A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: Suddenly Republicans have discovered the national debt they made, and don’t like it

We’re approaching the Spring after an election that saw Republicans lose both the White House and the Senate so, just as naturally as you’d expect the crocuses to bloom, the fancy of GOP lawmakers is turning to the national debt they helped create. The target of the party’s concern this time is the $1.9 trillion COVIDE-19 relief package that passed the House on Wednesday and now goes to President...

Al Cross: In a sneaky way, the secretive, short-circuited legislature makes itself more secret

For years, the Kentucky General Assembly has been sliding down the slippery slope of secrecy, into a hole that shields it from public scrutiny. Last week, 71 members of the state House doubled down on darkness, and expanded it – to make just about every other part of government in Kentucky less transparent. In one of the more ironic but emblematic moves I’ve seen in more than 40 years of watching...

Terry Brooks: If oxpeckers and zebras can practice synergy, surely so can the donkeys and elephants

Oxpeckers and zebras. Oxpeckers are small African birds which count on zebras as their key nutritional sources, eating the ticks that cluster on zebras. And zebras? Well, they depend on oxpeckers as pest control agents. The oxpeckers also make a hissing sound whenever they sense a threat, acting as the zebras’ early warning security system to escape to safer locales from impending predators. This...

Constance Alexander: Speaking out more important than ever as country grapples with radical ideals

My mother always taught us to speak out when there was a reason to do so, but she coached us to be polite in the process. She suggested beginning with the phrase, “I don’t mean to be rude…” to temper hostility or waylay physical attack. So today, with a plethora of situations that warrant speaking out, I try to apply mom’s advice. First, consider the official list of Kentucky public holidays,...

Bill Straub: Mitch is in for another term and setting a record, but ‘lovable’ as a warm puppy he really isn’t

As if running up the score on an overfunded and overrated Democratic opponent wasn’t sufficient, supporters of Senate Majority Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch” McConnell now apparently want you to believe the lawmaker who revels in being called the Grim Reaper is really as lovable as a warm puppy. Scott Jennings, a top-notch GOP operator, recently penned an op-ed for The Courier Journal of...

McConnell faces flak from boths sides as GOP relief plan provides less for hospitals, none for Medicaid

Senate Republicans’ latest covid-19 relief proposal “sets up new fights over health funding even as the pandemic continues to overwhelm the country,” report Dan Diamond and Adam Cancryn of Politico. Mitch McConnell “There’s more hospital bailout cash, but it’s well short of demands. Senate Republicans are pitching a $25 billion boost to a hospital bailout fund, bringing...

Bill Straub: A look at Kentucky’s presidential primary May 19; R choice sure; D in the air, picking Sanders

As usual, this year’s presidential primary in Kentucky could be another case of closing the corral gate after the horse has escaped – the May 19 date comes so late in the candidate selection process that the results carry little or no impact in determining the parties’ eventual nominees. There exists a possibility that scenario might change a bit this year, at least on the Democratic side, with...

Kentucky lawmakers considering bill demanding state’s public agencies cooperate with ICE

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Kentucky lawmakers are considering a bill to require local police and other public agencies to actively participate in enforcing federal immigration law. Co-sponsored by Sen. Danny Carroll from Paducah and ten other lawmakers – all Republicans – the bill is slated to be read tomorrow in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Jessica Klein, policy associate...

Al Cross: McConnell cares most about the state Attorney General race, and things are looking up

For Mitch McConnell, things in Kentucky are looking up. In Washington, not so much. The races are close, but the Senate majority leader’s state appears likelier than not to elect Republicans to the state’s top offices Nov. 5. McConnell and Gov. Matt Bevin, former rivals, have learned how to get along and stay out of each other’s way, and a Bevin victory should increase McConnell’s chances of...

Al Cross: AG’s race shapes up as most interesting; Republican side rests on McConnell’s involvement

The filing deadline has passed, so let’s make up the scorecard for this year’s statewide elections, starting with the party labels and the top job on the ballots. Republicans are at real risk of losing the governorship, mainly due to Gov. Matt Bevin’s self-inflicted wounds. Al Cross But the Kentucky Democratic Party, after decades of decline, risks being shut out of statewide office. Its best...

Bill Straub: While McConnell is ‘shaking the treat box’ for money, Republicans will likely keep the Senate

Anyone who has cats (we have four, which, at times, is five too many) can tell you they can be very, well, cat-like sometimes, leaving you wondering if they’re off hiding somewhere or if they somehow snuck out of the house when you weren’t looking and are out in the street ducking traffic. The only way to get them out of their undisclosed location, to cite a chestnut from the President George W....

Bill Straub: Republicans are on verge of adopting bad tax cut measure; they’ll lie — and get away with it

Senate Republicans are on the verge of adopting a tax cut measure that will make the old Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island look like the Garden of Eden and are looking to their always reliable playbook to sell this Krakatoa-sized disaster to an understandably doubting public. Put simply, they will lie. And if history is any guide, they stand a good chance of getting away with it – at least...

Special election to fill four open state House seats results: three for Democrats, one for Republicans

According to the Secretary of State’s Board of Elections website, the unofficial results of the Tuesday special elections — all results reported — to fill four open seats in the state House of Representatives are: 8th District State Representative: Walker Wood Thomas (Rep) 2,262 votes; 40.76% Jeffery R Taylor (Dem) 3.286 vptes’ 59.24% 54th District State Representative: Daniel...