Politics

Politics
8:14 pm
Sun July 29, 2012

Kentucky Woman Sentenced for McConnell Threat

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Lexington woman has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for threatening to kill U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

U.S. District Judge Jennifer B. Coffman handed down the punishment for 50-year-old Susan Mary Collins Thursday for mailing a threatening communication.

Collins previously pleaded guilty to sending the letter on September 2 threatening to kill the U.S. Senate’s top Republican.

According to Collins’ plea agreement, McConnell perceived her letter as a genuine threat that could cause him harm.

Politics
10:30 pm
Sat July 28, 2012

Noise and Notes: Shawnell Harrison's Concrete Dust and The Immovable Gun Debate

When asked about his documentary debut, Louisville filmmaker Shawnell Harrison is direct about why he chose to tackle the razing of the historic Sheppard Square housing complex as his first project.

The 35-year-old director wanted residents to purge their feelings about the demolition and life in the projects, and Harrison's style dived into the Smoketown neighborhood where he received a raw and emotional reaction. Several residents offered him their explicit love and disdain for the 70-year-old housing project, including criticism of how the housing authority, Metro Police and media view them.

The last resident was relocated in March and demolition began in June, which leaves Sheppard Square as mostly rubble now. Construction of new homes has recently started near the former housing development that will pave the way for a mixed-income neighborhood.

Below is an excerpt of Harrison's film.

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Politics
2:12 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

UofL President, Provost Not Eating At Chick-Fil-A “Anytime Soon”

Joining the firestorm, University of Louisville President James Ramsey and Provost Shirley Willinganz are pledging to not eat at Chick-Fil-A as a result of the fast food restaurant’s stance against same-sex marriage.

Last week, Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy ignited a fierce debate when he said his company proudly supports the biblical definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

"I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,' and I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about," Cathy said in a radio interview.

In response a U of L student launched an online petition that has gotten over 1,000 signatures calling on university officials to shut down the restaurant’s new campus location.

U of L spokesman Mark Hebert says the university is not officially boycotting the restaurant, but that Ramsey an Willinganz have made a personal decision to not patronize Chick-Fil-A anytime soon.

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Politics
12:52 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

McConnell Discusses Kentucky Drought Conditions With Agriculture Secretary

Urging federal assistance, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., met U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Friday to discuss the impact severe drought conditions are having on Kentucky farmers.

The U.S. Drought Monitor released a new report this week showing the severity of the heat wave and lack of rainfall is worsening across the country, and that the amount of land classified as having "extreme" or "exceptional" drought is over 20 percent.

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Politics
12:01 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Appropriations Chairman Seeks Ethics Opinion on Council Distributing Gifts

Councilman Robin Engel, R-22

The chairman of the Louisville Metro Council’s Appropriations Committee is asking the Ethics Commission to weigh-in on whether city lawmakers can pass out gifts to constituents.

Earlier this week, the appropriations committee discussed a pair of Neighborhood Development Fund requests made by council members Rick Blackwell, D-12, and Vicki Welch, D-13. The two were seeking to give Metro Parks $3,000 in return for 400 tickets to performances at the Iroquois Amphitheater, which Blackwell and Welch would give out to residents.

The county attorney warned that tickets can have a "monetary value and political value" and lawmakers should discuss the matter further. After a fierce debate, the committee voted down the proposal by a 3-to-3 vote.

Councilman Robin Engel, R-22, who chairs the appropriations panel, sent a letter to the commission Friday asking if it is a violation of the city's code of ethics for council members to control the distribution of tickets. He says there has been a fierce debate on passing out tickets, but lawmakers need non-partisan guidance.

"The question is the temptation and the possibility of impropriety of being able to distribute tickets as a council member. That is in play here and that’ the question of the day,” he says.

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Politics
4:07 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Cabinet Secretary says Early Results on 2011 Drug Law Mixed

Kentucky's justice cabinet secretary says a 2011 law intended to reduce prison costs in Kentucky is seeing mixed, but encouraging results.

Secretary J. Michael Brown says House Bill 463 helped prompt an immediate reduction of yearly prisoners in Kentucky by 1,000 its first year in action. But the law didn’'t contribute the same reduction in fiscal year 2012.

Brown says there are many reasons for those mixed results, including parole backlogs keeping inmates in prison instead of alternative places.

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Politics
4:06 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

BREAKING: Bauer Ousted As Indiana House Democratic Leader

Indiana House Democrats have voted to replace Rep. Patrick Bauer as their leader amid criticism over how he's handled campaign fundraising and spending heading into the November elections.

Members of the Democratic caucus made the move today during a meeting in Lafayette. Twenty-three members of the 40-member caucus attended the meeting.

Rep. Linda Lawson of Hammond has been chosen to be the new leader.

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Politics
3:34 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

2012 Budget Ends With $45 Million Surplus Thanks to Boost in Income, Sales Taxes

Despite accounting mistakes and unforeseen disaster relief expenses, state government is closing the 2012 budget with another surplus.

Originally, the budgetary surplus was 83 million dollars, now it's almost halved to 45 million dollars.

State Budget Director Mary Lassiter informed lawmakers of the surplus at an interim committee meeting today. And she says the remaining surplus will be put into the legislature’s savings account.

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Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Former Governor Displeased With Obama, Warns Democrats Acting Like Socialists

Former Democratic Governor  John Y. Brown Jr., is disappointed with President Barack Obama's job performance and is criticizing the national party for "acting like socialists" over free enterprise.

Brown served as Kentucky's governor from 1979 to 1983, and is successful businessman and a revered patriarch among state Democrats past and present.

In an interview with Pure Politics, Brown said Mr. Obama doesn't understand the economy and is more interested in "taking care of people instead of taking care of our Constitution" and getting people back to work.

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Politics
2:22 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Louisville Metro Jobless Rate Up Slightly

The unemployment rate in the Louisville metro area increased to 8.3 percent in the month of June, which is a slight uptick, according to the Kentucky Office Of Employment & Training.

The numbers released Thursday show the jobless rate was 8.1 percent in May, but that unemployment is down significantly when compared to the 9.9 percent rate last year. Statistics in the report cover the 13-county metropolitan statistical area that includes surrounding Kentucky counties and Southern Indiana. It shows approximately 53,700 people are unemployed. 

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