politics

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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Politics
4:33 am
Tue October 14, 2014

McConnell and Grimes Debate Minimum Wage, Coal and Health Care

Alison Grimes and Mitch McConnell debate on Kentucky Tonight
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.

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Politics
2:14 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Millennial Voters Are Paying Attention — So Why Don't More Vote?

Rapper Lil Jon appears in a new ad for Rock the Vote's 2014 campaign. The organization was founded to get Generation X engaged in politics, and is adapting its tactics to reach millennials.
Courtesy of Rock the Vote

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 11:22 am

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

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Politics
3:13 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Kentucky House Candidate Indicted for Not Reporting Sexual Abuse Involving Colleague, Minor

A candidate for a state House seat in south-central Kentucky has been indicted for failing to report a sexual abuse incident involving a former colleague.

John Wayne Smith is the Democratic challenger facing incumbent Republican Michael Meredith, who represents Edmonson, Hart, and Larue counties in the Kentucky House. WDRB-TV in Louisville first reported that Smith was indicted last week by a federal grand jury for failing to report an incident that occurred while he was director of the Bluegrass Challenge Academy at Ft. Knox.

The academy is a residential, educational program run by the state National Guard.

Smith allegedly had knowledge that 44-year-old Stephen Miller assaulted a female minor in February of 2013. Miller is also charged with sexual abuse against two other female minors in the months following the first alleged assault.

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Politics
5:41 am
Wed September 24, 2014

TV Spending for State Races Much Different in Kentucky, Tennessee

A new survey says Kentucky ranks next to last in the amount of TV ad spending for state races.

The nonpartisan Center for Integrity estimates candidates for Kentucky state House and Senate races have spent just $4,600 so far on TV ads this cycle, slightly more than was spent in North Dakota. But state Republican and Democratic leaders say they expect the TV spending to increase over the next few weeks as Republicans attempt to take control of the House for the first time since 1920.

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Politics
4:07 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Senate Challenger Bevin Seriously Eyeing 2015 Governor's Race

Matt Bevin (left) spoke to a Bowling Green resident during a campaign stop he made earlier this year while running for Senate.
Credit Abbey Oldham

The Republican who challenged Senator Mitch McConnell in this year’s GOP primary tells the Associated Press that he’s strongly considering a run for governor.

Louisville businessman and Tea party activist Matt Bevin won 35 percent of the Republican Senate vote in May, following a campaign in which he portrayed McConnell as too moderate. If Bevin joins the 2015 gubernatorial contest, he’ll enter a G-O-P contest that includes Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner.

Warren County Republican Party chairman Scott Lasley says he doesn’t think a Republican candidate has to wear the Tea Party label to win the party’s nomination next year.

But the WKU Political Science Professor thinks it will be important for GOP candidates to at least reach out to grassroots organizations ahead of the primary.

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