Posts Tagged ‘industrial hemp’

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. Brett Guthrie Passionate about “Common Hope for Tomorrow”

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

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

When Bowling Green Republican Brett Guthrie ran for the Kentucky State Senate in 1998, his theme was a “Common Hope for Tomorrow.” After serving in the state legislature for nine years and serving as Transportation Committee chairman, he upgraded his lawmaker status to serve as 2nd District congressman in 2009.

Since the start of his stint in public office, Guthrie says, “people are still anxious about their ability to move ahead.” That’s his number one priority in Congress – which means jobs and the economy. “We need to make Washington work so people can see that government is not in the way,” he adds.

He’s been a staunch critic of the Affordable Care Act that he says is thrusting uncertainty on the business community. He believes that fears of increased healthcare costs are sure to stifle hiring and harm the economy.

During his interview tonight with Bill Goodman, Guthrie also discusses the importance of
immigration reform and why it’s critical to the farming community in his district.

Guthrie says Western Kentucky University (located in his district) has been aggressive in luring international students to campus, only to have many of the students return to their native countries with high-level skills and knowledge that the U.S. covets.

The second-term congressman is a 1987 economics graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He served as a field artillery officer in the 101st Airborne Division – Air Assault at Fort Campbell. After his military service, he worked at Trace Die Cast, a manufacturing facility owned by his father based in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Rep. Guthrie says his experience with struggling to find high-skilled workers for his father’s factory put him on a legislative quest to form policies and nurture apprenticeship programs for non-college bound kids who would rather move right into the workforce after high school.

Bill and Guthrie discuss these issues plus sequestration, gun legislation, and industrial hemp tonight at 6:30 ET on KET. Bill’s interviews with the congressional delegation resume at the same time Monday night with 3rd District Rep. John Yarmuth.

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