Politics

Politics
5:00 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

LMPD Launching Criminal Probe Into Shanklin

Louisville Metro Council

The Louisville Metro Police Department is launching a criminal investigation regarding Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, and the financial management of her office.

The Public Integrity Unit has been working closely with the internal auditor’s office to determine if a formal probe was necessary. The auditor is examining an upholstery program for ex-offenders that served several of Shanklin's relatives instead.

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Politics
4:18 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

O’Connell Seeks to Lift Kentucky Juvenile Court Confidentiality

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell

After a controversial sexual assault case caught national attention, Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell announced Wednesday that he is crafting legislation to lift confidentiality in Kentucky Juvenile Courts.

Earlier this week, 17-year-old Savannah Dietrich faced a contempt charge for revealing the names of two boys who were found guilty of sexually assaulting her last year. Dietrich was upset with the plea bargain prosecutors made and revealed her attackers names via Twitter, which violated a court order to keep that information confidential.

She faced a maximum 180 days in jail and a $500 fine, but the attorneys for the boys dropped the contempt charges earlier this week.

O'Connell says the case demonstrates the strict state law is out of date and that juvenile court should be open to the public.

"Kentucky is in a long standing minority in connection with that and I think it's out of step and time to have an open and honest and vigorous debate on this subject," he says.

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Politics
2:49 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

McConnell Calls Democrats Bluff, Drops Filibuster on Bush Tax Cuts

File photo

In a surprise move, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., challenged Democrats to vote on a bill to end the Bush era tax cuts for wealthier Americans.

For the past week Senate Democrats have been pushing a bill similar to President Obama's plan to extend the tax relief for income only up to $250,000 annually. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised he had enough votes to pass the 50-vote threshold if not for McConnell blocking a procedural vote with a filibuster.

Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell says the tax hike will hurt job creators, but that he is lifting the filibuster so the American people can see where lawmakers stand.

"The only way to force people to take a stand is to make sure that today’s votes truly count. By setting these votes at a 50-vote threshold, nobody on the other side can hide behind a procedural vote while leaving their views on the actual bill itself a mystery to the people who sent them here," he says.

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Politics
2:05 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Beshear Will Miss Fancy Farm for Economic Trip

An overseas economic trip will prevent Governor Steve Beshear from participating in this year’s Fancy Farm political speaking. 

The governor’s office announced that Beshear will be in Germany and France for the next few weeks to encourage companies there to bring business to Kentucky. 

In May, the governor took a similar trip to Taiwan and Japan. 

House Speaker Greg Stumbo will speak as the Kentucky Democratic Party’s main representative in place of Beshear. 

Politics
1:06 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

New Report Says Almost 1 Million Kentuckians to Be Insured Under ACA Clause

A new report from the national health organization Families USA is praising the ability of almost 1 million Kentuckians to buy insurance in the coming years despite their pre-existing conditions.

The report  says almost 1 million Kentuckians who have previously been denied insurance coverage may get it when that part of the Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2014.

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Politics
12:03 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

LIBOR Scandal Likely Affecting Revenues for Kentucky Agencies

A former trustee for the Kentucky Pension Systems says an international banking scandal is leading to millions of dollars in losses for Kentucky agencies.

Investment consultant Chris Tobe believes the pension systems have lost money due to the false interest rates associated with the LIBOR banking scandal.

LIBOR averages interest rates from other major banks to set a standard. Some banks are charged with providing manipulated rates to LIBOR to boost profiles. 

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Politics
11:20 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Beshear Orders Flags to Half Staff in Wake of Colorado Shootings

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is ordering flags across the commonwealth to half-staff in wake of last week’s shootings in Aurora, Colorado.

A lone gunman opened fire in a Colorado cinema last week, killing 15 people and wounding dozens more.

The flags will remain at half staff until sundown on Friday, exactly one week from the shootings. President Barack Obama ordered all flags at federal buildings to half staff in the aftermath of the shooting.

Politics
11:18 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Donnelly Continues Depiction of Mourdock as Heckler

Indiana Democratic Senate candidate Joe Donnelly released a new television ad Wednesday that once again lampooned Republican Richard Mourdock as a heckler.

Last month, the Donnelly camp ran a spot with a Mourdock impersonator jeering the congressman from the bleachers. In the latest 30-second ad, Donnelly touts his small business background and advocates for cuts to government spending.

Donnelly also criticizes his GOP opponent for filing a lawsuit against the auto bailout and the commercial features a Mourdock impersonator driving by in a car yelling, "it's my way or the highway."

Check it out:

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Politics
6:44 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Scott Wants to Make Vacant Properties Safer

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, is concerned about lead poisoning at the dozens of vacant properties in her district.

Those abandoned homes have lead dust from deteriorated paint, renovation and demolition that is toxic and has been linked to a number of health problems such as lower child I.Q. and attention span, and increased aggressive behavior.

Scott's office is partnering with the Network Center for Community Change and the group Lock Up Lead to detoxify the 50 worst vacant properties in the district. She says besides creating blight and economic hardships in many neighborhoods, abandoned homes also pose an environmental risk.

"I’m definitely concerned about the safety of some of these properties that are in District 1 that are deteriorating and literally leaning to the side and falling apart. And also the issue of lead, the toxic lead levels in some of these properties," she says.

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