For Release at 11 AM on Tuesday, January 27, 2015. Contact: John

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
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.