All Politics are Local

1:42pm

Tue May 14, 2013
All Politics are Local

Independent House candidate proposes debates

John-Mark Hack.

An independent candidate for the vacant 56th House District seat proposed a series of debates Monday leading to the June 25 special election. John-Mark Hack, a founding partner in Marksbury Farm Market in Lancaster and chairman of the anti-gambling group Stop Predatory Gambling, suggested a series of June debates in Franklin, Woodford and Fayette counties and on cn|2’s Pure Politics program.  Read more...

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3:58pm

Mon May 13, 2013
All Politics are Local

Poll Shows Major Support for Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana dispensary in California.

A new poll shows 78 percent of Kentuckians support the legalization of medical marijuana, while others would be fine with widespread legalization. The Kentucky Health Issues Poll has conducted polling on a wide array of issues for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky over the past few months, from a statewide smoking ban to health insurance coverage. 

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12:00am

Mon May 13, 2013
All Politics are Local

Comer Calls Trip to Washington a 'Success'

Credit File photo

A trio of Kentuckians who favor the legalization of hemp says a trip to Washington D.C. to meet with lawmakers and executive branch officials was beneficial. Former state treasurer Jonathan Miller, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and State Senator Paul Hornback spent three days in D.C. pushing for either the national legalization of industrial hemp, or a waiver to grow it in the Commonwealth.

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3:08pm

Fri May 10, 2013
All Politics are Local

Ben Chandler to Lead Kentucky Humanities Council

The Kentucky Humanities Council has named former Congressman Ben Chandler as its new executive director. The non-profit group is not affiliated with the state, but works closely with state tourism and arts organizations. It is affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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11:56am

Fri May 10, 2013
All Politics are Local

Senator Mitch McConnell Questions Governor's Decision to Expand Medicaid

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Senate

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell questioned Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear's long-awaited decision to expand Medicaid coverage under the president's health care law, arguing it will expose Kentuckians to increasing costs. As Kentucky Public Radio's Kenny Colston reports, Beshear, a Democrat, announced the state's Medicaid program will extend coverage to over 300,000 Kentuckians under the Affordable Care Act or what opponents calls Obamacare.

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11:40am

Fri May 10, 2013
All Politics are Local

Group Says Rand Paul's Proposals Would Strip Environmental Protection

Credit U.S. Senate

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has introduced three amendments to a bill before the Senate that environmental groups say would gut protections for the environment. Rand Paul and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin introduced the amendments to the Water Resources Development Act, which authorizes flood protection measures and infrastructure improvements.

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4:49pm

Wed May 8, 2013
All Politics are Local

Congressman John Yarmuth Optimistic on Immigration Reform

John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Appearing on MSNBC Wednesday, Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., says he is optimistic comprehensive immigration reform will pass in Congress this year despite an undertone of setbacks. The "gang of eight" in the Senate are trying to gain a super-majority as Democrats and Republicans continue to negotiate. Among the issues being hashed out are provisions dealing with a pathway to citizenship that are linked to tighter enforcement of the U.S. borders.

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4:45pm

Wed May 8, 2013
All Politics are Local

Jack Conway, Hal Rogers Protest Urban Outfitters' Prescription Bottle Merchandise

Two Kentucky elected leaders are joining their peers in asking a national clothing retailer to stop selling questionable pint and shot glasses. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers are asking retailer Urban Outfitters to stop selling an array of pint glasses, shot glasses and flasks that are made to look like prescription pill bottles.

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9:28am

Tue May 7, 2013
All Politics are Local

Gun Control Groups Petition Mitch McConnell to Support Background Checks Bill

A protestor holds a sign calling on Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to support gun background checks legislation
Credit Phillip M. Bailey

Gun control advocates rallied outside of Republican Mitch McConnell’s downtown Louisville office to deliver a petition asking Kentucky’s senior senator to change his position on expanded background checks. Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Moms Demand Action had over 30 members demonstrating outside McConnell's office before delivering 1,200 signatures urging Congress to support "sensible" gun reforms.

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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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