2014 Election

Politics/Education
10:00 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Elizabeth Warren to Visit Kentucky in Support of Grimes Campaign

U.S Sen. Elizabeth Warren is visiting Kentucky in June to support the Senate bid of Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Credit elizabethwarren.com

Kentucky’s Democratic U.S. Senate candidate is hoping to capitalize on the recent defeat of a bill addressing student loan debt.

The Senator who sponsored the measure is coming to Kentucky to back the campaign of Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The Grimes campaign announced Thursday that Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren will join Grimes for multiple events in the commonwealth this month. Warren championed a measure that failed in the Senate this week that would have allowed borrowers to refinance federal and private student loans at lower interest rates.

That bill would have raised taxes on the country’s wealthiest earners to cover the costs. The Democratic-backed measure Wednesday failed to gain the 60 Senate votes necessary to move forward.

Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell was one of 38 “no” votes.

The Grimes campaign says Warren’s visit to the Bluegrass State will help highlight how many college graduates are suffering under the burden of high amounts of student loan debt.

McConnell says the Warren bill didn’t do anything to address the rising costs of college or the amount of money students have to borrow to pay for their education.

Regional
12:32 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Report: Grimes Did Not Talk Coal in DC Speech

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes did not mention coal in a speech at a Washington fundraiser with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to a recording obtained by Politico.
 
Grimes' campaign said last week she planned to use the event to demand the Senate take action to invest in clean coal technology. Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign criticized Grimes for not mentioning coal and questioned her commitment to the state's coal industry.

Grimes campaign spokeswoman Charly Norton said Grimes did not break her promise because she spoke to Reid privately about the issue. Reid said in a statement that Grimes has spoken with him many times about her opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's new emission standards for coal-fired power plants.

Politics
10:28 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Grimes Responds to McConnell on Debates, Wants Events in Fall and Live Audiences

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has formally responded to Senator Mitch McConnell’s proposal for debates.

In a letter sent to the Republican Senator and made public Thursday, Grimes points out a few areas where the two candidates disagree.

Sen. McConnell invited his Democratic opponent to participate in three Lincoln-Douglas style debates, with no audience, props, or notes. In her response, Grimes says she believes audiences  should be allowed to attend the debates.

Grimes went on to say in her letter than in order protect the integrity of the debate process “it is important that none of the debate hosts or moderators has endorsed either candidate or served as a surrogate for either campaign.”

Grimes and McConnell also disagree on the timing of the debates. McConnell wants three events, with all of them held before Labor Day.

Grimes said she believes at least one event should take place in the fall. The Secretary of State also confirmed she has accepted an invitation by KET to debate in Lexington.

Politics/Environment
11:39 am
Tue June 3, 2014

McConnell Unveils Bill Countering New EPA Emissions Standards

The E.P.A standards announced this week would mandate power plants reduce carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030.

Senator Mitch McConnell is making good on his promise to introduce legislation that would block new rules announced this week by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The E.P.A. rules call on power plants to reduce carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030. The move has been slammed by Republicans and some coal-state Democrats who describe the standards as federal overreach that will harm the nation’s economy while doing little to actually halt climate change.

The E.P.A says the regulations will help clean the air and establish the U.S. as a leader in the fight against climate change.

Sen. McConnell has introduced what he’s calling the Coal Country Protection Act. According to McConnell’s office, the legislation would mandate the Secretary of Labor to certify to the EPA Administrator that the new regulations will not lead to a loss of jobs.

Also under the measure, the Director of the Congressional Budget Office would have to certify that the regulations would not result in a loss of gross domestic product in the U.S.

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It's All Politics
5:32 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

New EPA Rules Burn Red State Democrats

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy during her announcement Monday of a plan to limit power plant greenhouse gases.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 6:48 pm

While many on the left embraced the Environmental Protection Agency's new rules to reduce coal-burning power plant carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, some red state Democrats couldn't put enough distance between themselves and the Obama administration.

You would have had a tough time, for instance, distinguishing the reaction of Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes from that of the man she hopes to replace, Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate's top Republican.

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Politics
10:33 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Common Cause Challenges McConnell, Grimes to Limit Ads Bought by Outside Groups

The U.S. Senate race in Kentucky could prove to be the most expensive Senate contest in history.
Credit Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

A group that advocates for greater government transparency is challenging Kentucky’s U.S. Senate candidates to limit ads purchased by outside groups.

The Herald-Leader reports that Common Cause of Kentucky sent letters this week to the campaigns of Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, asking them to sign a pledge aimed at limiting outside spending on the Senate race.

Under what the group calls the People’s Pledge, a candidate would agree to give to charity half of the cost of any ad bought by outside groups during the campaign. Grimes campaign manager Jonathan Hurst told the paper that Grimes has previously called for both campaigns to sign the pledge.

The McConnell campaign had not commented on the request by Common Cause of Kentucky as of Wednesday afternoon.

Kentucky’s Senate race will be one of the most closely-watched races in the country, with some analysts predicting it will also be the most expensive Senate race in history.

Politics
5:46 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Paul Urges Kentucky GOP To Rally Around McConnell

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul is calling for Republicans across Kentucky to support Sen. Mitch McConnell in his campaign against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.
 
The first-term senator, considered a possible 2016 presidential candidate, said Friday that a vote for Grimes would be a vote for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his policy of advancing President Barack Obama's agenda.
 
McConnell says he has not spoken to Matt Bevin since defeating him in Tuesday's Republican primary. But he says he was not worried about losing Republican votes in the general election.

Grimes released an open letter to Bevin's supporters on Friday saying McConnell will lie about her in campaign ads just as he lied about Bevin. She urged them to get to know her and her true positions.

Politics
10:12 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Some Groups That Supported Bevin Closing Ranks, Backing McConnell in Senate General Election

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has already picked up the support of several right-wing groups that supported his primary opponent.
Credit WKU PBS

Several right-wing groups that backed the Tea Party challenger against Senator Mitch McConnell have announced they will now support the Senate Minority Leader. The news represents the kind of unity that is important for McConnell as he takes on Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

With the primary now in the rearview mirror, both the McConnell and Grimes campaigns can now focus 100 percent of their attention on winning the November general election.

For McConnell, one of the top items on his campaign’s to-do list is repairing relationships with Tea Party and conservative groups that backed his primary opponent, Matt Bevin. Those efforts are already bearing fruit, as Politico reports the Senate Conservatives Fund, the Madison Project, and FreedomWorks have said they will support McConnell in his re-election effort.

Several of the groups took credit for moving McConnell to the right during his primary campaign.

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Politics
5:23 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Primary Voter Turnout Even Lower Than Predicted

Candidates, friends and family hold signs at the corner of Scottsville Road and Nashville Road in Bowling Green on Tuesday, May 20, 2014.
Credit Abbey Oldham

There was light voter turnout in Tuesday’s primary election; just 26 percent of registered Kentucky voters cast a ballot.

Little over a quarter of the state’s record 3.1 million registered voters participated in the primary, which decided hundreds of races across the Commonwealth.

Turnout was highest in some Eastern Kentucky counties, most notably those in which the Kentucky Attorney General's office says instances of vote buying were highest.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who won her Democratic primary in her bid to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, correctly predicted that turnout would not rise above 30 percent.

Politics
4:51 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Now That It's Official, How Will McConnell-Grimes Contest Play Out?

Kentucky voters return to the polls Nov. 4 to choose between Sen. Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Credit Abbey Oldham

A look ahead at November's McConnell-Grimes Senate Matchup

With Tuesday’s U.S. Senate primary now behind them, Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes can now invest 100 percent of their time, effort, and money into the November 4 general election.

Sen. McConnell beat Tea Party activist and Louisville businessman Matt Bevin in the GOP primary by about 25 points, and Grimes easily won her party’s contest.

While he ultimately lost, Bevin’s candidacy exposed divisions within the Kentucky Republican Party that Democrats hope will benefit them in the fall.

A great deal of attention is now going to be paid to efforts by the McConnell campaign and its supporters to heal any lingering wounds between so-called “establishment” Republicans and Tea Partiers. At rallies across Kentucky in recent months, Tea Party supporters have assailed the Senate Minority Leader as someone who talks like a conservative while in the commonwealth, but votes with liberals when in Washington.

Bobby Alexander, with the Central Kentucky Tea Party Patriots, told WKU Public Radio at a recent rally in Elizabethtown that McConnell has forgotten what it means to be a Republican.

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