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November 27, 2015

Posts in "Kentucky"

November 24, 2015

Kentucky Governor Restores Thousands of Ex-Felons’ Right to Vote

 (File Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

As Kentucky Gov. Steven L. Beshear, a Democrat, prepares to leave office, he is attempting to leave his mark on an issue that has made his state an outlier.

On Tuesday, he issued an executive order that put in place an automatic process to restore voting rights to nonviolent, ex-felons once they have completed their sentence — a move that might allow 170,000 more Kentuckians the right to register to vote.  Full story

By Eli Yokley Posted at 4:22 p.m.

November 4, 2015

Did Bevin ‘Trump’ Conway in Kentucky? Not Quite

With his wife Glenna Bevin, center, and Lieutenant Governor-elect Jenean Hampton, right, looking on, Kentucky Republican Governor-elect Matt Bevin, speaks to his supporters at the Republican Party victory celebration, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

With his wife Glenna Bevin, center, and Lieutenant Governor-elect Jenean Hampton, right, looking on, Kentucky Republican Governor-elect Matt Bevin, speaks to his supporters at the Republican Party victory celebration, Tuesday,  in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Update: 5:17 p.m. | If you ask Democrats in Washington, the blame for Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway’s stunning loss Tuesday night to Republican Matt Bevin falls on the unpopularity of political insiders during a year in which outsiders Donald Trump and Ben Carson are leading Republican presidential primary polls.

“Unfortunately, he ran into the unexpected headwinds of Trump-mania, losing to an outsider candidate in the Year of the Outsider,” said Elisabeth Pearson, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association, a group which spent around $5 million in Conway’s favor, in a statement after the election.

Full story

November 3, 2015

Election Day 2015: Republicans Win Big

With his wife Glenna Bevin, center, and Lieutenant Governor-elect Jenean Hampton, right, looking on, Kentucky Republican Governor-elect Matt Bevin, speaks to his supporters at the Republican Party victory celebration, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Bevin speaks to supporters Tuesday night as his wife Glenna, center, and Lt. Gov.-elect Jenean Hampton listen (Photo By Timothy D. Easley/AP)

In a major blow to Democrats who have struggled to hold their ground in a once reliable part of the country, Republican businessman Matt Bevin beat Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway in their race for the state’s governor’s mansion.

The Kentucky race was among a number of races across the country in an off-year election that political observers use as a bellwether for a full slate of elections, including the one for the White House, in 2016.

Full story

October 19, 2015

RGA Going Back on Air in Kentucky for Matt Bevin

(File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The RGA pulled ads supporting Bevin about three weeks ago. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 9:05 a.m. | Nearly three weeks after pulling its advertising from the Bluegrass State’s airwaves, the Republican Governors Association will go back on the air for the final two weeks of the hotly contested race for the keys to the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion, a source told CQ Roll Call.

On Monday evening, a source close to the RGA said the group sees the race between Republican Matt Bevin and Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway as winnable, and said it will be back on television there through Election Day.
Full story

September 30, 2015

7 Shameless Fundraising Pitches to End the Third Quarter

(File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Email inboxes across the country start to flood with fundraising pitches that seemingly to become more shameless each time, like one sent Tuesday by Bevin. (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Four times a year, when campaigns reach their quarterly fundraising reporting deadlines, email inboxes across the country start to flood with pitches that seemingly become more shameless each time.

This quarter — as gubernatorial campaigns near their end in Kentucky and Louisiana; presidential campaigns post their last quarterly figures before crunch time begins ahead of the early contests; and House and Senate campaigns try to prove their competency to donors and analysts — that shamelessness was alive and well.     Full story

April 27, 2015

‘Mistake’ to Oust Hussein, Paul Says in Brooklyn

Stand With Rand

The senator had a chance to showcase the Paul foreign policy platform. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BROOKLYN — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul told a group of Jewish community leaders here Monday he thinks the United States made an error ousting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2003.

While insisting he is not an isolationist, Paul said, “I think it was a mistake to topple Hussein. Hussein was the bulwark against Iran.” He told the group assembled here at the headquarters of Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools that now, “Iraq is a vassal state for Iran.”

Full story

April 7, 2015

Rand Paul 2016 Getting Started in Louisville

Paul is seeking the Republican presidential nomination (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul is seeking the Republican presidential nomination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is making it official Tuesday: He will seek the Republican nomination for president.

Paul will announce his candidacy to a crowd at the Galt House in Louisville. He’ll follow his announcement with a tour through the early presidential primary and caucus states — New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada — over the remainder of the congressional recess week.

Full story

December 2, 2014

Rand Paul Adviser Talks 2016 Plans

rand paul

Paul is a Kentucky Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced Tuesday he will seek re-election to the Senate, while weighing a run for president as well.

That decision will likely come in early spring, said Paul adviser Doug Stafford in an afternoon conference call with reporters.

Earlier Tuesday, one of Paul’s Republican colleagues in the Senate, Rob Portman of Ohio, announced he would not run for president, citing his Senate duties. Stafford brushed off such concerns on Paul’s part. Full story

November 20, 2014

Josh Holmes, the Mastermind of Team Mitch

Holmes, right, accompanied McConnell at an election eve campaign stop at an airport in Bowling Green, Ky. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Much of the movie “Fargo” takes place in Minnesota, the home state of the aide in charge of the campaign that propelled Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell to the role of Senate majority leader in the next Congress.

It’s fitting that Josh Holmes, the senior adviser whom McConnell commended on stage at his election night gathering in Louisville, would hail from Minnesota, given that another former chief of staff, Billy Piper, once said McConnell was the wood chipper in the movie’s gruesome final scene.

Personality-wise, Holmes does not fit the billing for a Coen Brothers film. The hard-nosed operative behind one of the cycle’s best campaigns is classic “Minnesota nice,” said former Sen. Norm Coleman. Holmes was regional coordinator for the Minnesota Republican’s 2002 Senate campaign and then joined his office on Capitol Hill.

Full story

November 4, 2014

McConnell Warns Senate Control Could Be Unclear Until January

McConnell, right, is the Senate Minority Leader. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Photo)

BOWLING GREEN, Ky., — At the end of a full day of flying around the Bluegrass State, Sen. Mitch McConnell presented the state of play on the national landscape like a prognosticator instead of a pol who holds the title of Senate minority leader.

“We think we have a good chance to take the Senate,” McConnell said of the Republicans’ prospects. “The suspense won’t last much longer. Hopefully we’ll find out tomorrow night instead of December or January, but there could be additional races beyond tomorrow night.”

“There could be another election in Louisiana, and their could be another election in Georgia,” he said.

In Georgia, a runoff between Republican David Perdue and and Democrat Michelle Nunn would run past the scheduled opening of the new Congress, which could make organizing the chamber nearly impossible if the result could determine which party is in charge.

“I think it’s uncharted territory. Hopefully it will be decided tomorrow night, and we won’t have to worry about it,” McConnell said. Full story

November 1, 2014

Reid: Iowa Loss Would Mean Republican Senate Majority (Updated)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:27 p.m., Nov. 1 | Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may have just unwittingly given Minority Leader McConnell something to smile about.

“What Joni Ernst would mean, coming to the United States Senate, is that Mitch McConnell would be the leader of the Senate, someone who agrees with her on virtually everything. Think what that would mean to our country,” Reid told progressives Saturday, when asked about Ernst’s chances in the open-seat race in Iowa.

That sure sounds like Reid believes his Republican leadership counterpart is going to win in Kentucky on Tuesday.

Reid then reprised familiar lines about the increase in the number of cloture motions and the history of the filibuster.

(Join us on Election Night: Live Stream With Analysis, Results and More at

Full story

October 27, 2014

McConnell Brings Back the Bloodhounds for Closing Week in Kentucky (Video)

Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell is calling out the dogs — but this time there’s some fun involved.

The Senate minority leader’s campaign for re-election in Kentucky launched a new ad Monday evening that features McConnell surrounded by bloodhounds. It harkens back to his very first Senate campaign, when he upset Democrat Walter Dee Huddleston in 1984.

With McConnell facing a competitive race against Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, the current secretary of state, he’s unveiling a more light-hearted ad for the final week, which was featured on local news in Louisville Monday evening.

“You know, a lot of people try to tell me how to do my commercials,” McConnell says in the ads, which features the Republican leader in a variety of preposterous situations and also features a talking baby.

Full story

October 24, 2014

Most Vulnerable Senators, Ranked by Their Wealth

McConnell is the richest on our most vulnerable list. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The most vulnerable senators who face the voters in less than two weeks run the gamut from multimillionaires to one of the poorest on Capitol Hill, based on Roll Call’s Wealth of Congress ranking of the minimum net worth of every single lawmaker.

Two senators in tough spots on Nov. 4 are members of the 50 Richest list. One of the vulnerable senators has a negative minimum net worth.

Ironically, given the market for ex-senators on K Street and elsewhere, most could see a substantial improvement in their personal finances should they lose. (See Cantor, Eric).

Here’s a breakdown from our most recent 10 Most Vulnerable Senators list, appearing in order of their minimum net worth:

Full story

October 1, 2014

Bill Clinton Appears in Kentucky Senate Race Ad

Former President Bill Clinton stars in a new ad for Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes’ bid to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The spot marks the former president’s first foray into the 2014 airwaves in a Senate race, the Grimes campaign told WHAS-TV in Louisville, which first reported on the spot. The Kentucky Senate race is rated Leans Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Full story

September 29, 2014

Ad Highlights Mitch McConnell’s Role in Resolving Case (Video)

mitch mcconnell

McConnell's new ad highlights his role in resolving a parent child abduction. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign is highlighting his efforts to resolve an overseas parental child abduction case, with the child’s mother sharing with Kentucky voters the story she previously told at a Senate hearing.

The campaign has put the account of Noelle Hunter and her daughter Maayimuna “Muna” N’Diaye in a new TV ad, highlighting the Republican leader’s personal involvement in getting N’Diaye returned to the United States from Mali, where she was taken by her father. The father disregarded an order of a Kentucky judge regarding shared parental rights. N’Diaye returned to the United States in July.

The minute-long campaign spot featuring Hunter will air statewide, and the campaign told CQ Roll Call the ad buy is at least in the six-figure range. That suggests if it gets resonance, the ad could air even more frequently between now and November. Full story

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