Mitch McConnell

Jindal, Warren To Campaign For McConnell, Grimes This Week

Oct 27, 2014

Kentucky's U.S. Senate candidates are bringing in a pair of potential presidential candidates to help boost voter turnout in the final week of one of the country's most closely watched Senate races.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren will campaign with Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in Louisville on Tuesday while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will appear with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell on Wednesday.

This will be Warren's second trip to Kentucky for Grimes. She raised money for Grimes and spoke at a rally at the University of Louisville on tackling student loan debt earlier this year.

Grimes' campaign also announced Monday afternoon that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will return to Kentucky again to campaign with the Democrat on Saturday.

Jindal will appear with McConnell at the Restore America Rally in Louisville on Wednesday. Other guests include Carly Fiorina, the 2010 Republican Senate nominee in California, and conservative national radio host Hugh Hewitt.

Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

A poll conducted by the group Rasmussen Reports shows Senator Mitch McConnell leading Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes by 8 percentage points.

The telephone survey of 1,000 likely Kentucky voters showed 52 percent supporting McConnell, while 44 percent said they would vote for Secretary of State Grimes.

Two percent said they preferred another candidate in the race, and three percent said they were undecided.

See the entire Rasmussen Reports poll findings here.

The latest poll shows McConnell  receiving overwhelming support from Kentucky Republicans, with 83 percent saying they will vote for the incumbent. At the same time, McConnell is backed by 24 percent of those who identified as Democrats.

For the third time this campaign season, former President Bill Clinton is coming to Kentucky to campaign for Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.  Clinton will appear at “Get out the Vote” rallies in Owensboro and Paducah next week.  

Earlier this week, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined Grimes at a fundraiser in Louisville.  Grimes is hoping to unseat five-time Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell November 4th.

Sen. McConnell is scheduled to embark on a bus tour through Kentucky's coal country next week.

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
Hillary Clinton campaign

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.

Abbey Oldham

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell has made no secret of his plans should he win re-election next month and should he become Senate Majority Leader.

The latter will happen if McConnell defeats Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes and Republicans win a net of six Senate seats in November. McConnell has told audiences and reporters that, if he became Senate Majority Leader, he would seek to defeat President Obama’s legislative agenda by adding language to spending bills that would strip funding from projects the President supports.

In an interview with WKU Public Radio Wednesday, McConnell was asked specifically which programs he would seek to defund.

WKU Public Radio: What specific programs or initiatives would you seek to block if you were to become Senate Majority Leader?

Sen. Mitch McConnell: Well, my first choice, obviously, is to see what the President is willing to do with us. We need to do comprehensive tax reform. It’s been 30 years since we scrubbed the code. The President says he wants to do trade agreements. That’s a big winner for Kentucky agriculture. So I think you would anticipate kind of a mix of things, hopefully working on things we can agree on together.

But there are some things we would differ on. The initiatives that the President has carried out through the regulatory side have been quite burdensome to the economy. And we would indeed seek to reign in the regulators, and a good example of that is the war on coal, which has created a depression in eastern Kentucky.

McConnell, Grimes Differ on Marijuana

Sep 26, 2014
WKU Public Radio

Kentucky's U.S. Senate candidates agree growing hemp is a good thing for the state, but they differ about the cannabis plant's cousin, marijuana.

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes told a radio interviewer on Thursday that she favors having a discussion to reclassify marijuana, especially for medical purposes. She criticized Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell for not wanting to have those discussions.
 
McConnell said Friday he opposes the legalization of marijuana in all circumstances, including for medical purposes. He said legalizing marijuana would send the wrong message to a country that he says should be fighting drugs.

About a dozen Kentucky farmers harvested the state's first commercial hemp crop in decades earlier this week. McConnell and Grimes have said they support

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