2014 Election

Politics
9:32 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

At Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner in Bowling Green, Republicans Claim No Worries Over Senate Primary

Senator Mitch McConnell speaks at the Lincoln Reagan Dinner at the Carol Knicely Center at WKU on Saturday, March 1, 2014.
Abbey Oldham WKU Public Radio

If Kentucky Republicans are sweating their party's U.S. Senate primary, they didn't show it Saturday night in Bowling Green.

At the 2014 Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner, southern Kentucky Republicans rallied behind U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is facing a primary challenge by Tea Party activist Matt Bevin.

Second District Congressman Brett Guthrie told WKU Public Radio he believes the GOP will be able to unite before the November general election. The Warren County Republican said it’s not the first time a well-known incumbent has faced a primary.

“Hopefully what you can do is that people can come back together," Guthrie said. "And that’s what you hope will happen—people will air out their views. You know, primaries can be tricky, there’s absolutely no doubt about it, because somebody’s going to win, and somebody’s not going to win.”

Senator McConnell took the stage Saturday night and told the audience that he believes he’ll return to Washington next year as Senate Majority Leader. Republicans need to pick up six Senate seats to control the chamber.

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Politics
2:54 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Clinton: Grimes Differs From McConnell Because She Cares About Compromise, Middle Class

Former President Bill Clinton visited Louisville Tuesday to stump for Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race.

Grimes is running against Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in a tight race, which is gaining national media attention. In recent weeks, she has put issues such as raising the minimum wage and closing the gender pay gap at the center of her candidacy.

Clinton says Grimes is a contrast with McConnell because she cares about rebuilding the middle-class and believes in compromise over gridlock.

The former President asked his audience if "we should stay with this model of constant conflict, which can generate unlimited amounts of special interest money to keep people stuck in their ideological ruts. Nothing good will happen except the people who are on the receiving end of the benefits may win one more election."

"But real people don’t win that way,” Clinton said.

Clinton also endorsed the Grimes campaign jobs plan, especially its ideas to get military veterans back to work.

The McConnell campaign says Grimes has yet to explain how much the jobs plan would cost and how she would pay for it.

Politics
3:55 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Clinton, Longtime Friend to Grimes and Her Family, Will Headline Tuesday Fundraiser in Louisville

Former President Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton will be in Kentucky Tuesday to help raise money for a U.S. Senate candidate.

Clinton will headline a lunchtime fundraiser at a Louisville hotel for Democrat Alison Lundergran Grimes. The cost of admission to the event at the Galt House is a contribution of $100-$5,200.

The Courier-Journal reports those who give one-thousand-dollars will get access to a rope line. Donors at the $2,600 level will also gain entry into a reception featuring Clinton, and $5,200 gets the donor a special commemorative gift.

Grimes and Clinton have a history. Grimes’ father, Jerry Lundergan, is a longtime friend of the former President and was Kentucky chairman Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.

During Bill Clinton’s first inaugural festivities, a 14-year-old Alison Lundergan Grimes gave the new first couple of bouquet of red roses at the base of the Lincoln Memorial.

Politics
11:02 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Bevin: Same-Sex Marriage Laws Could Lead to Marriages Between Parents and Children

A Senate candidate in Kentucky says same-sex marriage could lead to parent-child marriages for tax purposes.

Matt Bevin is challenging five-term Sen. Mitch McConnell in the May 20 Republican primary. Bevin told a radio talk show that marriage should retain its traditional definition as being between a man and a woman.

He says changing that could open the door to arbitrary definitions, such as people claiming to be "married to one of their children" for matters such as inheritance and hospital visits.

Bevin's campaign says he was not linking gay marriage to incest.  The campaign says he was speaking of questions such as "hospital visitations and benefits."

McConnell is the Senate minority leader.

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Politics
9:09 am
Tue February 18, 2014

LRC Employee Fired After Appearing in Online Video for Senate Candidate

An employee with the Legislative Research Commission has been fired after appearing in an online video in support of a Democratic Senatorial candidate.

The Courier-Journal reports that Charles Booker, 29, lost his job yesterday as an analyst for the Government Contract Review Committee. Booker appeared in a video for Alison Lundergun Grimes, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Mitch McConnell.

In the video, Booker’s wife accuses McConnell of being out of touch with poor Kentuckians. Booker appears briefly in the video and makes a few comments about western Louisville.

LRC personnel policy prohibits employees from taking part in partisan political activity.

Politics
4:17 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Tea Party Groups Offering to Send Activists to Kentucky Ahead of GOP Senate Primary

Matt Bevin, left, spoke with WKU Public Radio's Lisa Autry during a campaign stop in Bowling Green.
Credit Abbey Oldham

Tea Party groups from across the south and midwest are pledging support in the effort to defeat Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

The five-term Kentucky incumbent is facing a primary challenge from Louisville businessman and Tea Party activist Matt Bevin.

United Kentucky Tea Party spokesman Scott Hofstra told WKU Public Radio activists from several states have promised to help Bevin win this spring's primary.

“We have had commitments now from Tea Party and liberty groups from Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, and as far away as Florida, who have said, ‘We are going to send folks to Kentucky, at our expense, to help you on the ground get out the vote for Matt Bevin'", the Hardin County resident said.

Hofstra admits McConnell has gained many Republican allies at the local level in Kentucky during his nearly 30 years in office.

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Politics
1:48 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Bill Clinton to Campaign in Kentucky for Alison Lundergan Grimes

Bill Clinton is coming to Kentucky to campaign for Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Former President Bill Clinton is coming to the Bluegrass State to campaign on behalf of Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The Grimes campaign says Clinton will appear in Louisville February 25. No further details have so far been released about the visit. Clinton is the last Democrat to carry Kentucky in a presidential election.

Democrats are making no secret that Kentucky’s Senate race is one of the party’s top election priorities in 2014, and have indicated they are willing to pour money and resources into the effort to unseat Mitch McConnell, the U.S. Senate Minority Leader.

McConnell is facing a Republican primary challenge by Louisville businessman and Tea Party activist Matt Bevin.

Politics
11:06 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Bluegrass Poll: Grimes Leading McConnell in 2014 Senate Race

Kentucky Democratic Senate Candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Office of Sec. Grimes

A new statewide poll has good news for Kentucky’s Democratic Senate candidate.

While the general election is still nine months away, the poll shows Alison Lundergan Grimes with a four-point lead over five-term incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell.

The Bluegrass Poll was conducted for four Louisville and Lexington news outlets by Survey USA. It shows 46 percent of respondents favored Grimes in a matchup with Senator McConnell, while 42 percent supported the GOP incumbent.

The poll also reveals McConnell received just a 27-percent favorability rating. He still faces a primary battle against Republican Matt Bevin, who trails McConnell in the poll by 26 points.

Despite the poll results, McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore says the campaign is “very comfortable about where this race stands.” Grimes said she is “humbled” by the numbers.

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Politics
1:55 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Rand Paul Staffer Joins Matt Bevin Campaign

An aide to Sen. Rand Paul has joined Republican Matt Bevin's Senate campaign, saying the Louisville businessman is "the best man" in the race and offers needed change in his bid to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Bernie Kunkel will be the Bevin campaign's field director in the 4th Congressional District, which includes the urban counties just south of Cincinnati and has become a hotbed of Tea Party activity.

Kunkel had been Paul's field representative in the sprawling 4th District in Northern Kentucky.

Kunkel, a veteran GOP activist in the region, has helped a slew of Republican candidates at the city, state and federal levels, and has been active in promoting anti-abortion and school choice causes.

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Politics
9:31 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Bevin Gets Endorsement and Pledge of Financial Support from FreedomWorks

A national conservative organization is endorsing the Tea Party challenger in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race.

FreedomWorks says it will invest as much as $500,000 to help Matt Bevin defeat Senator Mitch McConnell in this year’s Republican primary. FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe was quoted by the Courier-Journal as saying his group believes Bevin is “an exceptional candidate” who has support from grassroots conservative activists across the commonwealth.

FreedomWorks champions candidates who say they want smaller government, and has earned a reputation for not being afraid to challenge established GOP lawmakers.

Bevin, a Louisville businessman and Tea Party activist, has attacked McConnell as a Washington insider who has betrayed conservatives by repeatedly voting to increase the debt ceiling.

McConnell has said he is confident he will win the GOP primary, and has a huge fundraising advantage over Bevin.

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