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Beshear Says Book Is About Making Government Work Again

Office of Ky Governor

Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says his new book is about how to make government work again.

Beshear, a Democrat,  says government is dysfunctional on the national level but could be different. He decided to work for the people by putting "people over politics," he said.

That's the name of Beshear's 361-page book — "People Over Politics" — and it's scheduled for release Friday.

He writes that unnamed politicians have learned how religion influences people and have used it for political control.

"Religious hypocrisy abounds in America's political world and has become one of the primary tools utilized by some office seekers to get elected and then to stay in office," he wrote.

"These modern-day Pharisees wrap themselves tightly in the shroud of faith, knowing if they shout 'Judeo-Christian values' long enough and often enough people will vote for them — no matter how much their policies and positions fail to back up those Christian beliefs. ... It's time for voters to wake up and quit being played for suckers."

Beshear served two terms as governor, leaving office in 2015. He is a senior member of the Lexington law firm of Stites & Harbison.

He wrote the book with freelance writer Dan Hassert of Covington, a former newspaper reporter and editor who wrote speeches for Beshear.

Beshear also writes that legalization of same-sex marriage was the most controversial issue during his time as governor, and he said his views on the subject have "greatly evolved over time."

He said he shares the blame for confusion on the issue because he declined to answer questions from the media about his personal view on same-sex marriage. He said people misunderstood his motivation for taking it to the Supreme Court, which he said he did to "bring clarity and finality to this issue."

"The bottom line is that today, same-sex couples across Kentucky can finally both marry and have their out-of-state marriages recognized in this state," he wrote. "Love wins."

Beshear only mentions the current governor, Republican Matt Bevin, once by name in the book, often referring to him simply as "the new governor" or his "successor."

He praises several Republican leaders for their bipartisanship — including Senate President Robert Stivers of Manchester, U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers of Somerset and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels — before offering a path for Democrats to recover from their losses in the 2016 elections.