For Release at 11 A.M. on Tuesday, January 27, 2015. Contact: John Larson, phone: 859-225-1001 215 West Short Street, Suite 210 Lexington, KY 40507 KENTUCKY STATE TREASURER – ELIMINATE THIS OFFICE The office of Kentucky Treasure is not worthy of a place on our Constitutional ballot. Control over the Commonwealth’s checkbooks should be transferred to the Kentucky Finance and Administration cabinet. Do Kentucky taxpayers want a mere “bean counter” in office, or an intelligent servant of the people? A vote for Jon Larson will be a vote to push to get a Constitutional amendment placed on the ballot to eliminate the office of Treasurer. Kentucky’s Treasurer runs, by far, the smallest Constitutional office in our Commonwealth. Yet, the Treasurer’s annual compensation of $113,754 is equal to what Kentucky pays its Secretary of State, Attorney General, Auditor, Commissioner of Agriculture and the Lt. Governor. Twelve American states do not elect a Treasurer. Of the 38 states that do elect Treasurers, Kentucky pays its Treasurer more than 31 of those states. The seven states that pay their Treasurer more than Kentucky are much larger, more populous states, such as Illinois, Pennsylvania and California. Historically, two of the Commonwealth’s Treasurers embezzled large amounts of state funds. One of those was “Honest Dick” Tate, who stole about $100,000 in 1988 (today’s equivalent would be a few million dollars), fled Kentucky by train, and was never brought to justice. Treasurer Tate bought land and coal mines in other states, gambled on speculative stocks, and “loaned” state monies to judges, members of the Legislature and even to the Governor! In 2014, the Covington, Kentucky Director of Finance was sentenced to 10 years in state prison after an audit revealed that he had embezzled more than $790,000 over a period of 12 years. Yet, given the way modern Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet functions, with bonding, double accounting and IT systems control; there is no longer a need for a Treasurer to oversee the state’s monies. Georgetown, Kentucky recently eliminated its Treasurer too. Jon has experience in trying to abolish unnecessary Constitutional offices (Fayette County JudgeExecutive and its Fiscal Court), a quest which he continues to pursue today. Logically, eliminating the Treasurer’s Office should be more easily brought to the attention of the Legislature. As a former JudgeExecutive himself, Jon understands how 118 county Judge-Executives and other hard-working, responsible county officials might feel threatened by a Constitutional Amendment that mentions the titles of their offices. The effort to eliminate the Treasurer’s office in statewide elections will take a dedication over the last three years-lobbying the General Assembly to authorize voting on an Amendment, and then having the fortitude to be the public “spear carrier” advocating for consideration by an informed electorate. Treasurer would not be the first office which Kentuckians have eliminated. We no longer elect Railroad Commissioners, a Superintendent of Public Instruction or a Registrar of the Land Office. Maybe we should consider eliminating other offices too. Why do Kentuckians elect 41 Jailers in counties that have a merged/consolidated city and county governments, which have supplanted their functions? Jon demands that the people of Kentucky feel empowered to raise Constitutional questions and to vote on their solutions. Our Constitution has bound our Commonwealth together since 1792, but some of the provisions of our latest Constitution no longer make sense. Successful businesses reorganize to increase the profit to shareholders, so why shouldn’t governments do the same? Jon Larson wants to empower Kentuckians to commence a “downsizing movement”, which can save our state millions of dollars. It is ironic, and unseemly for the conservator of our state’s bank accounts to have to “beat the campaign drums” to raise money to get elected. Our citizens need a Constitutional officer they can rely upon, one free from the influence of rich and powerful “King-makers”, looking to subvert our government for their personal benefit. In several political campaigns, Jon has chosen to serve the voters with little reliance on other people’s money. Conceivably, the office of Treasurer is a mighty dam which could eliminate the risk of a potential future governor, who might choose to recklessly pry open the people’s accounts, without proper authority. Until Jon Larson can persuade the General Assembly to pass a bill and send the issue of eliminating the office of Treasurer to the voters, he is eminently qualified to lead the office. In addition to his bachelor’s and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Kentucky, Jon also earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the George Washington University. While serving as JudgeExecutive of Fayette County (2011-2014), Jon administered millions of dollars for county road repairs and resurfacing, and managed a college scholarship trust fund. Over Jon’s 4 year career, he also served as Treasurer for several private organizations, writing the checks and keeping the accounting records. Jon wants to demonstrate how new ideas can impact an old, entrenched bureaucracy. For years, he has taken public positions on issues which no one else has dared to express politically. Jon does not share the fear that some involved in politics have of being too far ahead on previously ignored problems. For example, Jon has been the sole Central Kentucky advocate for a regional Planning Authority, which would and could control unnecessary sprawl beyond Fayette County’s boundaries. As one of the shrinking number of military veterans running for public office, Jon Larson pledges to pursue dedication to public service, which he humbly shares with men and women who have lost their lives and limbs in defense of our freedoms. Not only did Jon Larson initiate Veteran’s Treatment Court in Fayette County in 2013, but after experiencing a long period of feeling alienated from his country as a Vietnam-era veteran, Jon now proudly leads and attends ceremonies honoring all veterans. He wants his campaign to be a donation for, and from, veterans to the public good. Jon Larson paid for his college education by working in school cafeterias. That experience, as well as his many years working as a Public Defender and raising a child alone, all shaped him to be the person who, of necessity, has had to be alert to the origin of every single penny and the destination for each dollar of his income. There is no better qualified public servant than Jon Larson to serve as your State Treasurer, protecting your gold and working for honest, efficient government. Thus today, Tuesday, January 27, 2015, Lexington trial attorney and former Fayette County Judge-Executive Jon Larson announces that he is filing papers with the Secretary of State’s office to run as a 2015 Republic candidate for Treasurer of Kentucky, to replace two-term incumbent Todd Hollenbach, who is barred by law from seeking another term. Larson’s platform will include encouraging the General Assembly to pass a Constitutional Amendment to abolish the office of Treasurer, and transfer is functions to the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet.
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