Mitch McConnell

KET

The highly anticipated debate between U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is now history.  There were no obvious blunders or bombshell political revelations during Monday night's KET broadcast.

As expected, McConnell spoke with confidence about becoming senate leader in 2015.  Grimes echoed repeatedly, that after 30 years in Washington, the senior senator is out of touch with Kentucky's needs.  Coal was a prominent topic during the debate.  Grimes said she differs with the president on coal policies.  "We have to reign in the EPA, but we also have to work across the aisle in a coalition effort," said Grimes.

McConnell maintained federal regulations have cost thousands of miners their jobs.  "My job is to look out for Kentucky's coal miners.  This administration has engaged in an assault on our coal industry," said McConnell.

Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

Although they’ve shared a stage several times since the May primary, Monday night’s televised exchange between Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes and incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell is the only official debate. 

Kentucky Tonight begins at 7 p.m. central/8 p.m. eastern on Kentucky Educational Television.

Representatives from both parties are optimistic their candidate will come out on top.

Russ Wilkey, chairman of the Daviess County Democratic Party says he’d like to see more than just one debate.

“Probably the more debates the better for the challenger,” said Wilkey. “You know, my personal feeling is that I get really nervous watching debates. It’s like me watching a UK basketball game, I get really nervous.”

Judge Denies Libertarian's Debate Request

Oct 12, 2014

 A federal judge has denied Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate David Patterson's request to force a public broadcaster to include him in Monday night's debate between Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove ruled that Kentucky Educational Television did not exclude David Patterson from the debate solely because of his political views. Patterson argued KET had discriminated against him based on thousands of pages of emails where KET officials discussed tightening the criteria to participate in the debate so as to exclude non-serious candidates.

Libertarian Party of Kentucky chairman Ken Moellman said he was not happy with the decision but said the state party does not have enough money to appeal the ruling. McConnell and Grimes are scheduled to appear on KET at 8 p.m. eastern Monday.

Hillary Rodham Clinton To Campaign For Grimes

Oct 10, 2014

U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is getting help from another Clinton -- this time from Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Kentucky Democrat's campaign says the former U.S. secretary of state and potential presidential candidate in 2016 will campaign for Grimes next Wednesday night in Louisville. Grimes spokeswoman Charly Norton said Friday the event is open to the public, and free tickets will be available at Democratic headquarters in all 120 Kentucky counties.

Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, has made two trips to Kentucky this year to makes pitches for Grimes in Louisville, Lexington and Hazard in eastern Kentucky. Bill Clinton carried Kentucky both times he won the White House in the 1990s.

Grimes is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in one of the nation's mostly closely watched campaigns.

Judge Weighing Senate Debate Lawsuit

Oct 9, 2014

A federal judge is weighing whether to force a Kentucky public broadcaster to include a Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate in its televised debate Monday between Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

   U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove said it gives him pause that Kentucky Educational Television changed the criteria for participating in the debate in the middle of the election cycle. But he also said he does not see anything in First Amendment case law that requires KET to include all viewpoints.

AFL-CIO

The national AFL-CIO says it has its eyes on several Kentucky state House races, as the group tries to counter GOP efforts to flip control of the chamber.

Republicans are hoping to win a majority of state House seats for the first time in nearly a century.

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Schuler is in Kentucky this week, rallying labor members ahead of the November 4th general election.

She says her group is especially concerned about one of the central tenets of the Kentucky Republican legislative agenda.

“Primarily because of the folks who have been touting Right to Work as a goal of theirs to pass, as the first order of business if the House changes hands,” Schuler told WKU Public Radio Tuesday.

Kentucky Republicans have promised to pass what they call “right to work” legislation if they gain control of the state House. Such a bill would give workers the ability to decide whether or not to join a union.

Office of Sec. Grimes

Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes isn’t being honest with voters about her support of Kentucky’s coal industry, according to a video released today by the conservative Project Veritas.

The video by James O’Keefe—who was widely criticized for deceptively editing a video about ACORN in 2009—relies on hidden camera interviews with Kentucky Democratic officials about Grimes and coal, but ultimately doesn't prove much about where she truly stands on coal.

The video was disseminated with a headline stating that it's Grimes' staff members who are talking.

But O’Keefe fails to get either Alison Lundergan Grimes or any of her paid campaign staffers on video. What he gets instead are county Democratic Party officials—from Fayette and Warren counties—and a field organizer. All say something similar to what Juanita Rodriguez of Warren County says when asked if Grimes is lying about her support of coal:

“Well, I don’t really think her heart is 100 percent in backing coal, but she has to say she is because she will not get a huge number of votes in this state if she doesn’t,” Rodriguez said.

Lisa Autry

There’s been a turnaround in the latest Bluegrass Poll, which now shows Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes leading incumbent Mitch McConnell by two percentage points, 46-44.

Grimes’ lead is within the poll’s margin of error. In the last poll, released in late August, McConnell had a four-point lead over his challenger. 

The two candidates are scheduled to meet in debate next Monday on KET.  Libertarian candidate David Patterson, who garnered 3 percent support in the latest Bluegrass poll, was not invited to take part in the debate.  It's a decision that led Patterson to file suit against the network.

The deadline to register to vote in the November 4th election is Monday.

Romney Praises McConnell In Kentucky Senate Race

Oct 2, 2014
Mitt Romney/Facebook

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney endorsed Sen. Mitch McConnell for re-election on Thursday after a private fundraiser at a Lexington horse farm.

Romney, who lost to Obama in 2012 but won Kentucky with 60 percent of the vote, said McConnell winning re-election would be good for Kentucky and good for the country because it could lead to him becoming the Senate majority leader if Republicans take control of the Senate. He said a McConnell-run Senate would result in lawmakers passing legislation Americans want to see passed.

Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes criticized Romney for his comments in 2012 that he did not worry about the 47 percent of voters who would vote for a Democrat no matter what. She said Kentucky deserves a senator who will fight to keep jobs in the state.

Emil Moffatt

Thousands of Kentucky workers continue looking for new opportunities in a state where the employment landscape continues to dramatically change.  Coal jobs have seen a steep decline – as have manufacturing positions – many of which have been relocated overseas. 

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes says congress can take action to make Kentucky and every other state more attractive to U.S. companies.

“We can fund investments in American businesses that create jobs for Kentucky workers,” said Grimes in a phone interview with WKU Public Radio Wednesday. “I think we can expand tax credits for businesses relocating to the United States and end the tax breaks for businesses that ship jobs outside of the Commonwealth.  Rebuilding Kentucky’s manufacturing sector is a priority for me,” said Grimes.

As for increased EPA regulations which have been partially blamed for the loss of coal jobs, Grimes says, if elected, she will work closely with lawmakers from both parties to make sure national energy policy has a “meaningful, long-term place” for coal.

Grimes is trying to defeat five-term incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell in the November 4th election.

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