Mitch McConnell

Regional
11:43 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Libertarian Set To Appear On U.S. Senate Ballot

David Patterson

A Harrodsburg police officer will be on the ballot for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.

David Patterson filed with the Secretary of State's office on Monday as a Libertarian. He needed at least 5,000 valid signatures to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot. A spokeswoman said Patterson had at least 5,000 signatures but the office was still verifying the total number.

Patterson will be an underdog against Republican Sen.  Mitch McConnell and Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, who have raised millions of dollars in one of the country's most competitive races. Kentucky's Libertarian Party has just over 4,000 registered voters, according to the Secretary of State's Office.

Mike Maggard, Robert Edward Ransdell and Shawna Sterling have filed as write-in candidates. Their names will not appear on the ballot.

Politics
7:15 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Coal Group Says It Has No Doubts About McConnell's Support

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell
Credit WKU PBS

A trade group representing Kentucky's coal industry is defended Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell after a published report that his wife is a board member of an organization that has spent $50 million to close coal-fired power plants.

Yahoo! News reported Friday that Elaine Chao sits on the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies. Former New York Mayor and media mogul Michael Bloomberg founded the charity.

The Kentucky Coal Association says Bloomberg's contribution was made before Chao joined the board in April 2012.

The eastern Kentucky coalfields have lost 7,000 coal-related jobs since January 2012. That's an issue at the center of McConnell's re-election bid against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The Kentucky Coal Association says McConnell has done everything possible to protect the coal industry.

Politics
4:35 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Kentucky Religious Leaders Want Social Issues Part of U.S. Senate Race

Some of Kentucky’s evangelical leaders are calling on U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and his Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes to take part in three forums ahead of the November election. 

The forums would include topics like marriage, sanctity of life, and religious liberty.  Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, says religious leaders would like the race to focus more on social issues.

"The race has been focused so far on the economy and jobs, so we're hoping to broaden the discussion beyond what's currently coming out of the campaigns," Chitwood told WKU Public Radio.  "When you talk about people of faith who claim a religious affiliation with a church, that's over half of the citizens of the commonwealth, so I think the candidates have the opportunity to really get their message out if they accept the invitation."

The forums would all be held this month in Bowling Green, Louisville, and Somerset.  Chitwood says Senator McConnell has accepted the invitation and Grimes’ campaign is reviewing the proposal.

Regional
12:52 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

McConnell Courts Coal Country Votes

Sen. Mitch McConnell is on a two-day bus tour of Eastern Kentucky

Sen. Mitch McConnell is campaigning for re-election in Kentucky's coal country, blaming the loss of thousands of industry jobs on President Barack Obama's Environmental Protection Agency and saying his Democratic rival would be a vote to continue them in Congress.

The Republican incumbent is in a close race with Alison Lundergan Grimes. He rarely, if ever, mentioned her by name Thursday as he set out on a two-day bus tour. But he blasted Obama as well as former President Bill Clinton, who campaigned in Kentucky for the Democratic challenger on Wednesday.

Hoping to discredit the former president, McConnell told each of his audiences that Obama had renamed the building that houses the EPA in Washington for Clinton.
  
Grimes has said repeatedly she disagrees with Obama's approach on coal issues.

Politics
9:45 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Grimes Says She Proudly Wears 'Clinton Democrat' Label

Alison Lundergan Grimes

Alison Lundergan Grimes is using a little star power on the campaign trail.  Former President Bill Clinton Wednesday made two stops in Kentucky with the Senate hopeful.

Immediately after taking the stage at the Carrick House in Lexington, Grimes made it clear to the large, enthusiastic crowd that she rejects any labels her opponent Senator Mitch McConnell has tried to give her. Grimes said there is a brand she will be gladly accept.

"One label, though that I will proudly wear is that of a Clinton Democrat. I am a Clinton Democrat," proclaimed Grimes.

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Fancy Farm 2014
12:25 am
Sun August 3, 2014

The Sounds (and Sights) of Fancy Farm 2014

A volunteer adds firewood. BBQ pork and mutton are big parts of Fancy Farm along with hot dogs and burgers
Emil Moffatt

The first weekend in August in western Kentucky means only one thing: Fancy Farm. The small town suddenly transforms into the epicenter of the Kentucky political universe.

And to keep a tradition going for 134 years, it takes some pretty committed volunteers.

“Each family in the church has a responsibility and this family has taken care of the hamburgers and hot dogs for decades,” said Will Hayden, who was working the grill Saturday morning.

Hayden and Brad Page of Fancy Farm spoke to us as they were cooling down after a long morning and afternoon tending to a hot grill. Page says they normally start grilling between 7:00 and 7:30 in the morning. Fancy Farm has been a part of their lives as long as they can remember.

“Oh, I’m 45, so 42 [Fancy Farms] that I know of,” said Hayden.

Page also says he started volunteering as a child.

“It’s been handed down generation to generation.  I’ve got my kids, and his kids,”  said Page pointing to Hayden. “Hopefully they’ll get in there and get at it.”

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Politics
10:16 am
Thu July 31, 2014

McConnell Amendment Would Force Feds to Take New Steps Before Moving Child Migrants Across States

Sen. Mitch McConnell has introduced an amendment to Senate legislation related to child migrants who are coming to the U.S. from Central America.
Credit WKU PBS

Senator Mitch McConnell wants new restrictions placed on the federal government’s ability to transport the growing number of young migrants coming to the U.S. from Central America.

The Kentucky Republican’s amendment to Senate border legislation would prohibit the movement of what he calls “unaccompanied alien minors” across state lines unless certain criteria are met. Under the plan, the Secretary of Health and Human Services would have to certify the minors wouldn’t have a burdensome economic or public health impact on the affected state and communities.

McConnell’s amendment would also prohibit the movement of the young migrants unless the Health and Human Services and Homeland Security Departments certify that transporting them will not delay their immediate repatriation.

In a news release, McConnell said the unaccompanied minors should be treated humanely and returned to their home country as soon as possible, and not “shipped across the nation and housed at taxpayer expense.”

Politics
5:15 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

McConnell, Grimes Camps Pledge Support for a More Positive Fancy Farm Picnic

The new stage at Fancy Farm.

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 3:59 pm

The Fancy Farm Picnic’s political chair Mark Wilson says Democrats and Republicans offered positive feedback following a conference call to encourage a more civil atmosphere at this year's picnic.

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Politics
6:45 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Owensboro's Political Picnic Lineup Taking Shape

The Red, White & Blue Picnic takes place Aug. 26 in Owensboro
Credit Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce

One of the candidates in the highly-contested Kentucky U.S. Senate race has agreed to take part in an event in Owensboro next month.  

Incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell confirmed he will appear at the Red, White & Blue Picnic on Aug. 26.  The event is sponsored by the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce. McConnell’s Democratic challenger Allison Lundergan Grimes has not said whether she’ll attend. 

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Politics
6:09 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Kentucky Senate Race Remains Tight, But McConnell Takes Small Lead

Credit Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

With just over three months to go until Election Day, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell has a slim, two percentage-point lead over Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. 

The figure comes from a new Bluegrass Poll released Monday evening, showing the five-term Senator leading 47 percent to 45 percent.  The poll has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.7 percentage points and was conducted between July 18th and 23rd. In previous polls, Grimes had a four-point lead over McConnell in February.  That lead shrank to one point in May.

The Bluegrass Poll is conducted for the Courier-Journal and Herald-Leader as well as television stations WHAS and WKYT. 

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