There’s More to Sen. Rand Paul’s Word Association Game

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

When Bill Goodman interviewed Sen. Rand Paul in Louisville several weeks ago, he concluded their conversation with a word association game. Goodman would mention names of prominent politicians and the senator would say the first words that came to his mind about those individuals.

That three-minute segment has since gotten national attention, thanks to mentions in the Washington Post, Business Insider, CNN, and the Lexington Herald-Leader’s Bluegrass Politics blog. Much of this coverage has focused on Paul’s pithy descriptions of potential opponents in the 2016 presidential election.

But Paul also had some nice things to say about Sen. Cory Booker. The New Jersey Democrat and Kentucky Republican are sponsoring legislation called the REDEEM Act, which proposes a series of criminal justice reforms, including provisions to make it easier for nonviolent juvenile offenders to expunge their criminal records, and allow certain low-level drug criminals to still receive food stamps and other welfare benefits. The legislation is an attempt to roll-back what Booker and Paul see as some of the most punitive and discriminatory aspects of the war on drugs.

This partnership between the two freshmen senators has led the Beltway media to label them “Washington’s newest odd couple.”

Here’s the full video clip from One to One in which Paul offers his thoughts about Booker and how politicians who otherwise disagree on most policies can work together on specific issues on which they do agree.

Watch the full interview with Sen. Paul or read a recap.

This post was written by KET public affairs reporter John Gregory.

Immigration: Policy and Politics

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

What is to be done about the immigration issue?

What should happen to the surge of children who have come across the border from Central America?

When will the U.S. House and Senate act, or will President Obama take executive action on the immigration crisis without Congressional approval?

Yesterday NPR reported that the president is expected to do something by the end of summer. Whether that action will occur while Congress is still on their August recess remains to be seen. Obama has been known to act while Congress is out of town.

Reporter Tamara Keith said Obama’s “decision has been years in the making. It is built on his own action two years ago to defer deportation for so-called Dreamers – those young people brought to the country illegally as children.”

On Monday’s Kentucky Tonight, much of our conversation focused on the children who are sheltered along the border, awaiting processing and transfer, either back to their country of origin or to be allowed to stay in the United States.

Some reports say the number of unaccompanied migrant children might be as high as 60,000.

One former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization lawyer said the real question at the heart of the issue isn’t about legal authority. It’s a matter of policy and politics.

That seemed to be at the center of our discussion last night with our guests Nima Kulkarni, an international business and immigration lawyer in Louisville; Jessamine County Attorney Brian Goettl; Rebecca O’Neill, an immigration lawyer at Kentucky Refugee Ministries in Louisville; and Dan Rose, a Lexington lawyer and president of Americans First.

In the next few weeks on Kentucky Tonight, we’ll look at other state and national issues, such as an increase in the minimum wage, the Affordable Care Act, and energy policy, including coal and the EPA.

Immigration on Kentucky Tonight

Monday, August 11th, 2014

There are multiple reasons why we’re revisiting the topic of immigration on Kentucky Tonight this evening.

We last discussed the issue almost nine-months ago and much has changed since then. In the summer of 2013, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform proposal with 14 Republican votes. (Both of Kentucky’s Republican senators voted against the legislation.) But the Senate measure failed to move in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Fast-forward to 2014 when President Obama made an immigration bill a top priority in his legislation agenda. Yet not much has happened since then. The House and Senate have yet to find a bill on which they can agree. At the same time, a surge in unaccompanied minors from Central America started to flock across our southern border. Now, in mid August, many of those children remain in shelters, lawmakers have gone home for their summer recess, and the White House has shifted focus to the crisis in Iraq.

In a conversation for my One to One program three weeks ago, Sen. Rand Paul repeated his stance that any attempt at immigration reform must include provisions to secure the border first.

Our immigration discussion tonight will feature Nima Kulkarni, an international business and immigration lawyer in Louisville; Jessamine County Attorney Brian Goettl; Rebecca O’Neill, an immigration lawyer at Kentucky Refugee Ministries in Louisville; and Dan Rose, a Lexington lawyer and president of Americans First. The show airs 8 p.m. on KET and online at KET.org/live.


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