Jack Conway

Hal Heiner campaign

Republican gubernatorial candidate Hal Heiner says he isn’t sure whether burning fossil fuels like coal contributes to climate change.

 Heiner spoke to Kentucky Public Radio at the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s country ham breakfast last Thursday, saying that he’s on the fence when it comes to climate science.

“I don’t have a scientific position, on contribution or not, but what I do know is … if we’re going to stay economically competitive in a global marketplace, we have to burn coal,” said Heiner.

Heiner recently attacked his primary opponent, Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, over comments he made last year that the state needs to move “beyond coal.”

Kentucky and Tennessee officials have launched initiatives today to spread awareness of human trafficking.

A new poll suggests the race to decide Kentucky’s next governor, it’s still very much up for grabs.

Data from a recent Bluegrass poll shows a plurality of Kentucky voters have either “no opinion” or are neutral toward three gubernatorial candidates, including Attorney General Jack Conway; former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner; and Agriculture Secretary James Comer, whom is expected to announce his candidacy this weekend at the Fancy Farm political picnic in West Kentucky.

Notably, the poll suggests Conway is trailing Heiner and Comer among African Americans, with a negative favorability rating of eight points.

The poll surveyed 714 registered voters, and reported a margin of error just under 4 percent.


State Representative Ben Waide was indicted Tuesday by a Franklin County grand jury for allegedly violating campaign finance laws.

According to a news release from the Kentucky Attorney General's Office, the grand jury returned a two-count felony indictment against Waide, who is a Republican from Hopkins County.  The charges relate to his 2010 campaign for state representative. 

The investigation began when a complaint was filed in January with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance by shareholders of Liberty Rehabilitation, PSC. Waide is accused of illegally accepting about $10,000 in campaign contributions from Liberty, a Madisonville company where he was a partner.  He also alleged submitted some $6,000 in receipts to his campaign fund for reimbursement of expenses he did not incur. 

Waide is scheduled for arraignment August 29 Franklin Circuit Court. His attorney, so far, has not returned a call for comment.

Conway Backs Expanded Gambling To Create Revenue

Jul 10, 2014

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway says he supports expanded gambling as a way to raise revenue for essential state programs and hasn't given up on getting the long-stymied proposal through the General Assembly.

Conway says Kentucky has missed out on the economic benefits of casino-style gambling near its borders.

He says he'll promote putting the issue on the ballot as he campaigns across the state.

Conway's comments came after he spoke Thursday to local officials from across Kentucky.

Republican James Comer, who is expected to enter next year's governor's race, promoted right-to-work legislation in his speech to the same group.

Comer said making Kentucky a "right-to-work" state would enhance its competitiveness.

Kentucky's last GOP governor, Ernie Fletcher, failed in his push to let Kentucky workers opt out of union representation.

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.”

Edelen Rules Out 2015 Run for Kentucky Governor

Jun 18, 2014

Citing a need to be with his family, Democratic Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen has declared he won't run for governor next year.

Speculation was rampant that Edelen would enter the contest, but he quelled it with an announcement  Wednesday. 

“My wife and my sons were all gung-ho for me to run, but at the end of the day I made the determination that I’d rather spend the next year-and-a-half coaching little league and catching crooks and running for re-election than I would worrying about my name ID in a governor’s race,” said Edelen

Attorney General Jack Conway is currently the only Democrat seeking the governor's office. 

Edelen says he is withholding any endorsements until more candidates enter the race. 

But he thinks Conway will benefit from greater name recognition among voters. Republican Hal Heiner of Louisville is the only Republican to announce a gubernatorial candidacy so far.

Edelen says he is “absolutely” considering running for governor in the future.

Kentucky Reaches Settlement With Tobacco Companies

Jun 12, 2014

Tobacco companies have agreed to give Kentucky more than $110 million to settle a 10-year legal battle over the state's share of the tobacco master settlement agreement.

In 1998, U.S. tobacco companies agreed to pay $229 billion to 52 states and territories over many years to compensate for the costs of treating smoking-related illnesses. Kentucky had to tax tobacco companies that did not participate in the agreement.

The big tobacco companies accused Kentucky of not collecting all of those taxes. As a result, they withheld some of Kentucky's annual payments. State officials and tobacco companies have been fighting over those disputed payments since 2003.

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway said the money will go to pay for a range of agricultural and public health programs.

Kentucky Company To Return $7.75 Million To Consumers

May 13, 2014

A Lexington-based company has been ordered to return $7.75 million in assets to more than 350,000 people who were caught up in what officials say was one of the country's largest pyramid schemes.

The Federal Trade Commission along with attorneys general in Kentucky, Illinois and North Carolina announced the settlement Tuesday with Lexington-based Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing. Officials said the company would charge people $249 for the rights to sell products like satellite TV service and home security systems. Officials said more than 98 percent of the people who paid the fee lost money.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway called it a classic pyramid scheme. An attorney for Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing did not immediately return a call seeking comment. The Federal Trade Commission is responsible for returning the money to consumers.

Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture

The list of confirmed 2015 Kentucky candidates for governor grew Tuesday, when Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway announced he was running for the office.

He joins Republican and former Louisville Metro Council member Hal Heiner, who announced earlier this year his gubernatorial bid.

Kentucky political observers will now turn their attention on a handful of other potential candidates for governor.

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo has said he is strongly considering a run for Governor, but only if Democrats hang on to their majority in the state House.

Stumbo was the running mate for gubernatorial candidate Bruce Lundsford in 2007, a ticket that lost the primary to Steve Beshear and Daniel Mongiardo.

Other potential Democratic 2015 candidates include state Auditor Adam Edelen and former U.S. Congressman Ben Chandler, who is currently executive director of the Kentucky Humanities Council.

Former state Auditor Crit Luallen announced last month that she won’t run for governor.

On the Republican side, the most high-profile would-be candidate appears to be Agriculture Commissioner and Monroe County farmer James Comer.