FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Lt. Gov. Steve Pence, months after Gov.
Ernie Fletcher pardoned his entire administration in the summer of
2005, gave his boss a book about Abraham Lincoln for Christmas.
The book, "Team of Rivals," recounted Lincoln's ability to
work with former political adversaries for the betterment of the
common good. It was something Pence said he wanted Fletcher to
think about, the outgoing lieutenant governor said Wednesday in an
interview with The Associated Press.
"The people who disagree with you are not necessarily your
enemies," Pence said.
But the "unhealthy" notion that anyone who questioned the
governor, or did not fully support him, was treated like an enemy
permeated the Fletcher administration, Pence said. After deciding
not to be Fletcher's re-election running mate, Pence found himself
on the outside too.
Fletcher stripped him of his official duties as head of the
state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and called for him to
resign his elective office. Pence declined, maintaining that he was
elected by voters, not appointed by the governor.
Fletcher's administration was shaken by an investigation by
Attorney General Greg Stumbo's office into allegations that state
hiring laws were systematically ignored to reward political
supporters. Fletcher maintained the investigation was a "political
witch hunt" and eventually pardoned his entire administration.