Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Joel Pett Project on One to One

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Joel Pett has been drawing pictures with words for decades — and he gets a paycheck for it.

As editorial cartoonist for the Lexington Herald-Leader, Pett has garnered national acclaim for his work, including winning the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in 1999 and the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 2000.

This Sunday on One to One, he talks about his career with the Herald-Leader, and his love-hate relationship with readers, power brokers, and politicians. Over the years, Pett has aimed his biting wit and poison pen at many, even University of Kentucky basketball.

Pett took me to task at the beginning of our conversation for a simple English language faux pas I made about subject-verb agreement. We were already well into the interview by then, so I decided to leave it in — bleep and all!

In this “After the Show” segment, Pett talks about two of his favorite Kentucky subjects, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul, and he demonstrates how he sketches both men.

You can see my full interview with Joel Pett, Sunday at 1 p.m. on KET, and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. on KET2.

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.

Debate Versus Discussion

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Often on Kentucky Tonight, I ask our guests to have clearly defined positions on the topic under discussion. I want them to explain, in detail, the reasoning that brought them to their opinions, and then be prepared to defend their thinking. I encourage them to be enthusiastic and passionate about the viewpoint they have so very carefully studied.

It doesn’t always work out that way. The show is sometimes more successful when the guests discuss rather than debate – when the dialogue is more reasoned than raucous.

Last night, our conversation began with a question about how the political wrangling of the past few weeks might shape the American system of government in the future. Did the 16-day shutdown irreparably harm Washington and the country?

Was Senator Mitch McConnell, who joined Harry Reid to craft the deal that reopened the government and temporarily raised the debt ceiling, correct when he said on Face the Nation that divided government provides an opportunity to tackle important legislation?

Will the threat of another federal shutdown and debt-ceiling showdown early next year change how this Congress and president operate?

Monday night, all of our panelists weighed on those questions with sound judgment and thoughtful logic.

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