Politics

Politics
10:48 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Congressman Todd Young's Vietnam Veteran Ad Wins National Award

A campaign TV ad aired by Indiana Ninth District Congressman Todd Young won the Reed Award for Best Republican Congressional Candidate Ad during the 2012 election cycle.

From Young's office:

The ad, titled "Not All", focused on the successful efforts of Rep. Young's office to get the name of David "Larry" Deckard inscribed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

The ad and background story can be seen at http://toddyoungforcongress.com/deckard.

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Politics
8:40 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth Proposes Fair Elections Now Act

Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., has introduced a bill that seeks to diminish the influence of special interest groups.

The Fair Elections Now Act—or FENA —would create a public financing system for congressional races by providing a 5-to-1 federal match of contributions smaller than $100. In order to qualify, candidates would have to raise $50,000 through those small, in-state contributions.

Yarmuth says the legislation would enable more diverse candidates who are funded by small donations to compete in federal elections.

"The American people have ample evidence of the unfortunate influence of money on politics and policy. And FENA is an attempt to allow people to run for office and not be dependent upon big donors and therefore be primarily answerable to citizens and not to special interests," he says.

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Politics
6:00 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Hemp Gaining Momentum in General Assembly

Credit Adrian Cable/Creative Commons

Support is clearly growing behind Agriculture Commissioner James Comer's efforts for industrial hemp in Kentucky are growing.

Call it hempmentum.

With last week's endorsement from U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, Comer now has the majority of Kentucky's federal delegation behind him.

Both U.S. senators and half of the state's House members have publicly endorsed legalizing industrial hemp. They say Kentucky is well-suited to be a leader in growing hemp for fiber and oil.

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Politics
11:30 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Noise and Notes: Council Leaders David James and Ken Fleming on Taxes, City Budget and Guns

Louisville Democrat David James and Republican Ken Fleming don’t always agree as leaders of their respective caucuses, but the two Metro Council members hope city lawmakers tackle a number of issues this year.

Among them is the new spending plan for the city. Mayor Greg Fischer says the local economy is bouncing back from the recession, but Metro Government still faces a $13 million budget shortfall.

Both parties hope the budget process is transparent, and James and Fleming agree that public dollars for city services are running thin and need to be spent wisely.

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Politics
12:02 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

In Wake of Financial Downgrade, Kentucky Business Leaders Call for Quick Pension Reform

Credit Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Another change in Kentucky’s financial outlook has the state’s business leaders calling on the General Assembly for immediate pension reforms.

Standard and Poor’s has changed Kentucky’s outlook to negative, citing the state's large unfunded pension obligations as the main reason.

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Politics
10:59 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Mitch McConnell Suspects Challenge Will Come From The Right

Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., acknowledges a potential Tea Party challenger.
Credit File photo

In an interview with Yahoo News, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell admits he could face a tough primary challenge from the Tea Party in his home state of Kentucky.

Since its inception the Tea Party has been critical of McConnell's leadership despite his efforts to make peace with the movement. The strife has increased in recent weeks, with over a dozen Tea Party groups in Kentucky warning that a primary challenger is forthcoming.

McConnell says he doesn't have a sense of entitlement to the senate seat, and expects a vigorous campaign.

From Yahoo News:

McConnell acknowledged he may face a tough primary challenge in 2014, in part because he has been at odds with tea party members in his state and because those in Senate leadership roles in both parties are juicy targets for defeat.

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Politics
9:58 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Bloomington Officials Conduct Symbolic Same-Sex Marriages

Credit WFIU Public Radio

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A dozen Bloomington area couples were symbolically married Thursday night in a ceremony meant as a stand against a ban on gay marriage in Indiana.

Bloomington and Monroe County officials and clergy members participated. It was a long time coming for some couples, but participants were under no illusions about whether they gained any rights.

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Politics
4:23 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Lawmakers: Decision Coming Next Week on Indiana Gay Marriage Amendment

Indiana legislative leaders expect to decide soon whether to take up a proposal during the current session to write a gay marriage ban into the state constitution.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long and Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma say they will make their decision after consulting with their respective caucuses next week.

Their statements follow reports from the Evansville Courier and Press that a majority of lawmakers on the House and Senate panels that would vet the ban want to wait until next year.

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Politics
4:18 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Chief Justice John Minton Rules Out Furloughs, but Warns of More Budget Cuts to Courts

John Minton
Credit Kentucky Supreme Court

After a year of budget cuts to Kentucky's court system, Chief Justice John Minton said furloughs won't happen in the next year, but he is asking lawmakers to find more money for the state’s judicial branch.

Kentucky's judicial branch will face more cuts in the upcoming fiscal year, though, Minton said in his annual address to the interim judicial committee.

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Politics
4:13 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Lawmaker Withdraws Indiana Tort Bill Pushed by Pence

A tort reform measure from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's first-year agenda has gone down in defeat amid opposition in a key Senate committee.

Republican Sen. Mike Delph said today he was withdrawing the proposal that would make the losers of lawsuits pay all legal fees because it was unlikely to pass the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The measure sparked controversy when it was first submitted earlier this month. Pence didn't include the proposal in his campaign "roadmap" and has declined to comment on it in multiple interviews.

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