A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Al Cross: Does Amy McGrath have any chance against Mitch McConnell?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell surely smiled as he watched Amy McGrath slip, stumble and nearly fall to state Rep. Charles Booker in the Democratic primary for his seat. The first challenger who could match Mr. Money dollar for dollar had to drain half her campaign fund to fend off an upstart who was the ideal surfer of a historic wave of outrage about police treatment of his fellow African...

Commentary: It’s imperative for federal government to step up, provide the resources for rent relief

By Adrienne Bush, Marilyn Harris and Tiffany Marthaler Special to KyForward In March, this country’s economy was brought to a scratching halt by the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of people are out of work, with little hope of returning to a new “normal” anytime soon. In June, three months into the COVID-19 state of emergency, many of us watched the lines of hundreds of people still waiting for...

Bill Straub: Amy McGrath has won nomination to challenge Mitch McConnell; what will she do with it?

So, now that Amy McGrath has won the Democratic nomination to challenge Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch” McConnell in the fall, what is she going to do with it? Not much, if you listen to the analysts who are paid to handicap this sort of thing. Both Sabato’s Crystal Ball, ramrodded by Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, and the Cook Political...

Al Cross: Any doubt about the vote count could resonate long past the primary

Voting for the Democratic nomination to face Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is over, but the election is not, because most ballots were mail-in absentees due to the pandemic and are still being counted. That means the campaigns aren’t over, either, and that could affect the general election. Wednesday afternoon, the campaign of state Rep. Charles Booker sought donations “to hire lawyers,...

Beshear, McConnell settlement over Medicaid funding secures $383 million for rural hospitals

Gov. Andy Beshear and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday announced $383 million in state and federal dollars for 54 rural hospitals by settling a 13-year-old dispute regarding Medicaid funding rates. The settlement negotiated by Beshear, with support from McConnell, successfully convinced the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to offer funding in combination...

Bill Straub: Will McConnell maintain majority leader status, even if he defeats his Democrat opponent?

To the vast relief of a grateful but beleaguered nation, Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch” McConnell, has made it clear that, should the good folks of Kentucky choose to return him to the upper chamber for the seventh time this November, he would be more than willing to continue to serve as capo di tutti capi of the GOP caucus, whether it maintains its majority for another two...

As masks become controversial, evidence mounts that they work in fight against COVID-19

As masks become controversial, evidence is mounting that they work in the battle against COVID-19. This is according to several studies. “Several new studies published this month support wearing masks to curb the transmission of the novel coronavirus,” The Washington Post reports. The broadest piece of research “concluded that data from 172 observational studies indicate wearing face...

Al Cross: National shift makes Booker the Senate candidate of the moment, at least for now

It is easy for some to say that the Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd was an outlier, not representative of his own department, much less police in general. But he was representative enough – of a streak in police, and in society, that still regards people of color as second-class beings, not worthy of full respect. It is a poisonous streak, one that keeps America from overcoming...

Kentucky Republicans hold online state convention; grassroots leaders select RNC delegates, alternates

The Republican Party of Kentucky held its first-ever online state convention during the weekend, with grassroots GOP leaders from across the state electing delegates and alternates to the 2020 Republican National Convention, as well as a slate of electors for the Electoral College following this year’s presidential election. “Our first-ever online state convention was a great success, and I am...

Bill Straub: Quite a pair. As Trump disintegrates, McConnell just keeps digging grave for democracy

America’s Il Duce, one Donald John Trump, aka President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and Unmatched Wisdom, in MacArthur-returns-to-the-Philippines mode, stormed Lafayette Park like a ground sloth on Monday to stand in front of a church and display a book he has never read, The Bible, whose passages he couldn’t distinguish from a limerick that starts “There once was a man from...

Al Cross: As Trump’s virus work drags them down, Republicans seem frantic

Republicans facing an election amid a century-rank catastrophe made worse by their president are throwing anything they can against the political wall to see what sticks. Some of what they’re throwing is pretty slippery – trying to discredit experts, shifting the blame to China, or, well, just making stuff up. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had been a voice of reason, repeatedly volunteering...

Bill Straub: Ugliness joins with falsehood to come out in open, revealing McConnell’s disdain for Obama

It’s no secret that Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell has long looked upon former President Barack Obama with the sort of disdain the University of Kentucky faithful hold for Christian Laettner. Now it’s getting ugly. McConnell, of Louisville, is pulling out the falsehoods. And that sound you hear is the dog whistle growing louder. McConnell on Monday aimed some...

Mitch McConnell: Families face daunting challenges, but CARES Act helping save Kentucky jobs

Like in other states, Kentucky’s Governor ordered childcare providers to close their doors in response to the coronavirus. Unfortunately, that left essential personnel including healthcare professionals, law enforcement officers and grocery store workers with few options for their kids. Jennifer Washburn, who runs the iKids Childhood Enrichment Center in Marshall County, stepped in to help. She received...

Al Cross: McConnell risks riling public employees with pension, bankruptcy remarks

Ever since he became leader of Republicans in the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell has used that post as his most consistent argument to Kentucky voters that they should re-elect him, because it lets the state “punch above our weight” to get federal favors. It’s been an effective pitch in his two re-election campaigns since, and it has the added advantage of being true: Among the states, Kentucky...

Bill Straub: Mitch McConnell, known for putting party before country, does it again over ‘blue state bailouts’

In 1975, facing an excruciating financial crisis, the City of New York under Democratic Mayor Abraham Beame, looking bankruptcy squarely in the eye, went hat-in-hand to President Gerald Ford seeking some sort of bail-out to help clear the debt. Ford, a Republican, told Beame and the five boroughs to take a hike, leading the New York Daily News to print one of the most renowned front-page headlines...

Bill Straub: Kentuckians excel at picking racehorses and UK ballgame spreads, not so much DC reps

Kentuckians over the decades have exhibited a great knack for picking the exacta at Keeneland and coming down on the right side of the point spread at UK basketball game. But that acumen seems to escape them when it comes time to choose their representatives in Washington, where winners have proved few and far between. The Commonwealth has long been saddled with Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch”...

Billy Reed: I first met Mitch when we were the hapless Giants of the Pony League; what happened to him?

My relationship with Mitch McConnell began, oddly enough, on the baseball field at the Naval Ordnance Plant in South Louisville. It was the summer of 1956, and we were teammates on the hapless Giants of the Beechmont Pony League. Before Little League came along with its uniforms, equipment, and crazed parents, I learned to play the game on the empty lots and open spaces near my home in the cheap duplexes...

Bill Straub: Some judges shouldn’t be considered for quick advancement, and Justin Walker is one

What, Pigmeat Markham wasn’t available? Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell, fulfilling his primary duty as consigliere to an addled wanna-be king has, as always, convinced President Donald J. Trump, aka President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and Unmatched Wisdom, to nominate U.S. District Judge Justin Walker, of the Western District of Kentucky, to...

Mitch McConnell: Kentucky feels effects of COVID-19, but Senate responds with historical rescue package

Every Kentuckian is feeling the effects of the coronavirus. It’s a national health and economic emergency that demands action. The Republican-led Senate answered with the biggest rescue package in history, and Kentucky will see at least $1.25 billion in relief. We’ve already received $39 million to address urgent housing and economic development priorities, and more funding will soon be on the...

Al Cross: McConnell again makes a boulder out of a pebble, then makes political hay of crisis

It’s a time for us to be apart literally, and a time to be together figuratively. But politics long ago moved mainly to the figurative battlefield, and we shouldn’t expect its divisiveness to take a holiday even in a deadly pandemic. And now the crisis itself is an issue. Two weeks ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager was calling on his likely Democratic opponent, Amy...