0:00

SUCHANEK: The following is an unrehearsed interview with former state representative Adron Doran, who represented Graves County in the 3rd District from 1944 until 1947, and then again in 1950. Dr. Doran served as Speaker of the House in the Kentucky General Assembly during the 1950 session and later served as president of Morehead State University from 1954 to 1977. The interview was conducted by Jeffrey Suchanek for the University of Kentucky Library, Kentucky Legislature Oral History Project on October 8, 1991 at two p.m.

[Pause in recording.]

SUCHANEK: This afternoon I'm talking with Dr. Adron Doran once again.

[Pause in recording.]

SUCHANEK: Okay, Dr. Doran, the last time we were talking, I know it's been a couple of months ago. I mentioned to you that we had an 1:00alumni/faculty project at UK and you and I were going over the various presidents of the University of Kentucky that you'd been in contact with and involved with when you were president of Morehead. And we left with, we had discussed, just finished discussing John Oswald, and I was wondering if maybe you'd like to begin today just discussing your relationship with Otis Singletary.

DORAN: Well, Jeff, my, in some areas, my personal relationship with Dr. Oswald was very comfortable and very pleasant. When Mr. W. F. Foster, who had been a member of the board of trustees of the university died in Mayfield, Kentucky, Governor Breathitt sent his plane up to Morehead to get Mignon and me to take us to the funeral and picked up 2:00Dr. Oswald. Well, he went down with us, and very comfortable, he got sick while he was down there and had to stay in the hospital, but very comfortable and all. But when we got into the, what Bob Martin called, "the room of the big knives," he was just hard to deal with. He didn't want any situation to obtain where it looked like the regional universities were on a par with the University of Kentucky. That his voice ought to be heard because he was the president of the University of Kentucky, and the rest of us were just sort of step-children, or at least siblings, of the university. And I just never did establish a feeling of rapport, either professionally or personally, with Dr. Oswald. And so I guess I would say that my conclusion was the less we 3:00saw of one another, the better we liked one another, you know, and so, just never did have a very warm affable relationship with Dr. Oswald.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. And how about Dr. Singletary?

DORAN: Well, Dr. Singletary and I have had a very warm relationship all of the time. I knew him quite well before he came to the university, through the Southern Regional Education Board, and he had made a study or so that the board had assigned to him when he was with the University of Texas, and did excellent research, and marvelous presentation, which he's capable of doing. Now, when he came to Kentucky, while he was still moving in, we invited him to come to Morehead and have lunch with our administrative council, or the cabinet of the president, whatever you call it, the vice presidents and deans and all. He 4:00came up and had lunch with us in the presidential dining room, very comfortable, very warm, and the introduction of it was good. We got off on a good foot with him to start with. He understood us, and we understood him. He would always kid Bob Martin and me, from Eastern, about he wished he could tap the telephone lines that ran from Morehead to Richmond through Lexington to see what we were talking about, and he always kidded us that we were talking about him. But there never were any real personal conflicts, and are not today. We have a very warm relation with Otis and Gloria both, and I always respected him exceedingly highly for his academic prowess, he was a great historian and had a good background of historical research and teaching. And 5:00I always admired him for being able to detect the publics of the University of Kentucky and the different facets that influence decision making and all, and he was always able to see all of those, and either bring them in to a compatible relationship or play one against the other where he was comfortable in operating during that time. So I thought he was, I thought he was a great president of the university.

SUCHANEK: How did he treat the regional universities?

DORAN: Huh?

SUCHANEK: How did he treat the regional universities as compared to the University of Kentucky?

DORAN: Well, he in nowise thought they were comparable. Where my great conflict with Otis, and it wasn't a personal one, that when the community college concept first developed in Kentucky, I advocated 6:00very strongly that they ought to set it up as an independent system, and they ought to have a board to govern the community colleges, and they ought to have administrative heads of them, but they ought to have a president or a chancellor or a director of all of the community colleges. Well, when that, they didn't do that and they set it up under the University of Kentucky, I then took a position, and a very strong one, that if they're going to be named community colleges by the name of the community where they work that they ought to be divided up and placed under the supervision of the regional universities in that 7:00area. And I went for that strong. Now, the first community college that was set up under this system was at Prestonsburg, and that was the home county of Governor Bert Combs, and he was Governor at the time. And we persuaded the representative, I mean "we," that is the friends of Morehead State University, persuaded the person who was handling the legislation, that was his bill to set up this community college, we persuaded him to set it up under Morehead. And he proposed that, that it be Prestonsburg Community College related to the University of Kentucky, Morehead State University instead of the University of Kentucky. He got the bill passed, and some of the power structure saw 8:00what was happening to them, that that wasn't what the Governor wanted, they wanted it under the University of Kentucky, and the University of Kentucky wanted it under it. So they piddled around in the roll call and persuaded enough people to change their votes, and they asked for a recall, and a roll call, and absentees, they changed their vote until the bill passed setting it up under the University of Kentucky. So, my interest in it was not just an afterthought, it was in the beginning. I thought when they created Prestonsburg Community College it ought to be under Morehead, and I thought Ashland, and Hazard, and Maysville, and those areas, and I thought the others ought to be under the other regional university. Now that's the only area in which Otis and I ever had any conflict, but it never was personal, we had no arguments about it. I had a far more personal conflict with the University, with the 9:00Courier-Journal than I did with him, or even his board. Had conflict with the Council on Public Higher Education, but it never did become a personal matter with him.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm, um-hm. When you went to the legislature for funding, comparing the UK presidents that you had contact with as during your presidency of Morehead, who was your toughest competitor in getting dollars? Who was, you know, who were you competing, who was your biggest competitor, dollar wise, with the legislator.

DORAN: Well, Jeff, we were competing for educational dollars for higher education. That was the great competition, was to persuade the state legislature and the Governor in his budget to look favorably to the 10:00needs of higher education, and we developed a formula among us. We would not have had as much trouble among the institutions in Kentucky for the dollars if we had had adequate dollars. We could have divided them far better if we had had enough money than we were able to divide not enough dollars. And so I always thought the conflict was not in the University of Kentucky wanted to override us all and be the big dog, and though they called it the flagship university, I thought that was all rhetoric. But the real conflict was taking the money that the state was willing to appropriate, and the amount of money they were willing, the legislature was willing to raise from taxation, and then saying, "Here's how much higher education is going to get. Now you 11:00all get in the big room with the knives and divide it up." Well that made a very vulnerable sort of situation for us, and so we developed a formula by which this money would be distributed, and there were various elements of that. Well, that would have been all right if the money would have fully financed the formula, but the money didn't fully finance the formula, and maybe 80 percent of it. Well, when you've got 80 percent of the financing the formula, then how are you going to distribute 80 percent of it, that's where the, to me, that's where the conflict always came.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm, um-hm. Was any UK president more cooperative than others?

DORAN: No, I don't think, I don't think any, I don't--well, I think Oswald was more overbearing than the others, but none of the presidents of the University of Kentucky were willing to say, "Well, now you boys go get what you need, and then we'll take the rest of it." But, it well 12:00could have been that they tried to get what they needed, and then if there's anything left, you all can have the rest of it. No, I saw no signs that anybody was milquetoast when it come to looking at those dollars.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now, did you know David Roselle at all, in his short tenure as President of UK? DORAN: Who?

SUCHANEK: David Roselle, did you know him at all?

DORAN: Well, no I didn't. No, I didn't know Dr. Roselle well enough to comment on his administration. I do think that it's a faulty assumption that boards of trustees and boards of regions will make if they say that we need somebody who is a great scholar, who has demonstrated his 13:00scholarship in research and writing, rather than an individual who has studied the administration of higher education. And has experience, strong experience, in the field of administering higher education, and I always thought that the board made the decision on the basis that Roselle was a great arithmetic scholar. And that that made him heads and shoulders above anybody that was a mere example of a person who was strong in administration. Now, I think if Dr. Wethington writes a chapter in the history of the University of Kentucky, it will certainly prove that the lines responsibility of a president is in administering 14:00the university. And that you can get plenty of vice presidents who are strong academically that will help you with academia, but the great thrust is in knowing how to administer. And all, and I think Charles Wethington is doing a good job showing that he is a good administrator, and that he is not lacking, necessarily, in the academic field too.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Taking into account the current controversy at Kentucky State University, are the regional universities held to a different standard than the University of Kentucky or the University of Louisville? Are the presidents held to a different standard at those regional universities? DORAN: I don't know what you mean.

SUCHANEK: Well, are you familiar with what's going on at Kentucky State?

15:00

DORAN: Well, just what I've read in the newspapers.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Would the University, the president of the University of Kentucky be as scrutinized for expenditures, say, on Maxwell Place that you were at Morehead, at your official residence. As a former president of a regional university, did you feel that you had less latitude in ways to expend money or anything of that nature? Do you have any comments--

DORAN: --no Jeff, I don't think there's a double standard. Now, I know Jessie Jackson came down here Sunday and said that boards ought to look at what's going on in the other university and see them. Why I never did what the newspapers report that the president of the Kentucky University did. If I spent money on the president's home, and I 16:00didn't spend anything on it for five years after I became president, didn't even paper it and paint it, because I didn't want anybody saying I'm taking, draining money off of faculty salaries and teaching facilities and all to do that. And we nowise did that sort of a thing, but I would not have thought about spending money on renovating and revitalizing the president's home without authority of the board. And I in nowise would ever have thought about putting my name on a personnel roster that raised my salary without the board approving that. So I don't think that anybody, from the University of Kentucky down, or from the regional universities up, any president, ever did that kind of a thing without authority from his board.

SUCHANEK: How can that happen though? How could John Wolfe have done that? DORAN: Well, you see, the president would develop a personnel 17:00roster, which I always did, and in cooperation with the deans and the department heads, and the supervisors of various function, we knew how much money we had, and we would decide how much money to put opposite the name of this fellow on the roster.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. But how could he--

DORAN: --and we'd go to the board with it. Well, when I would go to the board with the roster, I'd have my name up there with my last year's salary, but I never put a salary out here for myself.

SUCHANEK: How could he make such a fundamental mistake though, like that?

DORAN: That's a fundamental mistake.

SUCHANEK: Yeah, how could that happen? How could he do that?

DORAN: Well, if he, if he--

SUCHANEK: --I'm looking, I know this is--

DORAN: --no, he draws up a roster of his own, and he puts his own salary in there, and then he notifies the business office to put that in the 18:00personnel roster, in the computer or whatever it is, and they grind out the salaries of those individuals and their checks, and he just starts issuing checks to the faculty and to himself without authority from the president, now that's what I interpret he's done.

SUCHANEK: Right, but what I'm asking you is how could that man make that kind of a fundamental mistake? Obviously you understood that the board would have to approve that.

DORAN: Well, I don't think it was, I don't think it was a mistake. I think it, I think he had to do it intentionally.

SUCHANEK: Okay.

DORAN: I don't know why he did it intentionally. He may have thought that the board wouldn't give him that kind of a raise, $104,000 is a lot of money, you know, and a 10 percent raise is a lot of raise compared with some of the rest. He may have not thought that they would have done it, and that he would go ahead and do it and get it in the machine and get it operating, and then the board would approve it 19:00after the fact. I just don't know, but it was certainly a deliberate effort on his part. It had to be deliberate, or he couldn't have gotten the checks written. But I don't think he, I don't think his is, I don't think the board is dealing with him differently to what that board would deal with me as president of Morehead State University if I'd done the same thing. Now, I can't imagine, and I said facetiously yesterday to one of the faculty at Kentucky State who was talking with me about it, and I said, "Why, when I was at Morehead, I didn't even have a telephone in my car to call anybody or anybody call me, but the newspapers report, and I guess it's accurate, that he's got a communication system over there in his house that they can contact him by satellite in 200 cities, that he be in." Well, now I don't know why in the world a fellow would do that. Facts being that he's not going to be in 200 cities in the first place, and in the second place, 20:00telephones could get him about as quick as he needs to be gotten, you know. That's sort of a hotline thing that the President of the United States uses (Suchanek laughs), not the president of a regional university in Kentucky. So, I guess the meticulous way in which I was always conscious of spending dollars, and what those dollars were spent on, that I've supported the board at Kentucky State University and what they've done, Jeff.

SUCHANEK: I know we've diverged, this interview is supposed to be about your legislative career, but I thought while we were talking I'd get, I'd ask you one more thing about Kentucky State before we move on. The perception is that Kentucky State University has always been treated as a stepchild university, and having dealt with the various presidents of Kentucky State University, how effective were their presidents and what 21:00piece of the pie were they getting dollar wise?

DORAN: Well, I think I told you one time before when we had a little discussion on this that we always thought that Dr. Atwood went back and got him a little more of what we had gotten some of, you know, and that was a, sort of a general feeling among the other presidents. That if he felt that he needed more money, that he could go into the president's house, or the president's office, and he could talk the powers that be out of a little more money. I never thought he was discriminated against at all. Now, Kentucky University, as it now is, which created, as you know, in oh, 1886 or -7, somewhere back there, as just a normal school for training elementary black teachers 22:00for the segregated elementary black schools. And, it was created in an atmosphere, or in a climate, that made it different to the other institutions in Kentucky. And when Morehead and Murray were created in 1922, some legislator, I don't remember his name now, introduced an amendment to both of those bills to create another elementary school for, they said "colored" teachers then, you know, and another normal to train colored elementary teachers. Well, the amendment did not pass, but there was a movement and effort then to say that the black 23:00people are not being treated equally with the white people, that you're creating Morehead and Eastern to satisfy. So, when it was created, just like the other institutions, when they were created they were all put under the state Board of Education, and but it wasn't long until when Eastern and Western were created that they were given their own boards. When Murray and Morehead were created, they were put under the state Board of Education, but it wasn't long until they were given their respective boards. But it was not until nineteen and fifty when I made a study of higher education in Kentucky and the working of the Council on Public Higher Education that anybody had ever recommended that Kentucky State University be taken out from under the state Board 24:00of Education and given a board of regents just like all the other regional universities. So, I recommended that in my dissertation. And in nineteen and fifty-two Senator Richard Moloney, here in Lexington, introduced and passed the bill that did that very thing. So it took equal footing then, with all of the rest of us, and it went through the same process that all of the rest of us went through in getting money, and they got their share, if Morehead got its share, or Eastern got its share, it got its share just like all the rest of us did. But, I do know in the early days of the history of higher education in Kentucky that Kentucky State was placed at a disadvantage by being under the state Board of Education, that it had to deal--

SUCHANEK: --that's where it got its reputation--

DORAN: --yeah, yeah--

SUCHANEK: --as being a stepchild.

DORAN: Now, also it was a favored institution in a lot of ways, 25:00because it was a land grant college, and it got money from the federal government under the Smith-Hughes Act, or other acts that had been passed, that it did not use in the same sense that the University of Kentucky was using its land grant money. And so it had, it was in a favored position also along that time. But, I don't think that the history, Jeff, of higher education in Kentucky, the history of the races in Kentucky, would testify to the fact that Kentucky State has been second class intentionally in the minds of anybody who had to do with higher education. It just became the victim of a political and economic and social system in Kentucky that required it to be different.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. One last question then on Kentucky State. With the 26:00recent problems there with Dr. Wolfe, and as you mentioned, Jessie Jackson's visit this past Sunday, they've tried to deflect the issue of Wolfe's problems and say that there's a movement afoot to do away with Kentucky State University, to make it a community college of UK. And in fact there's a gentleman who's running for state representative in Franklin County, one of the planks of his platform is to do away with Kentucky State University. Is that a pos--

DORAN: --I never heard of it, Jeff, until it was brought up in this case. Now, I know a few years ago they struggled with enrollment, and struggled with identity, and struggled with integration and all 27:00of those things at Kentucky State, that I was knowledgeable of, but I never heard it suggested in all of the discussion that, "Well, let's just make it a community college of the University of Kentucky and let the University of Kentucky do it." Now, I didn't know that anybody was running with that in his platform.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. There is a gentleman--(laughs)--running for state representative--

DORAN: --from Franklin County?

SUCHANEK: Yes. Uh-huh, and that's one of the planks.

DORAN: So, there may be some feeling in Franklin County, and in Frankfort, and there may be some discussion that is not statewide or broadly disseminated, it may be a local thing over there that the people in Frankfort or Franklin County. Some of them may have concluded, "Well, we can never solve these problems, they're always going to be with us, and the best way to solve them is just let the University of Kentucky take it over and make it a community college. I don't know.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. What are your feelings on Kentucky State? Is there 28:00a need for Kentucky State? DORAN: Well, I don't think there'd be, I wouldn't, I see no basis for that sort of a thing. Isn't any reason in the world why Kentucky State University cannot administer its affairs on an adequate and equitable basis with all the other regional universities. And, I believed that from the very beginning, I was very strong for admitting Kentucky State into the Ohio Valley Conference when Tennessee State in Tennessee came in to the--and I was even before that, before Tennessee state came in, or Kentucky state was considered, but they just did not have the type of program, athletic program, that was comparable to the regional universities in Kentucky and Tennessee, and Akron, Ohio, and Youngstown, Ohio, you know, and they were all 29:00in the conference. So, I never was able to get it in. I made the proposition to the Ohio Valley Conference president, but never did get anywhere. So I saw no evidence that anybody was against Kentucky State taking its rightful place among all of the rest of us.

SUCHANEK: Okay. So you see your, I mean, your position then is that there is a place for Kentucky State University.

DORAN: Oh, indeed I do. I think there's a place for Kentucky State, and I think there's a place for it that would be void if it did not exist. Has heritage, it has a strong background of contribution to this state, it has done for people that no other institution could have done at the time, and I don't know that they can do now, but I am not 30:00pleased, I am not pleased at all with efforts upon the part of some of them to make this problem a racial problem. It's not a racial problem. And, I resent, and I guess it doesn't make any difference whether I resent it or don't, but I resent a fellow like Jessie Jackson coming down here and offering himself as a consultant to the board on what to do with Kentucky State. I don't know but that's the first time he was ever in Frankfort, he couldn't know much about Kentucky State, you know. And, bringing him here is not the solution to the problem.

SUCHANEK: Will these problems make it difficult for them to find another president?

DORAN: Oh, I don't think so. I don't think so, I've never known of a university in Kentucky, regardless of what is problems were, that they had difficulty in finding a good president. They've had, they had some 31:00trouble at Morehead for a while after I left, but when they found one that didn't fit the bill they just didn't keep him. And if the board over there doesn't think that Dr. Wolfe is fitting the bill, they're certainly within their rights to ask for his resignation and vote for it. I think you'd find plenty of strong black scholars, administrators, and white too as for that who would be willing to go. I've always thought it was a mistake for them to make a decision up front that the president is going to be black. That's not necessary. It'd be just as bad to make a decision up front to say that the president's going to be white. Now, they don't do it in any of the other institutions. I never knew of that being a consideration at Morehead or the University 32:00of Kentucky that the board would say, "Well now we're going to elect a white man." I don't know how many blacks they've had to apply, but I don't think that they made that decision up front.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Do you think it'd be difficult for a black to become president at UK?

DORAN: No sir, I don't. I don't, you've got a black out here dean of the School of Education at the University of Kentucky, and he's dealing with all shape, form, and fashion of institutions and schools in Kentucky, and I have not heard one derogatory thing said about that dean since he's been over there. I don't think Kentucky is in a state now in which qualifications become secondary if you have a black or a white.

SUCHANEK: Okay. Enough about that then. (both laugh) We'll get on and 33:00talk some more about your legislative career, okay? All right.

DORAN: Now one of my great faults, Jeff, is the fact that I just talk about what I want to talk about, say what I want to say.

SUCHANEK: That's fine. (laughs) That's fine.

DORAN: Now somebody may just take this tape and just riddle me to the core about it, you know, but that's all right if they don't have anything else to do but that.

SUCHANEK: (laughs) I don't think they will. We've talked a little bit in previous sessions about how you began to get interested in politics. I believe you mentioned that your wife's father was involved in, I think, local politics and also wasn't your father involved somewhat in those--

DORAN: --well, no, my father was never involved. My, Mignon's father was a strong Democrat. My father was a strong Republican, but he never did take any active part in politics, but he never did look favorably 34:00upon any of the boys taking part in Democratic politics, I think he'd have been satisfied if they'd gone Republican, but he wasn't very happy with the other. But I think education, as I think I've said before, that education was the motivating influence that drew me in to want to go to legislature, because I decided early that that's where the decision was made on how much money we got, and how much money we got was the determinant on what my salary would be, and what my teaching facility would be, and so on. So, I don't think there was any idea in the world that I would love politics or be in the power structure or sit in on king making processes and all.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Did the school board support your decision to get involved? DORAN: Who?

SUCHANEK: The school board? SUCHANEK: Oh yes. Yes, the superintendent. James B. DeWeese was the superintendent with whom I went to college, and with whom I graduated from Murray in 1932, and he was very 35:00supportive of it, and they agreed to give me a leave of absence so that I could go and that Mignon would stay and teach and all. It was--I couldn't have done it without their partnership. And, later there was a movement on in the state legislature to pass a law, and they liked to have gotten it passed, I was very strongly opposed to it, that people actively engaged in teaching could not serve in the state legislature. And so, it's bad legislation, and I think the schools profited far greater by us who went in 1944, by our having been in education, than they would have, or had had in the days that passed. But you know, 36:00there's a little peculiar thing about that. Our state senator was up in years, but he was a great friend of my father-in-law's. His name was John McDonald. And I really wanted to run for the Senate and, because I thought that greater influence could be had in the Senate than could in the House, which I was wrong about, and didn't know anything about it, but it just sounded like being a senator was more prestigious than being in the House to get things done. But my father- in-law was a very close friend of John McDonald, and when I talked to him about running for the Senate, which I thought I could have won because I had worked in Hickman County and had lived in Fulton County and was a native of Graves County, and they were all in that district, he didn't want me to do it. But, lo and behold, after I decided to run 37:00for the House, John decided he wouldn't run again for the Senate--(both laugh)--and so it was wide open, which I could have won very easily if, because the fellow who did win was Charlie Waggoner, who had been a sheriff in our county and wasn't as well-known in the other counties as I would. But I guess I don't have any regrets of that. I suspect staying in the House for ten years and being Speaker of the House placed me in better stead for education for my own welfare, to be speaker than it would have just to have been a member of the Senate.

SUCHANEK: Right, right. You mentioned Mr. W. H. Foster was on the UK board at one time. And, of course, he was from Mayfield. When you ran for the General Assembly, what was the local political situation like in Graves County?

DORAN: Well, it was very calm, very serene.

38:00

SUCHANEK: Were there factions? DORAN: Not great factions, at least the factions didn't show up in my race. In my first race, I didn't spend but $75. I bought candidate cards, they called them, to hand out around the coach square on Saturday afternoon and some big posters that you'd put up on telephone poles around over the state, over the county, and that's all there was to it. There were a number of people who were leaders in politics in Graves County at the time. My father-in-law was one of them; and Mr. Foster was one of them, he operated the Merit Clothing Company, which was a strong influence and had a large number of employees in the county, and had an economic impact on the county; and Mr. Ed Gardner who was the banker. And Mr. Gardner had a strong 39:00hold, economically, on the county because that's where the people earned their money, and that's where he set the conditions of interest and paybacks and all, but Mr. Foster was sort of a godfather to me, politically. Now, Mr. Gardner was a cold, calculating fellow of the rankish sort, and when I went to Mr. Gardner to talk about running for the legislature he said, "There's one thing that I want you to promise me you'll be for." Now, Willis was running for Governor at the same time on the Republican ticket and Lyter Donaldson was running on the Democratic ticket. Well, of course I tied to Lyter Donaldson what I could and he tied to me what he could, but Mr. Gardner, when I went to 40:00see him, he said, "I want you to promise me that you will support, if Willis is elected, that you'll support his promise to repeal the income tax." And I said, "Well, Mr. Gardner I can't do that, because if you repeal the income tax in this state, you're going to defeat the very purpose for which I think I'm going to the legislature, to get enough money to help finance education and health and welfare in this state, and I just can't do it." Well, he was a little chagrined at me from that, and told my father-in-law that he was, but he said, "Oh, I think he's such a seemingly good promising boy, I'm going to support him, and then try to convince him after he's elected." (Suchanek laughs) Well, he was for me, and I was elected, and he did try to convince me, as well as did Mr. Foster. Mr. Foster tried to convince me too that I ought to repeal the income tax. But somehow or other, Jeff, I've 41:00always found that the people who were opposed to income taxes were the people who were making big incomes. They never did oppose a sales tax--(Suchanek laughs)--because a sales tax is, in reality, as "Happy" Chandler said, regressive. It puts the burden on the fellow who makes the least, and releases the fellow who makes the most from income tax. So I never was opposed to an income tax, and I wasn't when I went to the legislature. But I had no great, I had no great problem with the political power structure in Graves County. The only fellow I had any trouble with was a fellow who was a county magistrate. And, this fellow was opposed to me because of my religious affiliation. I was a member of the Church of Christ and he was a member of the Baptist church, and one of the fellows, he was very strong in his area out 42:00there, and he had just fallen out with some of the people who were on the school board, I think, who were members of the Church of Christ. And he just decided that he wasn't going to elect any of them to the legislature. So he supported my opponent. And I lost his precinct twenty-nine to twenty-eight, and that's the only precinct I lost in the county. So that was the only political defection that I found in the county, and that was more personal than it was political, because he was a Democrat, but he just didn't think I ought to go for legislature.

SUCHANEK: I see. Let me turn this tape over.

[Pause in recording.]

SUCHANEK: A real fine job. Well, this is a three part question: what professional qualifications, personal qualities, or personal 43:00experience, or knowledge, did you feel that you had that qualified you for the General Assembly?

DORAN: You know, Jeff, I never had thought about that when I ran. I just knew what I wanted to do, and I really never let those conditions interfere with a decision I made, or with an effort to obtain what I wanted to do. I thought I could learn as much about it as anybody else knew, and if others had preceded me in the legislature, and had done well, I thought surely I could learn what they learned and do well. But for me to say that I thought I was -----------(??)---------- I'd say ----------(??) state and all, that just never crossed my mind, and if somebody said, "Well you just want to run because you want to be Speaker of the House, well I would have said, "Well now, what does the speaker do? You'll have to tell me what it do, what it does, and 44:00then I may want to be one," you know. But, I never did give that consideration. I just thought this was a means by which certain things could be accomplished. And, if I could be a part of that process that it might speak well for me.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. What did you think you brought to the job that would make you effective in state politics? I mean, I'm assuming you had this, you were a little knowledgeable on how the state legislature actually worked.

DORAN: Oh, I majored in history and political science at the undergraduate level in college, and I did know how it did all right. But, I think--

SUCHANEK: --well, there is a difference between book learning and the actual way things get done. Is there not?

DORAN: Exceedingly so. Exceedingly so. I think I was, Providence may 45:00have had something to do with it, but I think I was in a very favored position, Jeff, when I went to the state legislature. Harry Lee Waterfield had been in the legislature for a number of terms, and was a very effective, well-respected, and highly regarded in state politics. He'd been in the legislature. Well, Harry Lee and I went to college together and graduated in the same class together, and so when I ran and went to the legislature, there he was. Lyter Donaldson had gotten, was defeated in the 1943 primary, I mean, ----------(??) election with us. Well here, then, opened an opportunity for people like Harry Waterfield and Earle Clements, and Dick Moloney and Louis Cox to rise to a leadership level among the Democrats that did not provide 46:00itself if we'd had a Democratic Governor. So then Harry Lee saw his opportunity to become speaker, and that the decision would be made not by the government but by the democratic legislators. And he opened up for me an opportunity to participate in that whole process. I went with him over the state to see all of the Democratic legislators and the candidates for the speaker. So I knew them as well when we went to Frankfort, as he knew them. And maybe better, because I had done what some of them wanted, to be for him, and I'd promised him that we'd do that. (Suchanek laughs) And that was a little naive, and -------- --(??), I thought, surely with small things that they wanted, that they maybe wanted a new ----------(??), wanted somebody ----------(??) in the House. Well that was an ----------(??). And, I went through all 47:00of that process, and he had such confidence in me, and I had such high regard for him, and he knew the committees on which I ought to serve that would place me in good stead. So, he gave me the chairmanship of the Committee on Education, placed me on the Committee of Appropriation and Taxation, and made me a member of the Rules Committee, a committee then, I don't know how they do it now, the last ten years, took over all the legislation and decided what would go before the House. And then, he put me on subcommittees and public ----------(??). Well, I didn't know anything about public ----------(??), and ----------(??). He said, "Well you don't know it, but in West Tennessee public ----- -----(??)is one of the great issues that can come up," you know, better prepare for it. Now, since they've been ----------(??)to drain the marshes and all of western Kentucky. Well, it was a high degree of 48:00----------(??), and I would not be egotistical, or certainly wouldn't intend for it to be, I was always able to deliver what job was given to me and I never did shirk my responsibility. I worked day and night, and all to do the job, and God gave me enough character and ability, and speaking ability that I could persuade others to do the same thing. And so I led many of the fights on the floor for issues that Harry Lee was interested in. Some of them became controversial issues between him and Earle Clements who was in the Senate, and I did not realize it in the beginning, they knew that they were going to run against each other for Governor, and so I found myself on Harry Lee's 49:00side in the primary and Clements on the other side. But I think all of those things contributed to my ability to get in places of peculiar privileges, Jeff, when I was in legislature.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. But you were identified with Harry Lee Waterfield very early then in your political career.

DORAN: Oh, indeed. Indeed. Well, I was identified with him long before I ever thought about getting into politics, you know, and then politically I was identified with him. There was an old agency in state government that was known as the legislative council, and it was primarily dominated by the executive branch of government, legislature had little to do with it. But somehow Harry Lee persuaded Governor Keen Johnson, who was just going out of office, that he appoint him and appoint me and two or three others on that council that gave us, 50:00from the final in November until the legislature met in January an opportunity to meet and begin to fashion a budget, and look at the finances of the state, and the revenue of the state, and the anticipated revenue, and how much money there was in hand and all. And that gave me a great experience that Harry Lee put me on that legislative council that, well, gave me a hop skip and a jump, you know, ahead of some of the other legislators who came in. I've always been grateful for that, and I've always tried to show my gratitude for Harry Lee and tried to say some of those things when I made a speech down at Murray, after he had died, about it, because he was a great statesman.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. I know how it is now, in the legislature, but I don't know how it was back then, was it unusual for a freshman like yourself to be put on such outstanding and important committees like 51:00appropriations and education. I mean, for a freshman to be given chairmanship of education committee--

DORAN: --yes, yes--

SUCHANEK: --is really highly unusual. It would be highly unusual now, was it that unusual back then?

DORAN: Well, the legislature is more independent now than it was then, from the Governor's position. And our independency then resided in the fact that the Governor was Republican and we were Democrats and controlled it. Now, we were not always able to control the votes, because the Governor could get to some of the Democrats even, with patronage and all, you know. But indeed it was unusual, but we had an unusual situation in the House at that time. You had Rodes Myers who had been a strong leader in politics in Kentucky. You had John Brown, John Young Brown--

SUCHANEK: --Senior--

DORAN: --the father of the Governor there. And Harry Lee knew where 52:00those people were, and he knew there were limits on the trust that he could place in those people that would support his program and program for the state. And, I think he was looking, and I was not the only one, Jerry Howell from up in Floyd County and Frank Basset from down in Christian County, they were just a number of us younger fellows who were very loyal and supportive of Harry Lee. But somehow I gravitated to a more responsive level of leadership than they. Now, I don't know whether you could do that today or not, but the speaker has a lot of authority in naming these committees that he did for me, that nobody questioned it, I had no problem with it, but it was unusual, I know 53:00that. But all of that experience, Jeff, placed me in good stead in my later work at Morehead with my knowledge of the people and the ones I had been associated with, and how to go about getting things done. That was very, very helpful to me.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. This is kind of an off-the-wall question, but I'll ask it. Do you think you would be comfortable in the legislature today? DORAN: Unh-uh. No, no. I would not be comfortable in the legislature today. I don't think that the legislature is exercising the freedom that it leaves the impression that it is. The authority, and the legislature has done this to itself, the authority for the fiscal affairs are vested pretty well in two people in Kentucky now, the chairman in the Senate and the chairman in the House. Well, I would 54:00not be comfortable with a situation where two people were making the decisions on what taxes we voted on, and how much those taxes would be, and whether those appropriations would be made, and why they wouldn't be made. I don't think that, I don't think the situation is as good today in legislative affairs as it was when I was in there. One fellow in the Senate speaks for the Senate, as the newspapers report him, and that's the way the people get their information about what's going on. I don't think I would, I don't think I'd be satisfied at all in serving with the legislature today. Now, that doesn't mean that the legislature is downgraded and degraded and disintegrated at all, but it does have a greater independency today from the Governor's office than it did when I was there.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. How would you like to be speaker today?

55:00

DORAN: I wouldn't. I wouldn't like to be speaker at all today under the conditions that the speaker has to operate. And, I feel very warmly toward his position and the difficulties that he has to deal with. He has to deal with a Governor that's adverse to the legislature. He deals with a legislature that's adverse to the Governor, he's dealing with vested interests within the legislature that did not surface, at least when I was speaker. Such things as whether you give 50 percent of the income from coal to the counties in which they were, which the coal was manufactured. That's a bungle some, burdensome question, Jeff, to settle. And, dealing with such things as the TVA buying 56:00coal out of Kentucky, and how you can legislate to entice TVA to buy Kentucky coal, or how you can entice the mining industry to clean up its coal that will qualify. Those are all problems that can't be solved, and questions that can't be answered, and I just wouldn't find any joy in wrestling with them today, I guess they do, and it's well that they did. You know, there was a thing that I thought of a while ago when you asked a question that goes back to my introduction to the hardcore politics of Kentucky legislation. The public instruction--

[Pause in recording.]

DORAN: John Fred Williams persuaded Governor Willis to let him write 57:00a letter to all of the schoolteachers, and all of the school people in Kentucky, saying that if Willis was elected Governor, that he would appropriate three million of the surplus to teacher's salaries retroactively to January 1 of '94. Well, I think that was one of the things that elected Willis for Governor. Well, Governor Willis had other things he wanted to do to repeal the income tax. Well, Mr. Williams was opposed to that, I was opposed to it, majority of the legislature was opposed to it. But when it came time to ask Mr. Willis to fulfill his commitment, to appropriate these three million, Mr. Williams asked Mr. Marcum, who was a representative from Clay County, Republican representative, and me to sponsor the bill, House 58:00Bill 9, I believe that it was.

SUCHANEK: I was going to ask you about that.

DORAN: And, so he asked us to sponsor the bill, which they did. Well, when it came down to the real decision making process, we got it through the House, got it introduced in the House, and then got it ready, through the committee, for passage. And the Governor awakened to the fact, through the advice of some of his senatorial supporters that if he passed that law early, he'd leave the schoolteachers out of the arena. You couldn't get any schoolteacher to vote for the repeal of his income tax if he did that. So, that was the first effort that anybody ever made on me to influence my, on me, to make me change my 59:00political decision. So, he called Ed Marcum and me down to his office, and he said he didn't want us to get that bill out of committee, and he didn't want the House to pass on it, wanted us to delay passage on it. Well, Ed Marcum was a dear person, but he was a Republican too and, by the way, he was the brother-in-law of Governor Bert Combs. But, Combs was not in state politics at that time, so Marcum agreed with him, that he'd drag his feet, and I had a terrible time. Here's a little country schoolteacher, never been to the legislature before, and he's sitting down there in the presence of the Governor, and the Governor is telling him what he ought to do in the legislature. But my commitments to this thing were so great that I thought the right of the thing was more overriding than the politics of the thing, and we said, "No, we're not going to do it." Well he lined up his Republican people in the House, that we were going to lose every Republican vote in the House, 60:00and they had forty-six and we had fifty-four, and I didn't know how many of the Democrats he was going to get. But I was either ignorant enough, or courageous enough that I said, "No, Governor, I'm going to have to go with it." And, we went and went with it and were successful, and he signed it. Well, everybody knew that if it ever got on his desk he would sign it, you know, he couldn't afford not to, but if he could put pressure on us little boys and get us to delay it, you know, til he got something else that he wanted. Another time, in the '46 legislature, we were in a great wrangle on how much to appropriate for education, but finally got the budget passed, and I introduced a bill to set up a commission to study education at all levels in Kentucky. And, I got the Senate, I mean the House, to agree to pass it, and they 61:00did, I got the leadership of the Senate to agree to pass it, which they did. And after we got it passed in the House and got it passed in the Senate, I went to the Republican leadership in the Senate, Ray Moss was the minority floor leader, and went to him and said, "Now, we've got it passed, and I want you to talk to the Governor about signing it and not vetoing it." And he said, "Oh no, now this is another matter." Said, "I just promised you the Senate would pass it, and we passed it, and you got it through the House and got it through the Senate. Now, what the Governor does with it is another matter." Well, they knew the Governor was going to veto it, or they wouldn't have passed it in the first place, you know. And, it just, it finally dawned on me, "Well, your legislation isn't worth a dime if the Governor's not going to sign it"--(laughs)--you know. And that shocked me greatly, you know, with my limited political experience that they would con me into thinking the thing was fine, and all was well, and get it through in the Senate, 62:00and then go to the Governor's office and he vetoed the thing. Wasn't anything you could do about it.

SUCHANEK: Well, you know, there's been talk, recently, about the constitution being amended whereby the legislature could override the Governor's veto. What do you think about that?

DORAN: Well, I think I would support a provision that would let the Kentucky legislature follow the pattern of the national Congress, with a 2/3 vote to override the veto. That's a part of the check and balance system that ought to exist, and I would approve, though we don't have it in Kentucky, an item veto of the Governor. I think the Governor ought to be at liberty to veto items in the budget without vetoing the whole thing, if the legislature has the authority to vote 63:00on his veto after he does it. I think it's more democratic. Now I'll tell you one thing, Jeff, that I'm disturbed about in Kentucky politics, Kentucky government maybe, is the fact that the legislature is slowly, but surely whittling away the powers of the executive branch of government. There are lots and lots of things that ought to be left with the executive department on administrative rules and regulations to carry out the intent of the legislature, but slowly and surely they're whittling away at the authority and responsibility of the executive branch of government in Kentucky. Of course if, I guess if I were in the legislature and the Governor wasn't doing what I wanted to do, maybe I'd want to have veto power over what he did, but it's not 64:00good, in the long run, it's not good governing.

SUCHANEK: Where do you think the General Assembly is headed in relation to that, to checks and balances?

DORAN: Well, if a kind of leadership emerges that can establish a good rapport with the next Governor, they can solve it, but if we go on for two or three more administrations with a cleavage between the Governor's office and the legislative branch of government, it could get bad. Now, I think if Mr. Hopkins is elected Governor, you'll have another thing where the Republicans are in the executive branch and the Democrats are in the legislative branch, and the tendency will be to 65:00continue to take to themselves authority that has always been exercised by the executive office. Now, if Mr. Jones is elected, he having been Lieutenant Governor, and knows the people in the Senate, and knows the Senate process, legislative process, and you have a Democratic administration in the House and Senate, and in the Governor's office, I think many of those things can be reconciled.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm, um-hm. Now, looking back, the days when you served in the legislature, and as speaker, and the current make-up of the General Assembly, it seems as though in Kentucky politics we no longer have the great orators that we used to have in the legislature. I'm thinking of, well, yourself, Leonard Hislope, who came a little bit after you, 66:00he was known as the "Orator of the House," and great speakers, and do you have any comments on the different make-ups of the membership?

DORAN: I don't know enough about it, Jeff, to give an educated or thoughtful answer to it. But, I think this is happening, not only in politics, but it's happening in teaching, and in the pulpits, and everywhere else. We have turned away from the Henry Clay style of oratory, and the Jessie Bledsoe style of oratory, he must have been a great one, and some of which was carried over into my day with Alben Barkley and people like that. We've turned away from that style of communication, in my opinion, to a more conversational type, a more dialogue kind of thing, a more symposium kind of communication to make 67:00decision, and we've gotten away from these stem-winder speeches, that all of us used to think we were making, you know, that could put them in the aisles, and they'd weep some, and they'd laugh some, and you'd play on every kind of emotion they had, you know, to get this thing done. We've moved away from that, and I'm sure it's showing up in the legislature, just like I see it in everywhere else. I remember one time, and this is not egotistical either, that I intend for it to be, and I hope it's not recorded as such, but I remember one time when we were in a strong fight with the Senate over whether we would adopt an escalation clause in the budget that would provide a certain basic appropriation, but also provide that if the revenue exceeded 68:00the estimate by a certain amount, that it would be appropriated into certain areas, a million dollars of which would go to public education. And, I remember that question came before the House, and the feelings were high, pressures were great, Senate had threatened to vote against it, and they did adjourn before we got through with it, but I remember that the speaker asked me to make the speech on that thing. And nobody recorded the speech, it never was, you know, they didn't put them in the journals, and nobody has a record of it, I don't either. But he was always highly commendable of the speech I made that he said to me, later said, "Why, the cold chill just ran up and down my back when you were pleading emotionally for these boys and girls." Because the Senate 69:00wanted to take this money, if there be any, and put it in capitol construction, and my plea was not for bricks and mortar but for needed, needful things for the--well, we had some of that then, John Young Brown was a great one, he could do a great oratorical persuasive thing, Rodes Myers was in that field also. Morris Weintraub from up at Newport could do some of that. And I think a lot of decisions were made on the basis of some of that oratory, but I don't hear any of it today. I listen to some of it by television, and the people who were speaking on a bill were just mumbling, and you could ask them a question, and many 70:00of them couldn't even answer the question that you asked them about the provisions of their bill. Now, I don't know whether that's right or wrong, but I think I see it in other fields other than in government, and I suspect that it's not even at the national level like it used to be with Clay and Calhoun and Barkley, and--

SUCHANEK: --how do you account for that?

DORAN: Well, I think there's the same thing. I think it's the communicative process. We just want a fellow now who can just stand up there and talk about apple pie, and talk about motherhood, and talk about the flag, and television helps him come across. He didn't get out here in the bulrushes like we did then, he didn't get up on a stump and make a speech, he doesn't go out to a brush arbor somewhere, and he doesn't go out graveyard cleaning off, and to a family picnic and all and make his great speech. You've got a different--

SUCHANEK: --just lack of practice? DORAN: Huh?

71:00

SUCHANEK: Do you think it's lack of practice?

DORAN: Oh, indeed so. If we were still in that situation, they'd rise to the occasion. Of course they would. But they've got television and radio, and I never made but one radio speech politically in my life.

SUCHANEK: Is that right?

DORAN: And that was a speech that I made explaining why I withdrew from the campaign for state superintendent of public instruction and was going to manage Harry Lee Waterfield's campaign. I made it over WHAS, and there just weren't many politicians that were on radio. And certainly television, we didn't do anything by television then. So I think all of the whole structure of our communicative process has changed, and it has just drowned out the orator, we don't listen to him anymore. We're not where he speaks. If he speaks, where are we to go? You don't have the old Chautauqua platforms that you had, you know, for--

SUCHANEK: --do you think we'll see any great oratory tonight at the 72:00debate between Hopkins and--

DORAN: --no sir. No sir. (both laugh) I prophesize, and it'll all be in the past now, and you'll know what kind of a prophet I am. I think it'll be just as ineffective as it can be. I think they'll just stand up there and they'll katydid, katydidn't, and you did and I didn't, and you will and I won't. It'll be that kind of a debate tonight. But, you won't have a, you won't have a thing like Kennedy and his forces did when he was a great speaker, and he was a great orator.

SUCHANEK: Do you miss the oratory?

DORAN: Huh?

SUCHANEK: Do you miss the great oratories? DORAN: He was? SUCHANEK: No, do you miss it? DORAN: Oh, I do. Indeed I do. Indeed I do. And, I admit to you, and I'm not calling for the good old days, but I just, I long for, I hear running for a public office to get up there and just 73:00lambast and rouse the emotions of the people to do something. Now, they always said that Ronald Regan was a great communicator. Well I never did think he was a great communicator, he would "Aww," and "Well," and, "I say to you so and so," and he was just reading a script that had been written for him.

SUCHANEK: What about Jessie Jackson?

DORAN: Well, now Jessie Jackson is a communicator with the black people. But, I'm not sure that he knows my culture well enough to communicate with me. Now, Jackson sort of turns me off. And, it's not because he's black, it's just because of the process through which he goes. Now, when he was over at Frankfort the other day, I heard a little of it on television, and he'd make a statement, and have them repeating the statement after him. "We will overcome," and that kind of a thing. 74:00Well, I never knew that as a means of communication, but it does arouse their emotions and their enthusiasm, and he's very effective among the people he speaks to, and the manner in which he does it. But I would long for the day when a fellow is running for the United States Senate that could go down here and do like Alben Barkley used to do. Just fascinating, just moving and attractive, and I long for the days that I can sit in a church, and I can hear a fellow in that pulpit that will do like a fellow like M. B. Hardeman who was my president at Freed Hardeman College, when I was a student down there, and people like that who just waxed eloquent, and who could take words and put them together 75:00and play those words just like you were playing the finest tuned harp that anybody ever played on. So, to say to you, I do miss them and I wish they would return. Now, I heard last night the discussion on, between the candidates for secretary of state and the candidates for superintendent of public instruction. Well, if I were not just a very loyal voting citizen of the Commonwealth of Kentucky they wouldn't motivate me to go vote in the election or vote for either one of them. They just, they were just very low key and very, played everything very down, and all. I, that's not my day, that's not my style.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. You know, Ed Pritchard had a, used to like to tell a story, Barkley story, apparently Barkley was waxing eloquent one day and had been going on for an hour or two and got out of breath and 76:00reached down and took out his watch fob and kind of wound his watch and some fellow in the front row said, "Alben, if that watch has run down, there's a calendar right behind you."

DORAN: (Both laughs), that sounds about like some of those wags would have done to him, you know, because he'd speak that long.

SUCHANEK: Yeah. Now you mentioned in a previous interview that during that tour that you took with Harry Lee Waterfield around the state leading the other members of the legislature, that you and Harry Lee met with Earle Clements to discuss how the two of them were going to run the legislature, now that a Republican, Simeon Willis had been elected Governor. Do you recall that meeting and what was said? Or 77:00what strategy was devised?

DORAN: Well, we met in Frankfort, and we met in a rooming house down there, I've forgotten the name of it now where we were both staying, he'd been out on the trail among the senators. We'd been out on the trail among the members of the House. And, of course, Harry Lee knew that he wanted to be speaker, because that was the important position in the House, but there were two in the Senate, one was the president pro-tem and the other was majority floor leader. And Earle did not know, at that point in time of our conversation which one he wanted to be, and we talked about, they did, I didn't know anything about it, but they talked about the advantages that Earle would have if he were president pro-tem, because he'd be presiding when the Lieutenant Governor was not presiding, and when critical issues came up, he could, they could put him in the chair, and he could preside over the Senate. 78:00Then they talked about the advantages of him being majority leader where he helped shape the legislation, and would be instrumental in influencing the committee members, where they went. And then they decided that they could appoint a Committee on Committees, which would take the power out of the Lieutenant Governor's hands to name committees, but that the Committee on Committees would name them. So it was that kind of a conversation.

SUCHANEK: Now, that wasn't a constitutional role of the Lieutenant Governor, but that had been--

DORAN: --no, no. This was the rules of the House and Senate, and they couldn't strip him of his constitutional power, but the rules of the House and Senate could provide that the committees would be appointed by a Committee on Committees, or by the speaker or by the 79:00Lieutenant Governor, and up to then the Lieutenant Governor had named the committees and the House too. I think they still carry that committee on committees in the Senate at the present time that he started. But Earle Clements always, Jeff, was looking at the position just like Lyndon Johnson, and in the, at the position that would give him the most power. And he knew power structure, and he looked at the structure in which he would obtain power. So he finally decided that he'd be majority floor leader. Because that was where the power of the Senate was, and not in a pro-tem presiding officer, because they're going to take the power away from him anyhow on committees. Now, I know that there was no particular cleavage, at that point in time, 80:00or even during the '44 session of the legislature between Earle and Harry Lee, they were sparring, they just didn't know what was going to arise, but later, I believe, I guess it Was Virgil Chapman who died in the Senate, and Earle was very, very insistent that Harry Lee run for the Senate to take his place. And, because in the first place, Earle wanted to get him out of Kentucky so he wouldn't run for Governor, and Harry Lee didn't want to go to the Senate because he wanted to stay in Kentucky and run for Governor. And I was privileged to that conversation, and that talk, and that discussion about Earl's effort to persuade Harry Lee to go to the Senate. Well, the House adjourned, the Senate, legislature adjourned on a Friday afternoon, we'll say, Harry Lee went home, and he was going to make his decision on whether 81:00he was going to run for the Senate or not. Well, he came back Monday morning and first thing, I was one of the first ones he saw, I guess, always, every morning. He said, "I've decided I'm not going to do it. Earle just wants me to run for the Senate because he wants to run for Governor, but I want to run for Governor. I don't care anything about national politics, I don't want to be on that level, I want to stay here." Well, from that point in time, the lines began to be drawn between Harry Lee and Earle for the Governors, and then Earle ran for Congress, and the '46 session that we held, he was in Congress, but the Senate began to line up with Earl, and the House began to line up with Harry Lee, and we saw cleavages within the legislative process because 82:00of Earl's influence in the Senate, and Harry's influence on the House.

SUCHANEK: That was kind of a strange situation, here Earle Clements is in Washington, and yet still has control over the Kentucky Senate.

DORAN: He did strong control, but he did it through Cox, Louis Cox, and Dick Moloney, and fellows that he had served with, and--

SUCHANEK: --well, how was he able to do that? I mean, when he was in Washington he--

DORAN: --well, just the magnetism of his personality.

SUCHANEK: Personality?

DORAN: He was, he had, he could establish rapport and confidence and loyalty. And I'm one of them that he developed it with after Harry Lee lost his race, and I went into his headquarters and then served as speaker in '49 and '50. He just had that, he had that ability. He was, outside of Lyndon Johnson, I think Earle Clements was the most 83:00magnetic political personality that I've ever known. You let him look you in the eyes and get a hold of the lapels of your coat, and he would stand there with his hands on the lapels of your coat, and he had you hypnotized almost, looking you--(laughs)--in your eyes, and he could persuade you that he was right about it. And, so he had that relations with the Senate. And, of course it was power also. The Senate wanted to be on the side of the fellow who was going to win for Governor, and the House wanted to be on the side of the fellow who was going to win for Governor. And it just automatically shifted in to those centers of gravity and cells of power among them.

SUCHANEK: We're almost out of tape here today. Would you like to stop 84:00for today?

DORAN: I'm fine, anytime you want to.

[End of interview.]

Search This Transcript
SearchClear