Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Crit Luallen, June 27, 2018

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Childhood in Frankfort, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: This is Bob Gates.

Segment Synopsis: Crit Luallen is introduced. She talks about growing up in Frankfort, Kentucky, briefly discusses her family background, and talks about how Frankfort has grown and changed since her childhood.

Keywords: Atmosphere; Brothers; Country; Development; Family; Family farms; Fathers; Growth; Houses; Jett (Ky.); Mothers; Politics; Roads; Rural areas; US-60

Subjects: Childhood; Families.; Frankfort (Ky.)

00:03:48 - Family history--Part I

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Partial Transcript: We actually live right on the county line here.

Segment Synopsis: Luallen talks about the history of her family's property through many generations. She talks about her ancestors, including Colonel E. H. Taylor (owner of seven bourbon distilleries), and John J. Crittenden (governor of Kentucky, Senator, Representative, and U.S. Attorney General). She talks about the research she has done on her family history and how she creates special events to share that history with the younger generations of the family.

Keywords: Castle & Key Distillery; Christmas; Connections; Crittenden Cabin; E. H. Taylor, Jr.; Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr.; Extended family; Family events; Family gatherings; Family homes; Franklin County (Ky.); Generations; Homeplace; John J. Crittenden; John Jordan Crittenden; Lieutenant Governor's Mansion; Lieutenant Governors; Preservation; Research; Tours; Woodford County (Ky.); Young people

Subjects: Childhood; Families.; Family histories.; Frankfort (Ky.); Genealogy; Politicians--Kentucky

00:13:21 - Changes in women's roles

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Partial Transcript: Another time I did a--this was about five years ago, I guess--I did a, um, um, a women's celebration.

Segment Synopsis: Luallen talks about how women's roles in politics have changed over time and discusses her outlook on the future for women's careers.

Keywords: Barriers; Careers; Changes; Elections; Family; Gender roles; Generations; Kentucky; Lieutenant Governors; Martha Layne Collins; Opportunities; State politics; Transitions; Young people

Subjects: Families.; Kentucky--Politics and government; Politicians--Kentucky; Sex discrimination against women; Sex role; Women in politics.; Women's rights; Women--Employment.; Women--Political activity.

00:17:18 - Helping with her nephew's political campaign / Divisiveness in politics

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Partial Transcript: Um, I have a wonderful young nephew who was just elected magistrate here in Franklin County this spring.

Segment Synopsis: Luallen talks about helping with her nephew, J.W. Blackburn's political campaign. She talks about the polarization occurring currently in politics. She talks about helping Amy McGrath's campaign.

Keywords: Amy McGrath; Divisiveness; Establishment politicians; J. W. Blackburn; Local politics; National politics; Negativity; Nephews; Partisanship; Polarization; Public service; Teachers; Young people

Subjects: Families.; Kentucky--Politics and government; Political campaigns--Kentucky; Politicians--Kentucky

00:22:05 - Effect of her family history and Centre College on her career

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Partial Transcript: Did--(coughs)--did you feel like your family kind of helped you out in that direction when you were young?

Segment Synopsis: Luallen talks about whether her interest in politics was affected by her family. She talks about the values instilled in her by her education at Centre College.

Keywords: Advisors; Colleges; E. H. Taylor, Jr.; Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr.; Education; Encouragement; Family; Fathers; Governors; Impact; Influences; John J. Crittenden; John Jordan Crittenden; Kentucky Historical Society; Leadership; Mayors; Mothers; Namesakes; Political careers; Professors; Relationships; Roles; Senate; Senators; Service; Size

Subjects: Centre College (Danville, Ky.); Childhood; Families.; Family histories.; Frankfort (Ky.); Genealogy; Kentucky--Politics and government; Political campaigns--Kentucky; Politicians--Kentucky; Universities and colleges--Faculty.

00:26:21 - Experiences at Frankfort High School

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Partial Transcript: Um, you went to Frankfort High.

Segment Synopsis: Luallen talks about her experiences at Capital Day School and Frankfort High School. She talks about joining clubs, being on the yearbook committee, and being manager of the girls' track team.

Keywords: Atmosphere; Capital Day School; Class size; Community; Frankfort High School; Girls' track teams; Involvement; Leadership roles; Lunches; Organizing; Publishing; Southern Hotel; Sports; Yearbooks

Subjects: Childhood; Education--Kentucky; Frankfort (Ky.); Recreation

00:32:38 - Mother's work at the Historical Society

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Partial Transcript: So it was a good school for you.

Segment Synopsis: Luallen talks about her mother's work with various historical societies and museums in Frankfort.

Keywords: Annexes; Curators; Eugenia Crittenden Hay; Exhibits; Kentucky Historical Society; Mothers; Restoration; Secretary of Finance; State capitals; Transportation

Subjects: Childhood; Frankfort (Ky.); Historical museums.; Museums

00:38:15 - Interest in the arts

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Partial Transcript: So, um, you had a good time in high school.

Segment Synopsis: Luallen talks about her interest in the arts, both in high school and at Centre College. She talks about how she used these skills in political campaigns.

Keywords: 3-dimensional; Art clubs; Art majors; Arts; Bronze; Ceramics; Drawing; Frankfort High School; High schools; Painting; Photography; Sculptures; Stone

Subjects: Art; Artists; Centre College (Danville, Ky.); Childhood; Frankfort (Ky.); Political campaigns--Kentucky; Universities and colleges

00:40:06 - Wendell Ford as a mentor / Beginning of her interest in political campaigns

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Partial Transcript: So when I got out of Centre I really didn't know exactly where I was headed.

Segment Synopsis: Luallen talks about how she came to work for her first political campaign, Wendell Ford's campaign for U.S. Senate. She talks about how Ford became her lifelong mentor. She talks more about using her interest in the arts during political campaigns.

Keywords: Advice; Arts; Careers; Communications offices; Death; Graduation; Graphic design; Impact; Influences; Jobs; Julian Carroll; Lieutenant Governors; Lifelong learning; Mailrooms; Mentorship; Opportunities; Photography; Red River Gorge dam; State Democratic Headquarters; State government; State politics; U.S. Senate; Wendell H. Ford; Women's roles

Subjects: Elections; Ford, Wendell H., 1924-; Kentucky--Politics and government; Political campaigns--Kentucky; Politicians--Kentucky; Sex role; Women in politics.; Women--Employment.; Women--Political activity.

00:49:27 - More on Wendell Ford as a mentor / Choosing not to run against Mitch McConnell

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Partial Transcript: You said he was your mentor back then.

Segment Synopsis: Luallen talks more about Wendell Ford as her mentor and the advice he gave her when she was considering running against Mitch McConnell for Senate. She talks about why she ultimately decided not to run in that election.

Keywords: Campaign funds; Chuck Schumer; Funding; Governors; Hilary Clinton; Jack Conway; Make a difference; Mentorship; Mitch McConnell; Money; National politics; Promises; Public service; Regrets; State Auditors; U.S. Senate; Wendell H. Ford; Winning

Subjects: Elections; Ford, Wendell H., 1924-; Kentucky--Politics and government; McConnell, Mitch; Political campaigns--Kentucky; Politicians--Kentucky; Women in politics.; Women--Employment.; Women--Political activity.

00:56:36 - Time as State Auditor

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Partial Transcript: You were doing, you were doing such a great job with auditor too.

Segment Synopsis: Luallen talks about the role of State Auditor and the accomplishments she made in that position. She talks about working with various law enforcement agencies to fight corruption in Kentucky politics. She talks about the importance of remaining non-partisan in this role. She talks about some of the high profile board-governed organizations her office investigated.

Keywords: Agendas; Attorney Generals; Audits; Board governance; Board-governed organizations; Challenges; Cooperation; Corruption; Enemies; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Fiduciary responsibilities; Fraud; High profile; Indictment; Law enforcement; Meetings; Mismanagement; Non-partisan; Prosecution; Public funds; Rural Kentucky; Spending; Standards; State Auditors; State Police; Threats; Transparency

Subjects: Elections; Kentucky--Politics and government; Political campaigns--Kentucky; Political corruption--Kentucky; Politicians--Kentucky; Women in politics.; Women--Employment.; Women--Political activity.

01:05:24 - Use of social media

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Partial Transcript: So, uh, I said I was looking at some of your tweets when you were lieutenant governor.

Segment Synopsis: Luallen talks about her use of various forms of social media.

Keywords: Facebook; Generations; Social networks; Tweets; Twitter; Value

Subjects: Communication.; Social media.

01:07:30 - Activities in retirement

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Partial Transcript: So you retired completely now?

Segment Synopsis: Luallen talks about the boards, political campaigns, and other activities she remains involved in since her official retirement.

Keywords: Amy McGrath; Board of trustees; Centre College; Civil discourse; Community Trust Bank; Democratic Party; Giving back; Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship; Involvement; James Graham Brown Foundation; Kentucky Historical Society; Leadership Kentucky; Political candidates; Public speaking; Retired

Subjects: Retirement.

01:10:47 - Family history--Part II

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Partial Transcript: Um, I work with Keeny.

Segment Synopsis: Luallen talks more about her family genealogy on both the Taylor/Hay side and the Blackburn side. She talks about the Taylor distillery and the Taylor family property Thistleton. She talks about E. H. Taylor's influence in the bourbon industry. She mentions her family's connection to Centre College.

Keywords: "Bossy"; Blackburn family; Bottled in Bond Act; Bourbon tourism; Brothers; Castle & Key Distillery; Centre College; Development; E. H. Taylor, Jr.; Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr.; Family; Family historians; Farms; Fathers; Folklore; Frances Miller (Johnson) Taylor; Generations; Gideon Blackburn; Hay family; Interests; Jacob Swigert Taylor; John Hay; Legislation; Mayors; Mothers; Point Breeze (Ky.); Tanglewood (Ky.); Taylor Distillery; Taylor Hay, Sr.; Thistleton (Ky.)

Subjects: Bourbon whiskey; Childhood; Distilleries--Kentucky; Families.; Family histories.; Frankfort (Ky.); Genealogy; Politicians--Kentucky; Whiskey industry--Kentucky

01:28:33 - Accomplishments as State Arts Commissioner

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Partial Transcript: Well I hope, I hope this has been helpful.

Segment Synopsis: Luallen talks about some of her accomplishments during her time as State Arts Commissioner, including the founding of the Governor's School for the Arts and the Governor's Awards in the Arts. She talks about how these programs impacted the people involved. She talks about some of the criticism these programs have received. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Affirmation; Affrilachian poets; Amber Luallen; Benny Ray Bailey; Centre College; Children; Communications; Controversy; Criticism; Funding; Governor's Awards in the Arts; Governor's Scholars Program; Governor's School for the Arts; Governors; Harland Hubbard; Kentucky Arts Council; Kentucky Craft Marketing Program; Kids; Lexington (Ky.); Martha Layne Collins; Participants; Private events; Promotion; The Kentucky Center for the Arts

Subjects: Art; Artists; Elections; Kentucky--Politics and government; Political campaigns--Kentucky; Politicians--Kentucky; Women in politics.; Women--Employment.; Women--Political activity.