Politics

Politics
11:34 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Guthrie Says Obamacare Should be Separated From Spending Bill

With the massive federal spending bill facing them, including funding for President Obama's controversial Affordable Care Act, House members return to Washington this week. The government would be forced to shut down if the continuing resolution providing the money is not passed by the beginning of next week.

Second district Kentucky Congressman Brett Guthrie appeared live on WKU Public Radio's Morning Edition Tuesday. In a wide-ranging interview, he told host Joe Corcoran the President is as much to blame for the political standoff in Washington as Republicans.

Politics
8:37 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Kentucky Legislative Committee to Gather Info on Temporary Sales Tax

The state capitol building in Frankfort
Credit Kentucky LRC

A legislative committee in Frankfort will hear testimony Wednesday on a proposal to allow local governments to let citizens decide on implementing a temporary sales tax to fund specific projects.

The idea being heard by the Interim Joint Committee on Local Government at 10 a.m. EDT is to allow ballot referendums on whether to temporarily impose a sales tax of up to 1 cent to pay for new parks, sidewalks, roads and buildings.

Some 37 states already allow a temporary sales tax for local government projects.

Committee Chairman Steve Riggs said too often cities don't have the money to pay for special projects. Legislation calling for a constitutional amendment to allow such a temporary tax was introduced in the General Assembly earlier this year but didn't receive a vote.

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Politics
8:36 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Ex-LRC Head Confirms He Destroyed Documents

The former director of Kentucky's Legislative Research Commission says he returned to his office over the weekend and shredded paperwork.

Robert Sherman told The Courier-Journal that the documents included "personalized stuff" such as old salary comparisons. He said none of the paperwork involved anything to do with the sexual harassment allegations involving a former lawmaker or any investigations the agency is involved in.

Sherman's actions have raised concerns among lawmakers, who say he should have gotten permission before destroying the documents and allowed some independent oversight.

Sherman said others, including Deputy LRC Director Robert Jenkins, were present when the documents were shredded.

Jenkins said only extra copies of paperwork that were in Sherman's office were shredded as it was cleaned out. He said all the documents are in other LRC files.

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Politics
12:34 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Democrat Marksberry Plans Independent Run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky

Ed Marksberry plans to switch his party affiliation from Democrat to Independent as his campaign moves forward for U.S. Senate.

One of the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in Kentucky next year plans to change his party registration to run as an Independent. 

Ed Marksberry will hold a press conference in Louisville this afternoon to announce his bid as an Independent and why he’s decided to the leave the Democratic party. 

In order to appear on the ballot, Marksberry must collect at least 5,000 signatures to submit to the Kentucky Board of Elections by August 2014.

The Owensboro contractor, who lost a 2010 Congressional bid, told cable TV's Pure Politics that he’s also decided to drop his lawsuit against the Kentucky Democratic Party.  Marksberry claimed the state party was unfairly and illegally promoting the campaign of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the presumed Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate. 

As of now, the winner of the Democratic primary will face either Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell or Tea Party activist Matt Bevin.

Politics
7:58 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Richie Farmer Scheduled in Court Friday for Plea Deal

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer
Credit Kentucky News Network

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and college basketball star Richie Farmer is scheduled to appear in court to finalize a plea deal that could send him to prison for about two years.

Farmer, who served two terms as state agriculture commissioner, is expected to enter guilty pleas in federal and state court on government corruption charges on Friday.

Farmer, whose jersey hangs as a monument in the rafters of Rupp Area, was accused of using Department of Agriculture employees to work on his Frankfort home, including building a basketball court in his backyard.

Officials said Farmer also hired friends, including his girlfriend, as special assistants who did little or no work for the agency. And, they accused Farmer of using government employees to do personal errands, including babysitting his children.

Politics
1:34 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Harry Reid Plans Fundraiser for Kentucky Senate Candidate Grimes

Credit Lisa Autry

Washington’s top Democrat is reportedly coming to the aid of Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes. 

C-N-2 Politics reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will hold a fundraising luncheon for Grimes in Las Vegas on October 11th.  The event is being organized by Seachlight Leadership Fund, the political action committee that Reid founded in 1997. 

When asked to confirm the fundraiser and whether Grimes will attend,  her Press Secretary Charly Norton told WKU Public Radio the campaign would not comment on their fundraising schedule. 

The Kentucky Republican Party criticized the fundraiser and highlighted Reid’s past statement that “coal makes us sick.” 

Grimes is the presumed Democratic nominee who will challenge Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in a race to be decided next November.  McConnell must first win a primary contest against Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin.

Politics
7:53 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Kentucky Lawmakers Wants Review of Sexual Harassment Policies

State Rep. Sannie Overly is calling for an independent review of the Legislature's policies regarding workplace behavior in the wake of sexual harassment complaints against a western Kentucky lawmaker.

Overly, chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Wednesday she intends to file a bill next year to mandate the review and create a new personnel system that would ensure a harassment-free workplace.

The move is in response to sexual harassment complaints filed by two legislative staffers against Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis.

A special legislative committee has been appointed to investigate those complaints. That committee could ultimately recommend Arnold's censure or expulsion from the Legislature.

Politics
9:35 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Sen. McConnell Will Vote Against Military Strike on Syria

Speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate Tuesday morning, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell announced he will not support the President's call for a U.S. military strike on Syria.

The Louisville Republican said President Obama has not put forth a "credible strategy" regarding Syria. McConnell added that he doesn't think a "limited strike would resolve the civil war in Syria or remove Assad from power."

The Senate Minority Leader said while the chemical weapons attacks in Syria were horrible they did not pose a direct security threat to the U.S. or its allies.

Up until Tuesday, the leading Senate Republican had not committed to a position on the President's call for force against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. His fellow Kentucky Republican, Rand Paul of Bowling Green, has been an outspoken opponent of U.S. intervention.

McConnell expressed concern during his Senate floor speech about the possible unintended consequence  of chemical weapons falling into the hands of Islamic extremists should the U.S. conduct the type of limited surgical military strike being proposed.

Politics
8:40 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Guthrie a "No" Vote on U.S. Military Strike Against Syria

Kentucky's 2nd District Congressman, Brett Guthrie, has announced he will oppose the President's call for a U.S. military strike in Syria.

Here's what the Bowling Green Republican said in a news release about how he came to his decision:

"I appreciate Administration officials briefing the House on this very important situation. However, none of the information shared with me today has convinced me that military action is necessary or appropriate to further our national security interests in Syria and the surrounding region.

“There is no doubt that the Middle East is ripe with conflict and that the chemical weapons attack against the Syrian people on August 21 was horrific. But I do not believe that a bombing campaign against the Assad regime would be appropriate, and may even further enflame regional tensions. As the last remaining superpower, the United States should act as a role model for these troubled nations and look for further diplomatic solutions.

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Politics
1:48 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Ethics Panel Approves Richie Farmer's Plea Deal

Richie Farmer's plea deal means he won't stand trial in federal court next month. He was under indictment for misusing state resources while Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner.

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has approved an agreement with former University of Kentucky basketball star Richie Farmer to resolve administrative charges related to his management of the state Department of Agriculture.

That agreement is part of an overall deal that will also resolve government corruption charges pending in state and federal court.

Farmer, who played on a University of Kentucky team dubbed the "Unforgettables," faces about 2 years in prison under a plea deal announced last week. He had been scheduled to stand trial Oct. 22 on a five-count federal indictment. He is expected to enter guilty pleas to the criminal charges on Friday.

Farmer, who led the Department of Agriculture from 2004 through 2011, could have been sentenced to 10 years in prison if he had been convicted.

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