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Governor John Carlin interview

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Interview with governor John Carlin February 12, 2004, College Park, Maryland Governor of Kansas: January 8, 1979 - January 12, 1987 interviewed by dr.bob beatty (with DR. Mark Peterson) Department of Political Science Washburn University Topeka, Kansas 66611 This interview with Governor John Carlin is part of the Kansas Governors Recorded History and Documentary Project. All the subjects interviewed agreed to make the recorded interviews and transcripts available to the public for use in research, teaching, TV and film production, and other uses of benefit to future generations (signed release forms are on file at Mabee Library, Washburn University and the Department of Political Science, Washburn University from all interviewees). Therefore, anyone interested in using this and other interviews - filmed and printed - from the project are allowed to do so without needing permission from the subject or the project coordinator, Dr. Bob Beatty. However, we do ask that if your use of the interviews is published or shown to the public in any fashion, that you acknowledge and/or cite the source in the following manner: Kansas Governors Recorded History and Documentary Project, Dr. Bob Beatty and Washburn University, 2005. Dr. Bob Beatty, Producer, Kansas Governors Recorded History and Documentary Project March 1, 2006 Q. Governor Carlin, could you tell us where you grew up and where you were born, and about your background? A. I was born in Salina, Kansas at St. Johns Hospital in August 1940. I grew up in that area on a farm near Smolan. I was active in the 4-H and graduated from Lindsborg High School, and went to Kansas State University. It was not Kansas State University then, I can't remember quite what the title was. Got a degree in dairy science and came back to the farm. Q. So you grew up on a farm? A. Yeah. Q. What was it like for you as a boy? A. Lots of work, lots of fresh air, outdoor activity, lots of time in the barn. With the dairy operation going seven days a week there's no day off. Cows are milked twice a day. I look back and it was a great opportunity growing up to develop a work ethic and an appreciation for some of the basics of environmental issues as to what makes agriculture work and it certainly served me well in a variety of things I've done over the years. Q. Not all kids who grow up on a farm go to a university, let alone go into politics. Was there anything from your parents, did they stress education or were they involved in politics? A. Education was always considered important and the discussion of politics was very frequent. My folks weren't active in politics but they took an interest. Never in the context of running for public office or making any plans, just following what was going on and taking an interest on the issues. Q. Was it expected that you were going to go to the university or was that something you decided on your own? A. It was expected. I think my folks intended that I would get a college education and it would be in agriculture, specifically dairy science. Then I would come back to the family farm with my father for a short period of time and then ultimately by myself run the dairy operation. Q. We did read some biographical material that said you cast your first vote for Harry Truman in the third grade. A. I remember. I remember primarily because President Truman didn't do very well in Smolan Grade School in the fall of 1948. But I was very proud, even at that young age. It was clear which side of the aisle I was to sit on and I voted for Mr. Truman. I can remember following the 1948 conventions in both political parties on the radio. Q. And I also read something about you making a presentation to President Eisenhower? A. That would have been some time later, either the late winter or early spring of 1960 or 1961. I was one of six 4-Hers across the nation that had the opportunity to present to then President Eisenhower as he was leaving office. I think it was his last year, which would have been the election year of 1960, now that I've had a chance to put the numbers together in my mind, to go to the oval office and make the presentation of the report to President Eisenhower. Q. Was that an experience that had much of an affect on you? Did it make you become more interested in politics, visiting the White House? A. It was a fantastic experience. But I didn't have the Clinton experience with the photo with President Kennedy that started supposedly his political career. I was still headed towards agriculture and a focus there. I was very proud to have the opportunity and in particular to be a Kansan and to be able to present the report to one of our own. Q. After you graduated from Kansas State you returned to the farm, is that correct? A. That's correct. Q. Tell me a little bit about your first run for office. What prompted to make that leap into running for office? A. There was no plan to run for public office, that I can assure you. Living on a farm in Smolan, the Sunday Salina Journal came about 11 o'clock on Monday morning. So my first look at the Sunday paper was usually while having what we would have said dinner then (we call it lunch now). It would have been dinner at noon. And there was an article inside, I don't think it was a cover article, but inside the front page of the Salina Journal was an article. This would be September of 1968. There was an article about the legislative candidate for the Democrats who had moved out of the district we happened to reside in. I wasn't even aware of what district we were in to be honest with you. And he was no longer eligible. The Democrats were desperately looking for someone who might have an interest in filling this void. I can't explain why really, but it just kind of struck me as, "Hey, this might be interesting." Back in Smolan in 1968 we still didn't have a dial telephone system. It was the old crank on the wall with neighbors listening in. I went over to a pay phone in what used to be an air base, Schilling Project, not too far from the farm, and called the County Chair, somebody I never met, and said I would like to talk to you about that. From that discussion in September there was still time to get my name on the ballot. I ran and I lost. But it started my interest in public service in an elected capacity. Q. You decided to run two years later? A. That's right. Q. Was this traditionally Republican area you were in? A. Very much so. Q. How did you win that first election? A. I think because of the dairy farm. I mean, it was interesting to go door to door and with the family helping do that work and connect John Carlin, candidate for legislature with the dairy farmer in Smolan, Kansas. I say that because in 1970, this was a successful run. It was primarily a Salina district, it wasn't a rural district, and it was Republican. A lot of folks were folks who had milked cows, if not their folks, their grandparents had. There was always a tie to that. Seems like everywhere we turned people had a connection with somebody that was a dairy farmer. And they associated a dairy farmer with somebody that worked hard and they felt good about, because there weren't any issues that dominated at all. It was simply a personality contest going door to door. And I had a very personable opponent. I think it really was that. That's the only explanation I have, that I could win in a district like that. Q. Let me ask you about the next leap. Can you recall possibly the time where you, after getting to the State Capitol, sat down and thought about the Governor, that's a job you might be interested in. What point did you start thinking about that? A. Again, it was never a plan at all. I recall some people floating my name - and it would have been 1974 when Governor Bennett was running for re-election - that I might make a Lieutenant Governor partner for Vern Miller. But it didn't go anywhere and I didn't take it very seriously at all. In the election of 1976 when the Democrats took the majority in the House and I had been the minority leader and then became the Speaker of the House, I can't give you an exact time, but sometime in that first year of being Speaker I remember having lunch - I made the transition I think by then from dinner to lunch in Topeka - with my very good friend and then Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Fred Weaver from Baxter Springs. Fred and I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant over in North Topeka. And my memory is for the first time the idea came up there. I don't remember if it was something I raised or something Fred raised, but for the first time there was a discussion about "maybe," and this would have been in early 1977 for the 1978 election, that consideration ought to be given to running for Governor. One of the reasons I was willing to do it was not just because of issues that were evolving and the experience I had had in four terms as a state legislator and being in the leadership for several terms. I was never one that would have stayed doing something forever. There were folks in the legislature that had been there for 20, 30 years. That was not something that I would ever have been comfortable with. I was in the process of giving everything I had to that legislative opportunity. So it was as a combination of issues and challenge, but also in that I was willing to move on it and take the risk of losing and returning to the farm and not worrying about it that I was willing to consider running for Governor. Q. How did the Democrats actually come in control of the Kansas House, was there an unusual situation involved with that? A. Very unusual. When I was elected in 1970 and started my experience in January of 1971, my memory is there were 41 of us. And it takes 63 to have a majority. And then out of the 1972 election we went to 45. In the election that wasn't much of a change. But there was some really great talent added to our ranks in those early years, talent that wasn't satisfied with just being there, they wanted to do things. Not in a partisan way. They wanted to be part of the dialogue and in making decisions. It was obvious that as a minority and very small minority we weren't really that influential. But then with growing interest we went to 56 out of the 1974 election and we really got serious about the opportunity. And quite frankly, we snuck up on the Republicans. It was before partisanship really took on the vicious feel I sense and fear is out there now too frequently. I'm not being critical of either side. If there is any blame, it goes both directions. And we had a few issues that worked our way. But for the most part we recruited great candidates. And like I say, we got ahead of the partisan flow. There was no combined Republican effort to shoot us all out of the water at the level there is now, in any way, shape or form. I'm not saying there wasn't an effort, they were competitive races. But I think to some degree at least we snuck up on them and we lost that majority the next election. Came back one time, held it for another two-year period and the numbers now are back to where they were in 1971 when I arrived in Topeka. Q. You decide to run for Governor. What did you decide was going to be your message, what were you going to emphasize as a candidate? A. Education was a strong issue. I don't mean that in comparison to my opponent saying education wasn't important, but there was a great deal of emphasis on that. There had been a number of issues that came along in the legislature regarding tax issues, particularly in terms of being more progressive, trying to be fairer to lower income folks. So a lot of issues we put forward, some we actually had success with in getting a Republican senate to support. But a lot of issues that we couldn't get passed that we made into issues. One of the evolving issues that some of my friends on the other side have made light of for many years - but I'm still very proud of the campaign we ran - was making utilities a significant issue. I say that because - and I would remind Kansans - that's when Wolf Creek was being built, our first and only nuclear plant, and it was very controversial in a variety of ways. I raised several specific ideas on how I felt if I was elected Governor we needed to deal with it, where the laws needed to be changed, where I felt that the Governor should play a significant role. Not just appointing commissioners to the Kansas Corporation Commission, like judicial appointments, then just let them do their thing. I felt like that there was too much at stake with what was evolving and there needed to be an aggressive program. My memory is that we had a six-point program that we took to the people. It was the principle issue from some time in September through the election. And I'm proud of the fact that five of the six were put into law early in my tenure and had a very substantive impact on that plant coming on that allowed some balance. The practical aspect was we had to do the best we could for the consumer, but bankrupting the utility was not the answer. So we had to carve out ways and we had to change the law that allowed the Corporation Commission to evolve rates that protected both sides for the best interest of everyone long-term as best we could, because the decision had been made to build the plant prior to my time. My challenge was bringing it on in the best, most feasible way. Q. You ran against… A. 1978 against the incumbent (Bennett). Q. It was somewhat of a surprising victory? A. I don't think you can overstate that. The first edition of the Topeka Capital had my opponent winning. That came out in the Wednesday morning edition, the Harry Truman Beats Dewey type of headline. I won for a variety of reasons and issues. To be quite honest with you, I won because I didn't raise much money. That may seem a little strange to you, but the answer is really that. I had so little money that I was only on television statewide the last week. Now think of that compared to today's elections where for not months but years you have television, certainly many, many weeks of television for any serious campaign. But I could only be on the last week. I say that because people misread the polls. I was down. In fact, the Sunday Capital before the Tuesday election had me down 16 points: "Latest poll: Bennett leads Carlin by 16 points." Well, the problem with the poll was it was like 48% to 32%, which meant there was still a lot of people that hadn't made up their mind. When they polled, my TV hadn't started. There were thousands of Kansans who didn't know who John Carlin was until the last week of television. And they decided they weren't that thrilled with the incumbent or they would have been casting their polling answers with the incumbent. Once they felt comfortable then the incumbent held his 48- 49% and I went to the 50 percent. (Official result: Carlin: 49.4%, Bennett: 47.9%). If I had raised a lot of money, I very likely might have lost because it's a Republican state and there was an incumbent, a very competent incumbent. We had our major differences on issues but there was no personality set of issues. We respected each other. If the Republicans would have had polling early enough to come back it could have been different, because they allowed my program on utilities to go without a response. They couldn't see it in their polling doing anything. Well, I started in September but I didn't have any television message to get out. And let's face it, it's a reality, you reach the masses through the mass media. And I think that’s the explanation. I could feel it. When I was campaigning the last weekend compared to having worked almost two years campaigning, you could feel it. Going to bowling allies, people recognized me. They were positive. Before I had to go in and shake hands, explain who I was, telling them who I was, what I was doing. And they were polite, but now it was like they were connecting. And they connected the issue with the person and the decision they were going to make on Tuesday. And I won. Q. Interesting question in that you only have that one week of advertising that you did, what did you decide to emphasize in that one week of television, was it your background, your six-point plan or both in the 30 seconds or 45-second ads you were running? A. In a 30-second message we tried to get across the utility issue. And it played right into our hands because we were running that and the incumbent had ignored the issue and had not taken it seriously. His advisors were I'm sure telling him, "This isn't polling, it's not working, let Carlin spend his money on this issue," and they found out too late. I understand their tracking polls over the weekend prior to Tuesday showed what was happening, but it was too late. Q. So in a surprising victory can you tell us the moment you were told that you had won, who told you and how you were feeling at that moment? A. I can't really give you a very good answer on that. We spent a lot of the evening in my Speaker's office. That's where we were trying to keep track, evaluating the counties as they came in. We started feeling fairly good as early as 8:00-8:30 just based on what the earliest precincts showed us. We had no polling to show where we were. But we started to confirm the good feeling we had the last few days that, hey, we were going to do okay, that this wasn't going to be over real quick. But it was well into the night before it was confirmed. Like I say, the first edition of the newspaper had already come out because Bennett led most of the evening. It was in the late returns that I was able to secure the victory. What was it 15,000 votes? (Note: The results were 364,738 for Carlin and 348,403 for Bennett - a 16,335 difference). Q. As soon as you found out, what do you say to yourself, this is the first thing I want to do when I get into the office? A. Well, one of the things that I learned about this - and tried to do something as I was leaving the Governor’s office - was that immediately there wasn't that much help for a variety of reasons. I don't think there had been a tradition in Kansas to have a real formal transition where the outgoing Governor and staff had a program or something. So we were starting from scratch. And we certainly didn't have time and we didn't waste time in the campaign focusing on what are we going to do if we won. I mean, issue-wise, we were prepared. But the structure that has got to be put together, all the decisions very quickly on, like the swearing in, the inaugural activities, obviously we hadn't thought about. But a first budget, a first legislative session, some of the specifics all came at one time and with not a lot of help, and certainly understandably so because I had defeated an incumbent, an incumbent whose administration assumed they were getting a second term. I don't say that critically, I understand why they would have assumed that. Why would they even have thought they might lose? So they weren't prepared. It was a shock. So it was not a model transition from anybody's point of view. And out of that experience, when I left office, I really worked on putting a plan together. In fact, we published with the National Governor's Association sort of a transition plan that I thought might be helpful in other states as well. Q. What would you describe as your gubernatorial style, did you think of yourself as an activist Governor? A. I don't know if activist is the right word but I certainly believed in taking charge. I always looked back and felt like my experience in 4-H and judging team work at Kansas State University, often both livestock and dairy judging teams, gave me decision-making skills, opportunities to learn about communicating because there was a lot of oral reasoning involved in judging competition. I wasn't shy about speaking up. I wasn't shy or uncomfortable about making decisions. And so I wanted to be involved. Yes, I had a Chief of Staff. Yes, I had a Cabinet Secretary. And I certainly delegated a lot of areas, almost all the specifics, because they weren't areas where I brought expertise. But in the bigger picture, putting a budget together for example, I was very actively involved in working with key partners and staff that was available then to me from the Executive Branch in putting that first budget together and putting the legislative package together. I had people that helped me work the legislature but I was very actively involved myself. So I was very much a participant. I didn't exaggerate delegation, I can say that for sure. Q. Did you feel you had the right training in the sense that you were working in the legislature before becoming Governor? A. The legislative experience helped in a couple ways. First of all, it was very educational on the issues. When I was elected, I knew very little or nothing. There were no issues involved when I started my campaign for the legislature. So those eight years, those four terms were really eight years of education on the issues facing Kansas and the responsibilities of the legislature with the Governor. So that was very good. I would have to say the rest of it, sure, there were leadership opportunities there as well. Some of it came before that helped make it possible to come in and have confidence that I could take this role that suddenly I had won. Q. What does the job of Governor entail? I guess I would like to ask you first, if you can recall literally an idea that then went on to, you know, working up that idea and into a plan of action and eventually ended up being a bill and signing that bill? Do you recall that process, being Governor and can you take us through that process and your role in that? A. An example that comes to my mind is the water plan that we put together. I had a very capable person in Joe Harkins running the water office. It was very easy for me because of my agriculture background and his expertise and experience to come together and agree the state of Kansas needed a water plan. We also were aware that this brought controversy and certainly would bring different points of view. So we worked in a very open way. We recognized that both houses of the legislature were controlled by Republicans, and that they were going to have to be major partners. I think of Senator Angel, for example, as one in particular, and Representative Heinemann. Both were from western Kansas. Although water is an issue all across the state back in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, I think that most people thought well, that's a western Kansas irrigation issue, that aquifer going down type thing, and people that live in the east didn't have to worry that much about it. But we recognized it was statewide and we had to have key leaders like Heinemann and Angel working with us. On the Democratic side, Senator Feliciano from Wichita was one of the key players. But it was a very open, back and forth exchange. Joe Harkins and his staff worked very closely with me with he and his staff developing specifics, slowly step by step putting the plan together, back and forth very much openly working with the legislative folks and leadership on this issue, and then over time, developing something we could take to the legislature. Because we had bipartisan involvement from the get go we were able with a lot of public hearings, a lot of work involved, to get it passed into law in my tenure. I was very proud of that. I was told that not too long ago that Joe Harkins has been brought back to maybe put some new fire to that water plan that we put together many years ago. Q. Did you ever have a time when you were told that the legislators don't think this particular idea is very good and you said I'm going to do it anyway and sort of take it to the people or did you always try to go through the legislature because it wasn't worth the time to fight them? A. In the end you always had to have their help and cooperation. Nothing is going to go into law without 63 votes in the House and 21 in the Senate and two of those votes coming together in a conference committee usually on anything controversial and ultimately needing those 63-21 series of votes. When it came to the funding issues, which were such a challenge in my first term and of desperate need, we had economic problems, declining revenues, so I chose to go to the people then. My first initiative was a severance plan in my first term. We were one of the few oil and gas states that produced a severance plan. I took it to the people, got input, took it to the legislature, was not successful. But I made it the cornerstone of a re-election effort in 1982 and then with a successful reelection was able to start to garner the kind of support that was necessary to put it into law. But it was clear that it was not going to be enough. The economy had continued to deteriorate. The legitimate needs of the state had continued to grow. And so I took a discussion, literally across the state in a series of town meetings and public press conferences laying out where we were, laying out the challenges, laying out the options, alternatives, what we could do if we were willing to be supportive of additional revenue measures. And in the process we developed very strong editorial support across the state for investing in the future of the state, for doing what was right for the state. And so I was able in my second term - even though the legislature was even more Republican - to come back and to get the votes and the support necessary from a Republican legislature to pass a very extensive redoing of the taxes both from income, sales tax, user taxes, including somewhere in a couple of these areas for transportation the gasoline tax, because highway needs were very evident. But I think the key was going to the people first and being very open and clear about the issues, very clear about the needs and gaining support, so that when I went to the legislature they were aware that I was building some public support. They had the experience with me on the severance tax where they had to in the end come around and be supportive. Again, working very closely with them, and not making it partisan, making it Kansas oriented, what's best for Kansas. We were able to put together a revenue program that allowed us in very difficult times to invest in education and invest in transportation and take care of our people at a level that certainly is not ideal, but that was comfortable for all of us trying to do our best for the people of Kansas. Q. What was the most rewarding part of being Governor? A. I think the most rewarding part was doing things that were good for the people in terms of legislation, in terms of the budget, in terms of programs, in terms of service. But I would mention one other area I took very seriously and that was the appointment of judges. I worked very, very hard to attract and to appoint the best men and women to the bench. Because I knew, it’s not rocket science here, that most judges were going to be on that bench far longer than I was going to be in office. And so, maybe over time, maybe the most significant contribution I would make is who I put on the bench and their contributions to the state. I recall my first appointment, selecting a Republican over a Democrat and I took a lot of heat. You know, I had just won an election, Democrats were thrilled, but for my first district court appointment was a Republican in southeast Kansas. But I took a lot of heat. I tried to demonstrate right then, not only did I believe that the person I selected was the best for the bench at that time but that I also wanted to send a message that I took this responsibility very seriously. Yes, I would appoint Democrats and I appointed a lot of Democrats to the bench over time. But that didn't mean Republicans were automatically disqualified. Q. The opposite question, what was the most frustrating aspect of the job and maybe something you hadn't anticipated? A. One thing that was very frustrating for me - and again it happened with my party friends who worked so hard to help elect me - were the laws and the system for personnel had changed dramatically. You have to keep in mind Robert Docking was not only a good Governor but a very popular Governor and had pleased a lot of Democrats across the state with what I'll call patronage, which was legal and appropriate and accepted at the time. But things changed due to spin-offs of what was going on in Washington and so forth. The rules changed and the Governor could no longer dictate who got those highway jobs in counties across the state. So it was frustrating to work the political scene, do what was right and ethical and legal in a system that had changed. But people had a hard time understanding that across the state. So it was very frustrating in my tenure. You know, I understand the two-party system. In my current time, I'm an independent. But in my previous lives I was, yes, I was a partisan Democrat, although I always felt like I tried to be very positive and constructive with that. But we have a party system. There is a certain adversarial aspect of our operation that is good and can be very, very healthy. So it was uncomfortable for me. I wanted to be sympathetic. But somehow we never, for the most part, got that message across. The times had changed and we had to change as a party and as a state and things had to be done differently. Q. Looking back, when you look at your eight years, is there anything you wish you could change? A. I could look back and I could say, you know, in hindsight if I could do things differently I might have made some appointments differently. I might have selected some people differently to the staff. I certainly learned a lot as the eight years went along. I'm quite sure an objective review would say I was a better Governor in my eighth year than in my first because I had a lot to learn. So yes, if I could take that experience, and particularly take the experience that has flowed since, yes, I would go back and do some things differently. I can't think of anything dramatic that I would do differently. I vetoed a lot bills and I stand by those vetoes to this day and am proud of the fact that my Democratic colleagues upheld all of them despite the fact that Republicans tried to override every one of them. We were able to sustain the vetoes, which is important and is important for a Governor. It applies to a President. If your vetoes have no respect, then the Legislative Branch is going to run all over you. Q. Is there anything unique about Kansas that might make the Governorship better, more challenging, interesting than other states? A. That's a good question, one that I would need some academic political science folks to really help me with on the specifics. But states vary dramatically in terms of the power that's put in the Governorship. We do have a strong Governor's position in our constitution. The Governor plays a very significant role. And there are states interestingly enough, Texas is one, where the power is divided much more and there are more elected offices. Some of those elected offices in other states have great power, power that in the State of Kansas has placed in the Governor to a significant degree, at least in terms of selecting and appointing key folks that are going to lead and make executive decisions. So Kansas is certainly one of the states where the original founding folks put a constitution together where the governorship was going to be a powerful position, but not dictatorial. There's a balance of power, but within the executive branch it’s a very powerful position. And that's where I should make it clear: I'm not talking about that in Kansas the Governor has more power than in other states over the Judicial Branch or the Legislative Branch, I'm just talking about the Executive Branch itself. Q. If a person is elected Governor of Kansas what do you think that person will need, the sort of skills needed to be successful? Do you think there is set of skills that a person should have in that four or eight years? A. I would say this, if I was responding about almost any state or any public official, I think leadership skills and decision-making skills are absolutely critical. The Governor makes a lot of decisions, and some people can make decisions and some struggle to make decisions and so that's something I always look to. Of course, I've been removed from the state, so this comment doesn't reflect on any of my successors.’ But just watching people here in Washington for example, having been through now two administrations and dealing with a lot of executive folks, you can really tell the difference in working with entities whether they are comfortable making decisions. You know, at some point, yes, you want good decisions. But at some point one of the worst things that can happen is for a decision not to have been made or put off too long. A lot of times you can make a decision, then if it's the wrong decision make a correction and go on instead of stewing on it over and over and over again. I remember one experience and I will bring it back to my current job. When I first became Archivist of the United States I was being briefed by a group of fine people on my staff who had been reviewing a set of forms. You know, in a bureaucracy, there are forms. I didn't have any expertise to evaluate them, so it was more of an educational process for me. I asked, "Where are we on this, how long have we been working on it, what's gone on?" And this committee and this effort had been going on for ten years, reviewing, nobody was willing to pull the trigger, nobody was willing to move forward. That's an isolated example that doesn't in any way reflect across the board what I inherited here, but I use it as an example. I mean, they had done a lot of study, a lot of analysis but couldn't make the decision because with the decision there's risk. With decision it leads to accountability. And some people don't quite have the personality or the set of experiences in life that allow them to just do that. Again, I go back to my agricultural upbringing on the farm where you made decisions every day, and that judging experience. Although I was never a debater I was a very strong supporter of the debate program because it also trained you to make decisions. I mean, there in the real world, in real time in a debate competition, you had to think and you had to explain yourself. And that's helpful in public office regardless what state. Q. Do you think that helped you win a second term, that the voters appreciated that quality? A. I think so, but I have nothing to back it up. We certainly as an administration demonstrated we weren't just treading water. And as I've observed again not in Kansas but having being back here watching other parts of the country and the east coast and so forth, there's a tendency today to do that. In terms of Congress it seems that, you know, you want to get beyond the next election, that making tough decisions now, oh, they might be unpopular. I personally believe people are ready for tough decisions. They are ready for the truth, ready to be told the reality. But there's a tendency - and this is across the board, this is not making a partisan statement in any way, shape or form here - there's a tendency to get through the next election. And maybe times have changed a lot and maybe dramatically and I certainly acknowledge things are much more viciously partisan today then in my tenure in public life. But I certainly took from my experience and also felt at the time that just taking a "Here's where we are folks, here are realities," approach worked, saying "I'm not trying to dictate how we proceed, but here's some of my thinking," and then bring people along, that you can bring about change. But change requires first of all, leadership. And secondly, the capacity to make decisions, good decisions, and move things forward, and be willing to take some risks to make things happen. Q. What would you like Kansans to know and remember about John Carlin's two terms and Governor Carlin's tenure as Governor? A. Oh, so much time has passed, I imagine most of the viewers-- I would have to say something here, they will say, well I kind of remember when we had that farmer as Governor. Q. We talked a lot, but to sum up. A. I think I would like them to know we worked hard. I say "we" because it was done as a team. And again, I want to remind people it was done as a team including Republicans and working with Republicans across the state. A lot of my allies were business folks, Chamber of Commerce folks putting together a transportation program, certainly that side of the equation really came on board. I would want folks to know that we tried to honestly address the challenges we faced at the time and that we worked very hard to do what was best for the people, that we felt like our responsibilities were not just for the short-term but the long-term. We had responsibilities to future generations as well as to do our best in a time in which we had the opportunity to lead what I've always considered the great State of Kansas. Q. And the last question and then you're done. You ran again in 1990, correct? A. Correct. Q. And did you run because you felt there was some unfinished business or you wanted to continue to do what you were doing, or was it a combination of both? A. I ran because I felt there were additional opportunities. I certainly left office never thinking I would run again, I was looking for other opportunities. I thoroughly enjoyed my teaching at Wichita State University for three semesters and getting back in the private sector doing entrepreneurial things. I think it was looking at the issues, looking at the direction of the state, feeling that in some areas where some things had been started and they weren't going necessarily how I felt comfortable with and saw that maybe there was an opportunity to provide some additional leadership for the state. Q. Was it disappointing not to win? A. It was, but, like I've always said, you know, losing can be helpful. I probably didn't think so that night, but it opened up new opportunities. And it's very, very likely I wouldn't be sitting in this room doing this interview today if I had won. And certainly the opportunity to be Archivist to the United States has been an incredible one. A fantastic set of challenges. And so certainly looking back in hindsight, it worked out beautifully for me and opened new doors that wouldn't have opened if I hadn't have taken on a challenge that probably wasn't the right one. It was time to move on and do something different. I had had my two terms. I probably should have been smart enough to know that was enough.

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