A Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Kentucky is suing his own party, alleging favoritism of one candidacy over others.
Ed Marksberry claims the Kentucky Democratic Party is unfairly and illegally promoting the campaign of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the most well-known and well-funded candidate in the Democratic field so far.
Marksberry, an Owensboro contractor, filed a lawsuit this week against Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Daniel Logsdon. Marksberry says in suit that he was shocked by a July 1 email from the state party announcing Grimes’ campaign because the party had refused to make announcements on his behalf. Marksberry claims he was told that sending such communications would violate the party’s by-laws, which prohibit the party from using its resources to support one candidate over another in a primary election.
Marksberry tells the Lexington Herald-Leader the state party is favoring the rich over the working class in his party. Neither the Grimes’ campaign nor the state Democratic party have commented on the lawsuit. Marksberry could not be reached Tuesday by WKU Public Radio.
Marksberry, who lost a 2010 bid for Congress, says he is considering running for the U.S. Senate as an Independent. The winner of the Democratic primary next May will face either Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell or Tea Party activist Matt Bevin, the only two candidates so far in the GOP primary election.
Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson says he's close to deciding whether he'll run for governor in 2015.
Abramson said Monday he expects to decide in the next couple of weeks.
The former Louisville mayor is among several potential Democratic candidates eyeing the governor's race. Others include Attorney General Jack Conway, Auditor Adam Edelen, former Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo and former Auditor Crit Luallen.
Abramson told reporters he's not concerned who else might enter the race, saying "the more the merrier."
Kentucky governors are limited to two terms, and Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear is in the middle of his second.
Abramson will skip this week's Fancy Farm church picnic due to a family event. The picnic includes stump speeches, but Abramson says the focus will be on next year's U.S. Senate race.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul hit back at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the two Republicans’ ongoing spat over national security.
Christie last week criticized Paul’s opposition to warrantless federal surveillance programs, saying it harmed efforts to prevent terrorism. Paul told reporters after speaking at a fundraiser outside Nashville on Sunday that Christie’s position hurts GOP chances in national elections, and that spending priorities of critics like the governor and Rep. Peter King of New York do more to harm national security.
“They’re precisely the same people who are unwilling to cut the spending, and their `Gimme, gimme, gimme — give me all my Sandy money now.’” Paul said, referring to federal funding after the hurricane last year. “Those are the people who are bankrupting the government and not letting enough money be left over for national defense.”
King in a phone interview late Sunday called Paul’s criticism of Sandy aid “indefensible.”
Consider it a "take two": Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes Tuesday will officially kick off her U.S. Senate campaign in Lexington.
When Grimes first announced she was joining the race earlier this month, the event was widely described as disorganized and uninspired. The campaign's senior adviser in later days told reporters Grimes would soon have a second "official" announcement of her Senate campaign.
That's taking place Tuesday afternoon in Lexington. Gov. Steve Beshear will be joining Grimes. When Grimes first announced she was running for Senate, Beshear said she hadn't given him any heads up that she had made a decision.
With Beshear's appearance Tuesday, it appears the Grimes camp is hoping to display a unified Democratic front behind the Secretary of State. Last week, longtime U.S. Senator, former Governor, and Owensboro native Wendell Ford endorsed Grimes for Senate.
Grimes has accused U.S Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of being "out of touch" with Kentucky voters and values. And several polls show the Louisville Republican holding dangerously low favorability ratings with Kentucky voters.
A letter sent to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul from the FBI says the bureau has used domestic drones for surveillance in ten cases since 2006. The letter came in response to a series of questions Sen. Paul asked the FBI regarding its drone use.
Sen. Paul says he will maintain a hold on the nomination of James Comey to be the next FBI Director. Senators can place holds on Presidential nominations, something that is often done to draw attention to a specific issue.
Paul says the FBI’s answers to his questions about domestic drone use are “insufficient”. The Bowling Green Republican has sent the bureau a follow-up letter with more questions.
Politico reports that in its response to Paul, the FBI says the agency has used domestic drones for surveillance in the U.S. in eight criminal cases and two national security cases since 2006.
The grandmothers who starred in a TV ad that helped Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes win a race for secretary of state two years ago are back for her U.S. Senate race.
They gave television viewers in Kentucky a chuckle in 2011 with a clever ad portraying them writing a script and asking: "What rhymes with Alison Lundergan Grimes."
Since then, one of the grandmothers, Thelma Lundergan McHugh, died. But a clip from the past ad is included in a new online video. The other grandmother, Elsie Case, is in the video asking: "What rhymes with Mitch?"
Grimes points remarks directly at Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, whom she's seeking to replace, saying she doesn't scare easily. At that point, McHugh shows up with her computer, saying, "And neither do I, Senator."
A county clerk in southeastern Kentucky has asked the Executive Branch Ethics Commission to determine the propriety of a fundraising email sent last wek to government email accounts by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Republican Laurel County Clerk Dean Johnson filed the complaint Thursday, a week after receiving the email from Grimes, a candidate for U.S. Senate.
Johnson is asking the Ethics Commission to determine the legality of the secretary of state sending fundraising emails to county clerks who report to her in in matters pertaining to elections. Johnson said he thinks that Grimes acted unethically by using a government email list to raise money and that she also might have run afoul of state law.
Grimes political adviser Jonathan Hurst had no immediate comment.
Though the election isn't until next year, the campaign is in full swing. TV ads have been running for weeks already.
One of the Fancy Farm organizers, Mark Wilson, said Bevin was confirmed as a speaker after he announced his candidacy on Wednesday. Two of Kentucky's highest-profile Democrats, Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, won't attend the event.
The political speeches are part of a church picnic that doubles as a fundraiser for St. Jerome Parish. The annual event typically draws some 10,000 people and generates about $250,000.
A Bowling Green lawmaker says a legislative redistricting plan under consideration would not place three southern Kentucky GOP incumbents in the same district.
A plan put forth by House Democrats earlier this year would have placed Warren County's Jim DeCesare, Brownsville's Michael Meredith, and Morgantown's C.B. Embry Junior in one House district. But Democratic Representative Jody Richards told WKU Public Radio that such a plan is no longer being considered.
"Now, C.B. Embry and Jim DeCesare may well run together, but most of that district would be in Warren County," said Richards.
Kentucky lawmakers will meet in Frankfort next month for a special session to draw new legislative maps based on the latest U.S. Census data. Both Richards and Warren County Republican Senator Mike Wilson told WKU Public Radio they believe lawmakers can get a deal done over the course of five days--that's the quickest a special session can start and finish under state law.
Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson will skip next week's church picnic in the western Kentucky community of Fancy Farm.
Democratic Party Chairman Dan Logsdon said Wednesday they're unable to go.
The Fancy Farm picnic includes an afternoon of stump speeches involving the state's top Democrats and Republicans. Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell plans to attend, as does his chief Democratic challenger in next year's election, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Several others have also committed to attend.
In a phone call to Republican voters this week, McConnell called the picnic "the summer event you won't want to miss."
The picnic, a fundraiser for St. Jerome Parish, draws some 10,000 people and generates about $250,000.
Logsdon said Beshear intends to be at next year's event.