5:16 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

James Comer 'Proud of the Before and After Picture' of Kentucky's Agriculture Department

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer

Although he’s made no decisions about a run for governor in 2015, Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner is sounding like a candidate as he travels the state. 

Since taking the reins in 2012 from embattled former commissioner Richie Farmer, James Comer told a group of Rotarians in Bowling Green Wednesday that the Kentucky Department of Agriculture now lives by three words…transparency, efficiency, and accountability. 

Comer touted his office’s new website that allows the public to see all expenditures.

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11:51 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Louisville Urologist to Challenge Rep. Yarmuth in 2014

Kentucky’s only Democratic member of Congress will have a challenger next year.

Michael Macfarlane is a Louisville urologist and a Republican who is vehemently opposed to the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” Saying the new health law will negatively impact Kentucky jobs and small businesses, Macfarlane announced he will challenge incumbent Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth during the 2014 election cycle.

According to the Courier-Journal, the 60-year-old Macfarlane has lived in Louisville since 1992 and has practiced at Jewish Hospital, Norton Healthcare, and Baptist East Hospital.

The 65-year-old Yarmuth has represented Kentucky’s Third House District since 2007, and currently stands as the only Democratic member of Kentucky’s congressional delegation.

1:42 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Powerful Conservative Group Endorses Matt Bevin

Matt Bevin

A powerful conservative group has endorsed Republican challenger Matt Bevin in Kentucky's U.S. Senate race.

The move by the Senate Conservatives Fund came two days after the incumbent, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, finalized a budget compromise with Democrats to end an impasse that had led to a partial shutdown of the federal government.

The group, founded by former Sen. Jim DeMint, was sharply critical of the budget deal. Executive director Matt Hoskins called Bevin "a true conservative" who will fight to stop overspending, bailouts and rising debt.

Hoskins said his group, which has already spent some $340,000 to run a TV ad in Kentucky criticizing McConnell, polled 70,000 of its members and that 90 percent preferred to endorse Bevin.

4:31 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Two Women Nominated to Run for House Seat in Western Kentucky

Suzanne Miles
Credit Kentucky Republican Party

The Kentucky Republican and Democratic parties have elected their nominees to run for a state House seat. 

Members of the Republican Executive Committees in Daviess, Henderson and Union Counties met Wednesday night and elected Suzanne Miles of Daviess County as the Republican nominee for the Special Election on December 10th.  

A news release from the state GOP says Miles was the only candidate nominated and was elected unanimously.

“Given her background as a small business owner and her dedicated work on behalf of the community, we are confident Suzanne Miles will serve as an excellent representative of the people of Kentucky’s 7th House District,” said Steve Roberston, Chairman of the Kentucky Republican Party.

Miles is currently the Owensboro field representative for 2nd District U.S. Congressman Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green. 

“As someone dedicated to serving our community and the Commonwealth as a whole, I am eager to speak about the issues important to this district and all Kentuckians,” said Miles.  “Many people have contacted me about making Frankfort a better place, and I'm excited to bring much needed change to the state house.”

Meanwhile, Kim Humphrey of Union County has been chosen as the state Democratic party’s nominee for the special election.

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9:36 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Kentucky Members of Congress Cast Divided Vote to Reopen Government, Avoid Default

The federal government is back open for business after Congress on Wednesday night approved a bi-partisan agreement that ended the partial shutdown and avoided a debt default. 

Among Kentucky’s Congressional delegation, three members, all Republicans, voted against the measure.  Senator Rand Paul issued a statement following the vote in his chamber.

“Tonight, a deal was struck to reopen the government and avoid the debt ceiling deadline. That is a good thing,” Sen. Paul said. “However, our country faces a problem bigger than any deadline: a $17 trillion debt. I am disappointed that Democrats would not compromise to avoid the looming debt debacle.”

Congressmen Andy Barr and Thomas Massie also voted against the bill.

The remainder of Kentucky’s federal lawmakers voted to approve the compromise agreement, partially brokered by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. 

“No deal is ever perfect, and this one is far from it,” said Congressman Guthrie.  “But after 16 days of a government shutdown and on the brink of potential fiscal calamity, we acted to resume government operations and avoid defaulting on our financial obligations.”

Joining Guthrie and McConnell as ‘yes’ votes were GOP Congressmen Hal Rogers and Ed Whitfield, and Democrat John Yarmuth.

4:35 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

McConnell and Paul in Stronger Positions Following Debt Ceiling/Shutdown Fight?

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

With a deal to end the debt ceiling debate and ongoing government shutdown apparently in place, a well-respected political column lists both of Kentucky’s Republican Senators as “winners” following the extended drama.

The Washington Post’s political column, “The Fix”, says both Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul come out of the battle stronger than when it began. Post reporter Chris Cillizza says Paul benefited from appearing moderate compared to another Tea Party-backed Republican Senator, Ted Cruz. Both Cruz and Paul are believed to be strongly considering 2016 presidential runs, and both would try to capture much of the same electorate.

Cillizza says that by not leading the charge against the GOP establishment, Paul could come across as a kind of hybrid Tea Party candidate with at least some establishment backing.

Senator McConnell is once again being seen as one of the preeminent dealmakers in Washington, playing a central role at the end to come up with a deal after staying in the background during much of the debate.

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3:08 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Beshear Laments Effects of Government Shutdown

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear

Governor Steve Beshear is pressing Kentucky's federal delegation to resolve the government shutdown, saying it's having negative effects on Kentucky families.

The U.S. government halted most non-essential government services 16 days ago, forcing unplanned furloughs for thousands of federal workers across the country and leading to the temporary closure of Mammoth Cave and Cumberland Gap national parks in Kentucky.

Beshear said Wednesday that it also has delayed the opening of a nursing home in Glasgow for people with behavioral disabilities.

Beshear told reporters that impacts will be even more widespread beginning Nov. 1, when funds for welfare programs and other government services dry up, if the impasse isn't resolved.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky helped finalize a compromise on Wednesday that was awaiting votes in the House and Senate.

8:34 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Kentucky Governor to Discuss Federal Government Shutdown

Governor Steve Beshear has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday to discuss the impact of the federal government shutdown on Kentucky families.

The U.S. government halted most non-essential government services 16 days ago, forcing unplanned furloughs for thousands of federal workers across the country and leading to the temporary closure of Mammoth Cave and Cumberland Gap national parks in Kentucky.

Beshear is expected to tell reporters that more serious problems could begin Oct. 31, when funds for lots of government services will dry up, if Congress doesn't resolve the spending impasse.

The press conference will be at the state Capitol at 2 p.m. EDT.

1:56 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

The Money War Begins in Kentucky's U.S. Senate Contest

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. 

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1:35 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Ethics Commission Finds Probable Cause that Arnold Sexually Harrassed Female Staffers

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.