Politics

Politics
1:47 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Committee to Amend Discretionary Funds Policy

The Louisville Metro Council Accountability and Ethics Committee is voting Tuesday on more changes to the policy that governs the distribution of taxpayer dollars to non-profit groups.

A recent audit found that half of the discretionary grants given out by city lawmakers lacked proper documentation to determine if the funds were being spent properly.

Councilman Jerry Miller, R-19, is chairman of the accountability committee and a co-sponsor of the proposal along with Council President Jim King, D-10. He says the amendments being proposed give non-profit groups clear guidelines and should help restore public trust.

"The resolution that we’re going to hear today will start us on the path of restoring public confidence in this process, regardless of what individual council people—including myself—think of the overall process we have to be able to restore confidence that public funds are being used appropriately," says Miller.

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Politics
3:44 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Occupy Wall Street Marks One-Year Anniversary

Protestors with Occupy Wall Street are marking their one-year anniversary with demonstrations this week, but critics argue the movement has lost momentum and is in disarray.

The protests started in New York City's financial district in reaction to corporate greed, rising unemployment and the national recession. It drew attention to the country’s income gap and economic inequality by rallying behind the 99 percent of wage earners. Several other Occupy demonstrations sprouted up across the country to address foreclosures and affordable housing and saw varying degrees of success.

But opponents say the movement has died down because the leaderless coalition had no clear platform or strategy.

From L.A. Times:

Yet the movement cannot claim any new policy, law or regulation as its own. Unlike the Tea Party on the political right, there is no cohesive Occupy group promoting candidates in November's national election.

Karl Zoellner is a spokesman for Occupy Louisville. He says the movement is in transition, but has successfully pushed an agenda.

"The name, the brand Occupy is not on the front burner like it once was. But the issues of the 99 percent, which is something that the Occupy Wall Street brought attention to, has in turn become the focus of thousands of social justice organizations across the United States," he says.

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Politics
12:54 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Democratic Super PAC Plans to Influence State House Races

A Democratic super PAC that was active in last year’s governor’s race is taking part in legislative races this fall.  The Kentucky Family Values super PAC was started to help Governor Steve Beshear win re-election. The group has now re-formed under new leadership to influence state House races. 

“I hope we’re going to be successful and that is, elect enough family values oriented Democrats in the state House for the Democrats to retain control,” PAC chairman and retired Louisville lawyer Kevin Hable told Kentucky Public Radio in a phone interview.

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Politics
8:30 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Poll Shows McConnell, Paul With Majority Approval Ratings

A majority of Kentucky voters approve of the jobs that Republican U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul are doing in Washington, according to a new Bluegrass Poll.

The poll shows McConnell, who is running for re-election in two years, holding a 51 percent job approval rating among likely voters with 42 percent disapproving of the GOP leader's performance. Similarly, Paul has a 53 percent approval but a slightly lower disapproval rating at 38 percent almost two years after being elected.

As The Courier-Journal's James Carroll reports, political observers argue that this bodes well for both lawmakers when considering the historic low numbers for Congress overall.

From The Courier-J:

The poll numbers for McConnell and Paul indicate no potential re-election problems, said Jennifer Duffy, a Senate analyst with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

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Politics
10:44 pm
Sat September 15, 2012

Noise and Notes: Brooks Wicker Makes His Case for Congress

Republican Brooks Wicker is running for Kentucky's Third Congressional District seat against three-term Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth.

You may not have heard of Wicker's candidacy, which is mainly because he was struggled to raise enough funds to get his message out to voters. Thus far he has raised just $5,000, but the Louisville accountant promises he will have enough to hold Yarmuth accountable.

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Politics
3:15 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Whistleblower Disputes Retirement Officials on Placement Agent Claim

A whistleblower and former member of the Kentucky Retirement System’s board of trustees is disputing claims that the pension plan hasn’t used placement agents recently.

Chris Tobe is an investment expert who served on the system’s board for four years. He’s also the main witness in a Securities and Exchange Commissions investigation into KRS and its previous uses of placement agents.

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Politics
6:41 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Paul Proposes Cutting Foreign Aid to Pakistan, Libya and Egypt

U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has proposed new amendments to strip foreign aid from Pakistan, Egypt and Libya, that would triple funding for a jobs bill for American veterans.

The proposal is in reaction to recent protests and attacks against American consulates and embassies in Libya and Egypt, including the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. It is also aimed at drawing attention t the continued imprisonment of Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA locate Osama bin Laden.

Total U.S. foreign aid to Pakistan, Libya and Egypt totals approximately $4 billion annually.

Paul's amendment will cut that aid and put an additional $2 billion toward a veterans jobs bill that is moving its way through the Senate. The remaining $2 billion would go to deficit reduction.
 
"I urge (Senate Majority Leader Harry) Reid to do the right thing for taxpayers and veterans: To send a message to countries that our aid can’t be taken for granted, and to stand up for our troops abroad now, and those who have returned home after serving," says Paul. "He can do all of this by allowing a vote on my amendment. My amendment would halt all foreign aid to Pakistan, Egypt, and Libya, and would use those funds to triple the size of the veterans jobs bill. The only thing now standing in the way of this is the Democratic Senate Leadership."

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Politics
1:50 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Retirement Official Says Pensions Systems Haven't Used Controversial Placement Agents Recently

After being heavily criticized for their use, Kentucky’s major pension program says it hasn't used a placement agent for three years.

Placement agents are investing middle men that direct pension funds to investment opportunities. Kentucky has not had a good track record with placement agents, who have been accused of mismanaging millions for the pension funds according to a 2011 audit.

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Politics
12:36 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

AARP, Centre College Offering Non-Partisan Discussions Leading to VP Debate

The AARP has announced its sponsorship of the 2012 Vice Presidential Debate Festival at Centre College in Danville next month. 

AARP will offer three discussions over the next month leading up to the Oct. 11 debate.  They’ll focus on Medicare, financial security and Social Security, which are considered key issues to AARP and are featured in Voter Guides released by the organization.

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Politics
12:31 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Young Agrees to Two Debates Against Yoder

Republican incumbent Todd Young has agreed to participate in two debates in Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District race, but Democratic challenger Shelli Yoder wants more forums.

The debates will be held at Franklin College in Johnson County and O'Bannon Publishing in Harrison County, but the Yoder campaign alleges Young is ignoring the need for additional debates in populated areas.

Last month, Yoder called for 13 debates in each county across the southern Indiana district.

Yoder campaign manager Katie Carlson says Young sought seven debates when he ran against then-Congressman Baron Hill two years ago, and that the negotiations are ongoing.

"We have not reached an agreement on the number of debates. We believe that more debates are necessary to give voters of the Ninth District an opportunity to hear from both of their candidates for Congress and an opportunity to discuss issues that are most important to them," she says.

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