U.S. Justice Department prosecutors are joining the criminal investigation into secret audio recordings made inside Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell’s Louisville campaign headquarters.
In February, a liberal activist named Curtis Morrison secretly recorded McConnell and re-election campaign staffers talking about tactics they would use against actress Ashley Judd, should she challenge McConnell in next year’s election. Judd later said she wouldn’t run for Senate, but Morrison gave the recordings to Mother Jones, a liberal political magazine that published the audio and transcripts at its website.
McConnell has demanded anyone involved in the secret recordings be prosecuted.
Politico reports that any attempts to subpoena evidence from Morrison would probably need the approval of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who has to sign off on any such subpoenas for journalists. Morrison has worked as a paid freelancer for a Louisville-based online news outlet, in addition to his work with political groups that have said their goal is to defeat McConnell in 2014.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has introduced a bill in Congress to block military funds to Syria. The measure is aimed at preventing further U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war.
Senator Paul, a Republican from Bowling Green, is co-sponsoring legislation that would ban direct or indirect aid for military operations in Syria, but would not prevent humanitarian aid.
The bi-partisan legislation is also supported by Senators Tom Udall, Mike Lee, and Chris Murphy, all of whom have spoken out in opposition to President Obama’s decision to arm rebel groups in Syria.
“The President’s unilateral decision to arm Syrian rebels is incredibly disturbing, considering what little we know about whom we are arming," said Paul. "Engaging in yet another conflict in the Middle East with no vote or Congressional oversight compounds the severity of this situation. The American people deserve real deliberation by their elected officials before we send arms to a region rife with extremists who seek to threaten the U.S. and her allies.”
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear just announced a proclamation calling lawmakers back to Frankfort Aug. 19 for a special session dealing with legislative and judicial redistricting.
The Democratic-led House passed redistricting maps during this year's General Assembly, but they were voted down by Senate Republicans. Beshear has said he wants lawmakers to have an agreement in place before the start of the special session, so that it lasts the minimum of five days.
"Leaders in both chambers have indicated to me a willingness to utilize the same census numbers for legislative and judicial redistricting as were used for Congressional redistricting in 2012," Beshear said in a news release. "This will make all redistricting plans consistent and avoid having to address Congressional redistricting again. I have therefore not included Congressional redistricting on the agenda for the upcoming special session."
Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator says a growing number of young people agree with his stance that the federal government is infringing on the privacy rights of Americans.
Bowling Green Republican Rand Paul told CNN a recent poll conducted by the cable network proves his point. The CNN poll showed a 17 percentage point drop in support for Obama among those between the ages of 18 and 20.
Paul has been outspoken in recent months about the Republican Party’s need to reach out to groups that have been supporting Democratic candidates and causes, like young voters.
Paul has also been outspoken on his criticism of the National Security Agency, following new revelations surrounding data-surveillance programs that collect phone-call records from million of Americans and use U.S. internet companies to capture foreign communications.
Paul, who is thought to be preparing for a possible 2016 White House bid, told CNN the GOP should “do everything we can to protect our country, consistent with our Constitution.”
The Indiana Supreme Court has let stand the fines levied by state House Republicans on Democrats for their walkout over a controversial right-to-work bill.
Justices split 3-2 on an opinion issued Tuesday finding that the constitutional separation of powers bars the courts from interfering in internal legislative decisions. The state's highest court approved a request that the case be dismissed.
Chief Justice Brent Dickson wrote for the majority that it is not the court's role to assess punishments within the legislative branch of government. Justices Loretta Rush and Robert Rucker dissented, writing that the House's "discretion to punish its members" doesn't include withholding pay.
Majority House Republicans ordered the state auditor to withhold the fines from Democrats who spent weeks at an Illinois hotel in protest of the right-to-work bill in 2011, and staged another walkout the following year.