Politics

Politics
12:00 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Observer Says Kentucky's Small Role in Presidential Elections Leaves Local Speakers Off DNC Stage

Unlike their GOP counterparts, zero Kentucky officials will be taking the main stage to speak at this week’s Democratic National Convention.

Democrats hold the majority of statewide offices in Kentucky, including the governor’s office. But that’s not enough to get any of those elected officials onto the DNC stage this week.

Last week, Republicans heard from three Kentuckians during their convention: Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and congressional candidate Andy Barr.

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Politics
9:55 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Tax Fairness Group Targets McConnell

Bend the Arc

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is being targeted by a progressive group urging lawmakers to let the Bush-era tax cuts expire for those earning more than $250,000 annually.

The ‘If I Were a Rich Man Tour’ is a national effort that will make a stop in Louisville on Monday to pressure the GOP leader to back President Obama’s proposal to end the tax breaks for wealthier Americans. Under Mr. Obama's plan, all Americans would keep their current tax rates for the first quarter of a million dollars they earn.

But Republicans have opposed the idea, arguing that it will be a tax increase on job creators and further slow the economic recovery.

Tera Greene is a group volunteer with the tour. She says McConnell is being focused on because he is one of the wealthiest lawmakers to oppose the proposal.

"We’re asking why they continue to vote to line their own pockets instead of defending the best interest of their constituents," he says.

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Politics
3:28 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

RNC Commentary and Analysis on WFPL's Byline

The Republican National Convention is over, with Mitt Romney formally accepting the GOP presidential nomination.  Friday on Byline, we talked about the RNC with the Courier-Journal’s James Carroll, who covered the convention in Tampa, WFPL's Phillip Bailey, and Kentucky Public Radio’s Kenny Colston. 

Politics
5:09 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Louisville Public Works Director Resigns

LEO Weekly (used with permission)

Louisville Metro Government Public Works Director Ted Pullen has resigned.

Mayor Greg Fischer's office has confirmed that Pullen turned in his letter of resignation at 4:30 p.m. Friday, saying he wanted to pursue other opportunities.

Fischer spokesman Chris Poynter says the search for a new director will begin immediately.

In June, WFPL requested documents from Metro Government, including "complaints filed against Louisville Metro Public Works Director Ted Pullen by Metro employees in the department since February 1, 2012." In response, we were told a complaint was pending and could not be released.

When asked later that week about any complaints against Pullen and whether his office asked Pullen to resign, Fischer told WFPL he had not asked Pullen to resign at that time. When asked whether there was an investigation into any complaints against Pullen, Fischer replied "We have personnel issues all the time and obviously we don't discuss those."

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Politics
3:49 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Lawmakers to Examine Coal Severance Fund

Kentucky lawmakers will be briefed next week on the state’s ailing coal severance tax fund.

The office of the state budget director will update the lawmakers of the fund’s future on Wednesday, during a regularly scheduled meeting of the interim committee on natural resources and environment.

The coal severance fund is made up of a tax collected on each ton of coal mined in Kentucky. But the coal industry has had a rough year, and officials are forecasting problems maintaining previous levels of revenue.

Politics
4:52 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Fischer Endorses Jones for Jefferson County School Board

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer entered the education debate and publicly endorsed former Humana Inc. Chairman David Jones Jr. for Jefferson County school board on Thursday.

The businessman is running for the District 2 seat, which covers the Highlands and Crescent Hill neighborhoods. He is facing Elizabeth Berfield, Phil Haming and George Tolhurst. 

During a panel discussion at the Leadership Louisville Luncheon, Fischer said there are gaps in public education that need to be addressed, and that residents should follow Jones’s lead and take those challenges on.

"Our goal is to be the best large public school district in the country, period," he says. "And you’re seeing that with this school board race that we have right now. Unprecedented amount of people are running. You’re seeing a great community leader like David Jones step up to say, ‘I want to make a difference in this as well.'"

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Politics
4:09 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Fischer Unveils Vision Louisville Project, Talks NBA With Sacramento Mayor

Speaking at the Leadership Louisville Luncheon along with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson on Thursday, Mayor Greg Fischer announced a plan to create a 25-year vision for the city. And the two local leaders also had a friendly joust over keeping and obtaining an NBA team for their respective cities

Vision Louisville will be a year-long project that seeks to define the future of the city.

The project is a collaborative effort between citizens and Metro Government, and will include an internationally renowned architectural and planning firm located in Oslo, Norway. The Oslo-based company Space Group will lead the project, and engage residents about their dreams and visions for the city through a series of public workshops, online meetings and forums.

Fischer says the new initiative isn’t about his vision for the city, but a community-wide discussion and effort to craft what Louisville should look like in 2040.

"I’m not going to present what our city is going to look like 25 years from now. I’m going to start a process and a discussion, because it’s not that important what I think it’s going to look about. What’s important is what we think it’s going to look about, and it’s going to take a little time for us to figure that out," he says.

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Politics
3:53 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Observers: Paul's RNC Speech Forceful

U.S. Senate

U.S. Senator Rand Paul may not have received a prime time speech slot at  this week's Republican National Convention, but he still managed to get attention.

Observers like University Louisville political science professor Dewey Clayton say the younger Paul is seen as a potential bridge between the current GOP establishment and they loyal followers of his father, Congressman Ron Paul.

Clayton says the build-up to Rand Paul's speech Wednesday night furthered that, with a video tribute to his father, who is exiting politics after decades in Congress.

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Politics
9:11 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Kentucky's Senators Give Back-to-Back Speeches at RNC

Kentucky may not be a key state in this fall’s presidential election, but its two senators played a key role in GOP attacks on the president Wednesday night. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul spoke back to back at the Republican National Convention. Their speeches were a one-two punch against many of President Barack Obama's policies. 

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Politics
4:48 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Beshear Names Larry Bond as New Chief of Staff

Governor Steve Beshear has promoted his deputy chief of staff to the top spot.

Louisville native Larry Bond was named chief of staff today. He replaces Mike Haydon, who died unexpectedly earlier this month.

Bond was named to the deputy spot two years ago, after spending years in various roles in state government. He also worked in Louisville city government for years, including time as the city’s chief administrative officer.

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