HERDMAN: The following is an unrehearsed interview with former State Representative and Senator Marshall Long who represented Henry and Shelby Counties in the House from 1982 to '99 and in the Senate from 1999 to 2003. The interview was conducted by Catherine Herdman for the University of Kentucky Legislative Oral history Project July 18, 2006 in the office of Caldwell Banker in Shelbyville, Kentucky at 3:00 p.m.

[Pause in recording.]

HERDMAN: Okay, good afternoon Mr. Long. Uh, could you tell me when and where you were born and where you grew up?

LONG: I was born in 1936 at Lexington, Kentucky, uh, but I've lived in Shelbyville all my life. We lived in Shelbyville at the time I was born and so I've been here all my life.

HERDMAN: Okay, who were your parents, their names?

LONG: Uh, Edith and Tyler Long. Uh, my mother was from Lexington, my father from Shelbyville--graduate of VMI, served in World War II.

HERDMAN: Okay, and, uh, what did they do for a living?


LONG: My mother was stay-at-home mother, for the most part, although she owned a farm. My father was in the tobacco business, a farmer, and in the concrete block business.

HERDMAN: Okay, and in Shelbyville is where they were?

LONG: In Shelbyville.

HERDMAN: Okay, what about your grandparents? Their names and what they did for a living.

LONG: Charles Marshall was my grandfather, on my mother's side. He was a car dealer and a banker. And D.T. Long was my grandfather, on my father's side. And he was a tobacco warehouse operator and farmer.

HERDMAN: Okay, and what year were you born?

LONG: 1936.

HERDMAN: Okay, growing up in the 30s and 40s, um, what sort of activities did you do as a child? Games?

LONG: Well, we lived in a small town. Shelbyville was a very small town, at that time. And, of course, my first remembrance was when my dad went off to World War II. Uh, he is a graduate of VMI so he went into World War II. And like most kids that age, we played ball and, uh, had 2:00a pretty good time growing up. It was a great community to grow up in.

HERDMAN: Did you have movies or any sort of outside entertainment?

LONG: We did have movies. At one time, Shelbyville had two movie theaters and, uh, we, we--you could go for fifteen cents, I think it was, (both laugh) in the 40's, to, to the movie.

HERDMAN: Okay, and, uh, what--who were your friends? Did you have neighborhood kids or--

LONG: --mostly neighborhood kids, most of whom still live around here, in Shelbyville. We got a lot older--(Herdman laughs)--but they still around here. My closest friends are still here.

HERDMAN: From childhood?

LONG: Um-hm.

HERDMAN: Did you, uh, attend church or what was the role of the religion?

LONG: Yeah, I was uh, uh, my mother and father both attended the Presbyterian Church, and I have served the Presbyterian Church as both a deacon and elder for a number of years.

HERDMAN: Um-hm. Um, what do you remember from attending church? What were the services like?

LONG: Well, at, at, at that time, the Presbyterian Church, in Shelbyville had the best young people's group. So, even churches--the other churches in town sent their people. So we, we would go on--the 3:00things I remember the best, they're not church services probably, but we would have what they called Young People's on Sunday night and you could always good to the movie after that was over so, I remember those things. And a lot of those people still live in the area and are very close friends.

HERDMAN: Um-hm. How do you, uh, feel like the role of religion growing up influenced your political views or did it?

LONG: Well, I think, you know, now the Presbyterian Church is thought of, I think as a more liberal church. But I think most of my views were fairly moderate, sort of middle-of-the-road.


LONG: At that time the church wasn't involving themselves in politics like they are now. But I think those values you learned in church and so forth helped, helped me in my career.

HERDMAN: Okay, um, where did you attend school?

LONG: I, I attended the elementary school in Shelbyville and the first year of high school in Shelbyville and then I went to--I, my parents 4:00thought it needed a little more work and they sent me for three years, I graduated from Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, Virginia.

HERDMAN: Okay. Um, did you have brothers and sisters?

LONG: I have two brothers, both who live here.

HERDMAN: And did they go to the same schools? Did they end up, uh, in Lynchburg?

LONG: They both went to Eastern High School and graduated from Eastern High School in Jefferson County.

HERDMAN: Okay, um, what were your favorite teachers or subjects or memories of school?

LONG: Well, I went to a boy's school the last three years so, there, there was a, uh, a fellow named Rock Lee who was always my favorite teacher and was also the basketball coach and a baseball coach, which, I was on both teams.


LONG: So, I learned a lot from him and there was a name--a guy named Joe Banks who was an English teacher. He taught me how to write and when he did it, I didn't think much of it but it, it paid off in the long run.

HERDMAN: And did you attend college?

LONG: Center College in Danville, Kentucky.

HERDMAN: Okay, and what did you major in? What was your degree?


LONG: I majored in, what then was business administration with an accounting emphasis, they called it.

HERDMAN: Okay, and were you ever in the armed services?

LONG: I served in the Kentucky Air National Guard, uh, for about seven and a half years, as I remember.

HERDMAN: And what years would that be?

LONG: I went in immediately, the day after graduation because the Vietnam War was going on at that time, in 1959, and served, I think, through 1966. I, I haven't looked that up in a long time, but I think that's right.

HERDMAN: Okay (laughs), um, what do you remember about world events during the time period you were growing up? Post World War II, Vietnam, the student movement, civil rights?

LONG: Well, post-World War II, in a small town, the, the big thing was people coming back from the war.


LONG: And, uh, uh, certainly, the Vietnam War made all of us--both the Korean and the Vietnam War--made all of us, I was a little older then, and you realize the sacrifices that were being made by people. I don't think we recognized that as much as, when you're s--five or six years 6:00old when World War II was going on but certainly, those two wars, you did.

HERDMAN: What, um, did the civil rights movement impact Shelby and, if so, in what way--Shelbyville--and if so in what way?

LONG: It, it did have, uh, it did have its impact. I'm proud to say that Shelbyville did it very well--

HERDMAN: --um-hm--

LONG: --for a small southern town.

HERDMAN: When did it desegregate public facilities?

LONG: I don't remember what year it was but I, I do, very vividly, remember the first football game in which the, uh, African Americans participated. And there was a wonderful guy named Dennis Morton who, about the first time they gave him the ball, ran right up the middle of Frankfort High School, I think it was, and scored a touchdown for Shelbyville. And that probably did more to get civil rights--(Herdman laughs)--off on its, on its fer--foot in Shelbyville than anything. But, we've, we've--over the years there's been some ups and downs but I think Shelbyville is--I'm very proud of what has happened here.

HERDMAN: Okay, um, what do you remember for family holiday traditions or 7:00that sort of thing?

LONG: We would always go to my grandmother's who lived in Lexington on Ashland Avenue (siren in background). That was where you went for Christmas that's where you went for Thanksgiving because my other grandparents were, were deceased by the time I got older. And, uh, I remember that. I occasionally go by that house on South Ashland Ave and remember all the family would get, get there. And my mother had two sisters so it was a pretty good-sized family.

HERDMAN: Um-hm, uh, what about Fourth of July, Independence Day at Shelbyville?

LONG: Well, we always had, we always had a tobacco festival parade in Shelbyville that was a big, uh, big event. And they had--

HERDMAN: --what sort of thing in the parade? Music and--

LONG: --yeah, horses--

HERDMAN: --um-hm--

LONG: --uh, uh, floats. Uh, opening of the tobacco season was a big, big deal in this county, at that time. Uh, one of our former governors, Martha Layne Collins, I think was, was the queen of the tobacco festival.

HERDMAN: The tobacco queen. (laughs)

LONG: And, uh, and, and Shelbyville always sort of had those, those, those type of things, at, at that time, parades at July the fourth.



LONG: And then we had, when we had--when I was a small kid and the war was still going on we would march down on July the fourth, right through the middle of Shelbyville, carrying the flags, you know?

HERDMAN: Um-hm. Okay, uh, let's move on toward your interest in politics. When did you first become interested in politics?

LONG: Well I, I always was sort of interested in political (unintelligible), and then the gov--the mayor, in 1972--is that right- -'74, had not--had said that he was not going to run again and so four or five of us got together to determine that somebody needed to run for mayor.

HERDMAN: Now, were you working with the Democratic Party at that time or--

LONG: --no, these were just some businessmen at that time who were interested in moving Shelbyville forward.

HERDMAN: And what were you doing, uh, career wise at that time?

LONG: I was running a concrete block plant.


LONG: So, I was in business with my dad and, and when my dad died earlier, he died in '66 I believe it was, uh, I, I was president and my brother, both of my brothers were in with me.



LONG: And a group of businessmen got in, um, in a discussion, all I-- just remember it was at Wakefield-Scearce Gallery, in Shelbyville--sort of a famous place here in Shelbyville--and, uh, tried to get some- -somebody to run and nobody really wanted to run. Finally, I said I would run and I got involved in city government that way.

HERDMAN: Okay and you were elected in--

LONG: --I was elected in, uh, uh--I had an opponent, I believe, yeah, I believe, in the first election I did, second election I didn't. I served eight years as the mayor of the city of Shelbyville.

HERDMAN: Okay, when you had an opponent was it another Democrat? Did you run a primary, or--

LONG: --no primaries in that day--

HERDMAN: --okay--

LONG: --in this county.

HERDMAN: --okay--

LONG: --that's changed, too.

HERDMAN: Yep, so it was a Republican when you had an opponent?

LONG: It, it--uh, no, it was another Democrat.


LONG: Um-hm.

HERDMAN: And, uh, and then you ran unopposed for your second--

LONG: I think I ran unopposed the second time.

HERDMAN: And it was four-year terms so you were--

LONG: --yeah--

HERDMAN: --mayor for eight years?

LONG: And I, I figured after eight years you were certified dead as a 10:00mayor you'd done about all you could do. (Herdman laughs)

HERDMAN: Yep. Um, was mayor a full-time job or is it something you did in addition to working with the concrete business?

LONG: They paid you a hundred dollars a month whether you needed it or not (laughs).

HERDMAN: Wow. Okay (laughs), um, okay, so you continued to work then at the concrete-- running the concrete business?

LONG: Yes, Um-hm. The mayor's office was in my office out there ------- ---(??)--

HERDMAN: --oh, great (laughs). Okay, so, what did you do as mayor? What was, uh, the political climate?

LONG: Uh, it really wasn't a political office in, in a lot of respects, it, it, you know, we, uh, we had a pretty good, hard-working City Council, during the times, over there. I think we expanded the water company and expanded the water lines out from Shelbyville, which helped with the development.


LONG: Uh, we increased the size of the sewer plant. And, uh--

HERDMAN: --was the population increasing or it was just inadequate, or--

LONG: --it was slightly increasing but the services weren't available- -water and sewer weren't available outside of the then city limits and, 11:00uh, we decided to expand out. We annexed some of the properties, uh, some we didn't, uh, and we expanded the water lines to the industrial park which brought in some jobs and so forth, over the years. Uh, economic development was a big factor when I was mayor, at that time.

HERDMAN: And what was the philosophy of economic development at the time? What--who were you trying to get to come to town or--

LONG: --well, we--Royal(??) Forman Company which was a small company down in the middle of the town was, was our first real industry and they went out and built a new plant out on the edge of the town in a new park and then a number of other companies followed.

HERDMAN: Did you offer incentives?


HERDMAN: Town wide or countywide?

LONG: No, they wanted a water line to their plants.

HERDMAN: Um huh.

LONG: So we built them a water line. It cost nineteen thousand dollars, I remember that. And, uh, uh, at that time, there wasn't many incentives. But we, we filled up that--we had a very difficult time getting Royal(??) Forman to go out there and after that we, we 12:00had some--several years where they couldn't get much done and then we brought in a number of companies who-- most of which--are still here.

HERDMAN: Um-hm. Um, were you married at the time that you were mayor?

LONG: Yes, Um-hm.

HERDMAN: When did you get married?

LONG: I got married in--I've been married 34 years so--35 years so, I, we get married in, in

HERDMAN: [Nineteen] seventy-one?

LONG: [Nineteen] seventy-one?

HERDMAN: [Nineteen] seventy-two?

LONG: Right, my first child was--my wife was pregnant with our first child when I ran for mayor the first time.

HERDMAN: Okay, how many children do you have?

LONG: I have uh, a stepson and two, two children. Uh, my stepson works in Louisville for, uh, the Schneider people at the Executive Inn.


LONG: Uh, one of my sons is a banker here and the other is a business manager at Cumberland Falls State Park.

HERDMAN: Okay, and--

LONG: --and then I have a--I have a granddaughter by my stepson that I have raised, too. We've had her since she was eight months old.


LONG: Her name is Hannah.

HERDMAN: Okay, um, what's your wife's name and where was she from?

LONG: Claudette, uh, uh, Hewlett Long and she's from Shelbyville.


HERDMAN: Um-hm, okay. Um, did you have any, um, tension between your family life and your political life when you were mayor? Did it take too much time or--

LONG: --I think it was always, I, I wouldn't say tension but you gave up a lot to serve.


LONG: I mean, you were gone a lot of nights at, uh, meetings and so forth.

HERDMAN: Did you feel like you missed things?

LONG: And it got worse when you got in the legislature. (both laugh)

HERDMAN: Yeah, that's, that's the background question.

LONG: But uh, uh, all those meetings were held here and my wife was always very supportive on my time in political life.

HERDMAN: Um-hm, okay. Um, how did you go from mayor to the House of Representatives?

LONG: Well, I said that when my term was up--I announced a year before the term that I would not run again.


LONG: Because I felt like two terms was about, you'd done about all you can do.


LONG: And the needs have changed, and uh, uh, Steve Wilborn, who was in the House at that time decided to run for the Senate. So a very good friend of mine from over in Oldham County named Bob Jones who, uh, was 14:00in the House, sort of encouraged me to run for the House seat and--

HERDMAN: --now, was he working for the Democratic Party? Or was it a personal--

LONG: --he was just--we--he was a customer.

HERDMAN: I gotcha, okay.

LONG: And, uh, uh then Steve ran against Fred Bradley and got beat and ended his political career, really. And mine started by, by--I ran against a person from Henry County named Bill Bramble(??).

HERDMAN: Another Democrat? Was this a primary?

LONG: Another Democrat. It was a primary only. And I--probably that was the last genteel election anybody ever had in Kentucky. (Herdman laughs)

LONG: We became very close friends. And I see his family and, and his son even turned up in the Senate as the page for me for years. We used to ride to the fish fries together we became-- and, uh, he never said a thing bad about me and I tried not to say anything bad about him.

HERDMAN: What were the issues in that election between--how were you different?

LONG: I, I don't think we deferred a very, very little. It was mostly a Shelby--Henry County thing, I guess.

HERDMAN: Okay. And you--the district included both counties?


LONG: At that time it was Shelby and Henry County and of course--

HERDMAN: And then, what about when it redistricted?

LONG: Uh, it--they redist--I had one redistricting in the--I think, in the 80--the 90s which--it took Henry County away from me by that time that hurt because that had become a very good--a lot of people voted for me there and they gave me Spencer County and part of Bullitt. But, uh, interestingly enough, when I went back to the Senate I got Henry, Owen, Franklin, and Shelby.


LONG: So, uh, uh, those counties, both Spencer and Henry County were very nice, very nice to me.

HERDMAN: Um-hm, okay. Um, how was your--how did you campaign in your first campaign?

LONG: Well, every campaign, I campaigned up until the--when I ran for the Senate, I got in my pickup truck and rode around to subdivisions and walked to subdivisions.

HERDMAN: Door-to-door?

LONG: Virtually, every one of them, and, uh--pretty easy to do, at that time, you know. I tell people now than I used to know everybody in Shelby County but I certainly don't now, you know, the growth has 16:00changed that.


LONG: But it was, it was personal. It was, it was--you attended the fish fries, you attended the church--I didn't attend church, all the different churches but if the church had some event, you tried to go there.

HERDMAN: Well, the fish fries, were those fund-raising events?

LONG: No, they were ----------(??) clubs, uh, volunteer firefighters.

HERDMAN: Civic clubs?

LONG: They still do it.


LONG: And all the politicians all still show up. We're still that, that rural, in some respects.

HERDMAN: What um, what were the--in addition to those couple groups you mentioned, what were the other civic groups were active in the area? Did you have Kiwanis or--

LONG: --we had Kiwanis, Rotary. They really weren't active in, in political events.


LONG: Mostly it was the volunteer fire departments the ----------(??) club. Uh, in the city, uh, there were some groups but they weren't organized groups, as such. They, you know, they're just people who helped in elections, and so forth. At that time, the Democratic Party was pretty strong.

HERDMAN: Um-hm, once you beat, um, your opponent in the primary you then didn't have an opposition?


LONG: Didn't have a general election, no.

HERDMAN: Yeah, because there is no Republican to run?


HERDMAN: Okay, so that was in 1982 you went to the House?

LONG: Went to the house. Um, Bill Kenton was speaker when I got elected, but died before, um, I, I actually took the oath of office.


LONG: And, uh, Bobby Richardson from Glasgow, Kentucky was the speaker when I went there.

HERDMAN: Okay, and who was the governor when you--cause it was right on the line--

LONG: --the governor was John Y. Brown. He was in his second two years- -he, he--he'd had two years and had two more years on his term.

HERDMAN: Okay, so you went the first two years with John Y. Brown.

LONG: That's correct.

HERDMAN: And then Martha Layne Collins?

LONG: Martha Layne Collins, of course, whose, whose, uh, brother--or whose son remains a neighbor of mine.


LONG: And, uh, we had known each other; we'd gone to school together. She was like a year or two behind me in school but, uh--

HERDMAN: --okay. We'll explore that a little more in the second. Let me um, let me ask you, what was--what did you find the gap between your initial expectations going in and how government actually functioned?


LONG: Well, you always go in thinking you're going to change the world, and you find out after you've been there very long it's difficult to, to change where a road goes (laughs).


LONG: You know, it's har--it's hard to do. Uh, I, I, you know, I didn't go to the legislature with a lot of expectations. I had the, uh, the, uh, luck to have some people who had served who advised me on some things.


LONG: And what committees to try to be on and when I went I, I got very good committee assignments. I was--

HERDMAN: --what were your committee assignments in your first term?

LONG: Well, I was on appointed Appropriations and Revenue, which everybody wanted to be on.

HERDMAN: Is that because of your financial background or was it--

LONG: --I don't think so. I think that was because Bob Jones from over in Oldham County told, told Bobby Richardson I, I wanted to be on the A&R committee. (Herdman laughs) You know it was, it was political even then.

HERDMAN: Right, sure.

LONG: And, uh, I think I served on virtually every committee in the House with the exception of, um, I never was on education, and I never 19:00was--wanted to be on state government because I represent a lot of state government people.


LONG: And I'd rather work outside of the committee than, than inside the committee and, uh, those two, I think, are the only two I didn't serve on the regular standing committees. And, I think, I served on virtually all of the, uh, subcommittees and so forth.

HERDMAN: Okay, so you were very active?

LONG: At one time, during the time I was in the House.

HERDMAN: When you first went, what were the issues that your constituents were most concerned about? The people you represented.

LONG: Yeah, roads, primarily. Uh, Henry County, uh, wanted a road that connected with Shelby County. I started working on that in my first term and fifteen years later it got built. (Herdman laughs) Um, the new road then that's, roads were an issue. Education wasn't a big issue at that time, uh, because our county school and high school--our county school had a pretty good school system. It still 20:00does. It became a big issue though. I mean it, it was. Um, I got involved with--Joe Clark was chairman of the appropriations and revenue committee at that time and Joe and I became very good friends. And, after my first term, he appointed me to chair the subcommittee on human resources. I got real involved in all the health care issues and all of those things over the years. And I, I think I was in--I think I served on tha--as chairman of that committee for about twelve years.

HERDMAN: Um-hm. Okay, um, when you were trying to relate to your constituents, how did you gauge public opinion?

LONG: Well I--you, you, in Shelby County, you never had--or Henry County, either one--you never had much trouble finding what public-- when you attended the fish fries and people were willing to tell you, which I appreciated. I've always thought that was better than me finding it out the hard way, you know (Long laughs)?


LONG: And, um, issues here were, often, often had to do with farming and tobacco and all of those type of things because these were, these 21:00were--Henry County, to some extent, still is a very farm oriented, uh, county. Shelby's begun, over the last few years, has changed. But, I never had any trouble gauging opinion because it was always--they, the people were always kind enough to tell me what their opinion was.

HERDMAN: And, were--was there newspaper in the area? What's your closest newspaper?

LONG: There, there was newspapers in both Henry and Shelby County, yep.

HERDMAN: And did you pay attention to for public opinion?

LONG: I read them every week.


LONG: Because, you know, you read the letters to the editors to find out how big an idiot you were. (both laugh)

HERDMAN: Okay, and uh, did you have a relationship with the people who ran the papers or--

LONG: Uh--

HERDMAN: --or you just pick them up?

LONG: Yes, I knew who they were and, and, and the person who became the publisher of the uh, uh local paper was, has become a good friend over the years.

HERDMAN: There's a local paper in Shelbyville?

LONG: Yes, um-hm.

HERDMAN: And what's it called?

LONG: Sentinel news. Shelby Sentinel.

HERDMAN: And, was it active throughout?

LONG: Yes it was. It, it, it covered--it did a pretty good--when I first 22:00went there, there wasn't a lot of back-and-forth between the newspapers and, and the candidates but they picked that up over the years. And, and you know, we didn't have e-mails then, or we didn't have e-mail.


LONG: People called you if they wanted to gripe about something.

HERDMAN: And you did get direct phone calls?

LONG: Oh, yes.

HERDMAN: On a regular basis?

LONG: Lots of them.

HERDMAN: Okay, um, so your--how long was your first term? You said it ended up being three years?

LONG: It ended up, because we changed the judicial system, it was a three-year term.


LONG: That's why I ended up being an odd number of years in, in the House.

HERDMAN: Okay, and so then you ran again in '85? Is that correct?

LONG: Yes, I think I, I think I ran without opposition that time.


LONG: I ran about three or four times without opposition and then had it again a time or two.

HERDMAN: Okay, so you ran, it was '85, '87, and '89 without opposition? Is that correct?

LONG: I think so. I, I'd have to go back and look out at it but I ran four or five times without opposition.


HERDMAN: Okay um, during those years that you are in the House uh, what do you think were the most important issues that were debated in Frankfort and the most important legislature that you saw go through?

LONG: Well, I was, I thought that would be a question and I, I think the three most important things that happened during the term I--was education reform.


LONG: Probably the Toyota plant locating in Kentucky, which was controversial at that time.

HERDMAN: What were the issues surrounding that?

LONG: Um, it was a Japanese car manufacturer and, and, and to some extent people still had the remnants of World War II but I think Martha Layne deserves a great deal of credit for bringing that. I think it changed the economy of Kentucky from basically a rural one to, to a mixed one.

HERDMAN: And were the debates centered just on race or was there, was there a greater opposition?

LONG: I think a lot of people, you know, had their connection over their lifetime with Ford and Chevrolet and they didn't like the idea 24:00of a foreign company coming in but this community has three or four suppliers to Toyota.


LONG: Uh, it's made a tremendous difference in central Kentucky and I would say it made a big difference in parts of Eastern Kentucky because many of them moved to work there at Toyota.


LONG: And so she deserves a tremendous amount of credit for that.


LONG: But it was controversial to some extent. And, I think, the third thing wasn't legislation, the third big issue was BOPTROT, when it came along, the scandal that affected the legislature.


LONG: And you saw a lot of people who were friends who made some mistakes and got caught at it.

HERDMAN: Um, if you would, give me your perspective on that issue. What happened and why?

LONG: Well, the--at that time we had no rules as to how you operated with lobbyist.


LONG: Uh, they could buy your meals, uh, they could take you to ball games. I mean, the University of Kentucky gave us football and basketball tickets. Uh, and it was sort of the--it was sort of the thing that was done--it'd been done all along.



LONG: Uh, then, I think, it got into trips and things like that and I think that was really the downfall of some legislators. And then, some money changed hands apparently, now that was illegal.


LONG: And um, I think some of them stumbled into it kind of by mistake. But, uh, it certainly changed the way the legislature--and right after that, uh, I was involved, along with a lot of other people, in changing the legislative rules.

HERDMAN: And what year did the BOPTROT scandal happen?

LONG: I forgot when BOP--the exact years but it was the year after, it was about a year, a year and a half after the trials and so forth, when the speaker went, went to jail. And, uh, I mean, basically, he, he went to jail for over a five hundred dollar--uh, five hundred dollars of money. But Don Blandford never thought he'd done anything wrong.

HERDMAN: Um-hm. How did the lobby situation function before that? What was the context for that?

LONG: Well, the lobbyists had, had, you know, there were several 26:00lobbyists that could walk into the Governor's office anytime they wanted to.

HERDMAN: Which one--which were the major ones?

LONG: Uh, Kentucky Utilities was probably the major one--[telephone rings]--and that's why, their lobbyists got in a good deal of trouble.

HERDMAN: And what were some of the other major lobby groups?

LONG: Oh, well, always, always the rural electrics, the KU, uh, the large corporations in Kentucky. They can afford to pay lobbyists to come to Frankfort, to be there during the entire thing. And they fed people at night and there was all sorts of parties and stuff like that. I was fortunate, I came home every night, I drove home every night.

HERDMAN: That was something I wanted to ask you about, too. What was your daily routine in Frankfort? You never stayed over?

LONG: No. I think I stayed one night in twenty-one years.


LONG: And that was snow. Uh, they had receptions, huge receptions. I remember a reception at the Frankfort Country Club on a night when it snowed and they brought out shrimp was big as your hand, almost-- (Herdman laughs)--I remember that one. And they had them everywhere and, 27:00uh--they were wine and dine type of things. And, and I attended some of them but I did come home every night just because I lived close.


LONG: But when I first went, you made about three or four trips a month. And that's what's changed really.


LONG: Uh, it was a part-time job. When I got out twenty-one years later, because I was in leadership, it was a full-time job.

HERDMAN: Some states are, are moving toward that.

LONG: I was there more, I was there more than I was at my office in, in Shelbyville.

HERDMAN: Um-hm, that's uh, in context of, how you said, being a mayor you were here, and that was easier. What were the strains of having two jobs when you were in the House?

LONG: Well, you, often you, when I first went they had, for example, that was the year that they, they gave you a, a cubbyhole now, with a telephone. Prior to that, even the first few days we were there we had--your office was on the floor of the House.


LONG: And if you wanted to use the phone, you went out in, in the uh, hall and used the pay phone. The first year I came, they opened the, the, what we call the cubbyholes, in one great big building--one big 28:00room down in the basement of the Annex. And then, several years after, they got the individual offices. I think there's a lot of good to that, there was some bad to that. When we were all in that one, big room, I mean, if somebody was having a fight with their wife at the other end, over the telephone, everybody in there knew it. You could hear- -the acoustics were wonderful down there--(Herdman laughs)--but, the camaraderie was a whole lot better, too. You saw everybody, every day.


LONG: Uh, when we went to the individual offices, I think that sort of started the, and I, I think the two-party system came, a lot of things happened.


LONG: But I think the camaraderie, sort of, disappeared when we all had individual offices. And we saw just sort of the people who were close to us.

HERDMAN: Okay, um, what were the major voting blocs during the time that you served?

LONG: Well, the unions were a major, uh, voting bloc. The large corporations, the Chamber of Commerce, I think, the Chamber of Commerce was--the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO.


HERDMAN: Um, hum. What about regional blocs? Was there like a Louisville bloc or an Eastern Kentucky? Did they vote together?

LONG: It grew while I was there.


LONG: They usually appeared in leadership races. Uh, uh, always, for many years, the election of the speaker was sort of blocked by certain groups like that. I think that's still probably somewhat like that but, at one time, for example, the Louisville and the mountain people joined together to elect some leadership, when Don Blandford was--

HERDMAN: --um-hm--

LONG: --and, uh, uh--was elected, that's--that was the way he was elected. Then he, he ba--he held that, that coalition together for a number of years. Jody Richards has held a co--coalition together to get him elected as speaker.

HERDMAN: So you feel like the voting, voting blocs mainly had to do with getting leadership in positions of power?

LONG: Has more to do with leadership than anything. It has more to do with who's going to serve as chairman of the committee. Who's going to be in leadership and those things.


HERDMAN: Not as much specific issue driven?

LONG: Not--no it wasn't specific issues--just driven, not very often.

HERDMAN: Um-hm. Um, what do you remember the roles of African-Americans and women? There were few in Kentucky.

LONG: When I went, actually, when I went there, there was a couple of pretty sma--stal--uh, pretty strong women there.


LONG: And there are still. There are now. Dolly McNutt from down in Paducah and uh, uh, there was a lady from Louisville who was, uh, very active in the, in the uh, uh, human resource area.

HERDMAN: Um, um.

LONG: Uh, they, I can't remem--even--I'd have to think on all the names but there was some strong women there and there is, there is today.


LONG: Uh, and, and African-Americans, at that time there wasn't very many when I first came but that, that number grew. And uh, some of them have made pretty substantial contributions over the years.

HERDMAN: Um-hm. Um, what uh, who were your heroes? Who did you look up to? Who helped you get oriented?


LONG: Well, Bob Jones, who was a friend and a customer. Bobby Richards uh, I came to like Don Blandford very well. I think Don Blandford has been treated a little poorly by history. There never would have been education reform without Don.


LONG: Uh, he made a mistake. He paid for his mistake. He never thought he made a mistake but he paid for his mistake. But, I think history ought to record that h--I can remember that vote that day when we stopped and had to have a caucus in the middle of the vote almost and Don--

HERDMAN: Was that, was that on education reform?

LONG: That was the education reform--[telephone rings]--and I remember Don Blandford saying, "If you, if you can't vote for this, you can't be a chairman." That got a lot of people's attention.

HERDMAN: Um-hm. Um-hm. What exactly do you--were the key points of education reform?

LONG: Well, uh, there was a lot of, it, it, requiring people to be responsible for what they did.


LONG: Uh, the uh, better, better taking care of the people who come to, 32:00come to school unprepared for school. Uh, it, it was a major, major change and, and there is a lot of people on the other side who felt very strongly that everything was going fine.


LONG: But, if you look at our ranking, it wasn't, it didn't, it wasn't fine. And there was a lot of coalitions in that thing and strange coalitions. People who you thought who would be for it, were against it. And people you thought might be against it, voted for it.

HERDMAN: What split, what split that, yeah? What were the reasons?

LONG: Well, you know, the carrot was out there, you kept your chairmanship, or you did this or you did that. It, it, it took that kind of, of um, of carrot to get the votes to pass it. And um--

HERDMAN: So, the process of negotiation--what does, is that what drove it?

LONG: It's sort of like a, it's sort of like a gun battle, I mean. Everybody shot at everybody and those that were left standing, voted, and went on. And you know, it, it, uh, it--I think it's the single most important piece of legislation that has been passed in Kentucky in 33:00my lifetime.


LONG: And some others would argue about that, but I think it does. And it, at least we've allowed some of that to slip away, I think, in the last few years.


LONG: Because of the problems with enough money. But uh, certainly we've risen in our ability to turn out good students and uh, there are a lot of things that I would change in the school system if I was in charge, but there's a lot of things that have been changed that brought progress to Kentucky.

HERDMAN: How often did you meet when you were in the House?

LONG: Uh, well, at that--well originally it started out, we, we just met every other year and then the committees met once a--once every two months, probably.


LONG: Uh, that got down to once a month and sometimes more than that. And, at one time, I was, I was on six or eight committees and, I mean, we were there--particularly when I went to the Senate, there was--we were there all the time. Because I, I was, I served in leadership in the Senate for three years and, and um, um, the, the Governor was 34:00Governor Patton and he had us there a lot.


LONG: And um, and we did some good things but um, um, and then, of course, the Republican Party took over the Senate while I was there and um, made, made a number of changes.

HERDMAN: Um-hm. What, what were the most significant changes?

LONG: Well, I think, I think, um, I may, I could be wrong about this, but I think they were, they were--you've got to give David Williams who's, who is the, uh, president of the Senate and still is the president of the Senate, a lot of credit. He sort of masterminded this.


LONG: And, uh, brought it--and help enough people get elected. Uh, David's a bright guy and, and he's able, he was able, he has been able to hold a very difficult coalition together. Uh, on the other side was "Eck" Rose, when I first went to the Senate, who was president of the Senate. He also did the same thing up to the time that he was taken out as chairman. Uh, if you're in the leadership long enough, you're 35:00going to get beat somewhere along the line because you make enough people mad because there's never enough spots for everybody. Everybody can't be king. There has to be a few princes and a few serfs.

HERDMAN: What were the, were there issues dividing the Democratic Party that left it open?

LONG: Well, that, that, we had--of course two defections which made the first difference. And that really was because of committee appointments, or lack of committee appointments. Uh, probably could've been stopped if it had been done right at first but by the time it, by the time we got to, to that point, they had made their change. And, and they had some, some legitimate gripe, I think.

HERDMAN: Um, do you, okay, let's go back to your campaign for Senate. Uh, you ran for Senate in '99?

LONG: In 1999, I think it was.

HERDMAN: Okay, and, uh, who did you run against?

LONG: Uh, my opponent was, my main opponent was in, in the Democratic 36:00primary, and it was John Sauer from Franklin County


LONG: Who now lives in Shelbyville and is a friend of mine . (both laugh)

HERDMAN: And what were the issues in that campaign, in the primary?

LONG: Uh, I guess I ran on the fact that I had been there for 17 years- -experience.


LONG: Uh, we didn't really have any, any big issue that uh--

HERDMAN: --debate?

LONG: He ran very strongly, of course--[telephone rings]--his dad had been mayor of Frankfort and he had been mayor of Frankfort. So he ran with tha--and Frankfort was a big voting bloc and he beat me about three or four hundred votes. I don't remember the number, uh really, uh, in Franklin County. And he carried--we about split Owen County and he may have carried Owen County. I run--won Shelby and Henry pretty big and that's the way I won. And then the opponent, the Republican at that time, was from Frankfort, too, who--nice guy. I, I was lucky that I had opponents that didn't--

HERDMAN: You made friends with your opponents. (Herdman laughs)


LONG: --tear me apart. I tried not to tear them apart. And he ran a convenience store there and was uh, uh--but with Frankfort you're either going--you know, that was a Democratic stronghold so in the general election I won, I won there.

HERDMAN: Okay, um, when you went to the Senate what differences did you experience between the House and Senate?

LONG: Well, when I went, there was sort of a--was the start of, that first year I was there was the start of the two defections that came over. There was some disagreement with the then president of the Senate. Uh, I got there, sort of after that had happened and I don't know what all the background that, that was but it was, it was sort of, almost sure to happen. The Democrats had been in control for so long that the door was open for the Republicans to come in and the Democrats really didn't do much to stop them.

HERDMAN: Um-hm, and how did that affect your service in the Senate?

LONG: Well, uh, it really, I, I, you know, I, I felt like I got--I had a lot of friends on the other side of the aisle, for one thing. And 38:00uh, uh, I had been, after my first year I was elected as the, as the minority whip, at that time, and worked with the leadership of both the Republican and the Democratic Party. David Karem was the minority leader and David Boswell was the caucus chairman, that was the--he and I, those three were the, were the Democratic leadership and then, of course, the Republicans had their leadership--[telephone rings]--and we fought a battle with them from day to day and, and um, and, I think, cooperated and we thought cooperation was good and argued with them when we didn't think it w--when we thought we were right. And we lost some, won some and, uh, uh, that part of the political process.

HERDMAN: And what, what were the issues in the counties that you are representing at home?

LONG: The same, virtually the same thing, tobacco, roads, education, uh, human resources to some extent, although that meanly was in the bigger 39:00cities but uh, uh, I don't think the issues change much in Kentucky. Uh, hat you've seen, what you've seen lately is, is the uh, is the, sort of targeted issues like gay marriage and those type of things. And the--whether we should have the Ten Commandments on the Capitol grounds and those things, those are targeted to make the other party look bad.


LONG: And, to their credit, the, the, uh, Republicans put the Democrats on the, sort of on the uh, uh, trying to answer all of those things.


LONG: And I think that helped them take over.


LONG: Targeted issues. They did a good job of, of putting the Democrats in a box.


LONG: (coughs)--excuse me.

HERDMAN: Well, and there--it seems to be that the social issues in Kentucky have caused more factioning in the Democratic Party than fiscal issues. That seems to be the consensus.

LONG: Nobody wants to be on the--on the side of, of--on the wrong side.


LONG: It's sort of who--what leadership can put you on the wrong side 40:00without you wanting to be there.


LONG: Um, all those issues really don't make much difference when it comes to governing the state of Kentucky.


LONG: But they make a big difference in who is elected.

HERDMAN: Okay, that's a good point. What your campaign for Senate different than your one for House? Was it larger scale?

LONG: Yeah, they first told me I had to have a consultant, which I had never had before.

HERDMAN: Oh yeah?

LONG: And so I interviewed several and, uh, I interviewed some people in Lexington who said--I said, "I don't want a negative campaign, I won't run a negative campaign." I didn't want to run a negative campaign. And uh, uh, I didn't.

HERDMAN: What were, what were, what was the consultant's job? What, what did they oversee?

LONG: I asked them to write the, write the, um, newspaper ads, and the radio ads. I didn't do any television at all, at that time.


LONG: And I said, "All I want to do is have--I want to see them before we run them so that I'm not--" and I, I didn't attack my opponent, uh, and, uh, it worked out very well.


HERDMAN: Um-hm, did your opponent run the same kind of campaign?

LONG: Yes, actually neither one of my opponents ran a dirty campaign, at all.


LONG: Not at all.

HERDMAN: Okay, um, out of the lobby situation change, post the scandal and with the reform, legislative reform?

LONG: Well, you did away with all the perks.


LONG: You did away with the basketball tickets, the football tickets, the meals, uh, uh, the credit card at Flynn's Restaurant where people could go in and get a meal and never pay for it and all those things. And, I think that's been, probably, one of the best things that happened to the General Assembly. I think even legislators, after they got used to it, were glad it was that way.

HERDMAN: Um-hm. Now, the lobbyists prior to, provided a lot of information, from what I understand from some of the others I have interviewed?

LONG: They did, they do, and still do.

HERDMAN: Do they still do that?

LONG: I mean, I think lobbying has its--I'm doing some of it now.


LONG: I think lobbying has its place. What changed were the lobbyists- -to some extent--running the place at one time. And now they're 42:00just, they're providing information, trying to--it's a, it's a, it's a different way of operation. I think, probably a better way of operation.

HERDMAN: Okay, and um, what are the most powerful lobbyists today?

LONG: Uh, the Humana's, the uh, the larger corporations, the Chamber of Commerce remains, uh, Associated Industries of Kentucky, the labor unions, although, their power has weakened considerably. Uh, volunteer fire departments and they don't really have a lobbyists but they still are a lot, are a strong lobbying force and so those are the main ones that do that. Uh, then the associations of--judges' associations, Kentucky Association of County Officials--those, those associations also have some, some lobbying heft.

[Pause in recording.]

HERDMAN: Okay, let's talk a little bit about some of the governors that 43:00you served under. Your first one was John Y. Brown. What are your impressions of Governor Brown?

LONG: He, he did one thing, if he--he should get credit for one thing, if he gets credit for nothing else--and he is entitled to credit for a lot of other things--is that he took away, he took away the governor's domination of the leadership elections. And, he should be given a lot of credit for that. The governor used to almost appoint the speaker of the House and, and, uh, he gave it, uh, legislative independence. Now that's not always been good, probably, but for the most part I think the state has gained by it.

HERDMAN: And so that happened right as you came in?

LONG: Uh, yes. It--he had actually loosened it up a little before I, I got there.


LONG: And, he was a nice guy. Uh, I guess at one time or another I was thrown out of everybody's, uh, every governor's office except Browns' and Martha Layne Collins' were the only two I think I avoided (laughs).

HERDMAN: Did he have, did he have a lot of interaction individually with 44:00you guys? Would he call you to his office or--

LONG: --he would. Uh, I think Browns' biggest asset was he appointed good people to roles in his, I mean, you can go back through the Ron Gary and people like that, that were there. He--his, his--he was--his management style was to let--appoint good people and let them run the show and he did that.


LONG: And, uh, I think that probably is the best thing you--he was, he was a nice guy to go somewhere with and, and be involved with. He alwa--e never could remember everybody's names but he could remember what counting I was from. (both laugh) And I liked John Y. Brown very much. I thought he was a good governor and did a good job.

HERDMAN: What about, um, Martha Layne Collins?

LONG: Martha Layne had a rough first two years at a great last two years. And I think she realized, like a lot of governors never do, that when you get elected, you get rid of your political people and bring in the people--she didn't for a while ,but when things got down, 45:00she did. And she became a strong governor in the last two years and I think, did a great job.

HERDMAN: So you think it was a staff difference?

LONG: I think it was, yeah.

HERDMAN: So, you mean she kept her political staff on instead of moving to a governing staff?

LONG: Yeah. And that happens frequently in elec--in gov--gubernatorial elections. But she, she had the, the guts to realize that that was not working to well. And I say two years, that may have been a year and a half, she got rid of um and, and, and brought in some pretty good people to work with her. And then, Toyota came along and, and--she should be given all the credit for that and the credit for a lot of other things. But I think uh, I think she, her last two years--two and a half years--were excellent years as governor.

HERDMAN: And what issues characterized the struggle in the first year and a half?

LONG: I, I think it was mainly the meddling of some of these political people, of her political people.

HERDMAN: So it was mostly personal?

LONG: Yeah.

HERDMAN: She wasn't getting along with people?

LONG: They weren't organized like they should be. And that's, that's true with other governors. The first year, the first place you come 46:00into office and have to come up with a budget, that's not easy.


LONG: And uh, uh I think that's happened to virtually every governor that we've had.

HERDMAN: Um-hm. And you feel like the economic development in the Toyota plant helped turn it around for her?

LONG: I think economic development and, and, and she uh, she did a lot for the human resources area when she was in there. So I think she deserves some credit for that.

HERDMAN: Now, what was her relationship with the increased legislative independence?

LONG: She got along very well. She would call you in and she'd say, "Here's where I'd like to go. I need your help." And, and, I mean, Martha Layne was always a lady.


LONG: And uh, she had a temper, too, but she was always a lady. And, and she worked very well with the leadership

HERDMAN: Um, some people I've talked to, who served before you, remember, for example, when a vote would come up, they would know how they were supposed to vote. Did you not feel by the time you were in that it actually changed?

LONG: I never had anybody tell me how I was supposed to vote.

HERDMAN: Wow, so that legislative independence--

LONG: --that's probably why I made some bad votes--(both laughs)--I probably needed that direction.


HERDMAN: Um, okay, what about Wilkinson?

LONG: Uh, he was, he was interesting to serve with. Uh, I remember him getting mad at Hank Hancock who was the state representative from Franklin County. Now, he threw his coat at us because we were in there lobbying, lobbying on some state employees issue and he got mad at us and said, "That's all you two think about." He really got on us. He, uh, he deserves some credit for education reform because he was the Governor and he supported it. Uh, he had the guts to do the lottery, which nobody thought would do anything but got him elected.


LONG: And, um, he would get so mad at me over state employee issues. And I represent a lot of state employees.

HERDMAN: What kind of state employee issues?

LONG: He'd want to fire them all. You know, it's, it's nothing new in Kentucky politics. It's sort of like it is now. He'd want to fire half the state people and, and Hank and I particularly would--and Fred Bradley, who was a senator from Frankfort--we ended up in their arguing with him all the time.

HERDMAN: And your constituents, you had a lot of state employees as 48:00constituents?

LONG: But, yeah, I did. And I tell the story about Wallace, after he was out, I was standing in a line at the NCAA tournament in Indianapolis, uh, getting something to eat and I heard this voice behind me, "Long, are you still pushing for state employees?" (Herdman laughs) I turned around and I said, "Governor, how you doing?" And so after all that disagreement, he walked over and wrote a five hundred dollar contribution to my campaign.


LONG: And so, I--you know, he, he was a pro-business governor. Did a lot, did a lot along that line. And, as I say, deserved a lot of credit for that.

HERDMAN: Would you consider yourself a pro-business?

LONG: Yes.

HERDMAN: Yes. Okay, and then, Jones? You served under Jones for a while?

LONG: One of the nicest guys I ever met. Uh, genuinely nice. I think he had a rough time as Governor. Uh, if you go back and look, I think he probably called more special sessions than anybody. We had special 49:00sessions on health care, and he--what he wanted to do was right. It was just ahead of his time. And when the Clintons couldn't--the Clinton administration couldn't come through with a national health policy, this thing fell at his feet. And then he had the helicopter crash.

HERDMAN: He was in a helicopter crash while in office?

LONG: Yes. It happened in Shelby County.


LONG: And um, he was always a gentleman. Uh, I do remember one time that he disagreed with the--I was chairman of the appropriations committee at that time, and he used to have us over to the mansion for little chats about what we ought to do and we were over there one night and we got to arguing before the meal was served and he picked the sandwiches up and left with them . (both laugh) And, but, he was, he was easy to work with. Uh, he, he didn't have much--he didn't function with the, with the, uh, legislature like he should have. He had some very good people in his, his administration. Pat Malloy comes to mind 50:00who was his finance chairm--uh, finance department chief. Uh, there were others. Uh, he, he tried to do some things that needed to be done and found them almost impossible in the Kentucky General Assembly to get them done.

HERDMAN: Okay, and let me go back to Collins and ask one more thing. Uh, she was, I believe the first female governor. Did that matter?

LONG: I don't think that made a difference. I think people recognized that she knew what she was talking about. She had had state government experience before she came to Frankfort and probably was as prepared to become Governor as anybody.

HERDMAN: Um-hm, so there were no, um, no issues with--in the Senate or in the house?

LONG: Not that I remember, not that I remember.

HERDMAN: Okay, and let's talk a little bit about Patton.

LONG: Probably the most knowledgeable Governor I served under.

HERDMAN: Also very pro-business, right?

LONG: Pro-business, uh, but knew there was another side. Uh, I, I thought a lot of Governor Patton I realize he made, uh, mistakes at the end of his term but I think he brought to Kentucky a, a broad 51:00experience as serving as county judge and lieutenant governor and he wanted genuinely to make Kentucky a better place to live and work in. And, uh, I always had a lot of respect for him and still do.

HERDMAN: He's, of course, from Eastern Kentucky. Did that regional identification change the way he governed--[telephone rings].

LONG: Well, I think he did, I think he did a lot for Eastern Kentucky. He built a lot of roads, did a lot of work but I, if I'd been from Eastern Kentucky and was Governor I would have, too.


LONG: So, I think he brought Eastern Kentucky more in line with the rest of Kentucky than any other Governor ever has. With the exception of maybe Burt Combs. Those two probably did more for Eastern Kentucky than any Governors in recent history.

HERDMAN: Um-hm. What was the perception of Eastern Kentucky from Central and Western Kentucky?

LONG: Well, I think it worked the other way. We were kind of the golden triangle and got everything and they didn't get anything. Their legislators became and have become a lot better at taking something home, uh, than, than they were when I first went there. And there's 52:00nothing wrong with that. I don't, I don't criticize them for that I just think that--when I first went you didn't--maybe roads you worked on but you didn't work on technology centers or, or things like that and now the budget's full of those types of things even some that we would be better off if we didn't have but legislators are much more involved in building, taking home, taking home something than they were when I first went there. And, hey, I played in that game too, we all did.

HERDMAN: Okay, um, let me switch to national events during the time that you served. You served under Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush Junior, right? Those would have been the Presidents?

LONG: Um-hm, right, yep.

HERDMAN: Um what, I guess, just generally comment on the relationship between state and national government. Was there interference from the 53:00Democratic Party or--

LONG: --I think both the parties, Republicans under Bush and Reagan and everything--I think the local parties function pretty well with the, the federal. Um, when Clinton was president, I think the Democratic Party here functioned pretty well. And I think Kentucky has been treated very well by the federal government over the years.


LONG: I'm sure that would get an argument from a lot of people but I think, I think we've been very fortunate. You know, people--I made the remark the other day that I hope Senator McConnell becomes majority leader if the, if the Republicans keep the Senate. And, uh, some of my Democratic friends jumped me about that, I said, "Listen, if gonna have- -I'd rather have a Kentuckian there than somebody--." We've been very fortunate--Wendell Ford was right there in leadership and did a lot for Kentucky. And um, so, you know, I hope that he is, if, if they, retain the Senate. If they don't retain the Senate, obviously he won't be.


HERDMAN: Um-hm, what were the major crossover issues, you think that-- where national and state interacted?

LONG: Well, in Kentucky its coal, uh, uh, agriculture, uh, the military's got a big presence in Kentucky. So if you are in those particular areas we depend a lot on the federal government. Plus we have, uh, part of Kentucky that's in poverty, basically. And they help keep us from going further into poverty, I guess.

HERDMAN: Do you think federal aid is beneficial in that way?

LONG: Yes, I think it probably, I mean, some of it probably not been good, but most of it probably has helped some people. Uh, Kentucky sort of hurts from si--from the point that we do have parts of Kentucky that do very well, parts of Kentucky that didn't, parts of Kentucky that probably were ignored for a number of years and that hurt, too. And uh, uh, I think that, uh, I, I, I've always felt like--I'm not anti-government and, uh, and I think both parties here, both the 55:00Republican, when the Republicans were in, and the Democrats, when the Democrats in function well with the federal government and brought home the bacon, basically.

HERDMAN: Um-hm. When you are in the Senate were you involved on any national committees as a state senator?

LONG: I was on the, uh, uh, committee of, uh, the national, of the, of the legislators. I was on that--on their board at one time. And then also, I testified before some committees in Frank--in, in, Washington on some is--mostly human resource issues and, uh, made a couple trips to Washington.

HERDMAN: You mean, in an advisory sort of position?

LONG: Yeah. And so, it, it was a ni--it was a nice experience.

HERDMAN: Um-hm. Um, did you meet the Presidents?

LONG: I met President Clinton. And I met President Bush. And I think I was in the same room with president--the president--present President, but I don't remember meeting him.

HERDMAN: You didn't actually meet him?

LONG: Uh, at our conferences, the southern legislative conferences, uh, 56:00those people were there. Bob Dole was that one of them, I remember.


LONG: And then usually there was a national figure that I usually had the opportunity just to shake hands and meet them.

HERDMAN: Um-hm. Did you participate in the national Democratic Party at all?


HERDMAN: Okay, um, I'm going to turn now to some, uh, general questions, uh, spanning your time in the House and Senate. What was your most satisfying accomplishment?

LONG: I think, personally, I think education reform was one. I think I, I did get more money for the human resources on a number of occasions.

HERDMAN: And what exactly does human resources? That was the state employees?

LONG: State, state--well, no, not state employees, that's, that's, uh, things like nursing homes, and, and um--


LONG: And I did--for Ms. Patton, I did a number of bills that had to do with, uh, uh, child abuse and those things. I kind of came up through, in the legislature to do the human resources part.



LONG: And did a lot of legislation that way. And uh, every now and then I see a bill that I sponsored help somebody--makes you feel kind of good.


LONG: And, and, you got to understand that no one person passes a lot of the legislation without a lot of help.


LONG: But uh, uh, I think that and I did a lot of work on, for county governments when I was there on the Governor's committee. And I chaired the, uh, both the, capital construction and bond oversight committee and, and the personal service contract committees, at one time or other.


LONG: And, uh, I think those committees--not because of me but because of the members--and they were bipartisan members--did a lot to make, uh, government buildings and contracts, uh, be done correctly.

HERDMAN: Um hmm, okay. And, um, did you ever have a crisis of conscience between what your constituents wanted and what you thought was right?

LONG: Oh, I think you had that maybe once a session or twice a session. You know, it happened--


HERDMAN: --okay. What are some of the--some of the things--

LONG: --I can't even remember, uh, you know, uh, I voted for uh, uh, some human resources things I know was probably not very popular back in my hometown.

HERDMAN: Um hmm.

LONG: But people here were forgiving. They said, "Well, he made a mistake," and went on. And, uh, uh lots of times you look back at things you voted for and wondered what the heck you were thinking of that day.

HERDMAN: Anything comes to mind particularly that you voted for?

LONG: Not, not off the top of my head, I'd have to think about that--but there were some, I can assure you of that (both laugh)! But, things change, you know, you look back at what you did four years ago and it may be the wrong thing now but it seem like the right thing. And, you make political votes. A lot of people say they don't but you do. You have to follow the party line sometimes, or you did.

HERDMAN: Or do you also exchange like support to get support for your bill?

LONG: Sure, sure, sure you do. Um, you know, I remember, one I do remember is the, we had a physical therapist bill one time. And it went to the conference committee and we changed it to make in vitro 59:00fertilization legal and allow the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville to do it without state funding.

HERDMAN: Um hmm.

LONG: Well, it caused a firefight on the, on the, uh, the right to lifers were opposed to that, which I never quite understood at the time, but they were very strongly opposed to that. And I went out and explained the bill and, and, uh, it, it barely passed. And then somebody stood up in the back and said, "We want a re-vote--" which never happened--"because we didn't understand what was in the bill." And I, I asked the speaker to let them revote on it--which he allowed them to do--and then he left the chair and went down and made one of the best speeches I've ever heard of in favor of the bill and it passed more votes the second time than it did the first time . (both laugh) But that was because of him not because of me.

HERDMAN: What was the nature of his, uh, talk?

LONG: He, he was an adoptive parent.

HERDMAN: Hum, okay.

LONG: And, knew, you know, and, and that, interestingly enough, 60:00the conference committee was very bipartisan. Uh, there was two Republicans, three Democrats on that conference committee that decided to do that.


LONG: And, um, that made it a little bit more interesting, I guess.

HERDMAN: Um-hm. Um, what was your greatest disappointment or anything that stands out you couldn't get done or something with the system?

LONG: I think, I think we did a lot to make the government more efficient. But, I guess, if I look back it'd be the things that- -inefficient things the government operates and does that sometimes doesn't--I mean, you're looking at Oak Wood right now--and I don't blame anybody for that--but look how many millions of dollars we poured into a mental hospital that is always going to need to be there.


LONG: We tried to change that. I think most disappointing thing was 61:00during the Wilkinson administration, with his support, we decided to build nineteen group homes in Kentucky. I think only three of them were built, three or four, one of them's here.

HERDMAN: Um hmm.

LONG: Uh, to take a lot of--you're going to always need the Oak Woods and, and those places but these brought people out into the community. It was a great idea but we just never quite could pull it off in the, in the Senate.

HERDMAN: Was the problem funding?

LONG: Funding for the group programs, although they weren't expensive, and it was sure cheaper to keep them in a group home than it was to keep them in a mental hospital. It just lost--we were--looked like we had good momentum to get it done, and it sort of died. And, uh, I think probably is one of my biggest disappointments.

HERDMAN: Okay, um, what do you think about the difference in Frankfort politics now and when you first started serving?

LONG: I think it's more bitter now. It's much more bitter.

HERDMAN: What contributes to that, do you think?

LONG: Well, when I first came the Democrats were in control of both, both, uh, uh, houses so that made it easier, although we fought like 62:00the devil with the Senate when I was in the House over everything. I mean you'd--it was like, like it is now we'd--to some extent. Then I think that camaraderie sort of--people knowing each other real well, knowing their families and those things sort of disappeared it looked like in my last couple of sessions. I, I don't really blame it all on party politics I think that had--was a factor--I think it's just sort of the confrontational legislative type thing that--

HERDMAN: --there's also been uh--

LONG: --you're seeing it--I, I heard something the other day where two of our former--one a Democrat--Republican said, "The biggest problem we have in Congress is the two sides won't sit down and talk with each other." I think we reached that point, to some extent, in Frankfort. Although this last session, uh, 2006, it was a little better. So there's hope.

HERDMAN: What do you think, um, do you think the professionalization of politics has something to do with that? Like the, the offices, putting 63:00in more hours, it being more like a full-time job, television, that sort of stuff?

LONG: I think it's more the staffs of the two parties, two parties who, you know, kind of feel like every week they've got to take a shot at them, take a--fire--lob something over and see if it hits something. I think it's more that. Legislators are plenty busy. They really don't, don't need to be getting into that some time. But in the, in--but the parties, in the effort to get--bat the other guy out and us in, I think some of that gotten out of hand over the years.

HERDMAN: Um hmm. Um, did you ever encourage your children to go into politics?


HERDMAN: Was that purposeful (both laugh)?

LONG: Although, I have one, I have one that might, but I---no. You know, I would say this, most of the people I served with, 99 percent of the people that I served with, are fine, fine people. They came to Frankfurt with the right idea. They wanted to make a change and do the right thing, whether it be Republican or Democrat, I think 64:00that's--but you--it, it's a tough job. It's hard to do. It's hard to get a consensus on virtually anything, any time. Plus the fact, when you go home, you know, you're gone every night somewhere. To some sort of event or so forth and so it's not a part-time job anymore it's a full-time job and I, I don't think that's good but I think that's the way it's going.

HERDMAN: Um hmm, um, what advice would you give to someone considering going into politics now?

LONG: Well, my advice would be, if you want to do it try it. It, it's, it's, it was very rewarding to me. I enjoyed every minute of it. I can't think of anything I enjoyed more in my lifetime than serving on the--being there during the session. It was fun. It was boring sometimes but it was fun a lot of times. And the friends, and the contacts I made, I'll never forget. Um, I will not say anything bad about the legislature. I mean I maybe say something bad about what they do. I'll say something bad about the things I po--did sometimes. 65:00But I think most of the people that serve on there for the right reason and, and give up a lot of their life and time to do it and should be commended for it. Now, I, I realize we're not--the, uh--I went to a real estate meaning one time and they wanted to know what the five worst professions are and I said, "Well, it was lawyer, used car salesman, lobbyists, legislator--"I forgot what the other one was--real estate agent! And she said, "How do you know that?" And I said, "I've been three fifths of them." (both laugh)

HERDMAN: Well, on that note, um, do you remember any funny stories, anecdotes, things that went on? I've had reports of some senators stealing other senator's shoes, that sort of thing? Did you--

LONG: Well, I remember when Herbie Deskins set off the stink bomb in, in the House. I sat on the front row of the House on the far left-hand corner. Herbie sat in the next section. And there was an attorney and his name escapes me right now and he and Herbie went back and forth 66:00all the time and, and Herbie finally set off a stink bomb. And the reason I remember, in his desk, I had a tweed sport coat I had it a dry cleaned twenty times and I never could get the smell of that out of there. (both laugh)

HERDMAN: And what year was that?

LONG: That was probably '88, '89.

HERDMAN: Um hmm.

LONG: And then we had a lady who served in the House--Mae Street Kidd, an African-Amer-nice lady, good person, who got up on the floor of the House one time and got mad at the Senate. Now, got mad at the Dem--she was a Democrat and got mad at the Democrats. And she was going to go down there and straighten them out. So I stood up and said, "I think the lady from Jefferson County ought to go down there." And she had a habit of, when she talked to you, she bangs you with your--with her purse if she had it. Well she went down and banged around a couple of senators, they weren't very happy with the House that day.

HERDMAN: What was the issue, do you remember?

LONG: I don't remember what the issue was. It was her bill that they hadn't taken up. That was the issue. And uh, now I remember, I 67:00remember to that they used to bring food around if we were there late during the last few days of the session and while she was gone to wash her hands, Herbie and Woody Allen one, took a bite out of her hamburger, they wrapped it back up--I remember how mad she was. But a lot of that was fun, you know, the late night we--I remember the year we had--we were their way past twelve o'clock. We had a tornado--tornado warning on the last night of the session, we all--the families were out waiting to go on spring vacation. Everybody had to come into the basement of the thing, I said, we had everything that night a swarm of locusts, locusts, you know. The governor had gone--that was governor, um, uh--well they'd gone on television, criticizing the legislature because they wouldn't pass his healthcare--it was, it was a wild night. And, uh, but there--met a lot of really interesting people, colorful people. Herbie Deskins and Raymond Overstreet could cause more trouble in five minutes and tell more stories than anybody and they were--lots of 68:00fun to be around and we probably had nothing in common politically. I think that's the one thing, there was a lot of people I had nothing in common with politically, I had the greatest respect for today.

HERDMAN: Um hmm. Um, did your family ever get to attend with you when you had receptions and that sort of thing?

LONG: Occasionally, but the, uh--they weren't real interested. My, my children were young during most of it and so my wife was home getting them ready for school, and so forth. But they got involved. I took my son to a game dinner one time and he was eating snake and giraffe or something else. He didn't know what he was eating but he ate it.

HERDMAN: A game dinner?

LONG: They used to have a game farm dinner every year. Game--I, I think they still do have that.

HERDMAN: Did they--did you attend meetings at a campground? Someone told me about a campground where they had, uh, something each year.

LONG: Oh, we used to--the first year I was in was the last year of the, of the caucus.

HERDMAN: Um hmm. That's what it is.

LONG: Each party had a caucus.

HERDMAN: At the cabins'.

LONG: Down at Kentucky Lake--Kentucky Dam Village.


HERDMAN: But that was--ended right as you were coming in.

LONG: I attended one time and I don't think my liver could've taken a second time.

HERDMAN: That seems to be the impression of that event.

LONG: And there was lobbyists, it was all paid for by lobbyists.

HERDMAN: Um hmm. If you were starting over would you do it again?

LONG: Oh yeah, in a heartbeat.

HERDMAN: All right, well let's talk about, uh, how you wrapped up your political career or at least, uh, the elected portion of it. You, did you run again in '02?


HERDMAN: You just decided not to run?

LONG: Uh, I, I was debating whether to stay or not. I was funded in the pension program. I was debating whether to stay and then in the Senate, the Republicans redistrict--redistricted the Senate and I was taken out of Henry and Franklin County and that district nev--my district was Owen, Franklin, Henry, and Shelby. And now it's Shelby, Spencer, and Bullitt. And, um, the fellow who was state representative 70:00from here ran against me, Gary Tapp--would've--would have run against me. I had said I was going to, I had halfheartedly said I was going to run again and after that certainly made it--would have been a difficult--I may have won again, I may have lost, I don't know. But it, they made it, but it--in the meantime, I sort of had gotten tired of acrimony that came up. And, uh, I, uh, my children were old enough now and, and I really needed to come home and do some other things for a while. And I--there was no one reason I left because I loved, like I said, I could go to the session right now and be happy as a lark. Um, the redistricting played a part in it, um, the fact that I had been there twenty-one years certainly did that. And, it was pretty obvious that the Democrats weren't going to win back the Senate, and so that had a little something to do with it, too.

HERDMAN: How did the pension program work? You mention that, uh--


LONG: --you're fully funded in twenty years. Now you can--if you stay longer than that you can pick up a little bit more money. Uh, it takes care of your health care. I mean, we pay a very modest amount. The, um, we're in the same pension system with the judges and it's, it's pretty good sh--pretty good shape as pension systems go.

HERDMAN: So you get, like, a percentage of your--what you're, what your income was?

LONG: Yeah, you get a percentage of what, what your income was. And actually, you get a check for about what you made after taxes and everything when you were in there. And, uh, it sort of, you know, I was getting older, and, um, it sort of seem like a good time to go so I went down and told the governor I wasn't gonna run again. I had made up my mind that day and went down and told him I wasn't gonna to run again, and--

HERDMAN: Was your family happy to hear that?

LONG: And it was a tough, tough day to do that--when you give twenty- -really twenty-nine years of my life to politics. But, um, I don't regret--it's the smartest thing I ever did.

HERDMAN: Um-hm, it improved your family? You were able to spend more time with your family?

LONG: It improved, yeah, it helped that, and it improved my income, if 72:00nothing else. And, uh, let me tell you, everybody who serves up there sufferers income-wise when they're in the legislature. I mean we've got some people who are very good lawyers, could be making a whole lot more money, out, uh, in the courtroom. You've got people who are small business people--I--and it'll--you know, I was fortunate; I had a brother who would run the business while I was gone. But he wasn't real happy about it most of the time I was gone, either, you know.

HERDMAN: Right. (laughs) Um, how long did you keep the construction business?

LONG: Well, we were in the concrete block business.


LONG: And we sold it in, I think it was 1994 and we stayed there for about another six--I stayed about two or three months, my brother stayed the year and then we, we, went, he--he's actually a contractor and developer now and I went into the real estate business.

HERDMAN: So, you started going back to real estate in '95?

LONG: Um-hm, somewhere along there, yeah.

HERDMAN: Um, and so then when you came out in '02, back into full-time, uh, private citizen life, you were doing real estate?


LONG: Well, it's pretty hard to sell property when you're sitting in a committee meeting. It's very difficult.

HERDMAN: So you just did a little bit of real estate in between and then--

LONG: Yeah.

HERDMAN: You came out in'02--

LONG: --and, and, uh, that was a big factor, too, because it just hurts your income and I was getting older and, you know, how many more years do I have two work? So--

HERDMAN: Um, you mentioned, what, a lot of people were lawyers, real estate, small business, other than that, what did, what was the second occupation of most of the people you served with?

LONG: Uh, some of them work in factories, some of them, uh, most--

HERDMAN: --did you have farmers?

LONG: There was a lot of farmers, small business people, and attorneys in the legislature. Because if you worked for somebody else, by the hour, or something like that, you can't, you can't afford to serve.

HERDMAN: Um hmm, okay, and, um, let's see--now, you men--you mentioned earlier that you were now doing some lobby work, to.

LONG: Yes.

HERDMAN: Who are you working for?

LONG: I work for the Kentucky Jailers Association and the physicians, the Academy of Physician's Assistants and I did some work for the quarter horse racing people.


HERDMAN: Now, did they seek you out? You kind of work as a consultant or are you involved in these groups?

LONG: The, no the, the um, uh, vice president of the Jailer's Association was my jailer here. And they--their--they had lost their lobbyist. He asked if I'd be interested. I said I would never lobby but, uh, I did. And I enjoy it. It kind of put your finger back into it but, you know, you don't have to stay up there all the night. You can come home at four o' clock.

HERDMAN: And you don't have to worry about being elected, either.

LONG: And, uh, it's been pretty interesting experience.

HERDMAN: Um hmm. And how long have you been doing that?

LONG: Uh, two years.

HERDMAN: And you think you'll keep doing it?

LONG: Um, I've got a contract to do it next time so I guess I will.

HERDMAN: Yeah, okay, uh, what do you think of the elections that have just recently been held, any surprises or comments on it?

LONG: No, I think this next election's going to be, you know, Bush is got his troubles. Fletcher has got a truckload of troubles. And the Democrats don't have anybody at this point to run. So it's going to 75:00be an interesting, um, election year. And the nice thing about being a lobbyist is you can't participate in all this stuff so you can sit back and watch it and enjoy the fun. And, uh, um, I, I'm close to our local senator here now who took my place. He's done--

HERDMAN: Who did take your place?

LONG: Gary Tapp, and he's helped me with some jailers' stuff and so forth so, uh, I tell people that, I never was real partisan but now I have to love them both.

LONG: Because he's a Republican?

LONG: Yeah, and, but he's also a friend, you know, and has helped--

HERDMAN: --yeah--

LONG: --and I, I, I've been able to keep those contacts with some of the people who were on the other side. As a matter of fact, for the physician's assistants, uh, I asked Tom Buford from over in Jessamine County to sponsor that bill for me because I thought he could do a good job, and he did.


LONG: So, uh, and Gary Tapp here was chairman of the committee he went in front so, it really worked out very well.

HERDMAN: That's great so what, what was the legislation that you were able to help get passed?

LONG: They were, they were asking for licensure, and had been asking for 76:00licensure for a number of years, hadn't got it. The Kentucky Medical Association opposed it. We were able to get together with them and come up with a piece of legislation that they would support and, um, got it, got that done. And there'll be other issues next time. Uh, lobbyists are a frustration because you can't get everything you want. And you hope to--you get it in pieces, basically.

HERDMAN: You hope for the best pieces to come in when they do. Okay, well, um, Mr. Long, anything else you'd like to add?

LONG: No, just to, just to say that, uh, that, uh, I guess I probably speak for most of the people that served up there, it was a great honor. And, uh, like I say, I loved every minute of it and, and I know the members, and when you back off from it a little bit, you get a better feeling about it.

HERDMAN: A little nostalgic about it?

LONG: Yeah, I do, I do get nostalgic about it. But, uh, it was a great honor and the people kept reelecting me even though I did do some 77:00stupid things.

HERDMAN: All right, well, thank you, Mr. Long, I appreciate it.

LONG: Thank you.

[End of interview.]

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