| FROM THE EDITOR
A career that highlights the positive side of politics
Dan Yates is a lawyer and lobbyist.
Some would see that as double trouble. But he's proud of it.
With good reason.
For 28 years, Yates has represented electric co-ops as the Government Affairs specialist for the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives, which publishes Kentucky Living.
That means he's been the face of Kentucky electric co-op members to elected officials and other policymakers in the capitals of Frankfort and Washington, D.C.
Over those years, Yates has saved hundreds of millions of dollars for Kentucky co-op members. He's helped craft legislation that made co-op financing more efficient. He's battled legislation that would raise electric rates in Kentucky.
"I'm a consumer advocate," says Yates. "Since electric co-ops are member-owned, my mission has been to be sure they have reliable, low-cost electricity."
And he credits much of his success to that member ownership.
"You don't have to go up to public officials begging for respectability," he says. "You've already got that because you can say you're representing the electric co-ops. When I approach people I don't approach them as Dan Yates, but as representing the co-op members back home."
I'm recognizing Yates now because after more than a quarter century in his current job, he's moving to part-time status as a new employee, Eric L. King, joined KAEC last month as director of Community and Government Affairs.
That transition allows me the chance to make the point that electric co-ops are heavily involved in political activity, to the benefit of consumer-owners like you.
And it's a chance to recognize good work, and some life lessons. Yates' success came not just because co-ops are utilities owned by their customers. He's good at what he does.
Before joining KAEC, Yates spent years as a lawyer and judge, where he said he learned that problems get solved as part of a process. You learn to avoid jumping to conclusions, to begin working on a problem by analyzing why a person did what they did, and then using that knowledge to work with them on a solution.
It's a process that works in court, in the legislature, and in life.
And it's why, for the electric co-op members of Kentucky, this lawyer and lobbyist has been a double bonus.