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Nancy Jo Kemper

Bill's guest is Nancy Jo Kemper, Democratic Party candidate for Kentucky's 6th District. She is running against incumbent Republican Congressman Andy Barr.
Season 11 Episode 37 Length 27:46 Premiere: 10/02/16

Sixth District Congressional Candidate Nancy Jo Kemper

Before this year Nancy Jo Kemper had never run for public office but she points to her 18 years as executive director for the Kentucky Council of Churches as an excellent training ground for political service. Part of that job included helping to craft and promote legislative agendas approved by members of the organization that includes representatives from a dozen different Christian traditions.

“It was a great experience that I believe has given me a world of wisdom about people,” says Kemper. “I’ve done all the legislative experience and covered a range of subjects from environmental issues to anti-poverty work to criminal justice reform and tax reform, so that the breadth of my exposure and knowledge is vast.”

The Lexington minister is the Democratic candidate in the 6th Congressional District race against incumbent Republican Andy Barr. She appeared on KET’s One to One to discuss her career and her policy priorities.

Kemper is a native of Lexington and a graduate of Transylvania University and Yale Divinity School. She served as a minister for some 25 years and worked briefly for the Urban League of Little Rock, Ark., before joining the Kentucky Council of Churches in 1991.

Since retiring from that group, Kemper has pastored a small Disciples of Christ congregation in Woodford County. She decided to run for Congress because she says she’s “fed up with politics as usual.” She attributes the surge in voter anger and discontent to a deep hurt about a government that no longer works the way it’s supposed to.

“We need some fresh ideas, some people with new experiences to bring to Washington to really represent the people and not represent corporate interests,” Kemper says. “It feels to too many people like our government’s been for sale and frankly it looks to me, as I study the issues, as if it has been.”

Banking, Taxes, and the Economy
Kemper says she wants to hold megabanks and Wall Street interests to greater account while helping smaller, local banks better serve their customers. She says she favors changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that would make it easier for community banks to make small business loans as well as consumer loans for home and car purchases. Kemper says she also supports the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created by Dodd-Frank, and wants to keep the independent agency free from congressional interference.

The Democrat favors an increase in the federal minimum wage and she wants to enable individuals with student loan debt to refinance their obligations at much lower rates.

“It’s absurd that young people are paying, 6, 8, 12 percent interest on student debt,” Kemper says. “It strangles them for the rest of their life so that they are burdened and can’t participate in the economy… That dampens the economy for all of us when we allow the banks to make millions of dollars off of our young adults and their debt to become educated and contribute to the society.”

Kemper also calls for more spending on education and vocational training as well infrastructure improvements. She says she would pay for those increases by shifting funding away from unnecessary military spending and by amending tax policies to institute a progressive tax on capital gains and eliminate carried interest tax loopholes.

Health Care, Social Welfare, and the Environment
On recent health care reforms, Kemper says the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion need to be “tweaked” to ensure that those efforts remain functional and affordable for consumers and to prevent health insurance providers from pulling out of markets.

She opposes any efforts to place Medicare on a voucher system as proposed by some Republicans. Kemper also rejects any expansion to work requirements for individuals on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (what used to be known as food stamps).

Kemper says abortion should remain legal but she wants the government to do more to prevent unwanted pregnancies. As an example she points a dramatic drop in such pregnancies and abortions in Colorado after that state made birth control free. Kemper says she endorses federal funding for Planned Parenthood because she says the vast majority of the organization’s work is devoted to reproductive health services and avoiding unintended pregnancies.

Just as she supports tight regulations for the banking industry, Kemper says she also favors strong federal oversight by the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. She contends it is part of government’s role to ensure the safety and quality of things like roads, pharmaceuticals, food, and the natural world. She claims that some parts of eastern Kentucky have water that is as polluted as what Flint, Mich., experienced with lead-tainted water.

“It’s not about government overreach,” Kemper says in response to critics of federal regulations. “It’s about protecting all of us so that our kids, all of us can breathe clean air [and] so that we can have clean water.”

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Season 11 Episodes

Mitch McConnell on Politics

S11 E49 Length 28:04 Premiere Date 12/19/16

Speaker-Elect Jeff Hoover

S11 E48 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 12/19/16

Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition

S11 E46 Length 28:21 Premiere Date 12/18/16

Former Congressman Barney Frank

S11 E45 Length 28:36 Premiere Date 12/11/16

Kentucky Youth Advocates

S11 E44 Length 29:02 Premiere Date 11/20/16

Ramez Naam and Seth Siegel

S11 E43 Length 27:31 Premiere Date 11/13/16

Former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle

S11 E42 Length 27:35 Premiere Date 11/06/16

Kentucky Book Fair Preview

S11 E41 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 10/30/16

U.S. Sen Rand Paul

S11 E40 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 10/23/16

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray

S11 E39 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 10/16/16

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr

S11 E38 Length 28:00 Premiere Date 10/09/16

Nancy Jo Kemper

S11 E37 Length 27:46 Premiere Date 10/02/16

Gary Gregg; Daniel Hayes

S11 E36 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 09/25/16

Adam Edelen and Matt Jones

S11 E35 Length 27:51 Premiere Date 09/17/16

Ky. Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey

S11 E34 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 09/11/16

Stephen Pruitt on Education Policy

S11 E32 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 08/28/16

Work Ready Skills Initiative

S11 E31 Length 27:52 Premiere Date 08/21/16

Mary Matalin and James Carville

S11 E30 Length 27:18 Premiere Date 08/14/16

BBC Anchor Katty Kay

S11 E29 Length 29:02 Premiere Date 08/07/16

Fancy Farm 2016 Preview

S11 E28 Length 28:36 Premiere Date 07/31/16

Kentucky's Open Records Law

S11 E27 Length 27:51 Premiere Date 07/24/16

Kentucky's Medicaid Waiver

S11 E26 Length 28:16 Premiere Date 07/17/16

The Future of Agribusiness

S11 E25 Length 27:32 Premiere Date 07/09/16

Sen. Mitch McConnell's Memoir

S11 E24 Length 29:46 Premiere Date 07/03/16

Oral Health Integration

S11 E23 Length 28:42 Premiere Date 06/19/16

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak

S11 E22 Length 28:26 Premiere Date 06/12/16

Pearse Lyons and Family

S11 E21 Length 28:51 Premiere Date 06/05/16

"Dreamland" Author Sam Quinones

S11 E20 Length 29:31 Premiere Date 05/29/16

Rethinking Pain Treatment

S11 E19 Length 27:11 Premiere Date 05/22/16

Drug Czar Michael Botticelli

S11 E18 Length 29:01 Premiere Date 05/15/16

Drug Addiction and the Brain

S11 E17 Length 27:41 Premiere Date 05/08/16

Kentucky's Opioid Abuse Epidemic

S11 E16 Length 29:01 Premiere Date 05/01/16

David Adkisson and Jason Bailey

S11 E15 Length 28:16 Premiere Date 04/24/16

Ben Chandler on Baseball and Family

S11 E14 Length 27:47 Premiere Date 04/17/16

Highlights from the Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit

S11 E13 Length 29:06 Premiere Date 04/10/16

Allison Ball and Ryan Quarles

S11 E12 Length 28:16 Premiere Date 04/02/16

Author Fenton Johnson

S11 E11 Length 27:31 Premiere Date 03/27/16

Rep. Sannie Overly

S11 E9 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 02/28/16

Kentucky's Republican Presidential Caucus

S11 E8 Length 27:51 Premiere Date 02/21/16

Education Secretary Hal Heiner

S11 E7 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 02/14/16

Presidential Politics in Kentucky

S11 E6 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 02/07/16

Gov. Bevin on Budget Proposals

S11 E5 Length 27:31 Premiere Date 01/29/16

Postsecondary Education Funding

S11 E4 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 01/24/16

House Speaker Greg Stumbo

S11 E3 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 01/17/16

Mitch McConnell on 2016

S11 E2 Length 28:31 Premiere Date 01/10/16

Senate President Robert Stivers

S11 E1 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 01/03/16

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