All Politics are Local

1:46pm

Mon May 6, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Republicans Beef Up Campaign Army for U.S. Senate Race

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

Senator Mitch McConnell's next election is a year and a half away, yet he doesn't have a serious opponent. But this hasn't stopped him from amassing significant money and personnel for his re-election.  Each week, the effort to re-elect McConnell adds new field directors, political staff and fundraisers.

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1:35pm

Sun May 5, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Lawmakers Focused on Special House Election

Credit File Photo

The special election for the 56th House District—covering Woodford County and portions of Fayette and Franklin county—will likely be the only election this year. This puts added pressure on both parties to come through with a victory, as Democrats try to maintain their majority and Republicans attempt to make in-roads in taking the House. Republican nominee Lyen Crews faces defeat Democrat James Kay on June 25

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10:28am

Wed May 1, 2013
All Politics are Local

McConnell Announces Pro-Coal Bill in Pikeville

Credit Creative Commons

While U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell believes the new Coal Jobs Protection Act will expedite the EPA’s permitting process, he acknowledges that the bill maybe difficult to get passed during the next U.S. Senate session which begins next week. McConnell announced the new measure during a press conference at Whayne Supply in Pikeville on Monday.

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3:15pm

Tue April 30, 2013
All Politics are Local

Stumbo Encourages Beshear to Call Special Session for Redistricting

Greg Stumbo
Credit Legislative Research Commission

House Speaker Greg Stumbo is encouraging Gov. Steve Beshear to soon call a General Assembly special session so that lawmakers can pass new state legislative redistricting maps and end a federal lawsuit. Last week,  several county clerks in Northern Kentucky filed a federal lawsuit claiming the state's inability to finish redistricting violated federal law. In response, Stumbo  sent a letter to the governor encouraging him to call a special session.

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2:51pm

Tue April 30, 2013
All Politics are Local

Democrats Nominate James Kay for House Special Election

Credit Creative Commons

The Democratic candidate is in place for a key special election in Central Kentucky. Attorney James Kay of Versailles will run for the Kentucky state House seat being left vacant by Carl Rollins. Rollins is leaving office to work with two state education groups.

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12:42pm

Tue April 30, 2013
All Politics are Local

Rand Paul Endorses Mark Sanford for Congress

U.S. Senator Rand Paul

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is endorsing fellow Republican Mark Sanford's bid for the South Carolina's First Congressional District seat. The special election is next week and features Sanford, a former governor, in a tight contest against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, a political newcomer who is the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert.

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11:21am

Tue April 30, 2013
All Politics are Local

McConnell to Introduce 'Coal Jobs Protection Act'

U.S. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to announce a bill to put limits on the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of coal mining. McConnell’s bill—which he’s calling “The Coal Jobs Protection Act”—would set deadlines for the EPA to approve or veto coal mining permits. If McConnell’s bill becomes law, the agency would have 270 days to act on some permits for water pollution. For valley fill permits, the bill gives the EPA a year to conduct an environmental assessment. This is a time-intensive process that the EPA estimates takes an average of three years.

2:48pm

Mon April 29, 2013
All Politics are Local

Health Group Starts Ad Campaign in Support of Kentucky Medicaid Expansion

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

A leading health organization in Kentucky is putting the pressure on Gov. Steve Beshear to expand Medicaid services under the Affordable Care Act.  Kentucky Voices for Health Executive Director Regan Hunt says her group is launching a two-week radio ad campaign pressure Beshear to expand Medicaid. The radio ad campaign will be partnered with a month long online ad campaign.

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1:05pm

Mon April 29, 2013
All Politics are Local

Franklin County Courthouse Evacuated After Bomb Threat Found

An evacuation occurred at the temporary Franklin County courthouse Monday morning after the words “bomb in build” were found spray-painted on the building. The black spray-painting was on the left side of the building, near the door where judges enter. An employee first noticed the spray-painting about 8 a.m., when the courthouse opened. The employee notified the Franklin County Sheriff’s office, which is housed in the opposite end of the building. A search of the building turned up nothing.

12:41pm

Mon April 29, 2013
All Politics are Local

Advocate Says Charter Schools Movement May Get Bump From Carl Rollins' Resignation

Carl Rollins
Credit Legislative Research Commission

A leading Kentucky charter schools advocate says he’s hopeful the state House leadership will choose a new chairman for the House education committee who is open to charter schools. The chairmanship became vacant last week when Democratic state Rep. Carl Rollins resigned to lead the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and the CEO of the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation.

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5:13pm

Fri April 26, 2013
All Politics are Local

Richie Farmer Faces Lengthy Trial

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer may be on trial for three weeks in Frankfort’s federal courthouse, prosecutors said Thursday during Farmer’s arraignment. In addition, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Wier told Farmer he could not take a planned vacation to Mexico and must remain in the state until his trial begins. Farmer, who played on the 1992 University of Kentucky basketball squad dubbed “The Unforgettables,” pleaded not guilty to four counts of misusing state resources and one charge of accepting property in exchange for a Department of Agriculture grant.

5:15pm

Thu April 25, 2013
All Politics are Local

Richie Farmer Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Charges

Journalists meet former Agriculture Commissioner, Ex-WildCat Richie Farmer on way into federal court Thursday for hearing on charges.
Credit Pablo Alacala / Lexington Herald-Leader

Former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges that he misused more than $450,000 of state money and property during his eight years as Kentucky's top agriculture official. Farmer, a former University of Kentucky basketball player whose retired jersey hangs in Rupp Arena, appeared Thursday afternoon with his attorney, J. Guthrie True, at the federal courthouse in Lexington. A grand jury has charged Farmer, 43, with four counts of misappropriating property and money, and one count of soliciting property to influence agriculture department business.

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2:57pm

Wed April 24, 2013
All Politics are Local

Super PAC Slams Mitch McConnell Over Gun Background Check Vote

Credit Credit Executive Office of the President

A super PAC founded by former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is calling out Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell for voting against gun control measures in a new radio advertisement. Americans Responsible for Solutions was formed by Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, and is launching the spots in the Louisville and Lexington areas. Giffords, who was shot in the head during a 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., has been an outspoken proponent for gun control measures since retiring from Congress.

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2:43pm

Wed April 24, 2013
All Politics are Local

Carl Rollins' Resignation Sparks Early Campaign Battle

Credit Legislative Research Commission Carl Rollins

Kentucky state Rep. Carl Rollins is resigning his House seat effective at the end of today, becoming the state first lawmaker to announce his retirement this cycle. Rollins is resigning to become the executive director and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and the CEO of the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation.

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12:23pm

Tue April 23, 2013
All Politics are Local

Louisville Mayor Announces Re-Election Bid

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit File photo

In a message to supporters, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced he is running for re-election in 2014. The mayor had avoided the question when asked about seeking a second term, and the timing of the announcement had changed from January to mid-summer.

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11:44am

Tue April 23, 2013
All Politics are Local

Comer Finalizing Trip to Washington to Talk Hemp

James Comer
Credit File photo

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is finalizing details for an upcoming trip to Washington, D.C., to try and get a federal waiver for industrial hemp.  Earlier this year, Kentucky lawmakers passed a bill setting up a regulatory framework for hemp growing in Kentucky. Comer promises to work at the federal level for legalization or a waiver.

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5:39pm

Mon April 22, 2013
All Politics are Local

Legal Debate Over Boston Terror Suspect's Miranda Rights Continues

The White House announced on Monday that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will not be treated as an enemy combatant, which adds more nuance to the legal debate regarding the 19-year-old terror suspect's legal rights. After being taken into custody, federal authorities said Tsarnaev, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, was not read his Miranda rights. Law enforcement cited the public safety exception, which was first carved out in a 1984 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the New York v. Quarles case.

5:33pm

Mon April 22, 2013
All Politics are Local

Comer on Richie Farmer Indictment

Richie Farmer
Credit File photo

The federal indictment of former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer won't become a problem for the Department of Agriculture, Farmer's successor said on Monday. James Comer, who took over the office in 2011, and his office say they have helped with the multiple investigations of Farmer's tenure as agriculture commissioner—including those conducted by the state auditor, attorney general or others.

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5:27pm

Mon April 22, 2013
All Politics are Local

In Wake of Boston Bombings, Rand Paul Wants to Delay Immigration Reform

Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Senate

In a letter to the Senate majority leader, Republican Rand Paul says national security questions surrounding the Boston bombings need to be addressed before Congress deals with comprehensive immigration reform. The terror attacks at the Boston Marathon last week were allegedly perpetrated by the Tsarnaev brothers, who are ethnic Chechens and immigrated to the U.S. a decade ago.

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10:33am

Mon April 22, 2013
All Politics are Local

Richie Farmer Indicted by Federal Grand Jury

Richie Farmer
Credit Mike Goins / Lexington Herald-Leader

A federal grand jury has indicted former Agriculture Secretary Richie Farmer for allegedly misusing property and funds during his eight years at the helm of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. A grand jury charged Farmer, 43, with four counts of misappropriating property and one count of soliciting property to influence agriculture department business. Each charge has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The indictment follows a string of ethical and legal troubles for the former University of Kentucky basketball standout and one-time Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.

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12:00am

Mon April 22, 2013
All Politics are Local

Beshear Still Deciding on Special Session

Credit Creative Commons

Governor Steve Beshear says he's still considering whether to call a special legislative session for later this year.  A few issues remain unresolved from the last regular session, mainly redistricting and further tax reform. And Governor Beshear has been pushing for tax reform to pay for the state's education system.

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3:19pm

Thu April 18, 2013
All Politics are Local

Federal Grand Jury will Meet to Discuss Richie Farmer

Richie Farmer
Credit Lexington Herald-Leader file photo

An attorney for former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer said Wednesday that a federal grand jury in Lexington has subpoenaed former employees of the department to appear before it on Friday. Frankfort attorney J. Guthrie True said Farmer, who has been accused of more than 40 ethics violations while in office, has not been called to appear before the grand jury. True declined to identify any of the witnesses subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury.

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5:29pm

Wed April 17, 2013
All Politics are Local

General Assembly Split on Special Session

The General Assembly’s passage of pension reform last month raised hopes 2013 might be the first in seven years without a special session. But some would like the governor to call lawmakers back to Frankfort this year to tackle tax reform and redistricting.

4:54pm

Wed April 17, 2013
All Politics are Local

Governor Beshear on McConnell Secret Tapes

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Governor Steve Beshear is criticizing the secret recording of a campaign meeting of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell  that was leaked.   Two members of Progress Kentucky, Shawn Reilly and Curt Morrison, have been implicated by a Jefferson County Democratic official as being behind who secretly recorded the McConnell meeting.  Kentucky Democratic leaders have been largely silent on the situation since the news broke last week. But after being asked Wednesday about the recording, Beshear said he found the whole situation—both the secret taping and McConnell's remarks — to be awful.

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2:48pm

Mon April 15, 2013
All Politics are Local

Democratic Activist Implicated in McConnell Recording Starts Legal Fund

Curtis Morrison
Credit Rae Hodge / WFPL News

Curtis Morrison, one of two Democratic activists implicated in recording a campaign strategy session of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, is starting a legal defense fund.  Morrison tweeted out a link to the gofundme.com page Monday afternoon. The website lists a $10,000 goal.

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12:40pm

Mon April 15, 2013
All Politics are Local

Poll Shows 65 Percent of Kentuckians Oppose Same-Sex Marriage

A survey conducted by Public Policy Polling shows Kentucky voters still overwhelmingly oppose same-sex marriage despite national trends. The poll was taken in early April, and it finds 65 percent think it should remain illegal and only 27 percent support marriage equality for gay, lesbian and transgendered couples.

3:59pm

Fri April 12, 2013
All Politics are Local

Beshear Names New Labor Cabinet Secretary

FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Friday announced that Larry L. Roberts, of Frankfort, will become secretary of the Labor Cabinet effective May 16 with the resignation of acting Secretary Mark S. Brown. Brown, of Brandenburg, is resigning effective May 15 to pursue other opportunities. He is a former state representative and Meade County judge-executive and served as deputy secretary of the Labor Cabinet prior to assuming the role of acting secretary in December 2010.

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3:55pm

Fri April 12, 2013
All Politics are Local

Democrats, Progress Kentucky PAC at Odds

There’s additional confirmation today the liberal Super Pac called Progress Kentucky was behind a secret recording of a meeting between Senator Mitch McConnell and his re-election team.  It’s the second time Progress Kentucky has drawn national attention. As Kentucky Public Radio's Gabe Bullard reports, neither incident has enhanced the group’s reputation.

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12:49pm

Fri April 12, 2013
All Politics are Local

Liberal Group Blasts McConnell Over Gun Control

A liberal advocacy group is launching a controversial new ad targeting Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his opposition to gun control measure that uses an al-Qaeda recruitment video. Americans United for Change is behind the 30-second spot, which features American-born al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn explaining how lax U.S. laws do not require background checks to obtain firearms.

1:27pm

Thu April 11, 2013
All Politics are Local

EKU to Host 1st Lady Michelle Obama

  First Lady Michelle Obama will join former University of Kentucky President Dr. Charles Wethington and Kentucky author Silas House as speakers at Eastern Kentucky University’s spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 11. Three ceremonies, all in Alumni Coliseum, will recognize a total of 2,428 degree candidates.

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