[ed: Thanks to Ace 20th Anniversary Committee Chair, Dr. Nick Kouns, for facilitating the interview with the Governor.]
BY JOE SONKA
Just grilled Beshear for about 15 minutes.
Asked him if he agreed with Lieutenant Dan's statement that Mountaintop Removal is good because it creates flat land to build on. His answer didn't really throw Dan under the bus, but it was close. He said that type of mining was a last resort and an exception to the rule. He said that he hadn't approved a single request to do that since he was Governor.
Asked why Kentucky didn't embrace Obama and why we lag behind other southern states like NC and VA in progressive progress. He said that if Obama would've come here he would've done much better, but that he understood his strategy and why he didn't -- and that his campaign was very smart and successful. He said that he talked to Obama in Philly recently, and that he wants Obama to come to KY in his first term and introduce himself because he felt that once he did, Kentuckians would embrace him.
Asked if he'd vote for the Stream Saver bill if it was passed: He said it depended on the form of the bill. I asked him if it was the same as last year. He said that it didn't come close to his desk or a full vote, but he would have to look at that version and consider it (i.e. No, IMO).
He said that his focus is not on gambling this session, but on cutting enough to fix the budget.
Asked him if he thought David Williams was bluffing on the statewide smoking ban that he proposed recently. He said that he took Williams' word, and if he was serious, he would be for it, in theory - but he doubted that there was enough support for it in the legislature to get it passed.
Asked what he thought of bloggers, he said it was not a negative - that it was a new way of communicating and getting the public involved - even though bloggers aren't always nice to him.