All Politics are Local

9:19am

Wed January 23, 2013
All Politics are Local

Debt Ceiling Deal Splits Kentucky's Congressmen

Northern Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie.

The US House votes today on a Republican proposal to temporarily extend the nation’s debt ceiling.  In exchange for forcing Senate Democrats to pass a budget blueprint annually, Republicans are willing to extend the nation’s borrowing limit for three months.  And, if there’s no budget House leaders want lawmakers to temporarily forego their pay. Freshman Kentucky Republican Thomas Massie isn’t happy with the bill. 

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1:55pm

Tue January 22, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentuckian Frontrunner for U.S. Ambassadorship to Britain

Matthew Barzun
Credit U.S. State Department

Kentuckian Matthew Barzun will be the U.S. to the United Kingdom if he wants the job, The New York Times has reported, citing donors and adviser to President Obama. Barzun, a former tech executive and major Obama fundraiser, has been the front-runner for the prestigious post since November, The Times reported. If the reports are true, he'd beat out for the job the famed editor of Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour.

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1:32pm

Tue January 22, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Residents Celebrate Inauguration

Children (from left) Nidaya Fraizer, 5, Makyah McMillian, 10, Da'mya Gray, 8, Keriah Cofer-Britt, 9, and Thalia Ruiz, 10, gather around a TV at the Parker Bennett Community Center as President Barack Obama delivers his inaugural address after being sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 in Bowling Green, Ky. Several people gathered at the community center for a Presidential Inauguration watch party, which included free pizza and snacks.
Credit Nathan Morgan/The Daily News

As President Barack Obama took the oath of office Monday for the second time, Bowling Green residents were watching in Kentucky and in Washington, D.C. Children at Parker-Bennett Community Center waved star-shaped noise makers, applauded and snapped pictures on their phones as Obama gave his second inaugural address. The timing of the inauguration made it especially significant for Sierra McKinney, recreation leader at the community center. It took place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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11:30am

Tue January 22, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Tea Party Leaders Plan to Draft Challenger for Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

A coalition of more than a dozen Tea Party groups in Kentucky are issuing a stern warning to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell against co-opting the grassroots movement — and they plan to draft a challenger for the 2014 Senate primary. The United Kentucky Tea Party is made up of several independent organizations from across the state. In a press release sent late Monday evening, the group says that McConnell and state Republicans are being "intellectually dishonest" by calling anyone with the GOP leader's campaign personnel a tea party leader.

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5:57pm

Mon January 21, 2013
All Politics are Local

Paul to Introduce Bill Directing Priorities if Debt Ceiling Not Raised

Senator Rand Paul plans to introduce legislation that would prevent the federal  government from defaulting if it fails to raise the debt ceiling. Kentucky Public Radio’s Kenny Colston reports.

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2:16pm

Sun January 20, 2013
All Politics are Local

Ashley Judd: Kentucky Needs a Fighter

Actress Ashley Judd
Credit Salon

Actress Ashley Judd says the "people of Kentucky need a fighter" when asked about a potential bid against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in 2014. The Hollywood celebrity and activist has been flirting with a run for public office for months, and made the comments at the the Kentucky Society of Washington's Bluegrass Ball this weekend.

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2:13pm

Sun January 20, 2013
All Politics are Local

Rand Paul to Oppose Second Sandy Relief Bill Due to Extra Spending

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

Sen. Rand Paul said he will oppose a measure the U.S. Senate will take up this week for payments to areas of the Northeast affected by Superstorm Sandy. The Northeast does need help after the storm, but he would like to offset the costs with spending cuts elsewhere in the federal government, he said.

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1:55pm

Thu January 17, 2013
All Politics are Local

Paul Vows to Oppose Gun Limits

Sen. Rand Paul, left, talks with World War II veteran John Hammond at the Frankfort Rotary Club meeting Wednesday afternoon.
Credit Dylan Buell/The State Journal

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul told a packed room Wednesday in the Capital Plaza Hotel that he would oppose any effort by President Barack Obama to “usurp the Second Amendment” through executive order. “I would fight that with every bone in my body,” Paul, R-Ky., told members of the Frankfort Rotary Club. Obama signed 23 executive orders Wednesday in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., massacre and other recent shootings. He also said he planned to push for legislation to ban assault weapons, limit high-capacity magazines and expand background checks.

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12:33pm

Thu January 17, 2013
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Rand Paul Discusses Recent Trip to Israel

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

Fresh off a trip to Israel, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says his mission was to prove he is an ally of the Middle Eastern nation. Many pro-Israel groups have been wary of the senator, because of his calls to reduce foreign aid. Paul’s father, Ron Paul, the former U.S. representative and Republican presidential candidate, also had a frosty relationship with pro-Israel groups.

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5:43pm

Wed January 16, 2013
All Politics are Local

Pro-Gun Kentucky Shows Little Appetite for President Obama's Gun Reforms

President Barack Obama
Credit White House

President Barack Obama’s gun control speech is being praised by supporters as a bold step, but the White House acknowledges that sweeping reforms will require support from pro gun areas like Kentucky in order to pass Congress. Surrounded by a group of elementary school students Wednesday, the president signed 23 executive actions to enforce current laws. He also urged Congress to pass a number of legislative measures such as a ban on military-style assault weapons and armor piercing bullets.

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5:39pm

Wed January 16, 2013
All Politics are Local

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul Vows to Scrutinize President's Executive Actions on Guns

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said he'll examine President Obama's just-announced executive orders to see if the president has overstepped his authority — and, if he believes so, will introduce legislation to overturn the orders.  “Executive orders can be overturned and cannot run afoul of legislation that is the current law, if he tries to create legislation, I will oppose him,” Paul said on Wednesday.

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5:40pm

Mon January 14, 2013
All Politics are Local

Groups Work to Find Solutions for Liquor Law Reform

Credit Credit Creative Commons

If a federal judge's ruling goes into effect, businesses that sell liquor in Kentucky may see increased competition — and those businesses are encouraging legislators to act before an appeals  decision comes down. Judge John Heyburn tossed the laws last year, saying it was unconstitutional to allow places like drug stores to sell some wine and liquor, but not groceries.

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5:37pm

Mon January 14, 2013
All Politics are Local

State Lawmaker Proposes Local Option Sales Tax Bill

State Sen. Kathy Stein and Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit Legislative Research Commission/Metro Louisville

State Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, has introduced a bill in the General Assembly that would give cities a local option sales tax. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has been a major proponent of the measure, which allows local voters to decide whether to fund special projects through a temporary sales tax increase. The mayor recently outlined the measure for Metro Council members, saying it gives Louisville more independence.

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12:34pm

Mon January 14, 2013
All Politics are Local

Breaking Down Partisanship

Some 15 hundred activists have gathered, hoping to break down political gridlock.  Organizers say their ‘Meeting to Make America Work’ in New York City attracted Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.  They want to send a message to the President and Congress to ‘stop fighting and start fixing.’  So far, former Kentucky Treasurer Jonathon Miller says over a half million people and 25 members of Congress are involved in the effort.

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5:04pm

Sun January 13, 2013
All Politics are Local

Hemp Push Gains Momentum

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are hoping to make industrial hemp production legal in Kentucky for the first time in decades and other government officials have publicly voiced support for the initiative. Two legislators filed bills Friday in support of Comer and Paul’s initiative. The potential problem of keeping hemp and marijuana separate led Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer to publicly voice his opposition to Comer and Paul’s initiative.

4:58pm

Sun January 13, 2013
All Politics are Local

Liquor Law Reform May be Delayed

Work on reforming some of Kentucky’s liquor laws may wait until a federal appeals court rules on a current challenge. A federal circuit judge threw out state laws dealing with where wine and distilled spirits can be sold, calling them unfair. Currently only select stores — such as liquor stores and pharmacies — can sell those beverages, while others — such as groceries — can only sell beer.

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4:21pm

Fri January 11, 2013
All Politics are Local

Congressman Thomas Massie Defends Vote Against Sandy Relief Funding

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky.

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., is responding to an attack by state Democratic Party Chair Dan Logsdon, who chastised freshman congressman for voting against federal relief for victims of Superstorm Sandy. Logsdon told WFPL that Massie and fellow Republican Congressman Andy Barr embarrassed Kentucky and that votes for aid shouldn't be politicized. However, in statement Massie echoes Barr's comments and says that Congress should find a way to pay for disaster relief without adding to the country's debt.

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3:55pm

Fri January 11, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Chamber Joins Hemp Supporters

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has landed a high-profile supporter for his efforts to legalize hemp in Kentucky. The state’s largest business group, the Kentucky Chamber, has come out in support of industrial hemp for oil and fiber, provided there is a sound regulatory process.

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11:34am

Fri January 11, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Legislative Leaders Undecided on Whether to Delay Redistricting

Kentucky legislative districts approved in 2002.
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky legislative leaders say they haven't responded yet to Gov. Steve Beshear’s request to delay General Assembly redistricting in the 2013 session. Senate President Robert Stivers says his leadership team has not yet decided on a response and that many in his chamber are conflicted on when to address redistricting.

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4:54pm

Thu January 10, 2013
All Politics are Local

Coalition Rallies Against Big Changes to Kentucky Public Pensions

Credit Wikipedia Commons

FRANKFORT — Current Kentucky state employees and retirees packed the Capitol Rotunda to encourage lawmakers to rethink some proposals made by a task force on public pensions last year. Calling themselves the Kentucky Public Pension Coalition, the group of more than a dozen interested organizations encouraged their members to tell lawmakers not to switch to a hybrid pension plan for new hires and to reinstate cost of living adjustments every year.

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11:16am

Thu January 10, 2013
All Politics are Local

Smoking Ban Advocates Once Again Face Senate Roadblock

Credit Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin/Wikimedia Commons

Supporters of a statewide smoking ban in public places are set to try their luck in passing such a law for the third legislative session. Smoke Free Kentucky has started an advertising campaign to raise support for the smoking ban and a recent poll showed a majority of Kentucky support such a ban.

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11:09am

Thu January 10, 2013
All Politics are Local

Legislative Leaders Expected to Support University Projects

Gov. Steve Beshear and top legislative leaders are expected to announce their support Thursday morning for new academic buildings at the University of Kentucky and a $110 million renovation of Commonwealth Stadium. The projects are among several that state universities have asked Beshear and lawmakers to approve, with the stipulation that they can be paid for with money from universities rather than state General Fund.

11:05am

Thu January 10, 2013
All Politics are Local

Senator Files Bill to Block Medicaid Expansion

Senate Health and Welfare Chair Julie Denton, R-Louisville, filed two bills Wednesday to block Gov. Steve Beshear from expanding Medicaid coverage and setting up a health-insurance exchange without legislative approval. The expansion of Medicaid and the exchange, which would provide online information about buying insurance from private companies, are key parts of the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The health package has come under sharp criticism from many Republicans.

4:43pm

Wed January 9, 2013
All Politics are Local

Governor Beshear Urges Legislative Leaders to Delay Redistricting

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Gov. Steve Beshear is urging legislative leaders to delay General Assembly redistricting. In a letter to House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers, the governor says he’d like them to hold off redistricting in the 2013 legislative session and instead take up other important issues, such as pension and tax reforms.

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4:32pm

Wed January 9, 2013
All Politics are Local

Congressman John Yarmuth Backs Bill to Ban High-Capacity Ammo Magazines

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Third District Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., is co-sponsoring legislation that would ban high-capacity ammunition magazines. A pair of Democratic lawmakers introduced the same bill last summer in the wake of a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater. But there is newfound pressure for gun control measures due to the massacre of students and faculty at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

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4:18pm

Wed January 9, 2013
All Politics are Local

Conservative Group Targets Mitch McConnell in Online Ads

For America is attacking McConnell in a new online ad.
Credit foramerica.org

A conservative group is attacking Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell over the fiscal cliff deal in a series of online advertisements in Kentucky that questions his loyalty to the GOP. The ads were purchased by the Virginia-based group For America and began running Wednesday on the The Daily Caller, Drudge Report and Fox News websites, as well as on Facebook. It accuses McConnell of capitulating to President Obama and calls for conservatives to stand up to the party leader.

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11:05am

Wed January 9, 2013
All Politics are Local

Grimes Announces Special Election for State Representative

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s chief election official, has announced a special election will be held on Feb. 12 to fill the vacancy in the office of state representative, 52nd Representative District. The 52nd District is comprised of McCreary and Wayne counties and part of Pulaski County.

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6:03pm

Tue January 8, 2013
All Politics are Local

Leaders Say Pension Funding Solution Unlikely in 2013

Credit Rae Hodge, Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky legislative leaders say solutions on how to pay for Kentucky’s underfunded pensions won’t likely be addressed in the 2013 legislative session, which began Tuesday. Both House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers say there will likely be a bill to introduce changes to the pension systems. But they also agree that such a bill is unlikely to deal how to fund the changes.

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5:54pm

Tue January 8, 2013
All Politics are Local

Sannie Overly First Woman Elected to Kentucky House Leadership

Sannie Overly
Credit Overly Campaign

State Rep. Sannie Overly will be the first woman in history elected to a leadership position in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Overly, of Paris, on Tuesday was elected House Democratic Caucus Chair in private leadership elections today. Overly beat state Rep. Bob Damron, of Nicholasville, for the position; all other House Democratic leaders retained their posts.

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3:26pm

Tue January 8, 2013
All Politics are Local

Tea Party Activists Tell Kentucky Lawmakers to Reject Obamacare

Credit Wikipedia Commons

FRANKFORT—As the 2013 Kentucky legislative session begins, Tea Party activists are encouraging lawmakers to abandon the implementation of the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — in the state because of fiscal and health care concerns.

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