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2003-09-29 Interview with Edward Ford, September 29, 2003 Leg001:2003OH177 Leg 61 01:53:40 Kentucky Legislature Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Legislators -- Kentucky -- Interviews. Educational change -- Kentucky. Radioactive waste disposal -- Kentucky. Water quality -- Kentucky. Roads -- Design and construction -- Kentucky. Kentucky. Governor (1987-1991 : Wilkinson) Kentucky. Governor (1991-1995 : Jones) Brown, John Y. (John Young) Jr., 1933- Wilkinson, Wallace G. Kentucky. Education Reform Act (1990) Kentucky Education Association Educational change. Recycling (Waste, etc.) Coal trade Taxation -- Law and legislation United States. Marine Fighter Squadron, 214th Maxey Flats (Ky.) Illinois Collins, Martha Layne Beshear, Steve Rose, John (Eck) Wright, Joe Jones, Brereton Wethington, Charles Southern Regional Education Board Central Midwest Compact Commission (Chair) Joint Interim Environmental Quality Committee (Chair) Toyota Manufacturing (Georgetown, Ky.) State Government Committee (Chair) Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) Kentucky Education Association (KEA) Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation (Executive director) University of Kentucky education reform nuclear waste Water quality Recycling (Waste, etc.) Roads Economic development incarceration rates Workers' compensation coal industry lottery tax legislation BOPTROT Black Sheep Squadron testing (students) testing (teachers) Horse industry ethics legislation bottle bill workers compensation bill Senate (1978-1994), 30th district Harrison County (Ky.) – Scott County (Ky.) – Woodford County (Ky.) – Fayette County (Ky.) – Nicholas County (Ky.) – Robertson County (Ky.) Edward Ford; interviewee Eric Moyen; interviewer 2003OH177_LEG061_Ford 1:|11(1)|32(5)|54(8)|78(3)|94(2)|104(13)|118(10)|137(3)|151(8)|164(12)|180(6)|204(1)|222(10)|238(10)|261(1)|290(10)|316(10)|331(14)|349(11)|376(2)|402(10)|424(9)|437(5)|454(5)|466(7)|483(2)|501(10)|530(8)|546(5)|581(7)|600(3)|622(5)|644(2)|666(10)|681(9)|705(9)|726(9)|746(11)|767(14)|788(4)|803(12)|823(10)|847(11)|861(1)|873(4)|892(7)|905(1)|923(5)|948(13)|973(1)|986(5)|1000(6)|1020(8)|1037(13)|1058(4)|1078(13)|1101(5)|1142(1)|1159(9)|1173(7)|1192(5)|1214(5)|1234(1)|1258(2)|1287(7)|1305(3)|1335(5)|1360(7)|1387(13)|1401(1)|1424(3)|1450(2)|1481(11)|1518(11)|1550(9)|1577(1)|1605(9)|1626(5)|1648(7)|1676(5)|1697(12)|1717(2)|1733(13)|1768(2)|1789(15)|1807(7)|1847(4)|1878(2)|1893(5)|1926(4)|1947(1)|1974(9)|1993(4)|2016(8)|2032(14)|2049(7)|2072(9)|2085(10)|2105(10)|2128(3)|2156(2)|2174(4)|2210(1)|2231(10)|2272(7)|2290(6)|2312(14)|2341(2)|2359(7)|2383(11)|2399(4)|2425(7)|2453(1) audiotrans Legit interview MOYEN: The following is an unrehearsed interview with Mr. Ed Ford. Mr. Ford served the Thirtieth Senate District in the Kentucky General Assembly. He is currently the cabinet secretary for Governor Paul Patton. The interview was conducted for the Kentucky Legislature Oral History Project as a part of the University of Kentucky Oral History Program. The interview was conducted by Eric Moyen on September 29, 2003 in Frankfort, Kentucky. It is the second in the series of two interviews. [Pause in recording.] MOYEN: Okay, I'm here with current Secretary of the Cabinet Ed Ford, and former senator, and we're conducting our second interview in this series. How are you doing? FORD: I'm doing great. MOYEN: Thanks for meeting with me again. FORD: Thank you. MOYEN: We left off last time talking about, um, well, we were in Martha Layne Collins's administration. And, um, we had talked about your involvement with her campaign. Uh, a few things that I wanted to ask you about your time in the Senate, while she was Governor, one, what, what do you recall about the special session that she called in 1985 to deal with education? FORD: Well, uh, I recall it very well. We even, uh, of course, I was active in the Southern Regional Education Board, and S-, SREB had identified the shortcomings of education throughout the South, and Kentucky was really no different, and, uh, than the rest of the South, and, and, uh, we knew we were underfunding education. Uh, we, um, did a piecemeal patchwork to the education system, certainly nothing like we did in 1990. MOYEN: Right. FORD: But, uh, I guess the most disappointing, uh, thing about it is the taxes that we, uh, imposed did not generate the kind of money that they were supposed to. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And so we never could fully fund her educational programs. MOYEN: Um-hm. Is that pretty typical of a lot of legislation? That it passes and then turns out that the funding doesn't-- FORD:--I don't, I don't think so. Uh, you know, I, I can't explain exactly what happened on the, on the, on the revenue side, but, uh, we were supposed to generate over $300 million and just flat didn't, didn't get it done. There was, there was a miscalculation made somewhere along the way. I, I just don't remember exactly what the economy was, or whether it went into, uh, a downward spiral or what, but it just didn't, did not generate the money. MOYEN: Um-hm. Um, do you recall any of the debates there? Were people pretty unanimous about this was what we needed with education? FORD: Oh yeah. Yeah, it was, um, it was pretty universally accepted, and, uh, you know, uh, have all the children ready to go to school, uh, you, you know, your, uh, nutrition programs, and your preschool programs, kindergarten, and so forth and so on. And basically what we are, it, it was just a piecemeal of what we did, uh, in 1990; it was, uh, a foundation that, that we later built on in 1990-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --five years later. MOYEN: Right. FORD: Um-hm. MOYEN: Okay. Um, some of the other things that you were involved with during her tenure, actually before and after her tenure, one, um, was dealing with nuclear waste. FORD: Yeah. MOYEN: Can you tell me about what you tried to accomplish in working with, I believe it was Illinois, or-- FORD: --well, of course it all began, uh, my interest all began at Maxey Flats down in Fleming County where we have a, a nuclear waste dump, which is just, uh, uh, was a disaster. Uh, back in those days of prior to, uh, my coming into the Senate, very few people paid much attention to radioactive, uh, materials, and, uh, so they just opened up a landfill at, in Fleming County and, and, and buried the stuff, did an inventory, you didn't know what was in which trench, and so forth and so on. And yet we knew we had a problem, and in 1978, uh, the state bought Maxey Flats from the contractor who, who owned it. It's the worst mistake we ever made. And, uh, it literally cost millions of dollars each year just to monitor that site with, uh, wells, you know, to see if any stuff was leeching and so forth, and to try to keep a cover over the top of it. I mean, huge acres, that's what got me interested in, uh, nuclear waste. Then in, uh, in, in, uh, the eighties, uh, the Congress passed the, uh, the low-level radioactive waste act, and what that act actually encouraged states to do was to come together and form compacts. Uh, and that legislation envisioned about a half a dozen, uh, or maybe no more than a dozen compacts in the entire United States. So, uh, we'll say if, if there were a dozen, uh, that would be four states, all joining together, and so forth, but it, they really env-, envisioned about a half a dozen, where it'd be eight states coming together. Now, you have to understand that states have no rights to interrupt, uh, interstate commerce. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: In other words, if I opened a commercial business in Kentucky today, uh, no one can prohibit me from receiving, uh, uh, goods from any other state coming across our borders, as long as it's legal goods. A compact does control its own borders, so that's by, uh, the Constitution, I believe, and by, uh, acts of Congress. Uh, a compact can supersede the interstate commerce act. And so they invi-, invited states to join together so that they could, could, uh, dispose of their low level radioactive waste, and, uh, by the same token keep other waste out of that particular region. And so Kentucky was supposed to be in the, uh, Southeast Compact. Illinois was supposed to be in the Midwest compact. Illinois had a, a disposal facility, a Sheffield(??), almost identical to the one at Maxey Flats in Kentucky. And the Midwest would give Illinois no consideration that they already had a disposal site, and therefore would not exempt them from being a host state in the Midwest compact to locate a site. Uh, the same was true with the Southeast compact with Kentucky; they would give us no consideration. They said, "No, you're gonna fall in line just like everybody else. And so we--[telephone rings]--thought, thought that was very unfair. [Pause in recording.] MOYEN: All right. FORD: Okay, so Kentucky and Illinois had very similar problems. Uh, a few states were, compacts were being formed around the country, and so there we stood, both with, uh, these, uh, um, sites that we were having to monitor, and so forth and so on. Now, you have to rea--, you should take in consideration that the state of Illinois has more nuclear reactor plants than any other state in the nation; they have eleven. And Kentucky has virtually no nuclear waste, other than medical, uh, by the(??) hospitals and what not. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: But very minutiae amounts. So this sta-, uh, senator and, uh, from Illinois, Jerry Joyce and I got together and started talking about, uh, Kentucky and Illinois joining together and, and, and joining a two-state compact. Well, we were laughed at, because each compact has to be ratified by Congress, and they said, "That was never the intent of Congress; they'll never ratify this compact." And so well, we said, "We, we, we believe it will, and we're going to give it a try." And so Thompson, the Republican, was Governor of Illinois, Collins was, uh, Governor of Kentucky, so they both, uh, issued an identical executive order forming the Central Midwest Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact, and, uh, then each legislature ratified it, uh, their executive orders, when they next went in session, sent to Congress and it went, was ratified by the House and Senate without comment. So, we had a two-state compact, and we had language in that compact that said that Kentucky could never be considered as a host state, in, in other words, a host to site another facility unless it generated more than 10 percent of the waste generated in the region, which is virtually impossible. So, uh, what that did is allowed Illinois to manage its own waste, but yet have compact protection. Its borders-- MOYEN: --okay-- FORD: --were protected, because we'd entered into this agreement, and it gave Kentucky a place to, to, uh, dispose of its very small amounts of waste, so I got very interested, of course, in that, and, and followed the procedure, and then during Brereton Jones's term in office, well, uh, the, uh, commission from Kentucky seat came open, and he appointed me to that commission seat. So I served on the Central Midwest Compact, and, uh, there, the commission is a three-member commission; the host state has two members, and, uh, the other state has one. And lo and behold they elected me chairman; I've been chairman for about five or six years now. And they, I think they elected me chairman because the two commissioners in Illinois couldn't get along, so they elected me chairman. And so I've been pretty active in the-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --in the, uh, organization ever since. MOYEN: So, what type of things do you deal with now? FORD: Well, once again, all of our problems, uh, or potential problems are in Illinois. And, uh, as of right now, the only, uh, place accepting, uh, nuclear waste is, uh, Barnwell, uh, South Carolina. Uh, and they're due to close in 2008. So we're trying to plan on what to do, uh, with the Illinois and Kentucky waste after 2008. We're looking at long-term interim(??) storage. Much, much of this, uh, nuclear waste, uh, has a very short half-life, if you understand-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --physics, you understand half-life, and so, you know, after a few years, most of it would qualify to put in a solid waste landfill. MOYEN: Okay. FORD: And so we're thinking about long-term, what we call long-term interim storage, and we'd have it indexed and catalogued in, in warehouses and so forth and so on. We'll know exactly where it is, so we're und-, taking that under consideration, and also taking under consideration another, another, uh, uh, disposal site located in Illinois. And, uh, in other words, we're just, uh, trying to figure out what we're gonna do in 190--in, in, in 2008. MOYEN: Okay. FORD: So, basically that's, uh, we meet about four times a year. MOYEN: Okay. FORD: Our next meeting is on the eighth of October here in Ken-, right over in the building behind us. It won't last much over an hour. We have, and we, we, we, uh, uh, no expense to the government, either state governments. Kentucky put up $50,000 to start this commission, and, and, uh, Illinois put up $50,000, and we have, uh, uh, we're able to place a small surcharge on electric generators early on, which has since deceased. Uh, we can no longer legally do that, and, uh, we have accumulated about $2.5 million, and so we just live off the interest of that. MOYEN: Okay. All right. Another issue that you're involved with, that was also an environmental issue at the time, or still is, is water quality. Um, could you tell me how you got involved in that? I think the Herald-Leader quoted you as saying, at one point that it was, uh, the greatest crisis in Kentucky. FORD: No question about it. Uh, uh, I, um, was the chair of the joint interim environmental quality, uh, committee, environmental committee of the General Assembly. It was an int-, interim committee, and I was on that committee because of Maxey Flats, and got appointed chair. And, and so we looked at all the environmental concerns. The, uh, my, my concern with water quality was, uh, contamination of groundwater, uh, from agriculture, over-fertilization in agriculture, uh, and contamination of, um, surface water and groundwater from these, uh, massive, uh, uh, agriculture operations, feeding operations, and so forth and so on. And, you know, once you contaminate a, an aquifer, you know, there's(??) no way clean it up. And then another thing about Kentucky and quality of water is so much of our rural, uh, population, uh, was, and still is, without, uh, quality -----------(??) water. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And so that's always been a priority, it's been a priority to this, this administration. I don't know how many tens of thousands of families we've put on, uh, uh, quality water during this administration, but it's been significant. We've-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --we've really made a huge effort. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: But there are still places in Kentucky where people don't have quality water, and there still places in Kentucky where they're, when they flush the commode, it runs right out, uh, straight pipe. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And so that's always been very--uh, I'm, I'm, I'm not a greenie; uh, I've always been interested in, in, in the environment. I think anybody in agriculture would be. Uh, a veterinarian can appreciate, uh, uh, the environment, and the quality of life, uh, but I've never been a fanatic, uh, to the extent that I wanted to make everything so clean that nobody could live. MOYEN: Right. FORD: And there are people that would do that. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: So, I consider myself someone who is very inter-, interested in the envir-, in the environment, but a moderate. MOYEN: Right. FORD: Um-hm. MOYEN: Okay. Was there anything, or were there any bills that you could point to concerning water quality, where you said, "This was a turn, uh, for the better"? FORD: Uh, I, I really, I really can't. Uh, I, I just, just can't, can't, just not thinking about it right now. MOYEN: Um-hm. Okay. FORD: I just don't know. MOYEN: Okay, but you would say that we're far better off now than-- FORD: --oh, oh yes-- MOYEN: --than we were in the eighties-- FORD: --much better off. We have, uh, committed so many of our resources, uh, to ----------(??) getting quality water to, to people. I don't know how many hundreds of miles of waterlines we put in, or how many thousands of people we've hooked up, but it's significant. MOYEN: Okay. Keeping in that same vein, can you tell me about, uh, uh, what I might call, a minor personal crusade with the, with the bottle bill, and-- FORD: --well, yeah, uh, my farm in Bourbon County has a little over a mile of frontage. And back in the old days, I could take my little boys out there, and we could get a wagon, a farm wagon, and hell, we could load it up every Saturday morning from one end to the other, where just people just throw stuff. And, and John Berry, Senator John Berry was really the, a master of the bottle bill, and whenever he retired, I took up the charge. And, uh, I think we had, had an impact. Uh, uh, we, uh, outlawed steel cans in this state, uh, because aluminum is recyclable. MOYEN: Right. FORD: And, and it's, uh, easily recycled. And, and, uh, as I say, uh, now, and all you have to do is drive around to most any small community, and you'll see people out on the, picking up bottles or cans. And, uh, bottles are almost a thing of the past, except plastic bottles. Uh, I remember that, uh, the Coca-Cola company was going to, uh, uh, have plastic cans. And they, they would have no recyclable value. And I proposed legislation to ban those in Kentucky. And, uh, they were, we were going to run a trial here in Kentucky, and, uh, they wound up running it in Japan. Uh, a vice president from Coca-Cola came up and talked to me about it, and I wouldn't, wouldn't back off. I, and, and he said, "You can recycle plastic." I said, "Yeah, you can recycle plastic, but that aluminum can's worth a penny or two, and that plastic can is worth maybe one hundredth of a cent, and nobody's going to bother to pick it up. Sure you can recycle it, if you can ever recover it, but nobody'll recover it." I says, "These things are picked up before they bounce twice when you pitch them out of a car." MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And, uh, it, again, was just, uh, something to clean up, you know, just kind of help clean up Kentucky, even before I(??) was in the Senate, when I was president of the Harrison County, Cynthiana-Harrison County Chamber of Commerce. Uh, the junior high school--and I was a board member of the, a school board member--had a, uh, what they called an ecology club. It was a hundred and something kids, and they were trying to learn about ecology, and the environment. And so, uh, I formed, uh, this group, and we cleaned up all, a bunch of illegal dumps in, in, in, uh, Harrison County, uh, where people just pitched stuff all over the roadside. And, uh, that, that had a double purpose; the first purpose was to clean up the dump, and the second purpose I felt like any of those kids that went out there every Saturday morning with me(??) for a year, and we cleaned up these dumps, and then the county would come in and dump topsoil and then reseed them-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --and what not, would never throw anything out of a car window. MOYEN: Right. FORD: And so, you know, I think maybe Harrison County is clean today because of that. So, I've always been kind of into it, but never an extremist, you know. I mean, I, I don't want people to ever think I'm an environmental nut; I just appreciate a good environment. MOYEN: Sure. Were you ever in favor of, what some states do, where you pay the five or ten cents when you buy the soft drink, and then-- FORD: --I would not have objected to that. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, I could never get the bottle bill passed. MOYEN: Right. FORD: I mean, it was, you know, the, the industry was just bigger than me, but, uh, that would've made it recyclable. I, I mean, and, and collectable where you take it back-- MOYEN: --right-- FORD: --to, to the stores. Yeah, I, but that would've been a reasonable approach. MOYEN: Um-hm. Also during this time, and of course, this was an issue long before you served, and, and will continue to be one, uh, dealing with roads. Can you tell me some of the politics that were involved, especially with widening Paris Pike, or US 27, uh-- FORD: --well-- MOYEN: --or the bypasses, and adding lanes and-- FORD: --I believe when I first came to Kentucky, uh, we were, they were(??), which was in 1958, they were talking about widening the Paris Pike. And of course there was one injunction after another to stop the, uh, uh, because of the slave fences, and the beauty, and so forth and so on. And that's just been a constant battle in the courts for all these many years. Well, lo and behold, it's finally come to pass. It's going to be the most beautiful, and probably the most expensive road ever built in Kentucky; there's no question about that. The Bourbon County end's already completed. And just had to just finally fight through the courts, and one thing or another, and the thing that's making it so expensive, is they're restoring the so-called slave-built fences, the, the rock fences. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And they're doing it mostly with Mexican labor, and there, there, there's, uh, those fences are beautiful, and they don't have one speck of concrete in them. I mean, they're just stacked, just like-- MOYEN: --right-- FORD: --the, the original ones were. And so that was a, you know, just a long political, uh, battle fought in the courts. Uh, and, and, of course the Paris Pike was one of the most dangerous roads in Kentucky, because it had no shoulders. And there, it seemed like to me there was a death there every month. Probably not quite that bad, but it was, it, it had, uh, a high degree of fatalities, and so, I, I guess we just finally just wore out the opposition. Of course we had to make all these concessions. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, as far as widening the roads, uh, US 27 has got passing lanes all the way up to, uh, uh, the, uh, all the way up to Newport. And, uh, I don't think anything really was political about that. It's a US highway, it's 75/25 money spent on that; that's 75 percent federal, 25 percent, uh, state. and everything is improved all the way except where Campbell County High School, the new Campbell County High School sits up to, uh, oh, maybe, maybe there's a little three mile segment in there, uh, and I'm assuming that they, that they will become four lane-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --because, uh, about three miles after you pass the Campbell County High School going north, then it becomes four lanes. And so I'm assuming that's going to be a four lane and not a passing lane. But it, uh, it makes it, uh, a very trav-, uh, traveled road, uh, with, with passing lane. Trucks don't, uh, bother you, and one thing or another. Uh, and then the, the hardest road that I ever worked on was the road from Georgetown, Kentucky to Cynthiana, US 62. Uh, and of course it has cost Cynthiana, uh, big time, because there's no spinoff factors from Toyota in Harrison County where, which is just, well, Harrison County is actually maybe seven miles from Toyota, but, uh, where, our new industrial park, to Toyota's gate is twelve miles, but there's never been any, uh, industrial development over there. It was all because of the highway. Every Governor that I ever served with, including Martha Layne Collins, agreed to fix that road. And every cabinet secretary, uh, transportation secretary, that's served with ever Governor, would point out to the Governor, "Governor, we can take these same state dollars and build four times as much road somewhere else as we can here, so let's do that next year." Well, we got, we got, got it started, and, uh, I guess Julian Carroll, uh, did the first, improved the, the first five miles; that was from US 27 out to Russell Cave Pike. And so, uh, then John Y. Brown was supposed to do the next. Well, the first thing Frank Metz(??) did is kill it; he stopped it. He said, "The people don't want this road, so we are not going to build it." And so then after John Y., Martha Layne got elected. Well, she said, "We're going to build it." Well, it took her four years to start acquiring, uh, setting back the, uh, utility lines. We got that started, that much on it. And, uh, she never could move any dirt, but she did get, get it started. And so Wallace picked up the, the charge, and--[telephone rings]--I don't think that's for us, I think she'll get it. MOYEN: Okay. FORD: Uh, Wallace picked up the charge and did the next five miles out to, uh, uh, Leesburg, but that still left 7.4 miles of unimproved US 62. And it was just like this, curvy. And so, uh, Jones promised to do it, and, and he didn't. And, uh, so when Patton came in office, uh, he said--well, when he was running, every time he'd come to Cynthiana, I'd tell the troopers, "Be sure and come over 62," and he, of course he said, "Boy, you've got the worst damn road in the, the damn state of Kentucky." (Moyen laughs) Says, "Hell, this is worse than Pike County." And, uh, so anyway, when he came into office he said, uh, "We're, uh, I'll, I'll, I'll fix that road for you." Well, the first thing that happened is, is, uh, Secretary Mudge, uh, secretary of transportation said, "Governor, we can build four times as much road somewhere else as we can, uh, here," and, uh, he slowed it down. But Patton said, "No, we're gonna build it; I promised Ford I'd build it, so we're going to build it." Of course, I was working for him. And, uh, so anyway we have finally finished it. And it's, it was expensive, but I don't know whether you've driven over it or not. MOYEN: Haven't been on that. FORD: You can go a hundred miles an hour. (Moyen laughs) And it's, uh, when Patton, we, we got it built the last 7.4 miles, and that's the superhighway, the rest of it's just improved highway. And I was going home here about five or six months ago, and I looked up and there's a big sign that says, "The Dr. Ed Ford Highway." He had named it--(laughs) And so I've got a highway named for me, and apparently the Herald hasn't found out about it yet, because they criticize every other highway we name--(Moyen laughs)--but they haven't found that one out. So it's my highway, uh, the first signs of Toyota, and then about halfway there's another one, and then of course, uh, all the way to US 27 to Cynthiana, so I got my, I got my highway; it's about eighteen miles. MOYEN: All right. Now you mentioned that there wasn't a lot of spinoff from Toyota. FORD: No. MOYEN: Let's talk about Toyota just a little bit. FORD: Okay. MOYEN: Um-- FORD: --during, during the Collins's administration. MOYEN: Right, right. Um, what's the first you remember hearing about putting together a package to lure them, or Toyota being interested in, in moving the plant to Kentucky? FORD: Well, the first thing that Collins did when she became Governor was ask me to chair the state government committee. And the state government committee interacts with all the executive agencies. And so she wanted a friendly person there, and so I was there. And of course I knew she went to Japan, and, and I was here on that December morning when we announced the Toyota plant in Georgetown. And, uh, as a matter of fact, I had to fly in on a private plane from Illinois, because, uh, couldn't get out commercially. But anyway, uh, I knew what she had promised, because I had worked closely with her, and Joe Prather and I cosponsored the incentive package. And, uh, we, she went out on a limb, I mean, she had faith in the legislature, and went out on a limb and made these commitments to Toyota, and, uh, we, uh, we upheld them. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And it was a, not that generous a package. It was heavily criticized though by, by Patton--I, I mean, the paper, the Herald especially, uh, but, uh, now they're praising it as, uh, one of the bigger, best deals ever. Uh, Wallace Wilkinson criticized her very heavily. Uh, and he succeeded her, you know, and, and, and he was never, I don't guess he ever went to Japan, but, uh, he figured out too that it was a great, great benefit to Kentucky. It's not only Toyota where they employ seven thousand people, there's probably another thirty thousand in these other, uh, spinoff factories, manufacturing plants, located in fifty miles of Toyota. MOYEN: Right. FORD: It's, uh, been, it changed the economic base of this state. We're the third largest, uh, producer of automotives, uh, in the nation. It's, uh, Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And many people don't realize that. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: You know, the Ford pickups, and Explorers are made over in Louisville; of course all the Corvettes are made down in, uh, Bowling Green. MOYEN: Right. But we did lose this--[telephone rings] FORD: -- ------------(??) [Pause in recording.] FORD: We did the incentive package, and of course Collins did a, a masterful job at convincing the legislature that it was the right thing to do, and of course it was. And, and so, uh, she made the promises, and we fulfilled them(??). And it's proven to be a great thing. MOYEN: Um-hm. Any criticism that you took or remember reading about outside of the incentives package? FORD: Oh yeah, yeah, there, there were people that, uh, still had, uh, uh, thoughts of World War II, you know, Japanese. I didn't. Uh, didn't, didn't bother me, uh, although I, I was in Japan in 1949, uh, and 1950 during the Korean War, and went to Japan several times, and found it to be a, a very, uh, good people. They were very good people. Uh, I think, you, I, I, I always felt safe, even at midnight in Tokyo. Uh, I think there were people who fought the best fight, but then they accepted their fate, and, uh, and so it didn't bother me, but some people that had, I did not fight the, the Japanese; we fought the Koreans and Chinese, but I, I guess some people from World War II just literally-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --resented the Japanese, but I, I don't sense that anymore. MOYEN: Right. FORD: It just passed on; it's been fifteen years now. MOYEN: Um-hm. So, with Toyota, did you, did you feel like the one unimproved road is what kept-- FORD: --oh yeah, yeah-- MOYEN: --a lot of the businesses-- FORD: --yeah, yeah, and that, and a, and a non-aggressive, uh, county judge and, and a mayor, uh, which has since, the county judgeship has since changed, but, uh, and we do now have an industrial park, and we will proliferate now. Of course, the manufacturing kind of slowed down after 9/11, but it'll come back, and we're gonna be, gonna be just fine. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: But, uh, yeah, you've got to be aggressive, uh, you know, in this economic development race, recruiting businesses, and we had a county judge that didn't want to rock the boat, and had a mayor who even wanted to do less. And so nothing really happened over there, but the road was a detriment; there's no question about it. So they said, "Well, we don't have a good road. So, there's no point in us getting in this race." And, uh, it, it, it held us back. The road held us back, but probably the, the political leadership-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --had as much to do with it as anything else. MOYEN: Um-hm. What could a judge and a mayor, from your perspective, do to try to encourage -------------(??)-- FORD: --well, there's a factory sitting in Paris, Kentucky, where the road's not a whole lot better, from, uh, Paris to, to Georgetown, a little bit, but, and as, as far that it really wanted to locate in, uh, uh, Cynthiana, and, uh, the, the, uh, people that were locating this factory, said, big wheel factory in Paris, employs several hundred people, came to Cynthiana, to the mayor, and said, uh, "You know, we've got to have a sewer line, we've got to have an improved roadway, uh, entrance," and so forth and so on, and, "Can you do this?" And he said, "Well, I don't know. You'll have to take it up to the city council." They went to the mayor of Paris and said the same thing, he said, "Sure, I'll do it." And of course he had to get his city council's approval, but it's the Martha Layne Collins's type deal. And, of course, my mayor wasn't willing to, to get up and try to sell it. And I'll tell you how bad these people wanted to locate in Cynthiana; the, the, the two highest ranking officials in that company lived in Cynthiana. They moved their homes there, fifteen miles from their plant, because they liked the country club, they liked the school system, and they liked the little airport. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And so they, they wanted to live there. And, uh, they wanted to locate their factory there, but they, they were not welcome. That's just a fact. MOYEN: Right(??). FORD: Pretty sad fact. MOYEN: Um-hm. With all the boom that Toyota created, jump ahead just a little bit here, what happened with the Hyundai, do you know anything about how that fell through? FORD: Well, Hyundai was a totally different Japanese. Japanese, uh, uh, were very honorable negotiators, uh, uh, not too greedy, there were some unreasonable demands put on by Hyundai, and very stiff competition from the state of, of Alabama. Uh, and it appeared there was one landowner that did not want to, I think we had to exercise eminent domain on that one landowner, and that one landowner seemed to create an illusion in the, in the Koreans' minds that they were not welcomed in that part of Kentucky, which was just totally wrong, or maybe that was just an excuse, but that was one of the excuses that they gave us. But Alabama gave such a generous package, much more generous than we, uh, would've offered, and it's so generous, the state, the economy of Alabama, they are not going to be able to fulfill their commitment. I mean, uh, they're slashing education, they've done everything, because those voters in Alabama just turned down a big tax increase. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: They are not going to fulfill their commitment to Hyundai, but I guess Hyundai's there and there to stay now. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: I guess they've already started. MOYEN: Um-hm. Uh, you mentioned your position as chair on the state government committee. FORD: Um-hm. MOYEN: What other things did you do in that role? You mentioned dealing with all the-- FORD: --well, you know, it, it, in my opinion, the three most important committees in, in state government, of course, is appropriation and revenue, and state government, as far as operations go, and then education, because that's who spends all the money. and, uh, you know, uh, I just kind of watched over Collins, and then, of course, I kept that position under mostly, uh, most of Wilkinson's, uh, time, and working with his cabinet secretaries on helping them get their legislation through, telling them what would pass and what wouldn't, and I remember I worked with Rogers Wells who was the highly criticized, uh, uh, finance secretary of, uh, in the Wilkinson administration. But I had a work, tremendous working relationship with Roger Wells and never saw him do anything wrong. I never saw him not take my advice on legis-, on how to get-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --legislation, uh, through, and so forth and so on. Um, so it's, it's a, a very important committee. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, of course, you have specific committees for things like education, which I also served on that, but, uh, for the operations of state government, I mean, local government, uh, the, the commission on local government, uh, the, uh, just(??) operation of the Governor's office, uh, the, the executive cabinets, we have to interact with the state government committee. MOYEN: Um-hm. Um-hm. Did state government committee deal with prisons much? And in terms of adding the prisons or developing new ones? FORD: Yeah, we did. Uh, and we also, I guess, um, there was a justice committee that also dealt with that, but they, they spent more time on courts. But, uh, at one time, it appeared that we were going to have to build about a prison every year. You know, we, we were increasing about five hundred inmates a year. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: But I think things have slowed down somewhat, uh, but we still incarcerate too many people. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And we're incarcerating too many people for, for white collar crimes that should be mediated(??) out some other kind, but, uh, our, our court systems have always come down, you know, tough on crime, our politicians, uh, get elected tough on crime. Nobody ever stops to think about how, how many lives you're ruining. Uh, I mean, you know, we, we have requests in here for pardons right now on kids that were eighteen- years-old, senior in high school, got picked up with possession, charged with a damn felony, uh, tough on crime, and convicted of a felony, and not sentenced to one day in the penitentiary, or fined one dollar, just given six months probation, but yet they're still convicted felons here ten years later. You're going to see a lot of those folks, those kids pardoned. And there was a time about ten years ago, when all this was happening, I mean, every community, they were setting up entrapments. And I know a kid that hurt his knee playing football, he had pain pills, another kid tried to buy a pain pill from him for five dollars, and of course he wouldn't sell it to him. So he gave it to him and he was immediately arrested for trafficking in a controlled substance. He was charged with a felony, given six months probation, and life went on. Except, every time he makes out a job application, he says yes. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And, um, I'm gonna get him, I'm gonna get him pardoned. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, so we, uh, yes, state government, uh, we, we dealt with things like that. Also, there was, during the Brown administration, there was, uh, uh, uh, a jail, uh, committee to rewrite the, uh, uh, jail standards, because we were under, uh, a federal court order, you know, we were not coming up to standards. I, uh, also chaired that committee under, under John Y. Brown, and that got me into prison ----------- (??)---------- been in ever since. MOYEN: Let me ask you about the special session in 1987 where I believe you all, uh, dealt with workers' comp. What type of issues are involved in workers' comp? FORD: [Nineteen] Eighty-seven? Now, you're, you're talking back in the Wilkinson administration? MOYEN: Uh, right around the time he was elected, it was right at the end of Collins-- FORD: --right-- MOYEN: --administration. FORD: Well, workers' comp has always been a very volatile subject in this state, because of the coal industry and black lung. And, uh, it seemed that, uh, all you had to do was walk through a coal mine one time and you became entitled to a, a lifetime compensation for black lung disease. I mean, it was literally that bad. It just caused everybody's, uh, uh, workers' comp rates to be atrociously high, and it was affected economic development in this state, because of our(??) high workers' comp. Uh, she called a session, I guess, a special session in '87, but it accomplished very little. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, we had too many workers' comp lawyers in the legislature that were able to negate anything that we did. The main, uh, opponent was Kelsey Friend, Kelsey Friend from Pikeville. Uh, of course, we had another special--well, I guess it was in regular session in 1996--uh, no, it was a special session in 1996 where, uh, Patton tackled workers' comp, and, uh, and him being a former coal miner, and a very(??) good friend of Kelsey Friend's, he still got it done, and we, uh, had aff-, affected, uh, workers' comp rates very much in this state, and, and, and have them at a reasonable level now, competitive with other states. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: But it's always been a very volatile subject in, in, in Kentucky, and, uh, because of the coal mining and the coal mining industry. MOYEN: Okay. Um, in 1987, I believe it was, tell me a little bit, you mentioned last interview, uh, living life in a fishbowl, so to speak. I don't, this doesn't quite fall in that category, but tell me about this, uh, stationary, uh, fiasco where, I, I think you wrote some people on stationary that you had purchased, and you mailed out yourself, end-, endorsing, uh, Pat McWhorter for some position. FORD: Yeah. MOYEN: And there was some criticism of that. Do you recall? FORD: Well, I really don't recall it. It didn't affect, I didn't pay that much attention to it, but I definitely was very supportive of Pat McWhorter. And, uh, I think he was running for treasurer, I believe he was, and, and of course, we purchase our own stationary. And, uh, mine just said, uh, uh, Ed Ford, uh, Senat-, Senator Ed Ford, Thirtieth District, or something. And I guess somebody criticized me, because that was official stationary, and I, I, I wanted whomever I was mailing those letters to, to know that, that I was a state senator, and I was endorsing this fellow. I didn't see anything wrong with it there, and it was really insignificant. -----------(??), I never remember it, I don't even rem-, remember it. MOYEN: Okay. (Ford laughs) All right. I didn't know if that had, had been a serious issue or just an article in the Herald-Leader. FORD: Just another article in the Herald-Leader. MOYEN: Okay. Uh, tell me a little bit about, uh, the election in 1987 and, and Wallace Wilkinson's kind of rise. FORD: Well, I was treasurer for Steve Beshear-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --and, uh, who was a Lieutenant Governor, and it appeared that, uh, he would, would be the favorite. And, uh, then John Y. Brown got into this race in 1987 and, uh, John had not been, in my opinion, one of the best Governors we ever had. Uh, nothing bad happened during his administration, but not a whole lot of good did either. But he, he got into the race, and Wallace, uh, Wilkinson, who I have heard of, didn't know, I believe the first poll I saw he had a 5 percent name recognition. So I didn't give him much of a shot. Uh, Steve had worked hard as Lieutenant Governor and had five carried out this project during his entire Lieutenant Governorship, Kentucky Tomorrow where he was, you know, working on various -------------(??) projects, kept it out in the forefront, uh, for a long period of time. And, you know, I thought he would be the frontrunner. Uh, John getting in, kind of skewed it again because of his money, and the glamour associ-, associated with him, so I didn't pay much attention to Wallace Wilkinson, until one night, uh, they were on TV and, uh, the question was posed, I believe first to Steve, "How are you going to build on Governor Collins's education plan?" And, of course, "How are you going to support it?" And so Steve, he, he, he held around he was going to save this money from here and there and everywhere, build on it, and then they asked John, he pretty much said the same thing. Then they asked Wallace, and he said, "Well, I'm not going to. I have my own education plan." And said, "And I'm going to support it with the lottery. I'm going to give you the lottery." And so, from that minute on, he took off. What he was saying is, "I'm not going to raise your taxes; I'm going to give you the lottery." And he implied that it would support his education plan. And so, uh, that's how all the confusion, all these years, came a, about, that, uh, the lottery was being spent on things other than education, and it, and it was supposed to be on education. The language in the, in the, uh, constitutional amendment did not say anything about education. And of course fif-, fifty cents of it was spent on education, because of the general fund. And, uh, Wallace, of course, his education plan failed-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --in, uh, I guess that would have been '88. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, what he wanted to do was let every school district be an entity within itself. In other words, say, "These are the things you're supposed to know, and it's up to you to do it." And this would've been a disaster, because you, he was not taking into consideration how much transfer you have back and forth. And, uh, he was wanting to give total autonomy to every school, not school district, every school, and you just couldn't do that. I mean, you had to have some broad parameters, and so it didn't get, get anywhere. And I remember people would, would ask him about, "Governor, I thought, uh, what happened to the lottery money?" And he would always say, "They put it in their general fund," as if our general fund was a slush fund that we could spend. But anyway, uh, then the, the, the court ruling came down in '89 demanding, and, and they put the -----------(??) on the legislature. Said, "It's the legislature's responsibility to offer and, and, and fund a system of, of, uh, efficient common schools." We did, uh, that; it was done in the, uh, House and the Senate. Uh, leadership, took leadership role, roles in it, education committees, we brought in consultants, we divided it up into, uh, governance, uh, curriculum, and financing, and brought in, uh, three teams of consultants, and each of those-- [Pause in recording.] MOYEN: Okay. FORD: Okay, and so, uh, you know, and we passed KERA, and Wallace Wilkinson is given credit, much credit, much more credit than I believe he deserves. He just happened to be Governor, and happened to sign the, uh, the education reform act. Uh, he had little choice. And, uh, of course there was a tremendous tax increase involved also. And, uh, I know that, uh, we, uh, had the tax increase, and the education reform all in one bill, so if, if you voted for education reform, you had to vote for the tax. And so if he signed the education reform, he had to sign the tax bill too. But, uh, in my opinion, it was the Supreme Court, who is really the father of education reform in Kentucky, and the Senate was the vehi-, was the tool that they used-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --to put the thing together and Wallace just happened to be Governor. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, it, it had some elements of, of what he wanted to do, but of course it was a, a much more, uh, traditional plan, in other words. Uh, uh, I mean, you, you, you do have more local control at the schoolhouse level, because of every site base council, and that was kind of something that he had in his, in his plan, except he wanted that site base council to control that school, and that entire school, and that school would be an entity within itself. And, uh, KERA's not quite like that. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: But, uh, that's how we, that's how we got the education reform passed in 1990. MOYEN: Um-hm. When did you realize, was there a point at which, after either a lower court, or when the Supreme Court did, um, rule on appeal, that you realized this wasn't gonna be a, a real small, let's change the formula funding, that this is going to be an overhaul? FORD: Oh yeah, it, it, I mean, the, the, the decision is so clear, uh, the way they worded it, and they declared our entire system of schools to be unconstitutional. Hell, funding was just an aside. Equity funding was just an aside. And, uh, it was obvious, and it, I, I'll, I'll tell you, it was welcomed by me, and Joe Wright, and John Berry, and people like that, we welcomed that, because we knew it needed to be done. And this gave the legislature the shield that it needed to go out there and do it. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And, uh, I guess Berry, and Ford, and Wright, and a few others voted for every damn tax increase that ever came before the General Assembly, and it beat none of us, you know, and, and so we welcomed this, because we, we knew we could get it done-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --and Mike Moloney. MOYEN: Right. Let me ask you about, um, just getting back to Wilkinson's election, obviously there's a bunch of tension between Wilkinson and the legislature, the Senate in particular. What were your first interactions, or meetings with Wilkinson, and when did you realize this was going to be a contentious relationship? FORD: Well, it was pretty, pretty obvious from the(??) day he was sworn in. Uh, and I guess that's the reason that, that I didn't work with Wallace very closely; I worked more with his, uh, secretary of finance, uh, Rogers Wells, who I had a good relationship with. And, uh, I, I didn't think a lot of Wallace. I, I knew he was an uneducated man; I knew he was a man that had a lot of money; and had made a lot of money; and, uh, I, I also knew he was a vicious, uh, and would be a vicious, vengeful politician, which he was. Uh, I know that, uh, my wife was on the tax appeals board. It was up for reappointment. And that's a paid position, uh, where you, uh, uh, if you have a tax problem, you have to appeal to this board. And she was probably the hardest working member on the board. And, uh, she would hold individual hearings around the state, and settled 90 percent of, 95 percent of them never come to the full board, work them out. And he sent word that my wife was up for reappointment, and that he would like for me to support him to succeed himself as Governor. And I said, "No, I will not do that." And I told this person I would not do that, and, uh, I said, "I want to(??) support succession, but he was elected under a one term, and so the next Governor can succeed himself," and so, uh, he didn't want any part of that, he wasn't worried about the next Governor, was only worried(??) about himself, and lo and behold my wife was not reappointed. But that's fine, you know, we didn't starve. But, uh, that's the kind of, I mean, he, he was, he's pretty, pretty, pretty tough player(??). So, never, never had too much to do with him. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, became, I got to know him a little better after he was Governor, uh, because I play golf every once in a while, and used to out at Greenbrier, and that's where he lived, and I'd see him out there, and after we, he was no longer Governor, well of course he always claimed that we were the best of friends whenever he introduced me to people. But we never were very tight. Uh, I didn't have a lot of respect for Wallace, you know. But, uh, we, knowing, you know, what kind of administration he, he ran, of course the BOPTROT came down during his administration, and, uh, it should have, but, uh, they were after only one person, and that was him, and they couldn't get him. Uh, got his nephew, I believe-- MOYEN: --right-- FORD: --Bruce Wilkinson. And, uh, that was a very tenacious time for the legislature. And, uh, but it was time. Uh, certain legislators were getting too cozy with lobbyists, and it was almost becoming a way of life, an accepted way of life, and, and, uh, the pendulum has swung too far, uh, to the legislative side. There were almost, because of a weak Governor like Wallace, we're getting maybe a little unbalanced on the, you know, the, the executive and the legislature is supposed to balance the powers, and the pendulum swung a little bit too far, I think, and, and, uh, then it swang back to the other way. And I'm afraid it's swinging too far back toward the legislature again, especially on the Senate side-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --where they're trying to dictate to, uh, the executive what to do, and what you can and can't do, and this, that, and the other, and there will be a lawsuit by the next Governor, whomever it is, about infringement. I, I guarantee you that. We would, would, uh, cause, uh, would be initiate one right now except this is our last year. MOYEN: Right. FORD: And we, we'd be out of office before it ever came to trial. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: But the legislature again is infringing very much on the executive. MOYEN: Um-hm. Let me ask you about, uh, when Wilkinson takes office, there's a new leader in the Senate, "Eck" Rose, um, how would you describe his leadership as opposed to Prather's, and-- FORD:--well, Eck Rose and Wallace Wilkinson did not like each other. And, uh, I don't think Eck had a axe to grind, but, um, he, he was tough, he was a tough leader, and maybe was the best leader for that time. Uh, I'm, uh, say if I'd been a leader, I may have tried to work more closely with Wallace, but I'm not sure that would've been to, to the Senate's benefit. Eck, Eck maintained our legislative independence, and, uh, I think he was a very good leader, very strong leader for that time. Now, I don't, we didn't need him in the Collins administration, you know, we needed him back during that-- MOYEN: --um-hm. You talk about his being a tough leader, can you recall any instances where he either stood up to the Governor, or said, "This is what we need to do in the Senate," or? FORD: Oh yeah, yeah. Hell, he stood up to Wallace every day. I mean, they, they, they would shout at each other, very often, I mean, very rarely, uh, face-to-face, usually over the telephone. And I mean, they would get rather profane with each other, and, uh, Eck Rose let him know, you know, who was running the damn Senate. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And he was a, he was a good leader, and for, for, for that time, uh, with that Governor, who tried to bully his way in. MOYEN: Right. Would it be fair to say that Wallace Wilkinson almost made, or did make Rose more powerful by giving him this opportunity to stand up? FORD: Oh yeah, oh yeah. Yeah. No question about it. And, uh, and, and Eck during the Wallace, Wallace's years, had the total support of the Senate. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: I mean 100 percent. Uh, Eck had not been one of the Black Sheep. Uh, he had never joined up with either side. You know, the old, he, he was kind of a loner. And, uh, he was perfect, he was perfect. Uh, if any of us Black Sheep had been the Governor, you know, it would've, but Eck was almost a non-entity until he was elected the president of the Senate. And, uh, that's what made, made him so workable, I think, is because he didn't belong on either, either side, the gubernatorial side, or the Black Sheep side. And, uh, but he had our support once he was elected. MOYEN: Um-hm. Is that why he got elected? FORD: Probably. Probably. Because he, he, he was, he was perfect. Uh, he had no, no scars. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: You know he had not been a very successful, aggressive legislator, really, if you stop and look back. I mean, he didn't get any major stuff done, never made a lot of noise, just kind of sat back and kept to himself, but yet he, uh, was a good leader. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And we, uh, he's a smart man, he was(??) obviously a very smart fellow. But I think that made it perfect to elect him, because he didn't belong-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --to any, uh, he couldn't be identified with any group-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --any clique. MOYEN: Right. Although the, the Black Sheep squadron had done their work, so to speak, earlier-- FORD: --oh yeah-- MOYEN: --do you recall any discussions when this position came available as to-- FORD: --none of the Black Sheep wanted it. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And, uh, he, and, and so he was kinda drafted. MOYEN: Okay. FORD: None of the Black Sheep wanted it. We saw him as a, as a safe person. Of course, we elected, uh, Joe Wright as, uh, floor leader. MOYEN: Right. FORD: You know, majority floor leader, and we elected all our chairmen. Uh, they elected me as a, as a, uh, education chair in, in 1990. And, uh, we all got off the state government thing and went to education, because they wanted to implement this, uh, KERA. MOYEN: Um-hm. Right. Well, let's talk about KERA just a little more, like you said, you become chair of the Senate Education Committee after KERA passes-- FORD: --um-hm-- MOYEN: --but when it was, uh, when that legislation was moving forward, what type of attacks did you face against KERA? Obviously tax increases, but what else-- FORD: --well, it was(??) tax increases, and, uh, of course, uh, from the far right, uh, our family resource centers were going to be, we were going to, uh, be counseling, uh, kids on abortion and handing out condoms in schools, and this, that, and the other, that, that kinda crap. And the school board association fought us heavy, heavy, heavy, on site based decision-making councils. My former friends, school board people, fought us heavily on the site, site based councils. Said we were taking away all the power on the school boards. Uh, we got attacked from about every angle you can get attacked from. Uh, the teachers, uh, they, they, they wanted site based decision-making councils. Now they, now most of them wish they'd never heard of it, because it takes, uh, an inordinate amount of their time to do a good job. And so the only ones who are even interested in serving on the council--so they tell me now--are those militant teachers with an axe to grind. And so forth and so on, and, uh, but they were, the teachers were more or less supportive. They knew they were going to get a good raise out of this thing. They thought they were going to get, uh, some more control over their schools, which they have. Um, but, uh, about everybody else fought us. Uh, uh, school board, mostly, I remember, and the, uh, uh, the right wing on the moral issues, all, all of which were, none of which was true, but they, they made a strong case for it. And, uh, I, I guess, elementary teachers were somewhat opposed to us, because we wanted to do away with the graded primary, wanted to have an-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --upgraded primary. Uh, and they fought us pretty heavily, uh, the ele-, some elementary teachers did, but all in all, you know, I think that, uh, we just held our ground, we knew what we had to do, and we did it. MOYEN: Um-hm. Now, once you were chair of the Senate education committee, and you began implementing KERA, what modifications were necessary? FORD: Well, the only modification that was made at all was clarification on the ungraded primary. Uh, that was the most confusing thing of all. And, uh, uh, what the law says, you have to have multi-age, multi- ability, uh, mixed, um, everyday, but it didn't specify a time. And so what we really wanted was, uh, multi-age, multi-, multi-ability to be, be working together, and it just never did work out that way. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: It's still not working out that way. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: You've still got, you ask some of these kids what grade they're in, hell, they'll tell you, "I'm in second grade." And so we, we do have, still have graded primary. And that's, I, I think that's the biggest modification. Now, later, after I was out of the Senate, uh, we had modified the KIRIS test-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --and we, and because of the public was demanding that we have a, uh, where I, I could compare my child to your child, and of course the KIRIS test was actually where you tested the whole school, and that was their score, that stepped forth. And so we came up with the CATS test. Uh, the, the KIRIS test was, it's performance based, strictly performance based on how the entire body could perform, but we, uh, put in enough of the, uh, national education progress NAP questions, uh, without sacrificing the performance base, just expanded the test, built on it, and it seemed, now you can compare one classroom to another classroom, one student to another student, one school to another school, one district to another district, and that seemed to satisfy, uh, the naysayers. And, and, uh, so ever since 1998, I believe, we've been using CATS, and it has been accepted. Other than that, KERA's in pretty good shape. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: I'm still not pleased with the way the ungraded primary has come out, but, you know, if we can get every kid reading-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --uh, when they leave the third grade, that would be the major accomplishment-- MOYEN: --right-- FORD: --but we're not there yet, but we have to get there. MOYEN: Um-hm. Obviously, no piece of education legislation is going to be the end all-- FORD: --that's right-- MOYEN: --it's, this is solved it(??), but are there things about the KERA legislation that looking back you thought, you may think, Maybe we didn't tackle that just right; it needed to be addressed this way? Any holes? FORD: Yeah, I, I think, think there are a couple of holes; number one, I, the site based council, I think they should've been, um, we, we could have restructured them a little bit differently. I don't like giving the teachers, and the teachers dominate, I mean, you know, there's three of them and two parents. And, uh, they hire the principal. I don't like that. Uh, I would not like coming in and interview for a job and have Carnita(??) and, uh, and, uh, Cindy hire me, because, and then I'd be their boss, but that's exactly what's happening, out in the schools. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Now, of course, the, the superintendent has to send them some nominees, and then they pick the one they want. Well, you know, I mean that's just a, that's just bad. And, uh, I think that there ought to be equality, I think there ought to be the same number of parents as there are teachers, and, uh, then I think the principal ought to be the chair, and ought to be a non-voting member; the principal is the chair and a voting member. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, and so, I, but I think the principal ought to be a non-voting member, ought to be three teachers, three parents, principal chair, and non-voting member. That was the way I envisioned it when we were trying to set it up. Uh, but there were people in the House who were much closer to the Kentucky Education Association than I was, and, uh, they got it stacked, you know, in, for, for the teachers. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And I, I, I do not believe that they're, they're, they're, they're not functioning as bad as I thought they would, but I think they could have functioned a lot better. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, I remember, uh, I interviewed a principal down in, in, uh, Miami, Florida, uh, that had a site based council. And it was voluntary in Florida, but they had one that worked well, and he was the chair. And I said, uh, "How, how do you feel about being the chair?" He says, "I can get anything I want, because I'm the leader." And he said, "I can convince this council what is best for this school." And he said, "And that's the reason I, I put in the legislation to have the principal as the chair, because I, I believe that. But when you let the damn council hire the principal, the principal, all of a sudden, loses influence." And so that guy put, put into the House. But anyway, uh, that I, I think is, is, is not working just like it should. I think we're probably getting a bigger bang for our buck out of the, uh, family resource and youth service centers as anything else, because we don't put any money in there hardly at all, and, uh, they, they're, they're working beautifully. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: They're identifying, uh, I mean, you know, if a kid is in school, and, uh, is identified as needing, needing certain services, well, the family resource center sees that they get those services, identifies that family, then they go into that family maybe, and find out that, well, you've got a malnutrition child here, and they put them in touch with the right people, those things are just working like a charm. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And they're unheralded; people just don't even know what all they do, do. MOYEN: Um-hm. Um, could you explain, if you recall, there was something called the minority voice bill, I believe that you sponsored with Gerald Neil, um, that dealt with minority representation on some of these councils, I believe. Do you recall-- FORD: --no, I really don't-- MOYEN: --anything about -----------(??)-- FORD: --I, you know, I'm sure I did that because Gerald asked me to. Uh, did it pass? MOYEN: I don't know. FORD: I don't think it did. MOYEN: Okay. FORD: Uh, but, uh, of course that's, you know, the thing that Gerald looks out for is his race and that, that's what he should do. And, uh, I always tried to help him, was usually in a position to influence a few people. Uh, but, uh, we tried to do that in this administration, uh, to have minority secretaries, uh, our Secretary of Education Norris is, uh, uh, a minority. And, uh, we've had several minority secretaries, and, and commissioners, and we try to be very diverse, as diverse as we can on most of our boards of commission. Now, the thing about it, uh, I believe we're down in single digits, Afro-American population though. And so, uh, you know, and we, we try also to have an equalization of gender, as near as we can, in most of our commissions. But, uh, I don't, I don't recall that-- MOYEN: --okay-- FORD: --but that would, would, would've been, that's my character. MOYEN: Right. FORD: I mean, I would do that. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: You know. MOYEN: The article the, that I saw had, had information about the proposal, but not its passage, so I don't, I'm not sure-- FORD: --I don't, I don't think it did, probably. MOYEN: Let me ask you about, uh, a task force that I believe that you chaired in 1993 dealing with teacher preparation-- FORD: --um-hm-- MOYEN: --is that correct? FORD: Um-hm. MOYEN: Uh, obviously you dealt with that. How did you go about or, or what were the ideas involved there? FORD: Well, what year was that? MOYEN: [Nineteen] Ninety-three. FORD: Okay. The one thing that we did not do in KERA, we did not put enough money in for professional development. And we were still preparing teachers in 1993 before KERA, just as we were before KERA. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: We were not preparing teachers any differently, and unfortunately we're not doing a whole lot different today. And so, uh, you know, that's what we tried to do was, uh, and, and could only make recommendations. And of course you're once again dealing with higher education, and to, to, to effect any change in higher education is just almost you've got to put a stick of dynamite on it(??) and blow them up. but, uh, we made some recommendations, some of which were instituted, and some of which weren't, as, as usual, and, uh, I believe that, uh, since then, Governor Patton chaired, uh, a task force on the teacher preparation, which I was a de facto chair. Uh, it is, I, I moved the educational professional standards board over to this office, attached them to us. Took them out of the department of education. Those are the people who set up the criteria and who test teachers to see, and it, it still, you, you, you're not going to have better teachers, if you continue to train them like you did four years ago. And so we're, you know, I'm still on that kick, trying to make them better, and once again, to get higher education to do anything. Now, we're getting a little bit of play now, a little bit. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: We've got, you know, a dean like Mark Wasickso down at Eastern Kentucky University. He is an educator, but he was in business for, in the private sector for a while, and came back in education. He, he can think outside the box, but a lot of them can't. They just want to do it the same old way. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And if you do it the same old way, you're going to get the same old result, every time. MOYEN: What are the primary issues that, or, or what would you say are the greatest issues that higher education in Kentucky has to deal with, and in what ways did you attempt to address those when you were chair? FORD: Well, when I was, uh, chair of the Senate education committee, I sponsored legislation to try to make higher education more accountable for the dollars they got. Uh, we have, uh, a, I, I wanted to know how many hours, uh, student contact hours does this particular individual have, and things like that, and, and, uh, how many of these Mickey Mouse courses can we get rid of that are costing us money, and all that kind of stuff. And, and, uh, I passed the legislation, I forget what year it was-- MOYEN: --[nineteen] ninety-two. FORD: Um-hm, the Senate Bill 108, I believe it was. MOYEN: Um-hm. 109. FORD: 109. MOYEN: Pretty good. (laughs) FORD: So, Senate Bill 109, and it was a good piece of legislation, but by the time the University of Kentucky and Charles Wethington got through with it, promulgating the, the regulations, it was totally ineffective. But because of that bill, that's the reason I'm sitting here today, because Patton watched that, he, he saw what I was trying to do, and that's what he wanted to try to do, was just make higher education better and more accountable for the money. Uh, Higher education's attitude has always been, "Just give me your money and get the hell out of the way, and let me do my thing. I have academic freedom; I can do what I want to do. You're not(??) supposed to tell me what to do." And that has changed. That has all changed. The act, 1997 act, improvement act is working. It's working beautifully. MOYEN: Um-hm. Um, can you tell me, stepping back just a little bit, after you chaired the task force in '93, I believe that you sponsored some legislation that tried to implement-- FORD: --that's right-- MOYEN: --the, the things-- FORD: --uh, and it didn't get done. MOYEN: And it didn't get done, why was that? FORD: Killed in the House by the militant, uh, KEA. Uh. MOYEN: Simply they didn't want teachers being tested? Was that-- FORD: --that's right, that's right. And, uh, hell, it flew through the Senate, I believe. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And it got to the House, and probably never got out on the floor. You know, Harry Moberly and Joe Barrows and a few people like that could've bought it up and killed it, and their wives are teachers, and very active teachers, very militant teachers. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Very active in KEA, end of story. Hell, they, that's the way the process works. MOYEN: Right. Um-hm. FORD: (Laughs) Uh, some of the best legislature never passes. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: If I could have gotten that passed, uh, we'd have been in a hell of a lot better shape today. MOYEN: Um-hm. Let me ask you one more question about, uh, during Wallace Wilkinson's term. In March of '88, you and Joe Wright sponsored some education legislation. It was a three million dollar job training bill. And when it came up for a vote, it failed 20 to 18, on March ninth, I believe. FORD: Um-hm. MOYEN: The next day it passed 25 to 12. FORD: That's right. MOYEN: How did that develop? What-- FORD: --well-- MOYEN: --and, and how do you even get something reconsidered as a-- FORD: --well, the first thing you do, is you, the only way it can be reconsidered is somebody on the prevailing side, so that would have to be somebody who voted against it, would make a motion it'd be reconsidered. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And it has to be done in twenty-four hours. And a little arm twisting went on that night. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And, uh, you know, a lot of people just didn't understand it, but once they had it explained to them--(laughs)--by the majority floor leader, "-----------(??), son of a bitch, you're not gonna ever get a piece of legislation passed unless you change your mind, here." MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: You know, "Who controls this floor? I do." MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And so--(laughs)--we, we got it passed pretty easily the next day, and I forget who it was that asked for it to be reconsidered, but they had voted against it and they voted for us this time. MOYEN: Okay. Do you recall any specific examples, or people that you talked to, or anything? FORD: No, because that wasn't that unusual. MOYEN: Right. It wasn't that unusual? Okay. Okay. Um. FORD: And you know, there's an old saying, "Hank, I thought you was against that." "I was until I had it explained to me." (both laugh) That's, that's an old saying, you know. MOYEN: Um-hm. Let me ask you, um, once Brereton Jones is elected, um, although a lot of the stuff that went on was during Wilkinson's term, that's when BOPTROT, when the scandal breaks out, but before we get into that, let me ask you, you were executive director of, is it the Grayson Jockey Club? FORD: Um-hm. Foundation. MOYEN: Foundation. What does that foundation do? FORD: It funds equine medical research all over the world. Private. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: It's a private foundation. And we're dependent upon the horse industry for our contributions. MOYEN: Um-hm. Being from the bluegrass area, a vet, obviously you're involved with horses. FORD: Um-hm. MOYEN: What, um, can you think of any specific legislation during your tenure that you really were able to help the horse industry? FORD: Yeah, I think we passed some legislation, uh, setting up the health and welfare committee to, uh, where all uncashed pari-mutuel tickets, which are now running into the millions of dollars each year, uh, would take care of the indigent of people that work on the backside, the grooms, and so forth and so on. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, I believe that I set up, uh, legislation to take one-tenth of 1 percent of all pari-mutuel, uh, funding, of, of sales, one-tenth of 1 percent to be devoted to equine drug research. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And that's still in play. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And, uh, I don't recall much else-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --to directly change racing, because racing is about like it always was. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, I did look at workers' compensation for jockeys one time. And, uh, went out and spoke to the Jockey's Guild. There was a meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the same time the BOPTROT thing went down. And, uh, that's the reason my name was associated with, with BOPTROT at all, was because, uh, I happened to be in Las Vegas at the same time they, they had that sting(??) setup out there. But fortunately, you know, I didn't have any part of that, didn't even see a single legislator. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: I went in and spoke to the Jockey's Club Guild who was trying to get me to sponsor legislation in Kentucky similar to some legislation that passed in New York for workers' comp for jockeys. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And we couldn't, I, I, I just wasn't interested in doing it. It was too special, uh, legislation. And, uh, but my name was associated with BOPTROT through the newspapers. And I, I guess I'm the only legislator to receive a letter from the United States Justice Department saying that we have no interest in you, and that the reason for that is that they knew I was in Las Vegas during that sting, and they followed me, and they knew that I was out there only for serious business, and did my business and got the hell out of town. And so, Joe Whittle, who was the prosecutor for the US Justice Department, US attorney, wrote me a letter, because he, he saw the newspaper was dropping my name in every time they wrote about the damn BOPTROT. And they'd say, "also attending the jockey club meeting was Dr. Ed Ford, even though he was, Senator Ed Ford, you know, he was not a member of the, uh, committee." And, uh, I guess Whittle just finally got a bellyful. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And he said he called them and told, told them, you know, "We have no interest in Ed Ford; you shouldn't be dropping his name." Also I had a, my board at the Grayson foundation, about 70 percent Republican, and I imagine they were talking to Mr. Whittle who also was a Republican to find out, do we have a problem, because this man is controlling our millions of dollars. MOYEN: Right. Um-hm. FORD: And he said, "Hell no, you don't have a problem." So he finally wrote me a letter. MOYEN: So, when, um, when you went to Las Vegas, and you flew in a day after everyone else did, you stayed at a different hotel. Was that purely coincidental that you were doing something else? Or did you think, "I don't want to be involve-- FORD: --hell, I didn't even-- MOYEN: --even if you-- FORD: --know those guys were out there. MOYEN: Okay. FORD: If I had run into one of them, uh, and they'd have said, "Hey, we, so and so is taking us to dinner tonight. Why don't you come on and go with us?" I may have done it. And I'd have been right in the middle of that mess. Innocent. Totally innocent. But, uh, fortunately it didn't happen that way, and, and fortunately it, if I'd gotten the invitation, I couldn't have gone, because I'd already had other business set up. But, uh, I had no clue that they were out there. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And, uh, no interest whatsoever, just a coincidence. MOYEN: Um-hm. Okay. Um, when, when the FBI finally broke their investigation, can you explain what that was like, being in the legislature when, when all this stuff came out, even that, that day? FORD: Yeah, it was a, it was tense. And, uh, you know, people were getting subpoenas that you would never suspect. And that was, uh, was, uh, just shocking. I mean, there just didn't seem to be any stopping point. And as a matter of fact, they subpoenaed my travel records. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And as I asked Joe Whittle when he returned, I said, "Uh, do you know why they confiscated my travel records?" He said, "Because your name was mentioned." He said, "I don't think we ever opened the packet, because once we found out you weren't involved." But, uh, they, you know, and I, I just didn't have, Art Schmidt, you know, folks like him, Clay Crupper, uh, of course they were all in that mess out in Vegas, they were on that damn committee. But, uh, it, it was shocking. It, it was tense around here. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: It really was. And, uh, you didn't know who to talk to, or who not to, and you didn't know whether to say anything on the telephone or not. You didn't know whose phone was bugged. (laughs) But I'm glad it's over. MOYEN: Um-hm. Looking back, could, can you see now hints, or things, irregularities where you can say, "I saw," or "I can see now that this was going on, but at the time," or did you even have suspicions at the time? FORD: Well, you know, I, I, Don Blandford, Speaker of the House, he practically had a free ticket up at Flynn's. Uh, somebody, some lobbyist was picking up his dinner bill every night, all his drinks, and all that stuff. And I knew that was going on. And I knew that was a relationship was too cozy, but that's the way it had always been. And I think we all fell into a lull that, well, this is acceptable behavior, and it's just not. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Um, and, uh, there was a lot of traveling with, uh, you know, lobbyists setting up groups to travel, and so forth and so on, and, uh, with, with legislators, the relationship had become too cozy. Now, we, we needed, uh, we didn't need BOPTROT, but what we did need is the legislation that followed BOPTROT. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: To put the separation between lobbyists. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And, uh, I think we went a little too far. I mean to say that, you know, you can't buy a guy a cup of coffee without, no cup of coffee rule, I think, is what we called it, and, uh, I think went a little too far there. And it's still a little awkward, I mean, Ed O'Daniel is a lobbyist. He and I served in the Senate together. We go out to lunch; I have to pay for my lunch, he has to pay for his. He can't buy mine, I won't buy his, I'm too tight. Uh, Fred Bradley and I served in the Senate together, and, uh, Herb Leibman and his wife were both lobbyists living here in Frankfort, and my wife and I invited Herb and his wife, and, uh, Fred Bradley and his girlfriend to come over for dinner. And Fred wanted to drink, and so he wouldn't drive. And so he wanted to ride with Herb, and, uh, Herb Liebman is a lobbyist. So, Fred had to pay Herb fifteen dollars to drive him to Cynthiana. I mean, you know, it, it gets kind of ridiculous. MOYEN: Right. FORD: Really ridiculous. But the, the pendulum had swung too far. I mean, we were too cozy, and too comfortable. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And I consider myself an ethical, honest person, but I mean, it had even, I had begun to accept it, you know, as, as, well, that's the way it is. And, uh, I mean, you know, I've been up to the Flynn's and had dinner, and, uh, uh, didn't know who in the hell bought my dinner. When I'd get ready to pay, waitress said, "It's already taken care of." "Well who did that?" "Well, just taken care of." Some lobbyist had bought my damn dinner. And, you know, "Great." Well, that's not great, you know, because two days later they come and say, "Well, how'd you enjoy dinner up there." MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: "Ah, pretty good." "Let me talk to you about this piece of legislation I got." (both laugh) Uh, I don't think it would have ever swayed me, but it was a, it's not, you know, that, you can see where we were going-- MOYEN: --right-- FORD: --that's the direction we were going in, that's not good. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: We're doing fine. MOYEN: Okay. [Pause in recording.] MOYEN: We've been talking about BOPTROT, and that occurred during, um, or at least the story broke, or the investigation broke during Brereton Jones's term as Governor. Uh, can you tell me a little bit about his election, and his rise to power, and, and any association, or interaction that you had with him? FORD: Well, of course he was a Lieutenant Governor. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And, uh, so, very good campaigner. He would, uh, stand there and talk to you as long as you wanted to talk. And so many people out there running for something will be talking to you and looking over your shoulder at the next guy; Brereton was not like that. He was a very good campaigner. And, of course, he and I were friends, uh, from the, the horse business, and, uh, we still are friends. Uh, as a matter of fact, he and my son are real close. And, uh, but, uh, Brereton, Brereton couldn't stay focused on, on government and on issues; he was just all over the board. And, uh, if you looked at his health care package, I believe, that, uh, he tried to get passed, um, I believe he'd wind up vetoing it himself, his own bill. And he, he was very hard to work with, very hard to work with. And, uh, he didn't spend enough time here. He spent too much time in Midway, in my opinion. And, uh, now, John Y. wouldn't come to work until the middle of the afternoon, but hell, then he'd work all night. I don't think Brereton ever put in an eight-hour day in state government in his life. Uh, not to be critical of him, but nothing bad happened during his administration, and I don't believe he enjoyed being Governor. Uh, if he did, he wouldn't have spent so much time over at Aidrie, over Aidrie Stud where his home is. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: But he's a, was a friend, and is a friend, and will always be a friend of mine, but he, I, I would not put him down as one of my favorite Governors. MOYEN: Um-hm. Do you recall any legislation during his, uh, tenure as Governor that you sponsored that particularly sticks out in your mind? FORD: No, I really don't. I, I know I tried to help him with his health care bill, but it was just a damn disaster. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, I, that's basically all I remember of, uh, I don't remember him specifically asking me to sponsor anything for him. Uh, I, I probably did. It would've come to the floor leader Joe Wright-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --who would've, in turn, asked me to handle it. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: But I don't recall anything specifically. MOYEN: Can you tell me, uh, with the health care reform, can you pinpoint what the problems were? What were the clear problems, and how did you try to address them even-- FORD: --you know, I, I, I don't really, don't know the details. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: I was just trying to help Brereton. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: I was out there hustling votes for him, and committed to vote for it, regardless of what it was, and was just hoping it was good. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, and if you'll look back at my career, I never have worked in health care. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, and, uh, it's, I've always relied on other experts, uh, to advise me on that. Now, my son, uh, is with Anthem, uh, Blue Cross/Blue Shield. And, uh, I think he's been with them about fifteen years, so I guess he would've been here during Brereton's term. And yeah, we succeeded Brereton, didn't we? MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Yeah. And of course he is my health care expert. MOYEN: Okay. FORD: And I, I do what he asks me to do, and he's not going to lie to me, because I'll whoop him if he does. (both laugh) MOYEN: Oh, um, in October of '93, you announced that you would retire at the end of your term. FORD: Um-hm. MOYEN: Um, in our first interview, you had mentioned that that was because you, you know, you jokingly said you looked in the mirror and you had become the enemy. FORD: That's right. MOYEN: Um, what other factors, besides looking in the mirror-- FORD: --well, uh-- MOYEN: --did you, did you consider? FORD: My time coincided with my if-, uh, sixtieth-fifth birthday. My birthday is January the first. My last day in office was December 31, 1994; I thought I was out of there. And I also believed that if you continue to run long enough that somebody eventually will, will, will beat you. And my family was tired, uh, my wife was tired. Uh, you're going to get negative publicity occasionally. And she takes it a lot more serious than I do. Uh, I don't remember anything in '93, or, or '90, or anything, but, uh, I think just, uh, believed that I had become the enemy. That I had been there seventeen years, you know, and I was not thinking like an outsider anymore, I was thinking like an insider. And I thought we needed an outsider. Uh, and, uh, unfortunately nobody's been able to hold that seat since I left. (both laughs) MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: But, uh, I, I, I was serious, uh, to, to that extent, that I thought I had been there long enough, seventeen years, I was considered myself, you know, old enough to step aside, but the real thing was I, I was not thinking in 1993 like I was in 1978. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: I, you know, I brought a good fresh outlook to it in 1978, and 1993 it was just business as usual. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And that's not good. MOYEN: Do you remember discussing that with any close friends, either other legislators, or your family, or-- FORD: --well, John Berry had retired, Joe Wright had retired, you know, we all, and, and so I think we all just thought it was time to go. We talked about it. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: That it was just time to go, you know, and let somebody else do it for a while. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And, uh, so, uh, Prather had retired, uh, ---------- Hughes, Lowell Hughes. Uh, Eck, no, Eck went after I did. He went two years after I did, I believe. I guess maybe served one more term. But, uh, you know, the faces were changing, and, and it was just time to go. MOYEN: Um-hm. In our former interview you had said, we were talking about the Democratic Party, and you had said that Wilkinson and Brereton Jones didn't have a lot to do with the Democratic Party. FORD: Right. MOYEN: What exactly did you mean by that? Or are there any, anything that you can think of with either-- FORD: --well-- MOYEN: --either one-- FORD: --uh, when Collins was Governor, of course Brown didn't do anything. Uh, when Collins was Governor, she, uh, raised money for the Democratic Party, got it back on its feet, paid off all the debts. When she went out of office, they didn't owe a dime. The Democratic Party is there to help Democrats. And, uh, uh, it should be out there trying to help representatives and senators get reelected, and this, that, and the other. And, uh, uh, Brereton and Wallace, if they had anything to do with it, it was to, to help themselves. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, Patton tried to, uh, do what was supposed to be done, and we did get involved in the Senate and the House races, uh, over the last several years, but we hadn't had much luck. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And I don't know whether we had the right kind of leadership out there, or whether we picked the wrong people to help run those, uh, campaigns or what, but we didn't have very much luck. But, uh, we, it was financially secure at one time, and I believe it's getting that way again, under the present leadership. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: But, uh, uh, they just didn't pay much attention to the Democratic Party, as if they weren't Democrats. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: I mean, they were just whatever they were. Collins was, is a Democrat, I mean, dyed-in-the-wool, and so is Patton. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And they're the only two that I know, John Y., hell, he doesn't know what he is, and Brereton and Wallace had no interest whatsoever. MOYEN: Um-hm. Um, did, did that type of feel contribute at all to your deciding, it's time to get out of politics, or-- FORD: --no, not really. I never was wrapped up in the party too much myself, uh, except during the Collins administration, I think I contributed a thousand dollars to them. I gave him five hundred dollars the other day to try to help them, but, uh, you know, uh, and during the Patton administration, we had what we called the Capitol Democrats, we all, $250 a year dues, and you know, to support it, and I think that maybe there was 250 of us, and, you know, little stuff like that. But as, as far as, uh, uh, other than contributing, uh, money, that's about all I've ever done, and then I expected the worker bees out there to take that money and-- MOYEN: --right-- FORD: --and do what they're supposed to do. MOYEN: Right. Um-hm. Now, we've been talking about your retirement, but it has turned out not to be, uh, what you would call any type of retirement. Uh, when did Patton contact you about getting involved? FORD: Right after he was elected, early '96. I think we mutually met, and I believe it was at the Hyatt, and I believe it was, uh, we had a mutual friend who happened to be the chair of the DNC, uh, Democratic National Committee, Don Fowler and they had a reception there for him, and I think Patton and I bumped into each other there. And he, we started talking about higher education, and what he wanted to do, and it was sometime early in the spring, uh, maybe the winter of '96, you know, January or February. MOYEN: Right. FORD: And I told him I could not be interested until, uh, first of June, because I, I had my Grayson Foundation, and we were receiving our proposals, and we had a meeting in Monterrey, California, in May to do our selections with this, uh, uh, scientific review committee I had, and I felt an obligation to go through that'd, that'd be a good stopping place for me. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: To step back, and, uh, even though I was not executive director anymore, because I retired from executive director at the end of '94 also, I was director of research, which was supposed to be a part-time position, and, uh, I never failed to go to the office at 8:00 every morning. (laughs) They cut my pay in half, but I, I continued to work fulltime. And I just felt like, you know, that I had obligated myself to see that these proposal reviewed(??), and so then I came to work on June fourth, I think, of 1996, and my first job, first assignment was to, uh, go to, uh, Denver, Colorado, and interview, uh, uh, a firm to come in and analyze the higher education situation in Kentucky. And that was a, the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, ECHEMs, E-C-H-E-M-S, and they're in Boulder, Colorado, and I interviewed the guy in the Crown Room at the airport, and Dennis Jones's -----------(??)--------- And I came back. My next assignment was to have this Governor, former Governor from, uh, North Carolina--I cannot recall his name--to come up and appear before a joint education committee, and I met him in Louisville, and with a state trooper, and brought him over here. So we, you know, we were trying to background all this before we came in 1997 with the legislation, where we could validate the need to do something. We thought we knew what was wrong, but we wanted to be able to validate it, and so we brought in all the experts. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And ECHEM stayed here a year, and I think they charge us $150,000 -----------(??). MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: But, uh, we really laid the groundwork, and it was a tough fight. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Tough fight. MOYEN: Um-hm. Now, what exactly was the situation like prior to that, and then what had you been able to accomp-, accomplish with higher ed reform? FORD: Well, several things. Uh, of course, the most significant was to reestablish the community college system as an independent, uh, entity. It was a governed by the board of trustees at University of Kentucky. And it was being, uh, operated more like a feeder system, more like a junior college than a community college. We also had a system of, of secondary technical schools, postsecondary technical schools scattered around the state, often across the street from a community college. They weren't speaking, teaching similar courses, uh, not recognizing each other's credit. And that, that's just a disaster, and it was run by state government, our workforce development cabinet. And so we formed the Kentucky Community Technical College System, and, uh, it is working beautifully. Uh, enrollment is, uh, up tremendously. Uh, then another thing, another significant thing we did is establish the virtual university. Uh, working better than any virtual university in, in America, uh, and a virtual library, which is saving tens of thousands of dollars, because you don't, every little college doesn't have to subscribe to every little magazine. And so, uh, that, and then the most significant thing between University of Louisville and University of Kentucky has increased their, uh, research, uh, dollars, and increased the chairs, the number of chairs, and endowed professorships that they now have, I mean, just quadrupled them. Uh, there we were in 1996, University of Kentucky had twenty-five endowed chairs, the University of Virginia had three hundred, University of North Carolina had two hundred and fifty, and we're trying to compare ourselves to those institutions. And, uh, Charlie Wethington had no interest in research. Uh, none whatsoever, and so, you know, we had strengthened that tremendously, both UK and U of L. MOYEN: Now, is that the bucks for brains, or-- FORD: --bucks for brains. MOYEN: Okay. FORD: That's right. We've, uh, put, uh, four hundred thousand in. Uh, and this is the third round, and each one of them had to be matched, so it's six hundred million dollars. Six hundred million dollars has gone into bucks for brains, where they can attract researchers, and, and endow chairs for these researchers, and it's working beautifully, and got a lot of good things going. And, uh, the, the, uh, comprehensive universities, which we used to call regional universities, seemed to be on mission now, and realize that, uh, they are the, uh, should be the, uh, producers of the master's degree programs, and, and the, uh, liberal arts, and sciences, and they're, they're performing better, and I believe, uh, higher education enrollment's up over 15 percent. MOYEN: Um-hm, um-hm. FORD: And, uh, we even increased this year, in view of the increase in tuition, we still have a, a surge. So it has just, if, if you tried to put it back the way it was, I think there'd be, uh, a riot. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Yeah. It's working. If we could just learn how to play football, we'd be okay. MOYEN: That's right. (both laugh) Um, have you had any success in dealing with quality, improving teacher quality or teacher programs since you've been out of the Senate in(??)? FORD: I think so. Uh, of course, we've, uh, certainly raised the bar as far as, uh, educational professional standards board goes, and you know, we now have a mentor program, and of course that goes back to 1990, and we're staying on target on that, uh, where new teachers are not just abandoned. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And, uh, yeah, I, I, I can see a difference. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: I think we're, we're bringing a better quality person out today than we did. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Uh, we started the principal's, a principal's academy down at Eastern Kentucky University, where wannabe or current principals are taught how to be principals. We had our first class this summer, and it was very successful. And, uh, so we, you know, doing, doing some good things. MOYEN: Um-hm. Can you tell me a little bit about what your role has been as deputy cabinet secretary, and then cabinet secretary? What do you do in that position? FORD: Well, when I was deputy cabinet secretary, that's really a misnomer. I think he gave me that title so he could pay me. Uh, because a deputy secretary of the executive cabinet makes the same money that a cabinet secretary makes out in the field. And, but he was so active nationally at the education commission of states(??), Southern Regional Education Board, uh, Southern Growth Policies Board, and National Governors Association, that he wanted me to take care of those responsibilities for him. I spent more time traveling than I did anything else. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And of course I had worked in all those organizations, except National Governors Association, when I was in -----------(??) government, he wound up being head of all of them. And, uh, I had good contacts in there, and he knew it, and he wanted some national prowess(??), because at that time he was thinking about running for the Senate, US Senate. And so my job was just to see that he got national exposure, and we did. And, uh, then, uh, when Crit resigned in January, I wasn't that well prepared for this job. This job is the chief operations officer at the State of Kentucky. I have fourteen cabinets that report directly to me, fourteen cabinet secretaries. I have, uh, uh, a dozen, uh, departmental local governments, and educational professional standard boards, and those type of entities(??) that report directly to me. And so, uh, you know, I'm supposed to run the damn state. He's the chief executive officer; I'm the CO. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And that's, and he and I make the same amount of money. MOYEN: Um-hm. And still kind enough to meet with an oral history interviewer. FORD: Yeah. MOYEN: I appreciate it. (laughs) Let me ask you a couple-- FORD: --glad to take a break here once in a while. MOYEN: Yeah. (laughs) Let me ask you just a couple of generalities, kind of in-closing, um, what were the best and worst parts about serving in the Kentucky legislature do you think? FORD: Well, the best part was, uh, passing the Education Reform Act in 1990. I mean, I, I, I knew we had done something monumental, earthshaking. The worst part was BOPTROT. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: No question about it. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Not for me personally, but for the institution itself. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And it, it has never been the same. Uh, I loved the institution. Uh, I enjoyed serving in the legislature, but that was, uh, that was heartbreaking. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: It really was. MOYEN: What about, you may have just answered this, in terms of voting, I was gonna ask you what's your, what votes you're most proud of, maybe least proud of, and then what was the most difficult vote? FORD: Well, the most difficult vote was the worst vote I ever made. And it was in 1979, during a special session, House Bill 44, where we froze property tax in the state of Kentucky, and I made a floor speech, and said, "This is the worst vote that I'll ever cast." I knew it was wrong, but I knew that I would not be reelected, and to, to be able to do all the good stuff I did after that. Proposition Thirteen had started in, in California. Uh, Jarvis, I think his name was, and, uh, they, they run that state by referendum. It's a circus. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And, uh, but it has swept the country. And, uh, I believe that property tax per capita in California is about $235 that particular year, and then it was about $35 in Kentucky, froze it anyway, and I guess it was a unanimous vote in both the House and the Senate. And I think that if I had, you know, and, and I think that was the worst vote that I ever made. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And without question the best vote was KERA. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: No question about it. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: I knew, I knew we were on the right track there. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And everything has proven, I mean, today we're at or above the national average in math, science, and, uh, read-, uh, language arts. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And we were never there before. MOYEN: Right. FORD: And so, it's working. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: The only thing that's not working as well as I'd like for it to is the dropout rate. Still having too many kids not finishing high school. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: But we're picking up, picking them up later in, with, in GED program, which is, uh, probably the best in the country. MOYEN: Right. Let me ask you about, uh, regionalism, and, and what you witnessed during your entire tenure in terms of different parts of the state, either in competition or infighting. Either regionalism in general, meaning central Kentucky versus eastern, or western, or northern Kentucky, and then, um, maybe regionalism, dealing with education where you've got UK fighting for its territory, or Murray State, or Morehead State, or, or Louisville, it, what type of issue-- FORD: --well-- MOYEN: -- -----------(??)-- FORD: --you know, uh, I don't believe those issues are as prevalent today as they were prior to 1997. Uh, I think that, uh, it's accepted now that the, the University of Kentucky is the land grant college, university. I think it's accepted that, that Louisville is a metropolitan university. Of course they can recruit students or have they come from anywhere. Uh, I think that the, the regionals, uh, no longer have to compete with UK, but they did when they had to compete with the community colleges. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: But they don't have to do that anymore. I think they are accepting their role, uh, as, uh, being the granter of degrees, the baccalaureate, and the master's degree, and I think, uh, they're accepting the fact that the mass point of entry is going to be through community colleges, and then those people can migrate on up. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: I don't see the, the competition between the Moreheads and the Murrays, and, uh, the Easterns as was here when I was in the General Assembly, especially before the, uh, uh, funding for-, the current funding formula. Used to be where every university got out there and lobbied for themselves, when I first came to the General Assembly; it was a disaster. Uh, it was tough for legislators(??), but, uh, I, I, I don't see that much, uh, regionalism as far as our(??) higher education goes, as there was prior to 1997. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Maybe I'm just living, maybe that's what I want to believe, but I, I see it, I see a tremendous amount of cooperation between U of L and U of K. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And, uh, I, we, we have almost all new lead-, leadership in this state since 1997. I believe the only one that's hanging on is, is, is, is Ron, uh, Eaglin down at, uh, Morehead. I believe everybody else, Murray's new, Western's new, Louisville's new, uh, KSU's new, uh, ----- -------(??) was here in '97. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: He was new in '97. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: But he, at Northern, and, uh, so Ron Eaglin is the senior, and of course Lee Todd is at UK. MOYEN: Right. FORD: And so I just figured, I think that helped also, you know, uh, where those universities wouldn't just dig in. Uh, if the same old leadership was there prior to 1997, I think we, we still have regionalism that we had then, but fortunately leadership has changed, and we don't see it quite as bad. MOYEN: Um-hm. What about regionalism in general, in terms of just legislation, not dealing, specifically with education. At, and how would you deal with that, being that you've got central Kentucky, and then way up-- FORD: --well, of course-- MOYEN: -- --------------(??)-- FORD: --whatever is good for central Kentucky is good for northern Kentucky and Louisville. They, they manage to build a triangle. And, uh, I believe the people in, in, uh, Appalachia, uh, southeastern Kentucky and eastern Kentucky, um, unfortunately are accepting their way of life. Uh, that's very unfortunate, makes it very difficult for us to improve education in, in some of those areas, because the, the people just accept it. I believe that people in far western Kentucky, down in the Purchase area, literally feel disenfranchised sometimes, that, that they're totally ignored. And, uh, we, we, we have tried in this administration to not let that happen, but I don't know how much attitude we can change. Uh, of course, uh, far western Kentucky is, is rural, uh, other than Bowling Green, and Paducah, but I mean there's a lot of rural, lot of agriculture. They're very southern-- MOYEN: --um-hm-- FORD: --uh, in, in, uh, far western Kentucky, but the thing that depresses me most is eastern Kentucky, because the, the, those people have kinda just given up, so many of them have, just kinda given up. And you have high drug usage up there, higher than anywhere else. And prescription drugs, I mean, doctors write freely. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And it's, it's very, very depressing. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And it's a big problem. MOYEN: Are there any stories or incidents, uh, interactions with either Governors, legislators, lobbyists, whatever that would be, um, either really serious or anecdotal, that are just things that people wouldn't, wouldn't ever know unless you told them, because it's not going to show up in the paper? FORD: Well, I think the thing that has been really comfortable for me is my relationship with, with Governors all over this United States, Republican and, and, uh, Democrats alike. And I think that it has something to do with my age; I'm older than any Governor in America. Governor O'Daniel and I were the same age, and of course he passed away, but I was thirty days older that he is. And, uh, but by working closely with the NGA, and, and the other Governors holding Patton in such high esteem, it's really been an -----------(??) for me, and, uh, you know, most, most Governors in this state know me by my first name--I mean, in this country. And, uh, some of the, my best friends are Republican Governors; we have some good Republican Governors. Mike Huckabee in, in Arkansas, and Jim Geringer, and was Governor in Wyoming, and Tommy Thompson, now Secretary of Health Services. He and I are pretty tight. And, uh, because he loves horses. And I took him to the horse park, and, uh, when he was down here, we spent three or four hours over there, and he's never forgotten that. We didn't get to see it all. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: Every time I see him, I'll be in Washington, he says, "I'm coming back to Lexington; you, you, you've got to finish the tour." (Moyen laughs) And, uh, so that's been real rewarding to me to, uh, have that kind of relationship with other Governors. And, uh, I can tell you one thing; you know, all this brouhaha over Paul Patton this past year, his peers have never, ever blamed him. I mean, they hold him in high esteem today. He is a leader. He's a leader among leaders. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And I believe(??) they're giving him that. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And, uh, it's, uh, he's, he's well deserving. It's just unfortunate that, uh, you know, what, what has happened has happened. MOYEN: Right. FORD: But, uh, I don't know, it's been a good ride, and I'm, I'm looking, uh, we have seventy days from today. And I'm looking forward to it. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: And what the future holds, I don't know. We'll see. MOYEN: Is there anything you can think of that I've missed, overlooked, that we should have-- FORD: --no, I don't think so. I just, I've been sitting here talking for four hours and over the last two sessions, and hopefully, uh, we've covered it all. If, if you think of anything, well, you can call me; if I think of anything, I'll run you down-- MOYEN: -- ------------(??)----------- FORD: --but I think we've pretty well covered it all. Uh, of course I'm still on the Education Commission of the States during committee, and I will remain on that after I go out of office; I'm still on the Southern Regional Education Board, and, uh, I'm still on the, uh, Compact Commission, chair, and was reelected here last month as chair, and so, you know, I'm going to stay active on those things. And, uh, but other, other than that, I don't know what I'm going to do. MOYEN: Um-hm. FORD: But I might have told you before, I have a farm that I have neglected, and, uh, I hope to be able to, uh, spend a little time out there. MOYEN: Well thank you very much for your time. FORD: Thank you. It's been great. It's been great. And you're going to do, this is your dissertation? MOYEN: No, um-- [End of interview.] In the second part of this two-part interview, Ford (Senate 1978-1994, 30th district; Democrat) picks up with a discussion about the 1985 special session called by Governor Collins on education reform. He also covers legislation on nuclear waste destruction, water quality, the bottle bill, road improvement, economic development, high incarceration rates, education reform, and workers compensation insert here