Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Politics
10:35 pm
Sat December 15, 2012

Noise and Notes: Can Anyone Beat Mitch McConnell?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

Respect him or not, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his leadership role in Washington cannot be ignored.

For weeks speculation has been growing about who will take on the powerful GOP leader two years from now. One Democrat—Owensboro home builder Ed Marksberry—has stepped forward, but with little excitement.

The national media has focused much of its attention on actress Ashley Judd, who would bring Hollywood star power to the race.

But prominent state Democratic leaders have voiced skepticism if not outright opposition to her celebrity candidacy in the commonwealth.

Others point to Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who many view as the most popular choice. And a recent survey showed Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is within striking distance.

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Politics
11:59 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Mayor Greg Fischer Mum on Re-Election

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer hasn’t made a decision on whether he’ll run for re-election in 2014.

Fischer is among the rumored Democrats to run for Kentucky's U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. A survey by the North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling showed Fischer trailing McConnell by 5 points in a head-to-head contest.

Earlier this month, a mayoral spokesman told WFPL Fischer would announce his decision on re-election in January.

But when asked if he intends to run for a second term, Fischer says he will make an official decision next summer.

"I love this job. I'm inclined to do that, but I haven't made a decision yet," he says. "I’ve got a great job here. There’s a lot of work to do, and I plan to do this and hopefully more in future. We get great feedback from people and we got a lot of work to do, and we got a great team too."

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Politics
6:43 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Democrat Ed Marksberry Announces 2014 Senate Bid

Democrat Ed Marksberry
Credit Hillbillyreport.org

Owensboro Democrat Ed Marksberry is running in the 2014 Kentucky race for U.S. Senate.

Marksberry is a building contractor and former congressional candidate, who ran unsuccessfully against Republican Congressman Brett Guthrie two years ago. He lost that race by 35 points.

On his campaign website, Marksberry says he shares the experience of middle-class Kentuckians and knows first-hand their struggles in this difficult economy.

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Politics
3:45 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

McConnell Unpopularity: A Talk With the Pollster

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

Yesterday it was revealed that Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is currently the most unpopular Senator in the country, according to a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling.

Today on Here and Now, host Jonathan Bastian spoke with Jim Williams, issue polling specialist at Public Policy Polling, who helped formulate and conduct the poll.  Also present was WFPL's political editor Phillip Bailey. 

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Politics
4:03 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Poll: McConnell Most Unpopular U.S. Senator

Credit File photo

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is the most unpopular Senator in the country, according to a new survey conducted by Public Policy Polling released Tuesday.

The poll shows that among Kentucky voters, McConnell has just a 37 percent approval rating along with a 55 percent disapproval and has only one-third of independents. But the GOP leaders is still ahead of all Democratic threats in 2014, including actress Ashley Judd, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Crimes and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

From PPP:

The reason McConnell does decently well in the head to head match ups despite his poor approval numbers is that even though a lot of Republicans dislike him, most of them would still vote for him in a general election before they would support a Democrat.

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Politics
7:35 am
Mon December 10, 2012

McConnell: Tea Party Has Been a 'Good Movement' for Republican Party

Credit File photo

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell says the Tea Party has been good for the Republican Party.

Critics of the Tea Party blame it for costing the GOP the majority in the U.S. Senate the past four years, citing high-profile losses in Delaware, Nevada and Indiana.

Last week, the leader of the Tea Party in the Senate, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, announced he was leaving to lead a think tank.

But McConnell says the Tea Party has done something important for the GOP -- it's energized the party.

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Politics
5:22 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Mitch McConnell: President Obama is Asking for Too Much in Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said he hopes a deal can be reached to avoid the fiscal cliff,  but so far the talks have not gone well.

McConnell said President Barack Obama is asking for a new stimulus package -- the unlimited ability to raise the debt ceiling and more than $1 trillion in new tax revenues.

(The New York Times recently published a handy graphic outlining where the sides stand.)

And those proposals are not something Republicans want to concede, McConnell said.

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Politics
3:27 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Fix the Senate Now Blasts Mitch McConnell's Self-Filibuster

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

A coalition of labor and environmental groups are targeting Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's self-filibuster, saying it underscores the need for reforms.

Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, McConnell challenged Senate Democrats to support his proposal to give President Obama the power to raise the U.S. debt limit unilaterally.

Mr. Obama is asking for the power as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations. But when Democratic Leader Harry Reid proposed passing the measure by a simple 51-vote majority, McConnell quickly objected.

Instead, he argued, such a controversial decision required a filibuster proof 60 vote majority.

"Mitch McConnell has been the chief opponent of fixing the Senate and reforming the filibuster. And this is a prime example of why the filibuster needs to be fixed," says Melinda Pierce, a spokeswoman for Sierra Club, which is a member of the Fix the Senate Now coalition.

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Politics
11:16 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

BuzzFeed: Mitch McConnell Should Fear Jim DeMint

Sens. Jim DeMint and Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

The resignation of Sen. Jim DeMint, R-Sc., could spell bad news for his soon-to-be former GOP colleagues—namely Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,—who face re-election in 2014.

In a statement, McConnell praised DeMint's "uncompromising service," however, as BuzzFeed's John Stanton points out, DeMint has been pushing for Republicans to be more conservative for years. And as president of the Heritage Foundation, he will have an ideal seat to wage an ideological war on incumbents such as McConnell.

From BuzzFeed:

There’s no love lost between DeMint and the top Republican in the Senate. The two have repeatedly clashed over policy positions McConnell has sought to push, as well as the broader direction of the conference and Republican Party.

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Politics
1:34 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Mitch McConnell Praises Jim DeMint's 'Uncompromising Service'

Sens. Jim DeMint and Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

Reacting to the sudden resignation of Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., announced Thursday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is praising his sometime GOP rival, who is leaving in January to lead a conservative think tank.

From McConnell's office:

"I thank Senator DeMint for his uncompromising service to South Carolina and our country in the United States Senate. Jim helped provide a powerful voice for conservative ideals in a town where those principles are too often hidden beneath business as usual. 

There is no question in my mind that he raised the profile of important issues like spending and debt and helped galvanize the American people against a big government agenda. I am confident that he will continue to advocate for conservative principles in the next chapter of his service to the American people."

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