This Saturday the 134th annual Fancy Farm political picnic will feature thousands of pounds of barbecue, and even spicier political rhetoric. In addition, the event’s chairman anticipates this year’s political gathering to be the largest ever.
Mark Wilson and his wife, Lori, have directed the political happenings at the Fancy Farm picnic for the past eight years. Mark anticipates this year’s crowd will be the largest since 1992, when Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Al Gore spoke at the event.
“It’s a ballpark, 15 to 20,000. And that’s what we anticipate this year, the same type of crowd.
A lifelong congregant of the stump speech mecca’s St. Jerome Catholic parish, where the event is held alongside raffles and bingo, Wilson says local and state officeholders, as well as both of Kentucky’s U.S. Senators, will be present at Fancy Farm.
He says he anticipates Kentucky Agricultural Commissioner James Comer to keep with a tried and true Fancy Farm tradition and announce his rumored gubernatorial candidacy.
“There’s speculation that he’s going to announce his intentions to run for governor on the Republican side of the aisle, and we think there’s a very good possibility he will make that announcement on our political platform on Saturday.”
Wilson says the event will also feature its other signature offering: Several thousand pounds of barbeque mutton, chicken, and pork to aid the digestion of what could be the biggest Fancy Farm ever.
Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 10:31 am
Georgia Republicans picked their Senate nominee Tuesday night. Former corporate CEO David Perdue will face Democrat Michelle Nunn in the November general election.
Nunn, the daughter of a popular former senator, is among several Democratic female candidates who are showing strength as the party tries to preserve its Senate majority. She's also considered a real contender to turn the Georgia seat Democratic.
The 134th Fancy Farm Picnic is now just a little more than two weeks away and the line-up of speakers is almost complete.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his challenger, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, are expected to face off for the second time in as many years on August 2. Fancy Farm political chair Mark Wilson says, unlike Grimes, McConnell has yet to confirm his appearance, but expects the five-term Senator will make the trip.
Wilson said the picnic’s attendance could swell to as many as 20,000 people.
“Normally we’ll do 10-12,000 or so," Wilson said. "But with all the heightened interest in the McConnell/Grimes race and then you’ve got U.S. Sen. Rand Paul with some presidential aspirations and then we’ve got Jack Conway and James Comer, both sitting state officials who have gubernatorial aspirations.”
Comer has yet to actually declare himself a candidate for governor. The lone Republican to officially enter the race, Hal Heiner, will not be invited to speak, according to Wilson, because he’s not a sitting public official. McConnell's primary challenger, Matt Bevin, ran into the same problem at last year's event, but was eventually invited to speak.
A Super PAC supporting Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell is greatly out-performing a similar group that is raising money for Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.
According to a report in the Courier-Journal, the vast majority of the contributions made to the pro-McConnell group Kentuckians for Strong Leadership come from out-of-state individuals.
That Super PAC this week reported raising nearly $424,000 during the months of May and June. None of that money came from Kentuckians. The single biggest donation came from Sam Fox of St. Louis, the CEO and chairman of a private company that acquires businesses.
Reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission show Kentuckians for Strong Leadership has raised more than $3.7 million dollars since it was formed last year, with less than 5 percent of that coming from donors with Kentucky addresses.
A Super PAC supporting Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes called We Are Kentucky raised $50,000 during the second quarter, while spending nearly $65,000 in that same time period. Since forming last year, the group has raised $343,000, a fraction of what Kentuckians for Strong Leadership has taken in to support Senator McConnell.
Kentucky’s two U.S. Senate candidates are reporting major fundraising hauls.
Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says she took in over $4 million during the second quarter ending in June, breaking the record for most money raised by a Kentucky Senate candidate in a single quarter.
That record was previously held by Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the man Grimes is trying to defeat this November. McConnell raised $2.9 million during the fourth quarter of 2008.
Overall, the Grimes Senate campaign has raised nearly $11.3 million dollars to date.
Shortly after the Grimes camp released their fundraising totals Tuesday, the McConnell campaign announced they raised $3.1 million dollars in the second quarter. The incumbent reported $9.8 million in cash on hand--about $3.6 million more than his Democratic opponent.
The race between Grimes and McConnell is shaping up to be one of the most closely-watched Senate races in the nation, with many analysts predicting it could also be one of the most expensive Senate campaigns in history.
Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes have agreed to debate each other - just not at the same time.
Tuesday, McConnell accepted an invitation to a candidate forum sponsored by the Kentucky Farm Bureau on Aug. 20. Grimes, meanwhile, has accepted an invitation to an Oct. 13 debate that would air on Kentucky Educational Television.
But the candidates have yet to agree to a debate they would both attend. One debate, to be hosted by WDRB, was canceled after McConnell accepted but Grimes did not.
McConnell has asked Grimes to agree to three debates with no audience and none after Labor Day. Grimes said she wants an audience and debates in September or October when more people will be paying attention to the election.
Kentucky's two U.S. Senate candidates disagree on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to allow some corporations to opt out of a new law requiring them to pay for contraception.
Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell called the decision a victory for religious freedom. Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes said churches should be allowed to not provide contraception coverage, but not corporations. She said she supports the right of all women to have access to contraception.
It is one of the few times the candidates in one of the country's closest Senate races have sparred on social issues. But more could be coming. McConnell spoke at the National Right to Life convention in Louisville on Saturday. Grimes has said abortion is a choice between a woman, her doctor and her God.
Former Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning says there’s a good chance the man who took his place in the Senate will run for president in two years. Bunning says Rand Paul has done a “good job so far” in the Senate, but still has some time to gauge who his primary opponents might be.
“Right now, my answer is ‘yes’,” said Bunning when asked about Paul’s prospects of a White House run in 2016. “My gut feeling is, he will feel out the primary field and see. If he thinks he can win the primary, then I think he will continue.”
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes says she would not support sending U.S. troops back to Iraq.
Islamic militants once linked to al-Qaida have taken Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, and have vowed to advance on Baghdad. In a statement released Friday to The Associated Press, Grimes called the situation very dangerous and concerning. But she said ultimately the fight is up to the people of Iraq. Grimes said the United States should play a supportive role by providing useful intelligence.
Grimes is challenging Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in one of the country's most closely watched Senate races. Democrats are trying to keep control of the Senate in the midterm elections. Republicans need to pick up six seats to take a majority and control both houses of Congress.
Kentucky’s Democratic U.S. Senate candidate is hoping to capitalize on the recent defeat of a bill addressing student loan debt.
The Senator who sponsored the measure is coming to Kentucky to back the campaign of Alison Lundergan Grimes.
The Grimes campaign announced Thursday that Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren will join Grimes for multiple events in the commonwealth this month. Warren championed a measure that failed in the Senate this week that would have allowed borrowers to refinance federal and private student loans at lower interest rates.
That bill would have raised taxes on the country’s wealthiest earners to cover the costs. The Democratic-backed measure Wednesday failed to gain the 60 Senate votes necessary to move forward.
Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell was one of 38 “no” votes.
The Grimes campaign says Warren’s visit to the Bluegrass State will help highlight how many college graduates are suffering under the burden of high amounts of student loan debt.
McConnell says the Warren bill didn’t do anything to address the rising costs of college or the amount of money students have to borrow to pay for their education.