Politics

Politics
6:00 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Louisville Businessman Being Rumored as Tea Party Challenger to Mitch McConnell

Louisville businessman Matthew Bevin
Credit mail.com

Louisville businessman Matthew Bevin is being rumored as a potential Tea Party primary challenge to Republican Mitch McConnell in the U.S. Senate race.

Bevin is owner of Connecticut-based Bevin Brothers Manufacturing and former CEO of an investment firm in Kentucky.

The 46-year-old businessman was profiled in 2008 for his contributions to religious and civic charitable causes

According to reports, Bevin is courting the local Tea Party with interest in running.

From The Hill:

Sarah Duran(d), president of the Louisville Tea Party, told The Hill that Bevin had been in touch with her over the phone to discuss his run multiple times over the past few weeks, and that he met with the group two weeks ago to discuss his interest in the race.

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Politics
12:00 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Senate Considering Changes to Special Taxing District Reform Bill

Robert Stivers
Credit Legislative Research Commission

A bill aimed at reforming the way special districts are treated in Kentucky is likely to undergo some changes in hands of the state Senate.

House Bill 1 is a partnership between Auditor Adam Edelen and House Speaker Greg Stumbo, based off recommendations Edelen made during his investigation of special taxing districts across Kentucky.

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Politics
8:55 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Democrats Divided on Ashley Judd, But Supporters Becoming More Vocal

Ashley Judd
Credit Salon

Parallel to the divide between Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and the Tea Party, Kentucky Democrats are vocally split over actress Ashley Judd running the GOP leader.

Democratic officials, lawmakers and operatives have voiced opposition to Judd, suggesting the Hollywood star is too liberal and would hurt down-ticket candidates. Judd has been described as a "catastrophe" for not only state House candidates but gubernatorial ones in 2015.

But Judd supporters are pushing back.

Former state treasurer Jonathan Miller tells WFPL that Judd could actually defeat McConnell next year, and that her critics represent the Democratic establishment who are trying to repel a threat to their pocketbooks.

"Ashley Judd would be what we call a change agent, she would be someone very new on the scene. And folks in the status quo who are everyday active in politics sometimes fear change, and I think that’s what you’re seeing here," he says.

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Politics
7:00 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Despite Reservations Elsewhere, Kentucky House Moves Forward With Redistricting

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

Kentucky House leaders are moving ahead with addressing redistricting this session—despite hesitation from the Senate and pleas from the governor.

The regional caucuses are still working on their areas when it comes to redistricting, House Speaker Greg Stumbo said.

But that the main hold up was in eastern Kentucky, where there are large population losses. Despite those issues, Stumbo said his Democratic caucus has voted in favor of finishing redistricting this session.

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Politics
10:40 pm
Sat February 16, 2013

Noise and Notes: The Man Behind Team Mitch

Credit TeamMitch.com

For Tea Party strategist Jesse Benton, politics and family are one in the same.

The grandson of former Congressman Ron Paul and nephew of Senator Rand Paul, Benton was hired to run the re-election of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell last fall.

Three years ago, Benton worked on his uncle's successful Senate bid that included a primary victory over a McConnell-backed GOP candidate.

It was a shrewd move on Team Mitch's part to blunt vocal criticism from the Tea Party.

Like his boss, Benton acknowledges the campaign still has Tea Party critics, however, he doesn't expect a credible primary challenger will arise.

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Politics
4:33 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Indiana House Budget Plan Doesn't Include Pence Tax Cut

A state budget plan put forth by Indiana House Republicans would swap a $500 million tax cut sought by Gov. Mike Pence for new spending on education and transportation.

Details of the two-year budget proposal released today  would increase K through12 funding by 2 percent the first year and 1 percent the second year.

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Politics
11:32 am
Fri February 15, 2013

House Leaders Considering Instant Racing Legalization to Help Pay for Pensions

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

Kentucky House leaders are considering legalizing Instant Racing across Kentucky to help plug the funding gap in the state's pensions.

Instant Racing is a slots-like game currently played at two Kentucky tracks, Ellis Park and Kentucky Downs. The legality of the game is also currently being litigated at the Kentucky Supreme Court.

But if the General Assembly passes a bill authorizing it, the court case would be moot.

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Politics
10:25 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Insurance Tax for Affordable Housing Loses Ground as Advocates Urge Support

Affordable housing supporters fill City Hall
Credit Phillip M. Bailey

Dozens of residents and community activists filled City Hall on Thursday to urge the Louisville Metro Council to boost funding for affordable housing, but an ordinance seeking to pay for the initiative is losing support.

Several people spoke in favor of legislation that seeks to put nearly $10 million into the fund by increasing the city's tax on insurance premiums by one percentage point.

Affordable housing advocates who testified before the council spoke of skyrocketing rent and mortgage costs, the high number of homeless public school children and the need for new units.

"We can’t let school kids continue to be homeless, and let this problem go unsolved. So there are people who are in agreement that we need to do something and figure out how to fund the trust fund, and work together to figure out how to do that," Rachel Hurst, executive director of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund told WFPL.

But the prospects are grim now that a majority on the council have said they do not support the proposal.

Council President Jim King, D-10, and Councilman David Yates, D-24, have both said they will not vote for the ordinance. And after two of the original seven co-sponsors withdrew their support this week, another supporter—Councilman Brent Ackerson, D-26—announced he is also backing off the bill.

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Politics
5:36 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

University Bonding Projects Bill Steps Away from Becoming Law

Credit J. Glover/Creative Commons

A bill authorizing more than $360 million in bonds for university projects is just steps away from becoming a reality.

House Bill 7 allows six of the state's eight public universities to use bonds and other means to fund projects like building renovations, construction and renovations to Commonwealth Stadium.  And it passed the Senate budget committee unanimously Thursday.

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Politics
5:18 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Bill Blocking Groceries from Selling Wine and Liquor Advances to House Floor

Credit Creative Commons

A bill that would effectively block grocery stores from selling wine and liquor—and ban wine and liquor sales in new pharmacies—was approved today in a state House committee.

Under the legislation, grocery stores could still sell alcohol from an adjoined structure with a separate entrance. 

Current law does not allow people younger than 21 to enter a place which sells wine and package liquor, which has prevented sales in grocery stores in the past.

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