Mitch McConnell

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/Environment
3:04 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

McConnell and Grimes Blast New EPA Regulations on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic Sec. of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

Both of Kentucky’s U.S. Senate candidates are denouncing new federal guidelines related to greenhouse gas emissions.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that power plants will have to reduce carbon emissions 30 percent by the year 2030.

While Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes have exchanged harsh words about who is best to represent the commonwealth in Washington, they both believe the EPA’s first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants represent a federal overreach that will harm Kentucky’s economy.

Calling it a “national energy tax” imposed by the Obama Administration, Sen. McConnell said he will introduce legislation to block the new rules.

In a statement released to the media Monday by McConnell’s office, the Louisville Republican said the EPA regulations would lead to “higher costs, fewer jobs, and a less reliable energy grid.”

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Regional
5:55 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Paul Not Sure What Would Happen To State Exchange

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul
Credit WKU Public Radio

If Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said he did not know what would happen to the 413,000 Kentuckians who have health insurance through the state's health exchange.

The Republican senator and possible 2016 presidential candidate told reporters Friday he favors repealing all of the federal Affordable Care Act. But he acknowledged there is no easy answer to what would happen to those who are insured through the state exchange, which was made possible by the federal law.

Paul's comments come after fellow Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said last week he thought the state's health exchange was unconnected to the Affordable Care Act. McConnell later said state officials would determine the fate of the exchange.

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
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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Politics
6:41 am
Sun May 18, 2014

McConnell Faces Challenge From The Right In Tuesday Midterms

Originally published on Sun May 18, 2014 10:24 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. Primary races are picking up ahead of the midterm elections this fall. On Tuesday, voters in six states will go to the polls, making it one of the most important primary election days of the year.

Among the races to watch is a Tea Party challenge to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. To give us a lay of the land is NPR political editor Charlie Mahtesian. Charlie, welcome to the program.

CHARLES MAHTESIAN, BYLINE: Hi, Lynn.

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