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Carolyn Kaster/AP

Just over two months after Paul Manafort was brought on to bring some structure to Donald Trump’s presidential bid, the Washington insider has resigned from the campaign.

In a statement Friday morning, Trump said that Manafort offered his resignation. The candidate said he is “very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process.”

“Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success,” Trump continued.

Manafort had been leading the campaign as chair, but his resignation comes just days after a shakeup at the top of the operation — Trump hired two new top campaign officials, widely seen as a demotion for Manafort.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin has asked the Kentucky Court of Appeals to overturn an order that blocked his overhaul of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees.

Bevin dissolved the 17-member board by executive order in June, alleging dysfunction among the group. He later reconstituted it as a 10-member board.

Earlier this month, Franklin Circuit Court Judge Philip Shephard temporarily blocked the move in the midst of a challenge brought on by Attorney General Andy Beshear.

In a motion filed with the Kentucky Court of Appeals, Bevin’s attorneys said that the court “abused its discretion” in blocking the overhaul.

Vote Buying: Still Happening In Kentucky

13 hours ago
Thinkstock

Three weeks before primary election day in 1987, the fixer crammed cases of beer into the back of his car and threw a party behind his house in eastern Kentucky. His purpose: to lock up the votes of the 30 or so men and women who attended.

Another day, the fixer went looking for a hunting and fishing crony who could be counted on to haul voters to the polls. To seal the deal, the fixer stuck a $50 bill into his pal’s shirt pocket.

As a reporter for The Courier-Journal newspaper, I shadowed the fixer for a month leading up to the May 1987 primary. He asked that I keep his actual identity confidential. He called himself “the mailman.”

“I deliver,” he explained.

Gerald Herbert/AP

In an effort to save his flagging presidential candidacy, and two days after shaking up his campaign, Donald Trump expressed "regret" for sometimes saying the wrong thing and causing "pain."

"Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing," Trump said reading from a TelePrompTer at a campaign event Thursday night in Charlotte, N.C. "I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues."

Here's video:

Ryland Barton

The Kentucky Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday over a challenge to Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s mid-year cuts to state colleges and universities.

In March of this year, Bevin issued an executive order reducing the amount allotted to higher education for the final quarter of this fiscal year by about 2 percent.

The reduction has been challenged by Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear and three Democratic state representatives, who argue that Bevin has thwarted the legislature’s power over budget decisions.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate ruled in favor of the governor in May and the state Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of the case.

Steve Pitt, general counsel for the governor, argued Thursday that in general, the governor can unilaterally make spending cuts to state universities and other agencies but the courts can step in if they think the cuts amount to an “abuse of discretion.”

Charles Krupa/AP

Hillary Clinton's increasingly dominant lead in the presidential race is solidifying many Republicans' worst 2016 fears that Donald Trump will cost the party not only the White House but also control of the Senate.

"The bottom is starting to fall out a little earlier than expected," says a top Senate GOP campaign aide who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the state of the race. "We started off with a very difficult map. No matter what, this was going to be a very difficult year."

The aide says Trump's ailing campaign is an additional drag on the Senate battlefield. The end result, the aide concedes, is a likely Democratic takeover this November.

That candor is widely — if still privately — shared by increasing numbers of Senate GOP campaign operatives who believe that Trump is destined to lose the presidential race and that the Republican Party's short-lived, two-year majority will go with it.

ky.gov

Kentucky's Republican governor and Democratic attorney general are preparing to take their dispute over state funding for public colleges and universities to the state's highest court.

The state Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Thursday in a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Steve Beshear over Gov. Matt Bevin's decision to reduce the allotments of the state's public colleges and universities.

Beshear says the state legislature controls state spending, and Bevin's order reducing the institutions' allotments by $17.8 million was illegal because lawmakers didn't approve it.

Bevin argues lawmakers give money to state agencies and the governor, as the state's chief executive, can order some of those agencies not to spend all of it. A state judge ruled in Bevin's favor in May.

Mark Makela/Getty Images

Donald Trump often questions whether Hillary Clinton is honest or trustworthy enough to be president. This week, he took up another line of attack: that Clinton is in failing health.

Claims about Clinton's health have circulated for years but have gained new traction recently, in part thanks to a comment by Trump and questions raised by Fox News host Sean Hannity.

They're adding fuel to an online volley of conspiracy theories saying that Clinton's use of stools and pillows as well as stumbles by the candidate are evidence that she is in poor health. On Wednesday afternoon, a story topping the Drudge Report was headlined "MUST SEE: Photos of Hillary Clinton Propped Up on Pillows." The article is largely a collection of photos showing Clinton sitting at various events with pillows situated behind her lower back.

There is no evidence that Clinton is in poor health. In fact, the Clinton campaign points out that her "stamina and focus" allowed her to endure an 11-hour Benghazi hearing and that Trump drew his own share of criticism after a doctor released a letter saying he would be the "healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."

Thinkstock

A new poll released Wednesday has good news for Indiana Democrats.

The poll shows Democrat Evan Bayh leading Republican Congressman Todd Young by seven points in the state’s U.S. Senate race.

The Evansville Courier and Press reports Bayh is leading Young 48 percent to 41 percent.

Bayh’s candidacy is especially important to the Democrats nationally in their effort to take control of the Senate.

The Monmouth University poll shows a tight race for governor.

Republican Lieutenant Gov. Eric Holcomb holds a one percentage point lead over Democrat John Gregg.

The poll has a margin of error of nearly five percentage points.

J. Tyler Franklin

The secretary of Kentucky's Cabinet for Health and Family Services says officials will be making some changes to Gov. Matt Bevin's Medicaid proposal.

Vickie Yates Brown Glisson told the state Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee on Wednesday that officials are still reviewing the public comments submitted on the proposal. She said the comments were "thoughtful and very helpful." She did not detail what the changes might be.

Kentucky was one of 32 states that expanded its Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act. More than 400,000 were covered under the expanded program, which Bevin says is too large for the state to afford.

Bevin's proposal would charge small premiums to able-bodied adults, and it would require them to have a job or volunteer for a charity in order to keep their benefits.

Edelen And Jones’ Political Project Seeks New Ideas, Leaders

Aug 17, 2016
J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky’s former state auditor and the host of the state’s most popular sports talk radio show have launched a new nonprofit political organization they say is focused more on generating ideas than electing people to office.

Former Auditor Adam Edelen and Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones formally launched the New Kentucky Project on Tuesday.

The group aims to have chapters in all 120 counties governed by an executive committee. Members will pay $20 annual dues, or $10 for college students. It will focus on education, health care, modernizing the state’s economy and other hot-button political issues in Kentucky.

The group signals the return of Edelen, the former state auditor who was preparing a run for the U.S. Senate before he lost re-election to former Republican state Rep. Mike Harmon.

And it is the first political work for Jones, whose show has become a must-stop for candidates seeking statewide office.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is shaking up his campaign staff, after a series of missteps that led to slumping poll numbers.

Trump has tapped Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News to serve as chief executive of the campaign. Pollster Kellyanne Conway was promoted to campaign manager. Paul Manafort will stay on as Trump's campaign chairman. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.

"I have known Steve and Kellyanne both for many years," Trump said in a statement. "They are extremely capable, highly qualified people who love to win and know how to win."

Bannon has been in charge of Breitbart News for a period in which it has been a strong platform for the kind of populism and fierce opposition to illegal immigration that gave rise to Trump's candidacy in the Republican primaries. A campaign release highlighted that Bloomberg Politics has called Bannon the "most dangerous political operative in America."

Creative Commons

More than 36,000 Kentuckians have used the Commonwealth’s online voter registration system -- setting a new record five months since its launch.  

More than 10,000 people used the portal GoVoteKY.com to register to vote for the first time, including more than 2,700 18-year-olds.  

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says online voter registration improves the accuracy of voter rolls and will lead to a major cost savings for the state.  

"The energy surrounding our new online voter registration system is amazing," said Grimes. "These new numbers prove that Kentuckians are excited about online registration." 

More than 26,000 have used the system to make a change or update to their registration. The system's oldest user was a 98-year-old.

Donald Trump's missteps since the conventions have put Hillary Clinton in a dominant position.

If the election were held today, according to the latest NPR analysis of polling, demographics and on-the-ground reporting, Clinton would win in a landslide of 2008 proportions. She has solidified her leads in key battleground states and crosses the threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House in the NPR Battleground Map with just states where she already has a significant lead.

Office of Ky Governor

A $500,000 contract awarded by Kentucky's Republican governor to investigate his Democratic predecessor has survived a challenge in a state legislative committee.

Democrats on the Government Contract Review Committee failed to muster the five votes required to recommend canceling the contract, awarded to an Indiana law firm. It likely would not have mattered, as lawmakers can only recommend that the governor cancel the contract. Ultimately, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's administration has the final decision.

Bevin announced his intention to investigate former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear earlier this year, saying his staff had found numerous examples of corruption. The two governors have clashed over public pensions and health care policy since Bevin took office.

Democrats say the investigation will not be impartial because several of the attorneys hired have ties to the Republican Party.

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