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2006-06-20 Interview with Joe D. Stacy, June 20, 2006 Leg001:2006OH080 Leg 102 0:33:50 Kentucky Legislature Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Legislators -- Kentucky -- Interviews. Banks and banking -- Kentucky. Kentucky. General Assembly -- Reform. Automobile insurance -- Law and legislation -- Kentucky. Kentucky. Governor (1967-1971 : Nunn) Kentucky. Governor (1971-1974 : Ford) Kentucky. Governor (2003-2007 : Fletcher) Kentucky. General Assembly. Legislative Research Commission. Nunn, Louie B., 1924- Ford, Wendell H., 1924- Apportionment (Election law) Fletcher, Ernie, 1952- West Liberty (Ky.) Banking law -- United States Lobbyists No-fault automobile insurance Banking and Insurance Committee Bank of the Mountains banking legislation military service campaigning legislative independence farming equipment bill no-fault auto insurance bill redistricting local politics Legislative Research Commission (LRC) farming equipment legislation no-fault auto insurance Term/District: Senate (1968-1976), 27th district Leadership Position(s): Senate Majority Whip, 1970-1972 -- Senate Majority Caucus Chair, 1974 Counties in District: Mason County (Ky.) -- Fleming County (Ky.) -- Bath County (Ky.) -- Menifee County (Ky.) -- Morgan County (Ky.) -- Elliott County (Ky.) -- Rowan County (Ky.) -- Wolfe County (Ky.) -- Magoffin County (Ky.) -- Breathitt County (Ky.) -- Owsley County (Ky.) -- Jackson County (Ky.) Joe D. Stacy; interviewee Catherine Herdman; interviewer 2006OH080_LEG102_Stacy 1:|24(4)|52(5)|87(7)|127(10)|163(6)|195(5)|229(12)|253(9)|278(4)|303(8)|350(2)|383(8)|415(13)|442(14)|473(10)|501(2)|523(2)|555(6)|603(4)|626(8)|660(1)|690(10)|731(6)|752(11)|770(3)|796(8)|834(7)|874(3)|909(8)|939(7)|974(9)|1002(15)|1031(4) audiotrans Legit interview HERDMAN: The following is an unrehearsed interview with former State Senator Joe Stacy who served Mason, Fleming, Rowan, Morgan, Bath, and Menifee counties in the Twenty-Seventh District from 1968 to 1972 and Wolfe, Menifee, Morgan, Rowan, Elliott, Magoffin, Breathitt, Owsley, and Jackson counties from 1972 to 1976. The interview was conducted by Catherine Herdman from the University of Kentucky Library, Kentucky Legislative Oral History Project, on June 20, 2006, at the home of Mr. Stacy. STACY: Hi, Catherine. HERDMAN: Let's start with a little bit of background. If you would, talk a little bit about your parents and where you were born and raised. STACY: I was born right here in West Liberty. My father was a banker. I'm a banker. I have been for sixty-one years. He was also a state senator. HERDMAN: And what years was he in the State Senate? STACY: I don't remember. (Herdman laughs) He had, I think he served one term. And I served two terms. HERDMAN: Did you have a lot of neighbors around, or did you grow up on a farm? STACY: No, I grew up right in town. HERDMAN: Yeah. STACY: We couldn't afford a log home. But as quick as I could afford it, I moved into one. (both laugh) HERDMAN: Where did you live before you moved into a log home? STACY: I lived downtown. HERDMAN: Just like an apartment kind of set up? STACY: I had a, I had a home down there. HERDMAN: Okay. What do you remember doing, growing up in West Liberty? Playing with other kids, games, or church? STACY: Oh, I played sports in high school. My wife was a cheerleader when I was playing sports. I lost her two and half years ago. She had Alzheimer's for ten years. I took care of her at home. We did everything together. We played golf together. We fished together. HERDMAN: So you both grew up here in West Liberty. STACY: Yeah, yeah. I remember when she was seven-years-old. HERDMAN: Wow! How many kids do you have? STACY: We have three. HERDMAN: What do they do now? STACY: My daughter lives in Mt. Sterling; she's a retired teacher. My son runs our bank, C.K. Stacy. My youngest son is a state representative, John Will Stacy. HERDMAN: Okay. Did your family attend church growing up, and if so, which denomination? STACY: I grew up in a Methodist church. HERDMAN: Was that common in this area? STACY: Well, yeah, pretty much--we didn't have a Catholic church at that time that we have now. HERDMAN: What schools did you attend growing up? STACY: I went to Morgan County High School. And I went to Morehead University. HERDMAN: Um-hm. You graduated from Morehead? STACY: I didn't graduate. I got married and I had to go to work. HERDMAN: (laughs) What year did you get married? STACY: I got married in 1945. HERDMAN: Did you have any military experience during World War II? STACY: Yeah, I was in the Army. HERDMAN: Where were you stationed? STACY: Oh, I wasn't smart enough to be a soldier. So, they sent me to Cornell University to teach me something. HERDMAN: So you got your education through that. STACY: Yeah. HERDMAN: What did you end up with? What did you do at Cornell? STACY: It was an Army ASTP. I didn't do anything--worthwhile. HERDMAN: Okay. (laughs) When did you get out of the service? STACY: I got out in 1945. HERDMAN: Then you got married? STACY: Um-hm. HERDMAN: What did you do when you went to work at that time? STACY: I started work at the bank. HERDMAN: So you always worked, you worked for your dad. STACY: It's the only job I've ever had. HERDMAN: Yeah. And it's a local bank? STACY: Um-hm. HERDMAN: It's still in business? STACY: Yeah. I started, I worked at the commercial bank for twenty- five years. It changed hands and I started my own bank, Bank of the Mountains, in 1973. HERDMAN:--and so-- STACY: --so, I've been there ever since. HERDMAN: Wow, that's great. How did you first get interested in politics? You said your dad had been a state senator? STACY: Oh, I grew up with it. Both of my grandfathers were sheriffs. HERDMAN: Um-hm. STACY: I had an uncle that was a state representative at one time. And my dad was a state senator. So, I, you know. HERDMAN: All Democrats? STACY: All Democrats. HERDMAN: When you first ran '67, do you remember who you faced in the primary? STACY: Faced a fellow by the name of Ed Kelly from Fleming County. HERDMAN: From what I can tell, the primaries were kind of, where it was decided, at that point. STACY: Ed Kelly was a good man but you can't get mad at a man for wanting the same thing you want. HERDMAN: Sure, sure. STACY: After the election, he and his wife had liked horse shows. And he liked being the master of ceremonies at horse shows. He and Mrs. Kelly come and spent the weekend with us after the election. HERDMAN: That's nice. So, how did you campaign in that '67 election? STACY: Door-to-door. Worked hard. Morgan County was off on the edge of the district at that time. HERDMAN: What counties did you represent? STACY: And I had Morgan, Menifee, Elliott, Rowan, Bath, Fleming, and Mason. HERDMAN: Wow, that's quite a lot of counties with probably different interests. STACY: Morgan was off on the edge of the district. So it was a bit harder for me. HERDMAN: So you had to contend with people from all those other counties as well? STACY: Um-hm. HERDMAN: Were most--had the representative before you had been from Morgan County, or was he from one of the others? STACY: No, he was from Fleming County. HERDMAN: So, you were trying to get it moved a little bit, the center of power there? STACY: I've carried every county in the district except Fleming and Mason and didn't lose them by very much. HERDMAN: You campaigned totally door-to-door? STACY: Yeah, worked hard. HERDMAN: Did you have like rallies, or debates, or anything within the particular counties? STACY: No, not really, not any debates. HERDMAN: Wow, so it was a very individual. STACY: Um-hm. HERDMAN: What were your initial expectations of what you could do when you were first elected? STACY: I had no idea, Catherine. HERDMAN: (laughs) Didn't know what to expect? STACY: (laughs) No, no. The only promise I made was, when I was running, was I promised a fellow down in Bath County that I would introduce a bill taking the sales tax off farm equipment, which I did. And the bill passed. And everybody has run on the same bill ever since then. They still talk about it. HERDMAN: Yes, and that was in your first term? STACY: Um-hm. HERDMAN: How did you find Frankfort when you first got there? STACY: Well, I liked politicians. I'd been around them all my life. They weren't, they weren't--I didn't think they were as smart as I'd give them credit for being before I got there. The first term I was there, I was going to do something even if it was wrong. So, I asked to be chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee. My wife had an insurance agency. So, that's all I knew was banking, and insurance, and farming. HERDMAN: Um-hm. And there was already a committee for that, you just wanted to head it? STACY: I was going to do something. So, the Committee on Committees picks the-- HERDMAN:--is that the rules committee? STACY: No, no. HERDMAN: There's a separate committee on the committee? STACY: Committee on a committees. Well, it's made up of mostly the rules committee. But anyway, a fellow by the name of Lawrence Wetherby, an ex-Governor, was in the Senate at that time, and he wanted to be chairman of the banking and insurance committee, too. So, when the rules committee voted on it, we tied. And Wendell Ford was Lieutenant Governor at the time, and he voted against me and gave to, as a Happy Chandler says, "to Wether-bye." (both laugh) Saved me from showing my ignorance. HERDMAN: Yeah, probably. STACY: (laughs) I had never been to a committee meeting in my life and had no idea what is getting into, you know. HERDMAN: How did you find the series of negotiations that were required? Some of the other people have described that most of the bills were kind of tradeoffs with other people and that sort of thing. Did you find that to be the case? STACY: I found some that but not as bad as you might think. HERDMAN: What was the role of the lobbyist? STACY: Some of them are important to you. At that time--I don't know how many bills they have in the legislature now, but at that time, we'd have maybe two thousand bills, and you couldn't keep up with that many. HERDMAN: So they helped with information? STACY: Some of them, you learned to depend on some of the good ones and they helped you. HERDMAN: Um-hm. What do you think about the committee system and how that worked? When you were serving, it was every two years that the legislature met, right? STACY: Well, about that time--I don't remember exactly when it was--but about that time, we start having interim committee meetings HERDMAN: Um-hm. STACY: Which was pretty good but we didn't have the freedom they've got now, you know. A legislature is a lot more independent now than it was then. HERDMAN: What was the relationship with the Governor--that kind of leads into that question--when you were serving? STACY: Oh, it was--we didn't try to do anything to the Governor. Whatever he proposed that was good, we would try to be for it, you now. HERDMAN: Um-hm. What committees did you actually end up sitting on? STACY: I had banking and insurance. What other committees did I have? Oh, I can't remember; it's been thirty years, Catherine. HERDMAN: The banking and insurance was the one you were the most interested in? STACY: Yeah. HERDMAN: What did you find the needs of your constituents to be at that time? STACY: The same as they are now. Everybody that, every candidate now talks about roads, jobs, and education. It's always been the same thing ever since I can remember. HERDMAN: Do you think that's regional, like Eastern Kentucky focused or across the board in Kentucky? STACY: Oh, I think that's across the board. HERDMAN: Are there any particular needs that your constituents have being in this region, as opposed to being? STACY: Jobs have always important to us. HERDMAN: Um-hm. What about coal? Was it, were you dealing with-- STACY: --we don't have much coal in this county. HERDMAN: Um-hm. So that really wasn't a factor. STACY: No. HERDMAN: And labor unions? STACY: No, no. HERDMAN: No? Not as big a factor? STACY: Unh-uh. HERDMAN: What industry is in the counties that you represented? STACY: In the counties that I've represented are mostly farming. HERDMAN: Um-hm. I guess that makes sense with the farming equipment bill that you introduced. STACY: Yeah, yeah. Especially Mason and Fleming County are good farming counties, you know. HERDMAN: Um-hm. More than any, sort of extracted industries, or anything. How did you find factions in the General Assembly? Did you find that like the Louisville block voted together, or was it regional, or parties, or? STACY: Oh, I think the Louisville block voted together pretty well, HERDMAN: Um-hm. STACY: And there's always been some resentment against Louisville, statewide, I think. Don't you? HERDMAN: Well, yeah, and it's probably the disproportionate population. They have such control. How many senators were there? STACY: Thirty-eight. HERDMAN: Thirty-eight senators for the entire state? STACY: Um-hm. HERDMAN: How many would you say were Republicans when you were serving? STACY: Not very many. I think about--seem to me like it might've been about sixteen or so. And the House was also Democratic. HERDMAN: Um-hm. I think about three-quarters, I think, in those years. STACY: Um-hm. HERDMAN: What surprised you most about your times as a legislator? STACY: (pause) Oh, I don't know. You used to hear all kinds of rumors and people talking about them taking money and stuff like that, I've never seen that. HERDMAN: You never saw anything like that? STACY: I never saw that. I never saw anything that indicated that. HERDMAN: That's good to hear. How did--okay, when you were a legislator you are also still banking fulltime? STACY: Yes. HERDMAN: Did you find it hard to balance the two, along with the family? STACY: Well, there wasn't any, there wasn't any legislation that came up that was hard for me to make a decision on. HERDMAN: Um-hm. What about time wise? Did you feel like it took too much of your time? STACY: Yeah, it took--of course, my son was in the bank at that time HERDMAN: Um-hm. STACY: I was letting him have it just as fast as he would take it, you know. HERDMAN: So that freed you up? STACY: Yeah. He worked at a bank. He went to school at Western Kentucky. I had a friend down there by the name of Top Warndroff(??). And was a banker. And I told the CK, if he ever needs anything; go see Top Warndroff(??). Well, CK would run a little low on money, and he would go in there, and Top would make him a note for two hundred or three hundred dollars, you know, and I think he got in debt to Top, and Top put him to work in the bank. (laughs) HERDMAN: And that's how he learned to bank? STACY: That's where he got started. HERDMAN: What was the pay when you served? Do you remember? STACY: Lord(??), I don't know. It wasn't near enough. HERDMAN: Yeah, for the time that you put in. STACY: Did Darvin? He got the same as I did. Did he remember? HERDMAN: Yeah, I can't--he said, he thought it was fifty dollars a day in session and a hundred fifty dollars a month in between. STACY: It might have been. HERDMAN: Did you have an office staff or anything? STACY: No, no, not the first term. Not the first, the first two years. Next session I ran for majority whip. HERDMAN: Um-hm. STACY: And I got elected to that. I had an old office but the Legislative Research Commission wasn't what it is now, you know. We didn't have the staff, and they didn't have--at that time, the big thing was the Governor's budget, and LRC didn't have the facilities or staff to make a budget, so we had to take the Governor's budget. We didn't have a chance to get into it like these fellows do now, you know. HERDMAN: So, you think now it's more independent on issues like the budget? STACY: Oh, yeah, yeah. HERDMAN: Yeah. STACY: I don't know what it would be with a strong Governor. You know, I don't think, I think Fletcher is a good man probably, but he's not a strong Governor. HERDMAN: Um-hm. As far as controlling that part of it. STACY: Um-hm. HERDMAN: So you first served under Nunn. STACY: Yeah. HERDMAN: And how was that with him being a Republican? STACY: Oh, it was like Darvin said. It was a little easier because patronage was the biggest thing back in those days. And of course, we didn't have anything to do with that. We left that up to the Republicans. HERDMAN: What was the House--but the House was still, and Senate were still Democratic under Nunn. How did he get elected, do you think? How did he manage to pull that away? STACY: Oh, I don't even remember who Nunn beat, do you? HERDMAN: Hold on. STACY: Henry Ward. HERDMAN: Yeah, Henry Ward. STACY: They ran the same time I did. Henry had been highway commissioner. Historically, highway commissioners don't make good candidates. HERDMAN: Um-hm, so you think it might've had to do something with that? STACY: Yeah, Henry wasn't a real good candidate anyway. HERDMAN: It mentions some of the stuff I read. Divisions in the Democratic Party where people couldn't get together behind a particular candidate. STACY: The highway commissioner has to say no to too many people. HERDMAN: Um-hm. HERDMAN: Who are the most memorable people that you remember from '68 to '76? Who did you work with most, or? STACY: I think probably the brightest people was in the Senate was a fellow by the name of-- well I forget-- ----------(??) in Lexington. Kip(??) was a real capable fellow. Well, there was two or three of them. Two of them ran for Congress, Ron Mazzoli in Louisville. And what's the fellow from Mayfield? He's running for State Senate again now. Carroll Hubbard. HERDMAN: Um-hm. STACY: They were about the least effective state senators that there was at the time. But they had the nerve to get up there and run, you know. HERDMAN: Yeah. So, who were your most powerful lobbyists? The people that you depended on the most? In that regard? STACY: I liked a fellow that was a lobbyist for the Bankers Association, a fellow by the name of Willis Morgan(??). I knew Willis real well, and those fellows don't have anything to do with having to but keep up with the legislation, you know? HERDMAN: Um-hm. STACY: He was always honest and straight with me. And a fellow by the name of Woody Renfro; he was a lobbyist for the railroad. HERDMAN: Um-hm. STACY: Depended awful lot on Willis and Woody, a whole lot. HERDMAN: For information on the bills. STACY: Um-hm. Um-hm. HERDMAN: It seems like it would be impossible to read every bill. STACY: You can't, you can't keep up with all them. HERDMAN: So you had a synopsis, or a? STACY: Good lobbyists are worthwhile. HERDMAN: Um-hm. So you think they help the process. STACY: Um-hm. I do. I think it's probably been overdone now. They're spending too much money on it. HERDMAN: What do you think it was like for your family when you were serving? STACY: It was a handicap; I had children in college. HERDMAN: You were on the road a lot, and campaigning, especially. STACY: Yeah, I was on the road a whole lot and my wife stayed home and took care of the children. She didn't go with me much. HERDMAN: Um-hm. So you were away-- STACY: She was a good campaigner though. HERDMAN: (laughs) What did she a-- STACY: And the best bass fisherman I ever saw. HERDMAN: Really? (laughs) That's quite a compliment. STACY: And a good artist HERDMAN: Really? What did she do? Did she paint? STACY: All these are her paintings. HERDMAN: Really? STACY: Um-hm. HERDMAN: That's lovely. Yeah, that's very nice. What did she do for you when you are campaigning? STACY: She was a good campaigner. HERDMAN: Just went door-to-door? STACY: Just like I did. HERDMAN: Talk to people. STACY: Yeah. HERDMAN: Do you feel like you knew face-to-face at least most of the people that you represented, or at least met? STACY: I knew hardly anybody in Mason County. The rest of the counties I knew a few people, or I just thought I did, maybe. HERDMAN: Right, so at least you had met them. Right. Did they redistrict the counties while you were serving? STACY: Um-hm. Yes, ma'am. HERDMAN: Did you end up with more counties because of that? STACY: Oh, I wound up with a lot of counties. Let's see; I lost Mason and Fleming but I had Rowan. I lost Elliott, too. I believe I had Elliott. I had Rowan, Elliott, Menifee, Morgan, Wolfe, Breathitt, Owsley, and Jackson. HERDMAN: Wow, about how many constituents, how many people did you represent? STACY: I don't know. Of course, that's done by census, population, which is wrong I think. HERDMAN: You think those numbers are off. STACY: Well, what's do the people in Owsley County have in common with the people in Rowan County? They have different needs. They just don't have anything in common --------(??). HERDMAN: Is there a different power center in each county, you think? STACY: Yeah. HERDMAN: Different set of politics? STACY: I don't think it should become a population alone. HERDMAN: By geographic area, too. STACY: Yeah. HERDMAN: Was there any advancement in the area of education? Those years seemed to be pretty good years for education changes. Were you involved in any of that? STACY: Well, sometime when I was there, this education reform act--I don't know whether that was good or bad. My daughter says it's bad. HERDMAN: Oh, yeah? STACY: All she does is grade papers. HERDMAN: (laughs) Seemed good at the time, right. STACY: Yeah. HERDMAN: What bills stand out to you from that period? STACY: Well, I had the farm machinery bill. I passed a no-fault insurance bill, which scared me to death--(Herdman laughs)--because automobile insurance affects everybody, everybody. After I passed that, they had a terrible floor fight because there are so many lawyers in the Senate. HERDMAN: And that took away from their business-- STACY: --they were all against it. HERDMAN: Did you find professions voting in a block like that often? STACY: Yeah. HERDMAN: Like lawyers? STACY: Yeah. HERDMAN: And businessmen? STACY: And even my son-in-law was a lawyer, and he said, "I settled a suit yesterday and made five thousand on it. You'll starve your grandchildren to death." And after I had passed the thing, I had wondered what I had done. You know, that affects everybody; it scared me. But that's worked out good. HERDMAN: In the long run, you're glad-- STACY: --um-hm. Um-hm-- HERDMAN:--that you went through with it? Did you ever have the time where your conscience was different than what your constituents wanted? Any kind of crisis on that? Feeling like something was the right thing, but they didn't want it, or? STACY: I voted for what the people sent me down there to vote for, my constituents. HERDMAN: Um-hm. STACY: One bill I always had trouble with--but it never did come before me--but was the abortion, you know. I would go to meetings on both sides. And I would leave that meeting, thinking, Well, they're right. I would go to another meeting, and I would think they was right. I never did know how I would vote on that if it come up, but it never did come up. HERDMAN: (laughs) So you never had to deal with that is? STACY: No, no. HERDMAN: Who was your favorite Governor to serve under? STACY: Well, of course, Ford was. HERDMAN: Yeah, you liked Ford? STACY: Yeah, I was close to Ford. HERDMAN: Good friends? STACY: Um-hm. HERDMAN: Did you know him before, or just? STACY: Well, he ran for Lieutenant Governor at the same time that I ran for Governor--I mean, ran for Senate. HERDMAN: Um-hm. STACY: See I knew him before. HERDMAN: What's your impression of him? STACY: He never misrepresented anything to me. He always give me a yes or no answer, even if it didn't suit me. And I liked that. I always knew where he stood. HERDMAN: Did you have, or did the Senate have the opportunity to stand against whatever he wanted to have done, or did it pretty much? STACY: A time or two, I think. HERDMAN: Yeah, so there was some dialogue going on between the branches? STACY: Um-hm. Um-hm. We had--I had one bill, what was it? I can't remember what it was. Anyway, it was kind of comical, but that was the second. I was majority caucus chairman then. What was bill? I can't remember now. Anyway, he was against it, and I was on the rules committee. Bert Combs called it, "The Graveyard Committee." HERDMAN: Um-hm. (laughs) STACY: Those fellows in rules couldn't count votes; I could. I had bring this bill up in rules, and I didn't have enough votes for it. And I tried to get them to bring it out. You know, they thought I had the votes; otherwise, they wouldn't have brought it out. HERDMAN: Um-hm. STACY: So one day, I caught Ford gone to Knoxville to a ballgame, and I got the votes. It came up in rules, and I said, "No, don't bring that bill out now; I'm not out of the cave yet." (both laugh) Then we passed it. And he got a fellow by the name of Tom Harris. He made Tom commissioner of natural resources. And Tom--it had to be somebody that voted on it and so --------(??) bring it and Tom had voted with me. So Tom brought it back up, and Ford brought come on the floor. That's the only time that I ever let anybody from the first floor come up there. HERDMAN: Um-hm. STACY: Because I got the votes in the Senate and they called for a recess and I was standing at the back door and Ford came in. He--it's bad language. Is it all right to use that? Huh? HERDMAN: Oh, sure. STACY: He said, "God damn you, you bush-whacked me!" (both laugh) HERDMAN: While he was at a game, that's great. (both laugh) STACY: So he brought it up, and I released two of my votes. He said, "If we vote with you this time, we will never get anything for our district." I said, "Well, I wouldn't ask my friends to do something that would hurt them. I'll just release you." So he beat me by one vote. HERDMAN: Oh. Sounds like he knew what he was doing, too. STACY: Yeah. HERDMAN: Shrewd politics there. STACY: Ford was a good politician. HERDMAN: Yeah, is that characteristic of his relationship with the General Assembly? Just back and forth, and? STACY: Well, we never lost an administration bill while I was there, I mean during Ford's administration. HERDMAN: How was that different than working with Nunn? STACY: (pause) Well, of course, we didn't have any administration bills that we was interested in, you know; we'd sort his out. HERDMAN: So he had a tougher time getting everything through. STACY: Yeah, yeah, yeah. HERDMAN: Do you remember the debate over the sales tax raise? STACY: Um-hm. HERDMAN: How did you or constituents feel about that? STACY: Well, they were against it, and so was I. HERDMAN: You voted against it? STACY: Um-hm. HERDMAN: But he did pass it, correct? STACY: Um-hm. HERDMAN: In the long run? STACY: Which was probably all right. HERDMAN: Yeah. STACY: My people didn't want me to vote for it and I didn't vote for it. HERDMAN: Yeah, well, you ran from '68 to '76, how much do you think national events and the national Democratic Party, or the Republican Party influenced state government? Like civil rights, the Vietnam War, Nixon? STACY: I didn't see any indication of that. HERDMAN: Really? It was all pretty much the-- STACY: --local, local. HERDMAN: And you didn't deal with any civil rights bill. STACY: No, no. HERDMAN: Or any of that sort of thing? STACY: Not that I can recall. HERDMAN: It was all local politics and how to improve the state. STACY: Um-hm. HERDMAN: What do you think was your most satisfying accomplishment? Would you say the farm equipment? STACY: And the no-fault insurance. HERDMAN: Um-hm. In the end, you were proud of both of those. STACY: It's worked out real well. HERDMAN: Did you have any major changes in the way you thought about issues from when you started to later on? STACY: No, not really. HERDMAN: Did you pretty much agree with your family in their version of Democrat and that sort of thing? Is that where you got your values for politics? From your family? STACY: Catherine, I always vote for the man. But he's always a Democrat. (both laugh) HERDMAN: That sounds like that's been passed down--(both laugh)--from second generation. Well, what do you think about politics in Frankfort now? Have you kept up with it? STACY: I think the Governor's office is weak. They didn't know what they were doing. HERDMAN: Do you think that's true of Patton, as well? How far back does that go? STACY: Patton's a little better. The same thing they're accusing Republicans of now, it's been done for years. Every administration did the same thing. But they had sense enough not to document it. HERDMAN: Um-hm. You think that's where Fletcher went wrong? STACY: Yeah. HERDMAN: What about the legislature and newfound independence? STACY: They are a lot stronger now. HERDMAN: Do you think that's an improvement? STACY: Especially with a Republican Governor. If they had a good strong Democratic Governor in there, I think he'd probably take some of that away from them. But I think it's as it should be now. HERDMAN: Um-hm. STACY: We've got the three branches, and I think they all ought to be strong HERDMAN: What do you think about the increased meeting times? Meeting more often that sort of thing? STACY: Oh, some of it's all right; some of it's a waste of time. HERDMAN: Um-hm. So you think that's a partial improvement but it's also more expensive and drags it out. STACY: Yeah. HERDMAN: If you were starting over, would you do it again? Would you enjoy being in the Senate? STACY: Catherine, I loved to run; I liked the competition. HERDMAN: Yep. What made you decide to go out in '76? Were you defeated, or? STACY: Well, I started that bank and I thought it needed me more than the legislature needed me. HERDMAN: Um-hm. So you voluntarily decided not to run? STACY: Yeah. HERDMAN: When you originally ran, the Democratic Party recruit you or did you volunteer? STACY: I'll tell you how it started. There was a fellow from Rowan County that had ran the time before, and he got beat by the name of Bruce Butts(??). I ran into Bruce one day. I said, "Bruce, are you gonna run again?" and he says, "No, I work for the post office department now; I can't run." But he said, "I'll be for you, if you'll run." I came home and told my wife what he said, and she says, "If you want to run, run." Right off, I took it. It only took me two people to get me out there. (laughs) HERDMAN: That day you decided to do it? STACY: Yeah. HERDMAN: And you pretty much organized yourself? Funded yourself? STACY: Yeah. HERDMAN: How long did you campaign like before each election? STACY: I started about January. HERDMAN: Um-hm. Did you do mailings or anything like that? STACY: Yeah, yeah, I handed(??) a little pamphlets out. HERDMAN: What were the major issues? STACY: Mostly just one-on-one. HERDMAN: Yeah. What were the major issues in the primary? STACY: There's never a major issue. HERDMAN: It's always individuals. STACY: People will vote for you because they like you; vote against you because they didn't like you. I've seen some real good men; I don't understand why they didn't vote for them. But I was always lucky; I could get people to vote for me. HERDMAN: What do you think helped you do that? STACY: Oh, I don't know. The way I walk, maybe. (both laugh) HERDMAN: Well, and you had been in the community for a generation. STACY: The first time I ran, I lost one hundred thirty votes in my home county. In Menifee County, I lost thirty. HERDMAN: Wow. STACY: That's all. The second time I ran, I ran against a fellow by the name of John Raymond Turner. You've heard of the Breathitt County Turners? HERDMAN: Um-hm. STACY: John Raymond and I got into it. I carried every county on John Raymond except Breathitt County. And I got seven hundred votes or something like that there and he got probably three hundred here. I felt like I didn't have a friend in the county when I lost 300 votes here, you know, after losing 130. HERDMAN: What do you think happened, did he just know? STACY: He had a lot of friends here. A lot of contacts that the other fellow didn't have. I'm probably the only one who ever be any of the Turners. They were tough. HERDMAN: Well-known? STACY: Um-hm. HERDMAN: A political family? STACY: Um-hm. Oh, yeah, they had an organization especially in Breathitt County. HERDMAN: What would your advice be to someone considering going into politics now? The way that things are structured at this point? STACY: (pause) Oh, I don't know. I don't know, Catherine. You can't give advice on something that you don't know what's going to come up, you know. Just do the right thing. HERDMAN: Do you think its possible having both another job and being a legislator, or do you think it's moving towards fulltime legislators? STACY: I think it's moving towards fulltime, and it should. HERDMAN: You think it should? STACY: Yeah, I think they ought to pay them enough to where they can afford it. And they ought to be paid enough to where anyone can afford to run. I could afford to, you know; I had another job. But there were a lot of people, more capable than I was, that couldn't afford it. They ought to be paid enough that anybody can afford it. HERDMAN: What did most of the other senators do when you were serving? STACY: Most of them were lawyers. HERDMAN: Yeah. Did you have any farmers? STACY: Well, a few, a few. HERDMAN: Well, that's all my official questions. Do you have any stories, anecdotes, or anything that you remember and want to share? STACY: I can't think of anything, Catherine. I probably will when you leave. (both laugh) HERDMAN: Yeah. Well, you can always give us a call and we'll do another one if you want to. But I just want to thank you. I appreciate your contribution. STACY: Thank you. HERDMAN: If you have anything else to add, just STACY: I hope it's been worth something to you. HERDMAN: Absolutely. Thank you so much. [End of interview.] Stacy (Senate 1968-1976, 27th; Democrat) discusses his background in the family banking business, philosophy of government, the particular concerns of his constituency, impressions of governors Ford and Nunn, gubernatorial control of the legislature, and key legislation relating to farming equipment and no-fault car insurance. insert here