice chairman of the Committee on Public Utilities and Transportation. How did you get on those committees? And how did you get to be a vice chairman of Public Utilities and Transportation? MILLER: Oh, you don't get any more than you ask for, and I had a background in utilities and had some knowledge of utilities. And I think probably that was, there had been some changing in committee assignments, and it just wound up that way. It's not that I was the outstanding person or anything, but I did have some background in utility work, and that was probably the reason I got that my first term. The other committees were things that I did ask for because of my interest in those particular areas. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Did you have a lot to do on those committees? MILLER: In that first session, no, not a whole lot (both laugh). I had a voting privilege. SUCHANEK: Okay. Does that mean that they were pretty much controlled by the committee chairman? MILLER: Yeah. SUCHANEK: Who was hand-picked by the leadership, is that right? MILLER: Primarily, yeah. SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, in the `74 session, you sponsored Senate Bill 315, which had to do with municipal annexation. And this bill passed seventeen to ten, but I guess there wasn't enough time to have it enrolled. Do you recall what that bill was all about and where it came from? MILLER: We were, in Bowling Green, we were having a dispute over boundaries between the city and the county utility. They had a city-owned utility there and a rural electric cooperative, and there was no boundaries established, and that was what we were trying to do. SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, during the last year of Wendell Ford's term as governor, he and Julian Carroll had a falling out of sorts. When Carroll became governor, many of the chairmen Ford had appointed to the various committees were swept out and replaced. Did pro-Ford and pro-Carroll factions form in the Senate during that time? MILLER: They were always there, and that didn't really change. I mean it still remained along those factional guidelines. I was always one that tried to communicate with both sides. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: Ford was my friend. I learned a lot from Ford. But just because I was Ford's friend, I could be Carroll's friend, too. SUCHANEK: You tried to- MILLER: Tried to do that. SUCHANEK: straddle the fence, sort of? MILLER: No, I never did straddle the fence. On certain issues, one thing you can't ever charge me with was straddling the fence. I was always on one side or the other on a particular issue. SUCHANEK: Okay. So you went issue by issue. MILLER: Yeah. SUCHANEK: Okay. What were your impressions of Julian Carroll as governor? Now, he's been portrayed as being an advocate for legislative independence when he was speaker of the house and lieutenant governor. But I also believe it was Carroll who as governor installed the sound system in both legislative chambers that was wired into the governor's office on the first floor here. Did Julian Carroll change once he became governor and became the representative of the executive branch? MILLER: No, I don't think he changed. He-every legislator wants to talk about legislative independence. Julian was, when he was in the House, he was the speaker and he represented the whole body over there when he was speaker, and he had a good following. And I think the very nature of his position made him talk about legislative independence. When he become, when he got into the executive branch, as I said before, he was an excellent student of government, he knew what had to be done. And I never did see any heavy-handed tactics used, but he was aware of what was going on. If he needed your help and he knew that maybe you were leaning the other way, why, he would call and we'd have a little conference, you know, and he'd say, "This is what I'm trying to do and why I'm trying to do it," and he always had a reason. And, "I'd like for you to help me if you can." But there was never any threats or cutting out projects or so forth. I've heard those stories, but I can honestly say that any governor that I ever served under, I never did have that used on me. SUCHANEK: Okay. What was Carroll's administrative style like? Was he more of a hands-on- MILLER: He was a hands-on. He had some good people, good staff people, but he was very knowledgeable of what was going on in every agency, every committee. He was just, just stayed up to speed on all issues, all the time. That was his style. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now, in this `76 session, you were taken off the Education Committee and made chairman of the Committee on State Government. How did your chairmanship come about? MILLER: Oh, by that time I had demonstrated that I could stand up to the interest groups, that I would take a stand, and I think for that reason I was put in that chairmanship. And I can't remember who had been chairman of that committee before, seems like they either did not run and that was open. It wasn't, they didn't take anybody out of that, as I remember. And at that time, there was a lot more legislation coming to State Government. And if you look back at the record during that session, there was more bills referred to State Government than any other committee. And in controlling the flow of legislation, if it didn't hit or really stand out as belonging in some committee, there's a little more discretion used today than there was back at that time, then it would come to State Government Committee. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now, did your chairmanship brand you as a member of the Carroll faction of the Democratic Party? MILLER: No, no. Not really. SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, the most important issue that came up in the `76 session was House Bill 193, the anti-bussing bill. Julian Carroll supported that bill. Now, you weren't there the day the bill came up for a vote in the Senate, but it did pass. However, you did co-sponsor a resolution directing the Kentucky Attorney General to request the U.S. Attorney General to initiate litigation or otherwise intervene and prohibit, or to prohibit forced bussing for the purpose of desegregation in the public schools. What do you remember about the bussing issue in that `76 session? MILLER: Oh, primarily that issue was a Jefferson County issue. SUCHANEK: Right. MILLER: And I, you know, strictly for the purpose of integration, I just never did, you know, it wasn't the integration aspect of it, I just felt like that a person living close to a school, that that's where their children should go to school. And it wasn't the racial portion of it at all. I just had a hang-up against that. I didn't think it was good. I didn't think it was good for the kids. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Did the issue cause a lot of discussion and debate, do you recall? MILLER: Oh yeah. A lot of discussion and debate because it was a very hot issue, like I say, particularly in Jefferson County. It wasn't an issue across the state that affected a lot of the districts. SUCHANEK: Do you know what role Governor Carroll played in the passage of that bill? MILLER: Well, I know that his thinking was probably different from mine on that particular issue. SUCHANEK: How so? MILLER: Well, he just, see, we were getting federal mandates and so forth, and he was committed to that cause. You know, I don't know his rationale and his thinking, but I remember at the time he was for it. SUCHANEK: Now, in the special session in 1976, the issue of capital punishment came up. What was and what is your position on capital punishment and why? MILLER: Hardest vote that I ever made while I was in the Senate. I was always one that advocated capital punishment, talked about it in my campaigns. You know, it wasn't an issue with me, but I'd taken a stand that I was for capital punishment. When it come down to the time to vote for that, it got to be a different situation, you know, because it was a tight vote, and I spent a lot of restless nights on that issue. I finally voted for it, thought I did the right thing at the time and, but it bothered me because I knew that I could be responsible for taking somebody's life. And it really did bother me, and stood out, it still does. It was the hardest vote I ever had to make. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Was there a lot of lobbying on that bill? MILLER: Yeah, pressure was intense on it, you know, from both sides. And it was a situation that each individual legislator had to do what he thought was right, he or she thought was right, and it was a hard issue. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. When Julian Carroll was governor, Thelma Stovall was lieutenant governor. What were your impressions of Thelma Stovall? MILLER: Thelma Stovall is probably the most loyal politician I ever knew. Thelma-she had her motives in life, in her legislative agenda, but Thelma was fair. She was one of these people that related to a group of folks from her, all of her time in government, she emanated out of the tobacco union in Louisville, and her feelings were very strong for unions. She didn't fall out with anybody if you didn't vote with her, but you never had to question, she didn't play games. She'd let you know where she was, and a fair lady and someone I always admired. I didn't always agree with her. But she was a fair person and a very loyal person. And then many times, you know, because of her loyalty, she took stands that she wasn't real comfortable with, but she'd stick. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. In the `78 session, you were taken off the Committee on State Government, or it was abolished, I forget which, but you were made chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee. And I guess if one could classify your Senate career, one could say that your specialty became banking and insurance. Do you agree with that? MILLER: I had always had a great interest in health insurance and the need for health insurance. And I didn't have any insurance background. I had to do a lot of studying and, as far as insurance, the mechanical parts of insurance legislation. Had no banking background. The only thing that-I'd always borrowed a lot of money (both laugh) and knew about that aspect of it, but as far as understanding the banking industry, I didn't. And I thought that in the past it had always been a chairman who had, most of the time it was banking that prevailed there, that had a banking background. And I think that the membership felt that I was smart enough to be chairman and fair enough to try to do what was right and act on what was presented to us. And I did. I had a great interest in, particularly in health insurance, and then developed interest in banking, you know, understanding the process, and studied hard on it. And I'll have to say that my committee work in that committee was probably the most enjoyable of my legislative career. SUCHANEK: How important were the insurance and banking lobbyists in getting laws enacted or changed that affected the insurance and banking industries? MILLER: Well, they're both strong lobbies, have been historically. I would have to say that they were important in formulating the legislation. They didn't always prevail in that committee. If it was right, they prevailed, and if it wasn't, why, they didn't. And I prided myself in how I run that committee. I was always fair to people, tried to be to all interests, and we went out of our way to hear in depth all sides of the issue, both sides of the issue. And we, Kentucky was growing-we had very antiquated banking laws. I saw North Carolina, for instance, who had been one of the early leaders in updating their banking legislation, and we went through a period of time there where Kentucky did upgrade substantially, because we had communities and areas of the state, we're a capital- poor state to start with. We had areas of the state where banks were controlled by small family organizations, many times with political overtones, that people didn't have the opportunities to borrow money and be entrepreneurs in their particular areas. And I think we changed some of those things during that tenure. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now in your 1977 primary race, your opponent was the former mayor of Bowling Green, Dr. Spero Kereiakes. MILLER: Right. SUCHANEK: During the campaign, he attacked your attendance record in the State Senate, claiming that you had missed 25 percent of the votes. What was your reaction to that campaign? MILLER: Oh, I ignored that. In, you know, Spero-that was the primary thing he attacked me on. And I never was one of these fellows, if I come into a meeting late, my attendance, to get up and ask to be in attend--, shown as present, that didn't-wasn't anything that I ever did. You know, if it was an issue, if the issues were there that were important, I was there. The 25 percent was not a realistic figure, you know, but that's what the record reflected, so I just let him talk about that. He was a very popular mayor at that time, and there was some political observers that thought the first time I ran it was because of my strength in the county, I had worked hard, but that I sort of fluked out. And so they said, "Well, they'll get old Frank this time. We'll get him one-on-one." And there was a great deal of effort made just to have one opponent in that race against me. And like I say, he was a popular mayor. And by that time, I had established myself. I concentrated in the City of Bowling Green, because that's where, that was where his strengths were. And I wound up carrying, I don't remember the percentages, but substantially I won the race and I carried the City of Bowling Green, including his home precinct. SUCHANEK: Oh, is that right? Would you say you were in, you were backed by one faction of the Democratic organization- MILLER: No. SUCHANEK: and he was-did he have the support of the Democratic organization in Bowling Green? MILLER: Oh, you know, there's always splinter groups, and he had certain ones and I had certain ones. There was never any strong factionalism. He had a group that had supported him strongly when he ran for mayor. He still had that group. I had done what I considered a good job, I knew that he was going to be strong in the city, and that's where I had to concentrate, so that's what I did. SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, he was endorsed by the Logan Leader and the News- Democrat, those two newspapers in Logan County, in the primary. Those newspapers claimed that you were third from the bottom when it came to sponsoring bills in the Senate and that you had no involvement in the drafting of any serious legislation. Do you think those charges hurt you in Logan County? MILLER: Well, the results didn't indicate that. That was the newspaperman, Al Smith, at work. SUCHANEK: Right. MILLER: Al and I, you know, Al's, he's still my friend, but Al was one of these fellows, when he was running the newspaper down there, he liked to be consulted with regularly, and I didn't bother to do that. Maybe I should have, I don't know. I didn't. SUCHANEK: Uh-huh. Okay, now in the general election your opponent was Bill Ruth- MILLER: Um-hm. SUCHANEK: who used the same arguments that Kereiakes had used against you in the primary, and you defeated him easily as well. I suppose you weren't too concerned about Ruth's campaign? MILLER: He ran a very active campaign. He was from Butler County, a strong Republican county, and I was the first Democrat to ever carry Butler County in a state election. SUCHANEK: Hmm, um-hm. MILLER: And the second person that ever did that was Wallace Wilkinson, but I was the first Democrat to carry Butler County in the state election. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now we come to something that I really wanted to talk to you about, the special session that Thelma Stovall called in December of 1978 that was actually held in January of 1979, while, she called that while Governor Carroll was out of the state. And I believe it was called to cut taxes. However, this session really turned out to be much more than that. The commonwealth witnessed a sight never seen before in the history of the state, namely that of a sitting governor being grilled about the budget, his budget, by the Senate. How did this almost circus-like event occur? MILLER: Thelma was wanting to run for governor. She knew that it would be a popular issue to take the sales tax off of utilities. That was where she was primarily coming from. In retrospect, I told you the hardest vote I ever made was on the capital punishment thing. Probably the worst vote I ever made was when I voted to take those taxes off. We felt, and the majority felt at that time that, you know, that public sentiment was out there to do that, and it was, nobody likes to pay taxes. But in being fair, that was probably a mistake because we eroded the sales tax even further, and it was significant at that time. And set an attitude that we were going to keep on cutting taxes. And you know, going back to what I said, the government can't provide services that they don't receive taxes to provide them with. And I have to say that was a mistake when we did that, and I think a lot of other legislators, if they tell you the truth, will tell you that. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: It's sort of like we had the gun put to our head, and if you don't do this, you're really going to look bad. And we bowed down to that. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: And it was wrong. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Who were the "Black Sheep Squadron"? MILLER: Oh, the primary leader of the "Black Sheep Squadron" was Senator Berry, and Ed Ford, Joe Wright. But John Berry was really the originator and their first leader. SUCHANEK: What role did they play in all of this? In, I mean- MILLER: In that special session or just in general? SUCHANEK: In the special session when Governor Carroll was called before the Senate to testify about the budget. MILLER: They-as I remember, they were looking for attention, they were looking for, to bring more numbers into their group, and they shot pretty hard at Governor Carroll at that time. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Did they have- MILLER: Not for the purpose of lowering the taxes. It was a forum to where they could get the attention that they needed to further the activities of the "Black Sheep Squadron." SUCHANEK: What was their philosophy? MILLER: You never did know, from day to day it would change. They, and you know, they were wanting-primarily their philosophy was for more legislative independence, that was the basis of it. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. What did you feel about that? MILLER: Oh, at that particular time I didn't have any problem with more legislative independence. It sounded good, and it sounded good to the people out there. I've never been one to think that a part-time legislature needed to be truly independent. First of all, they don't have the staff. They've got more staff today than they used to have at that time, but the constitutional responsibility to govern did not lay in the role that they were trying to play as an independent legislature. The government has got to be, the responsibility lies with the executive department to manage on a day-to-day basis the function of government. And the independent legislature movement has tried to divvy into that aspect of it, which I don't agree with. I don't agree with it. I didn't agree with that at the time. SUCHANEK: Were you approached to join the "Black Sheep"? MILLER: No. SUCHANEK: No? MILLER: Really wasn't. SUCHANEK: Okay. MILLER: Now the, at that time, going back to what the LR--, the role the LRC played, they didn't have the funds to provide you the background information. They didn't have the expertise, because of a lack of staff, to inform the legislator on operations of government. They're trying to do more of that, and the legislature has continued to vote LRC more money for their staff. But I still have a philosophy that they're, the two branches, or three branches of government have a definite constitutional function, and I don't think that one should go over into the other's powers. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. So, you had a philosophical- MILLER: Yeah. SUCHANEK: difference then, with the "Black Sheep." MILLER: Um-hm. SUCHANEK: Okay. What was your impression of John Berry, Jr.? MILLER: Very bright, very bright. As a freshman, he was active. You asked me about if I spoke a lot in my first session. I didn't. John Berry did. I didn't sponsor a lot of bills. John Berry did. I think that first session he probably rung the bell as far as the amount of legislation he introduced. I like John Berry because, and I respect him because of his brightness. He, in retrospect, he was probably a little too eager for his own good. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: Probably the reason he didn't survive. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now, in this special session in `78, you sponsored Senate Bill 11, which dealt with, I guess it was, welfare fraud? MILLER: Um-hm. SUCHANEK: And it passed the Senate thirty-two to two the first time, and in the House, with the House amendments, it passed the senate again thirty to one. What was the genesis of this bill? And why do you think David Karem voted both times against it? MILLER: I never did understand David Karem (Suchanek laughs). But I wasn't by myself (both laugh). David's a nice fellow and he had his agenda, and I'm sure he had a good reason. SUCHANEK: Uh-huh. I'm going to have to change tapes here real quick. [End of Tape #1, Side #2] [Begin Tape #2, Side #1] SUCHANEK: Okay, this is the second tape with Frank Miller. I guess the most, perhaps the most important bill that passed in that `78 special session was Senate Bill 44, which you co-sponsored, relating to the capital construction and equipment financing. And I guess this was the upshot of the Senate's investigation into the governor's budget, where it was revealed that the capital construction fund was really what amounted to an executive branch slush fund. Because even though you as a legislature approved certain construction projects, the governor really was able to build whatever he wanted to anyway, which certainly had political and patronage implications. Did the facts revealed by the Senate investigation into the budget surprise you? MILLER: No, I was aware of that. I just felt in that particular manner that, matter, that the legislature probably should have some additional control in regard to capital construction projects. You know, because it had been abused. And I don't say that Governor Carroll did, but it had been abused in the past, and it was a discretionary fund for the governor to do a lot of things that I felt the legislature should have some input into. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: And that was the reason I was for that. SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, after this special session in `78 when the "Black Sheep" had gained control of the Senate, was there any kind of a, could you discern any kind of a spirit of independence amongst the Senate at that time after that session? Was there any talk about that? MILLER: By some members of the "Black Sheep Squadron," but not as, not generally. SUCHANEK: Okay. Now in 1980, John Y. Brown, Jr. was governor, and he attempted to run state government more like a business, at least that's what he stated. Now, in the 1977 primary, you had stated that government was big business, and that government and business decisions are made on the same basis. How did you get along with John Y. Brown, Jr.? MILLER: I got along fine with Johnny. I didn't agree with him on many things, and going back and talking about that government being like a business, I never did really, I may have been quoted as saying that. I always said that you use business decisions, you made business decisions to run government, but they're dissimilar in that government doesn't make a profit. And you can't totally say that the government is like a business. It is big business, and you make business decisions, business judgments in running the government, but they're entirely two different things. And Johnny got to believing that, that government was a business, and it really wasn't. And- SUCHANEK: Do you think that's where he got into trouble? MILLER: I think that was one of his shortfalls because he was not a hands-on operator. He was a great fellow and a great salesman, did some innovative things, took some bold steps, but he was not interested in the day-to-day operation and in the function of government, and I think he was wrong on that. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now, both he and Martha Layne Collins have been portrayed as not having a strong legislative agenda and of taking a hands-off approach to the selection of the legislative leadership. Do you, in your opinion, do you think that Brown and Collins philosophically were disinclined to meddle in the leadership selection and the legislative process? Were they a new breed of governor, so to speak? Or do you think that they had counted noses and knew that they didn't have the votes to control the process? MILLER: I think they were, if you've got to put them in a category, they were a new breed of governors. During Brown's administration, he lost total control of the legislature, and Governor Collins may have done some nose-counting, I'm not sure. But after Brown, there was very little input from the executive branch into the legislative leadership. And I'm not saying that that's all bad, but there was a total loss of continuity between the two branches and a lack of communications that I think you've got to have. I don't like the heavy-handed tactics. I don't think there's a place for them in government as we know it today. But I do think that there is a reason to have a communications through leadership that apparently they lost. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: I think it's wholesome. SUCHANEK: Given your experience with the Wallace Wilkinson administration, do you think that he has tried to regain a little bit of control over the legislature? And do you think the legislature has gone too far, at this point, to go back? MILLER: I think, my personal opinion, I think that the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of the legislature. I still don't think they have the expertise to run state government. They're not charged with that responsibility by the constitution, to start with. I think that because of his style, being very much hands-on, that he has-would like to have had, you can call it control, he would liked to have had more input than what he's had, but it hadn't worked out that way. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Then the last thing I really want to talk to you about was your '86 primary race against Nick Kafoglis. MILLER: Um-hm. SUCHANEK: And he seemed to have waged a particularly bitter campaign against you. MILLER: Pretty rough. SUCHANEK: He, again, brought up your voting record, claimed you were prone to vote without reading bills, accused you of flip-flopping on issues, of avoiding controversial issues, of voting tax dollars to finance abortions, and for voting to increase legislator's pensions. Now, Kafoglis received the endorsements of the KEA and the two Logan County newspapers, once again. You, on the other hand, received the endorsement of the Kentucky Sheriffs Association, the National Rifle Association, the Kentucky Automobile Association, the Logan and Warren County Citizens for Life, and the Kentucky Right to Life Association. You also accused Kafoglis, who is a medical doctor, of running against you because of your attempts to cut healthcare costs, particularly referral costs. And he defeated you by 1,000 votes in the primary. What do you recall about that campaign, and what, to what do you attribute your defeat? MILLER: The things that you've said are all true in regard of who endorsed who. Very true on the health insurance thing. I had been, because of my involvement in the committee, had caused a lot of change in healthcare. I think probably if I have something that I could look to with pride, that I changed many things and procedures such as causing an itemized statement to be made by hospitals. That was one of my pet things. I think I could never, and I probably made a mistake, maybe I was a little too roughshod in doing what I did. I believed in it strong, I felt like that people were being taken unfair advantage by the medical profession. Still do. That was his primary motivation in running, his money primarily come from the medical profession, because I had not been kind to them. The, and I thought and I talked about it frequently on the floor of the Senate and anywhere I went, that, talking about the referrals, that a medical doctor, taking his oath, took it to help people. And I never could and still don't understand why a medical doctor should, or any professional, not just a medical doctor, should charge you a fee to call the hospital and get you a room. And the admitting and dismissal fee, I think, is wrong. Still do. I think it's blood money, and I'll never change. People who need medical care don't need to be charged those fees. They charge enough for the normal services that they perform. It's just like a fellow that works on a car. You know, he may not be able to fix your car at a small garage, and he may refer you to the regular dealership, but he don't charge you a fee to do that, and I think it's the same thing. The medical insurance people, primarily Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is controlled, and they've been our primary insurer in the state, they're controlled by the medical profession. Their board of directors is made up of medical people. Blue Cross and Blue Shield, when they first were formed, the purpose was done in order for medical doctors to be paid for their services. It was a way of doing that. I haven't changed, and still feel the same way. And we made great progress, both in insurance and in the medical profession, in healthcare insurance and the medical profession, providing additional services, mandating services that people needed. Fixed it to where, if a person was being carried by a group policy and for some reason become unemployed and was going to lose their insurance, we passed and caused legislation to be passed where they could pick up that same coverage, similar coverage at the private plan rate. It would be somewhat higher, but they were assured of having coverage. We did a lot of innovative things. And the other reason, or one of the reasons that I, there's several reasons, but one of the reasons, that Nick got out and he worked for several months back in the fall before the session started. The-during the session, every vote, it didn't make any difference how I voted, you know, he would take the opposite side and figure out which group supported the anti on that. When I had gotten out of the session, I had six weeks to run a race, to raise what money that I had to raise to, because it was illegal to take a donation during the session. And that was the first time after we had moved the primary date back to that close. Had the primary date been in the fall, like it had been in the past, I would have won that race. But that's the breaks of the game, and I had a good time running, and still believe in the same philosophies I believed in then. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. So you think it was just lack of time? MILLER: That was one of the problems. And he had gone out and he had worked, and he was a very good grass-roots organizer. Knows how to pick issues that sound good. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. I take it you're not particularly close to- MILLER: No. Our philosophies are 180 degrees from each other. SUCHANEK: Okay. MILLER: Were then, still are. And I had more than one interest, and had support from more than one interest, as far as money was concerned. And it's sad that it takes so much money to run a legislative race as it does today. We spent in the neighborhood of, oh, I can't remember exactly, around $90,000, that we raised and spent in that race, and that's terrible. But I only had a short time to do that in. Really, six weeks from the time the session was over to the election. SUCHANEK: Yeah. MILLER: And you can't do a good job of running a race in that period of time when you run a race like that, to where you have to raise your own money, where you have to write your own ads and put your organization together and so forth. And I guess probably I'd neglected certain segments of my district, groups. I think after you're there a while, you're prone to get lax. I always felt like I was doing the right thing, and my votes were right, and if I was right, people would support me. And irregardless of what the rumor was and whether, you know, the abortion issue, I believed in what I did, and he had a dissimilar philosophy. And you know, I'm happy with myself, and I'm happy with what I did in the legislature. Very few things that I would change. SUCHANEK: Um-hm, um-hm. MILLER: Very few. Not that I'm not saying I wouldn't change some (both laugh). SUCHANEK: Well, can you ever remember any, ever being disappointed about something in the senate? MILLER: No, I took every day as it come along. Oh, I had legislation that I worked on and got beat, you know. SUCHANEK: Did that make you angry? MILLER: Didn't make me angry, it, I tried to figure out what I did wrong, you know. Tried to do it different the next time. But of the bills that I sponsored, if you'll look the record of, the bills that I sponsored, and as time went on, I sponsored more, my percentage of passing was pretty high. SUCHANEK: Most of them passed. Right, right. MILLER: Pretty high. Because I always tried to have a worthy issue, and I tried to do my homework on it. SUCHANEK: Was being a member of the State Senate what you thought it was going to be? MILLER: Pretty well, pretty well. It got to be more of a full-time job as time went on. You know, to do the things you needed to do required more time than I really had to give it, but I had to do it, you know. I think being a legislator, where you could devote the majority of your time, would be more fun, but I had a family to raise, and I had, back during part of that time was when we had 22 percent interest, and I had a business that I was trying to keep going. And it really did, the whole thing, doing that and being in the legislature was very trying on the individual because you just did not have enough time in the day to do all the things that you wanted to do and try to survive financially and devote some time to your family and their needs. It was a tremendous job when you were trying to do all of it. SUCHANEK: All in all in your legislative career, is there anything that you can point to or say that you brought home to Bowling Green or the 32nd District in the form of legislation or projects that you'd like to mention? MILLER: Oh, I always had a pet project or two every session, you know, that I tried to get. SUCHANEK: Was the I-65 interchange your- MILLER: The I-65 interchange at Smiths Grove was one thing that I can look to with pride that I got done. The-we used to have on 68 there an underpass that flooded all the time because of bad drainage, and it was just a real problem in the community. I mean every time it rained big, well you know, that thing would flood. That was one project that I corrected. I was instrumental in the Western Kentucky University Ag. Center, getting that funded. You know, nothing from a real personal nature that I can, that I want to take a lot of credit for. I don't think that's the purpose of being a legislator. I think I represented my people well. One of the banner industries that I was really involved with was bringing the Corvette plant to Bowling Green. I think that was while Brown was governor, and we had some problems on, in the final, mechanical things that had to do as far as state government with permits and things like that. We had some real problems with that, and I remember on one occasion it was down to whether they were going to come or whether they weren't. And I went down and talked to Governor Brown about it, and we got on his famous helicopter and went to Bowling Green and met with those people and resolved that. And those sort of things, you know. SUCHANEK: Do you think that helped, might have helped pave the way for the Toyota plant? MILLER: Well, it probably didn't hurt it any. I don't know as it paved the way. But you know, I never did, and probably in retrospect it was wrong, or it was a mistake politically. You've still got to live with yourself. I never was one to take a lot of credit. You know, I tried, what I did, I tried to do it in such a manner that the people that should know knew that I was doing it, but as far as blowing my horn about it, I didn't do that. And- SUCHANEK: I noticed your ads- MILLER: maybe I should have. SUCHANEK: yeah, even in your primary, your campaigns, I never got the impression that you were listing all your accomplishments. MILLER: No. No, I didn't. And I've, some of my people criticized me because I didn't take more credit, but I just didn't feel comfortable with that. I had a style that I always tried to be the same fellow throughout my career in the legislature that I was before. I didn't change my friends, I didn't change my lifestyle, I was, tried to be the same fellow. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: And worked at that pretty hard, because I saw some people come to the legislature that got elected to that little office and they did a total change. And I never did like that. Others that didn't, I'm not saying they all did, but there's some that did, you know. They thought they had arrived. SUCHANEK: Could you think of one? MILLER: Pardon? SUCHANEK: Could you think of one? MILLER: Yeah, I can think of several, but I won't mention their names (laughs) SUCHANEK: Okay. MILLER: That was their style. My style was different. And when there was a problem in my district, I responded. But when I got that done, why, I was ready to move on to something else, and didn't think I should take that credit. I thought that was what I was there for, you know, not to perpetuate Frank Miller. I don't think that anybody could ever say that about me. I was one that, and I was, maybe wrongfully so, I, at times, was roughshod. When I wanted to do something, after I did learn the process and what had to be done, I wanted to pass something and got determined, whatever it took to do it, I did it, you know. And maybe I roughed up some feathers at times with groups, but if I felt it was right, I felt it right strong, you know, and I just went on. The, you know, and I'd even care to take on a governor. The first, and I want to say, in forty-two years, I believe that's correct, the record would bear it out, maybe thirty-two years, but the first time that there was a governor's veto overridden was under the Brown administration. That was my bill, and I did override his veto. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: Another case of that was, didn't fare very well with Governor Collins. And I admired Governor Collins and I liked her, but I had an agenda too, and I felt very strongly about my administrative regulation bill, and she vetoed it. And I did override that veto, against all of her leadership, even with threats. And I said I won't call the bill up unless I've got enough votes to pass it and, or to override, and I got my votes and did override her. But, and you know, we didn't have a disagreement, but it was something that she was very strong, and she was getting urged by people that were opposed to that bill to veto it, but those things never did bother me. Some people never wanted to offend the governor, you know, they wouldn't do anything. That didn't bother me because I really enjoyed, if I thought I was right, I enjoyed fighting. And still do. Gets me in trouble yet (both laugh), but- SUCHANEK: Well, how does, how do things actually really work in the legislature? Is there a lot of, I mean is it basically horse-trading that goes on behind- MILLER: A certain amount of that, certain amount of that. You build credibility with your fellow legislators through the years. They know where you have expertise, and they respect that. Everybody has a different area that they more or less have particular expertise. And I think the thing, and there's really not that horse-trading as we might have known it in the past. There is a commitment to loyalty. And I think that probably I had as many people indebted to me because of loyalty, and I voted on some things that really did bother me, you know, that I committed to. But if I ever, nobody can ever tell you that Frank Miller ever backed up on a commitment. You know, I made some votes that I really questioned whether I was doing the right thing or not, but if I was committed, I voted, and I expected them to reciprocate. You know, on one occasion I had a fellow to back up on me, and maybe it was too personal, but that afternoon, and he'd backed up on a big number that the General Assembly that wanted to, we passed the bill, but it was something that, an issue that was dear to the majority of the General Assembly. And this fellow backed up after he'd made a commitment, and I was one that was point man on that to get the vote tally prior to voting, you know, where we were, counted the votes. The fellow totally backed up, did a 180 degrees. That afternoon he had two bills on the floor that were dear to him that involved his district. And after he backed up on the majority, I worked the floor just as hard against those bills as I did for the ones that we were trying to pass that morning. One of those bills got four votes, and the other one got five. And it hurt that fellow, and I was probably wrong, but got his attention. And I believe in that. I guess my competitive nature and being an independent businessman has probably caused me to think that way somewhat, but I can't change and don't care to change. SUCHANEK: Do you have any other political aspirations? MILLER: No. I'm not saying that I will not ever run for another office. I haven't got any burning desire now. I've had some health problems in the past four or five years. In fact, I was having health problems during the last election I had with my legs, and have gone through a series of sixteen operations in the past four years and am just now, you might have noticed I still limp a little bit, but just now in the past thirty days, I've felt better than I have in the past four or five years. I've got all that behind me, I hope. Hopefully I have now, the good Lord willing. But you know, I'll always be involved in some manner in the political spectrum, maybe not as a public official. I enjoy public service, I enjoy doing things for people, and making things happen and being a player. I enjoy that. There's something about it that gets in your blood, you know. I'll always be for somebody and against somebody, there's no gray area with me. Never was when I was in the General Assembly. Right or wrong, you know, if I felt committed, you know, and thought it was right, I didn't care whether I prevailed or not. I wanted to prevail all the time, but that didn't ever temper my way of voting or thinking. I still feel that way, you know. I think that, and one thing that bothers me is because we don't have more people involved in the process and why people don't vote. It bothers me, you know, the few speak for the masses, it's terrible. And, hopefully, that will change, and I think it's imperative that all segments of the society be involved, understand and make theirself more knowledgeable of government, you know. And how you do that, everybody's got a different approach, but that's, it's necessary. That privilege we have of voting, it's not exercised, is a total waste and a shame. I think you'd see things much different if all the people were bothering to inform themselves. I mean you can just force-feed people so much, you know. If they're not interested, well, they're never going to take it up. But, and the political minds and analysts know this, you know, so they zero in on these different segments. But things would be different if more people voted. SUCHANEK: To conclude, how would you like to be remembered as a legislator? MILLER: Oh, a fellow that responded to people's needs. A person that was able to get things done for people who didn't have anybody else to do it for them. A fellow that made a difference, that contributed something, that-being strong and hard-nosed, if you thought you were right, was really the way to be, that you were accomplishing something like that. And I'd hope to be remembered that I did make a difference in healthcare services in Kentucky, in providing more services and better services at a cheaper price, and helped as best I could to contain healthcare costs. With the technology, you know, you're going to have continuing rise in medical costs. It's inevitable, but I think we kept the lid on a lot of that. And I prided myself in taking on Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kentucky. They'd just about as soon to sneeze on a wildcat's backend as to fool with Frank Miller. Blue Cross- SUCHANEK: (Laughs), uh-huh. MILLER: I had, they, I had a good relationship with them, but I- SUCHANEK: Did you know John Ed McConnell? MILLER: Not well. Knew Sullivan real well. And the adversaries, well I won't say adversaries, the people that represented them, they respected me. I respected them, but you know, I tried to do my homework and I tried to prevail. And they're a strong lobby, strong as we've ever had up here. Strong. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. MILLER: And they had some class people. They had a job to do and I had a job to do, you know. And we fought like tigers, but when it was over with, that was over. Some of them didn't forget, I did. But I brought them to rate hearings, sat down there and their lawyers beat my head in. But I proved my point, and we did get some rate reductions for people that were good. We pointed out some of those shortcomings. I think that a lot of health insurers learned something, not from me, but from my approach and what I made the General Assembly understand. And we, the General Assembly prevailed. And it was a very enjoyable time, met a lot of people. It was invaluable, the friendships and contacts that you make across this state. I never, with one or two exceptions, and I'll not name them, one or two exceptions, I had a good rapport with members of the General Assembly. They're still friends that I can go to today. If I talk with them, they still believe me, you know. I have not played, in this role I'm in here, a legislative part. That has not been what I've been here for. That was the governor's call, you know, that he thought I was more suitable doing other things than I was working directly with legislature. And as a former legislator, he's probably right. SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Well, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me. MILLER: I enjoyed it. [End of Interview] 1 Miller (House 1974-1986, 32nd district; Democrat) discusses his early years growing up in Bowling Green (Ky.). He recounts his work on Wendell Ford's gubernatorial campaign, his own run for a House seat, and his subsequent years in the legislature. Highlights include his impressions of Governors Ford, Carroll, Collins, and Brown, and Miller's work on the Banking and Insurance Committee. He concludes with his unsuccessful campaign for reelection in 1986. Kentucky Legislature