Today’s Wall Street Journal. Photo credited to Mahmoud Raslan/Aleppo Media Cente via Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Republicans converged on Cleveland, Democrats kicked up their heels in Philly, and this weekend Kentuckians will gather at Fancy Farm.
For the 136th year, politicians, media, and barbecue-loving folks from across the commonwealth will descend on the Graves County hamlet to hear speeches, visit with friends and family, and toss verbal barbs at anyone brave enough to take the stage at the picnic grounds.
The politicking is all in good fun and it signals the unofficial start to the fall campaign season in Kentucky. All of the proceeds from the annual event go to St. Jerome Parish to support their programs and outreach activities.
Of course you can count on KET to bring you complete and comprehensive coverage of Fancy Farm for the next several days.
Tonight at 8, Comment on Kentucky will broadcast live from the picnic grounds. Host Bill Bryant welcomes Ronnie Ellis of CNHI News Service, Joseph Gerth of The Courier-Journal, and Nick Storm of cn|2.
Then at 8:30 Renee Shaw and I will host a special program to preview this year’s event.
On Saturday, our live coverage begins at 2:30. Renee and I will have all the speeches as well as analysis of the day’s activities. If you’re not near a TV, you can stream the festivities at KET.org/fancyfarm.
Finally Monday night 8, KET will air our annual Fancy Farm wrap-up program.
This year’s roster of speakers will provide some interesting viewing. Candidates in the statewide U.S. Senate race will be there; representatives of the presidential candidates will be given a few minutes in front of the crowd; several constitutional officers will take a victory lap after their elections last year; and you can count on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Gov. Matt Bevin to have plenty to say about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
This year’s emcee is Scott Jennings, a partner in the Louisville public relations firm RunSwitch. Jennings served as an adviser to President George W. Bush and Sen. McConnell.
Associate Producer Lillie Ruschell recently spent some time with Jennings at his Louisville office and later I talked with him about his role at this year’s Fancy Farm.
Jennings’ firm just released one of the first political polls of the fall campaign. Click here to see the results of the RunSwitch-Harper Polling survey about the presidential race, the U.S. Senate contest, and other political issues in the state.
There are many challenges facing the commonwealth, including how to manage the state’s increasing Medicaid population.
Gov. Matt Bevin recently announced a new plan that aims to make Medicaid financially sustainable and generate better health outcomes by promoting personal responsibility.
The proposal is called Kentucky HEALTH, which stands for Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health, and it makes a number of significant changes to the expanded Medicaid program that was implemented by former Gov. Steve Beshear in 2013.
We’ll explore Gov. Bevin’s proposal on One to One when I’ll be joined by Scott Brinkman, the secretary of the governor’s executive cabinet, and Vickie Yates Brown Glisson, the secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. You can watch that conversation this Sunday at 1 p.m. on KET.
The cabinet has held three public hearings on the plan to gather comments before they submit their final waiver proposal to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for approval. State officials are still accepting input through July 22. If you have any thoughts, you can mail them to Commissioner Stephen Miller, Department for Medicaid Services, 275 E. Main Street, Frankfort, Ky., 40621, or send them by email.
In addition to Sunday’s conversation, we’re scheduling guests for a forthcoming Kentucky Tonight to explore the issue. Stay tuned for those details.