Politics

Political news

Barr Files Seeking a Fourth Term in Congress

Jan 4, 2018
kentucky.com

Sixth District Congressman Andy Barr is officially seeking a fourth term in Washington.  The 44 year old Lexington attorney filed his candidacy papers in Frankfort Thursday.

The congressman calls 2017 a ‘landmark year’, claiming sustained economic growth and a federal tax cut as two examples. 

Stu Johnson

Former Lexington Vice Mayor Linda Gorton is entering the race for urban county government’s top job. 

Gorton, who spent 16 years on the city council, made her entry into the mayor’s race Tuesday morning before a group of supporters downtown. “I will roll up my sleeves, work tirelessly toward consensus and unity, be respectful of all opinions, and see issues through to common sense solutions,” offered Gorton.

Gorton says part of that work will be finding ways for cities to help with state pension reforms.

wkms.org

State Rep. Dan Johnson committed suicide Wednesday evening, two days after the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published accusations that he sexually assaulted a minor.

Johnson was a preacher from Mt. Washington in Bullitt County. He shot himself on a bridge over the Salt River, according to WDRB.

Johnson posted a suicide note on Facebook Wednesday evening calling the accusations false and telling conservatives to “take a stand.”


Associated Press-Adam Beam

A gay man who was denied a marriage license by Rowan County’s Clerk has officially filed to run against her in 2018.

David Ermold filed Wednesday to run for county clerk.

lexingtonky.gov

Veteran Lexington council member Kevin Stinnett plans to seek the office of mayor.  The announcement comes on the day Lexington Mayor Jim Gray launched his campaign for 6th District congressman. 


Stu Johnson

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has announced he will seek the Sixth District congressional seat currently held by Republican Andy Barr. 

The mayor, in his second term leading Lexington government, joins three other Democrats in the May primary race.  Those candidates are state Senator Reggie Thomas, retired Marine Colonel Amy McGrath, and retired state engineer Geoff Young. 

Lexington Herald-Leader/Kentucky.com

The new leader of the Kentucky Democratic Party says the “Republican experiment” has failed. 

 

Chairman Ben Self accuses the GOP of waging a war on the middle class by creating right-to-work and prevailing wage laws. 


Lexington Herald-Leader/Kentucky.com

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Democratic Party has elected a new chair.

The party said in a news release Saturday that its State Central Executive Committee elected entrepreneur Ben Self.  


Former Kentucky Speaker Hospitalized Following Resignation

Nov 10, 2017

Kentucky’s former Republican House speaker has been hospitalized days after resigning his leadership position amid sexual harassment allegations.

Hoover Scandal Disrupts Pension Debate

Nov 8, 2017

Last week, Kentucky lawmakers were focused on the state’s ailing pension systems.  Gov. Matt Bevin had just released a controversial plan to switch most workers into 401(k)-style plans that drew fire from public employees.

Then, sexual harassment allegations exploded in Frankfort, implicating the Speaker of the House and other Republican lawmakers.   

The scandal has taken lawmakers’ eyes off the ball on pension reform, and it’s unclear if they’ll get back on track.

 


Pablo Alcala palcala@herald-leader.com

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis says she will run for reelection next year. One of the men who was denied a license by Davis in 2015 is considering running against her.   


Ky House Speaker Resigns Post After Texts With Staffer

Nov 5, 2017
Lexington Herald-Leader/Kentucky.com File photo

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's Republican House speaker has resigned his leadership position after acknowledging he settled sexual harassment claims from one of his staffers last month.

Jeff Hoover announced his decision Sunday.

Ryland Barton, Kentucky Public Radio

Republicans in Kentucky’s House of Representatives say Speaker Jeff Hoover still has their support after a report alleging he secretly settled a sexual harassment complaint made by a staffer. 

GOP House members discussed Hoover’s position at closed-door meeting Friday.


kentucky.com

A solid majority of Kentuckians is expressing strong dissatisfaction with the performance of Congress.  A poll conducted this month by researchers at Western Kentucky University gave the U.S. House and Senate an 18-percent approval rating. Joel Turner heads the Social Science Research Center at WKU, and says respondents sounded familiar concerns.  “They had the perception that Congress isn’t doing anything.

Lisa Autry

U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is downplaying the indictment of President Trump’s former campaign manager.   Paul Manafort and an aide are the first to be criminally charged in the investigation into possible Russian influence in U.S. politics. 

Senator Paul says the charges have nothing to do with collusion with Russia and instead accuse Manafort of money laundering and not paying taxes before going ever joining the Trump campaign.

Cheri Lawson

The Trump administration last month announced plans to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals  program.  It gives temporary protection to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children.

With DACA ending next March, Congress has fewer than six months to find a legislative alternative. 

After being bullied on social media, a college student in Lexington is doing what she can to help others like herself.


Daniel Desrochers ddesrochers@herald-leader.com

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and GOP legislative leaders have unveiled a summary of their proposed solution for Kentucky’s public pension crisis.

Under the plan, revealed Wednesday morning, and reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader/Kentucky.com, teachers and state and local government employees hired after July 1, 2018, no longer will receive defined-benefits pensions that guarantee them payments throughout their retirements, Bevin said.   


Democrats Target Rep. Andy Barr in Radio Ad

Oct 5, 2017
kentucky.com

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — National Democrats are targeting a Kentucky congressman in a radio ad campaign attacking Republican efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Thursday the radio ad will run in 11 GOP-held districts, including the 6th District in Kentucky.


Rep. Andy Barr on Graham-Cassidy Health Bill

Sep 22, 2017
barr.house.gov

The U.S. Senate could vote next week on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

Although still a major question mark, proponents have argued the chance of passage for this bill is better compared to a previous GOP health reform measure that failed at the end of July.


Groups Review State Pension Reform Proposals

Sep 18, 2017
kentucky.com

As they draft pension reforms, Kentucky legislative leaders are seeking feedback from various interest groups. 

Indications are the state’s 138 lawmakers will go to Frankfort sometime in October to vote on changes to state public retirement programs.


A Kentucky middle school teacher says Gov. Matt Bevin delivered a “low blow” when he publicly scolded her in a Facebook Live video Monday night.

Bevin displayed a one-sentence email — with a curse word redacted — sent from teacher Corinne Ellis to kick off an hour-long live video session in which he selected questions from state workers about the state’s pension crisis and potential changes.

McConnell to Consider Bipartisan Plan to Pay Health Insurers

Aug 7, 2017

A week after an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he'd consider a bipartisan effort to continue payments to insurers to avert a costly rattling of health insurance markets.

McConnell told reporters Saturday there is "still a chance" the Senate could revive the measure to repeal and replace "Obamacare," but he acknowledged the window for that is rapidly closing.

The Kentucky senator noted Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is working on "some kind of bipartisan approach" that would involve subsidies for insurance companies.

5:30 pm: Even though there aren’t any major elections this year to stoke the political flames, Kentucky politicians had plenty of rhetoric to hurl at each other at the annual Fancy Farm picnic.

Bobby Richardson, a former Democratic speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, emceed the event and encouraged the speakers and crowd to have a “civil afternoon.” But he still took his turn at landing verbal punches at the participants.

The Fancy Farm Picnic kicks off today in Graves County in far-west Kentucky. The annual political speaking event takes place in the afternoon, drawing politicians and barbecue lovers from around the state.

Before a Democratic dinner Friday evening, Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear stoked the flames of an ongoing feud with Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

Beshear said he had alerted federal authorities about a house Bevin purchased from a political donor and state contractor.

Bevin Wins Property Tax Appeal Over Anchorage Home

Aug 4, 2017

Gov. Matt Bevin has won an appeal over the official value of his mansion on the outskirts of Louisville.

The governor had appealed the official assessment after the Courier-Journal first reported that Bevin paid nearly $1 million less for the property than the county’s estimate of its worth.


West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced he is switching party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.

 

Justice made the announcement during a campaign rally held Thursday night in Huntington for President Donald Trump.

Retired Marine Lt. Col. Amy McGrath's political ad took the Internet (or at least the political corner of the Internet) by storm this week, but she tells NPR that she doesn't typically love being fussed over.

"People who know me personally know me as an introvert," she said. "I'm not somebody who seeks attention."

No matter, though; when the Kentucky native released an ad announcing she would run in 2018 as a Democrat in her state's 6th Congressional District, she earned swooning praise from liberals and even impressed some conservatives. In the ad, McGrath took aim not only at the incumbent, Republican Rep. Andy Barr, but also made a blistering attack on fellow Kentuckian Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader.

President Trump’s proposal to cut legal immigration by half and consider English language and job skills has set off a controversy about whether the nation is changing the welcoming message of the Statue of Liberty. The proposed immigration rules could affect businesses in Kentucky that face a shortage of entry- and mid-level workers.

When you talk to business owners in Kentucky, many say they have positions that are not filled because they can’t find enough people with the right skills, or willing to do the job. Some don’t arrive at work on time and some can’t pass the drug test.

As Gov. Matt Bevin’s mansion was inspected Tuesday by a board that will determine how much it’s worth, the governor lashed out on Twitter at reporters covering the meeting.

The value of Bevin’s home, located in the outskirts of Louisville, has been scrutinized in recent months after the Courier-Journal first reported he paid significantly less than the official estimate of the property’s value for the mansion and surrounding 10 acres.

Bevin bought the home for $1.6 million from Neil Ramsey, an investment manager and political donor whom the governor appointed to the Kentucky Retirement Systems board of trustees.

A judge has dismissed a criminal charge against a Republican state representative in Kentucky. 

Pages