Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes are each declaring the upper hand after releasing their latest fundraising totals.
In her first quarter as a U.S. Senate candidate, the Grimes campaign is claiming she broke a Kentucky fundraising record, banking $2.5 million between July and September. In a news release, Team Alison touts that donations came from every Kentucky county and all 50 states, and the median contribution was $25.
“The record-breaking showing speaks to the overwhelming grassroots momentum behind Alison’s campaign and the fact that people across the political spectrum are tired of Mitch McConnell’s out-of-touch, failed leadership. Simply put, McConnell is not receiving a passing grade from Kentucky or this nation,” Grimes senior adviser Jonathan Hurst said.
The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission has found probable cause that former Union County Representative John Arnold violated ethics rules three times when he allegedly harassed three female staff members.
Commission members met behind closed doors for nearly two hours Tuesday before returning to an open session and voting unanimously on sexual harassment complaints made against Arnold by legislative staffers Yolanda Costner, Cassaundra Cooper, and Gloria Morgan. The Courier-Journal reports the commission has scheduled a full hearing on the complaints for December 12.
Arnold, a Democrat from Sturgis, served in the state House from 1995 until last month, when he resigned after the sexual harassment allegations against him were made public. Arnold has denied the charges, but said he couldn’t move forward politically due to the damage done to his reputation.
The Legislative Ethics Commission said there was probable cause to believe Arnold had “inappropriate and unwanted physical contact” with the women.
Arnold’s attorney, Steve Downey of Bowling Green, didn’t comment after the commission returned its findings.
The Legislative Ethics Commission has found probable cause to believe former Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis may have sexually harassed legislative staffers.
The panel on Tuesday scheduled a hearing for December 12 to determine if Arnold should be reprimanded or fined. Arnold resigned from the Legislature last month after the allegations were made against him.
Legislative Research Commission staffers Yolanda Costner and Cassaundra Cooper alleged that Arnold had touched them inappropriately and made vulgar comments. Both women said Tuesday they were pleased with the ethics commission's decision to move ahead with the case.
Arnold said in his letter of resignation that he had been "destroyed politically" and could no longer be an effective voice for his constituents. A retired chiropractor, he had served in the House since 1995.
Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has raised more money than Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell since July, banking $2.5 million as of Sept. 30.
Grimes political adviser Jonathan Hurst said Tuesday the campaign received more than 13,300 individual contributions, showing what he described as widespread grassroots support.
McConnell reported last week that he had raised nearly $2.3 million since July, pushing his overall fundraising total to $17.7 million for the election cycle. Campaign manager Jesse Benton said that was McConnell's strongest quarter yet.
McConnell, who had a long head start in raising money for his re-election, has nearly $10 million cash on hand. Hurst said Grimes has about $2 million cash on hand.
McConnell, already Kentucky's longest serving U.S. senator, is seeking re-election to a sixth term next year.
The Kentucky Personnel Board has finished its review of hiring practices within the Kentucky Department of Agriculture during the terms of Commissioner Richie Farmer.
Board members found that Jennifer Ledford had been improperly demoted from her past job as a special assistant to Farmer and ordered Friday that she be reinstated to that position or a similar one with back pay. They also ordered that Roger Estill be removed from his position as an administrative branch manager to a job as an internal policy analyst.
Farmer, a former University of Kentucky basketball star, got into legal trouble for his management of the agency. He pleaded guilty last month in a government corruption case that could send him to prison for two years.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has banked nearly $2.3 million since July, pushing his overall fundraising total to $17.7 million for the election cycle. Campaign manager Jesse Benton said Friday the numbers reflect McConnell's strongest quarter to date for fundraising.
McConnell is facing challenges from Democratic front-runner Alison Lundergan Grimes. He also has a primary opponent, Louisville businessman Matt Bevin. Neither of the two have yet released their fundraising totals.
McConnell's campaign said that he received donations from about 6,000 donors. Benton said the McConnell campaign will report nearly $10 million cash on hand.
McConnell is seeking re-election next year to a sixth term.
After an hour of debate, the Republican Party of a conservative Kentucky county stopped short of endorsing the Louisville businessman who is challenging incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.
Boone County is an important county for Bluegrass State Republicans. It sits across the Ohio River from Cincinnati has the fourth-highest number of registered Republicans in the state. That’s why Thursday night’s meeting of the Boone County GOP brought out both Republican Senate challenger Matt Bevin, and Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton.
The Courier-Journal reports that following an hour of discussion, the county party decided not to make an endorsement in the race. Benton told members that it would be a “poor mistake” for any county party to make a Senate endorsement.
That led Bevin to tell members that they should vote their "conscience".
Boone County GOP chairman Rick Brueggemann said while there is “significant dissatisfaction” with Senator McConnell’s voting record, he didn’t think many members were comfortable making a primary endorsement.
Kentucky’s Democratic governor says implementing the Affordable Care Act is “the morally right thing to do.”
Kentucky is the only southern state both expanding Medicaid and operating a state-based health exchange.
Appearing Thursday on the national radio show "The Takeaway," Governor Steve Beshear said Kentucky can’t afford not to do it.
“We have some of the worst health statistics in the country," explained Beshear. "If there’s some way I can attack that and change the course of history in Kentucky on health care, I’m going to do it, and the Affordable Care Act gives me a historic opportunity and a tool to do just that.”
Kentucky state Representative Will Coursey’s lawyer says the legislator is likely to file a countersuit against claims that he sexually harassed a former legislative assistant.
Paducah Attorney Mark Edwards says the Democratic lawmaker denies Nicole Cusic’s allegations that he sexually harassed interns and Legislative Research Commission employees in February 2012.
"According to the things that we’ve been told, the allegations only came up after Cusic was confronted by one of the Republican Senators in that Republican senator suite about a relationship Cusic had with a member of the Democratic leadership at the time, not Will Coursey, and that they were concerned about her working there," said Edwards. "And upon the advice of the Republican senator, it was suggested to her that she retain counsel."
Cusic’s lawyer, Thomas Clay, says other LRC employees agree with her allegations of Coursey’s behavior. Edwards says he is not sure whether Coursey will file a countersuit or a separate suit for defamation and possibly for abusive process and malicious prosecution.
Coursey has about a week to respond to Cusic’s allegations.
Many federal employees will go without a paycheck during the government’s partial shutdown, but the 533 members of Congress will continue to be paid. Congressional pay is protected by the U.S. Constitution, but some lawmakers don’t think it’s fair.
Kentucky’s Second District Congressman Brett Guthrie, a Republican from Bowling Green, is asking that his pay be withheld, and if the stalemate isn’t resolved by the end of the month, he will decide what to do with the money.
“As thousands of federal employees in Kentucky are not being paid during the shutdown, I have submitted paperwork to the House asking that my pay be suspended during this time,” replied Guthrie. “Some of my colleagues have instead chosen to donate their salaries to charity. My family has a strong commitment to charitable giving and I prefer to keep these donations private and not linked to politics.”
For Third District Congressman John Yarmuth, a Louisville Democrat, pay isn’t an issue.
“He has donated every cent of his Congressional salary to Louisville charities every year he's been in Congress,” spokesman Stephen George said in an email.
WKU Public Radio contacted the offices of the rest of Kentucky’s Congressional delegation, but were not able to reach their spokespeople. Emails were not returned, and recorded phone messages and website statements there would be delays in any correspondence until the government resumes normal operations.