A decades-long court fight between a Christian health organization and the Kentucky state government is drawing the ire of some Tea Party activists. Christian Care MediShare allows people to sign up for accounts and pay into a shared fund, then draw money to pay medical expenses. The state Supreme Court has ruled that MediShare is an insurance company and is not allowed religious exemptions to state law. Despite that, the organization has not changed its operations in the commonwealth.
On this week's edition of Kentucky Tonight, host Bill Goodman and guests will discuss the U.S. Supreme Court. The program which airs "live" on Kentucky Educational Television Monday night at 8:00 is re-broadcast on the WEKU Stations Tuesday morning at 11:00.
The national group in charge of getting Republicans elected to Congress is investing $400,000 in Kentucky’s Sixth Congressional District. The National Republican Congressional Committee has purchased television ad time to support Republican Andy Barr’s second challenge against Congressman Ben Chandler this fall. Barr came within 650 votes of defeating Chandler in 2010.
FLORENCE – Gov. Steve Beshear Monday ceremonially signed Senate Bill 58, granting greater protection to emergency room workers who may treat individuals under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The provision, sponsored by Sen. John Schickel and approved during this year’s legislative session, amends state law to allow peace officers to make an arrest or issue a citation for a 4th degree assault that occurs in a hospital emergency room, even if the officer didn’t witness the crime, as long as the officer has probable cause to believe the offense occurred.
The watchdog group Bluegrass Institute has released a report blaming Kentucky’s lawmakers for various issues with the state’s pension systems. Bloomberg has ranked Kentucky's state pensions among the worst-funded in the country. And the Bluegrass Institute puts the blame on the General Assembly. There are six public pension systems in Kentucky, with accounts for legislative workers, judicial workers, county employees, state employees, teachers and police and other workers in hazardous positions.
Appearing on Fox News Channel's "Hannity" Thursday, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., endorsed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney despite his father Congressman Ron Paul's ongoing White House bid. Romney has clinched the 1,144 delegates needed for the Republican nomination, and Paul's father has suspended his campaign but is still pursuing delegates through the state process.
Groups that support so-called right to work laws are looking to pass such a measure in Kentucky. Right to work laws prohibit the mandatory payment of union dues. Indiana passed such a law last year, and some of the same groups that lobbied for it are now focusing on the commonwealth.
Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor says the money involved in direct judicial elections is corrupting the legal system. In Kentucky, judges from the district level to the state supreme court are elected. At the Kentucky Bar Association’s annual convention in Louisville today, O’Connor—the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court—told hundreds of lawyers and judges that judicial elections are in direct conflict with the intent of American justice system.
The biggest spender to lobby the Kentucky legislature in the 2012 session was the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which represents the over-the-counter drug industry. Of the $8.8 million spent in 2012 overall, the group spent nearly $500,000. The group was fighting a bill that would have made cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient to make methamphetamine, available only by prescription.
A national group that promotes the separation of church and state is looking to establish a chapter in Kentucky. The decade-old Secular Coalition for America lobbies for the separation of church and state on the federal level, and officials now want to bring those efforts to statehouses across the country. The SCA already has two chapters in other states and it plans to create 10 more soon.
On this week's edition of Kentucky Tonight, guest host Renee Shaw and guests will discuss state tax reform. The program, which airs "live" at 8:00 pm Monday evening on Kentucky Educational Television, will be re-broadcast on Tuesday morning at 11:00 on the WEKU station.
A national progressive organization that’s pressuring Democrats to drop their memberships in a conservative nonprofit is now operating in Kentucky. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee has spearheaded several national campaigns, like the push to recall Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker and with Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren’s U.S. Senate bid.
On this week's edition of Kentucky Tonight, host Bill Goodman and guests will discuss the 2012 election. The program that aired Monday night on Kentucky Educational Television, will be re-broadcast at 11:00 am Tuesday on the WEKU stations.
Thomas Massie’s Republican primary victory Tuesday could set an example for campaigns across the country, some believe. The involvement of the tea party, super political action committees and Ron and Rand Paul in Massie’s campaign caught nationwide attention and earned front-page ink from the New York Times. Massie won 19 out of the 20 counties in Kentucky’s Fourth Congressional District and beat six other Republicans for the nomination for Congress with 45 percent of the vote. He will face Democrat Bill Adkins in the general election.
Kentucky has become the latest in a growing number of states where Democratic voters have chosen not to vote for President Obama in primary elections. More than 40 percent of Democratic voters who went to the polls yesterday selected someone other than Mr. Obama. Kentucky’s primary results have mirrored that of other southern, conservative states like Arkansas and West Virginia. In both of those states, other candidates have attracted a significant amount of the primary votes away from Mr. Obama.
Despite having no official challenger in Kentucky’s Democratic primary, President Obama won less than 60 percent of the vote. The rest of the votes went to…no one. With only about a 14 percent turnout statewide, about 42 percent of voters in the Democratic primary voted for “uncommitted” rather than choose President Obama. The president won many of the counties in the central and northern parts of the state, but voters in the far eastern and western regions overwhelming refused to support him.
It’s officially a re-match in central Kentucky’s sixth congressional district. Lexington lawyer Andy Barr will once again battle incumbent Ben Chandler in the 19-county district. Barr handily defeated his opposition in yesterday’s primary. As expected Andy Barr easily outdistanced two other candidates, Patrick Kelly and Curtis Kenimer in Tuesday’s G-O-P primary. In so doing, he won the chance to take on multi term congressman Ben Chandler in the fall.
Tea party candidate Thomas Massie has won the GOP nomination in Kentucky’s Fourth Congressional District. Massie has the backing of many national tea party groups and of U.S. Senator Rand Paul. The Lewis County Judge-Executive gathered just under half of the vote in a seven person primary, greatly out-distancing his two closest contenders. Massie campaign manager Ryan Hogan says the victory is shows the tea party is still alive in Kentucky.
With relatively few competitive races on yesterday’s ballot, the vast majority of Kentuckians opted out of the political process. A record number are registered to vote, but, Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes set turnout Tuesday at an estimated 11%. “We undertook a significant effort to make sure that those voters were educated with the information that they needed to come out and vote today and hoped that we would translate that registration in participation today,” said Lundergan-Grimes. As predicted by Grimes, about nine out ten voters skipped the Republican and Democratic primaries.
Turnout in Tuesday's primary election appears to be low in most places around Kentucky. Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes had predicted a statewide turnout of 10 percent to 12 percent. She'd seen nothing by mid-afternoon to indicate that was going to be way off. "It's been a very light election," Grimes said. "The interest appears to be moderate to minimal." However, Grimes noted that polls don't close until 6 p.m. local time. She urged people to vote after work. On the plus side, she said, people aren't having to wait in long lines to vote.
On this week's edition of Kentucky Tonight, host Bill Goodman and guests will discuss the 2012 election. The program which is "live" on Kentucky Educational Television Monday night, repeats Tuesday morning at 11:00 on the WEKU Stations.
Kentucky’s junior senator is working on his second book. Rand Paul has already penned one book while in office, called “The Tea Party Goes to Washington.” It was mainly about his 2010 campaign victory. Now, BuzzFeed reports that Paul is working on a book that outlines his opposition to the Transportation Security Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. University of Louisville political scientist Dewey Clayton says this could be a strategic move on Paul’s part.
Even though the presidential nomination process is effectively over, Kentuckians can still vote for candidates other than Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama in tomorrow's primary. Republicans can cast ballots for Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, even though they're no longer in the running. And Democrats will be able to choose 'uncommitted' instead of President Obama.
An outside Republican group is backing the long shot candidate in tomorrow’s Sixth Congressional District Republican Primary. Patrick Kelly is running against Andy Barr. Barr won the 2010 GOP primary, and is expected to win this year as well. But today, Kelly picked up a last-minute endorsement from the Republican Liberty Caucus, a Texas group that has endorsed in other Kentucky races this year.
Residents of Kentucky’s Fourth Congressional District will see a spirited primary Tuesday, but that won’t be the case elsewhere. While there are primaries in most of Kentucky’s five other congressional districts, none are as competitive or as closely-followed as the race in Northern Kentucky. In the Sixth District, Republican Andy Barr is expected to easily win the chance for a rematch with Congressman Ben Chandler.
Super political action committees, tea party loyalists and sitting members of Congress have taken sides in the campaign for Kentucky’s Fourth District congressional seat. What role each of them had in whoever wins or loses in Kentucky’s primary on Tuesday will likely be the major theme. This race will test the power of the super PAC, said Trey Grayson, who heads Harvard’s Institute of Politics, served as Kentucky’s secretary of state and ran against U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in 2010.
The most competitive primary in Kentucky will come to an end Tuesday. Seven Republicans are vying to replace retiring incumbent Geoff Davis in the Fourth Congressional District. County judge-executives Gary Moore and Thomas Massie and state representative Alecia Webb-Edgington are considered the frontrunners. Those three have raised the most money and former GOP operative Les Fugate says they have the best organizations. But he says outside help from two Super PACs has tilted the odds in Massie’s favor.