Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway is concerned about the influence that a conservative 501(c)(4) group could have on Kentucky’s fall elections and beyond.
Americans for Prosperity was founded in 2004, and was led by David Koch of the billionaire, right-wing Koch brothers fame. The group and its network of undisclosed donors spent $40 million in 2010 to wrest control of the U.S. House from Democrats.
And with the recent announcement that the group has hired a director for its Kentucky chapter, Attorney General Conway says he’s concerned that the network of “dark” campaign money will warp Kentucky politics.
“I don’t think we ought to let in Kentucky state politics happen what’s happened at the federal level," said Conway. " Because people raise money for Senate campaign or House campaigns, and all of a sudden the corporate interests come in in the end and outspend what the individuals raised, and they treat the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives like it’s members are just nothing more than pawns in a larger corporate game.”
Kentucky's two U.S. Senate candidates disagree on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to allow some corporations to opt out of a new law requiring them to pay for contraception.
Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell called the decision a victory for religious freedom. Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes said churches should be allowed to not provide contraception coverage, but not corporations. She said she supports the right of all women to have access to contraception.
It is one of the few times the candidates in one of the country's closest Senate races have sparred on social issues. But more could be coming. McConnell spoke at the National Right to Life convention in Louisville on Saturday. Grimes has said abortion is a choice between a woman, her doctor and her God.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes on Sunday to promote a plan to relieve student loan debt.
Warren has been canvassing the country following a failed vote in the U.S. Senate that would have allowed some people to refinance their student loan debt to take advantage of lower interest rates. But Republicans, led by Sen. Mitch McConnell, blocked the bill because it would have raised taxes on wealthy Americans to pay for it.
Grimes and Warren criticized McConnell for siding with millionaires instead of students. McConnell has said the bill was about politics and never about students. He voted for a 2013 bipartisan compromise on lowering student loan interest rates. Warren opposed that bill.
Former Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning says there’s a good chance the man who took his place in the Senate will run for president in two years. Bunning says Rand Paul has done a “good job so far” in the Senate, but still has some time to gauge who his primary opponents might be.
“Right now, my answer is ‘yes’,” said Bunning when asked about Paul’s prospects of a White House run in 2016. “My gut feeling is, he will feel out the primary field and see. If he thinks he can win the primary, then I think he will continue.”
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes says she would not support sending U.S. troops back to Iraq.
Islamic militants once linked to al-Qaida have taken Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, and have vowed to advance on Baghdad. In a statement released Friday to The Associated Press, Grimes called the situation very dangerous and concerning. But she said ultimately the fight is up to the people of Iraq. Grimes said the United States should play a supportive role by providing useful intelligence.
Grimes is challenging Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in one of the country's most closely watched Senate races. Democrats are trying to keep control of the Senate in the midterm elections. Republicans need to pick up six seats to take a majority and control both houses of Congress.
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.
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.
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.
Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has released a radio ad criticizing President Obama for his "pie in the sky" power plant regulations that she says will hurt Kentucky. The ad debuted Wednesday in coal regions in eastern and western Kentucky.
Grimes says in the ad that Obama's plan will lead to utility rate increases, shortages of power and the loss of more coal jobs. She says it's clear Obama has "no idea" how his plan affects the state.
The ad is a response to Obama's plan to order big cuts in pollution discharged by power plants. It represents Grimes' latest attempt to distance herself from Obama, who is unpopular in Kentucky.
She's challenging senate minority leader Mitch McConnell in the fall election. McConnell's campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore called Grimes' ad "transparently political."
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.