Interview with Leon J. Shaikun, March 18, 1977

Project: Earle C. Clements Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

The interview begins by recalling the first meeting between Clements and Shaikun, who spends some time describing the climate of the state legislature at the time of their tenure, and of Clements' work ethic and leadership as a state senator. Shaikun confirms that Clements had a strong influence over state legislature, even after leaving for U.S. Congress, recalling that Clements had more influence from Washington than Harry Lee Waterfield had from Frankfort. Shaikun says that the disputes among the Democratic factions "go back to the Tom Rhea days." He then discusses Clements' 1947 run for Governor. Though he was not involved, he is able to recount the dynamics between Clements, Wetherby, and Waterfield. Shaikun gives his thoughts on Clements' appeal to lower-class and minority voters in Louisville, saying that he had a good connection with them and that Clements' "innocent country boy" persona often served him well. He also mentions Chandler's involvement in the campaign in supporting Waterfield, and to what extent Tom Rhea supported the campaign before his death in 1946. Shaikun discusses the controversy in which Clements promised $33 million to education in his primary, but only allocated $23 million once in office, which resulted in teachers marching in protest. They then discuss various bills and tax policies that were adopted concerning education.

Interview Accession

1977oh015_clem024

Interviewee Name

Leon J. Shaikun

Interviewer Name

Thomas Syvertsen

Interview Date

1977-03-18

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Shaikun, Leon J. Interview by Thomas Syvertsen. 18 Mar. 1977. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Shaikun, L.J. (1977, March 18). Interview by T. Syvertsen. Earle C. Clements Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Shaikun, Leon J., interview by Thomas Syvertsen. March 18, 1977, Earle C. Clements Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7fn29p5c82