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Comment on Kentucky
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Al Cross, The Courier-Journal

This guest appears on the following programs:
Program 2727
5/4/01: Women and politics; the final weeks of University of Kentucky President Charles Wethington’s administration; President George W. Bush’s energy policy, which could mean happy days again for coal; the 2001 Kentucky Derby; and a tribute to the life of Kentucky writer and poet James Still. (#2727)

Program 2729
5/18/01: The foal crisis, Bush and coal, a tobacco buyout plan, the Comair strike, races for Congress, and state ideas about collective bargaining and smart growth. (#2729)

Program 2739
On this edition of Comment on Kentucky, host Al Smith and guests discuss Lois Combs Weinberg's fundraising campaign for the U.S. Senate race against republican incumbent Mitch McConnell, the one-thousand families on welfare that will be cut off this fall, and the growth in coal that maybe more of a hope than a reality. (#2739)

Program 2741
Join host Al Smith with journalists who cover state and national politics as they discuss the 250 candidates predicted for 26 seats on new Louisville council, the Lexington mayor's race that's shaping up along partisan lines, and the race for U.S. Senate. (#2741)

Program 2743
8/24/01: A tribute to the spirit and the heart of a courageous man who made medical history and a discussion of the politics of land stewardship: sprawl, tobacco, horses, mining, and taxes. (#2743)

Program 2752
10/26/01: University of Louisville biology professor Ronald Atlas discusses bioterror and bio benefits. Political reporter Al Cross gives an update on the leadership game in Frankfort. And Lexington Herald-Leader editorial writer Jamie Lucke talks about the arguments over the tobacco settlement money and the bailout of auction houses. (#2752)

Program 2813
Join host Al Smith and guests as they discuss the redistricting debacle in the state legislature; Governor Patton's lean state budget; casino-style gambling in Kentucky; possible changes in Medicaid payments; and the states in the running for a billion dollar auto plant. These stories and more on this edition of Comment on Kentucky. (#2813)

Program 2815
2/8/02: The Medicaid program—who should pay the bill for poor people unable to afford prescription drugs? A raise for teachers—local school districts oppose Gov. Patton’s plan. And changing our political culture—it’s still a power struggle, but of a different sort. (#2815)

Program 2818
3/1/02: Dr. John Shumaker is leaving the University of Louisville to become the president of the University of Tennessee. And with legislative leaders opposed, the new bill for expanded gambling at the racetracks looks like a very long shot indeed. (#2818)

Program 2821
3/22/02: Brereton Jones is out of the governor’s race—and so is Congressman Hal Rogers. Miners may breathe easier over black lung benefits. Slots at the racetracks are coming up short. A win in state court for Kentucky Attorney General Ben Chandler’s review of tax credit deals. And Sen. Mitch McConnell goes to federal court after losing his long battle against campaign finance reform. (#2821)

Program 2828
5/10/02: The fate of higher education in Kentucky without Gordon Davies’ leadership, church leaders’ response to alleged sexual abuse cases, and federal judges’ rulings on President Bush’s coal permits. (#2828)

Program 2830
5/24/02: A U.S. Senate primary and two congressional races; a challenge to Sen. David Williams and other key legislative contests; the mayors and metro city councils of Louisville and Lexington; and murder, mayhem, and mudslinging in the mountains: It’s round-up time in Kentucky politics. (#2830)

Program 2831
5/31/02: Wrapping up the primary. U.S. Democratic primary: A near upset leaves Weinberg wounded and Congressman Ernie Fletcher ready to run for governor. Lexington’s mayor’s race: The biggest spender was third. Challenge to Sen. David Williams: It didn’t work, so now he challenges Patton’s budget again. Louisville Metro races: not a magnet for voters, but it was a start for merger. Also, that X-rated campaign video gave the guy who used it some blues in the night—he lost. (#2831)

Program 2835
6/28/02: The state budget dies this Sunday night, with the government train wreck to follow. With no new budget, the governor, the legislature, and the courts are on their own. (#2835)

Program 2840
8/2/02: The state will need more money to reach education goals. That’s the message from Gov. Paul Patton as politicians flock to Fancy Farm to focus on another goal: getting themselves elected. (#2840)

Program 2852
10/25/02: As Congress adjourns with a sorry record of unfinished business, this question arises: Could the challengers in next month’s election really do any better? (#2852)

Program 2902
11/8/02: McConnell’s management and the Republican momentum. Females are a stronger force in state politics—even with Lois Combs Weinberg’s loss in the race for the United States Senate. The death of public financing for the governor’s race—another surrender by Democrats. And a question: Where are our best leaders? (#2902)

Program 2904
11/22/02: In a shaky economy, Gov. Patton lays out the budget choices: We cut services and pass the pain to the public, or we raise new revenues and perhaps go forward. (#2904)

Program 2906
12/6/02: The governor’s race begins with formal announcements from Congressman Ernie Fletcher, Attorney General Ben Chandler, and Kentucky House Speaker Jody Richards. The focus is more on the running mates than the issue of how to run a state with more to do than it can pay for. (#2906)

Program 2911
1/10/03: Gov. Patton and Kentucky Senate President David Williams play a cat-and-mouse game on the budget. Rebecca Jackson is in, and so is Bruce Lunsford—sort of. And a new government is born in Louisville. Guest host: Mark Hebert. (#2911)

Program 2913
1/24/03: A crisis in leadership. While Bush’s popularity falls over the economy and Iraq, most states struggle with harmful tax and service issues. In Kentucky, Patton asks for business support to protect the poor and schools, but the legislature seems mired in a political swamp. Meanwhile, candidates for governor tiptoe around alligators. (#2913)

Program 2914
1/31/03: The politics of running government in a shaky economy—Patton cancels early release of prisoners. In an election year, what does an “ugly” state budget look like? For that matter, will there even be a budget? Plus, the latest on some major political developments in the Commonwealth and the nation. (#2914)

Program 2916
2/14/03: Barrows’ sneak three-pointer to finish Rupp Arena clears the bench in budget-battered Frankfort. Both sides of the House flail the majority whip and call for a replay. (#2916)

Program 2918
2/28/03: Are slots dead? Is the budget alive? And who and what are the targets in Frankfort this week as the legislature’s blame game goes into the final inning? (#2918)

Program 2921
3/21/03: Basketball, the war in Iraq, and street talk across the Commonwealth—where the homefront also braces for another governor’s race. (#2921)

Program 2925
4/18/03: An Easter weekend discussion of the politics that now come to pass over the state. With a month until Election Day, the Democrats go to war on television, and the Republicans struggle with a war in court. (#2925)

Program 2927
5/2/03: Bring on the buses, buy up the airwaves, blow the horns: It’s make-or-break time in the governor’s race as we count down to the 2003 primary election. (#2927)

Program 2928
5/9/03: The last full week of campaigning. Republican Fletcher’s right to run upheld by the Kentucky Supreme Court. Rhetoric by the Democrats gets tougher. And newspaper editors continue to complain that relevance of talk in the governor’s race to real issues remains remote. (#2928)

Program 2936
7/4/03: Polls, malpractice insurance, and cleaning up state government—the latest developments in the governor’s race. Plus, Codell gets hit again, and Lexington goes smokeless. Guest host: Mark Hebert. (#2936)

Program 2939
7/25/03: Chandler vs. Bush for governor; Fletcher vs. Patton for governor. That’s not how the ballot will read, but for a while, that’s how the campaigns will sound. (#2939)

Program 2940
8/1/03: An on-the-road edition from Fancy Farm in Western Kentucky, the site of the annual political picnic that marks the kickoff of the fall campaign season. Reporters and a political commentator take us inside the event. (#2940)

Program 2942
8/15/03: The governor’s race is a race, is a race, and it’s getting more intense. The gap is gone, Democrats say, and the Republicans are probably ready to spend more money. (#2942)

Program 2944
8/29/03: Spinning the slots—how to be for and against gambling at the same time, especially if you’re running for governor. (#2944)

Program 2947
9/19/03: Air Wars—candidates roll out the television advertisments. Tobacco Wars—the buyout, tax hikes, and smoking bans. Budget Wars—new school and nursing-home lawsuits. And Patriot Wars—U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft in Louisville. (#2947)

Program 2949
10/3/03: In a Courier-Journal poll, the governor’s race is tied, Bush is still strong in the state, and slots are favored—but not smoking bans. Also, Tina’s take on who else is guilty, a Medicaid suit, and the tobacco buyout that isn’t a done deal. (#2949)

Program 2950
10/10/03: Ad wars in the race for governor. Bush comes calling. And was it a slam dunk or a dribble on the CATS scores? Guest host: Mark Hebert, WHAS-TV/Louisville. (#2950)

Program 2953
10/31/03: This is it—the scramble to victory. How are the races shaping up the last weekend before Election Day? (#2953)

Program 3001
11/7/03: It was Fletcher by 10 points in an impressive and gracious victory. But what does he do about a budget that’s off by a half-billion dollars—and who will help him do it? (#3001)

Program 3005
12/5/03: When Patton almost resigned: a new book about his legacy. A question for the new governor: Will Fletcher bond the debts? Who’s in and who’s out: cabinet comings and goings. Cover-up on Shumaker audit? U of L says no. (#3005)

Program 3007
12/19/03: Gov. Fletcher calls for spending cuts and tax reform—sooner rather than later ... plus other political developments. (#3007)

Program 3010
1/9/04: Gov./Dr. Ernie Fletcher wields a scapel on the budget. Education yields a big slice, and other agencies are also feeling the pain. But the first test of the new medicine finds politics still in the system. Meanwhile, the capitol press corps also discusses the first week of the 2004 legislative session, the 6th District congressional race, and agriculuture issues affecting the state. (#3010)

Program 3015
2/13/04: Fletcher’s road to tax reform, a poll that prefers service cuts to tax hikes, a ban on smoking bans, the University of Kentucky’s goodbye to Lexington Community College, a new president for Kentucky State University, and a new look at next week’s race for Congress. (#3015)

Program 3016
2/20/04: The politics of tax reform—Gov. Fletcher’s case, the Democrats’ response—and Ben Chandler, the Comeback Kid. (#3016)

Program 3018
3/5/04: Fletcher’s start-up problems—more road kill, more bickering over education—and reports from Iraq and the presidential campaign. (#3018)

Program 3021
3/26/04: Love and marriage in the House of Representatives, the muddle over money in the state budget, and the real realities of life in rural America. (#3021)

Program 3025
4/23/04: Connecting to Iraq; possible cracks in the state budget stalemate; court approval of smoking bans in cities; and, as always, scoring the game of politics. (#3025)

Program 3026
4/30/04: Gov. Fletcher sells his vision of Kentucky to visitors and to Kentuckians. Plus, a conversation about famous Kentucky products: coal; tobacco; bourbon whiskey; and of course, on Derby Eve, horses. (#3026)

Program 3029
5/28/04: Assessing the primary results for a clue to how the political parties will map the fall campaigns, and how a state government without a budget will wobble through until it gets one. (#3029)

Program 3032
6/11/04: Remembering former President Ronald Wilson Reagan. His legacy in Kentucky begins with Mitch McConnell’s election to the U.S. Senate in 1984 and tracks toward the Republican capture of the state Senate and the governor’s office. (#3032)

Program 3034
6/25/04: Fletcher’s first six months, Bush’s next four months, and more of those church-state issues: communion for Catholic politicians and the Ten Commandments on courthouse walls. (#3034)

Program 3036
7/9/04: Questions of the week: Sen. Edwards in Kentucky? A new budget plan by Democrats for Gov. Fletcher? A newspaper says it’s sorry over its civil rights coverage. And will Frankfort and Franklin County be the state’s next merged local government? Answers to these questions, plus an interview with a University of Kentucky history professor on civil rights. (#3036)

Program 3037
7/16/04: Inching toward a budget and trying on suits—Attorney General Greg Stumbo with the Public Service Commission and the Kentucky Press Association with the juvenile justice system. And U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell helps foster a compromise on the tobacco buyout program, but it’s not a done deal. (#3037)

Program 3039
7/30/04: This week’s top stories, including the presidential race, the Western Kentucky special election, and the workers’ comp mess, plus a recognition of the esteemed career of retiring political writer Al Cross. (#3039)

Program 3113
1/28/05: A tax hike for Medicaid? No glamour on one side of the tracks. Also, Bush looks ahead while U.S. Senator Jim Bunning looks back. Mark Hebert, state capitol reporter for WHAS-TV in Louisville, hosts a roundup of this week’s political news and a preview of the governor’s State of the Commonwealth address next week. (#3113)




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