Gov. Beshear "channeling his inner Paul Patton," Senate leader says

04/03/2013 10:50 AM

Steve Beshear has been in the highest office in the commonwealth for five years, and the the 2013 legislative session has earned him the highest marks from legislators yet, one Republican leader said.

Republican Sen. Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer of Georgetown called the change in Beshear’s leadership style akin to “channeling his inner Paul Patton” as Beshear used phone calls, meetings in the governor’s office and mansion and even text messages to lock down a deal over pension reforms.

“He worked the legislature differently and better than he has ever done since he became governor,” Thayer said on Pure Politics.

Patton, the former governor from 1995-2003, was known for his outgoing leadership style and personally lobbying legislators in his office to close deals — something Beshear hasn’t always been successful in doing.

But Thayer said look no further than the pension bill to see the difference in the governor.

“When you have an executive – whether its the president or the governor those personal meetings I think go a long way towards developing trust,” Thayer said.

Watch the rest of the interview with Thayer plus his thoughts on an expanded gambling bill 2014 below:

And the 68-year old Beshear took plenty of meetings with both leadership teams, and sent text messages during the on going negotiations.

“He’s a good texter by the way,” Thayer said.

In 2012, an amendment which would have allowed expanded gambling in the state failed before the full Senate – losing even in-party votes.

“There were three Democrats who I thought were with us on the constitutional amendment who bolted at the last minute – despite assurances from the governor that they were going to be with us,” Thayer said.


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