Politics

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.

Politics
12:59 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

GOP Senator Alexander Opposes U.S. Strike on Syria

Lamar Alexander, R-TN
Credit alexander.senate.gov

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander says he will oppose a measure authorizing U.S. military force against Syria.

The Tennessee lawmaker said on Monday that a strike carries too much risk and could set off a series of events leading to greater U.S. involvement in another long-term Mideast war. He warned about the uncertainty in agreeing to President Barack Obama's request for military intervention after last month's deadly chemical weapons attack.

Alexander was announcing his position at a speech in Nashville. The Associated Press obtained excerpts of his remarks.

The senator has participated by telephone in briefings with senior administration officials and spoke this past weekend with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Alexander's Tennessee colleague, Sen. Bob Corker, collaborated with Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez in writing the resolution authorizing U.S. force.

Politics
8:20 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Sen. Paul Not Convinced U.S. Missile Strikes Would Alter Outcome Of Syria Battle

Senator Rand Paul says a surgical military strike by the U.S. against Syria wouldn’t impact the outcome of the civil war being fought in that country.

Speaking to Fox News Sunday, the Bowling Green Republican said he’s horrified by the images of chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Senator Paul said those responsible for the attack “deserve death.”

Still, Paul says he’s worried that the kinds of missile strikes being proposed wouldn’t directly impact Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and could even further destabilize the country and increase the chances that chemical weapons end up in the hands of opposition fighters.

Politics
5:00 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Minds Made Up on Syria Among Some of Kentucky's D.C. Delegation

In a speech to the nation Tuesday, President Obama will make his case for a U.S. military strike on Syria.  Regardless of what the president says, some members of Kentucky’s federal delegation already have their minds made up. 

Republican Congressman Thomas Massie says he will vote against any resolution authorizing military force against Syria for its government’s alleged use of chemical weapons.  For one thing, Massie says he’s uncomfortable with the language in the president’s proposal.

"It's not limited geographically, it's not limited by type of engagement, and it's not limited by who we can engage, not just the Syrians," contends Massie.

Massie contends the civil war in Syria is not a matter of U.S. national security.  Massie is joined by Congressman Ed Whitfield as solid “no” votes.  U.S. Representatives Brett Guthrie, Hal Rogers, and Andy Barr, all GOP members, are still contemplating.

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Politics
5:22 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Meeting Set to Review Sexual Harrassment Claims Against Rep. Arnold

A special legislative committee investigating sexual harassment complaints against a western Kentucky lawmaker will meet for the first time on Sept. 17 at the Capitol Annex in Frankfort.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo announced the meeting on Friday.

Stumbo said the committee is expected to elect a chairman and set up procedures for conducting the investigation into two complaints filed against Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis.

Stumbo appointed five lawmakers to the committee last week. The panel could ultimately recommend Arnold's censure or expulsion from the Legislature.

In the complaints, the female legislative workers alleged that Arnold had touched them inappropriately and had made vulgar comments.

Arnold didn't immediately return a phone call to his legislative office Friday.

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