Politics

Politics
5:28 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Judge Upholds Kentucky Medicaid Expansion

A Tea Party activist says he will appeal a circuit court's decision that allows Kentucky to expand Medicaid and create a health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act. 

On Tuesday, Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled that Governor Steve Beshear had the power to expand Medicaid to an additional 300,000 Kentuckians.  The judge also upheld the governor's creation of a health insurance exchange, an online marketplace where consumers can shop for coverage. 

In both lawsuits, Tea Party activist David Adams argued Beshear needed legislative approval.  Adams remains confident he can win on appeal.

"I'm just glad to get the show on the road," remarks Adams.  "We were headed to the Kentucky Supreme Court from the outset."

Expanded Medicaid will be available starting January 1, and the uninsured can start signing up on October 1.

Politics
3:34 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Christie Picks Date with Wife Over Senator Rand Paul

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-KY, will campaign in New Jersey Friday.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has other plans the day his sometime adversary, Sen. Rand Paul, is to come to the state to endorse the Republican running for U.S. Senate.

Christie is taking wife Mary Pat to Florida for the weekend to celebrate her 50th birthday.

Paul is scheduled to endorse fellow Republican Steve Lonegan at a rally Friday in northern New Jersey. Lonegan is running against Democrat Cory Booker in a special election.

Christie and Paul, both potential 2016 presidential candidates, clashed last month over national security and federal budgets. Christie is considered a moderate, Paul a libertarian.

When Paul suggested the two make up over a beer, Christie said he was too busy running for re-election.

On Tuesday, the governor said the choice between Paul and his wife is "no choice."

Politics
9:13 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Kentucky Ethics Commission Wants to Limit Campaign Gifts

Kentucky lawmakers will be asked in January to offer new guidelines on campaign contributions.

The Legislative Ethics Commission wants to prohibit campaign contributions from employers of lobbyists and political action committees to lawmakers or legislative candidates when the General Assembly is in session.
   
The panel is asking lawmakers to approve that change when they convene in January.
   
The proposal would broaden an existing law that prohibits lobbyists from contributing to legislative campaigns.
   
If passed, more than 650 companies employing lobbyists would no longer be able to contribute to lawmakers or legislative candidates during sessions, nor would more than 140 state-registered PACs.

Politics
10:45 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Transcript of Sen. Paul's Conversation on Syria, War Powers, and Blurring of Normal Partisan Divide

Sen. Paul's interview with WKU Public Radio about possible military action in Syria

U.S. Senator Rand Paul spoke to WKU Public Radio Friday about the possibility of U.S. military action against Syria following the regime's alleged use of chemical weapons.

The Bowling Green Republican talked about what the Constitution says about war powers, how the Syria issue is uniting those on the left and right, and he took a not-too-subtle jab at Hillary Clinton, in what could be a preview of a possible 2016 Presidential contest.

Here is the transcript of Sen. Paul's interview with WKU Public Radio's Kevin Willis:

Is a U.S. military strike against Syria inevitable?

"Maybe, maybe not. I'm trying very hard to prevent that from happening. The Constitution is very explicit. The Constitution says Congress gives the authority to declare war, not the President. The President, when he was a Senator, acknowledged this. He said no President should unilaterally go to war without Congressional authority."

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Politics
9:32 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Paul: No U.S. Strike on Syria Without Congressional Authorization

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

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says the Obama administration has so far not articulated a "clear-cut objective" related to possible military action against Syria.

Speaking to WKU Public Radio Friday morning, Sen. Paul said no U.S. strike should occur unless it's approved by a Congressional vote.

You can read the transcript of the Senator's conversation with WKU Public Radio here.

The Bowling Green Republican said that until he sees the evidence gathered by the U.S. on the chemical weapons attack that allegedly occurred in Syria, he can't be sure who was behind the assault.

"One commentator recently asked the question--it's a Latin phrase--'cui bono?' Whose benefit is this? To whom does the benefit accrue if you have this attack? Well, it doesn't seem to be helping Assad any, it seems to be united the world against him," said Sen. Paul.

"So there is a possibility that maybe the rebels instigated this chemical attack. I would at least want to see the evidence before launching a war."

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Politics
9:24 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Louisville Tea Party Leader Endorses Bevin for U.S. Senate

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin has been endorsed by Louisville Tea Party President Wendy Caswell ahead of next year's primary.
   
Bevin, a Louisville businessman, has been reaching out to tea party activists in hopes of winning the GOP nomination over Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
   
McConnell has also received tea party endorsements, including that of Sen. Rand Paul, and even has a tea party leader managing his campaign for re-election to a sixth term.
   
Bevin said he's grateful for the support of Caswell who leads one of the largest tea party groups in the state.
   
Caswell said she endorsed Bevin because she believes he will stand against wasteful government spending.
   
The winner of the McConnell-Bevin matchup will likely face Democratic front-runner Alison Grimes in next year's general election.

Politics
3:43 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Committee To Investigate Compaints Against Rep. Arnold

Rep. John Arnold
Credit Jonathan Meador, Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo will appoint a special committee to investigate sexual harassment complaints against a state lawmaker from Sturgis.

Stumbo filed a petition with the House clerk on Thursday a procedural move that allows the formation of the eight-member investigative committee that could recommend censure or expulsion of Democratic state Rep. John Arnold. 

Arnold represents Union County as well as parts of Daviess and Henderson counties.

The move came on the heels of allegations filed this month by three legislative workers who claim that they were sexually harassed by Arnold.  Arnold didn’t immediately return a phone call to his legislative office on Thursday.

Stumbo said the allegations against Arnold have become a distraction and that he knows of no other way to deal with the issue.

Politics
6:23 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Libertarian Candidate Enters Kentucky Senate Race

Libertarian David Patterson has announced his intention to run against incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

The 42-year old Harrodsburg police officer said in a statement that he's making the bid to unseat McConnell because voters are looking for an alternative.

Ken Moellman, chairman of the Libertarian Party's state executive committee, said he's pleased Patterson wanted to get into the race. Patterson will seek the party's nomination in an internal primary on March 1.

McConnell is seeking a sixth term in office in next year's election. His chief rival is Democratic secretary of state Alison Lundergan Grimes. Republican Matt Bevin is challenging McConnell in next spring's primary.

Politics
10:11 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Paul: GOP Can Court Minorities and Support Voter ID Laws

Rand Paul, R-KY

As new voter ID laws take effect across the county, U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is maintaining his position that asking voters to produce identification before casting their ballot has no racial overtones. Paul told WKU Public Radio that voter ID provisions are needed to combat voter fraud and not doing so is a disservice to those who fought for the right to vote.

"Forty, 50 years ago when people were fighting for the right to vote, there were people beaten with clubs, there were people who fought for the Voting Rights Act, and at that time, African Americans weren't voting and weren't allowed to vote," said the Bowling Green Republican.

More states are enacting voter ID laws since the U.S. Supreme Court in June gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act that gave the federal government oversight of states with a history of voter discrimination. Sen. Paul says he hasn't seen any evidence that minorities are facing obstacles in voting.  In fact, he says in the last election, African Americans voted at a higher percentage than White Americans in states that were under special provisions of the federal government. 

His comments come as he urges the GOP to do more to attract minorities, and as opponents of the Supreme Court's decision on the Voting Rights Act point to various voter ID laws they say are designed to discourage election day turnout in minority communities.

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Politics
2:00 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Rep. Embry Considering Run for Kentucky's 6th Senate Seat

A Butler County state Representative says he's strongly considering a run for a Senate seat following today's signing of new redistricting maps. The newly drawn boundaries place Morgantown Republican C.B. Embry, Jr., in the same district as Warren County Republican Jim DeCesare.

Embry gave his reaction to WKU Public Radio earlier Friday afternoon.

"Now I'm not fixing to announce or anything, but I'm leaning toward running for the sixth Senatorial district next year. That would be Butler, Ohio, Muhlenberg, and Hopkins counties," said Embry.

The sixth Kentucky Senate district is currently represented by Madisonville Democrat Jerry Rhoads. Embry admits it would be a tough challenge to take on Rhoads, given that the voter registration in the sixth Senate district is majority Democratic.

Warren County Representative Jim DeCesare told WKU Public Radio today that he plans to run for the 17th District House seat.

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