Interview with Sam B. Thomas, February 12, 2004



Description: 
Thomas (House, 1972-1986, 24th district; Democrat) describes his early years on a rural farm in Marion County, Kentucky. He shares a detailed experience of his first election and the importance of local political officials in Hart, Larue, and Marion counties. He discusses his first trip to Kentucky Dam Village and his memories of House leadership races. Thomas explains how divisive politics among the Democratic Party affected members and their committee assignments. He also describes the leadership styles and leadership cabinets of four Kentucky governors: Wendell Ford, Julian Carroll, John Y. Brown, and Martha Layne Collins. As chairperson of the business, professions, and occupations committee (BOP), Thomas handled a considerable range of diverse issues, factions, and interests, including gambling, alcohol, horseracing, and occupational licensing. He discusses his memories of the committee's most important and controversial bills, as well as the BOPTROT scandal. He underlines the difficulties surrounding the culture of lobbying at the General Assembly. Moreover, Thomas captures the more poignant moments of his legislative career, including his most difficult, embarrassing, and rewarding votes as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Interview Accession: 
2004oh040_leg075
Interviewee: 
Interviewer: 
Interview Date: 
2004-02-12
Interview Keywords: 

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