mitch mcconnell

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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Environment
6:46 am
Mon July 8, 2013

What Role Would Coal Play in a Grimes-McConnell Senate Race?

Decumanus Wikimedia Commons

Now that Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has announced her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, the speculation about how Grimes will campaign against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—and on what issues—has begun.  

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Politics
4:29 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Mitch McConnell Touts His Experience, Influence Compared to Alison Lundergan Grimes

Mitch McConnell
Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL News

From Mitch McConnell's perspective, the 2014 race for his U.S. Senate seat comes down to in large part to his influence and many years of experience in Washington, D.C.

McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, spoke to reporters on Wednesday after a groundbreaking for the final phase of the Parklands of Floyds Fork project in southeastern Jefferson County. He addressed the entry on Monday into the senate race of Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's Secretary of State.

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Local News
2:21 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Ashley Judd 'Ready to Fight' Beside Alison Lundergan Grimes in Race Against Mitch McConnell

Ashley Judd
Credit Creative Commons

FRANKFORT — Actress Ashley Judd says she's "ready to fight" beside Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's secretary of state who announced Monday she would challenge U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election bid next year.

Judd, who had considered the race herself, showed her support for Grimes in a tweet Tuesday.

Judd, a former Kentucky resident now living in Tennessee, announced in March that she wouldn't run against McConnell. When Judd pulled out, Democratic leaders turned to Grimes as their candidate of choice.

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Politics
10:30 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Bruce Lundsford: Democrats Lack Firepower to Defeat Mitch McConnell

Bruce Lunsford in 2008.
Credit Creative Commons

Former U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Lunsford says Kentucky Democrats lack the "firepower" to defeat Republican Mitch McConnell in next year's election.

The Louisville businessman ran against McConnell in 2008 and came within six percentage points of defeating the GOP leader.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is considered the top contender for the Democratic nomination in 2014. She is being courted by national Democrats and encouraged by state party officials as well, but Grimes has taking her time to announce any intentions.

Perhaps warning Grimes against running, Lunsford says any potential challenger needs to know the risks of McConnell running a negative campaign could damage their political future.

From ABC News:

"There is really no sitting Democrat that I can think of right now that has the firepower, monetarily, or has enough gravitas to take him on significantly," Lunsford told ABC News. "I’d be surprised if anybody can run against him who thinks they have a further career in politics."

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Politics
11:59 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Curtis Morrison Says Trial Over Secret Recording Could Reveal Mitch McConnell Wrongdoing

Credit Rae Hodge / WFPL News

Curtis Morrison, who recently admitted to secretly recording one of Senator Mitch McConnell's campaign strategy sessions, is once again granting interviews.

Morrison and I had a long conversation Monday afternoon. The full audio is below. Here are some takeaways:

Morrison has a goal

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Politics
4:59 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Former Mitch McConnell Aide, Karl Rove Protégé Launches Kentucky Super PAC

A Kentucky-based Republican operative is launching a new super PAC that observers expect will help Senator Mitch McConnell in the 2014 U.S. Senate race.

GOP strategist Scott Jennings is a former Karl Rove deputy who worked as a campaign aide for McConnell before running Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign in Ohio. He now serves as a chief adviser to Kentuckians For Strong Leadership, which is listed to make unlimited outside expenditures in federal races.

From Politico:

"Kentucky’s a battleground, in some ways, to keep conservative leadership in Washington," Jennings told POLITICO

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