Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky Tonight’

Same-Sex Marriage and the 14th Amendment:
Why It’s Important to Understand the Debate

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Last week the website Politico reported a poll by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute that shows evangelical support for gay marriage has more than doubled in the last 10 years.

According to numbers from the Pew Research Poll on Social and Demographic Trends released earlier this year, support for same-sex marriage has increased dramatically over the past decade. Now 68 percent of millennials (persons 18 to 34 in age) favor allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry, and 46 percent of baby boomer adults agree.

Yesterday, the Louisville Courier-Journal cited numbers from a Bluegrass Poll in 2004 that indicated 72 percent of registered voters in the commonwealth supported a ban on gay marriage. By this year, that poll shows the number had dropped to 55 percent.

2004 was the year Kentuckians approved an amendment to the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriages. In February of this year, U.S. District Judge John Heyburn ruled that marriage ban violates the constitutional principle of equal protection. Recently, Heyburn issued a second marriage equality decision striking down Kentucky’s ban on same-sex unions.

Those two decisions and the appeal of Heyburn’s rulings, which will be argued before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in early August, was at the heart of Monday’s discussion on Kentucky Tonight. Our panel included Louisville lawyer Dan Canon; Lexington attorney Stan Cave; Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst for The Family Foundation of Kentucky; and Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign. Their discussion reveals how the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is central to the argument on both sides of the debate.

Watch the full Kentucky Tonight program or read a recap of the discussion.

Campaign Finance and the Press Exemption

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

A couple of years ago, Molly Ball wrote an article for The Atlantic about the influence of money in politics and the state of campaign finance laws in the country. The focus then was on super PAC dollars and their potential impact on the presidential campaign.

Ball’s article included an interview with Common Cause Vice President Mary Boyle, who lamented that many people’s eyes glaze over at the mention of campaign finance reform. Common Cause is the national advocacy organization that’s fostered discussions about government accountability as well as money in politics, voting, and elections since 1970.

When we’re faced with a struggling economy, military concerns in the Middle East, climate change, and a host of other serious issues, campaign finance reform usually doesn’t make a top-10 list of America’s most pressing problems.

But it’s still an important issue.

The question around the table on Monday’s Kentucky Tonight was whether a Constitutional amendment is needed to overturn recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions on campaign finance law. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) has proposed an amendment that would allow Congress to regulate the flow of money into campaigns and elections.

Our panel last night included Joy Arnold, chair of Central Kentucky Move to Amend; Richard Beliles, state chair of Common Cause Kentucky; Paul Salamanca, a University of Kentucky law professor; and Christopher Thacker, president of the Central Kentucky Lawyers Chapter of The Federalist Society. One of the more interesting points we discussed followed a viewer call about the First Amendment and what’s known as the “press-media exemption.”

Watch the complete Kentucky Tonight discussion.

Twitter and You on Kentucky Tonight

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

How big is social media in your life? How many times a day do you reach for your phone or tablet to comment on or forward something you’ve seen online? How often do you check Facebook, Twitter, Buzzfeed, or Vox for the latest news or celebrity gossip?

It’s an understatement to say that social media is a huge part of journalism, entertainment, and politics today; you can’t turn around fast enough before the latest video goes viral or a “selfie” becomes the pic of the day. Now get ready for the “shelfie:” a photo of one’s home or office possessions, artfully arranged on a shelf or other flat surface. The Wall Street Journal reports one enterprising 26-year-old has gained more than 700,000 Instagram followers for her daily “shelfies.”

That’s a few more people than we have following Kentucky Tonight on social media, but the traffic to our KET platforms is increasing.

Today, in tribute to all of you who use Twitter to add your voice to our Kentucky Tonight candidate forums, we’re sharing a few queries you sent to two contenders running in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate: Greg Leichty and Tom Recktenwald. (Alison Lundergan Grimes declined our invitation to participate.)

We have more candidate programs coming up on the next two Monday nights, so be sure to join the conversation with your questions and comments. You can reach the show by email at, or me on Twitter @BillKET.

And you can still pick up the phone and give us a call at 800-494-7605.

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