Thursday, September 25, 2008

Johnny Hayes, Editor and Publisher, Tom Loftus

Dave Astor at Editor and Publisher Magazine did a terrific story about my column concerning the economic crisis that ran yesterday. I've gotten response to Dave's column from all over the United States.

Here is the link.

Editor and PublisherDave Astor's story about Don McNay column in Editor and Publisher

Editor & Publisher story

Tom Loftus
On a happy note, I want to congratulate Tom Loftus at the Courier Journal on winning the 2008 James Madison Award for Service to the First Amendment. A huge honor for a guy who deserves it. Tom is a "journalist's journalist." He has an incredible work ethic. A good man and great journalist. Loftus Wins Madison Award

On a sad note, I want to report two deaths.

Johnny Hayes
The first is my old friend Johnny Hayes. The enclosed obit calls him "a political giant" and that was an understatement. He was one of Al Gore's chief fundraisers and closest friends. We worked together (Johnny was the big boss and I was down the ladder) in Gore's 1988 campaign. Along with a long resume of accomplishments (you can read about them in the link) Johnny was a man you could trust and a great guy to be around. Devoted to his family. He called me once at midnight to find a dentist for his daughter. I found one.

Johnny was instrumental in launching the political careers of rising stars like George Phillips in Nashville and former Kentucky State Treasurer Jonathan Miller. One of his greatest protege's was Alex Haught, who was killed by a drunk driver.

I mention Johnny in a column I wrote about Alex. The column was rewritten and part of both of my books.

A drunk driver might have kept Al Gore from being President

Newspapers around the world have carried the news of Johnny's death. Although Johnny would have enjoyed that a French newspaper carried his obit, the one in the Nashville Post is the most comprehensive.

Nashville Post story about the death of Johnny Hayes

Freda Mings Baird

Another death that hit home was the death of Freda Baird this week. She is the mother of Richmond trial attorney David Baird, who has been my friend for over 30 years. David and his brother Randy, and their late father C.R., were fixtures at Eastern Kentucky University football games for 20 years. David's wife Connie and daughter Sarah are like an extended part of my family.

Sarah, who works for Lt. Governor Dan Mongardo while she attends Centre, has the honor of being my first Facebook friend.

A great family and a great loss. Mrs. Baird was an incredibly nice woman.

You can read more about Mrs. Baird in the Richmond Register obit. Freda Mings Baird


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