Posts Tagged ‘Bill Goodman’

Rep. Hal Rogers Talks Dollars and Defense

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Bill Goodman’s One to One interview with Rep. Hal Rogers airs on KET tonight at 6:30 ET.

Eastern Kentucky Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers has represented the 5th District since 1981. As his website touts, Rep. Rogers is the longest serving Kentucky Republican ever elected to federal office.

Now in his 17th term, he is chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee which is charged with approving government expenditures with the exception of entitlement programs. Rogers’ physical positioning in the Capitol demonstrates his level of influence. His Capitol office is near Speaker John Boehner’s office, other leadership digs, and House chambers.

Rogers represents one of the poorest congressional districts in the nation. The district’s problems are exacerbated by substance abuse and addiction, against which he’s waged a valiant fight and dedicated financial resources to fixing.

In tonight’s interview with Bill Goodman, Rogers talks about the drug scourge plaguing his southern and eastern Kentucky area. He is the only member of the Kentucky federal delegation who hasn’t endorsed other prominent state leaders’ push for industrial hemp legalization in Kentucky. His concern is that hemp legalization could complicate marijuana eradication efforts, and he also remains unconvinced of the crop’s economic viability. He characterizes himself as a “passive opponent” of hemp as he says he’s not waging an active fight against it.

 

Bill and Rep. Rogers also talk about the budget negotiation track, and he explains that only one-third of federal spending is actually appropriated.

As the chairman of the Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Rogers talks with Bill about cyber security, terrorism, and China – all of which he considers to be the biggest threats to Americans and the national economy.

The full interview airs tonight at 6:30 ET. Tomorrow night, the special One to One series of interviews with Kentucky’s congressional delegation concludes with 6th District Rep. Andy Barr.

Rep. Thomas Massie the Freshmore: “Call Me Mr. K‘NO’W”

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Bill Goodman’s One to One interview with Rep. Thomas Massie airs on KET tonight at 6:30 ET.

Kentucky’s 4th District Rep. Thomas Massie began his service in Washington under a rare political scenario back in 2012. He won a special and general election on the same day to fill the vacancy left by retiring Congressman Geoff Davis. He was sworn into office immediately after the November election –a trajectory that explains the “freshmore” nomenclature.

In a crowded field of seven Republicans with the Tea Party winds and Greenbacks firmly at his back, Massie bested the two more politically well-heeled candidates: State Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington and Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore for the win last year. If the victory was a surprise to some political observers and pundits, imagine the shrills of disbelief when he refused to back John Boehner as Speaker of the House and subsequently voted ‘no’ on a Hurricane Sandy relief measure. Massie’s maverick moves of going rogue in the Republican Party have earned him the nickname “Mr. No.”

A relative newcomer to politics, Massie earned his first electoral victory in 2010 as Lewis County Judge/Executive. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineering graduate with two dozen patents under his belt, tells Bill Goodman tonight at 6:30 ET how he relies on his engineering background to analyze legislation. Rep. Massie says he doesn’t operate on intuition, but facts. He adds that his policy making motivations are not to broker deals, but mine solutions. He also complains of the lack of time lawmakers actually are afforded to read bills before acting and how the moniker of “Mr. No” needs some correcting.

Visitors to his Washington office get a blunt reminder of Rep. Massie’s top priority: debt reduction. A large flat screen monitor, showing nothing more than upward-ticking national debt numbers approaching $17 trillion, greets you as you enter his office in the Cannon House building. Assuming a minimalist spartan approach to office decorating that matches his preference for less government spending, the only Kentucky memento to be found is a hemp pillow with “My Old Kentucky Home” embroidered in black stitch. On a coffee table flanking his desk is a prominently displayed press release on hemp paper announcing his introduction of an industrial hemp bill on February 6th of this year. Most members of the Kentucky delegation are backing measures in Congress to legalize hemp or push for a federal waiver to allow Kentucky to grow it.

Bill Goodman talks with Rep. Massie about industrial hemp, immigration, why he thinks the sequester is a clumsy way of dealing with government spending, and why he’s frustrated by what he says are federal lawmakers’ “propensity to abandon ideology to pursue some fixed partisan goal.”

Watch the entire interview tonight at 6:30 ET on KET. Tomorrow night, the special One to One series with Kentucky’s federal delegation continues with Rep. Hal Rogers.

Rep. John Yarmuth: KY’s Lone Democratic Ranger in Washington

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Bill Goodman’s interview with Rep. John Yarmuth airs on KET tonight at 6:30 ET.

As a one-time legislative aide on Capitol Hill, newspaper publisher, television commentator and host, it would be safe to assume Louisvillian John Yarmuth had a pretty good warm-up before claiming a seat amongst the other 434 United States representatives back in 2006. Yarmuth’s victory back then against five-term GOP Congresswoman Anne Northup was due, in part, to a national wave of growing discontent over George W. Bush’s Iraq War.

Now, in his fourth term and the only democrat in the Kentucky congressional delegation, Yarmuth is sharply critical of the political molasses that mires even the most seemingly benign and simple measures.

Rep. Yarmuth, who defected from the Republican Party in 1985, scoffs at the unyielding gridlock in Washington and declares the system “irresponsive to problems, voter opinions or challenges.” “(Washington)…is not functioning with any degree of efficiency, and it’s giving the public a bad impression of our democracy and leaving them frustrated and unfulfilled,” he laments.

So, the logical follow-up by host Bill Goodman is ‘how to loosen gridlock’s grip?’  Yarmuth claims district apportionment has a lot to do with it in this clip from Bill’s interview.

On the sluggish pace of lawmaking, Yarmurth asserts that “… at its optimum, our system is designed to move at about 20 miles per hour, and the world’s moving at 100 miles per hour. We’ve got to figure out how to narrow that gap.”

In assessing President Obama’s second term agenda, Rep. Yarmuth says in one sense he’s very impressed with Obama’s outspokenness on a number of issues including gun legislation, immigration reform, early childhood education, and standing up for an increase in the minimum wage. But, Yarmuth reserves praise of Obama pending actions that result from the rhetoric.

As a member of the Gang of Eight working on the House version of an immigration bill in Congress, Yarmuth talks about the near-secret group that’s worked out of the press limelight to forge consensus and work toward a shared goal. He believes both parties are highly motivated to broker a deal, even though he anticipates some rough patches on the way to reaching a resolution.

Bill Goodman talks with Rep. Yarmuth about the practice of mountain top removal, sequestration and a Democratic challenger to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014 tonight at 6:30 ET on KET. Tomorrow night, the special One to One series with Kentucky’s federal delegation continues with 4th District Rep. Thomas Massie.


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