Mitch McConnell

Politics
5:45 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Senator Mitch McConnell Questions Governor's Decision to Expand Medicaid

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Senate

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell questioned Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear's long-awaited decision to expand Medicaid coverage under the president's health care law, arguing it will expose Kentuckians to increasing costs.

As Kentucky Public Radio's Kenny Colston reports, Beshear, a Democrat, announced the state's Medicaid program will extend coverage to over 300,000 Kentuckians under the Affordable Care Act or what opponents calls Obamacare.

This means the state's Medicaid rolls will extend to more low-income and poor people who are below 138 percent of the federal poverty line.

The governor called it the right thing to do, and the decision was praised by fellow Democrats and health advocacy groups.

However, Kentucky's senior senator warned the extension will be costly for residents and hurt small businesses.

"Given Kentucky’s struggles to finance its current Medicaid program and the uncertainty of future federal funding, I am surprised the governor would make this decision to further implement Obamacare and expose the commonwealth’s taxpayers to more open ended expenses they cannot afford," McConnell said in a statement.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Gun Control Groups Petition Mitch McConnell to Support Background Checks Bill

A protestor holds a sign calling on Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to support gun background checks legislation
Credit Phillip M. Bailey

Gun control advocates rallied outside of Republican Mitch McConnell’s downtown Louisville office to deliver a petition asking Kentucky’s senior senator to change his position on expanded background checks.

Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Moms Demand Action had over 30 members demonstrating outside McConnell's office before delivering 1,200 signatures urging Congress to support "sensible" gun reforms.

Last month, the Senate rejected the Manchin-Toomey bill, which supporters argued would keep firearms out of the hands of convicted felons and the mentally ill.

Gun rights activists say the bill would only restrict the ability of law-abiding citizens to obtain guns, however.

The petition to McConnell scolds lawmakers for doing "nothing to stop gun killings." It goes on to argue any guns reforms "must include background checks for gun purchases."

Moms Demand Action member Pam Gersh spoke at the rally. She says McConnell is out of touch for voting against the bipartisan compromise, but promises more pressure in the coming weeks.

"We’re a group that is enraged and engaged," she says. "We are going to continue putting pressure on our elected representative and they’re going to continue to hear our voices whenever we have the opportunity. And there are lot of groups working on this now."

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Politics
12:03 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Mitch McConnell Releases New Ad Celebrating Kentucky Derby

Senator Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

In a new online ad, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says the annual Kentucky Derby demonstrates the focus and determination of the state he represents.

The spot is being released on the eve of the Triple Crown and is narrated by the GOP leader, who compares the horse race to the spirit of Kentuckians.

"The twin spires of Churchill Downs host the world's finest horses. But it's a race where the horses tell us as much about a people as they do about themselves. If you listen closely, you can hear the story of Kentucky in the thunder of their hooves. Each stride reflects the focus of a people determined to succeed," says McConnell.

Watch:

McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton says it is the latest example their "commitment to being the most innovative Senate campaign in history."

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Politics
3:11 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Kentucky Environmentalist Tom FitzGerald Mulling Bid Against Mitch McConnell

Environmental lawyer Tom FitzGerald
Credit http://valleywatch.net

Environmental activist and Louisville attorney Tom FitzGerald says he is being encouraged to run against Republican Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky 2014 U.S. Senate race.

The 58-year-old Democrat currently serves as executive director of the Kentucky Resources Council, an environmental group that lobbies state lawmakers on conservation issues.

In a telephone interview, FitzGerald told WFPL the decision is still in its early stages and leaving the non-profit world would be a significant change.

"For me to go into electoral politics and partisan politics is a very different way of approaching public service. I have a real fondness and appreciation for the amazing people of this Commonwealth and I've devoted my adult life to try to improve the quality of the community's health," he says.

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Politics
1:56 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Gabrielle Giffords's Super PAC Slams Mitch McConnell Over Gun Background Check Vote

Credit Executive Office of the President

A super PAC founded by former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is calling out Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell for voting against gun control measures in a new radio advertisement.

Americans Responsible for Solutions was formed by Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, and is launching the spots in the Louisville and Lexington areas. Giffords, who was shot in the head during a 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., has been an outspoken proponent for gun control measures since retiring from Congress.

The ad implores McConnell to listen to voters, and highlights 82 percent of Kentuckians favor background checks for gun purchases.

"McConnell opposed common sense checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals," the narrator says. "Written by a Republican and a Democrat. Supported by law enforcement officers. It was a common sense plan that protected Second Amendment Rights. But Senator McConnell ignored the will of the people."

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Politics
11:08 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Senator Mitch McConnell Addresses Progress Kentucky, Defends Record on Mental Health Issues

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,

In a new op-ed piece, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell finally addresses a liberal super PAC accused of recording of his campaign office.

McConnell has personally avoided talking about Progress Kentucky directly, but his re-election campaign and surrogates have focused on the groups in TV ads and news releases. 

Some observers have said the issue at hand isn't how the secret recording of the McConnell campaign was obtained, but aides talking about Ashley Judd's struggles with depression as a part of opposition research.

The GOP leader takes time to respond to newspaper columnist Merlene Davis, who wrote McConnell owed Judd an apology for strategizing on how to attack the Hollywood actresses's past mental health problems but not before taking a swipe at the "partisan zealots" at Progress.

From The Lexington Herald-Leader:

Shortly after the FBI began investigating a criminal recording at my campaign headquarters, Davis penned an opinion column here echoing the framework of the left-wing journalist who obtained the illegally recorded audio in the first place.

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Politics
10:00 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Mitch McConnell Ad Spotlights FBI Probe, al-Qaeda Comparison

Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

The campaign to re-elect Republican Senator Mitch McConnell launched a new TV ad Thursday, which continues to pummel liberal super PAC Progress Kentucky and other groups for their attacks.

Asking "how dirty" will Democrats get, the narrator says McConnell is President Obama's number one target while highlighting the FBI investigation into a secret recording of a McConnell campaign strategy meeting.  WFPL broke the story that a local Democratic official alleged two activists involved with Progress were behind the recording.

The ad also digs at Americans United for Change, which launched a commercial which said McConnell's position against gun background checks put him in agreement with the terrorist group al-Qaeda.

"The far left is desperate to hurt Senator McConnell and have resorted to some of the dirtiest tactics in memory," McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton said in a release. "Whether it be the left's racist attacks, their spying and illegal recording of our office meetings or comparing Mitch to mass-murderers and Al Qaeda terrorists, Kentuckians are appalled and will not stand for it."

Watch:

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Politics
5:08 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Mother Jones Reporter: Kentucky Democrat Discouraged Mitch McConnell Campaign Tape Story

Mother Jones Washington Bureau Chief David Corn
Credit motherjones.com

The Mother Jones reporter who uncovered a secret recording of Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s campaign meeting discussing ways to attack actress Ashley Judd's mental health says a Kentucky Democrat urged him not to write the story.

Journalist David Corn is Washington Bureau Chief for the magazine and appeared on the Diane Rehm Show Monday morning to discuss how he obtained the tape and its contents. He is also the reporter was broke the infamous "47 percent" tape of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Corn says before the original April 9 story about the recordings came out a Kentucky source who "caught wind" of the report discouraged him from writing it and warned the audio would ultimately benefit McConnell.

"There was a person in Kentucky who was sympathetic to the Democrats—let me put it that way—I can’t identify the person. But who got wind that I was going to do the story and contacted me and asked me not to. Why? Because this person wisely predicted that McConnell would come out and make himself the victim and it would help McConnell," he says.

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Politics
12:45 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Liberal Group Uses al-Qaeda Recruitment Video to Blast Mitch McConnell Over Gun Control

A liberal advocacy group is launching a controversial new ad targeting Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his opposition to gun control measure that uses an al-Qaeda recruitment video.

Americans United for Change is behind the 30-second spot, which features American-born al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn explaining how lax U.S. laws do not require background checks to obtain firearms.

In the recruitment video, Gadahn calls on Muslims living in the United State to carry out acts of terror and that guns can easily be obtained at local conventions.

The narrator goes on to explain McConnell is against background checks as part of a series of proposed gun control measures in the Senate. He asks: "who does agree with Mitch?"

Watch:

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Politics
8:58 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Mitch McConnell Tape Fallout: FBI Digs In, How Progress Kentucky Helps the GOP, Was it Illegal?

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

With the news broken that Progress Kentucky was behind the secret recording of a strategy meeting between Senator Mitch McConnell and his campaign staff, there are a few questions that remain.

What happens to the people who made the tape?

Jacob Conway with the Jefferson County Democratic Party says Progress Kentucky founder Shawn Reilly and then-volunteer Curtis Morrison made the recording. 

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