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Al Cross, Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at UK

This guest appears on the following programs:
Program 3040
8/6/04: We’re live from the campgrounds of the annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Western Kentucky. Guest host Mark Hebert talks with reporters about the political events of the week at the site of the fall kickoff spectacle for political campaigning. (#3040)

Program 3041
8/13/04: The politics of block grants: spreading the hay where the goats can get it. (#3041)

Program 3042
8/20/04: Closing the gap in Paducah: a back-to-school story. Summit in Somerset: Gov. Fletcher, U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, and Congressman Hal Rogers come together to promote the 5th Congressional District. The State Fair’s new base customer: It’s not your daddy’s farm anymore. And those FLOW signs in Lexington, “for local ownership of water.” (#3042)

Program 3047
9/24/04: Gov. Fletcher calls for a special session on health care benefits for state workers. Is it a reach for a cure or a cover? Also, dirty air in Louisville and stormy clouds over the University of Kentucky. (#3047)

Program 3051
The legislature gives state employes a health benefits package that averts a teachers' strike. But, not everybody's happy. And, the Bunning-Mongiardo race for U.S. Senate grows more interesting. All politics this week on Comment on Kentucky. (#3051)

Program 3101
11/5/04: Rural voters and moral values—as the nation went, so went Kentucky. But the split over what’s moral widens, and the problem for Democrats deepens. (#3101)

Program 3102
11/12/04: A celebration of Comment’s 30th anniversary with host Al Smith, author Bobbie Ann Mason, radio host and author Bob Edwards, and journalist Al Cross. (#3102)

Program 3108
12/24/04: The tobacco buyout and a first-term Republican governor without a budget are just two of the stories discussed in a review of the year. (#3108)

Program 3109
12/31/04: Fixing the budget—more quarrels over tax changes and a new agricultural economy. Plus, predictions on what’s to come in Frankfort in 2005. (#3109)

Program 3110
1/7/05: Rep. Jody Richards continues to serve as speaker of the Kentucky House. The Senate splits over seating a Louisville candidate and prompts the resignation of one GOP senator. And a national anti-tax foe, Grover Norquist, visits Frankfort. This was the first week of a new session of the Kentucky General Assembly. Guest host: journalist Al Cross. (#3110)

Program 3122
4/1/05: The struggle for better education—are we slip, slip, sliding away? Vacancy on the Kentucky Supreme Court—Judge Keller steps down. Plus, 30 years of commenting on Comment on Kentucky. (#3122)

Program 3128
5/13/05: Fort Knox is losing its Armor Center, along with 3,000+ personnel. Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky are losing corporate headquarters in the Cinergy/Duke merger ... hello, Charlotte! And Kentucky may get that Toyota hybrid car, but who will lose benefits as airlines dump pensions on Uncle Sam? Ask a coal miner if it hurts. (#3128)

Program 3136
7/8/05: A special edition from the Old State Capitol in Frankfort to celebrate the renaming of the Kentucky History Center after the late Dr. Thomas D. Clark, historian laureate of Kentucky. Host Al Smith and guests discuss the history we are making, the history we are celebrating, and the history that disturbs us. (#3136)

Program 3142
8/19/05: Republican Senate leader David Williams describes the political problems of Gov. Ernie Fletcher as “a mess.” What’s the fallout here? What is Sen. Mitch McConnell’s viewpoint? What is the fate of Republican chairman Darrell Brock? And what about the governor’s second-term ambitions? His date with the grand jury? His standing in the polls? (#3142)

Program 3151
The Kentucky Attorney General goes to court trying to block a pardon for Governor Ernie Fletcher's indicted former chief of staff. Two VIPs of the Kentucky Republican Party join the ranks of the indicted in the state hiring probe. KHSAA leaders defy member's vote on Proposal 20. Sue Wylie, veteran talk show host with WVLK-AM in Lexington guest hosts. (#3151)

Program 3152
“No more indictments!” That’s what Governor Ernie Fletcher wants a judge to tell the grand jury in the merit-hiring probe. The judge must decide how far the Governor’s controversial pardons go. A native Kentuckian may be on the Top Ten list of President Bush’s choices for the U.S. Supreme Court. The old debate on diversity is back on the UK campus. And, School’s out, but not by choice, for a Kentucky trade college. Sue Wylie, talk show host on Lexington's WVLK-AM guest hosts. (#3152)

Program 3201
11/4/05: The attorney general asks the governor for his personal computers and Blackberrys, and the governor’s office says it would be an invasion of privacy. As state health officials continue to wrestle with problems at Oakwood, others scope out a very different Medicaid program for the poor. And the King of the Roads gives up his crown. Guest host: Al Cross. (#3201)

Program 3208
12/23/05: Top stories of the year ending and a look to the year ahead. Al Smith and guests review the merit job investigation, the war in Iraq, the state’s economy, education, and the legacy of the late Dr. Thomas Clark. (#3208)

Program 3209
12/30/05: Continuing their review of the year ending and predictions for 2006, Al Smith and guests discuss the 2006 Kentucky General Assembly, Medicaid, gambling, the big ballot box in the ’06 elections, and the 2007 governor’s race. (#3209)

Program 3211
1/13/06: Will the new legislature be like a second term or a second chance for Gov. Ernie Fletcher? How will he finance his wish list, especially education? How divisive is the Fletcher agenda? And what about those Louisville Democrats—are they all shook up? (#3211)

Program 3214
2/3/06: Inside the big ballot—those record filings. Coal’s role in energy independence. And could a run for more tobacco taxes help the schools? (#3214)

Program 3222
3/31/06: Legislative leaders reach a budget agreement. And with the lawmaking session in its final hours, outcomes are in view—the good, the bad, and the ugly. (#3222)

Program 3230
5/26/06: Five more miners are killed, pointing up conflicts with coal—pressures to produce more for energy, but also a pause for safety. (#3230)

Program 3236
7/7/06: Cash crops, campaign cash, and another blow to Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s reelection prospects. Guest host: Jamie Lucke, editorial writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader. (#3236)

Program 3245
9/8/06: Trey Grayson sends a signal that he might not move down the hallway to the governor’s office. Immigration becomes an issue in the Davis-Lucas congressional race in the 4th District ... or is it a dirty trick? And U.S. Rep. Ron Lewis’ military record becomes a target. Guest host: veteran broadcast journalist Ferrell Wellman of WLAP-AM/Lexington. (#3245)

Program 3246
9/15/06: Louisville’s Ford plants are safe—for now. Also, Fletcher’s second team for a second term (perhaps), outgoing Education Commissioner Gene Wilhoit’s big shoes, and another contract for Oakwood. (#3246)

Program 3302
11/10/06: Democrats come home in Louisville, where Yarmuth defeats Northup. In this state, as elsewhere, Iraq was an issue and a down grade on Bush. But other Republicans hold on. U.S. Sen. McConnell won’t be majority leader, and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers loses juice. Congressman Ben Chandler likes Washington even more, but Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson and former Gov. Brereton Jones better decide about running for governor soon. (#3302)

Program 3303
11/17/06: State Auditor Crit Luallen and Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson are out of the Democratic race for governor. So even with low, low ratings and a critical grand jury report, is Gov. Ernie Fletcher that much of a long shot for a second term? Does Republican gubernatorial candidate Billy Harper keep other GOPs out of the primary? What is Congressman Hal Rogers thinking? And what does it mean to Kentucky to have U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell as minority leader and Mike Duncan as national Republican chairman? (#3303)

Program 3305
12/1/06: Ben Chandler chooses Congress over the governor’s race as other Democrats dither. Ernie Fletcher files for re-election, and the Democrats debate who can take him out. Also, a look at our changing culture, business, and politics. (#3305)

Program 3306
12/8/06: The United States Supreme Court hears the Jefferson County school desegregation case and will decide whether race can determine where students attend class. Attorney General Greg Stumbo wants the Executive Branch Ethics Commission to reconsider whether it’s still a conflict of interest for him to run for governor. The Democrats are still deciding who will enter the primary—it could be Steve Beshear. And educators and officials debate how the ACT should be used in Kentucky schools. Guest host: radio talk show host and veteran journalist Ferrell Wellman. (#3306)

Program 3308
12/22/06: Part 1 of our annual review of the year’s top stories. Ben Chandler’s decision to stay in Congress may have been one of the better blessings for Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who had a bad year—and may face a worse one. (#3308)

Program 3309
12/29/06: A review of big stories and interesting trends of 2006. Politics: a weakened governor, but how much traction do the Democrats have against him? The Judiciary: somewhat entangled in politics, but featuring more diversity and new faces. Energy and Economy: Coal booms, but more miners die and mountains are scalped as politicians dodge the outcry of critics. Money: a state budget, finally, with funds for higher education and a Louisville arena. Human Services: Oakwood is outsourced and Medicaid revised, but there are other issues. Changing Culture: smoking bans, seat belts, easing of liquor laws, and gay issues out of the closet. (#3309)

Program 3314
2/2/07: Three Republicans and seven Democrats are set to compete in the May 22 gubernatorial primary. And Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro falls to complications and is euthanized. (#3314)

Program 3321
3/23/07: Is Big Blue basketball too much for Coach Tubby Smith—and too much for Kentucky’s own good? The pension clash is a cliffhanger, and the fate of favored projects is in doubt in the final days of the legislative session. And we present notes from a reporter’s handbook on how citizens can play the game of politics by asking the right questions. (#3321)

Program 3327
5/4/07: The governor’s race: Is there truth in advertising? Yes and no. We consider views from the east and west, from Pikeville to Elkton. And, we dicuss the new nominations for big jobs in education and the economy. Buy why now? (#3327)

Program 3330
5/25/07: A stunning post-election poll shows the Democratic nominee way ahead on Memorial Day weekend. It’s a long road to November. Can Gov. Ernie Fletcher win back 100,000 Democrats? Will Steve Beshear’s promise to boost gambling revenues get him in the governor’s office? And, Stan Lee vs. Jack Conway in the attorney general’s race: The down-ticket promises that we are in for a preach out as the politicians turn up the piety meter. (#3330)

Program 3340
8/3/07: A view of politics down on the farm: Comment goes on the road to Western Kentucky for a preview of the annual political theater in Fancy Farm, Kentucky. (#3340)

Program 3342
8/17/07: Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s ethics: He signed a deal admitting mistakes and indictments were dropped; this week an ethics panel gives him a pass. More giving: The legislature is closing an incentive package in the millions of dollars for Peabody Coal. But The Wall Street Journal says this is part of the worst corporate welfare scheme in U.S. history. The farm economy: Kentucky smothers in drought, but farmers at the state fair worry about more than weather, such as the unfinished Farm Bill in Congress, energy, trade, and immigration issues. And, do burley growers still need a co-op? (#3342)

Program 3404
11/23/07: Medicaid bomb blasts Steve Beshear. Is Sen. Mitch McConnell on the run, and if so, from whom? And, we take a look at the 21st-century Kentucky media. (#3404)

Program 3408
12/21/07: Greg Stumbo prefers Kentucky over K Street. Jonathan Miller fends off the rumor mill. The budget is bad and Medicaid reforms didn’t help. (#3408)

Program 3437
Legislators try to get in the driver's seat to permit electric cars. The price tags for higher education and criminal justice give officials sticker shock. More details about the federal investigation at the University of Louisville. U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell promises a loud campaign, and money talks. (#3437)

Program 3444
Obama and Kentucky Democrats, unity or lip service? What's the relationship between McCain and Kentucky's top Republican? McCain's choice for Vice-president, any impact here? What happened to an earlier probe of the Transportation Cabinet? And Kentucky gets zapped? Might be a good thing. Guests: Stephenie Steitzer; Frankfort reporter for The Courier – Journal; Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism at the University of Kentucky; and John Cheves, reporter for the Lexington Herald- Leader. (#3444)

Program 3504
The most important election facing Kentucky is closed to the public- Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives. Is Senator David Williams the Republican front-runner in the next race for governor? The chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party is expected to step down. And, the governor will get some ideas on how to cut prison costs. (#3504)

May 1, 2009
Panelists: Cross, Stotelmyer, Warren (#3526)

June 12, 2009
Panelists: Blackford, Cross, Stotelmyer (#3532)

July 3, 2009 (recorded July 2, 2009)
Panelists: Alessi, Cross, Glasscock (#3535)

September 25, 2009
Panelists: Cross, Warren, Yetter (#3547)

December 18, 2009
Panelists: Blackford, Cross, Yetter (#3607)

January 29, 2010
Panelists: Alessi, Cheves, Cross, Yetter (#3613)

April 2, 2010
Panelists: Cross, Loftus, Warren (#3622)

November 19, 2010
Host: Bill Bryant of WKYT-TV substituting for Ferrell Wellman
Panelists: Cross, Dorsett, Truman (#3703)

April 1, 2011
Host: Bill Bryant of WKYT-TV substituting for Ferrell Wellman
Panelists: Cross, Ellis, Truman (#3722)

July 29, 2011
Panelists: Arnold, Cross, Patton (#3739)

September 30, 2011
Panelists: Cross, Downs, Lucke (#3748)

April 6, 2012
Panelists: Bryant, Cross, Loftus (#3823)

August 17, 2012
Panelists: Brammer, Cross, Ellis (#3842)

October 26, 2012
Panelists: Cross, Ellis, Van Benschoten (#3852)

March 8, 2013
Panelists: Alford, Cross, Ellis (#3919)

May 3, 2013
Panelists: Alessi, Brammer, Cross (#3927)

June 28, 2013
Panelists: Alessi, Cross, Loftus (#3935)

July 26, 2013
Panelists: Arnold, Cross, Loftus (#3939)

August 30, 2013
Panelists: Blackford, Cross, Loftus (#3944)

September 27, 2013
Host: Bill Bryant of WKYT-TV substituting for Ferrell Wellman
Panelists: Alessi, Blackford, Cross (#3948)

October 18, 2013
Panelists: Cross, Hall, Wheatley (#3951)

January 3, 2014
Panelists: Brammer, Cross, Wynn (#4010)

February 7, 2014
Host: Bill Bryant of WKYT-TV substituting for Ferrell Wellman
Panelists: Brammer, Cross, Loftus (#4015)

May 2, 2014
Interim Host: Bill Bryant of WKYT-TV
Panelists: Cross, Patton, Van Benschoten (#4027)

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