politics

Politics
3:48 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Beshear Named to National Democratic Task Force Aimed at Helping Party Win Future Elections

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear

Governor Steve Beshear's image as a Democrat able to govern the red state of Kentucky has earned him a position on the newly appointed Democratic Victory Task Force.

The Democratic National Committee, which announced the group's membership Thursday, hopes it can help position the party to win future elections.

DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced the initiative shortly after Democrats suffered significant losses during last month’s midterm elections. The group is being told to review and assess the Democratic Party and its related organizations, and find ways that the national and state parties can better perform during, but not limited to, future midterms.

Beshear has earned a national reputation as a conservative Democrat who has been able to win and govern in a state where President Obama remains extremely unpopular. In announcing his participation in the task force, the DNC lauded Beshear for implementing the statewide health benefit exchange known as kynect and cutting the state government workforce to its smallest size in 40 years.

The other nine members of the Democratic Victory Task are:

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Politics
2:09 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Sen. Mitch McConnell's Political Life, Examined, In 'The Cynic'

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will take over as Senate majority leader in the new term in January.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 3:35 pm

When Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) first entered politics in the 1960s, he started out as moderate — pro-abortion rights, pro-union, in support of the civil rights movement. With time, McConnell shifted to the right as the Republican Party shifted.

"I was just really startled by this when I started looking into it," Alec MacGillis tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I knew that he had started out as somewhat more moderate — but I didn't realize just how moderate he really was."

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Politics
2:44 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Preview of '16? Rand Paul Uses GOP Wins to Criticize Clinton

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Bowling Green

Mitch McConnell isn’t the only Kentucky Senator basking in the afterglow of Tuesday night’s election results.

Rand Paul is using the election as an opportunity to criticize the woman many consider to be the next Democratic Presidential front-runner: Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Paul says he won’t formally decide on whether or not to launch a 2016 presidential bid until next spring. But the Bowling Green Republican is acting the part of a White House contender, and judging from recent comments, he firmly believes Hillary Clinton is his biggest obstacle to winning the presidential contest.

Paul has wasted no time in describing Tuesday night’s Republican victories around the nation as a “repudiation of Hillary Clinton.” In speeches and interviews following the election, Paul has pointed out that the former First Lady and New York Senator campaigned on behalf of several Democratic Senate candidates who ultimately lost—including Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky.

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Politics
8:30 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Fight For The Senate: Republicans Take Control, Adding 7 Seats

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell arrives at his midterm election night rally with his wife, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, in Louisville. McConnell, who won re-election, stands to become the next Senate majority leader.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 6:44 am

With a loss by Sen. Mark Pryor, the first Democratic incumbent fell in the 2014 midterms, setting off a chain of events that brought the Republicans a new Senate majority. The man who would lead them in Congress, Sen. Mitch McConnell, coasted to a win in Kentucky.

McConnell was projected to defeat Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes by a 15-point margin, 56 percent to 41 percent, with almost a third of the vote tallied.

In Arkansas, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor lost to Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, a first-term member of Congress. Pryor has served in the Senate since 2003.

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Politics
3:08 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Kentucky Voters Urged to Report Election Fraud

Officials are encouraging Kentuckians to report any instances or suspicions of vote fraud on Election Day. The Kentucky Attorney General’s election fraud hotline will be open throughout Tuesday.

Spokeswoman Allison Martin says the most common complaints involve vote-buying or campaigning too close to a polling place.

Kentucky’s electioneering law was struck down by a federal judge earlier this year, but while the case is under appeal, it’s still illegal in most cases to promote any candidates within 300 feet of a polling place.

"The only change is that if you have private property that is across the street from a polling place, or near a polling place within that 300 foot boundary,  you do not have to take your sign down," Martin said.

Martin added the election fraud hotline received 205 calls from more than 60 counties during this year’s primary election.

The hotline number is 1-800-328-VOTE.

Politics
2:57 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

McConnell and Grimes Criss-Cross Kentucky on Final Full Day of Campaigning

Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sec. of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

One of the most expensive Senate races in U.S. history will come to an end Tuesday evening when voters decide between Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Grimes spoke to supporters at the Bowling Green United Auto Workers Hall Monday morning. She was dismissive of recent polls that show Sen. McConnell with a growing lead. An NBC/Marist poll released over the weekend gave McConnell a nine point lead.

“That’s the Washington D.C.-beltway punditry.  As you can see, the energy is palpable,” Grimes said, in reference to supporters at her Warren County event. “Kentuckians will have the final word in this election, and I do believe that they are bringing this race home, and will bring us across the finish line successfully.”

Grimes is hoping to become Kentucky’s first female U.S. Senator. On the final day of campaigning before votes are cast Tuesday, the Secretary of State is flying around the state, making appearances with Governor Steve Beshear, Former Governor Martha Layne Collins, and Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

McConnell is spending Monday alongside his fellow Kentucky Republican Senator, Rand Paul of Bowling Green. The two are flying around the state and speaking at airports across the commonwealth, including those in Bowling Green and Owensboro Monday afternoon.

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Politics
4:04 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Sen. Mitch McConnell Has More Than Most Riding On Midterm Elections

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky waves while riding with his wife Elaine Chao in the Hopkins County Veterans Day Parade on Sunday in Madisonville. McConnell remains locked in a close race with Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 12:34 pm

If Republicans take over the Senate, the man expected to become the next majority leader is Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The title would be the culmination of a political career spanning more than three decades.

But first, McConnell has to win a sixth Senate term in a state where his popularity's been sagging.

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Politics
4:18 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Beshear Says GOP Control of House Would Set Kentucky Back to "19th Century"

Control of the Kentucky House is up for grabs Tuesday, Nov. 4, when commonwealth voters go to the polls.

Governor Steve Beshear says Kentucky risks running off the “progressive path” it’s on if voters give the GOP a majority of state House seats.

Beshear’s comments came in Glasgow Thursday, following the announcement of state funding for a local infrastructure project. Beshear has been on the road this week, announcing funding for projects in districts where incumbent Democratic House members are facing competitive challenges by Republican candidates.

The state GOP and several super PACs have targeted Democratic Representatives they think are vulnerable, in an effort to give Republicans a majority of seats in the House. After the announcement in the Barren County High School Auditorium, Beshear was asked how he thought a GOP-led House would impact the state.

“If people will just look at Mississippi, Alabama, and a lot of these southern states where they’re dominated by far-right wing, conservative Republican parties both in the House, Senate, and the governorship—all of those states are in a race to get back to the 19th century,” Beshear said.

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Politics
2:34 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

GOP Critical of Kentucky Governor's Tour in Districts with Competitive House Races

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear

The Kentucky Republican Party is blasting Democratic Governor Steve Beshear for traveling the state just days shy of the election, handing out checks in the districts of Democratic incumbents who are defending their seats in the state House. 

Governor Beshear traveled to Glasgow Thursday to present a check for a local bridge project.  He was joined in the announcement by Representative Johnny Bell, whose race against Republican challenger Jeff Jobe has turned nasty. 

On Wednesday, Beshear was in Owensboro alongside incumbent Jim Glenn, who has narrowly won his last two elections.  Glenn is in a competitive race against Republican Alan Braden. 

The Governor also visited Kuttawa to announce funding for projects in the Lake Barkley region.  There, he appeared with embattled Representative Will Coursey, who is facing a stiff GOP challenge from Keith Travis. 

The governor has delivered economic development news and checks in several other districts where Democrats are locked in competitive match-ups.

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Politics
4:37 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

McConnell, Grimes Making Final Arguments to Kentucky Voters

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell appears with singer Lee Greenwood at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green.
Credit Lisa Autry

One week from now, Kentucky voters decide whether to give U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell another six years or replace him with Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. Both are crisscrossing the state trying to convince the still undecided. 

McConnell brought his "Kentucky Leads America" bus tour to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green Tuesday. Joining the five-term incumbent on the road was Grammy award-winning artist Lee Greenwood who energized a crowd of party faithful as McConnell sounded a familiar theme on the stump.  He said the makeup of the Senate must change in order to change the country. 

The Senate Minority Leader pointed a finger at the Obama administration for what he called a slow economic recovery, over-regulation, and a takeover of healthcare. McConnell suggested America was on the decline and said the eyes of the world are on Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race.

"Right here in our state is the only test of whether America is coming back, and with your help by golly, a week from today, America is on the way back," McConnell told the audience.

If Republicans win six seats next Tuesday, McConnell is positioned to become Senate Majority Leader, and-- in his words--call the plays for the country while still looking out for Kentucky.

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