Politics

Politics
1:53 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Pence Picks Son of Campaign Chief to Head Commerce Dept.

Indiana Gov.-elect Mike Pence

Indiana Gov.-elect Mike Pence has named the son of his campaign chairman to help lead the state's job-creation efforts.

Pence announced Thursday his pick of Victor Smith to become secretary of the state's Department of Commerce. Pence says Smith's experience as a business executive will help in selling Indiana to both domestic and overseas companies.

Smith is the son of Muncie industrialist Van Smith, who was Pence's campaign chairman and is a member of his transition team.

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Politics
1:39 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Kentucky Bonding Plan for Universities to Pave Way for Construction, Renovation Projects

Credit J. Glover/Creative Commons

FRANKFORT — Renovations to the University of Kentucky's football stadium and the University of Louisville are among the projects that will benefit from a bipartisan General Assembly agreement is allowing state universities to use their own ability to issue bonds for capital projects.

The soon-to-be approved projects were rejected during 2012 budget negotiations, but will be revived once lawmakers pass an authorization bill, House Speaker Greg Stumbo says.

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Politics
5:58 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Denton Files Two Bills To Place Affordable Care Act Decisions in Lawmakers' Hands

Julie Denton
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

State Sen. Julie Denton has filed two bills that would put control of implementation of the Affordable Care Act into lawmakers’ hands.

Gov. Steve Beshear created a state-run health exchange through an executive order and is mulling whether to expand Medicaid. Both are parts of the ACA, also known as Obamacare.

Denton says her goal is to let lawmakers have some say in either matter.

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Politics
5:32 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Smoking Ban Advocates Once Again Face Senate Roadblock

Credit Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin/Wikimedia Commons

Supporters of a statewide smoking ban in public places are set to try their luck in passing such a law for the third legislative session.

Smoke Free Kentucky has started an advertising campaign to raise support for the smoking ban and a recent poll showed a majority of Kentucky support such a ban.

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Politics
4:34 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Governor Beshear Wants to Delay Redistricting, But Not Everyone Agrees

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Gov. Steve Beshear is urging legislative leaders to delay General Assembly redistricting.

In a letter to House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers, the governor says he’d like them to hold off redistricting in the 2013 legislative session and instead take up other important issues, such as pension and tax reforms.

Beshear is opening the door to handling redistricting in a special session instead, because the issue tends to cause hard feelings after lawmakers see their districts changing.

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Politics
4:11 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth Backs Bill to Ban High-Capacity Ammo Magazines

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Third District Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., is co-sponsoring legislation that would ban high-capacity ammunition magazines.

A pair of Democratic lawmakers introduced the same bill last summer in the wake of a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater. But there is newfound pressure for gun control measures due to the massacre of students and faculty at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

The measure would ban the sale or transfer of firearms that hold more than 10 rounds. Supporters point out that some gun magazines have 100 or more rounds.

Yarmuth says this measure is one of the least controversial attempts at gun control to prevent future massacres.

"These magazines serve no legitimate sporting purpose or even self-defense purpose. They are only there for mass killing," he says.

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Politics
2:30 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Kentucky Democratic Chairman: Andy Barr, Thomas Massie Embarrassed State With Sandy Relief Vote

Superstorm Sandy damage in Oakwood, N.Y.
Credit Paul Soulellis/Creative Commons

Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Dan Logsdon is ridiculing freshman Republican Congressmen Andy Barr and Thomas Massie for voting against aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy.

Last Friday, Congress approved a $9.7 billion package to help homeowners, renters and businesses pay for flood insurance claims caused by the hurricane. The Republican-controlled House passed the measure with overwhelming bipartisan support in a 354-to-67 vote.

In a telephone interview, Logsdon tells WFPL that Barr and Massie's actions have embarrassed Kentucky, adding natural disasters shouldn't be used to make a point about federal spending.

"It shouldn't be politicized. When our neighbors need help we should give them help. When a natural disaster occurs the rest of us should want to help that affected region," he says.

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Politics
1:00 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Conservative Group Targets Senator Mitch McConnell in Online Ads

For America is attacking McConnell in a new online ad.
Credit foramerica.org

A conservative group is attacking Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell over the fiscal cliff deal in a series of online advertisements in Kentucky that questions his loyalty to the GOP.

The ads were purchased by the Virginia-based group For America and began running Wednesday on the The Daily Caller, Drudge Report and Fox News websites, as well as on Facebook. It accuses McConnell of capitulating to President Obama and calls for conservatives to stand up to the party leader.

Brent Bozell is founder and chairman of For America. He says McConnell was the architect of a bad deal and that is playing "President Obama’s bag man."

"There comes a point where as a conservative you just say you’ve had it. This was a quintessential tax and spend piece of legislation," he says. "Conservatives have for decades labeled Democrats the party of tax and spend. How can you not label Republicans the same thing when they go along with it?"

McConnell fashioned the agreement with Vice President Joe Biden, which permanently extended the Bush-era tax rates for individuals making less than $400,000 and was praised by many conservative thinkers.

However, the deal delayed government spending cuts for another two months.

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Politics
5:37 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Stumbo, Stivers: Kentucky Pension Funding Will Likely Wait. Again.

Robert Stivers and Greg Stumbo
Credit Legislative Research Commission

FRANKFORT—Kentucky legislative leaders say solutions on how to pay for Kentucky’s underfunded pensions won’t likely be addressed in the 2013 legislative session, which began Tuesday.

Both House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers say there will likely be a bill to introduce changes to the pension systems. But they also agree that such a bill is unlikely to deal how to fund the changes.

What they do disagree on is when to deal with the funding solutions. Stumbo says pension funding should be dealt with in a special session, hand in hand with tax reform.

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Politics
5:03 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Sannie Overly First Woman Elected to Kentucky House Leadership

Sannie Overly
Credit Overly campaign

State Rep. Sannie Overly will be the first woman in history elected to a leadership position in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Overly, of Paris, on Tuesday was elected House Democratic Caucus Chair in private leadership elections today. Overly beat state Rep. Bob Damron, of Nicholasville, for the position; all other House Democratic leaders retained their posts.

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