Jacob Ryan

Gov. Matt Bevin told a group of ministers assembled at the governor’s mansion last week to ignore a federal law that forbids tax-exempt churches from advocating for the election or defeat of political candidates.

A crowd of about 130 church leaders from across the state attended the invite-only and unpublicized “Pastor Appreciation Forum” held at the governor’s residence.

An attendee named Ken Prevett, an investment consultant from Harrodsburg, originally posted the video to his Facebook page, which shows Bevin encouraging a group of pastors to disregard the Johnson Amendment, a section of the federal tax code passed in 1954.

A Facebook group called Kentuckians Against Matt Bevin has been circulating the video, which shows Bevin encouraging pastors to disregard the Johnson Amendment, a change to federal tax code passed in 1954.

L: Ralph Freso R: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The vice presidential nominees, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, will meet on the debate stage Tuesday.

It’ll be two traditional politicians facing off in a non-traditional election year: Kaine as the safe and even boring choice by Hillary Clinton and Pence as the calm, unflappable balance to Donald Trump’s bombast.

When it comes to the issues, Kaine and Clinton mostly agree. Among other things, they want to raise taxes on the wealthy, expand gun control legislation, and they both support President Obama’s executive orders on immigration.

Pence and Trump, while wildly different in campaign style, agree that immigrants who enter the country illegally should not be granted amnesty, that abortions should be restricted, and that cutting taxes is the way to a healthier economy.

LRC Public Information

A national group of Republican state leaders has paid for a TV ad criticizing Kentucky Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

The Republican State Leadership Committee is backing the commercial with a $50,000 ad buy. It will air on eastern Kentucky's broadcast TV stations for the next week. It criticizes Stumbo for his support of Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and their energy policies that affect the state's coal industry.

The Republican Party of Kentucky has already targeted Stumbo with a similar radio ad. Stumbo called those claims "outrageous lies."

The Kentucky House is the last legislative chamber in the South still controlled by Democrats. Republicans need to pick up four seats on Nov. 8 to win a majority for the first time since 1920.

Kathy Willens/AP

Donald Trump's campaign is responding to a New York Times report that the real estate mogul claimed hundreds of millions of dollars in losses on tax returns in 1995 — an amount that could have allowed him to legally avoid paying income taxes for many years.

The 1995 tax records obtained by the newspaper show Trump as having reported a $916 million loss on personal income tax returns during that year.

Times reporter Susanne Craig, who's written about the Republican candidate's business ventures, received three pages of returns via mail from an anonymous source: "The first page of a New York State resident income tax return, the first page of a New Jersey nonresident tax return and the first page of a Connecticut nonresident tax return."

The Times hired tax law experts to analyze the documents, which the outlet notes, are "a small fraction of the voluminous tax returns Mr. Trump would have filed in 1995."

Those consultants determined that "tax rules especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period."

The Republican Party of Kentucky has asked a state House candidate to drop out of the race after he posted several photos on Facebook depicting President Barack Obama and the first lady as monkeys.

Republican Party of Kentucky chairman Mac Brown and House Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover both signed the letter. It says while Dan Johnson has a First Amendment right to free speech, elected leaders "must hold ourselves and those with whom we serve to a higher standard."

Johnson did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Johnson said Friday the posts were satire and that he would not drop out of the race.

Republicans need to pick up four seats in November to win a majority in the Kentucky House of Representatives for the first time since 1920.

A pastor running for state representative in Bullitt County has taken down offensive Facebook posts after reproach from both political parties in the state. In an interview with WDRB, he refused to apologize for depicting President Obama as a monkey.

Dan Johnson of Mt. Washington, Kentucky posted a variety of offensive memes: a cartoon car running over Black Lives Matter protesters, several that compared President and First Lady Obama to monkeys and another calling for states to “ban” Islam.

One picture simply said “I *Heart* Being White.”

In a cell-phone video of the full video posted on Johnson’s Facebook page, he defended the posts as satire and said that he was not a racist.

“It’s not a racist thing,” he said. “I love people, God love’s people. I think one of the things that’s happened in our generation is we’ve become so politically correct that we’re afraid to be ourselves.”

Bevin, Democratic Leaders Argue Over Education Funding

Sep 29, 2016
Kentukcy LRC

Kentucky's Democratic leaders have blasted Republican Gov. Matt Bevin for withholding $4.6 million from public school districts — money Bevin says he will release if the districts ask for it.

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo and others pointed Wednesday to a decision Bevin made earlier this year to not fix a funding shortfall for public schools. Bevin spokeswoman Amanda Stamper said the request was made under the previous budget, which gave the governor the discretion to deny the money. Stamper said if education officials ask for the money under the new budget, Bevin will honor it.

A Department of Education spokeswoman declined to comment.

In a Wednesday news conference, held just over a month from the November elections, Democrats said Bevin should not wait to release the money.

J. Tyler Franklin

Attorney General Andy Beshear says he got an unsolicited text message from Gov. Matt Bevin Tuesday evening calling his office an “embarrassment to the Commonwealth.”

In a screenshot of the text released by Beshear, the message reads:

Bevin’s office confirmed that the governor sent Beshear a text but accused the attorney general of manipulating the message to exclude a link Bevin included. The link was to a Herald-Leader article that detailed allegations of misconduct by an investigator in the attorney general’s office.

Amanda Stamper, Bevin’s press secretary, accused Beshear of attempting to mislead reporters.

J. Tyler Franklin

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says many Kentuckians are just now starting to pay attention to the state’s U.S. Senate race.

Gray is the Democratic nominee who is trying to unseat incumbent Republican Rand Paul of Bowling Green.

The race isn’t receiving the same kind of national attention as several other U.S. Senate campaigns across the country, including Indiana’s.

But Gray says he’s not worried about perceptions that Kentucky’s race is uncompetitive.

“I’m accustomed to being in an underdog position. Every time I’ve run, I’ve been behind when I started the race—and I won the race.”

Gray says Congress currently lacks the ability to solve the nation’s most pressing problems. The Lexington Mayor says he would work as a bridge-builder between Republican and Democratic Senators, in an effort to find compromise on issues like job creation, infrastructure, and national security.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

You could see the contrast in the eyes of the respective candidates' spokespersons, surrogates and family members after the first presidential debate of 2016 had wrapped.

As always, earnest efforts were made on both sides to claim victory — even insist on it — after the nationally televised clash between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump.]

"Trump was especially strong on the issues in the first 45 minutes," said former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on CNN.

Yet a general and clear consensus formed quickly among the snap pollsters, focus groups, reporters, commentators and TV panelists. And it did not favor Trump.

In sum: Clinton projected more of what she wanted than Trump, who did not strike the contrast or meet the expectations set up by his own campaign.

Patrick Semansky/AP

The first presidential debate tonight is shaping up to be one of the most-watched political events ever, with a potentially Super Bowl-size audience.

Here are four things to watch for as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump take the stage at Hofstra University on Long Island.

1. Which Trump shows up

Donald Trump "won" the primary debates by dominating his opponents, often by name-calling and bluster. This one will be different.

Instead of facing multiple opponents, he will be doing something he's never done before — face off against just one opponent (and in this case an experienced one) on a debate stage.

Hillary Clinton continues to beat out Donald Trump when it comes to raising cash from Kentuckians.

The Democratic candidate for president raised roughly $167,000 in the Bluegrass State in August, according to data released this week from the Federal Election Commission. Trump reported receiving just more than $128,000.

Clinton also outpaced Trump in the number of individual contributions: 2,556 to 805.


The U.S. Senate has blocked a measure that would have halted the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia. 

Kentucky Republican Rand Paul was one of four lawmakers who forced a vote on the issue.

On a 71-27 vote, U.S. Senators approved continuing to support Saudi Arabia, including the sale of more than a billion dollars in Abrams tanks and other military equipment. 

Senator Paul has called Saudi Arabia an uncertain ally with an abysmal human rights record. 

While the resolution didn't pass, Paul acknowledged the debate was significant in and of itself.

Wikimedia Commons

On Wednesday, Kentucky legislators listened to a presentation about the benefits of medical cannabis from Don Stacy, a cancer doctor and medical liaison for pro-legalization group Alliance for Innovative Medicine.

Stacy said he had several patients who regularly used cannabis to mollify pain and nausea associated with cancer and chemotherapy, and despite early skepticism of their habits, had come to believe that the drug had benefits.

“Patients all the time are telling me ‘I am using cannabis and I feel a lot better,’” Stacy said.

But there’s no legal way for Stacy to scientifically study his patients’ claims or find out the content and dosages of the cannabis they use.

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call,Inc./Getty Images

The biggest reason supporters of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton support their candidate is because they're not the other.

That's the finding from a Pew Research Center study of a month's worth of survey data. Pew found, from more than 4,000 interviews conducted online and by mail, that the "main reason" supporters of both candidates were voting for their candidate was because "he is not Clinton," and "she is not Trump." Almost one out of every three people said so.

He's "Not a LIAR," wrote one 75-year-old male Trump supporter.

"The concept of Trump as POTUS is terrifying," said a 35-year-old female Clinton supporter.

"Hillary Clinton represents everything that is wrong in government," a 50-year-old woman said. "SHE CAN NOT BECOME PRESIDENT!!"