Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 2, 2014

Posts in "Kentucky"

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)

Ad Highlights Mitch McConnells Role in Resolving Case (Video)

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

September 26, 2014

McConnell, Grimes Split on Marijuana Legalization Debate

McConnell, Grimes Split on Marijuana Legalization Debate

Marijuana accessories are pictured in Terrapin Care Station, a marijuana dispensary, in Boulder, Colo. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The national discussion about legalizing marijuana has now surfaced in Kentucky’s Senate race.

A day after Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes encouraged a conversation about it, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell voiced his opposition to following Colorado’s lead and legalizing marijuana more broadly in an interview on a local radio station Friday.

“I’m against legalizing marijuana,” the Republican said. “Certainly it’s not in the same category as heroin, but I think to begin … to sort of send the message that we’re giving up, you know, that this is just the way it’s going to be, then one thing leads to another and pretty soon … you completely transform your society in a way that I think certainly most Kentuckians would not agree with.”

Full story

September 16, 2014

Mitch McConnell Rapid Response Ad Features Obama

Mitch McConnell Rapid Response Ad Features Obama

McConnell's campaign is using this official photo of Obama shooting clay targets (Pete Souza/White House)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign has taken rapid response to the airwaves.

The Kentucky Republican is out with a new TV ad Tuesday rebutting a spot Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes released Monday morning to CQ Roll Call.

The Grimes ad featured the Kentucky secretary of state skeet shooting and highlighting differences from President Barack Obama on several policy issues, including guns and the environment. The McConnell response, which the campaign says is backed by a significant six-figure buy, connects Grimes’ past support of the Democratic Party platform. Full story

September 15, 2014

Alison Lundergan Grimes Shoots Skeet in New Ad (Video) (Updated)

Alison Lundergan Grimes Shoots Skeet in New Ad (Video) (Updated)

McConnell, center, is the minority leader. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:57 p.m. | The latest television spot from Alison Lundergan Grimes shows her skeet shooting on a farm as part of the Senate nominee’s attempt to create distance with an unpopular president in the midterms.

The Kentucky Democrat will face Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in November. In the spot, after firing a few rounds at clay pigeons, Grimes looks at the camera and says “I’m not Barack Obama. I disagree with him on guns, coal and the EPA.”

Full story

March 6, 2014

McConnell Dodges Criticism From Both Sides With Vote on Gillibrand Bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made what appeared to be a politically savvy move Thursday, voting to advance a measure from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to remove the prosecution of serious crime, including sexual assault, from the military chain of command.

McConnell was one of 11 Republicans to vote to break a filibuster of the bill, which had the support of conservative firebrands Rand Paul, also of Kentucky, and Ted Cruz. Though the measure failed to receive the 60 votes necessary to proceed, McConnell’s vote could potentially inoculate him from attacks on both his left and right flank.

McConnell, who has the endorsement of Paul, has been careful this Congress especially to vote with the junior senator on as many measures as possible. The veteran Kentucky lawmaker is facing a challenge from conservative Matt Bevin, who likely would have attacked McConnell for breaking with Paul and Cruz.

Full story

November 1, 2013

Can These 2016 Prospects Seek Higher Office and Re-Election?

Can These 2016 Prospects Seek Higher Office and Re Election?

Rubio could run for president in 2016. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate class of 2010 produced a handful of GOP rising stars, some whom may run for president or vice president as soon as 2016.

But the timing presents a problem for these Republicans: Not all states allow candidates to appear on a ballot twice. This would negate their ability to run for re-election to the Senate and president or vice president at the same time.

Roll Call often addresses this issue in its weekly series “Farm Team,” which examines the future candidates and politicking in every state. Here is how three could-be contenders stack up with state laws: Full story

August 21, 2013

EMILY’s List Endorses Mitch McConnell’s Opponent in Kentucky Senate Race | #KYSEN

EMILYs List Endorses Mitch McConnells Opponent in Kentucky Senate Race | #KYSEN

Schriock is the president of EMILY's List. (Bill Clark/Roll Call via Getty Images)

EMILY’s List has endorsed Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes’ bid against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The group’s president, Stephanie Schriock, called Lundergan Grimes “an energetic rising star” in a Wednesday release announcing the endorsement. Full story

July 2, 2013

Mitch McConnell’s Unusual Attack Video

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell unleashed his first attack Tuesday on his new Democratic opponent, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who announced her candidacy Monday in the Kentucky Senate race.

It’s, um, unique. We offer this Web video without any other commentary because, frankly, we don’t know what else to say about it:

June 17, 2013

Kentucky Governor Mulls Redistricting Do-Over (Updated)

Updated 5:45 p.m. | Kentucky Democratic Gov. Steven L. Beshear said his state might have to redo its 2012 redistricting map, according to The Associated Press.

At issue is whether prison inmates ought to be included in district counts. Inmates were included in congressional lines but not state legislative lines. Beshear is seeking “to make sure all of them are done on a consistent basis,” per the AP.

The current map was designed for incumbent protection. Even so, one incumbent went home after the 2012 elections: Democratic Rep. Ben Chandler.

Full story

November 14, 2012

Kentucky: EMILY’s List President Hopeful About Judd Run

The head of EMILY’s List said Wednesday that she is encouraged that Ashley Judd hasn’t closed the door to a challenge to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., next year, but said she’s far from certain the actress will run.

“We’ve had some initial conversations with Ashley Judd,” EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said in an interview. EMILY’s List is an advocacy group promoting female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights.

Schriock noted that Judd attended this year’s Democratic National Convention and spoke on a panel sponsored by EMILY’s List and Marie Claire.

“She was on our panel in Charlotte,” she said. “She did a fantastic job, a fantastic job. She wowed the crowd. The crowd literally started saying, ‘Run Ashley, run!’ in that meeting. She has such great desire for public service and she wants to find the best way to do that.”

When asked whether she thought Judd would ultimately run, Schriock said “I don’t know.”

September 13, 2012

Kentucky: Mitch McConnell Hires Jesse Benton as 2014 Campaign Manager

Kentucky: Mitch McConnell Hires Jesse Benton as 2014 Campaign Manager

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) today announced he has hired Jesse Benton to manage his 2014 campaign.

Benton, who has deep ties to the tea party movement in Kentucky and around the country, led Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) White House bid and managed now-Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) general election campaign in 2010.

If McConnell accrues any political vulnerability on his right flank in Kentucky — and Bluegrass State GOP political operatives believe he doesn’t have much right now — having Benton as his top campaign aide is likely to help significantly reduce the threat of a serious primary challenge. But the move does more than just help in the primary. Full story

February 10, 2012

Kentucky: New Lines Strengthen Ben Chandler

At long last, Kentucky’s Congressional delegation can break out the bourbon.

After weeks of Sturm und Drang, the split state Legislature passed a solid incumbent-protection map this afternoon. It will be signed into law by Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear today.

“I’m signing this bill today to provide certainty to this process so candidates can file for office,” Beshear said in a statement. “Redistricting is always a partisan process, and no redistricting plan will please everybody.”

One person who is pleased: Democratic Rep. Ben Chandler, who won an extremely close race in 2010 against Lexington attorney Andy Barr (R). Chandler faces a rematch, but in a better-performing district. He is now expected to comfortably win re-election.

Full story

February 6, 2012

Kentucky: Redistricting Plan Prompts Plea From Andy Barr

Lexington, Ky., attorney Andy Barr, who lost his 2010 bid against Rep. Ben Chandler (D) by 647 votes, blasted out an urgent request to supporters Monday asking for their voice in stopping a redistricting bill.
Full story

February 2, 2012

Between the Lines: Kentucky Legislature Close to Deal on New Map

The Kentucky Legislature, deadlocked for weeks over a Congressional redistricting map, took a huge step toward the passage of final lines today.

The Democratic-controlled state House and the Republican-held state Senate have reached a tentative agreement, a spokesman for the Speaker confirmed. Draft maps are expected to be released as early as tonight.

Sources told Roll Call that the map will protect incumbents and likely keep the 6th district’s political bent the same, giving a leg up to Rep. Ben Chandler (D) in his rematch with Lexington attorney Andy Barr.

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