McConnell Discusses His New Job as Senate Majority Leader

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

This is an important day for Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Today at noon, McConnell was sworn in as the Majority Leader of the United States Senate. The only other Kentuckian to hold the position was Alben Barkley, who served from 1937 until 1947. Barkley went on to become vice president under President Harry Truman.

A few days ago, I invited Sen. McConnell to talk with me about his new role in the 114th Congress. We recorded the conversation at Ashland, the Lexington home of Kentucky statesman Henry Clay. McConnell wrote his college thesis on the “Great Compromiser” and has long admired Clay’s historic tenure in Congress.

Tonight in a special edition of One to One, McConnell talks about Clay and Barkley, and about how he will manage the new Senate.

McConnell also discusses the Oval Office meeting he had with President Obama just days after the November elections, and the issues on which the two men might agree.

My conversation with Sen. McConnell airs tonight at 6:30 on KET and online at

Important Issues Face Lawmakers in 2015

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

State public pension woes, a local option sales tax for Kentucky communities, a growing heroin problem all over the state, and an increase in the minimum wage: these are just a few of the issues facing lawmakers in the 2015 General Assembly session.

These topics pose important questions for our state and need your scrutiny. You’ll see lawmakers debating the issues on KET when they speak on the floor of the state House and Senate, or in important committee meetings.

You don’t see them when they’re in the hallways or their offices discussing a piece of legislation with constituents or advocacy groups lobbying for a particular bill. That, according to Kentucky Tonight guest Rep. Denver Butler (D-Louisville), is where the real work gets done during the legislative session.

Monday night, Butler joined fellow Democrat Rep. Terry Mills of Lebanon, and Republican Representatives Brad Montell of Shelbyville and David Floyd of Bardstown to discuss the issues facing lawmakers when they return to Frankfort January 6.

Before the program began, I visited the lawmakers in the KET Green Room to ask about the issues they hope to see addressed in the 2015 session.

Click here to watch the full program and read a recap of the discussion.

Kentucky Tonight will take a few weeks off for the holidays. We’ll return on Monday, January 5 as state House and Senate leaders join me for a discussion about the upcoming legislative session.

To all of you, happy holidays and best wishes for the new year.

A Tough Road for Immigration Reform

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

A new poll from Rasmussen Reports finds that half of the nation’s voters dislike President Obama’s immigration plan. The executive action he announced last week will allow nearly five million illegal immigrants to remain in this country for three years and apply for jobs. The survey respondents opposed to the plan think it will be bad for the economy and will attract even more illegal immigrants.

Monday on Kentucky Tonight, our panelists found very little to agree on regarding the president’s action. Our guests were attorneys Marilyn Daniel and Rachel Mendoza-Newton, Jessamine County Attorney Brian Goettl, and Lexington businessman Ronald Vissing of Americans First.

Daniel, who co-founded the Maxwell Street Legal Clinic in Lexington, disagreed with Goettl on details regarding how undocumented immigrants might be taxed and the benefits they could receive under Obama’s order.

You can watch the full discussion or read a recap of the conversation.

Kentucky Tonight will be preempted next Monday so that we can bring you special programming for KET’s Winter Pledge. We’ll return with a new show on December 8.

Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!

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