I understand the need for the press to ask me personally some questions. I assume you also understand my personal and legal reasons for not answering some of them. I intend to give you ample opportunity to ask me, and I will resolutely and consistently decide what, when and how I answer.
I don't want to be a disruption to other people's events that I'll be attending and I will not acknowledge or respond to any questions at public appearances relative to the events of last week. I think it's important to be reasonably available to the press so you can ask your questions in the appropriate venue. That's the reason for this briefing.
I'll schedule other opportunities for you to ask me your questions as the need arises. Therefore, I'd like to request that you not interrupt other people's events.
These are the ground rules that I'll follow and a brief outline of some changes in my plans for the future:
I do not anticipate in the foreseeable future any involvement in the political process, including the U.S. Senate race. I have informed Democrat party Chairman Jerry Johnson that I expect him and the State Democratic Executive Committee to administer the party with no input or direction from me. He pledged to administer the party in a way which will best serve the party's candidacy in the November election and maintain the party's financial and administrative integrity in preparation for next year's race for governor.
With the exception of one previously scheduled event this week, I'll not be participating in or attending political functions. For the time being, I do not anticipate personally answering any questions regarding political matters.
My primary ongoing activity will be discharging my duties as governor and addressing the personal, legal and domestic issues in my private life. I do not anticipate personally answering any further questions about my private or personal life or personal legal issues.
When comment on these subjects is appropriate, it will be made through the Director of the Governor's Communications Office. As to the administration of the office of Governor, I will continue to comment when and as appropriate.
I fully understand that the state, as well as myself, has been sued by Mrs. Conner. I will be totally responsible for my own defense and actions. The state must pursue its defense separately and independently from me.
Accordingly, I have instructed Finance Secretary Kevin Flannerty to arrange for the defense of the state's interest. My instructions to him are to select a state defense team which will be completely independent of me and ensure that the public has complete confidence in that selection.
As to my conduct in the office of Governor, I will continue to execute my responsibilities in public to the extent that public appearances are appropriate.
I will continue to provide direction and leadership to the executive functions of state government in pursuit of the initiatives of our administration, such as: education; the criminal justice system; welfare reform; agricultural improvement; economic development; early childhood development; infrastructural improvement; and many other important services.
I will personally be involved as our administration addresses the serious problems we face in Medicaid, employee health insurance, the under-funded corrections budget and other critical issues.
I will be seeking to better understand the financial crisis the state faces in search for a solution. I will be preparing to face the budgetary problems that we in the Legislature must address after the November election.
With the exception of my personal challenges, my total focus will be on being the best governor that I can be for the next 14 months. I'll not really address my life after that.