Politics

Politics
2:52 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

McConnell to Make Syria Decision in "Coming Days", Feels Certain about No Boots on the Ground

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell spoke to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club Wednesday.
Credit Kevin Willis

Sen. Mitch McConnell's response to a question about his position on a possible military strike on Syria.

Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator says while he hasn’t made up his mind on a possible U.S. strike in Syria, he’s certain American military forces won’t be placed inside that country.

Republican Mitch McConnell spoke to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club Wednesday, and said even those in Washington who are advocating for U.S. involvement in Syria are stopping short of calling for boots on the ground.

“I’m not just instinctively opposed to military action,” the Louisville Republican said. “I supported the Afghan war, and I supported the Iraq war. Certainly we need to be careful about doing it. I don’t think anybody supports putting any American military personnel there at all.”

McConnell said he would announce his position on Syria “in the coming days.”

The Senate Minority Leader said there’s no way to be certain which political or religious group would take over Syria if the current regime was toppled.

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Politics
11:23 am
Wed September 4, 2013

For Kentucky's Senators, the Issue of Syria has Different Implications

A WKU political analyst says the ongoing debate over possible U.S. military action in Syria comes at an opportune time for Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Political Science Professor and Warren County Republican Party Chairman Scott Lasley says Paul has long talked about the U.S. needing to adopt a less aggressive foreign policy. Sen. Paul--who is considering a presidential run--has been a vocal opponent of U.S. military involvement in Syria, saying it’s not in America’s interest to get involved in another nation’s civil war.

Professor Lasley says Paul’s position is something that could attract voters who wouldn’t normally side with the Bowling Green Republican.

“Particularly with younger voters, where Republicans have struggled the last couple of election cycles. A lot of time there’s not a huge difference between younger voters and older voters, but one of the areas that you do see a difference is the aggressiveness of foreign policy.”

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Politics
8:48 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Grimes Repeats Call for Higher Minimum Wage

Alison Lundergan Grimes speaks with supporters during a stop in Warren County.
Credit Lisa Autry

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again pushing the idea of raising the minimum wage in order to grow the middle class.

Grimes, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, distributed a news release on Tuesday touting what she believes would be the positive effects of increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

Citing a Kentucky Center for Economic Policy report, Grimes said raising the minimum wage would affect nearly 30 percent of working Kentuckians.

The Democratic front-runner, Grimes wants to replace Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell after next year's election. McConnell also faces a GOP challenger in the May primary.

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.

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