Politics

Politics
7:14 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Big Names Skipping Fancy Farm Speaking This Year

Many of Kentucky’s most prominent elected officials are opting to skip this year’s Fancy Farm political picnic.

Governor Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson announced yesterday, that they would skip the picnic. House Speaker Greg Stumbo will speak in Beshear’s place. 

Now, Fancy Farm organizers say U.S. Senator Rand Paul will skip the picnic as well. Kentucky’s other U.S. Senator, Mitch McConnell, has not yet confirmed to speak.

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Politics
7:28 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Davis Passes REINS Act to Young

Retiring Congressman Geoff Davis, R-Ky. announced Wednesday that fellow GOP Congressman Todd Young, R-In., will take over lead sponsorship of the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act.

For three years Davis has championed the legislation as a way to spur economic growth and tackle burdensome regulation. The REINS Act would require that Congress take an up-or-down vote on any major rules that would have more than $100 million annual economic impact.

The bill passed the GOP-controlled House last winter, but it went nowhere in the Democratic Senate. Davis announced last December he was not seeking re-election but that Young will take the lead on the REINS Act in the future.

"Todd Young is one of the hardest-working and most diligent new members of Congress. He has enthusiastically championed the REINS Act at home and in Washington," Davis said in a news release. "Congress has excessively delegated its constitutional responsibility for making the law of the land to unelected bureaucrats for too long.  The REINS Act is one of the most important structural reforms to restore this accountability.  I am confident that Congressman Young will be a tireless champion for the REINS Act going forward."

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Politics
5:36 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Indiana's Bauer Faces Ouster As House Minority Leader

Photo from Indiana General Assembly

Information for this story also came from Brandon Smith, Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana House Minority Leader Patrick Bauer says he won't resign from his leadership post and believes his fellow Democrats will be making a mistake if they try to oust him before the November election.

Bauer held a Statehouse news conference Wednesday amid reports his caucus would meet Thursday in Lafayette to vote to remove him as its leader.

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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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