Mitt and Mitch at Donamire Farm

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, was in Kentucky last night to attend a fundraiser for Sen. Mitch McConnell.

The private event was held at Donamire Farm on Old Frankfort Pike near Lexington. The farm is owned by Don and Mira Ball, and is frequently used for fundraising parties, including benefits for non-profit organizations. In fact the annual KET Summer Celebration has been held at Donamire for many years.

Press coverage for the event was limited by the organizers. But McConnell and Romney did make a few comments and answer several questions from the media afterwards. They were accompanied by McConnell’s wife, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.

Romney endorsed McConnell in his reelection bid against Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, and said he looked forward to McConnell becoming Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate.

The senator explained why his campaign has been so focused on President Obama and his agenda, especially on issues like the economy and foreign policy. McConnell also clarified his position on raising the minimum wage, saying he has supported increases in the past, but that he opposes it now because it would be a “bad time to be passing job-killing legislation.” He cited a study that indicates Kentucky would lose some 17,000 jobs if the minimum was raised.

Here are more of the remarks made by McConnell and Romney last night.

Sen. McConnell and Kentucky Secretary of State Grimes are scheduled to appear on Kentucky Tonight on Monday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m.

Panel Suggests Women Are Key to Victory in U.S. Senate Race

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Our Kentucky Tonight panel brought conviction, passion, and good-old fashion bias to the table in Studio A at KET Monday evening.

And they packed a few facts into their totes as well.

We invited Democrats David Tandy and Jennifer Moore along with Republicans John McCarthy and Nathan Haney to discuss the U.S. Senate race during the first portion of the program. We devoted the second half of the show to the competitive Kentucky State House contests that may determine whether Democrats maintain their majority in the lower chamber, or whether Republicans can win enough seats to gain full control of the General Assembly.

The conversation last night centered around “kitchen-table” issues, including pay equity and raising the minimum wage. Moore, who is founder of Emerge Kentucky, an organization that recruits and trains females to run as Democratic candidates for political office, said women are the key voting constituency in the state House races as well as the U.S. Senate contest between Sen. Mitch McConnell and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

At the end of the show, I asked the panel for their predictions on the outcome of the U.S. Senate race. McCarthy gave McConnell the edge by 6 points; Haney gave the senior senator a 7-point victory.

Moore picked Grimes by 1.5 percent; Tandy said she would win by a single point.

It could be a long night of vote counting on November 4!

When the debate turned to the Kentucky House races, Haney, who is Jefferson County Republican Chair, was the first to speak about the number of GOP women already serving in the state legislature, and those running for office this year.

Watch the full Kentucky Tonight program, or read a recap.

Next Monday at 8 p.m., we’ll discuss issues in the 3rd Congressional District race.

The ACA: Repeal or Fix?

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

In just about every U.S. House and Senate race across the nation this fall, the candidates are debating the Affordable Care Act.

In Kentucky, it’s no different.

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes have both taken positions on the legislation. At a Kentucky Farm Bureau forum last month, Grimes said she would be interested in “streamlining” the act and labeled the law “not perfect.”

Sen. McConnell told Farm Bureau members he wants the repeal the entire law and called Obamacare the worst piece of legislation passed in the last half century.

We discussed the ACA and Kynect, the state health insurance exchange, on Monday’s Kentucky Tonight. All four guests, Doctors Barbara Casper and Neal Moser, and state Senators Tom Buford and Reginald Thomas, weighed in with their viewpoints on the Affordable Care Act.

Watch the full Kentucky Tonight discussion.

We’ll be preempted next Monday night by the new Ken Burns’ documentary, The Roosevelts. Kentucky Tonight will return on September 22 at 8 p.m. for our conversation with the 2nd Congressional District candidates.

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