All Politics are Local

9:13am

Fri February 10, 2012
All Politics are Local

Coalition Supports Gambling Ballot

Business, union and education leaders from across the state announced Thursday the formation of an advocacy group to call for putting a constitutional amendment to expand gambling on the November ballot. The Kentucky Alliance for Jobs, a tax-exempt 501(c)4 that can raise funds and spend on political campaigns and legislation, will be a grass-roots lobbying group, said Dave Adkisson, president and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

5:19am

Fri February 10, 2012
All Politics are Local

Paul at Conservative Political Action Conference

Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul received an enthusiastic welcome at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference...with some audience members even urging him to run for national office.  After a day of hearing conservatives repeat much of the same rhetoric this crowd loved the message brought by Senator Paul. He rhetorically asked if President Obama hates rich people for his administration’s repeated attempts to raise taxes on the wealthy.

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3:21pm

Thu February 9, 2012
All Politics are Local

Candidate Withdraws from District Race

A candidate for the Urban County Council has withdrawn his name from consideration after failing to meet a signature requirement on his candidacy petition. Nine months away from the elections, the number of candidates seeking to replace councilwoman KC Crosbie has been narrowed to one, barring a write-in campaign by another resident.

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1:30pm

Thu February 9, 2012
All Politics are Local

McConnell Greeted by Raucous Conservatives

Speaking in a hall crowded with enthusiastic conservatives, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell laid out his assessment of the Obama Administration. McConnell’s not know for his rhetorical strengths, but this crowd couldn’t get enough when the Minority Leader attacked the president. McConnell blamed the nation’s soaring debt on President Obama…even though last year Republicans rejected a broad deficit reducing package because it included tax increases on the wealthy. Still, McConnell predicted a good year for his party.

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5:02pm

Wed February 8, 2012
All Politics are Local

Stumbo Comments on Redistricting

Efforts to redraw Kentucky’s U.S. House districts are dead in the General Assembly. State House Speaker Greg Stumbo made that declaration after the state Senate could not agree to the latest compromise on district maps. “I think that ship has sailed, that bell’s rung,” Stumbo said. “I think the Secretary of State will have to certify those folks as the candidates and so the current status of law is that in my opinion they would run in the current Congressional district.”

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2:29pm

Wed February 8, 2012
All Politics are Local

Mitch and the Cards v West Virginia

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is reportedly holding a grudge against U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-Wv., over a fight between their alma maters to get into the Big 12 Conference. Last fall, the University of Louisville was jockeying with West Virginia University to jump ship from the Big East Conference to Big 12 Conference. McConnell got involved in lobbying for the Louisville Cardinals, but the NCAA eventually selected Manchin’s school.

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11:01am

Wed February 8, 2012
All Politics are Local

Judge Criticizes Beshear for Records

A Western Kentucky judge criticized Gov. Steve Beshear in a newspaper commentary published this week for fighting full disclosure of child-abuse death records. Without the records, the public can't know whether the state properly protects children in abuse and neglect cases, Circuit Judge Tyler Gill wrote in a commentary provided to several newspapers. State laws on confidentiality in child-abuse and other cases are used more to hide "state incompetence or misconduct" than to protect citizens, Gill wrote. "While we can always find some downside to open government, the consequences of government secrecy are far worse."

4:14pm

Tue February 7, 2012
All Politics are Local

Judge Grants Injunction Against District Boundaries

A judge granted House Republicans and Democratic state Sen. Kathy Stein a temporary injunction Tuesday in their legal challenge of Kentucky's new legislative district boundaries. Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd extended the filing deadline for legislative candidates until 4 p.m. Friday. In an 18-page order, Shepherd blocked Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and other state election officials from implementing the new district boundaries set out in House Bill 1. The General Assembly approved HB 1 and Gov. Steve Beshear signed it into law last month.

2:40pm

Tue February 7, 2012
All Politics are Local

CHFS Secretary Resigns

Gov. Steve Beshear has announced the secretary for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has resigned her position, effective Feb. 29. Secretary Janie Miller was appointed by Beshear during his first term. The Cabinet is responsible for overseeing Medicaid and social services. Miller’s resignation comes at a time when the department’s transparency is being challenged in court. But Miller’s decision is to seek other opportunities, according to a news release sent from Beshear’s office.

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12:24pm

Tue February 7, 2012
All Politics are Local

Barr Elevated to ‘Young Guns’ Program

The National Republican Congressional Committee has raised the profile of Kentucky 6th congressional district race by elevating GOP challenger Andy Barr, who is hoping to face Democratic incumbent Ben Chandler again this fall.

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5:39pm

Mon February 6, 2012
All Politics are Local

Legislative Leaders Support Drug Bills

Gov. Steve Beshear Monday joined Attorney General Jack Conway, House Speaker Greg Stumbo, Senate Majority Leader Robert Stivers, Sen. Jimmy Higdon and other legislators to highlight broad prescription drug legislation designed to reduce the destructive impact of prescription drug abuse on Kentucky families. Multiple legislators have joined the effort by sponsoring legislation, all of which is targeted to help fight prescription drug abuse.

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9:58am

Mon February 6, 2012
All Politics are Local

Uranium Bill Reaches Stalemate

Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield says a bill to allow re-enrichment of uranium at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant has reached a stalemate in Washington. The plant in Paducah is operated by the United States Enrichment Corporation and produces low-enriched uranium for use in commercial nuclear power plants across the country. The bill would allow the plant to re-enrich leftover uranium—called “tails”—and sell it to generate power.

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5:12am

Mon February 6, 2012
All Politics are Local

McConnell's PAC Activity

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell is once again trying to become Majority Leader.  McConnell’s PAC—called the Bluegrass Committee—is in full campaign mode heading into this year's elections.  The PAC raised over $300,000 at the end of last year. It then promptly spent it all, giving most of the money to four Republican candidates for the Senate. The GOP needs to capture four Senate seats to gain the majority in that chamber.

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7:27am

Sat February 4, 2012
All Politics are Local

Hopes of Becoming Senate's Top Dog

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell is once again trying to become Majority Leader. McConnell’s PAC—called the Bluegrass Committee—is in full campaign mode heading into this year's elections. The PAC raised over $300,000 at the end of last year. It then promptly spent it all, giving most of the money to four Republican candidates for the Senate. The GOP needs to capture four Senate seats to gain the majority in that chamber.

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2:18pm

Thu February 2, 2012
All Politics are Local

House Panel Rejects Playhouse Proposal

A House panel rejected a proposal Wednesday that grew out of a Lexington mother's fight with a homeowners' association over an outdoor playhouse used by her 3-year-old son with cerebral palsy. Only six members of the House Local Government Committee voted for House Bill 160, which would do away with deed restrictions that limit structures deemed medically necessary for children 12 and younger. Six members did not vote and two voted no. The measure needed nine votes to clear the committee. Opponents of the bill said it would have needlessly involved the legislature in a "local turf battle."

5:03pm

Wed February 1, 2012
All Politics are Local

Beshear Calls for Drug Treatment Programs

An eastern Kentucky prosecutor says he's seeing a rise in armed robberies, fatal drug overdoses, and even the sale of urine for people taking drug tests.Floyd County Commonwealth's Attorney Brent Turner spoke at a prescription drug abuse summit at the University of Kentucky Tuesday. He says the epidemic is real.

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9:44am

Wed February 1, 2012
All Politics are Local

Beshear Faces Gambling Opposition

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear accused Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, on Tuesday of trying to intimidate Republican senators who support Beshear's casino gambling proposal. "He is using intimidations and threats against fellow senators, including some in his own party," Beshear said. Williams denied Beshear's claim. He told reporters that he opposes the expansion of gambling in Kentucky, but that he is not punishing senators who support it. No one is losing their committee chairmanships or other choice assignments because they disagree with him, Williams said.

4:11pm

Tue January 31, 2012
All Politics are Local

Bill Borrows Big Bucks for Broken Bridges

Kentucky needs money to fix its broken bridges but the federal fund that pays for such repairs is running a deficit. That’s why Republican Congressman Ed Whitfield wants the federal government to borrow billions of dollars so states like Kentucky can fund the work.

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5:36am

Tue January 31, 2012
All Politics are Local

Beshear Confident in Support for Gambling

Responding to critics, Governor Steve Beshear says he believes he already has ample support in the state Senate to send an expanded gambling amendment to the ballot. Beshear says there are 23 state senators who would vote in favor of the measure. That doesn’t mean all 23 support gambling though, as some senators, like Republican Damon Thayer, have said they will vote to put the issue on the ballot but aren’t supportive of gambling in Kentucky. Opponents have said the governor does not have the votes in his favor.

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7:20pm

Mon January 30, 2012
All Politics are Local

Republicans File for Fourth District

Four Republicans will compete against each other in the Fourth Congressional District primary this spring. Republicans Alecia Webb-Edgington, Thomas Massie and Brian Oerther filed their paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office today. Republican Gary Moore filed his paperwork earlier this month. Massie is the Lewis County Judge-Executive and close friends with U.S. Senator Rand Paul. While many observers expect a close primary battle, Massie doesn’t.

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7:13pm

Mon January 30, 2012
All Politics are Local

Decline of the Death Penalty

Back in the early to mid 90’s, courts were imposing well over 300 death sentences every year, but for the past 15 years that number’s been going down, and last year there were only 78 cases that ended with a call for capital punishment.  David Bruck directs the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse at Washington and Lee University.    He says capital cases are far more complex, take much longer and cost at least ten times as much to prosecute:

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4:48pm

Mon January 30, 2012
All Politics are Local

Ruling on Redistricting Delayed

A judge is expected to rule tomorrow in a lawsuit over Kentucky’s new state House and Senate redistricting maps. Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepard listened to three hours of arguments today  and told the involved parties that he will decide tomorrow whether to grant a temporary injunction.

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12:52pm

Sun January 29, 2012
All Politics are Local

Longest Serving Republican Calling it Quits

Rep. Danny Ford chats with lobbyist Paula Smith outside the Capitol last week.
Todd Kleffman/The Advocate-Messenger

Even before the House had voted to approve the redistricting plan that would reshape Danny Ford’s 80th District, the auctioneer from Mount Vernon grew wistful, foreshadowing the end of his 30-year legislative career before he announced his retirement. As he was railing against the Democrats’ redistricting plan on the House floor, Ford took time to “thank the people of Lincoln County for allowing me to serve as their state representative for all these past many years.” After the plan - which basically removed Lincoln from the 80th District and replaced it with Casey County and piece of Madison — was approved, Ford let it be known that this would be his last term, ending his run as the longest serving Republican in the state House since 1900.

2:51pm

Fri January 27, 2012
All Politics are Local

Nashville Airport Releases Paul Video

Nashville International Airport released a videotape of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., at a security checkpoint this week. The tape doesn't show Paul being irate, as a report from the Nashville Airport Department of Public Safety mentions. Instead he mostly sits, sometimes paces while talking on a phone in a clear cubicle next to the checkpoint. For a good portion of the video, Paul was obscured by a column. After some time, Paul was escorted away from the checkpoint area.

2:35pm

Thu January 26, 2012
All Politics are Local

Statewide Drug Summit Organized

Federal prosecutors in Kentucky organized the first statewide Prescription Drug Abuse Summit for Feb. 1 at the University of Kentucky's Chandler Hospital Pavilion in Lexington. According to a news release, federal prosecutors in Kentucky prosecuted approximately 120 prescription pill cases in the last two years, more than double the number of cases involving other drugs.

5:51pm

Wed January 25, 2012
All Politics are Local

Lawsuit Could Derail New Legislative Districts

Several Kentucky House Republicans are hoping to derail new legislative districts with a lawsuit challenging the redistricting map. Members of the GOP caucus and a group of private individuals could file the suit as soon as the end of this week. It will start in Franklin County Circuit Court and will include a motion to stop the redistricting maps from taking immediate effect.

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10:00am

Wed January 25, 2012
All Politics are Local

Officials React to House Bill 463

Commonwealth’s Attorney David Massamore attributes his recent bouts with high blood pressure to stress from dealing with House Bill 463. The Public Safety and Offender Accountability Act, which became law in June, has made investigating and prosecuting drug offenses harder, Massamore said. It’s an sentiment echoed by many local officials. “It does make our job more difficult,” said Hopkins County Sheriff Frankie Latham. “It’s basically made the investigation of some of these people more difficult, as well as the detention of them.”

5:11am

Wed January 25, 2012
All Politics are Local

President's Unilateral Actions Upset Kentucky Republicans

Kentucky Republicans are upset that in the State of the Union address President Obama announced new areas where he plans to bypass Congress.   Republicans control the House, but President Obama says he isn’t looking for their approval for items such as increasing scrutiny of mortgage companies, spurring clean energy development on public lands and even taking steps that he says will spur economic growth. Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul the president should have been asking Congress for more support instead of telling lawmakers what he already plans to do without their aid.

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2:33pm

Tue January 24, 2012
All Politics are Local

Officials Asked to Push for I-65 Project

An emissary of Gov. Steve Beshear asked area officials Monday to support three of the governor's budget proposals, one of which he said needs little introduction: completing the six-laning of Interstate 65 through the state. Wendell Cave, director of field services for the Department of Local Government in the 2nd Congressional District, said at Monday's meeting of the Barren River Area Development District that he knows the proposal is "dear to the heart" of Hart County Judge-Executive Terry Martin, whose county contains the lion's share of the remaining 38 miles of I-65 that are only four lanes.

10:07pm

Mon January 23, 2012
All Politics are Local

Paul Refuses Frisk; Escorted by Airport Guards

Appearing on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer on Monday, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., explained his clash with Transportation Security Administration in Nashville on Monday, and once again criticized the federal agency’s security policies.

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