Politics http://wkyufm.org en House Ethics Committee To Investigate Rep. Whitfield http://wkyufm.org/post/house-ethics-committee-investigate-rep-whitfield <p>Kentucky Republican Congressman Ed Whitfield will be the subject of a House Ethics Committee investigation. The committee announced the investigation today, but, per usual did not say what it would be looking into.&nbsp; Two recent investigative reports have examined Whitfield’s dealing with lobbyists through the years. One was reported by the <a href="http://wkyufm.org/post/us-rep-ed-whitfield-kentucky-had-decade-long-financial-tie-lobbyist-0" target="_blank">Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting</a>, the other was featured in Politico.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br /><br />In a statement obtained by the Associated Press, Whitfield said the complaint pertains to his work on behalf of animals. Whitfield's wife is a lobbyist for the Humane Society Legislative Fund.<br /><br />The Ethics Committee says the results of the inquiry will be released no later than Nov. 10.<br /><br /> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 21:13:26 +0000 WKU Public Radio News & and Associated Press 51646 at http://wkyufm.org House Ethics Committee To Investigate Rep. Whitfield Senator Paul Says Death Penalty Is A State Issue http://wkyufm.org/post/senator-paul-says-death-penalty-state-issue <p></p><p></p><p>Kentucky senator Rand Paul said the racial imbalance of the nation's prisons that convinced him to support sentencing reform has not prompted him to scrutinize the death penalty in advance of a possible 2016 run for President.</p><p>Paul said he has not had a lot of feedback from minorities about the death penalty, calling it a state issue.</p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:51:28 +0000 Associated Press 51619 at http://wkyufm.org Senator Paul Says Death Penalty Is A State Issue Democrats Make New Bid To Require Donor Transparency http://wkyufm.org/post/democrats-make-new-bid-require-donor-transparency Senate Democrats have rolled out this year's model of the DISCLOSE Act. Or, if you want to be more formal: the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act.<p>It's the third version of DISCLOSE since 2010. Broadly speaking, it would force donor disclosure on the big-money, 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations that are flourishing in post-<em>Citizens United</em> politics. Unlike almost all other players in an election campaign, 501(c)(4)s are not covered by the disclosure laws. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:05:00 +0000 Peter Overby 51545 at http://wkyufm.org Democrats Make New Bid To Require Donor Transparency Annual Ford Dinner to Celebrate 90th Birthday http://wkyufm.org/post/annual-ford-dinner-celebrate-90th-birthday <p></p><p>The annual Wendell Ford dinner that honors the longtime Kentucky political leader will be held as scheduled Thursday night at a hotel in Louisville.</p><p>This year's event will celebrate Ford's 90th birthday. The former Kentucky governor and U.S. Senator recently announced that he's undergoing treatment for lung cancer.</p><p>The event attracts Democrats from around the state and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes are expected to attend. It will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Louisville. Tickets for the Democratic fundraiser are $100 per person.</p><p>Ford was born near Owensboro. He was the 53rd Governor of Kentucky and was elected to four terms in the U.S. Senate, retiring in 1999. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:54:44 +0000 Associated Press 51559 at http://wkyufm.org Annual Ford Dinner to Celebrate 90th Birthday Beshear Says Mountain Parkway Expansion Still Possible, Despite Highway Trust Fund Problems http://wkyufm.org/post/beshear-says-mountain-parkway-expansion-still-possible-despite-highway-trust-fund-problems <p></p><p>Gov. Steve Beshear says that despite a lagging federal response to fixing the insolvent Federal Highway Trust Fund, the state will still pursue an expansion of Eastern Kentucky’s Mountain Parkway.</p><p>The governor says he hopes that the U.S. Senate will pass legislation passed by the House that will patch up the rapidly depleting fund through March.</p><p>“The Mountain Parkway project will continue as originally passed by the legislature in our transportation budget, and at least at this point, it’s not going to be affected adversely by any action or lack of action," Beshear said.</p><p>But the Mountain Parkway is slated to be largely paid for with federal highway reimbursement funds, and is a key component of the “Shaping Our Appalachian Region,” or SOAR, initiative championed by Beshear to revitalize the Eastern Kentucky economy.</p><p>The highway trust fund has been used to help states pay for road projects since the 1950s by collecting a gas tax, but it has spent more than it has taken in for nearly 20 years. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:56:55 +0000 Jonathan Meador 51537 at http://wkyufm.org Beshear Says Mountain Parkway Expansion Still Possible, Despite Highway Trust Fund Problems Beshear: Health Rulings Won't Affect Kentucky http://wkyufm.org/post/beshear-health-rulings-wont-affect-kentucky <p></p><p>Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says rulings Tuesday on President Barack Obama's health care law won't affect enrollees in Kentucky's state-run health exchange.</p><p>Beshear said in a statement released by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services that premium assistance that Kentucky enrollees have qualified for also won't be affected.</p><p>Within hours of each other Tuesday, two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on the subsidies that help low- and middle-income people afford premiums.</p><p>Beshear said the confusion highlighted by the rulings just reiterates that Kentucky was in the right by creating a state-based exchange rather than going with the federal exchange.&nbsp;</p><p>One court said the federal government was right in issuing credits for consumers in all 50 states, but the other court said that aid was only available to people in states that set up their own exchanges. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:06:59 +0000 Associated Press 51473 at http://wkyufm.org Beshear: Health Rulings Won't Affect Kentucky U.S. House Majority Leader-Elect in Bowling Green to Raise Money for GOP Efforts to Win State House http://wkyufm.org/post/us-house-majority-leader-elect-bowling-green-raise-money-gop-efforts-win-state-house <p></p><p>Republican efforts to win control of the Kentucky House got a boost from a national figure Saturday.</p><p>The incoming U.S. House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, was in Bowling Green to raise money for the Republican Party of Kentucky House Trust. McCarthy visited the commonwealth at the request of the state’s 2<sup>nd</sup> District Congressman, Brett Guthrie of Warren County.</p><p>Speaking to reporters before the fundraiser, Rep. McCarthy said what happens in state legislatures can often trickle up to the nation's capital.</p><p>“I feel states are able to show and be a generator of ideas greater than Washington--that you can do the pilot programs,” the California Republican said. “The whole concept of welfare reform came from states. States don’t get to print more money. States have to balance a budget. States have to move forward. They carry out agencies they didn’t create.”</p><p>Democrats have controlled the Kentucky House for over 90 years, and the party’s state leaders say they will continue to hold the chamber despite the amount of GOP money being raised ahead of the November election. Republicans would have to win a net gain of five seats this fall to take control of the House.</p><p>Multiple super PACs have been created by Republicans this year to boost their party’s efforts to win the chamber, including <a href="http://wkyufm.org/post/new-pac-aimed-helping-kentucky-republicans-win-control-state-house" target="_blank">a group founded by GOP gubernatorial candidate Hal Heiner</a>, and <a href="http://wkyufm.org/post/kentucky-gop-group-hires-former-romney-staffer" target="_blank">a PAC run by a Kentuckian</a> who served as a top aide to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.</p><p><strong>Broadening the Republican Party’s Appeal? </strong></p><p>During his visit to The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, McCarthy said he agreed with Kentucky Senator <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rand-paul-the-republican-party-could-use-a-few-more-votes/" target="_blank">Rand Paul’s recent statements</a> about Republicans needing to expand the party’s appeal to groups that haven’t recently voted for the GOP in large numbers, such as African-Americans, Hispanics, and young people. Sat, 19 Jul 2014 19:28:34 +0000 Kevin Willis 51332 at http://wkyufm.org U.S. House Majority Leader-Elect in Bowling Green to Raise Money for GOP Efforts to Win State House Centre College Issues Debate Proposal to Kentucky's U.S. Senate Nominees http://wkyufm.org/post/centre-college-issues-debate-proposal-kentuckys-us-senate-nominees <p>Centre College knows a few things about hosting political debates, having performed twice before national audiences.&nbsp;</p><p>The Danville school now is offering to host an exchange between U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and his Democratic challenger Allison Lundergan Grimes before the November election.&nbsp;</p><p>Centre hosted the 2000 and 2012 vice presidential debates.</p><p>"We're excited at Centre that the most important election in the nation is taking place in Kentucky this fall," Dr. Richard Trollinger, Vice President of College Relation, told WKU Public Radio.&nbsp; "We think, in a sense, it would be an opportunity missed if we didn't offer to make our team and facilities available to the candidates to take their message to the people of the commonwealth and beyond."</p><p>The proposed debate would take place September 3 from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. before a live audience on campus.&nbsp; Centre has also secured a network of TV and radio stations to broadcast the debate to a statewide audience.</p><p>Both candidates have received multiple invitations, but so far the two sides have not reached any debate agreements.&nbsp; Centre has requested a response from the campaigns by August first. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 17:36:25 +0000 Lisa Autry 51219 at http://wkyufm.org Centre College Issues Debate Proposal to Kentucky's U.S. Senate Nominees U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky Had Decade-Long Financial Tie To a Lobbyist http://wkyufm.org/post/us-rep-ed-whitfield-kentucky-had-decade-long-financial-tie-lobbyist-0 <img class="wysiwyg-asset-image-wrapper wide" data-caption="U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield in 2013." data-attribution="Credit www.facebook.com/RepEdWhitfield" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/wfpl/files/styles/placed_wide/public/201407/Whitfield.jpg" alt="" /><p>For more than a decade, U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Kentucky, &#160;owned a $200,000-piece of West Virginia property with a lobbyist whose clients and employers had business before him in Congress, writes&#160;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">R.G. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 13:58:52 +0000 Staff 51209 at http://wkyufm.org U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky Had Decade-Long Financial Tie To a Lobbyist Beshear Plugs $91 Million Budget Shortfall http://wkyufm.org/post/beshear-plugs-91-million-budget-shortfall <p></p><p>Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has signed an order to cover a $91 deficit in the state's $9.5 billion state budget.</p><p>State officials announced the shortfall last week following sluggish collections on state income taxes. Beshear's order cuts $3 million in state spending. He made up the rest by transferring money from other sources, including $21.2 million from the state's reserves. State officials said they had few options to make up the deficit because the shortfall came at the end of the fiscal year when most of the money had already been spent.</p><p>Beshear's order also dealt with a $22.1 million shortfall in the state's road fund, with just $300,000 in cuts to construction projects.</p><p>This was the 14th budget reduction Beshear has implemented since taking office in 2007. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 12:23:00 +0000 Associated Press 51203 at http://wkyufm.org Beshear Plugs $91 Million Budget Shortfall