Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s re-election strategy is drawing increased criticism from political opponents and media outlets. Both of the state’s major newspapers (Courier-Journal editoral, column; Herald-Leader) have written editorials slamming Beshear for skipping a KET debate on education. He has also declined an invitation to appear at an AARP forum. Recently, the governor changed his mind and skipped an event in west Louisville, where he won by a significant margin in 2007. He has also declined invitations to appear alone on WFPL and WHAS radio.
In the race for governor of Kentucky, Democratic incumbent Steve Beshear has widened his already commadning lead over Republican David Williams to a crushing 31 point margin. The SurveyUSA was conducted in late September and shows Beshear with 57 percent to Williams with 26 percent and independent Gatewood Galbraith with 8 percent among likely voters. The poll shows 9 percent of voters still undecided.
Hardin County Clerk Kenny Tabb said every wet-dry election he has overseen has drawn at least 50 percent voter turnout, but Tuesday’s three special option elections in Elizabethtown, Radcliff and Vine Grove may kick the trend. Tabb thinks the prevalence of alcohol in Elizabethtown and Radcliff restaurants may lead to a reduction in voter interest, though he said it will be impossible to tell until the polls close Tuesday night.
Public officials are responding to the announcement that the repair of the Sherman Minton Bridge will cost $20 million and take an estimated six months. The 50-year-old span connecting Kentucky to Indiana has been shut down since September 9 due to a crack found in its load bearing structure. The announcement was made by the governors of both states on Friday, following weeks of inspection.
The public's fear of voter fraud has led more states in the past 10 years to require photo identification of voters, a national expert testified before state legislators Tuesday. Whether Kentucky should require a photo ID at the polls has become a campaign issue in the Kentucky secretary of state race and has been pondered by lawmakers. Voter ID laws have spread across the country in the past 10 years more rapidly than most election issues, said Jennie Bowser, a senior fellow with the National Conference of State Legislatures, who spoke Tuesday before the legislative Interim Joint Task Force on Elections.
Steve Humphress, general counsel for the state Alcoholic Beverage Control, makes a presentation explaining what would result from a "yes" vote in the wet-dry election for Elizabethtown, Radcliff and Vine Grove.
Credit Jill Pickett / The News-Enterprise
Residents of Elizabethtown, Radcliff and Vine Grove got a glimpse of what their cities might look like should voters choose yes next Tuesday in the wet-dry elections. The Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control held an informational forum Monday at the Historic State Theater, where it walked through the licensing process and limitations should the cities go wet.
Lancaster and Garrard County officials swapped opinions Monday about creating a commission to study a merged charter-county form of government. Representatives from the Kentucky League of Cities, Kentucky Association of Counties, Bluegrass Area Development District and Department for Local Government attended Monday’s meeting at the request of the Lancaster City Council to offer answers and opinions.
An Ohio-based organization is planning to run ads in Kentucky supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams, but it’s unclear who is funding the group. Restoring America registered with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance on Monday, but little else is known about the group other than its Ohioan supporters and a filing address listed at a UPS store in Lexington.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., issued a statement responding to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who visited Louisville on Monday to support President Obama’s jobs bill. Geithner toured the UPS air hub and said if Congress would pass the American Jobs Act it would help local companies by investing $450 million in Kentucky railways, roads and aviation. But McConnell says if the White House is serious about job creation it will give up the jobs plan and go in the opposite direction.
The US Senate passed a temporary spending bill that averts a government shutdown this weekend, but they did it without help from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. One senator likened the deal to a “magic” happening at the last minute. Now the government will have its coffers refilled. This budget fight hinged on whether to pay for federal disaster assistance immediately after an emergency or put off those payments until a later date.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says President Barack Obama’s jobs bill would help business grow by investing in Kentucky railways, roads and aviation. Geithner toured the UPS air hub, Worldport, in Louisville on Monday and said in order to improve the struggling economy, business needs help. Geithner’s appearance to promote Mr. Obama’s American Jobs Act was the third by a White House cabinet member in the past week.
In the race for governor of Kentucky, Republican David Williams and independent Gatewood Galbraith will square off during a televised debate Monday focusing on education. The forum will air statewide on Kentucky Education Television, but will not include Democratic incumbent Steve Beshear, who declined to appear. Education advocates are pleased with the focus on education, but there are mixed reviews about the governor’s decision to skip the forum, which the Lexington Herald Leader derided as “arrogant” and showing a lack of respect for voters.
There is no conflict of interest between Scott County Magistrate Bill Parker’s position on fiscal court and his job with Georgetown-Scott County Parks and Recreation, said the state attorney general’s office. In an informal opinion written by Assistant Attorney General Aaron S. Ament, the attorney general’s office determined that because parks and recreation is a joint agency of the Georgetown and Scott County governments, Parker’s position on fiscal court and in parks and recreation did not violate the Kentucky Constitution.
The Kentucky Democratic Party is calling on Republican attorney general candidate Todd P’Pool to explain a decade-old 911 call made by the Hopkins County Attorney’s aunt. Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported about an entry in a police log that showed a caller accusing the GOP nominee of causing a disturbance.
U.S. Senate candidate and Indiana Congressman Joe Donnelly, D-In., is challenging the bi-partisan super committee to use their power to force action on job creation. The 12-member panel is charged with finding an additional $1.5 trillion in debt savings over the next decade. If the committee fails to come up with a deficit reduction plan then $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts to domestic and military spending will kick-in.
The fact that the Brent Spence Bridge sits squarely between the home states of House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is not just a coincidence -- it's the reason for the president's visit on Thursday, a White House spokesman said. "It says a lot that the bridge that would connect the states of two such powerful leaders would be considered functionally obsolete," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told the Enquirer in an exclusive interview Tuesday.
Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams released his third TV ad in the race for Kentucky governor Wednesday, which embraces his reputation for not “playing too nice” in Frankfort. The spot features two men discussing Williams’s platform to cut spending and reform the tax code, adding that he will stand up to President Obama. The state Senate president’s likeability have plagued him in the polls and the ad seeks to pivot that to Williams fighting for job losses to neighboring states. Check it out:
Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., questioned the motives of President Obama’s planned visit to the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati, alleging it’s more about his re-election than solving the country’s economic woes.
The fact that the Brent Spence Bridge sits squarely between the home states of House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is not just a coincidence -- it's the reason for the president's visit on Thursday, a White House spokesman said.
The voting rights of Kentucky’s homeless citizens and convicted felons were key points of contention during last night’s election forum on Kentucky Educational Television. KET hosted candidates in the race for secretary of state, who supervises the Commonwealth’s elections. As WEKU’S Stu Johnson reports, they differed over the rules that govern voters.
The Judicial Conduct Commission, a state panel that disciplines judges, has found Harlan Circuit Court Judge Russell Alred guilty on nine charges of misconduct and concluded that removal from office was warranted in the case. The decision was unanimous with the judges voting 6-0. In the commission’s ruling, which was released Monday morning, the judges stated that the actions of Alred “show a blatant and persistent failure to uphold the impartiality and integrity of the judiciary.” Several of the counts that Alred was found guilty of involve his failure to recuse himself from cases
The candidates for secretary of state will meet for a debate on Kentucky Educational Television Monday night. Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes and Republican Bill Johnson will discuss a variety of issues, including voting rights and business filings in the commonwealth. The campaign has been defined by their disagreement over whether homeless people should be able to register to vote without an address.
Covington Mayor Denny Bowman at work in his office two years ago.
Credit Patrick Reddy / Kentucky Enquirer
The Internal Revenue Service wants to stay in Covington, keeping several thousand jobs in the city - and Covington Mayor Denny Bowman plans to step down from office Sept. 30, after 27 years working for the city. The two stories became interwoven Friday when Bowman, contacted for his comments about a proposed letter of intent between the city and federal government over the IRS facility, complained City Manager Larry Klein and other city staff had not kept him updated about the IRS plans.
A contested mayoral election in Barren County is being appealed to the Kentucky Supreme Court. The attorney for Cave City Mayor Bob Hunt filed a motion for discretionary review Thursday, urging the state’s high court to overturn the decision of two lower courts to declare the 2010 mayoral election in Cave City null and void. Hunt, the incumbent, garnered the most votes in last year’s election against Dwayne Hatcher and Larry Davidson, defeating Hatcher by two votes Nov. 4.
After staging a sit-in for about seven months at Gov. Steve Beshear’s office to protest mountaintop removal, some 20 people celebrated at Frankfort's Kentucky Coffeetree Café Thursday night. Organizers also brainstormed ideas on how to keep the protest of the controversial mining technique moving forward, said Andy McDonald, a participant and supporter of the sit-ins. The protesters are also looking at other forms of civil disobedience besides a sit-in.
For more than a decade, community leaders have been trying to make the case that replacing the aging Brent Spence Bridge is critically important for the entire nation, not just Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. They’ll get that chance next week, when President Barack Obama visits the bridge to tout the importance of it and other infrastructure projects.
Kentucky would have no state personal and corporate income taxes under an economic plan released Wednesday by state Senate President and Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams. The Burkesville Republican faces Democratic incumbent Gov. Steve Beshear and Independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith in the November 2011 election. Williams' plan would eliminate state income taxes and suspend many other taxes on businesses to spur job growth. Some sort of sales tax or other tax on consumption could replace the revenue, Williams said.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., received an emergency briefing from federal officials regarding the Sherman Minton Bridge on Wednesday. The bridge was recently closed after an inspector found a crack in the main load-bearing portion of the 50-year-old span, which connects Louisville to southern Indiana.