SUCHANEK: The following is an unrehearsed interview with former StateSenator Wilson Palmer who represented the 30th District. The interview was done for the University of Kentucky Libraries Kentucky Legislature Oral History Project. The interview was conducted by Jeffrey Suchanek on September 26, 1990 at Mr. Palmer's office in Cynthiana, Kentucky at 1 p.m. [Pause in taping]. Okay, today I'm talking with Mr. Wilson Palmer. Mr. Palmer, to begin I like to get to know a little bit more about you. Could you tell me your full name and when and where you were born?
PALMER: My full name is Everett Wilson Palmer. I was born and raised inHarrison County where I lived.
SUCHANEK: What year were you born, sir?1:00
PALMER: Nineteen seventeen.
SUCHANEK: Nineteen seventeen. And the date?
PALMER: May 9, 1917.
SUCHANEK: May 9th. Okay. Can you tell me a little bit about yourparents, their names and their occupations?
PALMER: My father was a farmer. His name was Hervey Palmer, my motherwas Clara Palmer, and they were both from Harrison County.
SUCHANEK: Uh-huh. Has the Palmer family been in Kentucky a long time?
PALMER: Been in Harrison-this family is, my family has been in HarrisonCounty for over, I'd say, 150 years or something-
SUCHANEK: A hundred-and-fifty years, is that right?
PALMER: great grandparents.
SUCHANEK: So your line goes way back in Kentucky then?
PALMER: My grandfather was born in 1855.2:00
SUCHANEK: What was his name?
PALMER: Vinson Palmer. V-I-N-S-O-N. And my grand--, my mother was aFlorence and her father was born in 1856.
SUCHANEK: I see.
PALMER: (Unintelligible) part of my grandfather. And the home placewhere my father lived joins my farm, and it-my father lived there and my grandfather lived there and my great grandfather lived there.
SUCHANEK: Well, I see.
PALMER: Not all were Palmers, but they all, my grandparents.
SUCHANEK: Is that farm still in your family?
PALMER: Yeah, it's the adjoining, it's the adjoining farm to my farm. Iown it.
SUCHANEK: You own it?
PALMER: But I never lived there.
SUCHANEK: I see.
PALMER: I married before my father lived there.
SUCHANEK: Now, do you remember what your grandparents did for a living?3:00Were they farmers, too.
PALMER: They were farmers, both of them.
SUCHANEK: Where did you live when you were growing up? Did you live onthat farm?
PALMER: I lived on the farm.
SUCHANEK: Where at in Harrison County?
PALMER: Kind of northeast out at 392 Republican Pike.
SUCHANEK: Okay, uh-huh. Do you have any brothers or sisters?
PALMER: I had two brothers and two sisters.
SUCHANEK: Are they older or younger?
PALMER: One brother was older and one brother was younger, the twosisters were younger. My two brothers are deceased. And my two sisters are still living.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Where did you go to school?
PALMER: I went to Buena Vista High School, that was a county schoolhere, one of six in Harrison County before the mergers, and you got one 4:00county school now, one in Harrison County, that's where I went to high school. I went to U.K. for two years.
SUCHANEK: What year was that?
PALMER: Thirty-six, seven and eight.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Was your high school a large high school?
PALMER: No, it was, oh, I'd say, I don't know how many students were init, but fifteen or twenty graduated every year.
SUCHANEK: I see, um-hm. Do any teachers that you had stand out in yourmind as having made an impression on you?
PALMER: Any what?
SUCHANEK: Any teachers, can you remember any teachers that-
PALMER: Oh, sure.
SUCHANEK: that might've made an impression on you that stand out inyour mind?
SUCHANEK: And can you remember their names?
PALMER: Mr. Case was at Buena Vista. He later became superintendent of5:00schools in Harrison County.
SUCHANEK: What subject did he teach?
PALMER: He taught history.
SUCHANEK: I see.
PALMER: And he may have taught some Latin, I can't remember exactly.
SUCHANEK: Do you think he had anything to do with the grounding of maybeyour political philosophy over or-
PALMER: Yeah, he was, he was interested in politics. He taught civicsin high school, I think.
SUCHANEK: I see.
PALMER: I don't know.
SUCHANEK: Was anyone in your family, going way back to yourgrandparents, interested in politics at all, or were you the first one in your family? 6:00
PALMER: Oh, I think I was the first one that ever got into it very big.
SUCHANEK: What did your family think when you decided to go intopolitics?
PALMER: They thought I was, I'd have trouble winning. When I, thefirst race I run I ran against the incumbent who had been in there for twenty-four years in the State Senate. He had defeated everybody there who ran against him. But I was fortunate.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now, as a youngster growing up, were you involved anyextra curricular activities like sports or the speech club or anything like that?
PALMER: I think I was on the debating team for a little while. And Iwas, we had a basketball team and a baseball team. I played on both 7:00of those.
SUCHANEK: Did the debate experience help you once you got on the floorof the senate?
PALMER: No, I don't think so, it's too far back.
SUCHANEK: (Laughs), okay. In what year did you graduate then?
PALMER: High school?
SUCHANEK: Okay. And when you went to, and when you went to U.K., didyou have any particular major in mind or any course of study that you were interested in?
PALMER: I had a bunch of electives, but I think I was most interestedin business.
SUCHANEK: Now, that was during the heart of the Depression?
PALMER: That's right.
SUCHANEK: How did you manage to get money to go to U.K.?
PALMER: My parents and my grandparents helped me. My mother was an onlychild. We were just like her, my brothers and sisters were just like children to my grandparents on my mother's side. 8:00
SUCHANEK: Now, did any of your brothers and sisters go to college?
PALMER: Yeah, my older brother went to U.K., the Army got my youngerbrother, and both sisters went to college. They didn't graduate, but both went for a couple of years or so.
SUCHANEK: Now, do you remember how you met your wife?
PALMER: No, she was, I don't really know how I met her because she didlive only three or four miles away from where we lived.
SUCHANEK: Oh, I see. You knew her as you grew up?
SUCHANEK: I see, uh-huh.
PALMER: She went to a different high school than I did, but I knew them.
SUCHANEK: Was she from a large family?
PALMER: Uh-huh. She had about four brothers and two sisters. No, onesister.
SUCHANEK: When did you get married then?9:00
PALMER: Nineteen thirty-nine.
SUCHANEK: And I know you have at least four daughters, is that right?
SUCHANEK: You have five daughters, okay.
PALMER: All teaching school.
SUCHANEK: They're all school teachers?
SUCHANEK: Do they all live here in Harrison County?
PALMER: Three of them do, the three youngest ones. And one of themlives in Jamestown, New York.
SUCHANEK: Oh, is that right?
PALMER: You know where that is, probably.
SUCHANEK: Yes. Yes, uh-huh.
PALMER: Well, we were up there a couple of months ago for her daughter'swedding.
SUCHANEK: Is that right?
PALMER: The other lives in Meade County, Brandenburg, down below.
SUCHANEK: Sure, uh-huh.
PALMER: She teaches business.
SUCHANEK: I see.
PALMER: Her husband is assistant superintendent. And the one in NewYork teaches in a junior college or a business college or something. And the three others are teachers in these elementary- 10:00
SUCHANEK: I see, in Harrison County?
PALMER: Uh-huh. One of them teaches the gifted, one of them tests, doestesting, the other teaches the third grade.
SUCHANEK: Well, that's interesting that they're all involved ineducation.
PALMER: Um-hm. Three of them went to Eastern Kentucky University. Twoof them went to U.K. All of them got the right one or the right two or whatever it is.
SUCHANEK: Now, when did you decide to get into, involved in politics?
PALMER: Well, I was kind of, I don't know when I did. I was working onSenator Barkley's race, well his last one probably, and I always just, 11:00for several years I was interested in local politics but I never did, later I made up my mind to run for the Senate.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. In local politics, is that where you first metSterling Owen?
PALMER: I probably kind of grew up with him.
SUCHANEK: I see. Did you go to the same high school with him?
PALMER: No, they lived out here in Cynthiana. He's about my age, Iimagine. Three of those boys. And all three went to U.K. at the same time, I think.
SUCHANEK: Now, when you decided to run for state senator, did someoneapproach you and ask you to run, or was that your own idea?
PALMER: Well, I think when I really got interested in it, I was a member12:00of the Harrison Rural Electrical Board, that's an electric co-op that furnishes electricity for this whole area. And there was a piece of legislation pending in the legislature, and two or three of us went over from the, representing the board in behalf of the bill. I got to watching them and it kind of appealed to me and started thinking about it and decided one day I might run for that seat, which I did.
SUCHANEK: What did you think your qualifications or experience were thatmade you qualified to run for the Kentucky Senate? What did you feel that you had going for you?
PALMER: Well, I'd been involved with the Farm Bureau, been involved with13:00Southern States, had been on the board of the Harrison Rural Electric for several years. And all those organizations you've got to keep up with what's going on politically and (unintelligible) Washington or where and just kind of got acquainted that way.
PALMER: And I knew in the districts I was representing, would berepresenting, that I had to do a lot of contacting, which I did.
SUCHANEK: Contacting whom?
PALMER: Well, everybody that I could, but especially the countyofficials and the political leaders and-
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now, I'm not at all familiar with Harrison County14:00politics, but was there, was Harrison County at that time, in the late '50s, early `60s, was, I know that was a Democratic area, it was mainly a Democratic area is that right?
SUCHANEK: Okay. And as I said, I'm not familiar with this, but wouldyou say that it was more of a pro-Earle Clements area or more of a pro- "Happy" Chandler, you know, the different factions in the Democratic Party?
PALMER: I think it kind of split.
PALMER: Combs, I mean I might've been Clements on one side and "Happy"on the other. I think "Happy" was right prior to when I ran. Let's see, he won in `51, `61, `50? 15:00
SUCHANEK: He was in from `56 to `59.
PALMER: Yeah, that's right. Combs won it.
SUCHANEK: Right. Yeah, Combs won in `59.
PALMER: Well, I'd say that Combs was stronger politically when I ranthan Chandler was in this district.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now-
PALMER: But Chandler has always been strong in this area.
SUCHANEK: I think Sterling Owen mentioned to me that he had worked on aChandler campaign at one time or something-
SUCHANEK: that's why I asked that. I didn't know whether, you know,whether this was a, more Chandler or more Wetherby or Clements or Combs area. Were you known, then, to the local political leaders here in Cynthiana in Harrison County? 16:00
PALMER: Yes. See, in `59 Combs ran for governor. He ran in `55 and wasdefeated, he ran again in `59 and was elected. But I was his campaign chairman both times-
SUCHANEK: Oh, I didn't know that. Okay.
PALMER: in Harrison County.
PALMER: And I got acquainted with all the other county chairman in thedistrict, senatorial district in those two races.
SUCHANEK: I see.
PALMER: And so when I got ready to run, I started contacting someof Combs' campaign chairman and co-chairman and women chairman and whatever it might be-
SUCHANEK: Sure, sure.
PALMER: good nucleus.
SUCHANEK: Right. So the Combs' administration, then, did help youduring your campaign?
PALMER: I'd say they were favorable to me.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, the man you had defeated, as you said he was a17:00veteran of the Kentucky Senate for twenty-four years, I think he was called the "Dean" of the Kentucky Senate. That's a pretty big piece to bite off and chew, isn't it-
SUCHANEK: to take on the "Dean" of the Kentucky Senate?
PALMER: For a little upstart like me.
SUCHANEK: (Laughs), it sure was, yeah. Now, just for my owninformation, once you were in the Senate, did you ever contemplate or you, where you ever approached about running for a different office, say, congressman, or U.S. senator or maybe even governor?
PALMER: Oh, they mentioned they liked me for succeeding John Watts whenJohn Watts died, Congressman Watts.
SUCHANEK: Oh, is that right?
PALMER: Bill Curlin was the (unintelligible), wasn't he? Do you think18:00that's right?
SUCHANEK: I think so. And they approached you as, if you would beinterested in running?
PALMER: Well, I was mentioned. I don't know whether I was approachedor not.
SUCHANEK: Uh-huh. Would you've been interested?
SUCHANEK: Why not?
PALMER: I don't like to live in Washington, D.C.
SUCHANEK: Okay. You're-
PALMER: I've been there a few times.
SUCHANEK: you're a Kentucky boy and you wanted to stay one?
PALMER: I'm a green country boy.
SUCHANEK: Okay. There was H. Stanley Blake, was he more of a Chandlersupporter, then, in the Senate and that's why, perhaps, Combs was happy to throw his support behind you?
PALMER: I don't know. Combs, I think, for various reasons he supportedme because I'd been his campaign chairman a couple of times. I think 19:00he did it for, return the favor.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, how did you campaign in your first race? Did yougo door to door? Obviously with six counties that would be kind of difficult to do. Did you have TV spots or radio spots?
PALMER: No. Radio. I, my wife and my kids and my brother and awhole lot of my family went out and helped me. I'd take, go to town somewhere and I'd say whatever town, take my wife and kids and maybe some other kids going door to door.
SUCHANEK: So you did do door-to-door salesmanship sort of. The people20:00knew who you were when you introduced yourself?
PALMER: Yeah. See, most of them did after I advertised in the localpapers.
SUCHANEK: I see.
PALMER: Put a picture in there a few times and I got acquainted. Iremember one of the times, one of my daughters was, handed out some cards and campaigning for me, and this fellow was up on a ladder doing something and he said, "You bring that card up here and I'll vote for your daddy." And she went right up that ladder with that card.
SUCHANEK: (Laughs), now, that's loyalty.
PALMER: She wasn't afraid of the ladder. But my kids helped me, andthere's a lot of things. I used to farm. I was farming when I ran for the State Senate had a Grade A dairy and a whole bunch of turkeys and the kids helped me. They can milk that bunch of cows if I wasn't at home. If I was gone away they could take care of everything, girls 21:00at that.
SUCHANEK: What did your wife think of you being a state senator?
PALMER: She was for it. She got out and campaigned; took some peopleand go to Robertson County and to Bracken County.
SUCHANEK: Did you have a campaign manager, so to speak?
SUCHANEK: Okay. And I guess this is more of a modern thing, you didn'thave anything like pollsters or anything like that?
PALMER: No, no.
SUCHANEK: Uh-huh. When did you finally realize that you had a chanceto win?
PALMER: Well, I think I felt like I was going to win all the time.
SUCHANEK: Now, I know the Cynthiana Democrat practically, if not infact, endorsed you.
SUCHANEK: How did the newspapers treat you over the years here in22:00Cynthiana, and in other papers throughout the state?
PALMER: Good. The Falmouth Outlook endorsement one time.
SUCHANEK: The what?
PALMER: The Falmouth paper.
SUCHANEK: Falmouth paper. Uh-huh, uh-huh.
PALMER: Maybe more than once, I don't, can't remember.
SUCHANEK: Now, as I recall, you didn't have much trouble defeating Mr.Blake in the primary.
SUCHANEK: And in the general election you had no opposition. As youprepared for your first legislative session, did you think your primary responsibility when voting on issues would be towards your constituents or to the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a whole? In other words, if a bill came up that would benefit Cynthiana and Harrison County or the 23:0030th District, but perhaps would be detrimental to the rest of the state, what was your position on that?
PALMER: That's a tough one. I never had any situation like that thatI can remember, but I tried to represent my constituency. But I guess if I'd had to make a decision on something like you're talking about, I had to see what it was and how much it affected my district and how much it affected the state as a whole. But-
SUCHANEK: Did you have any issues came up that, perhaps, later on inyour tenure in the Senate, say, on air or water pollution that might've affected some industry or business in your district unfavorably, but 24:00was good for the environment in Kentucky as a whole, anything of that nature?
PALMER: Don't recall anything like that.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, when you got to the Senate, Bert Combs is alreadygovernor entering his second session. Back in 1962, did they have a pre-legislative sessions before the regular session?
PALMER: Yeah, they had them on, at Cumberland Falls.
SUCHANEK: Cumberland Falls. And is this where the Democratic leadershipwas elected for the upcoming session?
PALMER: That's where they were chosen. I don't know whether they waselected or not. Was a forgone conclusion who was going to, who they were going to be.
SUCHANEK: Now, back in those days, the governor had a lot more powerthan he does today-
SUCHANEK: and it was basically the governor who picked the leadership of25:00the Senate and the House. Is that how you remember it?
PALMER: Well, I knew he had a great influence, and he wanted leadership,he wanted favorable leadership to get his program in because he wanted enough votes in the Senate to get his program in, too. But I remember that the, they were favorable to the governor, `62. I can't recall exactly who all they were, but I think Jim Ware was the majority leader.
SUCHANEK: Right, right. Now, being a freshman senator, I doubt that youwould've been invited to the meeting of Governor Combs' inner circle in Cumberland Falls to decide on the leadership in the Senate. 26:00
PALMER: I can't remember.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, Combs did pick Alvin Kidwell as president pro tem-
SUCHANEK: in `62. You're right, James C. Ware was majority floor leaderand Jiggs Buckman was caucus chairman.
SUCHANEK: Now, I'm curious as to how that worked. Were these men'snames placed in nomination for the respective positions by someone and then the rest of the Democratic senators voted, or more or less just rubberstamped the governor's choices?
PALMER: I think they voted-
SUCHANEK: But as you said, it was a forgone conclusion?
PALMER: I can't remember exactly, but I think the Democratic caucuselected them.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, Wilson Wyatt was still lieutenant governor-27:00
SUCHANEK: after having lost his U.S. Senate race to Thruston Morton.How active was Wyatt during the second half of Combs' administration?
PALMER: Well, he was active, if that's the word you want.
SUCHANEK: Was he a presence in the Senate, or was he kind of justlicking his wounds after the Senate defeat?
PALMER: Oh, he was presiding.
SUCHANEK: But did he, what I mean is, did he wield a lot of power inthe Senate?
PALMER: Well, I think he and Combs were real close, and I think heinfluenced the governor and also had influence with the Senate. Of course, there was the Democratic control, I don't know what it was, 28:00thirty to eight or something like that. What was-
SUCHANEK: I'd have to look, but it was something overwhelming like that,yes.
PALMER: Yeah. I don't think he was, showed much, I don't think thewounds showed very much.
SUCHANEK: Did you ever work closely with him on anything?
PALMER: Oh probably so, but I can't remember what it was.
SUCHANEK: What was he like as a man and as a leader?
PALMER: He was a fine fellow, a good leader and very intelligent, veryfriendly. He always knew you, had a good knowledge of somebody, where you came from. He was well-informed, I thought, a good man.
SUCHANEK: I understand that he and his wife used to give a lot of social29:00functions over at the lieutenant governor's mansion.
SUCHANEK: Do you remember going to any of those?
SUCHANEK: Now, in your first session, you were made Chairman of theCommittee on Administrative Agencies-
SUCHANEK: and vice chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and StateFair.
SUCHANEK: That's pretty good for a freshman senator, isn't it?
PALMER: That's right.
SUCHANEK: How did you manage that?
PALMER: Oh, I don't know. I just, told me do the best I could.
SUCHANEK: Were you known to the leadership of the Senate? Did Al--, didyou know Alvin Kidwell before you went in?
PALMER: Yes. Yes, and I knew Jim Ware, too.
SUCHANEK: How did you know them?
PALMER: Well, I just met them, met Mr. Kidwell over in Grant County, Ithink. And Jim Ware, I met him down at the park, Cumberland Falls. 30:00
SUCHANEK: They must have sounded you out on, you know, what yourposition would be on-
PALMER: I think the campaign (unintelligible) appreciation for me beingfor him.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now, freshmen weren't always given chairmanships,were they?
SUCHANEK: Okay. So, apparently, your chairmanship of the Combs'campaign here in Harrison County must have persuaded him that you would be a safe bet to put in charge of a committee-
PALMER: Administrative agent. Must have.
SUCHANEK: Right. Now in addition, you were also put on the powerfulAppropriations Committee as well as Rural Roads and Highways and Public Utilities. Now, you mentioned that you were on the board of 31:00the Harrison Rural Electric Cooperative, so being on Public Utilities would've been a real nice committee for you to get on.
PALMER: It would be something I'd be informed real well.
SUCHANEK: Were you able to ask for what committee that you wanted to beon? Did they ask you, or were you just kind of assigned as a freshman?
PALMER: I was assigned. I probably asked for Agriculture because I wasa country boy.
SUCHANEK: Now, do you recall Combs having any trouble with the committeechairmen, especially on Appropriations, for any of his bills like the budget bill?
SUCHANEK: Now, what role did you play as a committee chairman? What wereyour duties and responsibilities?
PALMER: Call the committee meetings and, of course, they were assignedby the leadership to certain committees, whenever I got enough bills 32:00I'd call a meeting and we'd take some action.
SUCHANEK: How effective were the committees back in the early '60s?
PALMER: They were right effective, most usually, most of the bills thatthey voted favorably upon or got on the board was voted upon.
SUCHANEK: Did you have time to hold hearings and call in testimony, orwasn't there time enough to do that in the sixty-day session?
PALMER: Oh, we did, we had people come to the committee meetings in theirbehalf. The way I think, I can't remember from one session to another-
PALMER: when we had on, when we had hearings.33:00
SUCHANEK: Now, would there be debates in, amongst committee members-
PALMER: Oh, yeah.
SUCHANEK: on various bills?
PALMER: In the committee room?
PALMER: Yeah, there were pros and cons.
SUCHANEK: Do you remember any, I mean, what were those meetings like,those debates like? Did they get wild and wooly, or was it fairly, was the spirit of cooperation evident, or what were those like?
PALMER: They were quiet most usually, and people expressing theiropinion but in a nice manner. I don't remember any hot rowdiness.
SUCHANEK: And, I suppose, part of your job as committee chairman wouldbe to moderate between-
PALMER: take control of the meeting.
SUCHANEK: Right, uh-huh. And perhaps cut off debate after a certaintime-
PALMER: Yeah. Most usually, a lot of times the meetings were rightprior to the convening of the House or the Senate, and that kind of allocates the time, generally. Get as much done as you could before the session began.
SUCHANEK: What can you tell me about Bert Combs? What kind of governorwas he?
PALMER: I think he was a real good governor, one of the best we hadlately. I think he tried to do something for Kentuckians, progressive and, of course he had to have money to do it. And he put on the 3 percent sales tax veteran's bonus, it was an opportunity to get some 35:00revenue to do other things for, but I think for education he did a great job and for the highway system did a wonderful job.
SUCHANEK: Now, he was the one that first began the Mountain Parkway, isthat right?
PALMER: That's right.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Of course, he was from eastern Kentucky and that wouldbe a priority for him. Did Combs like to get involved in all aspects of the legislative session or was he mainly concerned with his own bills, and after that would be kind of a hands- off type governor?
PALMER: I don't remember him having much, making much effort except onhis own legislation, the ones that he was personally concerned about. 36:00
SUCHANEK: Now, was he the kind of governor who would call you in to talkto you about specific legislation, or did he prefer to work through the Democratic leadership, or just how did he operate, do you recall?
PALMER: Well, I don't remember getting called in, maybe one time.
SUCHANEK: Do you remember what that time was?
SUCHANEK: Okay. So you would say he preferred to work through theleadership then?
PALMER: Yeah, I think so.
SUCHANEK: Do you have any favorite Bert Combs stories you like to sharewith us?
PALMER: I can't think of any. I might between now and tomorrow sometime.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Do you recall what your impressions of the legislaturewas during your first session? Was it a little disappointing to you or 37:00was it more exciting than you ever could have imagined it?
PALMER: It wasn't disappointing because I'd been there a time or twoand I knew about how they proceeded, but I wasn't, I just, I think I enjoyed it at the first session. And I enjoyed it from then on, but the thing I really enjoyed wasn't necessarily, maybe, the legislation that was acted upon, it was all the fine people all over the state I met. I still see, still know a lot of them. Of course, it's changed a lot since I was there; not very many in there now that was there when I 38:00was there, Jim Bruce maybe.
SUCHANEK: Yeah, I have to go through my list to see.
PALMER: I don't know.
SUCHANEK: Was Moloney there, Mike Moloney?
PALMER: Yeah, he's in the Senate. He took, I don't know whose place hetook, Gip Downing or-
SUCHANEK: Could have been.
PALMER: Bobby Flynn maybe.
SUCHANEK: Were you surprised at all by the political infighting goingon between Combs supporters and Chandler's supporters or Waterfield supporters?
PALMER: No, I wasn't surprised because I knew that there'd been acontroversial, I knew Earle Clements and Chandler didn't get along. 39:00Earle Clements was a, kind of picked Bert Combs, helped pick him anyway. But I wasn't, I knew that there was a faction, two factions when I went in.
SUCHANEK: Now, later on in your career you were kind of identified withthat faction, with the-
SUCHANEK: the Combs and Breathitt faction. And I guess being campaignchairman fueled that. Did you feel as though you were a part of that faction?
SUCHANEK: Okay, um-hm. Now, the differences between the Clements factionand the Combs faction, or the, I mean Clements faction and the Chandler 40:00faction, was that based on philosophical differences or was it mainly a matter of "ins" versus "outs" or based on personality, do you think?
PALMER: I think they both wanted to be in. Both couldn't be, so thatwas this (unintelligible).
SUCHANEK: So it was kind of like the "ins" versus the "outs?"
PALMER: Yeah. Just like Waterfield representing the Chandler faction,it's what got him beat. Probably helped get him beat.
SUCHANEK: Now in the various infighting between the factions in theSenate, did you get involved in any of that as a freshman senator? 41:00
PALMER: Well I can't remember, but I guess if there was some legislationthere that was Combs or Chandler, I probably would've been favorable to the Combs faction. But I don't remember anything exactly like that.
PALMER: Could've been. I've just forgotten.
SUCHANEK: Now, by the time you got to the senate in `62, and you say the3 percent sales tax had already been passed so you didn't have to try to dodge that bullet-
SUCHANEK: was there anyone in the Senate who sort of showed you theropes, so to speak, or showed you how to draft legislation or anything like that?
PALMER: Had Legislative Research. All you had to do was go tell themwhat you wanted, they'll draft it, checked it out for constitution-
SUCHANEK: Oh, I see. How would you let them know what you wanted them,42:00did you go and tell them, or would you-
PALMER: Go and tell somebody.
SUCHANEK: Okay. And they would put it in the proper language andwhatever?
PALMER: Yeah, and check it out for legality. That's to make sure it'sall constitutional and a few other things, or try to make sure.
SUCHANEK: That sounds like a lot of work that the LRC was doing?
PALMER: Yes, they did. It'd be tough without them.
SUCHANEK: Was there anyone that you recall in your first session thatimpressed you as a legislator?
PALMER: I'd have to look at the picture. I'm sure there was.
SUCHANEK: For example, did James C. Ware impress you as a floor leader,or even on the Republican side, was there any Republican like Wendell 43:00Van Hoose, did he impress you as a legislator or anyone like that?
PALMER: I'm sure someone did, but I just can't think very quick whomight have been.
SUCHANEK: You know, someone that you would say, "boy, I'd like to bejust like him?" Well, let me turn over this tape.
[End of Tape #1, Side #1]
[Begin Tape #1, Side #2]
SUCHANEK: Okay. One of Combs' key, I guess, unofficial advisors wasEd Prichard.
SUCHANEK: Did you know Ed Prichard well?
PALMER: Yes, I did.
SUCHANEK: What can you tell me about Ed?
PALMER: Ed was an awfully smart man. He would, talking about politics awhile ago, I didn't mention all my family, but I had a great-uncle that was sheriff here, Uncle Bob Florence. And I told Ed that one time, 44:00and he knew him, and every once in a while, every year or two, he'd ask about Uncle Bob Florence. He was the brother of my grandfather Florence, and he lived to be 103. Walked downtown when he was 100-
SUCHANEK: Is that right?
PALMER: from up here on three or four streets up. He knew everybodyin every county, you know. He didn't know everybody, he knew the political leaders and a bunch of other people. He was one of the most intelligent people I ever met.
SUCHANEK: I've heard that from other people.
PALMER: I think he was a, I don't know what kind of scholar you'd callhim.
SUCHANEK: Well, he'd gone to Harvard-
SUCHANEK: and he'd been a law clerk to Felix Frankfurter at the SupremeCourt.
PALMER: He wrote opinions, a lot of them, didn't he?
PALMER: Somebody told me that.45:00
SUCHANEK: Exactly. Then, of course, this would have been way beforeyour time but, you know, he had that ballot box-
SUCHANEK: stuffing episode and it kind of ruined his career. Do youthink he would have made a good governor?
PALMER: Yeah, I think he would. He'd have been progressive. That'swhat I think we need in government is progressive. I don't think we need to be liberal, but, nor conservative, but progressive.
SUCHANEK: I understand Prichard used to write many of Combs' speeches-
SUCHANEK: and do you think that he also advised Combs on variouslegislation and that type of thing?
PALMER: I'm sure he did.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. What kind of leaders were Alvin Kidwell and James C.46:00Ware and Jiggs Buckman? What kind of leadership group did they make?
PALMER: Well, I think they were, did their job, and I think theywere, of course, naturally they were in the Combs' administration and probably very well helped the governor get his program over. I don't remember any time they weren't, but I think they did a job, what they were supposed to do.
SUCHANEK: Do you recall who picked you to be Chairman of theAdministrative Agency's Committee and Vice Chairman of Agriculture and State Fair?
PALMER: I'd say the leadership.47:00
SUCHANEK: Um-hm, um-hm. But you don't recall, say, Alvin Kidwell-
SUCHANEK: you know, telling you, you had been selected or if you wouldserve in that capacity?
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, I believe you voted for all the administration'sbills during the 1962 session. I believe that there was a, I do believe though, that there was a rebel faction in the Senate though, and one of the leaders of that faction was Rex Logan-
SUCHANEK: and I think he was a member of the Chandler or Waterfieldfaction.
PALMER: Yeah, Cap Gardner.
SUCHANEK: And Cap Gardner, right. I know he opposed, both of thosegentlemen opposed, many of the administration's bills. 48:00
PALMER: That's right.
SUCHANEK: Do you remember anything about that type of factionalism inthe Senate, you know, during the Combs administration?
PALMER: Yeah, I remember them. They'd get up, Rex Logan would talk foran hour at the time about something that wasn't going to happen, took a lot of time on the floor.
SUCHANEK: You said he would talk about something that wasn't going tohappen.
SUCHANEK: Like what?
PALMER: Oh, I don't know. I don't remember what he talked about even.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Was he an eloquent speaker?
PALMER: Yeah, he was good. Yeah, he was a good speaker.
SUCHANEK: Now, in that `62 session, you were co-sponsor of the so-calledH. Nick Johnson Bill. Do you recall what that was?
SUCHANEK: That denied civil rights to persons judged to be communists.49:00You not only co-sponsored this bill, you voted for it and it passed 31 to nothing. Do you recall what prompted this bill? Could this have been a direct result of the larger international crisis that was taking place at that time, the Cuban missile crisis, do you think?
PALMER: Probably so. I don't remember much about it. I remember Nick.
SUCHANEK: He was a conservative individual, wasn't he?
PALMER: Yeah, he was a Republican from Harlan, Kentucky.
PALMER: I don't think he's living, is he?
SUCHANEK: I don't believe he is.
SUCHANEK: Now, also in 1962, you sponsored Senate Bill 152 which soughtto revise the egg marketing license provisions. Your revision stated 50:00that, and I quote, "No person shall buy, sell, trade, traffic, or process eggs in Kentucky having as their origin or destination any other state without a license issued pursuant to the egg marketing law," end quote. Now, this bill received a second reading but not a third reading. Do you recall the origins of that bill or what prompted you to try to have that thing revised?
PALMER: No, not unless it was a department bill-
SUCHANEK: From the-
PALMER: Ag. Department.
SUCHANEK: The Ag. Department?
PALMER: Unless it was one of their pieces of legislation.
SUCHANEK: Oh, so, this could have been an administration bill then?
PALMER: Yeah, could be.
PALMER: But I don't remember.
SUCHANEK: All right. I, as I said, I know this is a long time agoand to try to remember, you know, individual pieces of legislation is hard. Now also in 1962, you co- sponsored an administration bill that 51:00reorganized the agencies administration of state government. This bill, for one thing, created the Health and Welfare Agency, and you say that Bert Combs was a progressive governor. And this bill passed 22 to 10. Now this had been mentioned, I believe, by Combs when he spoke to the joint session at the beginning of the `62 session. I imagine your co-sponsoring of this bill might have improved your stock a little bit in the administration's eyes?
PALMER: That's reorganization of state government?
SUCHANEK: Right, uh-huh.
PALMER: Yeah, it finally passed too, didn't it?
SUCHANEK: Yes, 22 to 10.
PALMER: In the House, too?
SUCHANEK: Another, the other administration bill you voted for that yearwas Senate Bill 88 which authorized the transfer of excess state fire 52:00and tornado funds to the capitol construction fund. If you could, I'd like you to talk a little bit on the powers available to a governor at that time. As we stated before, the governor had many powers back then in the early 1960s and probably through the mid '70s that they don't have today because of the increase in independence of the legislature.
PALMER: That was undoubtedly an administration bill. Does it say Ico-sponsored it or that I sponsored it?
SUCHANEK: Well, I think this was just an administration bill, but youvoted for it.
PALMER: I voted for it?
SUCHANEK: Uh-huh. And, you know, since we're talking about this SenateBill 88 and the capitol construction fund, how did governors use the construction fund for political purposes? Was that kind of a patronage tool that they would use, the capital construction fund? 53:00
PALMER: Well, I don't know, not any more than anything else, I wouldn'tthink.
SUCHANEK: What other powers were available to a governor to use orpersuade legislators to vote for their bills?
PALMER: Well, of course, I've been keeping up with this administrationnow about the session, what they did to get the education bill passed, but they accused him of promising a lot of roads and bridges and things like that. But I don't remember anything like that in the, during the Combs administration. I don't remember him trying to, going out and buying you for a bridge or a road or anything like that.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm, um-hm At least you weren't approached-54:00
SUCHANEK: about that, right?
PALMER: No, no.
SUCHANEK: Now, Senate Bill 117 was another administration bill thatyou voted for and it established industrial loan company organization requirements. Now, didn't this bill, do you remember this bill creating any controversy, because apparently some of the top Combs administration people had interests, or were involved in industrial loan company type deals? Do you recall any of that?
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, Senate Bill 237 that year that you voted for wasanother administration bill and it required a referendum on calling 55:00a convention for constitutional revision. Legislators and governors to no end, I guess, had been calling for constitutional revision for decades, and yet they can't get the voters to go along with that idea. Why do you think it's so hard to convince the people of Kentucky that constitutional revision is necessary?
SUCHANEK: Do you think it's necessary?
PALMER: Yes, I do. I think it should be done, but most people I hearis opposing it because they think that once it's opened up they'll go too far with so many things and- but I think the constitution is, needs revising. I don't know whether a new convention, I don't think they 56:00can do it by legislation, but I'm sure the, a lot of the parts of the constitution are obsolete, and the new ones (unintelligible). I think Prichard was on that committee.
SUCHANEK: Oh, is that right?
PALMER: Revision, but that was writing the new one, wasn't it,completely?
SUCHANEK: Well, there were two thoughts about how to go about it. Onewould be to go ahead and rewrite the constitution and submit that to the voters to vote "yea" or "nay" on it. And the second idea was to just have a referendum for the people to vote for a convention, and so there were two different ideas on how to go about it, and I believe Prichard was the one who advocated going ahead and writing one and then 57:00submitting that for a vote. I think you're right.
PALMER: I think so too.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, another administration bill in 1962 was SenateBill 326 which created the Kentucky Atomic Energy Authority, which you voted for. Now, being involved in the Harrison Rural Electric Cooperative, did you see much potential for atomic energy in Kentucky, and was anyone concerned at this time, in the early '60s, over possible contamination problems or nuclear waste disposal, or hadn't we gotten to that point yet?
PALMER: We hadn't gotten to that point. We are now.
SUCHANEK: Right. Did you see atomic energy as being a potential sourceof unlimited energy?
PALMER: Yes, I do. I think we're going to end up having it some of58:00these days, of course a lot of (coughs), a lot of states got it now. I think TVA has got some atomic power, haven't they?
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. I believe there's a plant by Paducah, isn't it? ByPaducah or Owensboro or-
PALMER: Oh, I see.
SUCHANEK: Hawesville or something, isn't that there?
PALMER: No, that's not nuclear, that's coal fired.
SUCHANEK: Oh, coal fired? Okay.
PALMER: Big River is the name of it.
SUCHANEK: Oh, okay. Then, of course, the administration bill was HouseBill 40 which was the biannual appropriation act which you voted for and it passed 33 to 4. And I think you had mentioned that you don't recall much haggling over Bert Combs' second budget bill, do you? 59:00
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, in 1963 Bert Combs called a special session ofthe legislature to deal with the collapse of the United Mineworkers supported hospitals in eastern Kentucky. Apparently a depressed coal market had led to many layoffs, and that had put the hospitals in financial straits. You voted for House Bill 1 which provided state support for these hospitals and you also voted for Senate Bill Number 1 which created the Commission on Correction and Community Service. Do you recall anything special about that special session?
PALMER: No, I don't. I just know it happened just like you said, but Idon't remember any of the details.
SUCHANEK: Oh, okay. Now, in 1964 we had another Democrat elected to thegovernor's office, Ned Breathitt, who had defeated "Happy" Chandler in 60:00the primary and, I think, Louie Nunn in the general election.
PALMER: Just barely.
SUCHANEK: But curiously enough, although Chandler had been defeated,his running mate, so to speak, Harry Lee Waterfield, had been elected lieutenant governor.
PALMER: That's right.
SUCHANEK: This brought about a strange situation in Kentucky politicsof two members of opposing factions occupying the top seats of the government in the state. Waterfield, as lieutenant governor, also presided over the Senate. What role did Waterfield play in the selection of the Democratic leadership in that pre-legislative session?
PALMER: I think he had, I think he chose the leadership.
SUCHANEK: Waterfield chose the leadership?
PALMER: I can't, who were they? Cap Gardner was majority leader.
SUCHANEK: Right, uh-huh.
PALMER: Who's the other two?
SUCHANEK: Well, let's see.
PALMER: I believe Cap was the only one he chose, majority leader.61:00
SUCHANEK: Yeah, he was majority leader. President pro tem was JamesWare-
SUCHANEK: and as we said, the lieutenant governor was Waterfield. Soyou think Waterfield was the one who chose the leadership?
PALMER: He chose Cap Gardner as the majority leader.
SUCHANEK: Was that sort of an accommodation or a concession by Breathitt?
PALMER: I'd say it was a concession by Breathitt.
SUCHANEK: Okay, all right. Now, Waterfield proceeded to try toundermine the Breathitt administration in the Senate during the `64 session. Do you recall some of the problems or infighting that occurred during that session? Did Waterfield make it a difficult session for you and the other senators? 62:00
PALMER: I don't think so. I don't remember anything too controversial.I know Breathitt got everything he, at least it seems to me that I, as I remember it, he got everything that he wanted in his-
SUCHANEK: All his programs passed, yeah. So you wouldn't have anyknowledge of Waterfield perhaps trying to recruit some Republicans to oppose some of Breathitt's bills or anything of that nature?
PALMER: He might have, may have done that, but I don't have anyfirsthand information like that.
SUCHANEK: Okay. What can you tell me about Harry Lee Waterfield as aman and as a leader?
PALMER: I think he's a fine man. He wasn't, I was on his, if there wastwo sides I was on the other side but I had a lot of respect for him 63:00because he had a lot of built-in, lot of knowledge, darn good fellow and he had a fine family. I just think it's a shame things didn't work out better for him so he might have become governor some time. I liked the man.
SUCHANEK: Well, it's interesting that you would say that because, really,the fight between Breathitt and Waterfield over control of the Kentucky legislature eventually spilled over into your 1965 reelection campaign-
SUCHANEK: when a dyed-in-the-wool Waterfield supporter, FrankShropshire, ran against you in the primary.
PALMER: That's right.
SUCHANEK: In fact I believe your race was one of ten or twelve in thestate that Waterfield actually got actively involved in.
PALMER: I know it.
SUCHANEK: His, Waterfield's people sent a mass mailing to all the voters64:00in the 30th District urging them to, more or less, throw you out of office because you were a Breathitt administration man. How did you feel about that?
PALMER: Oh it didn't worry me too much. That fellow running against mewas a good fellow. Frank Shropshire?
SUCHANEK: Right. Uh-huh.
PALMER: And I think he was talked into something he didn't really wantto be in, and I thought, maybe, he made a good campaign, harder than he did, but it wasn't, just like I thought, I got so many votes in Bourbon, as he did in Harrison. He's from Bourbon and the rest of them I carried. But his wife was a relation of mine.
SUCHANEK: Oh, was that right?
PALMER: She was a Florence and my mother was a Florence, lives up onRussell Cave Pike. But I wasn't, I never held nothing against him. 65:00
SUCHANEK: Okay. Do you remember having any disagreements withWaterfield in the Senate that would have led him to support an opponent of yours, or was it kind of like they say, you know, don't take it personally but, you know, I need your seat (laughs).
PALMER: No, I don't.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, did Breathitt provide you with any support in yourcampaign in `65?
PALMER: He undoubtedly he did. He probably made some phone calls,contacted some people. 66:00
SUCHANEK: Would these be campaign chairmen or county politicians?
PALMER: Helped me if they could.
SUCHANEK: By contacting those people?
PALMER: Yeah, I don't remember who he called or anything about it. Ijust assume that he did.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm, um-hm. Do you recall much about that campaign at allin the primary? Did you debate Frank Shropshire any or-
PALMER: Yeah, a little bit. We went to Farm Bureau meetings, had thecandidates and-
SUCHANEK: Was that a regular thing?
PALMER: have education. The KEA-
SUCHANEK: I see.
PALMER: local would have candidates answer questions.
PALMER: Yeah, we went to several of those.
PALMER: I kind of enjoyed them.
SUCHANEK: Did you?
PALMER: Well, just give me a chance to see a lot of good people.
SUCHANEK: Give you an opportunity to state your positions?
SUCHANEK: Were they well attended?
SUCHANEK: Now, you defeated your opponent quite handily in the election,and you got almost 60 percent of the vote. What kind of relationship did you have with Waterfield in the next session? I mean he tried to, his best to take your seat away from you.
PALMER: I had a good relationship with him. I didn't ask him foranything special, but he never, he never tried to do a thing to me, so I got along real well with him.
SUCHANEK: Well, getting back quickly to `64 session, before your68:00reelection campaign you were made chairman, you were made Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and State Fair. You weren't vice chairman anymore, you were chairman. And again, I guess, it was the Democratic leadership that chose you for that-
SUCHANEK: position, and you were also on Public Utilities again. Do youremember anything about that committee work on Public Utilities?
PALMER: The only thing I remember about it, was just, didn't have muchassigned to us.
SUCHANEK: I see. Most of your work was on Agriculture?
SUCHANEK: Okay. In that `64 session you sponsored Senate Bill 58permitting highway equipment and school buses to use flashing lights. This sounds like it might have been an administration bill.
PALMER: It was.
SUCHANEK: Okay. You also sponsored Senate Bill 80 which allowed69:00Department of Agriculture inspectors to reweigh tobacco. And I don't know anything about weighing tobacco. Why would that have been important to the Department of Agriculture, do you recall?
PALMER: Well you have to understand how they sell tobacco first. Theybring it in the warehouses and put it on baskets and it's weighted then. Then if they bring it in too early it will drift before sale time, lose weight. And I think that's what that bill did, gave them a right to reweigh it at about the time for sales; like they bring it in October and they don't start selling it till Thanksgiving, it loses weight.
SUCHANEK: I see.
PALMER: Is that about what that says?
SUCHANEK: Yes, uh-huh. Now, you also co-sponsored with Shelby KinkeadSenate Bill 119 which made newspapers liable for defamatory statements 70:00and provided newspaper corrections for such statements. Do you recall what that bill was all about and what-
SUCHANEK: what prompted it?
PALMER: No, I don't know. Shelby Kinkead was the co--, the chiefsponsor on that.
SUCHANEK: Right, uh-huh. Okay. So it was more his bill then?
SUCHANEK: It was your bill?
PALMER: No, it was more his than mine.
SUCHANEK: Oh, okay. But you don't recall what, I mean, it wouldn't beanything that would've happened here in the Cynthiana Democrat or-
SUCHANEK: maybe it was geared towards the Courier-Journal or something?
PALMER: Lexington Herald probably.
PALMER: Shelby had something to do with it.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. And you also sponsored Senate Bill 224 which added toexcused school attendance one day for the State Fair.
PALMER: That didn't get anywhere.
SUCHANEK: It didn't?
PALMER: Kids go over there and don't get excused.71:00
SUCHANEK: (Laughs), okay, they play hooky?
SUCHANEK: And as I mentioned before, you voted for all theadministration bills including the biannual budget bill.
SUCHANEK: Now, after your `65 reelection Lawrence Wetherby was chosenby Ned Breathitt to be president pro tem of the Senate. What kind of president pro tem was the former governor?
PALMER: He was good. He just presided a little bit when Waterfieldwasn't there. Waterfield was there most of the time.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Do you think Ned put Governor Wetherby in thatposition to be kind of a buffer to Waterfield?
PALMER: I doubt it. I think he just wanted to honor him some way.
SUCHANEK: Oh, I see. Okay. Now, Jiggs Buckman was also chosen by72:00Breathitt as majority floor leader. What can you tell me about Jiggs?
PALMER: Well, I don't know much about him to tell you. He knew what hewas doing. He was a good floor leader as far as floor leaders go, but-
SUCHANEK: What was the job of a floor leader?
PALMER: Sponsor, to call up the bills for passage, second reading orthird reading or whatever they want, third reading, and then passage. But he handled the administration bills.
SUCHANEK: Right. Now, in 1966 you were put back on the AppropriationsCommittee, and I guess this is probably because of your loyalty to 73:00the administration in the `64 session. Would you say that that was probably correct?
SUCHANEK: Now, if I'm not mistaken, this time there was a little troubleover Governor Breathitt's biannual budget bill. Do you recall anything about that, that trouble?
PALMER: No, I don't. I probably knew at the time, but I don't remember.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Tell me about Ned Breathitt. What kind of governorwas he?
PALMER: He was a good governor. He did a whole lot for education anddidn't raise the taxes. He was a good progressive governor. I think he did awful(??), well, not to increase revenue.
SUCHANEK: You mean another tax proposal?74:00
SUCHANEK: Was he the type of governor like Combs who more or less justpaid attention to his own administration bills and didn't get involved, too involved, in the legislature with the rest of the bills, or was he more of a hands-on type governor?
PALMER: I don't think he was. I think he looked after what theadministration wanted and maybe helped a little bit of us, but not much.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, I believe one of the main bills in the `66 sessionwas Senate Bill 104 which prohibited the use of multi-coin pinball machines.
SUCHANEK: I believe this was an administration bill because as I recall,Ned Breathitt had mentioned it in his joint session speech in front of the legislature. It seems strange that pinball machines would become a major issue in the halls of the state legislature. Do you recall what 75:00this issue is all about in regards to the pinball machines?
PALMER: No, I don't. Some personal but I don't know, I can't rememberwhat it was. I remember a little bit about the pinball machine but that's about all.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Also in the `66 session you voted for anotheradministration bill which prohibited employer discrimination of wages on the basis of sex. Now, do you recall if this bill was in response to some type of federal legislation that had been passed?
PALMER: No, I don't. It might have been.
SUCHANEK: Okay. You also voted for Senate Bill 265 which created aregistry of election finance which was another administration bill. Breathitt had also mentioned this in his joint session appearance. 76:00This bill required a candidate's name, a campaign treasurer, and a depository for campaign funds and that all campaign contributions had to go through the treasurer, and no contribution could be larger than a hundred dollars and all contributors were to be identified. Was this bill, do you recall, aimed at lobbyists or special interests?
PALMER: Special interests, I'll bet. That hundred dollars, if it was ahundred and less you didn't have to be identified, didn't it?
SUCHANEK: Oh, is that the way it worked?
PALMER: I think that's the way it is now.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm, okay. Now, obviously, this type of campaign offinancing must have been a problem or the bill wouldn't have been raised. How active were lobbyists or special interests there in your term in the legislature in this respect?
PALMER: They were there, quite a few of them. They were all registered.77:00I got, finally I got acquainted with all of them and knew who they represented, but some of them are good to know. They helped you.
SUCHANEK: In what way?
PALMER: Tell you what might be kind of hidden in a bill that you hadn'treally looked at good.
SUCHANEK: I see.
PALMER: This, for instance, Farm Bureau, those people, they were therefor the best interest of the farmers, and I had confidence in them. They told me something bad was in some of them, I'd go and check it out right quick. They had more time to look at the bills than the legislators did.
SUCHANEK: There was a legislator who told me that a lot of those bills78:00are so lengthy that there was no way you could possibly read them all.
PALMER: That's right.
SUCHANEK: And so you relied on the lobbyists or special interests andon the newspaper to find out what was in some of these bills, is that right?
PALMER: That's true. You get a bill of eighty pages in it, hard todecipher all that.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Did you get the feeling that perhaps some legislatorswere being paid by lobbyists?
PALMER: Well, I have no evidence of that, but I wouldn't have beensurprised. But I'll say one thing, I was never offered a penny. 79:00
SUCHANEK: I suspect they knew better.
PALMER: Well, I don't know.
SUCHANEK: You were a big fellow (laughs).
PALMER: Pretty good size.
SUCHANEK: Yeah (laughs). Do you feel that they just probably felt that,I mean, they knew who you were and what you stood for, and not even to bother?
PALMER: I usually let them know if I'd made up my mind then they didn'thave to keep bothering me.
SUCHANEK: I see. What special interests besides the Farm Bureau wereparticularly strong while you were in the State Senate?
PALMER: The utilities.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. How about the KEA?80:00
PALMER: KEA was.
SUCHANEK: Any of the oil companies?
PALMER: I don't remember the oil companies being very strong.
SUCHANEK: How about the Rifle Association?
PALMER: I don't remember them.
PALMER: The NFO.
SUCHANEK: What's that?
PALMER: National Farmers Organization.
PALMER: Kind of, something similar to the Farm Bureau, but theirphilosophy is different.
SUCHANEK: Oh, in what way?
PALMER: They believed in whole (unintelligible) marketing and demandingthe price and-
SUCHANEK: How about the Kentucky Medical Association?
PALMER: They were active.
SUCHANEK: Did lobbyists ever ask you to sponsor certain legislation?
PALMER: I don't recall.
SUCHANEK: Like would the Farm Bureau ask you to sponsor a particular81:00bill?
PALMER: They may have.
SUCHANEK: Now, another very important bill passed there in the `66session was House Bill 2, the civil rights bill. This bill was obviously a responce to the `64 federal Civil Rights Act, and was perhaps the bill closest to Ned Breathitt's heart. I recall, I think it was in the `64 and `66 speech that he made before the joint session of the legislature and he mentioned this civil rights legislation in both speeches, so he thought highly of it. Now, there was some opposition to this bill. Do you recall anything about that opposition?
PALMER: No. But I remember Jackie Robinson came over in behalf of thatbill.
SUCHANEK: Is that right?
PALMER: I think so. You know, he's the first black ballplayer in the82:00big leagues.
SUCHANEK: Do you suppose "Happy" had anything to do in, to do with himcoming over?
PALMER: I don't know. He was there and I shook hands with him.
SUCHANEK: Is that right? Now, there was a dissenting vote on House Bill2-
PALMER: It wasn't mine.
SUCHANEK: no, it was George Brand, a Democrat from Mayfield-
SUCHANEK: in western Kentucky.
PALMER: He's down south.
SUCHANEK: Do you recall him making any speeches against the bill?
PALMER: No, he never made any speeches against anything, I don't think.
SUCHANEK: Is that right? He didn't speak often or-
SUCHANEK: Did the opposition to the bill surprise you?
PALMER: No, just one or two votes?
SUCHANEK: One vote, I think-
SUCHANEK: was in opposition.
PALMER: I wasn't surprised, but it was almost unanimous.83:00
SUCHANEK: Right. Now, beginning in 1966 and continuing reallythroughout the remainder of your tenure in the Senate, we begin to see the introduction of different kinds of bills that we haven't seen before, bills regarding the environment, strip mining, water and air pollution, establishing wildlife refuges, nature parks, and legislation dealing with illegal drugs. And I suppose this is a reflection of the trends that were happening during those tumultuous 1960s. The Vietnam War was going full tilt by now, students were beginning to protest, hippies, I guess, were appearing on the scene. What was the mood of a legislator during this time of social upheaval, do you recall?
PALMER: They were anti-hippy and pro-environmental, I think, to a certain84:00extent, but maybe not as much as some environmentalists wanted. They were considerate-wild life refuges, I think that people are favorable to them. Like some things that, some animals and birds are almost becoming extinct and now are gaining back in numbers. The bald eagle-
SUCHANEK: Well, being from the country you can relate to that-
SUCHANEK: type of thing.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Before we're running out of tape here, let me changeand go to tape number two.
[End of Tape #1, Side #2]
[Begin Tape #2, Side #1]
SUCHANEK: Okay, this is tape number two of the Wilson Palmer interview85:00on September 26th. We're talking about the 1960s and the times of social unrest. I remember growing up in this time period, and I remember it as being a scary time.
SUCHANEK: Nobody seemed to know where the country was headed. How didthat, how did those feelings affect your thinking as legislators?
PALMER: Well, of course, we didn't have those riots and things aroundhere, but firstly, it made me very much opposed to them. I was-talking 86:00about the National Democrat Convention where they all?
SUCHANEK: Yes. Yeah, in Chicago.
PALMER: Um-hm. That was when, `66 or `6---
SUCHANEK: Sixty-eight, I believe.
PALMER: `68? I don't think the legislators were very favorable to them,but I don't know what you could do about it. Looks like they kind of resolved theirselves, didn't they?
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Do you think the events that were happening nationallyaffected not only what happened in the state legislature here in Kentucky but in other state legislatures? Do you think there is that type of trickle-down effect?
PALMER: Yes, I do. Yeah, I think they had their effect.
SUCHANEK: Did you feel as though society was disintegrating at that87:00point, or were you more optimistic than that?
PALMER: I was more optimistic.
SUCHANEK: Now, some of this new legislation that we're talking about ransmack into some Kentucky institutions. For example, efforts to reform strip mining must have caused a lot of outrage among the coal industry.
SUCHANEK: How did you deal with the coal lobby?
PALMER: Well, I just voted for the strip mining law and I never had any,like that first question you asked me, if it involved my district or the state as a whole, how did I vote, I voted for the state as a whole on that issue because we didn't have any strip mines in my district but I thought we needed that strip mining law, reclamation and everything 88:00in it.
SUCHANEK: Right. Do you suppose the pressure was put more on thoselegislators from eastern Kentucky by the coal industry?
PALMER: I imagine there was.
SUCHANEK: Did they ever talk to you about it?
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, in 1968 a very odd situation occurred in Kentucky,a situation that had not occurred since 1943. A Republican, Louie Nunn, had been elected governor. He had to preside over a Democrat dominated legislature. Wendell Ford, a Democrat, had been elected lieutenant governor. Since there was no Democratic governor to choose the Democratic leadership in the General Assembly, who chose the leadership and how was this done?
PALMER: I think Ford was in command.89:00
SUCHANEK: He was more or less the titular head at that point of theDemocratic Party?
PALMER: Yes, sir.
SUCHANEK: Did the state chairman of the Democratic Party play any partin that, do you think?
PALMER: Well, if I knew who he was I might answer that, but now I can'teven think who it was at that time.
SUCHANEK: Well, I'm thinking Bob Humphreys, but I'm not sure that that'sright.
PALMER: No, he didn't. I don't think he did.
PALMER: I think Wendell and J.R. Miller were the keys.
SUCHANEK: J.R. Miller?
PALMER: Uh-huh. I think J.R. Miller had a great influence. Have youheard about him?
PALMER: He's in Owensboro.
SUCHANEK: Is he the one they call the "king," no, that was Bill May thatI'm thinking of, the "kingmaker."
SUCHANEK: Okay. No, who's J.R. Miller from, he's from Owensboro?90:00
PALMER: Yeah. He was a manager there for Green River Rural Electric,and he was also mayor of Owensboro after that. But he was a politician and kind of handled Ford's campaigns for a while.
SUCHANEK: And you think he had a hand in the selection process?
PALMER: Well, I think he had an influence.
SUCHANEK: What kind of a governor was Louie Nunn?
PALMER: Oh, he was okay (Suchanek laughs). Passed the nickel sales taxand somebody took it off of food and-
SUCHANEK: Now, an interview that we did with Bill Sullivan, he described91:00Nunn as heavy-handed in dealing with the legislature and getting his programs through. Do you agree with that assessment?
PALMER: Yes, he did.
SUCHANEK: He was heavy-handed?
PALMER: Well, he got the majority of the legislature to vote for thatnickel sales tax.
SUCHANEK: How did he do that?
PALMER: He talked them into it, I darned if I know, he didn't talk meinto it so I can't hardly answer.
SUCHANEK: Right, right. Did you have any dealings with Governor Nunn?
PALMER: Not much.
SUCHANEK: Did he prefer to work through the leadership or was his modeof operation to pick off individual Democrats that he thought he could get their vote?
PALMER: I think he picked them off.
SUCHANEK: Do you know if he offered rewards to those Democrats to-92:00
PALMER: No, I don't.
SUCHANEK: And as you said, it was, it appears that Nunn was able toget most, if not all, of his programs passed as governor. How did the leadership, meaning Lieutenant Governor Ford, President Pro Tem Bill Sullivan, Majority Floor Leader Dick Frymire, and Caucus Chairman Tom Garrett, try to keep the Democrats in the Senate in line or from straying too far from the party line?
PALMER: Had a caucus once in a while, I guess.
SUCHANEK: And what would happen in that caucus?
PALMER: They tried to agree to the vote, pro or con.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Would you say there was a spirit of cooperation93:00between the Democrats and the administration, or was it more of a spirit of tolerance on the part of the Democrats?
PALMER: Well, I think they cooperated pretty much except on specialbills, but there was more cooperation than there was discord.
SUCHANEK: What kind of floor leader was Dick Frymire?
PALMER: He was good.
SUCHANEK: Was he a strong individual, a strong leader?
SUCHANEK: Did Nunn's election give Wendell Van Hoose, the minority floorleader, any extra leverage in the senate?
PALMER: Oh, I don't know, he might have. The governor might have givenhim some authority that he could use in the Senate.
SUCHANEK: Now, some scholars have pointed to Nunn's election as94:00the catalyst that the legislature needed to begin to establish its independence from the governor's office. Do you agree with that?
PALMER: I think that's where they started. It picked up a little steamevery session.
SUCHANEK: Was there a spirit of independence in the Senate at that time,do you recall?
SUCHANEK: Do you think the actual idea for being, having a moreindependent legislature had actually started before that, before `68?
PALMER: Not much.
SUCHANEK: What role did Wendell Ford and Julian Carroll play infostering independent action on the part of the Democrats?
PALMER: Of course, I don't know about, you mean when Julian was the95:00governor?
SUCHANEK: No, he was Speaker of the House.
PALMER: I can't answer that because I don't know what it is over there.
SUCHANEK: You didn't have much contact with what went on in the Housethen?
SUCHANEK: Okay. How about Wendell Ford, what role did he play in-
PALMER: I think he had some influence on some specific legislation.
SUCHANEK: Was there any resistance on Governor Nunn's part to anincreasingly independent legislature?
PALMER: Not that I know of.
SUCHANEK: Okay. What role did the Legislative Research Commissionplay in the increase in the legislature's independence? The Senate Bill 177 established the standing committees of the General Assembly as subcommittees of the LRC during the interim period between regular sessions, you know. Who is, who is behind the interim committee idea, 96:00do you know?
PALMER: No, I don't, but I know it was a right good thing because it gotthose bills prepared and ready to introduction and before the session began. Time consuming, took away some of that.
SUCHANEK: Did the interim committee system allow you to do research onbills so that you knew more about them by the time they came up for a vote?
PALMER: I'd think so.
SUCHANEK: And this obviously would give the legislator more informationand I guess decrease the governor's power a little bit in that rather than putting down a 200- page bill on your desk-
PALMER: That's right.97:00
SUCHANEK: and bring it up for a vote where you had no idea what it wasabout and you'd have to basically take his word for it, is that right?
PALMER: That's right.
SUCHANEK: Now, did legislators take the interim committee systemseriously while you were there?
SUCHANEK: Did it take a while to really get them off the ground so tospeak?
SUCHANEK: Now, I believe Harry Lee Waterfield addressed the pre-legislative session or conference prior to your `68 session and he pushed for the interim committee system. Do you remember how instrumental Waterfield was in getting the idea off the ground?
PALMER: Oh, I think he got people thinking about it and most people were98:00favorable, most legislators.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. What was James Fleming's role in pushing for theinterim committee system?
PALMER: He was director of the LRC. I don't remember how he was, Ithink he was for it.
SUCHANEK: And, obviously, you think an independent legislature is agood thing?
SUCHANEK: There's been talk of annual sessions for the legislature. Doyou think annual sessions are a good idea?
PALMER: Well, I think it would be. I think we need an independentlegislature, but I think we need a governor who's got some leadership about him that can get his program over. I think you need both.
SUCHANEK: Some legislators are beginning to see the legislature as a99:00career. What do you think of the legislature as a career? Is this good for Kentucky to have, quote unquote, "professional legislators?"
PALMER: I don't know about that. I'd say pro and con on that.
SUCHANEK: What would be "pro" about it?
PALMER: Well, I think they'd be better informed and-
SUCHANEK: What do you see against it?
PALMER: they might get too much, too strongly connected with certainorganizations or individuals or something like that as they stay too long.
SUCHANEK: Kind of like the fellows in Washington?
SUCHANEK: Did you see the legislature as a possible career?100:00
SUCHANEK: How long did you envision yourself staying there?
PALMER: Two terms.
SUCHANEK: And you stayed?
SUCHANEK: Three. There are several bills that were aimed at increasingthe legislature's independence in the `68 session that you voted for. For example, Senate Bill 126 permitted legislative review of administrative elections, [telephone rings] administrative-
SUCHANEK: that was introduced by Dick Frymire, so that was a Democraticleadership type of bill. Senate Bill 176 required administrative departments to file research contracts with the LRC, again, if not 101:00increasing the control of the legislature over the administrative departments, at least giving the legislature access to more information. Senate Bill 245 allocated a portion of the new state Capitol to the LRC. Now, when you start giving somebody more room and, perhaps, having to move someone out of that space to give this LRC more room, to me that indicates that you all were serious.
PALMER: That's right.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Additionally, House Bill 47 exempted the legislativebranch of state government from executive budget requirements, and House Bill 494 required submission of executive budget estimates to the LRC. And again, I believe all this, all these bills exhibit an independent spirit on the part of the legislature, is that right?
PALMER: Yeah, they tried to find out sooner than they used to find outabout what was in the budget. 102:00
SUCHANEK: Wasn't there a provision, too, that the governor-elect wouldhave a say in the upcoming budget?
SUCHANEK: Do you recall that?
PALMER: Yeah, I believe so.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now as I mentioned earlier, Nunn was able to getmost of his programs passed. For example, House Bill 255 established Northern Kentucky State College, and House Bill 256 provided an appropriation for it. Do you recall any resistance to Northern from people at U.K.? [Someone knocks on door; pause in taping]. We're talking about the establishment of Northern Kentucky State College, and I'd asked you if there was any resistance that you recall on the part of people at U.K.?
PALMER: No. Not at all at the time. They never contacted me.
SUCHANEK: Oh, is that right?
PALMER: Not at all that I know about.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, of course, the most important administration103:00bill was, of course, House Bill 399 which increased the sales tax to 5 percent and motor vehicle fees. And this bill passed 21 to 17 so it's a close vote, and I know you voted against it.
SUCHANEK: Was that one of the times when you knew that this wouldadversely affect the 30th District? Did you do that for your constituents?
PALMER: No, I think I did it because I thought that 4 percent ought tobe enough.
SUCHANEK: I see. So you would have voted for 4 percent?
PALMER: That's the way I remember it.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, on the Democrat side during the `68 sessionthere is also some unpleasantness, and I'm talking about the Jiggs Buckman and Wendell Ford feud, I guess you would call it. And this feud developed over Ford's endorsement of Henry Ward during the 104:00`67 gubernatorial primary when Buckman thought he deserved Ford's endorsement. And during the `68 session, Buckman opposed most of the Democratic leadership's bills. Do you recall Buckman's displeasure with Wendell Ford? Do you recall anything about that?
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, going into the 1970 session the Democraticleadership in the Senate remained the same except for "Dee" Huddleston-
SUCHANEK: became floor leader.
SUCHANEK: What kind of floor leader was "Dee?"
PALMER: "Dee" was good. He had one session under Nunn, didn't he?
SUCHANEK: Right, uh-huh.
PALMER: Yeah, he was good.
SUCHANEK: And then he acted as campaign chairman for Wendell Ford's runfor the governorship and retained his position as majority leader under 105:00Ford. Now in `70, I believe one of the major bills was Senate Bill 4 which exempted prescription medicine from the sales tax, and this was an administration bill. Louie Nunn had mentioned it in his speech to the joint session of the legislature that the state finances were in pretty good shape and that tax relief was in order for sick, elderly, handicapped, or poor people. Do you recall that?
SUCHANEK: And I'm sure the Democratic legislature was more than happy tooblige-
SUCHANEK: to cut the taxes on that.
PALMER: They've (unintelligible) sponsor.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Especially since those Democrats in the legislaturewho had voted for the 5 percent sales increase in `68, over a third of 106:00those had lost their seats, do you recall that?
SUCHANEK: Just kind of like a purge almost.
PALMER: I know it.
SUCHANEK: And another major bill of the `70 session, again, was anadministration bill and that was House Bill 12 which included black lung as compensable under Workmen's Compensation.
SUCHANEK: Now, you sponsored Senate Bill 67 which prohibited the use ofDDT with certain exceptions. Do you recall where this bill came from?
PALMER: Health Department, I think.
SUCHANEK: Okay, the Health Department. All right.
PALMER: I got another one, criticism for that, too.
SUCHANEK: Oh, why?
PALMER: Because a lot of people were using it for spraying crops,livestock to keep flies off of them.
SUCHANEK: Yeah, did the Farm Bureau oppose that, do you recall?107:00
PALMER: I don't remember, but it's illegal to use now.
SUCHANEK: Right. It's federal legislation, right?
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Okay, and then in `71 Wendell Ford was electedgovernor.
SUCHANEK: And what was Ford like as a governor? Was-he and Bert Combsare probably known as two of the strongest Democratic governors in the recent era, would you agree with that?
SUCHANEK: Now, seeing he had presided over the as lieutenant governor-
PALMER: The Senate.
SUCHANEK: right, the Senate, and I may add, an increasingly independent108:00Senate. Did you see his attitude change at all in regards to having the legislature more independent from the governor's office once he became governor?
PALMER: I think there was somewhat some change. I think he wanted thelegislature to have more authority.
SUCHANEK: Oh, so, you don't think that he, things went back to the waythey used to be before Nunn became governor where the governor, you know, kind of ramrodded everything right through that he wanted?
PALMER: No, I don't think so.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, one of the Ford administration's bills was Senate109:00Bill 51 which revised the rural electric and telephone cooperative provisions. Do you remember anything about that? That type of legislation?
PALMER: Was that cooperative?
SUCHANEK: It was, yeah, for rural electric and telephone cooperativelegislation.
PALMER: Did I sponsor it?
SUCHANEK: No, I think it was an administration bill, but I'm certain youwould have been for it.
PALMER: Yeah. Was that the territorial thing?
SUCHANEK: I believe it was.
PALMER: Yeah, sure I was for it. That set out certain territories forelectric companies, telephone companies, water companies. Couldn't infringe upon others territory, if this is the one I'm thinking about.
SUCHANEK: Do you remember anything in particular about the Ford110:00administration as far as the legislature goes or any particular legislation, because you were only there for one session-
PALMER: That's right.
SUCHANEK: of the Ford administration.
PALMER: No, I don't remember anything specific.
SUCHANEK: Ford, having come through the ranks of the legislature, was111:00he, did he view the legislature perhaps more kindly than some of the other governors you'd served under as far as recognizing legislative independence?
PALMER: I think he did. I think he looked upon it very kindly and hadthe experience of being there was good for him.
SUCHANEK: He knew how things worked?
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Okay, now, in the 1973 primary you had threeopponents, Tom Ward and Jimmy Hamilton. During the campaign Governor Ford came to Cynthiana to announce some kind of highway or road- 112:00
PALMER: from Cynthiana to part of the way to Georgetown.
SUCHANEK: Okay. Did he come here to announce that in an effort to boastor help your campaign?
PALMER: I think so.
SUCHANEK: Because I know during that first session you, again, had beenvery loyal to the administration bills and had voted for them and, obviously, you'd served with Wendell Ford and knew him-
PALMER: I saw him the other day.
SUCHANEK: Oh, you did? Where?
SUCHANEK: Now, Hamilton came out in the papers during that primary andaccused you of being tied to Ford's political machine, well he tied Tom Ward to another political faction, while your campaign emphasized 113:00that you were one of the two senators with the Kentucky Senate, in the Kentucky Senate that was a farmer and that he understood the needs of Harrison County's farmers, that you had voted against the 5 percent sales tax, voted to take the sales tax off of food, voted to take sales tax off farm machinery and medicine, voted to give homestead tax exemption to senior citizens. Now, as you mentioned, the Farm Bureau used to hold these forums where the candidates would be invited, and I remember reading about the Farm Bureau meeting in `73, during the `73 primary. Did you know Tom Ward prior to the campaign? 114:00
PALMER: No. Barely.
SUCHANEK: I think he had run for U.S. representative before, is thatright?
PALMER: Might have.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm. And he only stayed one term, I believe, in the Senate.
PALMER: That's right.
SUCHANEK: I don't know if you would characterize this campaign as nasty,but he did get a lot of print trying to, as he said, correct statements that you had made that were incorrect about him. In fact, he accused you of being out of touch with the 30th District residents, that you were only available or made an appearance during campaigns and things of that nature. Were you accessible to your constituents?
PALMER: I tried to be.
SUCHANEK: Did you go around to the different counties, you know, in the115:00interim, between sessions and-
SUCHANEK: and hold meetings or anything of that nature?
PALMER: No, we never had any meetings.
PALMER: I went to a lot of public gatherings and things like that.
SUCHANEK: Picnics and-
PALMER: Fish fries. Um-hm
SUCHANEK: And you listened to your constituents at that time-
SUCHANEK: what they had to say? Do you remember anything about thatprimary campaign? Were you surprised-
PALMER: I remember he promised to give them toll-free telephones for,to Lexington for Bourbon, Scott, and some other county, like Woodford County has now, Jessamine. That's what hurt me.
SUCHANEK: I see.
PALMER: He promised those toll-free telephones. Might, Harrison might116:00have been included, I can't remember.
SUCHANEK: Were your surprised when you lost in the primary?
SUCHANEK: Do you recall-now, he was beaten in the next primary by EdFord. Do you recall what his problems were when he lost?
PALMER: No, I don't.
SUCHANEK: Okay, okay. So then after you got out of the Senate, what didyou do?
PALMER: I was stayed in insurance and real estate business.
SUCHANEK: Um-hm, um-hm. Have you missed being in the senate?
PALMER: I did for a while, but I don't want to go back.
SUCHANEK: You don't want to go back?
PALMER: No, I don't have any desire to.
SUCHANEK: Would you say it was a good experience for you?
PALMER: Yes, it was wonderful.
SUCHANEK: Comparing all the different governors that you served under,Combs, Breathitt, Nunn, and Wendell Ford, can you compare their 117:00administrative styles? How were they alike? How were they different?
PALMER: I think Combs and Breathitt were similar. I'd say Nunn was abetter- good. He knew how to deal to get his program over. Ford, I just think, was a good governor. I think Breathitt and Combs were kind of quiet but didn't give up. They got their program.
SUCHANEK: What do you see is the future for the legislature? Do yousee them becoming more independent? What did you think of the last 118:00few sessions?
PALMER: I think they get more independent every year, every session. Ithink they're getting more like the Congress of the United States.
SUCHANEK: And you think that's positive?
PALMER: Yes. I think it's harder to pass anything over the governor'sveto unless it's a landslide. They're the first (unintelligible).
SUCHANEK: Well you remember, when we were talking about, I asked youabout the, some of the powers available to a governor, the veto power was a real powerful tool that a governor had because by the time the sixty-day session was over-
PALMER: Too late to-119:00
SUCHANEK: you didn't have, you weren't in session to override the veto-
PALMER: That's right.
SUCHANEK: and you'd have to wait till the next session. So that wasa powerful, and I don't know if that, has that changed any with the interim committees, and do they, do they meet now to override vetoes or-
PALMER: Yes. Yes.
SUCHANEK: So that's a major step, too-
SUCHANEK: in legislative independence.
PALMER: The governor's got line veto power, too. I think the presidenthad, the president wants it does he?
PALMER: The line item veto?
SUCHANEK: Right. Well, Mr. Palmer, we've talked a lot about of thingsin your legislative career. Can you think of anything you'd like to add, any stories you'd like to tell-
SUCHANEK: any, did you use to commute back and forth from-
PALMER: Yeah, I drove with Swinford part of the time.120:00
SUCHANEK: I see. Uh-huh. When he, when he was in the House?
SUCHANEK: This is a loaded question. Was John a good man?
PALMER: John was a real good legislator. He was majority leader forFord. He was for Combs in the primary and Ford won, and then Ford made him his majority leader of the House. Must have been a good man or he wouldn't want him for that.
SUCHANEK: Right. Is there anything you'de like to add that we haven'ttalked about?
PALMER: No. Why, think of something I should add but-
SUCHANEK: Well, I thank you for taking the time to talk to us today.
PALMER: Well, I'm glad to talk to you.
SUCHANEK: I appreciate it.
PALMER: I'm glad you weren't much like a newspaper reporter.121:00
[End of Interview] 1