Jonathan Miller (Kentucky politician)

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Jonathan Miller (b July 24, 1967) is a politician from the Commonwealth of Kentucky currently serving as Secretary for the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet, assuming that post in December, 2007. Prior to this appointment, Miller served as Kentucky State Treasurer from 1999 to 2007.


From Lexington, Miller graduated from Henry Clay High School and Harvard College and Law School. Jonathan is married to Lisa Miller, and he has two daughters, Emily and Abigail.

Early political career

Miller began his career in politics while in college by serving as the national director of Students for Gore in 1988 when then-senator Al Gore was running for President. He later worked for Gore when he was Vice President in the Clinton Administration.[1][2] He first campaigned for elected office in 1998, losing a primary bid for Kentucky's 6th congressional district to Ernesto Scorsone. In 1999 he was elected State Treasurer and was re-elected in 2003.

Kentucky gubernatorial run

On December 14, 2006, Miller announced his intentions to run for Governor of Kentucky with Jefferson County Attorney Irv Maze as his running mate. On May 7, 2007, a campaign spokesperson announced that Miller would drop out of the race and endorse the campaign of Steve Beshear.[3]

Sideburns challenge

Raising a few eyebrows, a fundraising method for Miller's campaign was dubbed "The Great Sideburns Debate",[4] which began due to an article by John David Dyche of the Louisville Courier-Journal that stated, "Treasurer Jonathan Miller sports perhaps the longest sideburns on a gubernatorial candidate since the Seventies...the 1870s." Miller's campaign shot back calling it, "The lowest blow in political history",[4] and saying Dyche 'hit' Miller, "where it hurts the most. ..his sideburns."[4] In response Miller's campaign invited donations of $18.70 and $19.70, for whichever era of sideburns the donor preferred.

Campaign finance disclosure

On February 23 the Miller-Maze campaign revealed their campaign finance summary 90 days prior to the primary, and nearly two months prior to the mandated 32-day mark currently set for the first financial disclosure deadline in the race. This was in accordance with an earlier pledge to disclose finances at the 90 and 60-day mark and to strive for transparent governance.[5]

Video blog

On March 2 Miller's campaign unveiled a video blog on their campaign website becoming the only campaign in the race to do so.[6][7]

Dropping out

On May 7, 2007 Miller announced he was dropping out of the race for governor. Polls had consistently showed his name recognition had remained low and he was running well behind other candidates.[8] Miller and his running mate held a press conference and endorsed the slate of Steve Beshear and Dan Mongiardo. Miller said, "The odds are if I stayed in the race that there was a real possibility that the Democratic primary could produce a nominee who was unelectable in the fall — a nominee whose baggage would be picked apart and exploited."

Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary

On November 10, 2007, Governor-elect Steve Beshear appointed Miller to the position of Secretary for the Finance and Administration Cabinet. Miller stated he would resign as State Treasurer as well as Chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party when the appointment takes effect.

Political views and advocacy

Miller set out some general issues he planned to take on if he had been elected governor.

Health care

The Miller-Maze campaign advocated incentives for use of biotechnology, especially in farm crops. They also advocated the use of e-health initiatives to assist in reducing medical mistakes and reducing unnecessary testing in hospitals by requiring a card carrying all patient information.[9][10]

On March 5 Miller's campaign unveiled a plan to bring universal healthcare to Kentucky and heavily fund cancer research and treatment within his first term in recognition of Kentucky's high prevalence of cancer. Funding would have come through "expanded gaming, cost-savings realized through reforms, and cutting waste and abuse in the state's Medicaid system by streamlining bureaucracy... Building coalitions of government agencies, private business, civic groups and faith-based programs will also be critical." [11]


Miller stated he would make Kentucky the "clean energy capital of the world through the development of zero-emissions clean coal and bio-fuel technologies to harness energy from Kentucky agriculture and natural resources." He was also critical of Mountain top removal, a common and controversial coal-mining method in Eastern Kentucky, and had called for its reform.[12] He has also advocated LEED certification for all future government buildings.


Miller advocated a program entitled Cradle to College which he has supported with Republican Secretary of State Trey Grayson. It was analogous to a savings bank account in which the state would make an investment, with the opportunity for relatives or outside companies to make contributions to specific students. It would have required the student to later pay back the state via community or military service.[13]


On February 16, 2007 the Miller-Maze campaign sent a letter to major labor leaders lambasting legislators for 'stripping down' a major minimum wage bill reform, stating that Miller and Maze would have introduced a full minimum wage increase that would be implemented within the first 100 days of governorship.[14]

Books authored

Miller authored the book The Compassionate Community (ISBN 140397408X), which examines religious (particularly Judeo-Christian) values, and how they relate to politics. Former vice-president Al Gore wrote the foreword. The book received positive reviews from senators such as Evan Bayh and Joe Lieberman as well as many religious leaders. He has also authored a poorly selling, amazon published apologetic called The Liberal Case for Israel.


External links