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2006-07-07 Interview with Clyde Middleton, July 7, 2006 Leg001:2006OH108 Leg 113 1:33:56 Kentucky Legislature Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Legislators -- Kentucky -- Interviews. Depressions -- 1929 ; Ohio -- Cleveland. World War, 1939-1945. Anti-war demonstrations -- Kentucky. Covington (Ky.) -- Politics and government. Kentucky. Governor (1967-1971 : Nunn) Kentucky. Governor (1971-1974 : Ford) Kentucky. Governor (1974-1979 : Carroll) Kentucky. Governor (1979-1983 : Brown) Carroll, Julian M. (Julian Morton), 1931- Brown, John Y. (John Young) Jr., 1933- Nunn, Louie B., 1924- Ford, Wendell H., 1924- Republican Party (Ky.) Procter and Gamble Company Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport Depressions -- 1929 Student movements Annexation (Municipal government) Mental health laws Sanitation Economic development Covington (Ky.) Cleveland (Ohio) Cincinnati (Ohio) Kentucky Republican Party (Chair) Kenton County Judge Executive Weaver, John Health and Welfare Committee Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law Northern Kentucky Convention Center Great Depression World War II military service political philosophy Merit pay Collective bargaining Northern Kentucky caucus bipartisanship Lobbyists student protests municipal annexation bill BOPTROT Professional Negotiations Bill municipal annexation bill Term/District: House (1968-1986), 24th district Leadership Position(s): Senate Minority Whip, 1978-1982 -- Senate Minority Caucus Chair, 1984-1986 Counties in District: Kenton County (Ky.) -- Campbell County (Ky.) Clyde Middleton; interviewee Christy Bohl; interviewer 2006OH108_LEG113_Middleton 1:|11(5)|22(9)|34(2)|51(2)|69(4)|85(1)|99(7)|113(12)|132(4)|147(13)|156(5)|167(1)|182(2)|193(10)|203(14)|214(13)|224(15)|244(12)|255(10)|265(11)|275(1)|286(6)|297(1)|303(10)|315(4)|325(11)|339(4)|350(13)|359(9)|370(5)|382(7)|403(8)|426(3)|438(9)|454(13)|464(8)|490(11)|506(7)|514(13)|529(9)|549(6)|569(6)|579(12)|591(7)|609(2)|629(7)|650(8)|665(1)|675(5)|692(8)|711(2)|725(9)|737(4)|748(5)|769(3)|778(7)|792(5)|804(12)|819(8)|834(3)|842(7)|854(9)|862(2)|877(7)|885(11)|895(11)|905(5)|930(4)|944(5)|954(4)|966(12)|978(2)|992(7)|1002(2)|1012(10)|1022(1)|1032(11)|1044(10)|1054(11)|1066(6)|1084(13)|1097(13)|1105(6)|1120(6)|1130(8)|1147(6)|1157(10)|1166(7)|1182(8)|1193(12)|1205(12)|1222(2)|1233(10) audiotrans Legit interview BOHL: The following is an unrehearsed interview with former State Senator Clyde Middleton who represented Boone and Kenton counties in the Twenty-Fourth District from 1968 to 1986. The interview was conducted by Christy Bohl for the University of Kentucky Library, Kentucky Legislative Oral History Project on Friday, July 7, 2006 in the office of John Middleton in Covington, Kentucky at 11:00 AM. This morning I'm talking with Clyde Middleton. Senator Middleton, could you please tell me where and when you were born, and if you grew up there? Thank you(??). MIDDLETON: I was born in the Women's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, on January 30, 1928. And I spent the next, I think, nine years of my life in Euclid, Ohio. Then we moved to Franklin, Pennsylvania. Stayed there four years and came back to Euclid. When we first were in Euclid, we lived off Euclid Avenue on the south side of town. And when we came back, we went right next to the lake. At 111 East, 214th Street. BOHL: Okay, can you tell me a bit about your parents? MIDDLETON: Um, my father was, uh, a, a technical writer for the McGraw Hill Publishing Company. And, of course, during the Depression--which is when all this occurred--he lost his job and freelanced for a while, and then he was hired by Joy Manufacturing Company in Franklin and that's what moved us to Franklin. Um, my mother, uh, was, uh, a secretary at, uh, uh, a firm that sold stocks, a stockbroker. And, uh, then married Dad and, and stayed home as women did in those days. Uh, and, uh, I remember that, um, when there was a storm coming through, Mother would go to the piano and play the piano for us so we wouldn't be scared by the storm. Then Dad left Joy and came back to McGraw Hill and finished his career in Cleveland. BOHL: Did you have any siblings? MIDDLETON: I had two sisters. Both of them older; one three years and one six years; they're both deceased now. BOHL: And did you have any contact with your grandparents? MIDDLETON: Yeah, my grandmother lived with us for most of this time. BOHL: Okay. Did you have any particular recollections about that experience? MIDDLETON: Oh, I guess the strongest recollection would be of my Uncle Roland. He was an Army officer in World War I and was gassed. And uh, uh, Grandma received notice that he was killed in action. Uh, but he survived the gassing and went to Texas for rehabilitation. Uh, and then he served again in World War II. And there are a number of stories about that but we won't bother with those. BOHL: Um-hm. Uh, you mentioned that when you were growing up it was the Great Depression. MIDDLETON: Yeah. BOHL: What kinds of things did you do as a child, like, uh, activities with the neighbor children or anything? MIDDLETON: We didn't know there was a depression on. Uh, they, they managed to conceal that from us and we just, uh, my, my dad, uh, uh, the bank was going to foreclose on the mortgage on our house but we didn't know anything about that. He went down and said, "Okay, waiting for to close on the mortgage but where you going to sell it, when you get the house, because there a glut(??) on the market. There're so many foreclosures around." And so they said, "Yeah, that's true." And I guess he paid interest until later on, uh, he got the veteran's bonus and, uh, was able to pay off the house. BOHL: Okay. What about, uh, a little later on when World War II was going on, you were too young to go but you would've still experienced rationing and that sort of thing. MIDDLETON: Yep. My father was a, uh, a civil defense officer and so we had a "B" Card which gave us a couple gallons more--(laughs)--but that was about all. Uh, I learned to drive, uh, during the war when I was sixteen, which would have been 1944. And, um, I never got out of the greater Cleveland area until later on after the war was over. I finally hit the road. BOHL: Did you participate in any scrap drives or anything like that? MIDDLETON: No, I don't remember that we did. BOHL: Okay. Uh, was education something that your family really stressed? MIDDLETON: Uh, to a degree, uh, my father was a high school graduate; my mother wasn't. Uh, neither of them of course had been to college. My oldest sister went two years to Bethany College in West Virginia and, uh, then, my, uh, younger sister got a four-year scholarship from Johns Manville Company to Lake Forest College in Illinois and graduated from there. So I wasn't first one to get a college degree but then I got an appointment to the naval academy and, uh, graduated from there in 1951. BOHL: Uh, what about religion? Was that something that was a big part of your life growing up? MIDDLETON: Yes, we were Episcopalians, and I was baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Church. We went back there, uh, a few months ago, uh, to the sixtieth reunion of my high school class. And, uh, we went to the church that I was baptized in. It had a female pastor; times change. (both laugh) BOHL: Uh, was politics something that your family discussed? MIDDLETON: No--uh, well, mother, uh, mother worked at the polls because it made some money during the Depression. And she was a Republican. Uh, and, and Dad was. But it was not a strong thing. And of course nobody ran for office. BOHL: Um-hm. Uh, what schools did you go to? MIDDLETON: I graduated from Euclid Shore High School in 1945. I went to what was then the Case School of Applied Science, which is now the Case Engineering School of Case Western Reserve University, for a year and a half and then I enlisted in the Navy. And right after I went to boots, I got my appointment to the naval academy. Came home and talked to some people and decided to accept it. And I went there. BOHL: How did you decide on the Navy as your branch of service? MIDDLETON: Oh, I, it was just a, uh, a thing that appealed to me, more than the Army. BOHL: Uh, when you were in school which subjects did you most like? MIDDLETON: Engineering. BOHL: Were there any you particularly disliked? MIDDLETON: No. Oh, yeah, yeah. Uh, mechanical drawing. I was terrible at that. (both laugh) And I've come to realize the, the tests that you took, batteries that showed what were your interests and your non- interests, uh, correctly predicted that. The lowest scores I got were on, on spatial relationships and, and that sort of thing. BOHL: Okay. Um, obviously the naval academy is a different kind of college than most. MIDDLETON: Yes. BOHL: Uh, what was the experience like in the immediate post war era of being in a military academy? MIDDLETON: Well, when we entered, uh, our first classman was, uh, a first classman was a senior, and, uh, they overlooked the incoming plebe class, and our first classmen were in the class of '48 B. When the war started they--or when the war ended, they split the class of '48 right down the middle on their academic achievements their first year. And Forty-Eight A graduated in '47 and Forty-Eight B graduated in '48, which was the end of our plebe year. So, we had the lower half of this class as our leaders, uh, in there for whatever that was worth. They were known as "Forty-Eight Bucket." (both laugh) Uh, uh, and, uh, that had something of an effect. Not a great deal but some. And, uh, the naval academy experience was, uh, an interesting one. We went over across the river and fired at the rifle range and the pistol range in plebe summer, and, uh, did a lot of marching. And, uh, then everybody in the naval academy at, at that time took the same thing. It was an engineering degree. Uh, interestingly, when I was in the legislature, uh, we had testimony that naval academy graduates could be admitted as, uh, engineers in Kentucky but UK graduates could not. (both laugh) They had to do some, uh, I guess some, uh, time with an engineering firm before they could be admitted. (both laugh) But, uh, this has all changed, uh, in the last twenty years. They have, oh, ten majors now or something like that even including interestingly political science. But they didn't have that when I was there. But that was where I marked the beginning of my interest in politics because I was a debater. Uh, I started that out at Case actually. Uh, we had a debate class and I starred in that and then I went on at the Naval Academy and went into the Naval Academy Forensic Association. And, uh, my partner, John Hemingway and I, uh, we won several tournaments in debate. John later went on, was a Rhodes Scholar. And has been taking on the state department for the last thirty years. But I wander(??). (both laugh) BOHL: What was your first job? MIDDLETON: My first civilian job or my first job? BOHL: Your first job. MIDDLETON: My first job was as a naval officer. (laughs) I was the registered custodian, registered publication's custodian on USS Menifee. Menifee was an APA, which was an assault transport; it carries little boats and puts troops ashore. And it's named after Menifee County, Kentucky. Uh, and, uh, then I became the navigator and, um, went on from there. And I went to a destroyer. Uh, Menifee was in the Pacific Fleet; the destroyer was in the Atlantic Fleet. And, uh, I got married while I was on Steinaker which was the destroyer. And, uh, we went to the Mediterranean and served with the Sixth Fleet. And my wife came over and followed us around the Mediterranean; she was the only junior officer's wife present. BOHL: You met your wife while you were serving, right? MIDDLETON: I met my wife in Hawaii, um, while Menifee was there on the yard availability and she was with the YWCA. She's from ----------(??) Wisconsin. And, uh, she, uh, was in YWCA work in South Dakota in Rapid City. And came back from a trip overseas and decided that she's going to change her location and she had two choices. One of them was Hollywood and the other one was Honolulu; so Hollywood lost her and she went Honolulu. (both laugh) And so we met there. And, uh. Then we met again in Japan when she was on a trip around the world and, um, again in the United States. She got a job in Racine, Wisconsin, and I was at, uh, the Naval Air Station in, somewhere in Illinois, not very far from Racine. So, we got, we got engaged. BOHL: Okay, so how did you end up going from traveling the world to ending up in Kenton County? MIDDLETON: We, uh, saw an ad in the Navy Times for Procter & Gamble and, uh, I came down here and was interviewed by a fellow by the name of Bill, Bill something--(laughs)--who later was in a carpool with me. And, uh, he, uh, hired me for the Overseas Manufacturing Division and I went to Chicago for training. Uh, and that didn't work out. I didn't prove to be a great manufacturing manager and so I transferred to the buying department and moved here. And we looked all over Cincinnati for, um, a place to live and we didn't find anything that satisfied us. I wanted to be on the Ohio side because after all I was in Ohioan. And Kentucky was people that ran around barefooted. But as the evening wore on, on the day we came down to a look for housing, we got a lead to a house for rent in Edgewood. And it was occupied by a couple that were with P&G and were going to the Philippines, and they were going to leave about the time we were going to come down here. So we took over the lease there and stayed there a year and a half, bought a house and we've been in Kentucky ever since. We came here in 1957. BOHL: Okay. And you ended up having four children? MIDDLETON: Um-hm. BOHL: Okay and I understand that your son John is also politically involved. (laughs) Yes, the bumper sticker. (laughs) MIDDLETON: "John Middleton for Circuit Court Clerk." (both laugh) Yeah, he ran for state representative in a Republican primary and lost to John Draud. You know, and John has served ever since. And so, my son John is running for circuit court clerk. BOHL: Okay, your other children, do they have a strong interest in politics as well? MIDDLETON: No. BOHL: Okay, so, uh, how did you become interested in politics yourself? MIDDLETON: Well, we were, uh, sitting around at a "Thank God It's Friday" meeting with my carpool and, uh, another fellow by the name of Bill Parish(??), and I got to talking about inflation. And, and we were very irate. Uh, in those days, Harry Truman said a little inflation isn't a bad thing, but it was; it was stealing from those least able to afford it really, because your, you salary lost its value with time. Of course, nowadays, retirement incomes are adjusted for inflation, but in those days they weren't. And, uh, there were a lot of people suffering because of it. So we said, "Well, let's get into politics and do something about this." And so we decided to become active in the Republican Party. And, um, unfortunately neither of us was registered to vote. (both laugh) Although we've been here about a year, and, um, we were, uh, immediately put on the Kenton County Republican Executive Committee. And we got registered. (both laugh) Went on from there. Uh, and then I went away on a, uh, business trip to Louisiana to a paper mill down there. I went out to dinner with the manager of the mill and the local paper man from Cincinnati. And I got back from that and there was a note to urgently call my wife. And so I urgently called my wife, although it was 11:30 or something with that at night. And she had news for me: she was running for state representative. And she had filed--(both laugh)--in my absence. (both laugh) And she ran against Charlie Summer who later served on the fiscal court up here with me and lost to him, as all Republicans did, because there were probably in those days ten to one Democrats to Republicans in Kenton County. And, uh, then the next year I ran for Congress in a Republican primary and lost that by nineteen votes, I think, in the nineteen counties of the Fourth District. Uh, and then I ran again for Congress in 1962 and got 47 percent of the vote but not quite enough to get there. And so, I ran again in 1964. Well, in 1964 we had a candidate for President by the name of Barry Goldwater. BOHL: Um-hm. MIDDLETON: And Barry was crushed by Lyndon Johnson. Um, uh, you know, I think Johnson was the inheritor of a, an assassinated President and nobody could've beaten him, uh, because of that. But, that's neither here nor there. It took every non-incumbent Republican was defeated that year and a, and number of incumbents. Then in '67, uh, the state senator from Kenton County died of a heart attack, John Moloney. And, uh, so they had a special election. And the party, uh, executive committees in Kenton County nominated the people to run. And I was nominated by the Republicans and Gus Sheehan by the Democrats. And then Dixie Lee filed as an independent. And, uh, another guy by the name of Frank Tharp(??). And, uh, I won the election by 112 votes out of 30,000. And then I was reelected in '69 and '73 and '77 and '81. And I lost in '86. BOHL: Um-hm. What is your political philosophy? MIDDLETON: (pause) Ind-, individual responsibility. When I first ran I put out a statement to that effect and I haven't changed it. (both laugh) (pause) Government needs to take care of those that can't take care of themselves. There's no doubt about that. But we had gone so far down that trail that we were killing initiative with the welfare system. And when they revised that a few years ago, under a Democratic President, uh, I think we corrected that drift. But there are a lot of negatives in this country today. Um, drugs, divorce, um, you name it. Things are not going well. But we'll hope they will. BOHL: You mentioned how severely outnumbered the Republicans were. How did the local Republican organization work? MIDDLETON: With much difficulty. (both laugh) Uh, you didn't, you didn't have a problem as an individual in those days with who was going to run against you in the primary because nobody wanted to run. So, if you put your name down and you were automatically the Republican candidate. But then you had to do a lot of work; uh, a lot of door- to-door, a lot of bumper stickering and passing out literature and the like. When I was elected to the Senate, it was probably eight-to-one by those days. And today, of course, uh, Kenton County is just about equal in Republican and Democratic registration and still a percentage of those Democrats vote Republican all the time, anyhow. So we now have the Republican fiscal court, uh, which we didn't have when I was there, and Boone County has gone completely Republican. There are more registered Republicans in Boone County than registered Democrats. So, it's changed a lot in the twenty years since I left. I, um, and, of course, we've got the growing pains of the majority party now. We have big primaries and people get mad at each other. BOHL: How long were you in Frankfort before you felt like you knew how to work the system? MIDDLETON: Oh, nineteen years. (both laugh) Oh, I don't know, about six years, I guess. Probably, uh. We were completely dominated by the Democratic Party in both houses at that, at that time. When I left the Senate there were nine Republicans and twenty-nine, twenty-eight Democrats. So, you got things done only by personal alliances. I, uh, chaired some, some interim committees. They're, the interim committee system, do you know about that? BOHL: No. MIDDLETON: Well, the legislature, uh, the, the House and the Senate each have, uh, congruent committees. They're the same in both houses, like the education committee and judiciary committee and so on. And they would meet with the House and Senate members between the sessions and go out and do investigations and things like that. And, uh, I was chairman of a committee that investigated the mental health hospitals. Uh. (laughs) And the construction of sidewalks, and a number of other things which don't come to mind immediately. BOHL: What were your initial expectations of what you could accomplish? MIDDLETON: Oh, I thought I could change the world. (laughs) Everybody that gets into politics does that so they will "have an impact" on the course of human events. And to some degree you can. Um, the high point of my time in the Senate was the passage of the bill that changed the annexation law because Covington was going out and annexing, uh, parts of what are now, uh, Ft. Wright and Edgewood. And, uh, we took a bill from the House and, uh, Louis DeFalaise was the House member from Dixie Highway area, a Republican. And he took a bill by Dottie Priddy and amended it to make it do what we wanted it to do and then sent it over to the Senate. And, uh, it sat in the cities committee for a month and I've finally moved it out of the cities committee and into another one, I think it was judiciary. And, uh, then, brought it to the floor where it passed, and that, that was retroactive. Any annexation that had not gone to completion was subject to this act. And the annexations up here could not go to completion because there were lawsuits against them. And so, uh, uh, it said that if 90 percent of the people in an annexed area signed a petition against it, it was ineffective. Well, they went out and got more than 90 percent in those two areas. It's a, they remain part of the suburban. That's, I don't know whether that's really good but it was at the time. (both laugh) BOHL: You were also really involved in, uh, the creation of Northern Kentucky University. MIDDLETON: Yeah, the bill to create Northern Kentucky State College came through during my freshman year in the legislature. And all of the Northern Kentucky legislators favored it. Louie Nunn likes to tell a story about how Julian Carroll was riding both sides of that issue. Uh, and so Louie called all of university presidents in and got them in his office and then he called Julian Carroll down and said, "Julian, here are the presidents of all the colleges; now, tell me. Are you for Northern Kentucky University or against it?" (both laugh) And I guess Julian said he was for it. And it went through. But Julian was trying to be on both sides of that. BOHL: Education-- MIDDLETON: --and then-- BOHL: --oh, go ahead. MIDDLETON: The thing I really played a role in was the merger of the Chase College of Law. BOHL: Um-hm. MIDDLETON: Because by this time I was a student at Chase. Uh, and, uh, went to the head of the Chase College one day and said, uh, "Are you interested in Northern Kentucky?" And he said, "Sure." And now unbeknownst to me they already had a relationship going but I then went to the president of Northern and said, "Would you like to have a law school?" He said, "Yes." Then after the two merged, I got, uh, an amendment actually on that said that the Council on Higher, uh, Education could not eliminate a law school that was brought into the, the system by merger and that described Chase. BOHL: Um-hm. MIDDLETON: And that passed and is part of the law and later on there were attempts to eliminate Chase. But they didn't succeed. BOHL: Okay, education in general was a big topic for most of your time-- [telephone rings] MIDDLETON: Yeah, okay. BOHL: There were a lot of efforts to reform education throughout your time. MIDDLETON: Yes. BOHL: Uh, do you remember that process, things that were involved with it? MIDDLETON: Yeah, um. There was a lawsuit by, uh, some superintendents to declare the system of funding education unconstitutional. And the supreme court said, "Yeah, that's right; it's unconstitutional." So, uh, the legislature had to make some changes. Actually I don't think that, that result obtained until after I left, but it was right about that time in 1986. Uh, and, of course, there have been dramatic changes in elementary and secondary education. There's always been a conflict over how to control higher education. And, uh, I played somewhat of a role in that. BOHL: Um-hm. Okay. Uh, what about the merit system? That's something that's been getting a lot of coverage lately but it was a big deal when you were in as well. MIDDLETON: Well, the merit system was designed to protect one branch of the Democratic Party from another branch of the Democratic Party because there were no Republican Governors. (both laugh) And now it has come back to bite the Republicans. (both laugh) I don't personally feel that there's anything wrong with what the Governor did. After a hundred years of making people change their registration in order to be hired by the state, it was only fair that we should redress that balance. But we'll let the courts decide that. BOHL: One of the things that, uh, affected your first reelection was, uh, the tax increase. MIDDLETON: "Nunn's Nickel." BOHL: Um-hm. MIDDLETON: (both laugh) Yes, it was. I, uh, I got the information from the Governor's office on the things that would have to be cut out of the budget if the tax increase failed. And after I finally voted for it, after much heavy consideration and upset stomach and all the rest, I took this list and went around to the labor council, for example, and said, "Here the things that would have happened if we had not made the increase to five cents. Furthermore, it isn't "Nunn's Nickel"; it's "Nunn's Two-Cents." (laughs) And Louie later got John Isler in there and reminded him that, that where he had voted for the three-cents sales tax this was only a two-cents. (laughs) And, uh, the Governor, uh, sent, uh, he cleaned out his office and sent them all to Northern Kentucky, uh, where they worked on my campaign. Notably Sue Court(??) who now is in Washington. She's in, in, uh, a very high position in Energy. BOHL: Another issue-- MIDDLETON: --and-- BOHL: --go ahead: I don't want to cut you off. MIDDLETON: And now that was a, uh, on, on the razor's edge campaign. Gus Sheehan ran again. BOHL: Um-hm. MIDDLETON: And then he later came down there and was my best buddy. (Bohl laughs) Okay, go ahead. BOHL: Another issue that was discussed a lot while you were in but that was resolved later is gubernatorial succession. What did you think about that and has your opinion changed? MIDDLETON: Uh, you mean the right of a Governor to succeed him? BOHL: Right. MIDDLETON: Oh yeah, I think that's a good, good measure, uh(??). You know, if the Governor is popular and does a good job by somebody's standards, um, I think he out to be able to run for reelection. Then sheriffs as well. BOHL: Okay, uh, you've mentioned a few times now Governor Nunn, uh, the only Republican Governor you worked with-- MIDDLETON: --yes. BOHL: Uh, did you feel any kind of obligation since he was from the same party to follow him more than you did others? MIDDLETON: Uh, to some degree. Um, but we had a final falling out over the, uh, teacher's issue, um. Whether they could bargain with the superintendents or something like that. There was a name for it but I can't even remember that now. But anyhow, he sent word down to our caucus for, to make sure that everybody would stand with him if he vetoed the bill to do this teacher thing. And I said no. Because I had come back when I ran for reelection and had the support of some educators. One of them was John --------(??) now in the, in the State House. And, uh, I felt an obligation to them and not to the Governor. And, uh, he cut off my ability to get Kentucky kernels for a couple of days and then he realized that the legislature was still in session, so maybe he better not do that. (both laugh) But we've been pretty good friends, uh, since. At, at Republican affairs, why he's always very cordial. Of course he's deceased now but he, he really did a lot for Northern Kentucky, you know. He was responsible for Northern Kentucky State College. And it's grown into quite an institution. Women won the national basketball championship. BOHL: Um-hm. MIDDLETON: But even academically, it seems to be getting a pretty good reputation. BOHL: When there were conflicts between your own beliefs and what your constituents were saying they wanted, how did you reconcile that? MIDDLETON: Oh, I generally stuck with my constituents. There were not a lot of things that I had that strong of an opinion on. BOHL: How did your experience in the legislature compare with your initial expectations of what it would be like? MIDDLETON: Oh, I think I had the idealistic view that, uh, every legislator was, uh, responsible to his constituency and that the rest of them would respect that. Uh, but, uh, the party affiliation proved to be overriding everything else. UNKNOWN: -----------(??) [Pause in recording.] BOHL: And you were talking about party affiliation was blocking cooperation? MIDDLETON: Oh yeah. Uh, they were, they were contemptuous of Republicans, because they knew they had the votes. BOHL: Other than the partisan divide, did you see other factions in the General Assembly? MIDDLETON: Oh yeah, there was the city versus rural breakdown. And, uh--the rural people generally, uh, got what they wanted. There were more of them. But that's gradually changed. BOHL: Uh, did you stay in Frankfort during the session or did you commute? MIDDLETON: No, I stayed there. BOHL: Uh, did you rent a room or get an apartment? MIDDLETON: The first couple of times I had a mobile home, moved in. And, uh, one day I got word on the floor of the Senate that my mobile home had blown over. (laughs) So we stayed in a motel for a few days until we got it righted again. Uh, and then I stayed in motels and, uh, various other places, and, uh. The last session I roomed with Ken Harper, a member of the House, uh, in a, uh, home. BOHL: Did you tend to hang out at places with other legislators like Flynn's or the Capital Hotel or something? MIDDLETON: Oh, somewhat. Uh, mostly after Gus Sheehan was elected. I went over to Gus's, uh, apartment went there, and then we went out to dinner. He, uh, he had, uh, a, a bottle of Manhattan's in there for himself and John Isler and, uh, a bottle of martinis for me. BOHL: Okay. What about lobbyists? How prominent were they and who were the strongest? MIDDLETON: Well, there weren't nearly as many lobbyists in those days as there are, I understand, today. I, Just went down to Dick Roeding's golf outing and, and talked to some lobbyists that I had known when I was down there. Uh, I suppose that, uh, the KEA was the strongest lobby in those days. Um, and then there were lobbyists for business and for finance. Uh, there is an element of the finance community that lends money to low-income people and they were constantly looking for higher interest rates because of the risks that they ran. BOHL: What was it like for your family while you were in the service--in the political office? MIDDLETON: A lot more difficult than I realized, because I was gone most of the time. And, uh, so my wife had to get the children off to school, and all of that. She wasn't interested in the legislature. (laughs) But she was interested in the, uh, legislative balls. So, she would come down for that. And then she was teaching, so she would turn around and come back for that and go to her job. BOHL: Did your children ever get any grief about your political decisions? MIDDLETON: Not that I know of. Probably they did but it never came back to me. BOHL: Okay, did they ever give you any input on your decisions? MIDDLETON: No. BOHL: Or were they too young? MIDDLETON: Yeah. BOHL: Okay, what about your wife? MIDDLETON: Uh, she, she mostly did that ex-post facto. When I voted for the sales tax she was really upset because all of the propaganda coming out up here was against that. Oh this, we were in competition with Cincinnati and that was going to cost the businesses their lives and all that sort of thing. And, and she reflected that. But it was all over. So all she could do was be mad. (both laugh) BOHL: Uh, did your political survey, sort of political views ever cost you any friends? MIDDLETON: Not that I can think of. [Pause in recording.] BOHL: Who would you say were your political heroes? MIDDLETON: In the legislature or anywhere? BOHL: Anywhere. MIDDLETON: Oh, I think, uh, Gerald Ford, unlike most people. I thought Ford's act in pardoning Nixon, uh, uh, was an element of the highest statesmanship. He knew that it was going to tear the country apart for another couple of years if Nixon had to go to trial. And so he just pardoned him. Probably cost him the election but he did it. BOHL: Um-hm. MIDDLETON: And Ronald Reagan. Um, I think Reagan's strong stand against the Soviet Union ultimately led to its collapse. And then Franklin Roosevelt carried us through World War II. (both laugh) BOHL: Uh, when you first entered the Senate in the late sixties, there was certainly a lot of unrest nationwide over various issues. MIDDLETON: Yeah. BOHL: How did that affect Kentucky and the decisions that you guys made? MIDDLETON: Well, uh, they, they attacked the, uh, ROTC center there and, uh, Louie went over in a car, uh, in the night and marched the National Guard on the campus. He was very strong against that sort of thing. And I was the Kentucky representative--(coughs)--excuse me--on the Southern Regional Education Board. And on one occasion I, uh, did a paper before the SREB, uh, about unrest on campuses and that sort of thing. And there was a professor from some southern university was taking the other side. But, uh, by and large we took it down. It's the landlord(??). BOHL: Okay. The energy crisis of the seventies, again with Kentucky being so involved with coal production, uh, how much did energy become an issue? MIDDLETON: Well, there was a constant issue over the taxation of coal. Um, and, and the extraction tax and all that sort of thing. Of course, not being a coal mining community, this affected me only peripherally. BOHL: Um-hm. Was there anything about your legislative experience that really surprised you? MIDDLETON: (pause) Uh, only the one I've noted previously, the partisanship; um, that was kind of a surprise. BOHL: Okay, in the late seventies a bunch of legislators from this area decided to ban together to help get more accomplished for Northern Kentucky at the state level, uh, the Northern Kentucky Regional Caucus. MIDDLETON: Yeah, you know, that really existed before that. BOHL: Okay. MIDDLETON: Uh, there was a senator from Carrollton by the name of Tom Harris who was a Democrat and, and was the chairman of the, of the regional caucus but it existed before the seventies. I've seen things saying that it came along later-- BOHL: --right-- MIDDLETON: -- it really was there before that. BOHL: Okay. MIDDLETON: Perhaps it was more formally organized in the seventies and we started holding, uh, Saturday sessions where we invited the public in, to comment on various things. BOHL: Okay. How effective do you think that this caucus was? MIDDLETON: Pretty effective but it never was able to unite with the other urban area caucuses to accomplish things. Northern Kentucky has gained ground only in recent years with the election of a Republican Governor whose election depended on Northern Kentucky. BOHL: Do you remember anything in particular that was really amusing? We've had quite a few people talking about different practical jokes that they remember or people doing crazy things in committee meetings. MIDDLETON: Hm, I'm sure there were but I can't think of any right off hand. BOHL: Okay. MIDDLETON: There was a, uh, caucus held at a steakhouse, uh, a meeting of the Northern Kentucky Caucus. And we were discussing I think the funding of TANK at the time. And, um, the attorney for TANK was also the attorney for some other Northern Kentucky agency, and so the meeting switched over to this other issue. And Gus Sheehan and Bill McBee almost got into a fight over that. (both laugh) I don't know how funny that it is but. That's an event I remember BOHL: Okay. Your last campaign in '86 was predicted to be close. Uh, you were running against John Weaver of Walton. In the previous campaigns, you had won like over two-thirds of the votes, so what do you think happened? MIDDLETON: Well--(both laugh)--John was a very effective campaigner. And he was dying of cancer and he played that issue very well. You couldn't say anything about it. People got very excited if you mentioned John's condition. But he had a certain sympathy vote, because it was known that he was suffering from cancer. And, of course, he had been a commissioner at Boone County. Was very popular, uh, in that. But, um, I look upon it as having opened up a means for me to run for judge-executive. (laughs) So we don't worry about the '86 election. BOHL: What do you think were your main accomplishments while you were in the Senate? MIDDLETON: Oh, as I noted earlier, the passage of the, the, um, annexation bill. Uh, the attention I paid to mental health. My wife and I are going to honored by the local mental health association in a few weeks. And, um, the participation in education issues. BOHL: Okay. Was your involvement with the mental health issues just something that emerged from the committee that you said you were on-- MIDDLETON: --yeah -- BOHL: --or was there some other? MIDDLETON: Yeah, I was on the health and welfare committee the whole time. Not a particularly popular committee. But, I think I would say I had a reputation as being involved in these things after all. BOHL: Okay. Uh, were you one who would go to Bill McBee's bean bashes and such for the mental health? MIDDLETON: Oh yeah. BOHL: (both laugh) Was there anything that you had hoped to get through that didn't turn out the way that you wanted or that didn't go through? MIDDLETON: Yeah, I was an advocate for, um, a czar to oversee all of education. Uh, it seemed to me that there was too great a dichotomy between elementary and secondary education and higher education. And, uh, uh, I once, um, proposed an, and amendment to a bill that would have done some of these things. Uh, there's a little animal crawling over here. It just crawled underneath your--there, there it is on your neck. (both laugh) (pause) (both laugh) And Robert Martin, who was the former president at Eastern Kentucky University, was a senator by that time, and he got up and he said, "No man could have the knowledge to control all of these areas of education," and I said, "I think the senator has." (laughs) Because he had been the superintendent of public instruction and he'd been the president of the university. He had an ideal background to do something like that. But that's all right. They, they continue to fight on. BOHL: (laughs) Okay. Um, we talked about Governor Nunn at bit. What about the other Governors that you worked with? How much contact did you have with them? MIDDLETON: Oh, the, the minimal amount necessary to conduct business. Um, um, Julian Carroll, when he ran for Governor I was the Republican state chairman that year. And, uh, he got me down in the basement of the UK football stadium and said, "Clyde, you need to be careful; you may be losing friends over doing this." And he has contributed to every opponent I've had since, even up here. Uh, and I think he was just overly sensitive, uh, to the position that I held. But, come see, come saw. BOHL: What about John Y. Brown and this whole coming of legislative independence? MIDDLETON: Well, legislative independence was on the road before John Y. Brown. Uh, I guess, uh, his hands-off attitude did contribute to it. But, um, the, the speaker of the House from, from Lexington, um, Bill something or other. You know the name? BOHL: Gosh, I've heard so many; I'm not sure right now. MIDDLETON: Yeah, yeah, well, I can't remember either. Uh, he died later. Uh, I think he had cancer. But he was a, a great creator of legislative independence. And, of course, as they gradually took over the, the Capitol Annex and moved the offices in there and now everybody's got a, uh, uh, substantial office and, and good help. All of those things contributed to it. BOHL: Okay, what about Martha Layne Collins? MIDDLETON: Well, Martha Layne is famous for Toyota. And, uh, and they still love her. (both laugh) She wasn't a bad Governor. Um, she was pretty good. And, of course, the Toyota thing was, uh, uh, a feather in her cap. BOHL: Um-hm. MIDDLETON: And, uh, who else was there? BOHL: Wendell-- MIDDLETON: --oh, Wendell Ford, yeah. Oh, Wendell Ford was always, uh, always looked down his nose at me, um, even when he was in the United States Senate. I called his offices to get his help to make sure that the congressman from Ohio who was trying to take over the airport board--this is all county judge things--but, um. And I talked to his assistant there, and she said, "Well, the only person that I could talk to on the airport was Pete Burris and I understand he's going off." He sure was going off. (laughs) I wasn't going to reappoint him and she knew that. But, you know, that was just a--a slap at me. That was indicative of Wendell Ford. Uh, he came here to dedicate a building when I was judge-executive, and I said, "Hello, you may not recognize me with this hat." I had a, a plaid tam on and he said, "Oh, you're as stupid as ever," or some, some deprecating thing. And that, that goes back to when I was in the Senate, um, and Louie was Governor. There were a bunch of superintendents of schools from Northern Kentucky that came down and I took them around to see Wendell and he said, "Well, I want to do so and so and Clyde'll support me if the Governor will let him." And, you know, he was just, uh, a great man though he was, I never, uh, thought a lot of him. BOHL: Okay, uh, when I was doing my research, I read that you had met several presidents. MIDDLETON: Yeah. Yeah, um, I met, um, Richard Nixon when he came, uh, Louie invited him to Spindletop because Louie moved the pre-Derby affairs away from the capitol and over to Spindletop. And, uh, Nixon came down and then I drove him around Northern Kentucky, uh, when he was here for some political campaign. And then I met, uh, Ronald Reagan in, um, Danville. I forgot what the heck he was there for. (both laugh) For some event. And then I met him at Bo--uh, Louisville when he came in. And I've met, I've met, uh, Gerald Ford, uh, several times. Went to the White House when he was there. And, uh, I also met, um, Rockefeller when he was Vice President. Flew around in Air Force II. He came down for a, a political event. He had a farm in Kentucky and we helicoptered from Lexington over to the farm and then we helicoptered back and took Air Force II into Louisville. And that's when I was state chairman. BOHL: Okay. Uh, during your time you were the Republican whip, the chair of the state Republican Party, uh, the chair of the Republican caucus. Uh, what was, uh, what were those experiences like? Being a Republican ----------(??) ----------(??)-- MIDDLETON: --well, they were all different. BOHL: Um-hm. (both laugh) MIDDLETON: Uh, as the chair of the Republican caucus, I convened the members of the caucus before each day's session and we had, uh, interns who would--one of which was my son, uh, who's now assistant United States attorney--and, uh, we, we would report on the bills that were on the agenda for that day and, um, suggest a party position, although there never was any, "You've got to vote this way to be a good Republican." Mostly because it didn't make any difference. (both laugh) But one of our interns was Katie Stine who now is the pro tem leader of the Senate. And, uh, as state chairman, uh, I was a supporter of, um, Bob--oh, my. (pause) I can't remember his name; he ran against Julian Carroll. Well, anyway-- BOHL: --I'm sure we'll be able to find him. MIDDLETON: It was, it was he that, that made the arrangements that made me state chairman because he was fearful of being shot at from behind by another guy that was interested in being state chairman. But I went to Washington to the Republican National Committee and we went to the White House and went to, went to the Vice President's mansion. I danced with Happy Rockefeller and my wife danced with, uh, Nelson. And, uh, the Vice President's mansion used to be the home of the chief of naval operations, so I was interested in that, uh, historical fact. But they took it away from him. And that's all I've got to say about that. BOHL: Okay. So what did you do between '86 and 1990 when you became judge-executive? MIDDLETON: Twiddled my thumbs. (both laugh) Oh, I just practiced law. And, uh, then, uh, Eric Deters(??) became the chairman of the Republican Party of Kenton County and he urged me to run for judge executive. And I finally did. Won fifteen-to-ten(??). But I'd never lost Kenton County. BOHL: Um-hm. MIDDLETON: You know, even when I lost the Senate seat it was because of Boone County votes. BOHL: It's about-- [Pause in recording.] BOHL: All right, so you decided to run for Kenton County judge-executive? MIDDLETON: Yes. BOHL: Okay. Uh, one of the issues that I saw in coverage of that time that seemed to come up a lot was the airport. MIDDLETON: In what way? BOHL: I'm not even sure. I just airport. MIDDLETON: Well, I guess if there was an issue, it was noise. BOHL: Okay. MIDDLETON: And, uh, that was found mostly in the Delhi area. And they, uh, uh, particularly the county auditor was a bitter foe of the airport and constantly insisting that there be more Ohio representation on the airport board, although there are more Ohio representatives than there are Kentucky, because they're not limited by law and whereas the Kentucky ones are statutory. And they are voting, uh, where the Ohio members are not voting, uh, in board meeting but the Ohio members are voting in committee meetings and everything that goes before the board goes through the committee beforehand, so it's just a false issue. Um, but, of course, they built a lot of north south runways. They had two: uh, three-six-right(??) and three-six-left(??); and then they built a third one and now they have three-six-right, three-six-center, and three-six-left(??). There, so they've moved some of the noise away from Delhi and down the river a little bit but, uh, not too much. And, of course, the rest of it is landings and there's not all that much noise associated with landings. But those were the issues. Uh, of course, there were issues around the airport from people in Boone County who didn't want their land taken by the airport, but the airport's been really the driving force behind the economy of the whole Cincinnati area. And, uh--(laughs)--with the problems that Delta Airlines is having, it would be really a shame if they abandoned this airport as a hub but they may. BOHL: Okay. Another one was sanitation. Of course, developing the region-wide. MIDDLETON: Yeah, under the old system the sanitation district picked up the sanitary sewer effluent from the cities. And the cities maintained their, their sanitation systems and they were very jealous of that. But we held meetings, uh, on that subject and finally persuaded the cities after they were given certain privileges to join in the sanitation district and give up their sanitary sewers. Uh, the things they were given, uh, were, uh, a, a study of their sanitary sewer systems and then they were given, I think, some money for the sanitary sewers. But it created Sanitation District One, which now has, uh, the sanitation for all three counties. Uh, and they're building a new plant in Boone County and a new plant in Campbell County and they're expanding the, the plant in Kenton County, which at the moment handles all the sanitary sewer, uh, business. UNKNOWN: [knock on the door] ----------(??)----------- [door closes] BOHL: (pause) Okay. Earlier we had talked about annexation and while you were judge executive a lot of what you, uh, were dealing with was issues of consolidation at least of services if not of-- MIDDLETON: --oh, indeed I was-- BOHL: --actual municipalities. (both laugh) MIDDLETON: Well, I have long felt that the structure of government in Northern Kentucky is out of another age. Uh, really we ought to combine the three counties into a single county so that they would have a voice in Frankfort that was substantial and it would allow for all sorts of functions--fire, uh, sanitation, water, roads, and just government in general--to be exercised on a more rational basis. So, in company with Joe Meyer, we got a bill through the legislature that gave the cities and the judge-executive the power to appoint a study commission, uh, upon the signing of a certain number of petitions as a percentage of the last election. And I got John ----------(??) to chair of the, the county commission. And he put out petitions in the newspaper, he distributed original petitions, and, uh, he finally got enough signatures to give them to the county clerk who certified them and we were on our way to having this study commission. The study commission would produce recommendations on--on changes in the governmental structure and they would go on the ballot and the public would vote on them. What's more democratic than that? But the cities didn't want, didn't like that because the people in city A may vote for this but my, my citizens will not vote for it. And each, each city said that, so what they were saying was all of them will vote against it, but they didn't recognize or acknowledge that they were doing that. Anyhow, they, uh, filed suit on it and the lawyer who had won the suit in Boone County to stop the progress of the program in Boone County came over and handled the one for Kenton County. And the judge said, "Oh, but you had said that you may receive the report of the commission and uh, decide not to make any recommendations and disband, and you can't do that because the law says that you shall place on the ballot certain recommendations." Well, I didn't think that was true but the judge did. And so that ended the, the, uh, movement towards consolidation. We did get through a measure where the county handles the collection of payroll taxes for the cities and it has a, a master charge sheet that shows how, how much you pay in this city and that city and the other city and how much you pay the county. Uh, and uh, that measure succeeded. And we got them to agree that we would do the purchasing for the cities. That has never worked; they just, they just don't use it. Um, and so we go on with twenty-one incorporated areas and a county government that, uh, covers, uh, an increasingly smaller part of the county. Really just covers the southern end of the county and, uh, much of that has been taken up by the city of Independence. But one of these days, uh, they'll run out of money. And, uh, decide to do something else. Uh, just in the last couple of weeks, one of the issues that we've had hanging all along was emergency dispatch. And the county has a dispatch center that dispatches for all the cities except for Covington and Erlanger/Elsmere. And Erlanger has its own dispatch center and Covington has its own dispatch center but Covington gots a new city manager and, uh, he is in favor of consolidation and so is the current county judge. So, we may well see those two dispatch centers consolidated. And heaven only knows what will happen to the Erlanger dispatch center. They just spent some money to upgrade it, so, uh, it won't be coming along in the foreseeable future, but one of these days, it will because it's so logical to have a single dispatch center for the county. BOHL: There was also a lot of discussion about jails, both county jail and juvenile jail. MIDDLETON: Yeah, and Kenton County was sued by the, the Children's Law Center over that. Uh, and to my amazement, uh, the county lost. And I appointed a study commission when I was first elected to study the issue of jails and what we ought to be doing about it, and we got a three-inch thick report on that. Uh, what they recommended was that we build a much larger jail. The hole in that being that it was dependent upon the state placing a number of prisoners with the county and the state can do what it wants to do. So that it conceivably could stop sending prisoners there and we'd be stuck with a, a white elephant. And on top of that, I had two Democrat county commissioners. There's that old thing again. Uh, and, uh, they were, uh, one of them was against everything I did. The other one is just a--a rank conservative and he just doesn't want to spend any money. So, we didn't get a jail and we haven't gotten a jail since. And, uh, Judge Drees has proclaimed that we'll have it by the end of '98. I think he gave himself that much time. So we'll see. BOHL: Okay, uh, the airport thing was about expanding, the expansion of the international airport. That's what I was talking about. Uh, the parking garage for the convention center, the new Northern Kentucky Convention Center. MIDDLETON: Yeah, yeah, we sent out requests for proposals for the parking garage and, uh, we narrowed it down to three bidders and, uh, we gave the contract to, uh, Corporex (??). And they built the garage, and it has been imminently successful, but we were sued by Wessels Company because they thought they ought to get it. And in the meantime, I had given Wessels bid to Corporex, feeling that after the bids were opened they had no right to privacy. And, uh, that's what cost me my position. BOHL: I thought that that was over the courthouse? MIDDLETON: No, it was over-- BOHL: --I may be confused. MIDDLETON: No, it was over the parking garage. BOHL: Okay. MIDDLETON: Yeah, yeah. And then, and then along come the, uh, judicial center which is down on the corner. But, um, then that was after the other, the parking garage. BOHL: Okay. MIDDLETON: It was the parking garage that did me in. But I'm proud to see it there. (Bohl laughs) And the reason why we gave it to Corporex was number one, we had two architects that were advising the fiscal court and they both said that the, the proposal that Corporex made was workable. And that the other proposals were not as workable, that they didn't use the double helix method for filling the garage. If you go into that garage, it's kind of complicated, but, uh, it's a double helix and you go up and up and up but then you turn around and you go down and down and down. And it produces more space. Uh, and the price was arguably better. Uh, the county treasurer deducted some sums from the Corporex(??) bid and added some things to the other bids. And they said no that wasn't true. Blah, blah, blah, blah. But, at any rate, the garage got built and, um, all lived happily ever after, except for Clyde. And I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure the next year and would probably have resigned from the job anyhow because of the stress level that would have worked on my heart. Uh, so, I could find a pleasant outcome, too. (both laughs) But in the meantime, I don't know what your questions are but, uh, I built the Fox Run Golf Course. BOHL: Um-hm. MIDDLETON: I build the Mills Road Park, which is now named after me. BOHL: Um-hm. MIDDLETON: And it's a park designed to handle organized youth sports, youth baseball, youth ten, uh, soccer and especially youth football. There are two lovely fields and a, a building in between where you can, uh, put out hotdogs and hamburgers, uh, during the games and there are restrooms and there are scoreboards. And they're just good facilities for youth football. And you go there in the fall and you'll find four teams playing twice a day on Saturday and Sunday and cheerleaders and, uh, parents out there collecting money because they pay a rental for the football fields but they get to run them. They're not used by anybody else which was one of the things objected to but it's worked out. And then there are five ball fields, baseball fields. And they're used all summer long. And, uh, the soccer fields are used during the fall and there are sand, uh, volleyball facilities. It's a nice addition to Kenton County. And the argument was made, "Oh, it's too far from everything," which is kind of silly because I had a son that played in youth football and I carried him over to Campbell County to play and all around the counties, so, uh, for at least some people they're available. And then we built, uh, the, um, Rosedale Manor Nursing Home, uh, replacing, uh, the hundred-year-old facility in there. My wife's on the board of that now. And then, of course, we built the parking garage and the, uh, judicial center. So, in eight years we got quite a bit done. BOHL: Uh, you also did a lot with computerizing. Again, sort of following the consolidation idea, increasing communication. MIDDLETON: Yup. BOHL: Uh, reorganizing the police and road departments, that sort of thing. MIDDLETON: Yep. BOHL: Okay, what about, uh, agencies like Triad? MIDDLETON: Okay. Triad, uh, has been one of the big builders of economic development in Northern Kentucky, and as, as a judge- executive, I served on Triad. And I served as chairman of it for a while although that was almost a meaningless thing; you just ran the meetings but the meetings really involved input from the staff and commentary by the economic members. I put Bill Butler on there, much to the, uh, disagreement of some of the other builders in the area. And, uh, Bill Robinson was very prominent in that and Jim Huff. And they just built Northern Kentucky. Uh, they brought Fidelity here. The city takes credit for that but it was a county proposition. And there were several other, uh, manufacturing companies that came to the Northern Kentucky area because of the efforts of Triad. And then there was also, uh, the convention center. We got together and fortunately everyone agreed beforehand that wherever the consultant group recommend locating the convention center that we would all get behind that. And they recommended Covington so we all got behind the Covington site. And one day we went down and signed our names to a piece of steel that was the roof of the convention center. And it's up there today. BOHL: Okay. Toward the end of your time as judge executive, uh, you were quoted as saying that that was the most fun-- MIDDLETON: --yeah-- BOHL: --of the positions that you had held. Do you still hold that belief? MIDDLETON: Oh, sure. Uh, you know, you're, you're the boss. And that's a little different than being one of nine members of the thirty-eight person Senate. Uh, you know, I enjoyed my days as a state senator, but I got a lot more satisfaction out of being judge executive. But, of course, the airport board appointments were, were, uh, one of the plums that the Kenton County judge had. And no other judge in Northern Kentucky had that. No other judge in Ohio had that. We were the center of the airport. And, uh, while it's a historical thing, it was, uh, a very satisfying one to have those appointments and to watch the tremendous growth of the airport. And, and it's been voted the number one airport in the world several times by, by, uh, agencies that do those things. And it's a, it's a real asset to the community. BOHL: Comparing the things that are going on in Frankfort today, how do they relate to what was going on when you were there? MIDDLETON: Oh, my, they're different. (laughs) Uh, I don't think the Democrats in the House have quite yet come to understand that they are not the boss. That they have to deal with the Senate. Uh, I think that they are beginning to realize that. Just witnessed the last act, which was, uh, changing the tax on small businesses. They got together and, and did something. And that can be very good for the people of Kentucky, you know. To have the House, uh, controlled by the Democrats and the Senate controlled by the Republicans. And Republican Governor. (laughs) And they can really, uh, make some progress, if they will do that. But if they keep playing politics, it'll just be a mishmash. BOHL: If you were just starting out now, would you want to be in office? MIDDLETON: Oh, I think so. There are many things that say no, uh, particularly the, the bitter partisanship. What's going on at the national level is just disgusting. But I've never found anything in my life that was more satisfying than public service and doing these things. So, I would want to do it again. BOHL: What advice would you give to someone who was a freshman legislator? MIDDLETON: Oh. (laughs) (pause) Do your job. Keep your skirts clean. The, the BOPTROT thing, uh, brought Art Schmidt down and that was a shame. He didn't do anything except tell a small-- [Pause in recording.] BOHL: Okay, you were talking about Art Schmidt. MIDDLETON: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, Art Schmidt went down and perhaps it was a good thing that the federal government became involved in, in state government because it was not what it was supposed to be. But, uh, a lot of good people got hurt in the process. BOHL: Okay. Is there anything else that I haven't asked you about that you definitely want to have on the record? MIDDLETON: Well, I would point out that I made the appointment of the first two women in history to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Board. And we were later sued over a woman that was the county administrator when I came on board who I, uh, eventually replaced. And her attorney said, "Oh, well, you were just for women when they weren't paid." And I resent that. (laughs) And so, as our closing remark want to say, uh, I appointed a Jewish member, I appointed a black member, first black man to serve on the board--he's now the coroner of, um, Hamilton County--and I appointed two women. And I'm proud of that record. End of interview. (laughs) BOHL: Thank you. [End of interview.] Middleton (House 1968-1986, 24th district; Republican) recalls growing up during the Depression and World War II in the Cleveland, Ohio area, his military service, and moving to Northern Kentucky. He discusses his entry into politics, being in the minority party, the formation of Northern Kentucky University, legislation for annexation of municipal services in county areas in his district, collective bargaining and merit pay for teachers, campus unrest in his early terms, Northern Kentucky caucus, the airport, and his impression of several governors. He concludes by discussing his work as Kenton County Judge Executive, including sanitation issues, and the dispute over the contract for a parking garage for the Northern Kentucky Convention Center which ultimately cost him his position. insert here