Thursday, February 28, 2008

283. Wendell Ford Dinner in Louisville tomorrow

Back on February 18, 1971, I wrapped up a week of being a legislative page in the Kentucky Senate, working for State Senators Tom Mobley of Louisville and Carroll Hubbard of Murray. I was 10 years old. It was my second time paging, the first time much earlier for State Representative Tommy Riddle, who at the time was a Democrat but has since switched parties because he thought the Democrats were big spenders. I wonder how he feels about big borrowers. Maybe he is ready to switch again. But, I digress.

On that February 18, which was a Thursday, later in the day my grandmother took me down to the Lieutenant Governor's Office, then held by Wendell Ford. Later that year, Ford would move around the hallway to the Big Office by defeating Tom Emberton of Metcalfe County. Emberton had been a part of the Louie B. Nunn administration as a bureaucrat in the Public Service Commission, while Ford served those four years as Lieutenant Governor. Emberton would later be appointed as a judge by Wallace Wilkinson, one of my favorite characters from Kentucky's political past, and someone who was a friend. Ford, on the other hand, went on to the United States Senate, taking office in 1974 by defeating former Jefferson County Judge Marlow Cook. Cook was the incumbent Senator and did something that would be unheard of today. Cook, a Republican, resigned a month early, to allow Ford, a Democrat, to take office early and get a jump on seniority. It was a grand and noble gesture on Senator Cook's part.

Ford went on to serve longer in that office than any other person, although if Addison Mitchell McConnell, Jr. gets re-elected this fall, he will best Ford's record. The only person, to my knowledge, to serve longer in Kentucky politics was for Lieutenant Governor (and former several-other-things) Thelma L. Stovall, originally from Munfordsville, but mostly a resident of Louisville.

Anyway, the point I was heading toward was an announcement. Every year the Louisville-Jefferson County Democratic Party has as its chief fundraiser a Dinner in honor of the former State Senator - Lieutenant Governor - Governor - and United States Senator Wendell Hampton Ford. That dinner is tomorrow night, the 29th of February, at the Executive Inn on Phillips Lane at the Airport in Louisville. Tickets are $125.00 at the door. We have already sold a total of about 50 tables according to the Party Secretary Joyce Compton, who has done more work than should be allowed for a number of years on this event. This year's speakers are Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman John Yarmuth.

A good time should be had by all.

1 comment:

Ben said...

"Cook, a Republican, resigned a month early, to allow Ford, a Democrat, to take office early and get a jump on seniority. It was a grand and noble gesture on Senator Cook's part."

Wow. Just not much you can say to that. Imagine how the talking headss would explode...

The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.