McConnell on former aide: ‘We’re moving on’
SOMERSET (AP) — Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell is declining to answer questions about his former campaign manager who resigned amid a federal investigation of a 2012 Iowa Republican Caucus bribery scandal.
McConnell’s Democratic rival, Alison Lundergan Grimes, meanwhile, doesn’t want to discuss accusations that she accepted illegal campaign contributions from her father by renting a campaign bus from one his companies for a potentially below-market rate.
It’s the latest back-and-forth in the nation’s marquee Senate race as McConnell, the Senate’s highest-ranking Republican, and Grimes, her party’s most high-profile and well-funded challenger, look for any advantage ahead the Nov. 4 election.
McConnell addressed Jesse Benton’s resignation for the first time Tuesday by declining to discuss it in any detail.
“We’re moving on,” McConnell told reporters after he spoke to a friendly chamber of commerce crowd in Pulaski County. “We’ve got sixty some-odd days left in the campaign. We’re talking about the future and not the past.”
Benton resigned Friday amid the latest fallout from the 2012 presidential campaign, when he worked for Ron Paul. Benton, who is not accused of any wrongdoing, said he didn’t want to be a distraction for McConnell after former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson pleaded guilty to federal charges.
State GOP House leaders target federal health care
LOUISVILLE (AP) — Republicans vying to wrest the Kentucky House from Democratic control for the first time in nearly a century promised Tuesday to try to repeal the state’s Medicaid expansion and rein in other parts of the federal health care overhaul.
House Republican leaders made stops in western Kentucky as part of a multi-day tour to promote their legislative agenda, called the “Handshake with Kentucky.” They said they would push for legislation prohibiting mandatory participation in a workplace union and for a revamped state tax code and creation of medical expert panels to review proposed medical malpractice claims before they could be pursued in court.
“If the people of Kentucky entrust us with the majority, we are committing to immediately begin debate with the intention of passing each of these pieces of legislation,” House GOP Floor Leader Jeff Hoover said.
State Democratic Party Chairman Dan Logsdon called them “warmed over” ideas repackaged to get Republicans to the polls.
“It’s not leadership,” he said. “It’s pandering to their base.”
Republicans have not had a majority in the Kentucky House since 1920. Democrats have been whittled to a 54-46 majority, putting the GOP within striking distance of consolidating power in the Kentucky General Assembly. Republicans have solid control of the state Senate.
State prepares to regulate ride sharing
FRANKFORT (AP) — State regulators are preparing emergency regulations that will go into effect next month to govern ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft as they expand their services into Kentucky cities.
The companies offer a smartphone application to match paying customers who need a ride with someone who is willing to give them one. The companies are operating in Louisville, Lexington and Cincinnati, which sits on Kentucky’s northern border.
Taxi companies have complained the ride sharing services have an unfair advantage because they are not regulated and are not required to have the same safety inspections and background checks as taxis. Some Louisville council members said last month they thought the companies were operating illegally.
Tuesday, Department of Vehicle Regulation Commissioner Rodney Kuhl told state lawmakers the agency would submit emergency regulations next month that would regulate the companies the same as taxi companies. The regulations would go into effect immediately but would be reviewed by legislators.
State Sen. Ernie Harris, R-Prospect and chairman of the interim joint committee on transportation, said the state would use emergency regulations “to allow this to continue.”
“Those of you in the Louisville area have heard some of council members say, ‘Well this isn’t right we’re going to stop this immediately,’” Harris said. “Let’s simmer down, back off and let’s reasonably look through this.”
2 charged in connection with Louisville baby death
LOUISVILLE (AP) — Louisville police say two men have been charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a 1-year-old girl.
The Courier-Journal reports police Lt. Todd Kessinger said Tuesday that 20-year-old Trey Anderson and 24-year-old Michael Dunn “had significant involvement” in the death last week of Ne’riah Miller. Kessinger didn’t elaborate on the involvement and said additional arrests could be made.
Anderson and Dunn are charged with murder, attempted murder and wanton endangerment and are being held on $500,000 cash bond.
The child and her mother, 21-year-old Cierra Twyman, were shot Wednesday evening on their front porch in western Louisville. The child died soon afterward from a single gunshot wound. The mother survived.
Tours being held at 2 state parks to see elk
FRANKFORT (AP) — Tours to view elk are being held at two eastern Kentucky parks this fall and winter.
Elk were gone from Kentucky for 150 years but were returned in 1997. Now there are around 10,000 of the animals.
The viewing tours are being held at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park at Prestonsburg and Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park at Buckhorn.
Tour dates run from Sept. 20 to March 7 at Jenny Wiley and Sept. 20 to March 29 at Buckhorn Lake. Jenny Wiley is also offering an overnight ATV tour this Saturday and an overnight camping tour on Sept. 13.
Costs vary depending on the tour and the park.
For more information or to register, call (800) 325-0142 for Jenny Wiley tours or 800-325-0058 for Buckhorn Lake.