Politics

Politics
3:35 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Ackerson Wants Government Accountability Panel to Investigate Shanklin

Councilman Brent Ackerson, D-26.
Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Councilman Brent Ackerson, D-26, is calling on the government accountability committee to investigate Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, who has been embroiled in a series of scandals.

Since May, Shanklin has faced mounting questions about the use of citys grants from her office, particularly for an upholstery training program for ex-convicts that served no former inmates but that she and her relatives participated in.

The city's internal audit is conducting a review of the jobs program and a report is pending.

It has also been reported that $3,000 in taxpayer money went to Shanklin's family members through funding of the Petersburg-Newburg Neighborhood Association, which she is a board member. Until last year, Shanklin has personally signed checks to the group  since 2005.

An audit of council discretionary spending found a lack monitoring in the majority of those grants, but the report called out Shanklin specifically for having a conflict of interest in funding the neighborhood group while being a board member.

Ackerson says he is concerned about the oversight of taxpayer dollars as well as media reports, adding he wants to know the full story behind Shanklin's controversies.

"Controversy such as this do not bode will for government period. There's a lot of questions that are raised about discretionary funds. Negative stories out there that don't talk about everything and don't give government a chance to address those, all they do is create improper conclusions. And I'm a firm believer in discretionary funds and what they can do for an area," he says.

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Politics
11:59 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Conservative Kentucky Think Tank Starts Political Action Committee

A new conservative think tank in Kentucky is expanding its political influence outside of its usual lobbying efforts.

The Commonwealth Policy Center is a fiscally and socially conservative group. Now, the group has launched a sister political action committee, the Commonwealth Policy PAC (pack), to influence elections.

The center’s director is Richard Nelson, a former analyst of the Family Foundation in Kentucky. Henderson City Commissioner Robby Mills is the PAC’s director.

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Politics
3:44 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

McConnell Assails Health Care Law In Rotary Speech

WFPL file photo
File photo

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky repeated his call today for the repeal of President Obama’s federal health care overhaul upheld last month by the Supreme Court.

In a speech to the Louisville Rotary Club, the Senate Republican Leader called the Affordable Health Care Act  “too arrogant and too overreaching.”

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Politics
2:43 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Gregg Maintains Attacks on Pence Over Health Care, 9/11 Comparison

In the Indiana governor's race, Democrat John Gregg is continuing to bash Republican Mike Pence over controversial remarks comparing the Supreme Court's health care ruling to the terror attacks of September 11.

The Gregg campaign is touting an interview Pence did with a local television station in Indianapolis, which asked him to clarify his original comment. But the congressman refuses to tell reporters what the initial remarks were.

Check it out:

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Politics
2:07 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Wicker Questions Boehner’s Leadership

Republican congressional candidate Brooks Wicker won’t commit to keeping current House Speaker John Boehner in the position if he defeats Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth this fall.

Since taking control of Congress, the GOP caucus has had some internal infighting and conservative activists have been critical of Speaker John Boehner, who has clashed with Tea Party lawmakers over the debt ceiling and other negotiations.

Some national conservative groups have publicly called for Boehner's ouster as House leader.

Wicker says he won’t commit to voting for Boehner or not, and hopes other lawmakers will be vying for the position.

"I have questions about some of the issues and positions that have been taken. I would prefer to have an open election for the seat," he told 84 WHAS radio show host Mandy Connell. "Hopefully there will be other people who will contest him for that leadership position and we’ll be able to have a true election for the leader."

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Politics
12:24 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Republican Leader Calls On Beshear to Opt Out of Medicaid Expansion

The highest-ranking Republican in the Kentucky state House is calling on Governor Steve Beshear to reject an expansion of Medicaid set forth in the Affordable Care Act.

The Supreme Court ruling on the healthcare law allows states to opt out of the expansion of the program. House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover wants Beshear to follow other states that have opted out.

Hoover says expanding the program in Kentucky would put an even bigger burden on the state budget, even with managed care operators running the system.

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Politics
10:59 am
Thu July 5, 2012

New PAC Hopes to Give Catholics a Stronger Political Voice

A new political action committee is hoping to strengthen the political power of Catholics in Kentucky.

The Kentucky Catholic PAC was founded by Louisville attorney Vince Heuser after the May primary elections.

Heuser says the idea for the state-based PAC stems from two issues that are contentious in the Catholic community. One is a mandate from the federal government that health insurance plans must cover contraceptives. The second is a tussle with state House Democrats over bill that would require women seeking abortions to view an ultrasound of their fetus.

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Politics
1:52 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Kentucky Republicans Heading to Other States to Help Romney, GOP

Kentucky isn’t considered a battleground state in this year’s presidential election, but that’s not stopping a few Republicans from trying to make a difference this fall.

The commonwealth is all but sure to deliver its electoral votes to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. So several local Republican campaign operatives have moved to other battleground states, with many ending up in Ohio and New Mexico. 

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Politics
10:36 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Paul: Obamacare Debate Will Continue

Comparing the debate to the infamous Dred Scott case, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says the Supreme Court's ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act isn't the final word.

In a brief editorial, Paul also addresses criticisms for his earlier dismissal of the high court's powers to declare what is constitutional. He also mentions the Plessy v. Ferguson decision that made racial separation legal in the U.S. under Jim Crow as an example of the high court being wrong about what is constitutional.

From USA Today:

While it is clear to anyone who was awake in high school civics class that the Supreme Court has the power to declare whether a law is valid under the Constitution, that power is not a pronouncement set in stone.

Think of how our country would look now had the Supreme Court not changed its view of what is constitutional. Think of 1857, when the court handed down the outrageous Dred Scott decision, which said African Americans were not citizens.

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Politics
3:36 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Pension Task Force Says Everything is "On the Table" at First Meeting

A group of Kentucky lawmakers has a new summer assignment…shoring up the state’s failing pension systems.

At least two of Kentucky’s six pension plans are at a high risk for failure. And their troubles have been highlighted by Bloomberg, the New York Times and the Pew Center.

In response, the state has formed a public pension task force. Co-chairman Mike Cherry says he's dedicated to find a solution, and it may not be pretty.

“From my standpoint, everything’s on the table for this summer interim session,” he says.

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