Politics

Politics
5:28 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Pro-McConnell Super PAC Brings In $1.2 Million So Far

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

A political action committee supporting Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator has raised $1.2 million since its creation in April.

Major donors to the pro-Mitch McConnell Super PAC called Kentuckians for Strong Leadership include Donald Trump, who has given $50,000, and deceased mega-donor Bob Perry, who gave $100,000. The information was found in the PAC’s most recent filings with the Federal Election Commission.

Perry’s donation is listed as having been made June 3, which is almost two months after he died. The PAC’s treasurer told the website Politico that the wrong date was recorded due to a clerical error in the filings.

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership has so far spent nearly $400,000 in media ads supporting McConnell’s 2014 re-election campaign.

Politics
4:36 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Grimes Launches Bus Tour Ahead of Fancy Farm

Kentucky's presumed Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate was in Bowling Green Wednesday, her first stop since her official campaign kick-off Tuesday in Lexington that drew more than a thousand party faithful. 

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is on a bus tour through western Kentucky ahead of Saturday's Fancy Farm political picnic.  She told a crowd gathered at the FOP Lodge in Bowling Green that Washington is lacking the compromise seen under former Democratic Senator Wendell Ford.

"Compromise, common ground, it's not something to be ashamed of," said Grimes.  "Indeed it's necessary and I believe vital to preserve and protect the country that each of us equally loves.  I'm in this race because I believe it needs to be that way again."

Grimes' speech was light on specifics concerning policy.  She declined to speak with reporters covering the event.

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Politics
8:45 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Grimes in Bowling Green Wednesday for "Road to Fancy Farm" Bus Tour

Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes will be in Bowling Green Wednesay at noon, as part of what her campaign is calling the "Road to Fancy Farm" bus tour.

Grimes will be at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge on Corvette Drive. Her campaign also has a meet-and-greet scheduled Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Central City.

WKU Public Radio will be at the Warren County event to interview Grimes. We'll have those stories throughout the afternoon during our local newscasts and here at our website.

Politics
2:41 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Chris Christie Fires Back at Rand Paul for Spending Comment

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has not been afraid to take on members of his own party, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie doesn't appear to want his war of words with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul to end anytime soon.

Christie fired back at Paul on Tuesday for Paul's remark that New Jersey has a "Gimme, gimme, gimme" attitude about federal aid for Superstorm Sandy.

The spat began when the two differed over warrantless surveillance programs. Paul is against them, while Christie says they are needed for national security.

At a news conference Tuesday to announce homeowner grants for northern New Jersey residents affected by Sandy, Christie suggested Paul look at cutting "pork barrel spending" in his home state if he's worried about defense cuts.

Christie says Kentucky gets back $1.51 for every dollar its sends to Washington, while New Jersey gets back 61 cents.

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Politics
1:10 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Democratic Kentucky Senate Candidate Sues Party, Claiming Favoritism

Ed Marksberry is running for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in 2014.

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.

Politics
7:34 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Abramson: Decision in Next Two Weeks on Possible Run for Governor

Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson

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.

Politics
12:36 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Rand Paul in Spat with East Coast Republicans over National Security, Hurricane Sandy Aid

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul is in a war of words with Gov. Chris Christie and Rep. Peter King.

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.”

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Politics
11:21 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Grimes to "Officially" Kick Off Her 2014 U.S. Senate Campaign

Kentucky Secretary of State and Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes

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.

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Politics
7:38 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Rand Paul: FBI Answers to Questions about Drones "Insufficient"

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.

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Politics
4:43 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Grimes' Grandmothers Back in Action in Web Video

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."

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