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2006-07-11 Interview with Nicholas Baker, July 11, 2006 Leg001:2006OH131 Leg 125 01:54:03 Kentucky Legislature Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Baker, Nicholas, 1937- -- Interviews Legislators -- Kentucky -- Interviews Kentucky. Governor (1971-1974 : Ford) Kentucky. Governor (1974-1979 : Carroll) Garrett, Tom Huddleston, Walter D. (Walter Darlington), 1926- Moloney, Michael R. Burke, Frank W. (Frank Welsh), 1920-2007 Kentucky. General Assembly. Legislative Research Commission. Legislative Research Commission (LRC) Basketball for women -- Kentucky Grisgsby, Geri Democratic Party (Ky.) Key Legisation: emergency service statutes ; reinstitution of girls’ basketball bill Term/District: Senate (1970-1977), 38th district Counties in District: Jefferson County (Ky.) Nicholas Baker; interviewee Erik Tuttle; interviewer 2006OH131_LEG125_Baker 1:|21(10)|37(8)|47(1)|57(1)|67(13)|84(8)|97(10)|111(1)|123(1)|132(6)|142(12)|152(11)|168(13)|184(1)|198(1)|212(8)|223(4)|235(2)|250(1)|259(6)|274(5)|288(5)|305(1)|315(6)|324(9)|334(13)|350(2)|364(2)|398(2)|409(11)|423(2)|441(8)|453(3)|474(2)|493(6)|508(6)|527(8)|537(10)|555(1)|567(10)|583(6)|593(8)|610(8)|621(7)|633(12)|648(12)|673(6)|690(9)|716(3)|729(3)|741(13)|752(6)|764(4)|777(11)|796(7)|820(4)|841(3)|856(12)|872(11)|890(2)|907(3)|926(9)|937(9)|953(9)|972(6)|997(13)|1008(2)|1023(8)|1038(10)|1057(5)|1077(4)|1097(9)|1116(9)|1138(7)|1158(5)|1165(8)|1178(9)|1193(5)|1208(6)|1224(3)|1238(2)|1255(1)|1269(1)|1284(3)|1298(10)|1309(6)|1328(2)|1348(14)|1362(3)|1378(11)|1391(1)|1404(7)|1417(11)|1435(10)|1450(3)|1466(14)|1481(5)|1493(7)|1514(8)|1529(10)|1540(6)|1552(13)|1561(6)|1570(13)|1586(2)|1611(7)|1622(2)|1642(2)|1656(8)|1677(7)|1698(7)|1720(10)|1729(11) audiotrans Legit interview TUTTLE: --listen to make sure it's recording. Right now it really don't seem like. Actually. Yeah. Yeah, it is. All right. And we usually start out just, um, if we could just state your name and talk a little about, um, growing up and talk about your parents and where your family's from and just to sort of, so we can set the stage for some things. BAKER: Okay. How much you want? TUTTLE: Um. Just as I mean as much as you want. BAKER: I don't want to bore you. TUTTLE: Well, yeah--(laughs)--I mean, no longer than, I don't know, fifteen minutes-- BAKER: --my early-- TUTTLE: --just to give us a little-- BAKER: -- -------------(??) that mike(??). Yeah, I can. Uh. Okay, yeah, I think I can(??). TUTTLE: Go ahead, and whenever you're ready. Yeah, we got it. It's working. BAKER: You ready? TUTTLE: Yeah. BAKER: Okay, um, my name is, uh, Nick Baker, I guess(??), when I was in legislature, particularly I was Nicholas, uh, Baker. And I was, uh, elected to the Senate from, uh, Louisville. It was the Thirty- Eight District, which at that time was downtown and part of the South End(??). Well, it was in 1969. And I had, um, come from Louisville in 1960. But to back up further than that, I was born in Hazard in 1937. And went through the seventh grade there. And then, uh, my father, who was in the car business, uh, started a business in ----------(??) and I lived in just a little there, eighth grade through the eleventh grade. And then we returned to Hazard from my senior year in high school, and I graduated from Hazard High School in 1955. And then went to Georgetown College and graduated from there in 1959. And, um, I have to explain this because nobody thought I was of -----------(??). At that time, first, first of all there was a military draft(??). And, um, but they also had a program where you could go into the reserves for six months active duty. And then come back out and fulfill five and a half years in the reserves obligation. Uh, so, I did that. I went in the army for six months after I graduated from college. And when I came back out, I got a job in Louisville working for GMAC. And then somewhere along the way I decided I wanted to go to law school. So, I left that job to go to law school, which, uh, I, I didn't have that much money. I had saved some, but anyway, I ended up going part-time, fulltime, and, and, uh, worked most of the time through law school. I finally finished--during that time I worked for the insurance claims adjustor. And then I finished law school in 1966. And, um, started practicing law and got involved in Democrat politics. And, um, ran for the Senate in 1969 and was elected. So, that was, some of my friends call me Landslide after that because-- (Tuttle laughs)--I won the primary by twelve or fifteen votes. (Tuttle laughs) And plus I'm the young upstart, and, uh, there were remnants of the old Fourth Street organization still around. And, and so, there was a fellow(??) trying to do, um, ran in the primary, and, um, he was a more or less the organizational candidate, and I'm the young upstart. But anyway, but I beat him. And then there was a Republican incumbent, so I, nobody gave me much chance at least in--the problem was I didn't know this. I didn't know I wasn't supposed to win. So, I just went on campaigning like I was gonna win. And, of course, it was so much different back in those days, because you didn't have to spend a fortune on campaigns. It seems to me you, you need today. TUTTLE: Yeah. BAKER: But, um, anyway, I, I knocked on doors and -----------(??). And, um, polished my contacts that I've made in my three, four, five years of precinct work. And, um, and I defeated the Republican incumbent in the -----------(??). And, um, all of sudden I got all kinds of attention. (both laugh) But I, and I will say this I was thirty-two at that time, so I knew that, um, not to take these new things here too seriously-- TUTTLE: --yeah. BAKER: (both laugh) Uh, people were interested in what I could do for them. But anyway, it was an interesting time. And, um, you know, I was practicing then with an older lawyer, we weren't partners or anything; I just worked for him. I just rented space from him. But anyway, I went off to the legislature and had a good time. As I tell people, I, I learned a lot, I met an awful lot of nice people, a lot of new friends. Uh, but I decided I didn't want to make a career of it. I was, I had a law practice, and I was interested in that. I was sort of -------------(??) in the legislature, and it was. Uh, and in respect to its, an early age, you know you have to be thirty-- TUTTLE: --um-hm-- BAKER: --to be in the Senate in Kentucky. And, uh, so, I was a little -------------(??) that. But, um, anyway, um, I, um, and then I was reelected in '73. So, I ended up serving eight years. And, um, and, uh. That was a long time ago. And, uh, but to me, it doesn't seem like such a long time. But, but it was. (Tuttle laughs) It was, what, thirty-seven years ago when I was first elected. BAKER: How did you initially get involved in precinct work? You said you worked in the precinct work-- TUTTLE: --what, good question. Uh, I had, uh, I guess the first person who ever campaigned for, and I saw him not long ago, Bob Matthews from Shelbyville was running for attorney general, uh, with the backing of the Combs faction of the Democratic Party. And that was pretty much the dominant faction at that time, Bert Combs faction was. And, um, of course, that, that year Combs was still governor and Ned Breathitt was elected that year. And, uh, I had an uncle from Hazard, an uncle by marriage, named Bill Engle(??), who had been in the House and in the Senate. And I had, I had talked to him about, uh, running. And, uh, and he recommended that I do. So, I, I said, "Well, I, I don't want to lose my law practice over this." He said, well, he didn't know any lawyers that ever served that did, who did not seemed to have improve their practice. (Tuttle laughs) So, uh, and he had introduced Bob Matthews, and I campaigned, -------------(??) campaign for Matthews in 1963. And, uh, of course, he won the election. And, uh, uh, then, uh, the following year was, uh, the year Lyndon Johnson went in. And as I mentioned early, you still had the remnants of the Fourth Street organization, and it was pretty much the old timers took care of everything. And, uh, so anyway, they had a Young Democrats project, and I said, "Well, all right." "What we're, we're gonna sign two of you to, uh, a precinct. And you go, and you be very deferential to this captain." And, um, so my partner for that precinct was a fellow named Glenn McDonnell(??), who was later a district court judge here. And, uh, there were two judges on the ballot that year, uh, Paul Keith and Tom Valentine. And, uh, a friend of mine from law school was a partner for Keith. So, McDonnell(??) and I were over at the courthouse, he, uh, introduced us. Keith and Valentine, we told them we'd campaigned for them, along with Lyndon Johnson. (Tuttle laughs) So, we went out and we did what we were told, we were very differential to the precinct captain. [telephone rings] And, uh, and we worked that precinct, we went and knocked on every door in the precinct three times. And, uh, of course, we did well with Johnson carried it, -------------(??) the precinct was down around the University of Louisville. And, um, so we, we did well, and those two judges got elected, and that, that helped the law practice. Valentine was always real nice to me after that. Cases came before the court(??). And, um, he later became a federal judge, uh, -------------(??)-----------. Uh, the following year, McDonnell ran for the House in the South End, in what part of the turnout of the, my Senate district. So, uh, we had a lot of fun. I was still in school; he was out. But we, we campaigned all through the South End. And he, uh, he had the endorsement of the organization, but he still had some opposition. But he won the primary, and then he lost the general election. But we learned a lot. And had a lot of fun. So, then during that time, the legislative district chairman of, uh, the House district in the downtown part was a fellow named Jim Thornberry(??). And, uh, Jim had been city safety director before that, and subsequently city safety director. Uh, but anyway, he was, uh, the legislative district chairman. So, I met him somewhere along the way, and he said, "Why don't you come up and work in my district?" And I said, "Well, I'm committed to helping Glenn McDonnell in this, this race in 1965." But I said, "I'll, I'll work next year." So, I made friends with him and committed to come back and work, because I already committed to working for McDonnell in the legislative district, other my own(??) uh, the legislative districts correspond to House districts, at least they did back then. And then, as it turned out, the Senate districts equaled the roughly two and a half House districts. So, my Senate district consisted district that Thornberry(??) had, and the one that Glenn McDonnell had-- TUTTLE: -- -----------(??)-- BAKER: --and then about half, I guess, half of another one, or maybe a fourth of, one fourth of two others, or something like that, I don't remember. But anyway, uh, I came back in, uh, '66, '67, '68 elections, and I did my precinct work. I think it was probably more of that back then than there is now. I'm not impressed(??) that they do much. I live in the suburbs and nobody ever comes up knocking on my doors, you know. I never get any phone calls. But back then, the clubs were active. And, um, it seems, and you would make your precinct work would make a difference(??), -------------(??) go back to their precinct and they could come out and vote for their candidate. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: Uh, I'm not active at that level anymore, and I don't know that they do that(??). But we did, we did, you did this active precinct work. And, um, a lot more knocking on doors and making phone calls. -------------(??)------------ But anyway, and then in '69, um, Thornberry(??), uh, ran for mayor. Frank Burke ran and Ron Mazzoli. And, uh, I, uh, had committed to Thornberry(??) and ended up being for him. But somewhere along the way, I thought I might go hedge my bet by running with ------------(??). Uh, whatever(??), they had, I think they had more patronage back then. I think they had patronage jobs and I thought, Well, you know, if I run and make a good showing, I don't win, they'll give me a job downtown. TUTTLE: Yeah. BAKER: Yeah. And I, I liked Thornberry and I was very loyal to him and stayed with him, I, I had the feeling that Frank Burke was gonna win, which he did. But Frank was a good politician. He still alive, by the way. Still practicing law, I believe. Uh, but he put Thornberry back in as safety director, as he had before under Charlie Farnsley years before. And then he backed Mazzoli for Congress in 1970, so Frank was, you know, like, I won the election, but, you know, I'm gonna help my former opponents. TUTTLE: Yeah. (laughs) BAKER: So, he's an old, old style Irish politician. He wanted to make everybody happy. Let me give you a job. But anyway, uh, I got into this race, you know, I, I didn't, what did I know(??). (Tuttle laughs) You know, I knew McDonnell and I ------------(??) McDonnell, but he lost his House seat, uh, four years before. And, uh, so, I, uh, as I told you earlier, uh, nobody thought I was gonna win, but I didn't know that. I got into it, you know, I got into, and I thought, this will be fun, this will be fun to win this, you know. And, uh, so, uh, and I, I had an uncle, another, blood uncle, the one I told you that earlier, an uncle by marriage. I had a blood uncle who'd run for representative of the House one time, that means he was related, he was my father's brother, he was related by blood instead of by marriage. But anyway, he had run for the legislature in 1955. And, uh, and lost(??). And then, unfortunately, he died(??) at very early age just after that. Uh, whatever that story, I don't know if there's any great motivation, but you had, um, some people in my family who had been interested in, you know(??), the legislature. And, um, and, of course, I think it, it, most lawyers have some interest in it(??), um. But, but anyway, uh, uh, I ran, as I told you earlier, I, I had this close primary and a fairly close general election, but then I won, I thought, Hey, this could be some fun, you know. So, off I went(??) to Frankfort. TUTTLE: Um, have you ever think things started to change, you said that people don't know their(??) own precincts anymore, and you all used to, when do you think that started to change over? BAKER: Well, yeah, um. That the, pretty soon after that, uh, I think the, the old, big city organization, which, uh, were heading on patronage, and, uh, all the other influence on welfare benefits, you know, they used that. Um, the political tools, and uh, that was the decline of that. Uh, I think it was in the decline in the sixties. You know, I think it was in decline farther, probably solely(??) by the age that it wasn't much to it. And then, the other, another factor that came into was television. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: You know, and it got to the point that so many people felt like that they had have this, you know, television campaign, which costs a lot of money. And, uh, and then the, if you get the money, you're likely to get it from special interests. Uh, you know, I might get a lot of two-dollar donations myself. Uh, I, I think, uh. It was, it was on the decline then and just declined further and then it was supplemented by television and high power -------------(??). TUTTLE: Um, who was the person that you ran against that the Republican incumbent that, was, was that the one that won by twelve or fifteen? BAKER: No, that was, that was in the primary and, of course, it was a very low turnout. And back then they had these, um, see, you had, the mayor(??), the alderman and, uh, I think most of the county officials were on the ballot back then, and then, in, in 1969. (sneezes) TUTTLE: Bless you. BAKER: Thank you. (sneezes) Oh. Oh. (pause) I don't think ----------- (??). -----------(??)----------- TUTTLE: No, that's fine. BAKER: And, um, I think the legislative races were way down on the ballot, and the legislature attended to that(??). Since then, they're up at the top. TUTTLE: Yeah. BAKER: (laughs) And, uh, so it was way down on the ballot. Uh, so, I guess, it was a fairly low vote. You probably had a pretty high vote, as far as the mayor's race, the county judge, that, that was a good(??), Todd Hollenbach was elected the county judge. And he won a tight primary too. Uh, but, uh, so that was a close vote, what, I can remember the number of votes that were cast, but it was fairly low number of people voting. And then, of course, you had a much bigger turnout in the general election. And I won that by about three hundred. But comparatively speaking, it probably was about as close as the primary. I mean, there was, uh, it was a close vote. That fellow was, uh, named Vernon McGinty. And I barely knew him. He was, uh, they didn't have any of these, uh, joint appearances, you know, where they have-- TUTTLE: --yeah-- BAKER: --the Rotary Club, or somebody, had you come in. I, I never appeared with him. And today, I think, you know, somebody will have you out at a joint speaking, you know, the Rotary Club, or the Lions Club, or somebody like that, the League of Women Voters, or somebody. Uh, but they, uh, they didn't do very much(??) back then. There was a lot heavier on, uh, Democratic -----------(??)-----------, they met once a month and you just better go. (both laugh) You don't ask one, you come out at their club. And you have to go out, and, uh, participate in the fundraising(??). Be there. I, I did a good job of that. Did my, did my homework. Uh, but, but did I answer everything-- TUTTLE: --yeah, yeah-- BAKER: --your question. TUTTLE: Um, did any of the, uh, elections after that, did they especially tight or -----------(??) BAKER: It, it, it got, it probably got a little bit easier, um, I ran against, uh, you, you had a, you had a rivalry between Todd Hollenbach, Harvey Sloane, Frank, Frank Burke was mayor from '69 to '73, and then Harvey was elected. And, uh, you know, anytime I, I had taken -----------(??) to the courthouse as a -----------(??), which is not, some people questioned that, uh, if, uh, if that was a conflict. I had some, one of the newspaper quoted in saying(??) that I had some ------- ----(??) on that, uh, -----------(??)-----------. There had been others before me who had, uh, stay -----------(??)-----------. But it was a, it was a pretty good political job. I had that. And, uh, and I, I guess I got caught in some of the friction between Hollenbach, and, uh, Harvey Sloane. So, a fellow named Welch, Marty Welch, his son is, uh, assistant county attorney now. City attorney(??). But, but Marty ran against me, and, and, uh, I mean, he had the backing of Sloane(??). And, uh, I won that election. And, uh, I never did escape ----------- (??) Republican opponent, uh, but I'm sure I had one. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: Uh, and then, uh, I ran actually ran in '77. By then, I, I got married in '74. And, um, I guess, we had our first child born in '76. Uh, I, uh, I lost the primary that year. And I do -----------(??)- ---------- well, you know--(laughs)--I wasn't(??) gonna stay forever, uh, anyway. So, I figured I have my family and I got my law practice. -----------(??)----------- And I maintained it pretty well too. I don't think it had the, it wasn't, well, my law practice was not doing as well had I not been in the legislature. Plus, the patronage job, anytime you take a patronage job, any kind of a political job, you need to understand that it ends rapidly. And it's not good to be dependent upon. If you have a law practice, it's pretty hard for somebody to take it away from you. So, you have to consider these things. Uh, I remember, uh, a conversation I had with John Stanley -----------(??) from Henderson. John had been in the House before I was in the Senate, and he was, I think, the same year I was elected, he was elected county judge. TUTTLE: Yeah. BAKER: And, uh, and then he just, after one term, he didn't run(??) back. He just, I think he just took a couple of appointment jobs with Julian Carroll after that. But he mainly stuck to his(??) law practice. And I remember asking John, I said, "Well, how do you do just chuck it all after you brought your way up, and got elected county judge?" He said, "Well, I had a family, I had a law license, and I thought, Well, sitting here, doing just what I keep on doing this, and if I keep on doing this, I'm gonna have to take a -----------(??)----- ------. I'm gonna need a law practice -----------(??)-----------. Just didn't want to do this." TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: So, I thought about that. And, um, John ------(??)-----------. So, I think I -----------(??)-----------. (both laugh) I'm pretty sure somebody told me that. I just can't be positive. Um, but anyway, I, that's, that's something to think about, you know, and, and, uh, then, uh, I served with, uh, with, uh, a fellow named Henderson. Let me double-check their names, I want to tell you it's right. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: Yeah, here he is. The fellow, uh, from Henderson who was elected the same time I was, a lawyer, -----------(??)------------. Uh, he stayed from then, he's still a member. TUTTLE: Oh, wow. BAKER: He was defeated in the primary. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: Two months ago. TUTTLE: Wow. BAKER: And, uh, he's seventy-five years ago. I guess he kept up his law practice. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: (laughs) He, given his age, I don't know if he has to worry too much about, uh, and, and I, and that's fine, you know. That, that, I, I didn't want to do that, you know. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: And I'm sure -----------(??) I understand that he was crushed when he lost. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: He just, he just couldn't believe that after all those years he would be defeated. Uh, I supposed you stay long enough that's the risk you take(??). TUTTLE: Yeah. BAKER: Uh, anyway, I, uh, uh, I thought about -----------(??) well, this is fine. I'm gonna move on. A lot of people who have the experience that I have, you know, served his time and -----------(??) they can't get over it. You got, got to run back, and they're mad about it, or whatever, and I, and I, I won't mention any names, but I've known some people who lose an election get, get real bitter(??). ------- ----(??)---------- still work, take care of my law practice, and I've been doing for lo these years, almost twenty-nine years. And, uh, I know that helped, and I had my law practice. And I know, I still have a pretty healthy interest in politics. Uh, I try to keep up with it, make contributions to people. Not, not a lot, you know, but show people that I'm interested. When I hear criticism of the legislature, I, I don't always get to say this, I, I done it a time or two, my, my reaction to that person is to say, "Well, you never serve." TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: Of course ------------(??)------------ you know. "Have you ever run?" They expect an answer. Then you ask, "Have you ever helped someone when they run? Have you, have you gone out and addressed envelopes for someone you thought would be a good candidate in the legislature? Have you ever given anyone any money?" You know, and, and if they haven't done that, I don't think they're in any position to criticize the legislature. You know, you, you have as good of government as you want. TUTTLE: Yeah. BAKER: You know, and I think that people before they're so critical of the legislature, because the vast majority of those people, and I'm sure this is true today, you know, you might say, "Well, there's more bickering and more partisanship than there is, but today than there was back again." Perhaps that's true, that's true, I don't know. But I do know, I'm satisfied that I know when I was there, uh, the vast majority, I'm talking 95, 98 percent of the people are working hard to do a good, conscientious job. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: And, and I expect that's still true today. And, um, it's, uh, sometimes it's a thankless job. And I'm sure those ------------(??) feels like geez, you know, the, the, the people in your district are thankless. (Tuttle laughs) You know. And, uh, but it's a thankless job, and you, you have to understand that. The more ------------(??) I think that fact(??). I don't think they get enough credit(??) for the hard work that they do, and it's, uh, it still got to be a sacrifice, whatever you're supposed to do(??). Time away from your law practice -----------(??), uh, whatever you do, uh, it takes a, a lot of time away, and it's, uh, the people who are not familiar with the process, you know, uh, are critical of it. People who have been there, or been close observers, like, someone working in the governor's office, someone that's a LRC staff, and, uh, uh, have been there and seen what happened, those, those people know that they work hard in trying to get their job, and, uh, I guess it's like what Bismarck said, uh, "If you wish to preserve the respect for sausages or laws, you should never observe either being made." TUTTLE: (laughs) It's, it's true. Um, do you think it's, it's sort of like, um, if you don't vote, then you can't really complain of the president, that sort of-- BAKER: --yeah-- TUTTLE: --setup, yeah(??). BAKER: Yeah. That's, that's right. And I, even if you vote, you know, that's, uh, uh, it, it's still helpful if you participate in these campaigns. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: I mean, they, if people would participate--and let me change this--if more people would participate and make a five-dollar contribution or a ten-dollar contribution. You don't have to give a five hundred dollars or two thousand dollars. But if you make, uh, if, if, a lot of different(??) people make a $5, $10, $15, $25 contribution. Uh, help the candidate, put up some yard signs. Uh, make some phone calls. Ask your friend to vote for this person, if you think it's a good person. If you, you have enough people to do that, then you can diminish the influence of the special interest that the candidates now feel like that they have to go to-- TUTTLE: --um-hm-- BAKER: --to get the television money. And the big budget money. You know, they feel, feel like they have to do that. Where else am I gonna do(??). Geez, my opponent's doing this and I have to do this too. But if you, once you get, and, and I think this is real, it'd be real interesting to see is the internet changed it, it has a, it has the power, the potential to do that. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: You know. If you get, if you got a somebody running for a, a House, let's say, and he, uh, he has a, a website started, and he gets people, you know, they've done this, to a minor extent, in presidential politics. You always you -----------(??) do this in a state legislative race. Say, look, you know, here's this fellow, he's a, here's his resume, he's a good fellow, and we think he can go to Frankfort and make a difference. Could you send him ten dollars? Could you knock on some doors, could you make some phone calls(??). I think it has the potential, you know, computers are gonna change the way we live. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: I mean, this, this maybe a way to change, uh, the legislature. TUTTLE: Um, uh, when you first came in, was there anybody who sort of acclimated you to the General Assembly, or sort of watched over you, or sort of pulled you in? BAKER: Well, we still had, uh, Louie Nunn was governor, Wendell Ford was lieutenant governor, and at the time the lieutenant governor was presiding officer of the Senate. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: And, uh, so, I got paid attention real fast. Julian did sent his office, sent me some about three or four weeks before election. It was a, a fact -----------(??) something on my opponent, they thought, Well, this guy may win. We better--(laughs)--send him something, so. But, um, of course Wendell was running for governor, and, uh, and he wanted it, he kept pretty tight control of the Senate. So it was, it was the old Sam ------------(??) about to get along, go along. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: And, uh, so that, uh, uh, was pretty much what I did, cause that's pretty much what anybody did who wanted to go along. Uh, Tom Garrett from Paducah was a good friend. Uh, he, he was later majority leader, I think, I think, Dee Huddleston was majority leader. I can't remember. He was elected U.S. senator. And Garrett, I think Garrett was in leadership. And he was, I was always pretty close with him. And, uh, of course, I along with fine with Dee Huddleston. And Wendell Ford(??). Uh, but, but Garrett was a good mentor. TUTTLE: Um, you said earlier that the, the General Assembly worked with your law practice. How did, how did sort of even out or fraction up, I mean, how much time did you catch yourself dedicating to government work and than your private practice(??)? BAKER: Well, quite a bit. They, um, they did have, um, we usually got out early on Friday, and, uh, you, you could usually be back in your office by, well, if you lived in Louisville, -----------(??), you could be back by two or three o'clock. And, uh, let me meet with a client or two, make some phone calls, check with your mail. Monday, they didn't start until late. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: So, you could come into the office a little while on Monday morning, typically. They had these all holidays that were piled up in January and February. And I guess that they would be ---------- --(??)------------. You know, you had Roosevelt's birthday, you had Lincoln's birthday February twelfth, Washington's birthday is the twenty-second. And, uh, it seemed to me, my memory is, those came on weekends, they'd end up rolling on Monday. So, you accumul-, so you got some, some extra time that way. And that was helpful. Um, um, in trying to attend to things at home(??). And, of course, you had Saturday you could, you could do some work. Uh, and as far, of course, since you were voting on judge's pay and pensions(??), you didn't have any trouble getting a case -----------(??). (both laugh) You could go in on Monday, and say, and in early February, say, "Judge," uh, and you know, you, you normally, you only get a two-week contingency on a case. You, "Judge, I'd like to get this contingency until April the first." "Yes, Senator, I believe we could accommodate you on that." (Tuttle laughs) So, that, that wasn't a problem. Uh, of course, I, I have, my practice was busy(??), you know, but it wasn't, uh, but it was a type of practice you pretty much needed to be here. So, it, it, uh, uh, I took a hit that first year. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: Uh, cause there was not a lot of type order of, what we used to call police ------------(??) type work, that's called ------------(??)- -----------. But if you wanted -----------(??), you didn't, you know, you had to, you had to move a little quicker on those cases. So, uh, that, that I didn't make too much money(??) after that session, but it wasn't so bad later on cause I, within a couple of years I developed a -----------(??) type practice. I wasn't so dependent upon those cases that you, when people call you up the night before and expect you to be in court the next morning. It wasn't dependent on, I had a few more automobile accident cases, and probate work, job, things that, uh, didn't require your constant attention. So, uh, it wasn't too bad. But it, it, um, it keeps you running. (both laugh) You know, I had my(??) and, you know, you have Monday morning, and you, sometimes you could, you could start back(??), you didn't have a committee meetings that got out, the session's over early for one reason or another, got through it at two o'clock, you might run ------------(??). ----------- -(??)------------ but it, uh, I was on the move a lot. I usually stayed just up here, I think, all four session, I kept a room in Frankfort. And, uh, I don't know, a couple of times I just, I had two sets of everything. You know, the -----------(??) extra shirts, and I could go to Frankfort, and didn't have to take a lot of stuff. Uh, you know, they didn't have to -----------(??). But if you did, if you did that, you could, you could run back a little easier. ------------(??)--- ---------. Uh, you could manage. You know, you just had to, had to manage your time. Of course, I, I was single during three out of four sessions. So, I had a fairly active social life. (both laugh) I guess you could say I had a good time. TUTTLE: (laughs) So was it, it was sort of like having apartment that you kept in, in Frankfort. BAKER: No, I never did have an apartment. Um, I had, um, the building's gone now, but it's there on the, on 60, near, um, I guess, it's 127. A place called the Herrin's Motel(??). TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: A little old-fashioned motel. And it had, uh, uh, you stepped out of your room, and there was a cart, a ------------(??)------------ old-fashioned type. Almost like tourist ------------(??), I guess you could say. But the Herrin's(??), I stayed there one session, the Holiday Inn. The Holiday Inn, I don't know what, the building's still there, I think it's a apartments now. And it, at about the same location. So, there on 60. Uh, right before you, well, it's a half-mile or so -----------(??). Uh, and there's a place over at east Frankfort that, and the state police ------------(??)-----------. That's, uh, a motel. I don't know remember the name of it. I stayed over there one session. And, uh, there was a fellow named Lacey Smith, and he's a good friend of mine, Lacey was from, -----------(??) stayed up from here in Louisville, the Highlands area. Lacey served about five years, I think. Uh, I saw him(??). But, uh, he, he stayed over there at the same motel one year. And, uh, I would go in, you know, especially to vote, I would vote ------------(??). I would go every week and pay these people. I'd go in and say, "Do you want me -------- ----(??)"--I forget what it was. It was about same amount each week; it wasn't anything additional cause I didn't get any room service. TUTTLE: Right(??). BAKER: Long-distance phone calls, or anything like that. I'd go in and pay them every week. And, uh, after the session was over, we're probably two months there after the session was over. Lacey called me up, and said, and he said, "Did you get a bill from the motel?" "No, why would I get a bill?" He said, "Well, for your room(??)." "Well, I, I paid them every week, Lacey." He said, "You did!" I said, "Yeah, I didn't, I thought I needed to, I didn't." He said, "Well, I got this bill for X amount of dollars. I mean, it seemed like a lot of money." I mean, it was, you know, thirteen weeks of, of a motel room, it was a huge(??) amount of money, at least by standards of that, those days. And I was surprised that he was surprised that he got a bill. (both laugh) That was the big surprise. The big surprise was how they would let him go and not pay them a nickel. TUTTLE: Yeah. BAKER: Then send a bill a month or two later. I, I supposed he paid them. I'm sure he, I'm sure he did. (Tuttle laughs) But that was funny. I always thought that was funny. TUTTLE: Did the, did the state reimburse you for that, or? BAKER: Well, yes, yes, and no. Uh, you had, um, not really. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: Uh, I mean, you got, uh, you were paid so much per day. And I think it, see, we technically met like sixty days at that, those were the days that you were actually, actually there, they didn't count these holidays-- TUTTLE: --yeah-- BAKER: --or weekends. And, uh, it was more like ninety days that you were there. [Pause in recording.] BAKER: You, you had the, um, the daily pay based on sixty days and then you had this allowance money, uh, which I think was based on longer; I think it was ninety days. Uh, and then, you had little things like this stationary allowance. What, they didn't care what you did with it-- TUTTLE: --um-hm-- BAKER: --you figured somebody would come along and figure, well, you know, we, we need to have more money but we don't want to call ourselves getting a raise, so we just, we call it something else. And, uh, you, you got that money; you did not have to account for it. Uh, and then, as you, if you wanted to spend it on a room, which I decided I did. If you wanted to drive back to Louisville every night, you could do that. Uh, if you wanted to stay with, with Uncle Joe in, in Frankfort-- TUTTLE: --um-hm-- BAKER: --you know, it didn't matter, they didn't care. But then when you went on these, I was on the Southern Legislative Conference, and I went four out-of-state meetings, then, and I went to one National Legislative Conference. And, uh, they paid the expenses on that. You, you didn't get any pay-- TUTTLE: --um-hm-- BAKER: --of course, but you got your expenses reimbursed(??). And, uh, so that was a pretty nice. And that, that was pretty much had to, to get people to go. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: And they was there, there was a number of, uh, seminar type meetings where you could go and they had some good speakers. And, uh, and, and you could learn a lot. From the time that those I went to, two of the principal speakers-- TUTTLE: --um-hm-- BAKER: --later became presidents of the United States. TUTTLE: Oh wow. BAKER: Yeah, we had one in Georgia at the time Jimmy Carter was governor and he was the guest speaker. The National Legislative Conference was ------------(??)------------. Uh, the, uh, the speaker was George Bush, who was then, uh, chief for ------------(??). TUTTLE: Hm. Um, so what, what happened at these conferences? They were, was it just like state legislators from all over the country? BAKER: Well, the national was, the one in Minneapolis was National Legislative Conference. And, uh, the others were what they called the Southern Legislator Conference, but it was really about fifteen or sixteen states. I mean, Oklahoma was one of them and Texas was one of them. I don't know the other states. But, um, I think ---------- --(??) probably was. Kentucky, I don't know about Missouri. And then other states that, that I guess you could say the old Confederacy of that, of those ------------(??) states, plus ------------(??)------- ----. But, uh. Maybe Missouri, I don't remember. And, and now, now ------------(??) that was not a state of the old Confederacy. TUTTLE: And so, was, was this a chance to sort of coordinate-- BAKER: --yeah, I'm sorry; I didn't answer your question. I'm trying to think who they were. Um, yeah, they would, uh, they had some pretty good staff. They had an office in Atlanta. And, uh, and the staff was pretty knowledgeable. And then they had speakers from different states and they, they have people from the federal government. And I was on a transportation committee. Uh, and, uh, they would run(??) a lot of things about mass transit at the time. And it was, the federal government was assisting the cities in, uh, mass transit. And, uh, they probably got money through that program to start TARP ------------(??). ------------(??)------------ on buses, ------------(??)------------. I mean, the city had simply bought them out as far as TARP(??). And, uh, of course it did good, service that, you had things like that, but they, they would give you ideas. Here's what the other states are doing, here's what the feds(??) can help you with, start this program, you probably got some federal money for it(??). And you had some knowledgeable speakers, and from the legislators, from the states, uh, the department heads from the states were speakers, and then the, some of the federal people who, uh, were very knowledgeable. And, uh, they could come and tell you what you needed to do to improve(??) this. So, they was, they was good(??). You know, their program; of course, they had a pretty good social life too. (both laugh) Had a lot of fun and they had them in resorts(??), and one of them was, one in Virginia was Leesburg(??), the one in Arkansas was, uh, hotel, a big ole hotel that had been in ------------(??). And, uh, yeah, they were, and I, I, as I know, they still do those. They, and I, I, it seemed like I read in the newspaper that they had one and they sent huge numbers of people, I mean, back then, you know, there were, if you had four people at the time, that was, that was a lot, you know, probably about par for those sessions, maybe a few more. But I remember one of them I went to, there were like four of us, four, five, six of us there to ----------- -(??) about it(??) and then, like, halfway through some others came(??). They probably just came for the, for the fun of it(??). TUTTLE: Yeah. (laughs) BAKER: But we, we worked. I mean, yeah, there were good; I learned a lot. Uh, meet some nice people. Uh. Oh, I want to tell you about the transportation bill. Uh. Once the Senate's in session, you can't get in. You, you know, former members have privilege of the floor, but if they're working as a lobbyist, then they're supposed to refuse that. Say, if you're just a former senator, the way I understand the rule, I could go there today while they're in session, if somebody was a member of ------------(??). (both laugh) And if I can convince them that I was a former senator, and then I was not, was not engaged in lobbying activities, I would have privilege of the floor. And then sit down and, and. But anyway, they, the doorkeepers kept it closed. They didn't care who you were. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: You just couldn't get in. And, um, I had went to the restroom(??), which is of course outside the chamber, and I, I went out the side door, I saw Frank Burke, I mentioned him earlier. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: Frank was mayor then. And I also mentioned how they probably got federal, they did get federal money in park(??), and Frank was standing there, two or four aides with him. How many of them(??), I don't know, Frank was. Frank had the bill then enabling had legislation for parks. And he must have had twenty copies. Standing like this with this huge stack of papers. And I mean it became(??) a stack of papers about two feet high. TUTTLE: Hm. BAKER: And he said, "Senator, we've got the park bill. We got to get it introduced today." "Mr. Mayor, I'll be right back. I'm going to restroom." And he said, and of course he thought I was trying to give him a brush off. TUTTLE: Yeah. (laughs) BAKER: He just had this skeptical look on his face. And I, so I went and came back and I said, "All right, how can I help you?" So, he said, "This is the park bill. You got to get it introduced. We're running out of time on it." I said, "Let me have it." So, I take this big two- foot high stack of papers. (both laugh) And, and handed, one look(??) at the clerk's desk. See(??), they weren't letting them in(??), they didn't care(??)-- TUTTLE: --yeah-- BAKER: --if he was mayor, they didn't care who he was. He wasn't, he couldn't get in. And, uh, so, they just ------------(??)------------. I had to the restroom to the ------------(??)--(Tuttle laughs). The way I (??) introduce, and then, since I introduced it, I got to take it on the floor, and it was, what we used to call a breeze bill. You, I mean, it, here's all this federal money, they're not gonna do anything to keep Louisville from getting this federal money. So, uh, it, uh, and I don't remember whether that was '70 or '72. Uh, but it didn't make any difference. You know, the, Louie Nunn was governor in '70, Wendell Ford was governor by '72, but it was a type of bill that didn't make any difference. TUTTLE: Hm. BAKER: Whoever was governor, it was gonna pass. But I take to it on the floor when it came up. And then that ended up putting me on this transportation committee in the-- TUTTLE: --oh-- BAKER: --in this council of state government committee. So, I just figured that little trip to the restroom got me five nights trip. TUTTLE: (laughs) All expenses paid trip. Um, when, when the General Assembly wasn't in session, um, how was the Senate work then? I mean, did it, did you, was that when the committees were still-- BAKER: --yeah, you have-- TUTTLE: -- ------------(??)-- BAKER: --you have, you have the joint committees(??). And typically, uh, the House member was chairman, as I recall, cause since they had two and a half times as many, well, what, you know, they have a hundred members; the Senate has thirty-eight. So, they, uh, there, there may have been some senators who were chairman, but my memory is usually was a House member. But there wasn't, they had their committee, it wasn't that big of deal. Uh, because you didn't do a whole lot that was binding anyway. I don't, I don't think that those joint committees had the authority to bind, uh, a subsequent session. And, of course, having House elections every two years, you know, there was no guarantee that all those interim committee members were going to be back. You know, but no guarantee with half of the senators were gonna be back, you know, because--but anyway, they just sort of worked the thing. It was somewhat similar to what I told you about the council at the Southern Legislative Conferences, the council of state governments. Uh, they, uh, uh, discussed new ideas, most of them, you know, and then they come back to the regular session, we need to look into doing this. So, you, you kind of got some preliminary work done on things that you knew you were gonna have to do. I mean, when you know what issues are-- TUTTLE: --um-hm-- BAKER: --you know what the problem is, you can figure, you know, we need to work on this when we come back in January. So, they, they were pretty interesting. Uh, and so I try to go to all of those. But, uh, and, uh, and they were usually, you know, one or two o'clock in the afternoon. You could come into your office in the morning, you know, leave around lunchtime, be up here, work a couple of hours, and, uh, maybe have dinner up here, come on back home. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: It was quick(??) TUTTLE: What sort of role did the L-, did the LRC play during that time? Maybe, there were, uh, better question is, uh, I'm trying to ask is, were they really helping(??) you out? BAKER: Yes, they were. The LRC was really good and I can give you a couple of examples. Uh, I, even though it trou-, and I always had the interest to, and this probably was right that I was on that transportation committee, there may have been a little more to it than what I told you about Frank Burke. But I always had an interest in, in, uh, highways, automotive safety, I don't think I was ever on the highways, the committee. But I had an interest in those matters. And it, you, and apparently it bugged me that the police cars had always these different colored lights. You know, some of the, the state police, I think, had blue lights; and some of the cities had blue; and some of them had red. I thought, Well, you know, this could be confusing, and it is confusing for somebody who has this car pulls up behind you, the lights are on, and-- TUTTLE: --yeah-- BAKER: --and they see a fireman who just wants to get it, get around you, or is it a cop who wants you to pull over. So, I was friends with the, with the, uh, fraternal(??) of police. Had a good(??) and the firefighters, both of those, which had, uh, good lobbies, I thought. And, uh, so, uh, I said, "You know, this, this is bothering me about these lights. Do you know, that is a problem." And, uh, I said, "Well, you, you know, we need to get these things changed, you know, so, uh, all the police cars have blue lights." TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: Or something, some kind of standardization. Cause in this, in this county, I mean, and the state police patrolled the outer fringes of the interstates. Of course, they have the right to pull you over in anywhere in the state, but they don't regularly patrol Louisville, except on these outer edges, you know, of the, of the interstate. But anyway, at that point, you had, as I said, I think all the Louisville cars had red lights; the state police had blue; St. Matthews in Shively and J-town had a mix. And I thought, Well, even in this county, you don't know who this is pulling behind you. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: So that's again, we need to standardize it. Well, there was a fellow, uh, a rural(??) ---------(??) lawyer named Norman Lawson working in the LRC. He's ------------(??)------------. A big ------- -(??) lawyer. And he just, he, he probably wouldn't done well in a big firm. You know, he, he didn't have the, uh, he was better off where he was, you know, doing this research in the LRC. He was really good at it. So, anyway, I told him, I said, "I want to do(??) this blue lights on police cars, you know." And they said, "Well, okay, that's Norman Lawson(??)'s area." They said, "You go see him." So, I remember we go see him. And Norman said, "This is acting new -------------(??) when you do this. Uh, actually we need a comprehensive revision of a number of things in this area, including, uh, not only standardization of these lights, but things like how close can you follow behind a fire truck, can you enter a block where there is a working fire." And a whole hatful of issues, you know. And he said, "I've been working on this(??)." And he said, "But I can't do anything until a member asks me to." I said, "Well, Norman, consider yourself having been asked." TUTTLE: (laughs) Yeah. BAKER: So, Norman did this compreh-, and there were a lot of conflicts in there. I think there were, I think there were two different statues on how far you were supposed to behind a fire truck. You know. If, if, if somebody, if you go on these guys who like to chase the fire trucks, and, and you actually get in the way of the firefighters, uh, and the cops come along, well, they give them a ticket, you know, and you got conflicting statues. You don't need nonsense(??) like this; you need to have the law clarified. So, then Norman worked on that, and, uh, and we passed that bill. It's been pretty much intact. Somebody came along later, and, uh, said, "Well, you know, you can have red and blue lights on a police car," and I guess that's not too bad. Uh, at least, you can see that blue light. And the statue's very specific. If it's(??) a blue light, you're obligated to pull over. At least, start to pull over. And he just wants to get around you, you can go on, but, uh, you, and if it's a red light, you're supposed to pull over and get out of the way. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: And if it's a yellow light, then you're supposed to be careful. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: Try, try to stay out of the way. But, but it, its three different levels of what you're obligated to, to do. And, uh, and I remember I represented a woman on this once, another provision in there that you're not supposed to--you're supposed to pull over if you see a fire truck. Well, once and while, those -------------(??) on Shelbyville Road, and if a fire truck's coming in the opposite direction, and she doesn't pull over. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: Well, what she didn't know was the fire truck was getting ready to make a left turn in front of her. TUTTLE: Oh. BAKER: (both laugh) So, uh, and they had the right of way. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: You had the lights, and the siren on, and, um, she, fortunately there was no crash. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: Um, but anyway, the police ----------(??) by and they gave her a ticket. And so, you know, I think we went to district court and, and worked out a deal, but, you know, I, I knew that well, there was no defense to this. I know what the statue says because I sponsored the bill. But that, that was a good one. Another, uh, time, uh. I can't think of this fellow's last name. -------------(??), I'll think of it in a minute. He was a LRC staffer. When I was chairman of the cities committee, and, uh, he had been a city manager in northern Kentucky. And he was very knowledgeable. I think he was a lawyer; I'm not sure. Anyway, he, he knew city law. He knew, uh, uh, about the laws that protected(??) a city. So, I came to him with a sewer bill. And it was very lengthy. And, uh, and I took three months(??) of doing it, taking away their -------------(??) you know, what -------------(??)- -(laughs). He came back and he said, "Senator, if you really dislike the people of Jefferson County, you should sponsor this bill." (Tuttle laughs) Well, I'm glad you said that. (both laugh) And I think some developers were behind it, I don't know. I, I didn't get snookered on it, you know. I didn't, some people came to me and said, "Can't you sponsor it(??)"--they came to me ready -------------(??) said, "Can you sponsor this?" I said, "I don't know. Let me have a look." I went back to them, "I, I can't do this." TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: "This is a bad bill and I'm surprised you're -------------(??)." And, uh, they wanted to know who advised me and I wouldn't tell them(??) -------------(??)------------- I can't, you know, but they, they were, uh, they were helpful in the regard. Uh, and, and what you could do, I mean, I had taken a bill writing(??) class in law school. I will probably only remember had, it was under Nate ------------ -(??); he works at Louisville. Nate was always a good professor and been a healthy -------------(??) government. And, and I didn't have a -------------(??), you know, but, uh, I, I would, could not have held a candle to somebody like Norman Lawson. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: Uh, you know, in all likelihood. I could do it, but it just a matter of time. And, um, but what, what you could do is you just you'd go see him. "Well, I want to do this." "Okay, you go see this person. See that person." "Here's what I want to do." Of course, they were very good about staying within the guidelines that you gave them, you know, uh. And they'd draw the bill for you. And, uh, so, I thought that was very effective, and I'm sure they, they equally effective perhaps better(??),uh. But yeah, they, they do a good job and a valuable service in it, probably one of the very, you know, they're not fully appreciate for their talents in some cases(??). But, uh, yeah, I found them very helpful. Uh, you still could tell them(??) what you wanted, they'd draw the bill. -------------(??). And then, of course, you end up running through committee. And, um, and, um, had to scrutinize there. Uh, I think, uh, some of the things that's frustrating, you got to look out for, another thing the area of highway safety that bothered me was the numbering system on license plates. They're not, not least thinking about probably not all that important in the overall, uh, help from the commonwealth, but it just--(laughs)--bothers me. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: They had a, had a numbering system that didn't make any sense. I think we do something like what they do in California, what I call the A-B-C-1-2-3. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: I mean, you know they had all numbers, and then when, when they go over a million cars, they ran out of numbers. So then Jefferson County was like J-1-0-0-0 through everything that a thousand that gives us, and then they'd go to K. J for Jefferson; K, that's the next letter in the alphabet; and L, and they were down to L. TUTTLE: Right(??). BAKER: And then they were beginning to do that in Fayette County. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: And, uh, -------------(??) if we do something, like, you don't have to be a mathematician to know you got a lot more numbers--(Tuttle laughs)--combinations, number-letter combinations, from A-B-C-1-2-3, you know. Uh, you, you run through those and then you go A. Anyway, I guess it start with A-A-A-- TUTTLE: --yeah-- BAKER: --and then A-B-A, or A-A-B, but anyway, uh, that gives you plenty of numbers. So, I thought, What, and I talked to some people in the license plate section. And they said, "Yeah, that's," they, they had a -------------(??), oh yeah, that's the -------------(??), so, so I mean, that's, that's a good idea, let's do that. Well, the next thing, I know, um, I got all these calls from -------------(??), "We want to meet with you and, and show you how to improve your bill." TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: You know, um, I, I look at it, the LRC looked at it, and I'm fine with it(??). Well, what was wrong with it, it didn't have the reflectorize paint on it. TUTTLE: Hm. BAKER: Which to -------------(??) on the patent, the process(??), and they still, I don't know, but they wanted the paint, and they said, "Oh, this is a great safety feature. It's like driving paint(??)on a license plate, -------------(??)-------------." You got taillights on your car, you got reflectors on your taillights, I mean, they're gonna see you anyway, you don't need this. And it was just, they, they tried and tried, and in the meantime, they saw I was gonna be difficult, so they started a companion in the House. TUTTLE: Hm. BAKER: And they actually put that reflectorize paint provision on it in the Senate in committee, and I got it taken off on the floor, we passed the bill, sent it to the House. They killed that bill in the House. And here came the House bill. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: With paint on it. (both laugh) And, uh, I ended up voting against it, but it passed. Julian Carroll was governor. He fixed the budget so it wasn't any, any money in the budget for the paint. (Tuttle laughs) So, they didn't get after all. But they were persistent. So, some later time after Julian's time, they came back, and, uh, as far as I know, it's on there now. Uh, but the, the, the paint is good, I mean, it's the same paint that you see on the stripes of the road. TUTTLE: Oh yeah. BAKER: And on the diamond, what they call a diamond tape, the, the red and white stripes down the side of the tractor-trailer bed. TUTTLE: Oh, okay, yeah. BAKER: It's one of those things that pull(??) the caution on a dark road, you know, it, it, it can look like a overpass at a distance. When you go under it, you know, you gonna come to(??) very serious pass. So, uh, -------------(??), and then the, uh, the interstate road signs that, it is widely used. And it has a lot of good uses that helped the federal safety but I don't think it helps on license plates. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: But that's, that's just another example. Of course, you know, if you get too frustrated about things like that, you know, you, you probably don't belong in the legislature. You're too idealistic, if you're, "By God(??), this is, uh, this bill is a turkey. Somebody's making some money off of this." And you just, you just got to shrug your shoulders, and go on, at least, we got sensible number-letter combination thing(??). TUTTLE: Yeah. BAKER: Uh. TUTTLE: Do you think you came in with more idealism than you, you let out with? I mean, did it, did it-- BAKER: --not really-- TUTTLE: -- -------------(??)-- BAKER: --it, it didn't -------------(??)-------------. I mean, I was, I had worked as a claim adjustor, I had worked as a bill collector. Uh, and, uh, I, I, I knew that you were not going to have perfection in getting things done. You know, you, you probably moved forward about an inch or two but I, ------------(??) you know, we made(??) a little bit of progress, but it's, um, I think that the few people that I thought were very idealistic who were frustrated by the legislative process(??), because legislation is a matter of compromise. And it's balancing economic interest, that's what you're doing. You're balancing economic interests. Um. And, um, it's probably not gonna be perfect. But you just do the best you can. But it's, it's necessarily going to be a law of compromise. I think that's what legislation is all about. That's what government is all about. And you just, just want to keep it fair for, for maximum number of people. But I guess it's like Winston Churchill said, "It's not, democracy's not perfect but it's better than any other system anybody(??) ever come up with." TUTTLE: Um, there's been talk before about there being a Louisville caucus, and a mountain caucus, and I think before it was formalized in anyway. Said they were sort of a voting bloc. Did you ever experience that? BAKER: Yes. Um, they, the, the collective wisdom I think was back then, I, human nature being one of these probably still true, um, they were looked at us, the people outside Jefferson County, said, "Well, look, if you all get together and if you want it, and you have substantial agreement, you have to have 100 percent. And you absolutely can't get agreement on what you're gonna do. And it's not something that's gonna impact my district, then I'm for it." TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: "But if you all can't agree, if you come up here 50/50 on something just concerning Louisville, we're not gonna get in the middle of it." And I think the same is probably true for the mountain caucus or the west Kentucky caucus or the any other area. You know, it's been, -------------(??)------------- see, you know, it has to be something that doesn't significantly affect the other part of the state. Uh, and, and, and you, you have to have substantial agreement on your group. Uh, they don't(??), they want to get along with everybody, you know, they're not gonna get into a family fight. People in -------------(??) said, "You know, if people in Louisville can't agree, you know why should we take sides." And I, I would be the same way(??), if, uh, if you had a mountain caucus, said, "Well, here's what we're gonna do with our coal severance tax money." Well, you all agree on it, and we'll, we'll go along with it. But, you know, if, uh, uh, you can't agree, we're not gonna get into it. TUTTLE: Um-hm. Um, you mentioned, you said that, talking about the social life that was in Frankfort, um, talk a little bit about that, say, I mean, you only work until, was it two, three, or? BAKER: Well, no, most days, some, some days you got through that early, but most days it was, it was like five or six o'clock. Uh, I, I don't know. There's some parties; there's some drinking. Uh, nothing really out of hand. Uh, you, you pretty much had to make your own social life. I mean, you know, like, about like now, there's still pretty -------------(??) restaurants, uh, bars. They, there were two or three places that you came to congregate. And, uh, not, back then it was the Holiday Inn, which, as I said, was up there on the hill around 60 and 127. I think it's over in the, I can't remember that(??) area. But it's in another location. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: As I recall(??). Uh, and then there was a place upon the top of the hill in east Frankfort, like, where the road to Georgetown cuts off. TUTTLE: Yeah. BAKER: Uh, Flynn's. Flynn's Steakhouse. It's a pretty nice place. And that, that was probably about it back then, those two. But, you know, you could go in--and, of course, I expect this has changed now by then- -I mean, you could walk into those places, and you didn't have to pay for dinner. You could be, you could be sitting there by yourself with just, not by yourself necessarily, but you and two or more senators sitting there eating dinner. I mean, we weren't poor or broke, anything. (both laugh) So, you weren't worried about it. But almost invariably, uh, somebody come along and grab the ticket. A lobbyist would grab the ticket. You probably get in trouble doing that now. TUTTLE: Yeah. BAKER: Uh, and you went, if you went in the bar, I mean, you, you drank some Scotch(??). Uh, but I expect that's different now. TUTTLE: Yeah. BAKER: Um, but it, um, they used to have something called the Assembly Ball. I was taking Jay Henry -----------(??) about this not long ago. And we were reminiscing. I said, he goes to church where I go, so I see him on a regular basis. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: So, we were talking about, he said, "Were you ever in my court?" "No. I -------------(??) practiced before you-------------(??)." "I think I met you at one of those Assembly Balls." I don't think they even have those anymore. They used to have these, they were supposed to be black tie, and the people in Frankfort would sponsored this, and it was a big dance and dinner. It was pretty much on its way out. I don't think they were doing it when I left. Like '70 and '72, I think they -------------(??)-------------. Assembly Ball, supposed to be black tie, I don't think I got a tux for it. You could go, if you were in the legislature, you could go--(laughs)--you know, you could wear a suit, but some of the people in Frankfort wore tuxes, the county officials and some of the news people, I guess(??). -------------(??)- ------------. TUTTLE: Um, you said that the lobbyists sometimes would, were ------- ------(??) the lobbyists that would pick up the tab. Um, I know that lobbyists now it's some crazy statistic, like, there's four lobbyists for every member of General Assembly, or something like that. Um, it was, it wasn't nearly that bad when you were there, but what sort of, what was the relationship, like, with lobbyists and with senators and representatives? BAKER: Well, they, they were pretty helpful, I thought. Um, some of them were part time. Some, some organizations have fulltime lobbyists. Um, it, the, the good ones came to you, like, of course, it was always courteous to you, pick up the drinks, you know, the dinner, whatever, invite you to some of their parties. Um, they didn't really ask for anything. You know, they didn't, it wasn't any kind of quid pro quo. And then if they wanted something, they come to you and say, "Well, here's this bill. We hope you can help us." TUTTLE: Hm. BAKER: Um, "But if you can't, we understand." They didn't want to alienate you for some future -------------(??). Some of the amateur lobbyists were pretty -------------(??) and, and could irritate you. But these usually were just unpaid, you know, one-shot deal type lobbyists. Somebody interested in one bill and nothing else. But the good ones I thought were helpful. And, and they would, they would tell you, say, you could ask them about the bill, and they, they'd be candid with you. Say, "Well, it does this and it does that." Who doesn't like it, who's was against it. Uh, I mean, you could make an intelligent decision. So, I, I think they were helpful, for the most part. That, that doesn't mean you could take their word of everyone every time. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: But for the most part they were helpful. Sometimes they didn't really know. Uh, I remember once I was on judicial committee. And Mike Moloney from Lexington was chairman. And the, the retail merchants had a, a nice fellow as their lobbyist. And they came to this really awful bill on shoplifters. And, uh, I guess I'd represented a couple of shoplifters, but I don't remember, but I remember what the law was. And I, and they came in, and they wanted this really awful bill that I thought was more punitive, I don't remember the details at the time, but it was more punitive than I thought it needed to be. And so I'm, I got this case of the, the existing statu-, I think it was an existing statue, and then there was a case, fairly recent case that interpreted that statue. So, I got those two items. And I'm, I'm showing them to Mike. And I said, "Mike, they don't need this bill. They've already got everything they need." And I didn't care who got credit for it, I just thought it was a bad bill. So, the fellow all came into committee and explained it, and Mike unloaded it. "Look, you've already got this. Here's this case. And here's this." So, I just sat there like the cat that had eaten the canary. (Tuttle laughs) And, uh, and let Mike, Mike take the heat, you know. Uh, so, but it, it was, it was a bad bill. They didn't need it. They had all they needed. So, and, and the fellow wasn't, uh, you know, being devious. He was working for this retail federation. Probably some lawyer working for them(??), came over with this bill, said, "Hey, we need this," and maybe the guy hadn't even looked at the existing laws, I don't know. Maybe he got one of those packages in the mail from the general counsel of the national retail federation, thought, Hey, this will be a good idea. You know, maybe, just somebody didn't know what they were doing. TUTTLE: Yeah. BAKER: And, and Mike and I straighten them out. TUTTLE: Um, I know, um, in the early days and while you were there, the, the legislature sort of started to have a little bit of independence. And, um, before, before that the governor sort of ran things. So, when you came in, the, the governor still had a lot of power, right? BAKER: Yeah, well, the, in, in my case, the lieutenant governor had a lot of power. TUTTLE: Okay. BAKER: Because that was Wendell Ford and it was no secret he was running for governor. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: And, uh, but, but the Louie was gov-, and Louie was a very effective governor. I thought Louie was a good governor. Um, he was, of course, you know, you play in politics, and I had to go with Wendell Ford, and I didn't have any problems doing that. I mean, you know, Wendell was a good guy, and he had a lot of good ideas. And, um, so I didn't have any problems, you know, being one of the, one of the regular guys. Um, but they, they would do things, like, um, they have a bill, and, um, they knew it wasn't gonna pass, and they would make you vote on it, and keep putting it up, putting it up. (Tuttle laughs) Just to -------------(??). Um, and maybe have, get somebody to campaign against you, I don't know. But I always stuck with the truth, so I didn't, uh, uh, I wasn't trying to start a revolution. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: And, uh, I, I never did, I never did put any significant length of time in anything that obviously being affected(??) by politics. I wouldn't say it didn't cross my mind. Uh, probably did. But, uh, but it didn't last very long. I liked practicing law, been practicing law, so on. But it -------------(??)-------------. So, and I've had a, uh, a pleasant career practicing law. Uh, I've had a good time. Made a little bit of money. Uh, didn't get rich. Probably didn't even intend to(??), but I, I have no complaints. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: I mean, it's been a satisfying career, and I think maybe the legislature was provides a good deal of that satisfaction. Because it gives you, uh, a different outlook. You know, it's unlikely that a person would say the things I said to you earlier about trying to help someone, make a contribution to someone who's running, it's unlikely, it's quite likely(??) that I would feel that way had I not served. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: But I've been there and done that, and I know, uh, I know what they have to put up with, and I know that the vast majority of them are doing(??) a good conscientious job in make, making Kentucky a better place to live. TUTTLE: Um-hm. Um, I know that John Berry and, uh, -------------(??) they started calling them the Black Sheep, and they, they did their thing in '78, I think. BAKER: I was gone then. Yeah, I remember reading about that. Yeah, they were, I served with John. And, uh. [Long pause in interview.] BAKER: I believe the fellow you're thinking about is John ------------ -(??). TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: He was a running -------------(??). Does that name familiar? TUTTLE: Yeah, that's, yeah, I remember -------------(??). BAKER: Nice fellow, very bright. Uh, he, uh, Washington Lee bachelors, U.K. J.D., masters of law -----------(??), he was steeped in the classics. He was very bright. Uh. Julian was still governor, so. And Julian kept a pretty tight grip on things. Uh. He, he was a strong governor. And, uh, they would, uh, let those fellows run, but I don't think they, I don't know that they, I don't mean to diminish their service-- TUTTLE: --yeah-- BAKER: --in any way. But I don't think they, I doubt seriously if they did a very effective job with thwarting whatever Julian was trying to do. TUTTLE: Was there any sort of, was, were they still trying to get the other, while you were still there? I mean, did, did you have any idea that they were gonna try to, to do-- BAKER: --not that I recall, no. I, I mean, I knew they, well, well, here's one story on John. And, and this leads us, this, it gets into one of my other stories. Um, in '74, I guess it was, uh, they have girls' basketball, my mother played girls basketball for Hazard in the late twenties and early thirties. She was on the state championship team in 1931 or thereabouts. And, uh, I thought, Well, you know-- [Pause in recording.] BAKER: I think the LRC and the, uh, my staff person for the girls' basketball bill was a -------------(??) woman named Nancy Pike(??). She, she was not a lawyer at the time. She, I think she later became a lawyer. Uh, so she drew the bill. A pretty simple bill. And pretty much said, you shall have a, if you have a boys' basketball team, you shall have a girls' basketball team this fall. If you fail to comply, you will lose your state money. (both laugh) TUTTLE: Pretty straightforward. BAKER: And then it had one little sentence about hardship. You know, and, uh, so, I brought that in, and it caught fire. Oh, it was outstanding. Uh, all kinds of people coming out the woodworks supporting that bill. And, uh, and we had hearings on it, and it got a lot of play in the press. And, uh, they had passed Title IX, you hear a lot about it now, it said it too. But that really didn't become effective until the mid-eighties. Um, and then it was directed more towards colleges, I think. I don't, I'm not sure, I guess it includes high schools, I'm not sure about, it's primary impacts on, you know, on colleges. And, um, they didn't implement the regs on it for a long time. And then once they implemented the regs, somebody filed suit against them. So, Title IX really wasn't effective for another, uh, twelve years or so. I told them, I said, "You know, this is the right thing to do. We ought to do it, instead of sitting around waiting for the feds(??) to tell us what to do." But anyway, the bill took off. Passed in the Senate. I knew that one trick was to let pass in the House and let it originate(??) in the -------------(??) and kill it in committee in other house. So, I paid close attention to it. Norb Blume was speaker. Um, I think we had a tough time getting, I couldn't get down there for some reason when it came up. Because, you know, you don't know when it's gonna come up. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: And unless you just want to sit down there all day and miss everything in the Senate, and the, and, you know, so I had to, uh, and you couldn't really effective(??) get somebody to call you when they brought it up. And I don't know how much good I could do anyway. If somebody's gonna vote against your bill, they don't care whether, they're gonna vote against it, whether you're sitting there or not. You're not gonna intimidate someone ending up a voting for a bill cause you're sitting in the gallery. So, um, anyway, um, I had, uh, a couple of good floor managers I recruited. And, uh, Norb, of course, it's all electronic in the House. You don't in the Senate. And, uh, Norb held the machine open for managers to round up people out of the restroom. People, they were, see, they were pressure votes the superintendants-- TUTTLE: --um-hm-- BAKER: --and ------------(??) former coaches. And, and it wasn't so much that they were against this, like, just send us the money, and we'll, we don't need you all in Frankfort telling us what to do. Just send us the money and we'll take care of it. Trust us, you know. So, um, the law, and, and, of course, the school boards were more powerful back then in political than, than they are now. And I'm sure all these people were pressured by the superintendants. So, one way to kill it, if you don't get forty votes in the House, the bill dies. You have to have forty votes. Well, Norb held it open. We had forty-four. And people weren't voting against it; they just weren't voting. They were trying to kill it by less than forty votes. But we, we got it passed. And I remember Wendell call me. And asked me about it, after we adjourned. Now, they didn't have comeback session like they do now, you know, cause if he vetoed it that was it. "What am I gonna do with this bill(??)" "Well, governor,"--of course, this is what, '74. He's running for Senate that year. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: (both laugh) And I don't think he want to make these women mad. (Tuttle laughs) I said, "Well, governor, the people who are trying to get you to veto that bill were afraid, they want you to do their dirty work during the dark night(??). They were afraid to come out and fight in the light of the day." Governor, I felt pretty good about that, I mean -------------(??)--(Tuttle laughs)--cause I didn't know he was gonna call me. (Tuttle laughs) I was just, you know, sitting over there, just thinking, The governor's on the phone, you know. And, and I didn't, I don't, I think I was on the phone before it got to the governor. TUTTLE: Hm. BAKER: And, um, so he signed it and it became law. Uh, I think the tornado hit that day. I never knew whether it became law because he had to run out of the Capitol or because he signed it. (laughs) But, uh, uh, that was in April of '74. And I, uh, so, well, back to John Berry. He told me later, he said, "You know, when you put that bill in, I thought that was the silliest thing I'd ever seen. I thought we should be up here worrying about more weighty matters of the state, and we shouldn't be wasting our time with silly stuff like this." TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: And he said, "I've come around to you," he voted for the bill, but he's just, like, well, this is silly and I'm gonna vote for it. But, um, he, uh, he said, "We had change our civic(??) club meeting night because that was the night that girls played basketball and we couldn't get anybody to come because they were all going to the ballgame to see their daughters and granddaughters and nieces play basketball." See, I knew that would happen. If you're basketball crazy all over the state, you, and, and they want to see the girls play. Particularly some guy who's a big basketball player, maybe a coach, and he's got four daughters and no boys. You know. And, and the girls are halfway athletic, you know, good genes maybe, you know. And this, this fellow is gonna want to see his girls play basketball, --------- ----(??) successful. Down in Floyd County, a girl named Geri Grigsby, and, uh, Geri was an eighth-grader. She was so good; they were trying to figure out how to get her on the boy's team. They said, "You can't play on a boy's team." Her daddy was, I think, he was superintendant, principal, he was a school official(??). He'd been a, he'd been a coach. It may have been her coach, I don't remember. And, uh, anyway once that bill passed, I thought, -------------(??)------------- build a girl's team around Geri. She still holds the record--boys or girls-- for the most number of points scored in one game: eighty-one. TUTTLE: Oh my god. BAKER: And she also holds the record--boys or girls--for the most points scored in a season. It's something like fifteen hundred. She, uh, so, she, she did real well for their team. And, uh, went to U.K. on scholarship. Became a lawyer. I met her about fifteen or twenty years ago. I never met, I had heard of her before. And, uh, so we, -------------(??) good to see you--(laughs)--she didn't know who I was but I knew who she was, you know. But never met. And, uh, I felt so good, this, this, whatever shortcomings they were, there's not many, but whatever they were, uh, serving in the legislature were all washed away by her comment to me. "Oh, you're my hero." (laughs) And, uh, but she's, she's a real nice woman. She, uh, she had a great time playing basketball. And, uh, we had a lot of fun with the girls' basketball bill. And I, uh, there was a group from Eastern in the late eighties. I got a call, my secretary got a call. Uh, she, she said, uh, "They want you to come to a dinner in Richmond at Eastern." And, uh, and this had been some of the good supporters, some of, one of my Eastern through that program, and also Murray, had been good supporters of the bill back in '74. And, uh, so anyway, I, there was some conniving I think between whoever called and my, uh, secretary. Anyway I went to lunch in Richmond, and they gave me this plaque you see over here on the wall. You can take a look at it before you leave. And, uh, Teresa Isaacs, who the mayor of Lexington, presented that to me. And, uh, so that, that was, that was pretty, but I guess that was my, uh, magnum opus for being in the legislature, passing girls' basketball bill. And, uh, a girl up at Whitesburg named Justine Richardson, uh, her parents are still up there. I saw something in the paper about them the other day. Uh, she, she, uh, a Yale(??) graduate, the last time I knew she was going to film school, somewhere in Michigan, I don't know where she's at now(??). TUTTLE: Hm. BAKER: She called up one day, and said, "We're, we're doing a little documentary on a basketball." And, uh, they wanted to interview me and my mother together. And my mother died last year at the age of ninety-three. Well, this was some time ago. But they made a little documentary. And, and they wanted to relate to what, what's the connection here between the fact that your mother played on this basketball team in the thirties and you introduced the girls' basketball bill in the seventies. And what's funny about was there really wasn't any connection. (both laugh) But--(laughs)--they're like, you're messing up their storyline, you know. TUTTLE: (laughs) Makeup a story. BAKER: (both laugh) Yeah, there's got to be a connection here, you know, -------------(??). I guess it was a, you know, an influence, you know. TUTTLE: Um-hm. You still keep up with girls' basketball? BAKER: Pardon? TUTTLE: Do you still keep up with girls' basketball? BAKER: Not a whole lot, no. Just I, I, I'm should, I'm a great believer in exercise. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: And, uh, I still exercise, and I -------------(??) I swim three times a week. And, uh, I've always done a little something involved exercise. And that was really the motivation behind it, uh, I remember telling these people, I guess, I think it was a newspaper story. I'd tell whoever would listen to me, um, that, uh, women didn't how, this thing -------------(??) could say this today, especially to someone your age, uh, women back then really didn't exercise. They didn't know how to do that. They'd been taught, you know, they're supposed to be cheerleaders. And, and they're not supposed to get sweaty and dirty. That's not feminine. And, um, I, I think the, the girls basketball helped in some small way to show woman that, that can enjoy(??) exercise. The guys know how to do it. You know, the guys played sports and they know -------------(??) had a big time. You know, they were -------------(??), they played some sports, most guys. I, I would still say most people don't exercise enough(??)-------------(??). Uh, they do a lot more than they did in the thirties, forties, fifty years ago. And, and you see about as many women, uh, if you go to the gym, or if, uh, one of these road races, these marathons, you see about as many women as -------------(??). So, uh, in some small way I suppose that's the truth that the, uh, -------------(??) cause if you do sports in school, once you get out of high school, you, you'll want to do, you're won't feel intimidate by it. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: And you can go out and exercise and, and women, and this might sound so quaint today because women know that they're not, they're feminine if they go out, sweat, you know, get dirty and sweaty, and that they know that that does not diminish their femininity in any way. But I'm not so sure that they needed that(??)-- TUTTLE: --um-hm-- BAKER: --thirty years ago(??). TUTTLE: Well, I got just a few more questions that I wrote down here. Uh, I wanted to, uh, ask you about partisanship and how Republicans have sort of--well, not sort of, they definitely come into a role that they never really had in state government before, before recently(??). Um, what do you attribute to that? Um, well, what do you think brought that about? Cause now we've got David Williams, Mitch McConnell, and Ernie Fletcher who -------------(??)-------------. BAKER: You always have even in the old day you had three definite factions; you have the conservative Democrats-- TUTTLE: --um-hm-- BAKER: --you know, liberal Democrats and the Republicans. And I think what's happened, uh, the Republicans have been able to convince large numbers of conservative Democrats that they are in the wrong party. TUTTLE: Hm. BAKER: And, and to paint the liberal Democrats as too of the ultra liberal northern Democrats. TUTTLE: Yeah. (laughs) BAKER: Uh, I, I don't think that's necessarily the case. But to answer your question, I think that's what happened. I, I think that, you know, just from an objective political point of view, uh, that, that's what happened. You know, they were able to convince the conservative Democrats, for whatever reason, you know, right, wrong, or indifferent, that that they had any business with the Democrats, they should be Republicans. And the Democrats have done a few things to shoot themselves in the foot. TUTTLE: Um-- BAKER: --but I, I, well, to give, given the present--(laughs)-- governor's, uh, troubles, um, you wonder--(laughs)--you wonder how effective all that is. TUTTLE: Yeah. BAKER: I mean, because conservative or liberal or whatever, you still have a governor. You know, I mean, most of this stuff doesn't lend itself-- TUTTLE: --um-hm-- BAKER: --to partisanship in any way. I mean, where's the money go? You know, it goes to education. It goes to the police. It goes to clean air and clean water. I mean, that stuff is not partisan. You know, everybody agrees with needing good schools, effective law enforcement, uh, uh, good courts. TUTTLE: Um-hm. BAKER: Uh, clean air, clean water. It just, I guess the difference is getting to agree. Hey, we, we agree that we need clear water, but you can't shut down this plant because they're not polluting the river that much. TUTTLE: Yeah. BAKER: You know, you get into those, those kinds of differences. You know, one side wants to close the plant down and one side wants to, you know, do some -------------(??). TUTTLE: Um, before you mentioned, you talked about the Combs faction and the factions in the Democratic Party when you first came in. How long did that last? When you were there, as long as you were there, were there always the two-- BAKER: --it was-- TUTTLE: -- -------------(??) factions? BAKER: It was pretty much on its way out. I think the last, the last go-around of it was, was probably Happy Chandler, Ben Chandler's grand-, granddaddy's last hoorah in 1963. Uh, he ran in a primary against Ned Breathitt who was -------------(??) by Bert Combs. And he lost. And, uh, Breathitt was, not only won the primary but was elected governor. And then it would be interesting to ask some Louie Nunn's people, when Louie was elected, how many of the Chandlerites they picked up. That's, that's what I was talking about when I said that the Republican captured the conservative Democrats. But that was, that didn't last long, I guess you could say, because the Democrats came back pretty, pretty strong after Louie Nunn. Uh. But. Oh gee, I don't know--(laughs)--we could, we could probably go on for a long time on this, but I try to give you a succinct answer. TUTTLE: Um, do you think that, do you think maybe the Nunn election was what broke that faction system up? Cause then the Democrats had to coalesce against the Republican Party. BAKER: Yeah, you didn't, I don't think you really had any, uh, any more of those, uh, uh, conservative factions, liberal faction(??) elections after that. I don't recall any. Uh, maybe a little bit, but, uh. I think most of the Democratic primaries after that was a matter of personality. TUTTLE: Yeah. Well, I believe that's covers everything. [End of interview.] Baker (Senate 1970-1977, 38th district; Democrat) describes his early participation in politics in the city of Louisville. He explains the importance of precinct work and campaigning for other elected officials to his political career in the sixties. Baker discusses the powers and personalities of Governors Wendell Ford and Julian Carroll and addresses how he balanced the demands of legislative service and law practice. He describes social life in Frankfort as a legislator and also discusses the importance of regional caucuses, lobbyists, the Legislative Research Commission, as well as state and national legislative conferences. Baker shares his memories of influential political contemporaries, including Tom Garrett, Dee Huddleston, Mike Moloney, John M. Berry, Jr., and Frank Burke, the mayor of Louisville. In addition, he also underlines his more memorable work, including codification of the emergency service statues and the reinstitution of girls' basketball bill in Kentucky. insert here