Kenny Colston

Kentucky Public Radio Frankfort Bureau Chief

Kenny Colston is based in the state capitol and files pieces for public radio stations across the commonwealth. Before joining KPR in 2012, he covered state government for Insight CN2. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Kenny was a four-year staff member of the Kentucky Kernel, serving as editor-in-chief in his last year. 

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Politics
2:15 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

PAC is Formed to Combat Influence of Teachers Unions on School Board Races

A newly-formed political action committee is hoping to influence school board races across the commonwealth, embarking on territory usually dominated by teachers unions.

For decades, education policy and school board races across the commonwealth have been aided solely by teachers unions giving campaign donations through political action committees.

But a new group has just been formed to combat that influence on school board races. The Bluegrass Fund was created last week by Louisville develop David Nicklies, according to statements filed with the IRS.

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Politics
12:54 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Democratic Super PAC Plans to Influence State House Races

A Democratic super PAC that was active in last year’s governor’s race is taking part in legislative races this fall.  The Kentucky Family Values super PAC was started to help Governor Steve Beshear win re-election. The group has now re-formed under new leadership to influence state House races. 

“I hope we’re going to be successful and that is, elect enough family values oriented Democrats in the state House for the Democrats to retain control,” PAC chairman and retired Louisville lawyer Kevin Hable told Kentucky Public Radio in a phone interview.

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Politics
3:15 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Whistleblower Disputes Retirement Officials on Placement Agent Claim

A whistleblower and former member of the Kentucky Retirement System’s board of trustees is disputing claims that the pension plan hasn’t used placement agents recently.

Chris Tobe is an investment expert who served on the system’s board for four years. He’s also the main witness in a Securities and Exchange Commissions investigation into KRS and its previous uses of placement agents.

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Politics
1:50 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Retirement Official Says Pensions Systems Haven't Used Controversial Placement Agents Recently

After being heavily criticized for their use, Kentucky’s major pension program says it hasn't used a placement agent for three years.

Placement agents are investing middle men that direct pension funds to investment opportunities. Kentucky has not had a good track record with placement agents, who have been accused of mismanaging millions for the pension funds according to a 2011 audit.

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Politics
11:10 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Republican Legislative Challengers Announce Plans to Change Lawmakers' Pensions

After years of lawmakers attempting to find solutions to the state’s underfunded pension problems, a group of Republican legislative candidates are hoping to institute a plan of their own.

At a news conference today at the Capitol, the majority of Republican challengers in House and Senate races endorsed a plan to put new lawmakers into a 401k style pension system.

The challengers say if elected their plan would be the first bill they jointly introduce. And they would include themselves in the new 401k plan.

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Politics
11:24 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Kentucky Voters Will See A Handful of Options When Voting for President

The two-party system may dominate politics, but Kentuckians will still have a host of options when it comes to voting for a presidential candidate this fall.

In addition to the two major party candidates, two other political parties have qualified their candidates in Kentucky.

The Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein will join well-known candidates Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama on the ballot.

Also listed will be at least three other write-in slates and Independent candidate Randall Terry of West Virginia.

Politics
2:33 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Flat Growth in State Budget Causing Some Concerns

State budget officials say they are paying close attention to revenue as the state budget sees a flat growth at the start of the fiscal year.

Budget director Mary Lassiter says in her monthly briefing that August revenues ticked up, helping make up 2 percent of losses in July. But that leaves revenues flat, while forecasters had expected an almost 3 percent growth this year.

Lassiter says while warning alarms aren’t going off yet, steady declines in income and sales taxes is giving her office causes for concern.

Politics
10:30 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Organizations Team Up to Teach Civics Ahead of VP Debate

As Centre College prepares to host next month's vice presidential debate, several groups want to prepare Kentucky students for the event.

The Secretary of State and the non-profit Kentucky Youth Advocates have partnered with students from Bellarmine University to create lesson plans for Kentucky teachers. The lessons focus on basic civics and include information on political debates.

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Politics
12:03 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Activist Files Civil Rights Complaint Over Christian Health Sharing Battle

Kentucky Tea Party activist David Adams has stepped up his battle with the state Department of Insurance by filing a federal civil rights complaint. 

Adams has spent the last three months fighting with the department over the rights of Christian Care Medishare and other Christians-only health sharing organizations, Christian HealthCare and Samaritan Ministries.

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Politics
4:41 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Yarmuth Says Kentucky Delegates Wanted to Show Unified Support for President Obama

U.S. Congress

As the Democratic National Convention wraps up, Kentucky Democrats are trying to present a more unified front for President Barack Obama.

In this year’s primary, 42 percent of Democrats who cast ballots voted uncommitted rather than for the president. That created a problem for delegates to the party’s national convention, since uncommitted isn’t a candidate.

But this week, almost every Kentucky delegate supported this president's formal nomination.

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