Apologies to John

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

I want to apologize — publicly, on this blog — to John in Taylorsville, Kentucky.

Here’s why.

Last week, I asked you for questions I might ask the gubernatorial candidates on our final KET candidate program Monday night. Before the program and during the broadcast, we received many good and important questions. You wanted to know where Governor Beshear, Senator Williams, and Gatewood Galbraith stood on mountain-top removal, higher education, and the state budget.

John had an excellent question on growing hemp as a cash crop for farmers. I told him I would ask the question — I didn’t.

In the heat of the battle on the candidate program, John’s question, along with a number of other well-thought inquiries, was pushed to the bottom of the question pile and I failed to get it on the air.

Again, to John and all of you who took the time to phone, Tweet, email, or Facebook a question in — thanks so much for making our candidate programs more relevant and meaningful to the audience and to the hosts. I hope you’re not too disappointed.

Don’t forget: We have two more  election-related programs: Kentucky Tonight on Monday will feature the party chairs and our political analysts discussing what might happen on election day— our election-night coverage begins at 7/6 CT. I hope you’ll be with us the entire evening.

3 Responses to “Apologies to John”

  1. Chris Poore says:

    The apology was nice. But how about going one further. Email the candidates and post their answers along with the apology?

    City/County: Lexington

  2. Paul Robinson (Clancy) says:

    I don’t believe Senator William answered your question about whether or not his consumption tax would be on food and or medicine. I think he talked about a bunch of other stuff and avoided the question you asked. I very much enjoy your work. Thanks for all you do to help the people of Kentucky be better informed. Clancy

    City/County: Paris, Bourbon

  3. Pam McGuffey says:

    The gubernatorial candidates have mixed feelings about hemp. Beshear and Williams think it needs further discussion; Gatewood thinks we’ve had enough discussion. Beshear and Williams show little confidence in law enforcement’s abilities to distinguish between a field of agricultural/industrial hemp and a field of marijuana.

    What follows is an article on the subject from the AP:

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s crop of gubernatorial candidates has mixed feelings about allowing farmers to grow industrial hemp, banned by federal law because it is related to marijuana.

    Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and Republican challenger David Williams want more discussions on the pros and cons of hemp production. But independent Gatewood Galbraith believes it’s been talked about long enough and it’s time to lift federal restrictions on hemp production.

    The candidates discussed their feelings about industrial hemp, a cousin to marijuana, in responses to a questionnaire from The Associated Press. Cultivating the plant is banned under federal narcotics law because it contains tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, the intoxicating chemical in marijuana.

    Kentucky has an ideal climate for hemp production and, during World War II, was a leading grower of the plant that produces strong fibers that were used in fabrics, ropes and other materials for the military.

    A growing number of Kentucky farmers have been calling for restrictions to be lifted. And the state’s two candidates for agriculture commissioner, Republican James Comer and Democrat Robert Farmer, have said they will press to lift the restrictions.

    Galbraith said industrial hemp could help curb U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

    “In addition to the premier seed oil biofuel for diesel engines, the plant itself produces 20 barrels of petroleum per acre without the use of pesticides, insecticides or fertilizer or flat land,” he said. “This plant could singlehandedly thrust our agrarian economy into high gear by giving our farmers a significant niche in the bio fuels market.”

    Beshear and Williams worried that allowing hemp production could make it more difficult for law enforcement to find illegal marijuana crops.

    “Many Kentuckians, including our agricultural community, are interested in this issue,” Beshear said. “However, law enforcement agencies remain hesitant to move forward with legalizing the crop. Additionally, more thorough discussion is needed on the issue, and any solution must be one about which law enforcement is comfortable.”

    Williams agreed.

    “As governor, I will hold discussions with those in the agriculture community who are interested in industrial hemp as a cash crop, and I will also continue to take very seriously the opinions of law enforcement agencies who are engaged in fighting illegal drugs,” he said. “There are legitimate concerns from law enforcement agencies regarding hemp production possibly interfering with marijuana eradication efforts.

    Kentucky’s general election will be held Tuesday.

    City/County: Scottsville/Allen

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