All Politics are Local

1:46pm

Tue January 29, 2013
All Politics are Local

Election Analysis on Kentucky's Tea Party

Credit Creative Commons

With the news that more than a dozen tea party groups are actively recruiting a GOP candidate to run against U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014, it’s worth taking a look at how Kentucky tea party-endorsed candidates have fared in statewide or Congressional races. Since forming in the run up to the 2010 mid-term elections, Kentucky's tea party has won more than a third of the races its challenged for prominent offices, and its candidates have won several primaries over Republican establishment candidates.

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12:52pm

Tue January 29, 2013
All Politics are Local

GOP Lawmakers Enrolled in Pension Plans Despite Objections

State Rep. Brian Linder, R-Dry Ridge. Photo provided by Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.

Campaigning for the Kentucky House last year, Brian Linder said state lawmakers do not need public pensions. This year, newly elected state Rep. Brian Linder, R-Dry Ridge, has joined other legislators in the $63 million Legislators Retirement Plan. What happened? Linder and several other conservatives elected to the General Assembly in November said they belatedly learned that lawmakers legally cannot reject their pensions

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5:51pm

Mon January 28, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky House Forging Ahead with Redistricting Proposals

Despite a request from Gov. Steve Beshear to put off redistricting until later this year in a special session of the General Assembly, state House Speaker Greg Stumbo is moving forward with getting proposals on the divisive issue. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Stumbo sent a letter to House members asking them to submit proposed boundaries for new legislative districts by Feb. 1.

5:49pm

Mon January 28, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Hemp Commission Supports Senate Bill

James Comer
Credit WFPL File Photo

The Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission threw its support Monday behind a senate bill that would, among other things, establish a licensing procedure for growers of industrial hemp should the federal government allow for it. This comes as the director of the Kentucky Narcotics Officers' Association argued against steps toward legalizing industrial hemp, citing concerns that hemp would overwhelm state drug-testing labs.

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5:46pm

Mon January 28, 2013
All Politics are Local

Poll Shows Mitch McConnell Struggling for Support

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit WFPL File Photo

A new poll shows Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is struggling to retain support among voters. The Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll shows that twice as many voters are against McConnell as there are supporting him. It also finds that only one-third of Republicans support him in the 2014 election.

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11:57am

Fri January 25, 2013
All Politics are Local

Louisville Mayor Fischer Backs President Obama's Gun Control Measures

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit Gabe Bullard/WFPL

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says President Obama's proposal for gun control laws are rational and that he'd like to see new legislation passed. But those comments are in stark contrast to a state law that is forcing changes to the city's definition of deadly weapons and now allow firearms to be carried in city-owned buildings.

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10:32am

Fri January 25, 2013
All Politics are Local

Anxiety Over Gun Control Runs High in Kentucky

Gun owners in Kentucky and around the country have rushed out to buy guns in fear of proposed gun control regulations proposed by President Barack Obama. Obama signed 23 executive orders last week and outlined a plan to tighten federal regulations on guns. He has asked Congress to pass legislation that would require background checks on all firearm purchases, including from private sellers not currently required under federal law. Obama also wants Congress to ban military-style assault weapons and place a limit on high-capacity magazines.

12:52pm

Thu January 24, 2013
All Politics are Local

Beshear Unsure if Expanded Gambling Bill Will be Filed

Credit Creative Commons

The clock is ticking on the current legislative session, but efforts to push expanded gambling in the 2013  are still on-going, Gov. Steve Beshear said. “I think it’s too early to reach a conclusion yet on whether we will have a bill on expanded gaming, you know we’ve got some issues to be resolved," he said.

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5:25pm

Wed January 23, 2013
All Politics are Local

Beshear Supports Local Option Sales Tax

Steve Beshear
Credit Kentucky Governor's Office

Proponents of a local option sales tax have gained big ally in their legislative fight: Gov. Steve Beshear.  The local option sales tax would allow cities to levy an additional tax on top of the state’s current six percent sales tax for specific projects, if local voters approved the new tax. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray are the chief advocates pushing the idea, arguing their cities would use the extra revenue for infrastructure projects.

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5:24pm

Wed January 23, 2013
All Politics are Local

Conway Alleges Mortgage Swapping Company Violated State Law

Jack Conway
Credit Kentucky Attorney General's Office

Claiming they committed fraud, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has filed a suit against a mortgage company. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, or MERS, provides a marketplace for banks to trade mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. Conway says it was set up by banks to avoid the fees that must be paid when mortgages are sold and to hide the true owners of those mortgages.

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1:51pm

Wed January 23, 2013
All Politics are Local

Paul Says He Would Have Fired Secretary Hillary Clinton Over Benghazi Attack

U.S. Senator Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

At his first meeting as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton he would have fired her over the attacks at a U.S. consulate in Libya. The hearing was the first time Clinton was able to testify about the Benghazi attacks and it was marked by tense exchanges with Republican committee members. Clinton defended her actions, and called out Congress for not adequately funding security requests.

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9:19am

Wed January 23, 2013
All Politics are Local

Debt Ceiling Deal Splits Kentucky's Congressmen

Northern Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie.

The US House votes today on a Republican proposal to temporarily extend the nation’s debt ceiling.  In exchange for forcing Senate Democrats to pass a budget blueprint annually, Republicans are willing to extend the nation’s borrowing limit for three months.  And, if there’s no budget House leaders want lawmakers to temporarily forego their pay. Freshman Kentucky Republican Thomas Massie isn’t happy with the bill. 

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1:55pm

Tue January 22, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentuckian Frontrunner for U.S. Ambassadorship to Britain

Matthew Barzun
Credit U.S. State Department

Kentuckian Matthew Barzun will be the U.S. to the United Kingdom if he wants the job, The New York Times has reported, citing donors and adviser to President Obama. Barzun, a former tech executive and major Obama fundraiser, has been the front-runner for the prestigious post since November, The Times reported. If the reports are true, he'd beat out for the job the famed editor of Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour.

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1:32pm

Tue January 22, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Residents Celebrate Inauguration

Children (from left) Nidaya Fraizer, 5, Makyah McMillian, 10, Da'mya Gray, 8, Keriah Cofer-Britt, 9, and Thalia Ruiz, 10, gather around a TV at the Parker Bennett Community Center as President Barack Obama delivers his inaugural address after being sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 in Bowling Green, Ky. Several people gathered at the community center for a Presidential Inauguration watch party, which included free pizza and snacks.
Credit Nathan Morgan/The Daily News

As President Barack Obama took the oath of office Monday for the second time, Bowling Green residents were watching in Kentucky and in Washington, D.C. Children at Parker-Bennett Community Center waved star-shaped noise makers, applauded and snapped pictures on their phones as Obama gave his second inaugural address. The timing of the inauguration made it especially significant for Sierra McKinney, recreation leader at the community center. It took place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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11:30am

Tue January 22, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Tea Party Leaders Plan to Draft Challenger for Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

A coalition of more than a dozen Tea Party groups in Kentucky are issuing a stern warning to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell against co-opting the grassroots movement — and they plan to draft a challenger for the 2014 Senate primary. The United Kentucky Tea Party is made up of several independent organizations from across the state. In a press release sent late Monday evening, the group says that McConnell and state Republicans are being "intellectually dishonest" by calling anyone with the GOP leader's campaign personnel a tea party leader.

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5:57pm

Mon January 21, 2013
All Politics are Local

Paul to Introduce Bill Directing Priorities if Debt Ceiling Not Raised

Senator Rand Paul plans to introduce legislation that would prevent the federal  government from defaulting if it fails to raise the debt ceiling. Kentucky Public Radio’s Kenny Colston reports.

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2:16pm

Sun January 20, 2013
All Politics are Local

Ashley Judd: Kentucky Needs a Fighter

Actress Ashley Judd
Credit Salon

Actress Ashley Judd says the "people of Kentucky need a fighter" when asked about a potential bid against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in 2014. The Hollywood celebrity and activist has been flirting with a run for public office for months, and made the comments at the the Kentucky Society of Washington's Bluegrass Ball this weekend.

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2:13pm

Sun January 20, 2013
All Politics are Local

Rand Paul to Oppose Second Sandy Relief Bill Due to Extra Spending

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

Sen. Rand Paul said he will oppose a measure the U.S. Senate will take up this week for payments to areas of the Northeast affected by Superstorm Sandy. The Northeast does need help after the storm, but he would like to offset the costs with spending cuts elsewhere in the federal government, he said.

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1:55pm

Thu January 17, 2013
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Paul Vows to Oppose Gun Limits

Sen. Rand Paul, left, talks with World War II veteran John Hammond at the Frankfort Rotary Club meeting Wednesday afternoon.
Credit Dylan Buell/The State Journal

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul told a packed room Wednesday in the Capital Plaza Hotel that he would oppose any effort by President Barack Obama to “usurp the Second Amendment” through executive order. “I would fight that with every bone in my body,” Paul, R-Ky., told members of the Frankfort Rotary Club. Obama signed 23 executive orders Wednesday in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., massacre and other recent shootings. He also said he planned to push for legislation to ban assault weapons, limit high-capacity magazines and expand background checks.

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12:33pm

Thu January 17, 2013
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Rand Paul Discusses Recent Trip to Israel

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

Fresh off a trip to Israel, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says his mission was to prove he is an ally of the Middle Eastern nation. Many pro-Israel groups have been wary of the senator, because of his calls to reduce foreign aid. Paul’s father, Ron Paul, the former U.S. representative and Republican presidential candidate, also had a frosty relationship with pro-Israel groups.

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5:43pm

Wed January 16, 2013
All Politics are Local

Pro-Gun Kentucky Shows Little Appetite for President Obama's Gun Reforms

President Barack Obama
Credit White House

President Barack Obama’s gun control speech is being praised by supporters as a bold step, but the White House acknowledges that sweeping reforms will require support from pro gun areas like Kentucky in order to pass Congress. Surrounded by a group of elementary school students Wednesday, the president signed 23 executive actions to enforce current laws. He also urged Congress to pass a number of legislative measures such as a ban on military-style assault weapons and armor piercing bullets.

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5:39pm

Wed January 16, 2013
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U.S. Sen. Rand Paul Vows to Scrutinize President's Executive Actions on Guns

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said he'll examine President Obama's just-announced executive orders to see if the president has overstepped his authority — and, if he believes so, will introduce legislation to overturn the orders.  “Executive orders can be overturned and cannot run afoul of legislation that is the current law, if he tries to create legislation, I will oppose him,” Paul said on Wednesday.

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5:40pm

Mon January 14, 2013
All Politics are Local

Groups Work to Find Solutions for Liquor Law Reform

Credit Credit Creative Commons

If a federal judge's ruling goes into effect, businesses that sell liquor in Kentucky may see increased competition — and those businesses are encouraging legislators to act before an appeals  decision comes down. Judge John Heyburn tossed the laws last year, saying it was unconstitutional to allow places like drug stores to sell some wine and liquor, but not groceries.

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5:37pm

Mon January 14, 2013
All Politics are Local

State Lawmaker Proposes Local Option Sales Tax Bill

State Sen. Kathy Stein and Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit Legislative Research Commission/Metro Louisville

State Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, has introduced a bill in the General Assembly that would give cities a local option sales tax. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has been a major proponent of the measure, which allows local voters to decide whether to fund special projects through a temporary sales tax increase. The mayor recently outlined the measure for Metro Council members, saying it gives Louisville more independence.

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12:34pm

Mon January 14, 2013
All Politics are Local

Breaking Down Partisanship

Some 15 hundred activists have gathered, hoping to break down political gridlock.  Organizers say their ‘Meeting to Make America Work’ in New York City attracted Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.  They want to send a message to the President and Congress to ‘stop fighting and start fixing.’  So far, former Kentucky Treasurer Jonathon Miller says over a half million people and 25 members of Congress are involved in the effort.

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5:04pm

Sun January 13, 2013
All Politics are Local

Hemp Push Gains Momentum

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are hoping to make industrial hemp production legal in Kentucky for the first time in decades and other government officials have publicly voiced support for the initiative. Two legislators filed bills Friday in support of Comer and Paul’s initiative. The potential problem of keeping hemp and marijuana separate led Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer to publicly voice his opposition to Comer and Paul’s initiative.

4:58pm

Sun January 13, 2013
All Politics are Local

Liquor Law Reform May be Delayed

Work on reforming some of Kentucky’s liquor laws may wait until a federal appeals court rules on a current challenge. A federal circuit judge threw out state laws dealing with where wine and distilled spirits can be sold, calling them unfair. Currently only select stores — such as liquor stores and pharmacies — can sell those beverages, while others — such as groceries — can only sell beer.

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4:21pm

Fri January 11, 2013
All Politics are Local

Congressman Thomas Massie Defends Vote Against Sandy Relief Funding

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky.

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., is responding to an attack by state Democratic Party Chair Dan Logsdon, who chastised freshman congressman for voting against federal relief for victims of Superstorm Sandy. Logsdon told WFPL that Massie and fellow Republican Congressman Andy Barr embarrassed Kentucky and that votes for aid shouldn't be politicized. However, in statement Massie echoes Barr's comments and says that Congress should find a way to pay for disaster relief without adding to the country's debt.

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3:55pm

Fri January 11, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Chamber Joins Hemp Supporters

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has landed a high-profile supporter for his efforts to legalize hemp in Kentucky. The state’s largest business group, the Kentucky Chamber, has come out in support of industrial hemp for oil and fiber, provided there is a sound regulatory process.

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11:34am

Fri January 11, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Legislative Leaders Undecided on Whether to Delay Redistricting

Kentucky legislative districts approved in 2002.
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky legislative leaders say they haven't responded yet to Gov. Steve Beshear’s request to delay General Assembly redistricting in the 2013 session. Senate President Robert Stivers says his leadership team has not yet decided on a response and that many in his chamber are conflicted on when to address redistricting.

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