“A limited version of the picnic was held last year but the political speaking and games were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The picnic traditionally kicks off the fall political campaign in Kentucky.”
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) has asked the FBI to investigate a flurry of pardons by former Gov. Matt Bevin (R), the AP reports.
“The pardons have drawn criticism from both sides of the political aisle after media reports highlighted some that went to convicts who had wealthy or politically connected families.”
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) vowed to restore voting rights to more than 100,000 people convicted of felonies, CBS News reports.
“The Supreme Court this morning left in place a Kentucky law requiring abortion providers to perform an ultrasound and show and describe it to the patient, regardless of the patient’s wishes,” Politico reports.
“The justices did not offer an explanation for their decision to refuse to hear a challenge to a lower court ruling that upheld the Kentucky restrictions.”
The Kentucky Democratic Party launched a “Moscow Mitch” online store, making use of a nickname used to describe Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for blocking an election security bill.
“Federal prosecutors want to present evidence that Kentucky Democratic Party stalwart Jerry Lundergan funneled corporate contributions to his daughter, Alison Lundergan Grimes, in her 2011 and 2015 races for Kentucky secretary of state as they try to prove he illegally did the same thing in her 2014 U.S. Senate bid,” the Lexington Herald Leader reports.
“The Transportation Department under Secretary Elaine Chao designated a special liaison to help with grant applications and other priorities from her husband Mitch McConnell’s state of Kentucky, paving the way for grants totaling at least $78 million for favored projects as McConnell prepared to campaign for reelection,” Politico reports.
Phillip Wheeler (R) won a special election to fill a vacancy in Kentucky’s 31st state Senate district, WSAZ reports.
Wheeler will replace former state Sen. Ray Jones (D), a Democrat who resigned his seat for another office.
The Hill: “The district reflects the remnants of historically Democratic coal country that, over the course of the last two decades, has slowly inched to the right as unions have lost power and the coal industry has struggled. More than 6 in 10 voters in the district are registered Democrats, and Jones never had trouble holding his seat — even though President Trump won almost 80 percent of the vote there in 2016.”
“Longtime Kentucky Democratic operatives Jerry Lundergan and Dale Emmons were indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly making illegal contributions to the 2014 U.S. Senate campaign of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) and then conspiring to cover them up,” the Lexington Herald Leader reports.
“The indictments strike at the heart of the Democratic establishment in Kentucky and raise serious questions about the political future of Lundergan’s daughter, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Grimes is considering a run for either attorney general or governor in 2019.”
A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner when it allowed Kentucky to become the first state in the nation to require that low-income people work or otherwise engage in their communities to qualify for Medicaid, the Washington Post reports.
New York Times: “The ruling in the Kentucky case is the first on this issue, but it will almost certainly not be the last; the question may wind up before a more conservative Supreme Court with two Trump appointees. Three other states have already gotten permission from the Trump administration to impose work requirements, and seven more have asked for clearance to do so.”
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) lashed out against teachers participating in a statewide protest, saying they exposed some of the “hundreds of thousands” of children to sexual assault and drug use by walking out of class, the Washington Post reports.
Said Bevin: “I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today, a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them. I guarantee you somewhere today, a child was physically harmed or ingested poison because they were left alone because a single parent didn’t have any money to take care of them.”
Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover (R) resigned from his leadership position, “more than two months after acknowledging he secretly settled a sexual harassment claim and paid to keep it quiet,” the AP reports.
In a blistering speech on the House floor, before stepping down, Hoover denounced his critics — including Gov. Matt Bevin (R) — for telling what he called lies from the “deepest pit of Hell.”
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R), making his first public comments on a sexual harassment scandal that has rocked the state House of Representatives, called for “the immediate resignation of every individual who has settled a sexual harassment case, who is a party to trying to hide this type of behavior,” the Lexington Herald Leader reports.
Said Bevin: “These alleged actions, which haven’t been denied, are reprehensible, indefensible and unacceptable. Any elected official or state employee who has settled a sexual harassment claim should resign immediately. The people of Kentucky deserve better. We appropriately demand a high level of integrity from our leaders, and will tolerate nothing less in our state.”
Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover (R) and GOP leaders are accused of concealing sexual harassment allegations against Hoover and three other Republican legislators.
“On a huge night for Kentucky Democrats, the party ran to victory in three out of four special elections, strengthening its hold on the Kentucky House of Representatives,” the Lexington Courier Journal reports.
“Democrats called it a repudiation of Gov. Matt Bevin and his policies, which they say are too extreme. Bevin had campaigned for the four Republicans and raised money for them.”
New legislation would require that Kentucky men “visit a doctor twice and have signed permission from their wives before obtaining a prescription for Viagra or other such drugs for erectile dysfunction,” the Louisville Courier Journal reports.
Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D) “said it is merely an effort to protect men’s health and ensure they are informed about a drug with potentially dangerous side effects.”
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) “has set March 8 as the date for critical special elections to” fill four vacancies in the state House of Representatives caused by legislators taking jobs he offered them in the executive branch, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.
“Those elections could tip the balance of power in the House, which will stand at 50 Democrats and 46 Republicans when the General Assembly convenes on Tuesday.”
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) “filed five executive orders late Tuesday to start reshaping state government along conservative ideological lines, including one that removes county clerks’ names from marriage licenses, granting the request of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who opposes same-sex marriage,” the Lexington Herald Leader reports.
“Others reversed earlier executive orders by former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear to restore voting rights to felons and for a higher minimum wage for state workers and employees of state vendors.”