Live Blog With Senate Candidate Jack Conway

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and Lt. Col. Andrew Horne joined MyDD for a liveblog session on this thread Friday afternoon. Conway is a candidate for U.S. Senate in the Democratic Primary. As you can see from his April interview with MyDD, he is without a doubt the most ethical and progressive candidate in the race, and a new Rasmussen poll show he's also the most electable, running 5 and 9 points behind the Repubs while Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo loses by 14 and 16. Col. Horne, a retired Marine who served in the Persian Gulf and the Iraq War, was endorsed by Wes Clark and Paul Hackett in a Congressional primary in 2006 and briefly ran against Repub Senator Mitch McConnell in 2008. He has served on the board of VoteVets and once delivered the Democrats' weekly radio address.

Below the fold, two of Conway's latest ads, and in the comments, the Q&A.

Tags: Jack Conway, Kentucky, 2010 midterms, KY-Sen (all tags)



Three Questions

A couple of things first: a. Thanks, Nathan, for featuring this on MyDD; b. Thanks, Mr. Attorney General, for taking the time to address some important issues. 1. I saw you at Fancy Farm last year, and there were some barbs exchanged over coal. What is your position on coal regulation? Has the recent tragedy in W.Va. impacted that at all? How do you balance our nations need for a sustainable future against Eastern Kentucky's economic reliance on coal? 2. As a legal expert, what rights do you accord to terror suspects? Should they be entitled habeas corpus? Should we Mirandize them if they're arrested on U.S. soil? Is it just to violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals on the no-fly or terror watch lists? 3. I'm from Magnolia (in LaRue County), so obviously agriculture is a big issue. How can we protect family farms without pushing food and grain prices through the roof? Can I, my family and my friends count on you to help protect the family farms we rely on? Also, just to toss it in, sir, what's up with the pretty bizarre sounding ethics charge from the Lt. Governor's camp? Is there a story there? Or is it just posturing from Dr. Dan? Thanks, all of you!

by brice.acree 2010-05-07 10:24AM | 0 recs
RE: Three Questions

First of all, my heart goes out to the families of the 29 workers who died at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, and the families of Justin Travis and Michael Carter, two miners who died last week in western Kentucky at the Dotiki Mine. These tragedies illustrate why we need to mine responsibly and as safely as possible.

With respect to future energy policy, I support Kentucky coal and oppose cap and trade. As Attorney General, I have opposed EPA efforts to regulate carbon without the consent of Congress. And as Senator, I will oppose any cap and trade system that raises prices on Kentucky consumers or businesses, and I will fight to keep Kentucky coal a central part of our energy future.
I do support federal investments in carbon capture and sequestration technology that would continue to utilize cost-efficient coal in an environmentally-responsible way. But the long-run solution to climate change is for every country to reduce carbon emissions, and I think large developing economies like China and India should have to reduce emissions along with industrialized countries.
I also believe there is much more we can do to conserve energy and to reduce carbon emissions, such as retrofitting large city buildings with efficiency-improving technology.


Thank you for the question. My father grew up on a farm in Union County so I respect and appreciate the strong agricultural traditions and values we have here in Kentucky.
As Attorney General, I’ve fought for farmers to ensure that Kentucky receives all of the money it is entitled to under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between the major tobacco manufacturers and 52 states and territories. The MSA provides funding for many invaluable programs – from agriculture to education. As Kentucky’s next Senator, I will steadfastly support Kentucky farmers.

by Jack Conway For Senate 2010-05-07 03:05PM | 0 recs
RE: Three Questions

I guess Jack missed the bit about the "bizarre sounding ethics charges" buried at the bottom of those questions, but here's the Louisville Courier Journal's take:

Editorial | Mongiardo's attacks are dirty pool

The mud that Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo is throwing at Attorney General Jack Conway is over the top. Chief among these is the allegation that Mr. Conway behaved unethically by accepting campaign contributions from utility company executives and their lobbyists. Dr. Mongiardo declares that Mr. Conway personally approved saddling Kentucky ratepayers with more than $120 million in increases.

The fact is this: The attorney general of Kentucky doesn't approve rate increases. That is the role of the state's Public Service Commission. The attorney general's office can intervene, when it feels that increases are out of line, and Mr. Conway has done precisely that. Indeed, he contends that he has saved ratepayers more than $100 million.

Two former attorneys general — U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler and House Speaker Greg Stumbo — have come to Mr. Conway's defense, calling Dr. Mongiardo's attacks “baseless.” ...

Dr. Mongiardo has strengths, too, but at the moment they are camouflaged by his deceitful campaign attacks.

by Nathan Empsall 2010-05-07 05:20PM | 0 recs

Can you talk about the differences, if any, between your stance on healthcare reform and that of Dan Mongiardo?

by Jonathan Singer 2010-05-07 01:33PM | 0 recs
RE: Healthcare


I supported health care reform and my opponent was against it. He said we should stop and start over, which is exactly where Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, the Tea Party and the Republicans are on health care.  I stood up and said no to the Tea Party political stunt when they wanted me to file a lawsuit against health care reform. I went on Fox News and defended health care, Social Security and Medicare against the Republican Tea Party attacks.  My opponent still refuses to support health care. 

I supported health care reform and my opponent was against it. He said we should stop and start over, which is exactly where Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, the Tea Party and the Republicans are on health care.

I stood up and said no to the Tea Party political stunt when they wanted me to file a lawsuit against health care reform. I went on Fox News and defended health care, Social Security and Medicare against the Republican Tea Party attacks.

My opponent still refuses to support health care. 


by Jack Conway For Senate 2010-05-07 03:14PM | 1 recs
Coal Mining (i.e. Massey Energy Specifically )

Given the recent coal mining tragedies (in West Virginia and your state as well) where do you stand in regards to mine safety.  Do you think MSHA and other entities should be strengthened? Investigated? etc. Do you see the state of Kentucky pursuing alternative energies besides coal in the future?

Also, What measures do you feel should be taken with Massey Energy.  In lieu of the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster, they have come under incredible scrutiny.  I know that Massey not only serves WV, but Kentucky and other Appalachian states as well.  There has been talk about formal lawsuits being filed against Massey, and Don Blankenship specifically, so I was curious what your opinion was on that.  

by Chuckie Corra 2010-05-07 01:51PM | 0 recs
Mountaintop Removal

This is a huge issue that exists in my state (West Virginia) as well as Kentucky and others in the Appalachian region.  What is your opinion on Mountaintop Removal?  Do you think big coal companies are abiding by current regulations in regards to MTR, or do you believe they have been pushing the limits of the law on their strip-mining sites?

by Chuckie Corra 2010-05-07 01:56PM | 0 recs
RE: Mountaintop Removal

Chuckie - I'm surprised Jack didn't get to this question during the live blog, but here's a bit from last month's interview with him.

Speaking of coal, what about mountaintop removal mining? It’s been said that you oppose it.

“I think coal needs to be mined responsibly, and what we need out of our surface mining is to make certain that we’re not burying streams that are the headwaters of the Kentucky rivers. The other thing is, when you permit land, you need to make certain that land use is at the forefront of the permit.

“Right now, in Appalachia, I think it’s only a tiny fraction of the land, post-reclamation, that’s being used for what was said in the permitting process… We don’t need to affect the water quality in places like Appalachia.”

This November Hotline article further explores the two candidates on the issue:

by Nathan Empsall 2010-05-07 05:05PM | 0 recs

Your thoughts on the developments in Arizona and what do you think is the best way forward on comprehensive immigration reform?

by Charles Lemos 2010-05-07 02:07PM | 0 recs
Campaign Finance Reform

What are your thoughts about the recent Citizens United V. FEC Supreme Court decision?  Did you support the McCain-Feingold Act?  What are your ideas about campaign finance reform in the future of american politics?



by Chuckie Corra 2010-05-07 02:17PM | 0 recs
RE: Campaign Finance Reform

I have serious concerns about the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case. I think it starts us on a slippery slope and I worry that it opens up the door to foreign corporations being able to influence our elections. I think that is problematic and we need to clarify the law.  

by Jack Conway For Senate 2010-05-07 03:16PM | 1 recs
Here to take your questions!

Thanks, Nathan, it's a pleasure to be here and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the issues with a respected progressive leader like Lt. Col. Andrew Horne and members of the mydd community.

I am the only candidate in our race who would have voted for the health care bill when it was in front of congress. I will be here for the next hour taking your questions, I look forward to getting to know your community and their views on the issues.

by Jack Conway For Senate 2010-05-07 03:03PM | 1 recs
Question for Col. Horne

Colonel, my baby brother is a Marine PFC now, about to graduate top of his class from training for his MO (computer networking) in Pensacola. My grandfather was an Army full bird who did three tours in Vietnam and Cambodia, and is now in Arlington. My current boss is a retired USAF Lt. Col who used to carry the nuclear football. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your service.

Here's my question. Who do you think have been our most insightful political leaders on military subjects post-WWII, and is Jack in their camp? Which security issues are most important to you, and why is Conway superior to Mongiardo on those issues?

by Nathan Empsall 2010-05-07 03:18PM | 0 recs
RE: Question for Col. Horne


S/F to your brother.  

Since the primary civilian political leaders to interface with the military are presidents, I would say that presidents Bush 1, Clinton and Obama have shown a recognition of the specialized expertise of the military and while they have given general guidance and leadership they did not and do not replace sound military strategy with their political beliefs.  My experience with Jack is that he knows to select competent, moral experts and then allows them to get the job done without political interference. 

From more of a policy perspective, Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar are great examples of politicians that recognized the need to address the security concerns about decommissioned Soviet nuclear weapons and the need to tackle the problem in a bi partisan manner.  I know that Jack is concerned about that very serious national security issue. 


by AndrewHorneKY 2010-05-07 03:43PM | 1 recs
Conway has led the way on Healthcare

Jack has been very upfront about his support for reform. 

by AndrewHorneKY 2010-05-07 03:24PM | 0 recs
Thank you!

A special thank you to Nathan and Lt. Col Horne for participating in this blog session.  Also thank you to every member of the MyDD community for asking questions on the issues  I really enjoy getting time to discuss the issues that are facing our communities. Please dont hesitate to contact our campaign if you have any more questions. 

by Jack Conway For Senate 2010-05-07 04:02PM | 1 recs


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