Posts Tagged ‘2014 elections’

Key Issues in the 2014 Elections

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

If you had any doubts that the Affordable Care Act would be an issue in the 2014 elections, they were quickly put to rest during Monday’s edition of Kentucky Tonight. The discussion rapidly and repeatedly turned from next year’s races to health care, as members of our panel tried to see who could best defend the rollout of Obamacare or point out its flaws.

When we were able to talk about political campaigns, much of the discussion focused on what many pundits think will be the most-watched U.S. Senate race in 2014: the contest between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, and Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin.

During the program, Bill Garmer, the former chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party, questioned what Mitch McConnell stands for after three decades in the Senate. Tres Watson, chair of the Kentucky Young Republican Federation, challenged that statement by accusing President Obama of creating a “nanny” state in the nation – which opened the door to more conversation about Obamacare from Jennifer Moore, chair of Emerge Kentucky and a former chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party, and Nathan Haney, chair of the Jefferson County Republican Party. Here’s a look at that portion of the show:

Everyone agreed that coal would be a significant issue in the Senate race, with McConnell and Grimes having to explain their positions on mining as well as on diversification efforts in and economic aid to eastern Kentucky. Fundraising will also be critical, both in terms of the money the candidates will need to raise for their campaigns, and Sen. McConnell’s ongoing efforts to eliminate limits on political contributions.

In the closing minutes of the program, we touched on next month’s special election to fill the state house seat recently vacated by John Arnold. Two female candidates are competing in that western Kentucky contest: Republican Suzanne Miles and Democrat Kim Humphrey.

And we discussed the prospects of first-time Representative Andy Barr winning re-election in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District. You can watch the full program on our website.

Interviews with Our Congress Members Begin Tonight

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Note from Bill Goodman: KET just returned from a trip to Washington, D.C., for a series of One to One interviews that begin airing tonight at 6:30 ET. My colleague Renee Shaw provides the highlights of tonight’s interview with U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell.

First Up on One to One: Republican Leader Mitch McConnell

Last week, about a dozen KET production crew braved the pace of the Beltway to learn more about the work of our federal delegation in Washington. In a series of special One to One programs with Bill Goodman that begin tonight at 6:30 pm ET on KET, Bill talks with our six congressmen and two senators about the pressing national issues of immigration, gun control, deficit reduction, industrial hemp, and even the freedom to fish.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, the second Kentuckian to lead his party in the Senate, talks with Bill tonight about his unwavering position to hold the line on the debt limit unless attached to legislation to reduce the federal deficit. McConnell says the move is not unprecedented as it dates back to the 1950’s as presidential requests to increase the debt ceiling have accompanied significant legislation.

He cites the Congressional Review Act, the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, the 1997 Bill Clinton and Republican Congress Deficit Reduction Proposal and the August 2011 Budget Control Act. McConnell proclaims it irresponsible to raise the debt ceiling without addressing the debt. Of the debt, he says, “the size of our debt looks a lot like a western European country. This is the biggest issue confronting the country.” McConnell adds, “It would be wonderful if the President would lead on this rather than us having to drag him to the table.”

The Republican leader also talks about his effort to pass the “Coal Jobs Protection Act” in response to what he deems hostile regulations by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) targeting the coal industry under President Obama. He says the measure addresses two types of permits that have to be granted in order to mine coal and would force the EPA to issue more timely decisions even if they result in rejection.

When asked whether the legislation would be a boon for coal production that’s now at the lowest level since the mid-1960’s, McConnell says, “it might not, they (EPA) might decide to say ‘no,’ but at least it eliminates the uncertainty.”

That lament by McConnell gave way to this wider criticism of the Obama administration. He adds, “in fact, the administration across the board, whether it’s health care, financial services… have gotten an army of regulators whose bias is ‘if you’re making a profit, you’re up to no good.’” He denounces enhanced regulation as “a huge wet blanket over the economy and it makes it very difficult for us to come out of this very deep recession.”

McConnell decries the federal health care reform law (Obamacare) that’s ramping up for implementation as “a calamity that can’t possibly work.” He and Bill discuss immigration, the “Freedom to Fish Act,” and the balancing of his duties as minority leader with the rigors of defending his seat in the 2014 election.

Here’s what Senator McConnell has to say about the 2014 contest:

Watch the entire interview with Mitch McConnell tonight at 6:30 ET on KET. Tomorrow night is Bill’s interview with junior U.S. Senator Rand Paul.

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