mitch mcconnell

Politics
6:58 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Tea Party Nation Reconsidering Endorsement of McConnell Over Cruz's Anti-Obamacare Plan

Republican U.s. Sen. Mitch McConnell at a tea party rally in Kentucky.
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

In the midst of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's lengthy floor speech against the president's health care law, a tea party group is having second thoughts about endorsing GOP Leader Mitch McConnell for re-election next year.

Earlier today, McConnell rejected Cruz's plan to filibuster the House spending bill which funds the government past Oct. 1 but does not pay for Obamacare.

"We'd all be hard pressed to explain how we're against a bill we're all in favor of," McConnell told reporters.

But as a number of high-profiled conservatives—such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus—have come out to support Cruz's floor speech, the Tea Party Nation that backed McConnell in July is publicly reconsidering that decision.

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Politics
2:02 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Senate Democrats Blocking McConnell's Coal Bill Puts Alison Lundergan Grimes in Tough Spot

Credit Kentucky Secretary of State/U.S. Senate

The pro-coal message of Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes was complicated by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid on Thursday, who blocked a bill introduced by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to ease federal regulations.

Reid's actions comes just days after Grimes called on the Obama administration to hold off on new environmental restrictions.

Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell asked for unanimous consent on his  "Saving Coal Jobs Act" to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing carbon emission standards for power plants.

"The EPA has already stifled the permitting process for new coal mines; the agency has done this so dramatically that they have effectively shut down many coal mines through illegitimate, dilatory tactics," McConnell said. "The EPA’s actions ignore the thousands of people in my home state of Kentucky who depend on the coal industry for their livelihoods."

Reid quickly objected to delay the bill while promising to hold a vote at a later date despite McConnell's urgency that the measure is needed now ahead of new EPA emission standards this week.

A coal industry leader had already raised doubts about Grimes being a more effective voice for Kentucky coal operators and miners than McConnell. But Reid's maneuvering raises further questions about whether Grimes can stand up to the Democratic leader while relying on him politically to unseat McConnell.

"Alison isn't afraid to stand up to members of either party," a Grimes campaign aide told WFPL. "She will stand up for Kentucky as its next U.S. Senator. When she is in the Senate she will get things done on behalf of Kentucky's working families. Today just underscores McConnell's weakness and ineffectiveness. His influence isn't working and he's unable to deliver for the people of Kentucky."

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Politics
11:00 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Libertarian David Patterson Enters 2014 Kentucky Senate Race

Credit www.lpky.org

FRANKFORT — Libertarian David Patterson has announced his intention to run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.

A 42-year-old Harrodsburg police officer, Patterson said in a statement that he's making a bid to unseat Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell because voters are looking for an alternative.

(Related: WFPL's coverage of the 2014 Senate race.)

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Politics
10:28 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Mitch McConnell Campaign Ad: Matt Bevin 'Dishonest' About MIT Résumé

A copy of the certificate Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin received.

The campaign to re-elect Republican Senator Mitch McConnell launched a stinging attack ad against primary challenger Matt Bevin over his claims of educational ties to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In the 30-second spot, McConnell's campaign highlights reports from The Hill earlier this year about the Louisville businessman's LinkedIn page.

In March, Bevin had listed MIT under his education profile based his attendance at an entrepreneurial program on the MIT campus.

Critics argued Bevin was misleading people that he was either a MIT graduate or graduated from a MIT affiliated program.

Bevin later revised his social networking page after school officials told The Hill it was a three-week seminar with no formal link to the school.

Watch:

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Commentary
6:48 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

A Fancy Farm First-Timer: Notes from a Morning Edition Host

Fancy Farm, years ago
Credit Library of Congress

Fancy Farm Picnic. Let's just start with the name. 

The first time I heard it, with no event description, my mind drifted towards whimsy and fluff: Martha Stewart convention? Petting zoo? Dressage? Antebellum actors? 

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Politics
7:02 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Mitch McConnell, Alison Lundergan Grimes, Matt Bevin Trade Barbs at Fancy Farm

Credit Gabe Bullard/WFPL

FANCY FARM, Ky. — Here's how the 2014 Senate race would look if the candidates were defined solely on how their opponents described them at the 133rd annual St. Jerome Fancy Farm political picnic:

Alison Lundergan Grimes? In the pocket of President Obama.

Mitch McConnell? An obstructionist who manages to also be too compromising.

Matt Bevin? He doesn't even exist.

Under an uncharacteristically cloudy sky and fits of drizzling rain, thousands flocked to the political picnic in search of political theater and pulled-pork sandwiches amid a backdrop dominated by one of the most anticipated races in the nation.

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Politics
3:05 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Clayton: 'A Lot at Stake' as Mitch McConnell, Alison Lundergan Grimes, Matt Bevin do Fancy Farm

The press at Fancy Farm.
Credit Gabe Bullard/WFPL

Mitch McConnell has been in the U.S. Senate since 1985, but he'll face something new on Saturday—challengers from all sides in a single place.

The Fancy Farm Picnic will bring the Senate Republican leader together to speak at the same venue as primary challenger Matt Bevin and Democratic candidates, most prominently Alison Lundergan Grimes.

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Politics
1:24 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes Calls Mitch McConnell's Leadership Spiteful, Petty in Kick-Off Ad

Alison Lundergan Grimes

Speaking directly to Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes says she plans to hold the GOP accountable in next year's election.

In a nearly four minute kick-off ad, Grimes says she doesn't always agree with President Obama, but that McConnell is blocking legislation that would've helped Kentuckians out of spite.

"Your campaign wants to play silly games about where I am and where I stand. Well I'm right here in Kentucky senator, where I'll be holding you accountable," says Grimes to McConnell.

"We'll have this debate senator, and as you've probably already seen, I don't scare easy."

The video also uses a clip from her successful secretary of state bid in 2011, which was praised by observers for its humorous tone and featured Grimes's two grandmothers.

Grimes's paternal grandmother, Thelma, died a few months after the ad first appeared and the Democratic challenger cites her as one of the chief reasons for running.

"Grandmother knew that if you wanted to get something done, you don’t stand in the way," says Grimes. "You stand by your principles, but you also figure out where you can agree and how we can come together. But that's not happening in Washington today, and Senator McConnell is the biggest part of the problem."

Watch:

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Politics
6:28 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell Take Turns Criticizing Obama During VFW Convention

Credit U.S. Senate

Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul each criticized the Obama Administration while speaking to the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ National Convention, though they focused on separate issues.

For Paul, a main theme was U.S. military intervention overseas.

In a speech Monday, Paul criticized Obama for sending aid to Egypt both before and after the ouster of the dictator Hosni Mubarak.

“Common sense tells us that we probably shouldn’t be sending our aid to military dictators or to the Muslim Brotherhood," Paul said.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

National Democrats Dub Mitch McConnell 'Senator Gridlock' Amid Filibuster Fight

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

National Democrats are calling Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky "Senator Gridlock" as the Senate considers altering its filibuster rules.

For most of this week, McConnell has been in a sometimes heated exchange with Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada over blocking President Obama's executive nominees.

Democrats are threatening to use so-called 'nuclear option' to break the gridlock, and McConnell has said that will make Reid the worst Senate leader in history if they do so.

"They’re not interested in checks and balances. They’re not interested in advice and consent. They’re not even interested in what this would mean down the road when Republicans are the ones making the nominations," McConnell said earlier this week. "They want the power. They want it now. And they don’t care about the consequences.

Since 2007, Senate statistics show McConnell has used the filibuster 413 times as minority leader. That is almost twice as much as when Democrats held the minority from 1995 to 2001. Update: Since 2007, the Senate has invoked cloture, which requires 60 votes, 413 times. This is not the same as McConnell using the filibuster. 

Democratic Senator Campaign Committee spokesman Justin Barasky says McConnell has led an unprecedented tenure of blocking Senate procedures.

"Mitch McConnell should change his name to Senator Gridlock because he’s the walking, talking embodiment of everything that’s wrong with Washington. And he’s the number one reason for record-breaking levels of obstruction and dysfunction," he says. "Senator McConnell has not only made things worse, but he’s actually embraced his role as the number one problem."

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