Kentucky Supreme Court Strikes Down Louisville Minimum Wage Ordinance Thursday, Oct 20 2016 

The Kentucky Supreme Court has struck down Louisville’s minimum wage ordinance in a 6-1 decision, saying that the city doesn’t have the authority to set a minimum wage above the level set by the state.

Passed in 2014, the Louisville ordinance would have gradually raised the minimum wage to $9 an hour by July 2017. The rate was bumped to $7.75 an hour in 2015, and increased to $8.25 an hour starting July 1 of this year.

The majority opinion, written by Justice Bill Cunningham, said that businesses can’t be required to pay workers a higher wage than the minimum set by the state.

“In other words, what the statute makes legal, the Ordinance makes illegal and, thus, prohibits what the statute expressly permits,” Cunningham wrote in the opinion.

The Kentucky Restaurant Association and the Kentucky Retail Federation sued Louisville over the ordinance, saying that as a local government, Louisville can’t violate a “comprehensive scheme” of state employment laws by raising the minimum wage.

A Jefferson Circuit Court judge ruled the city could raise the minimum wage, but the business organizations appealed the case to the state Supreme Court.

Jason Bailey, executive director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, called the ruling a “big setback for the tens of thousands of hard working, low wage Kentucky workers scheduled to get much-needed raises that would boost their families and local economies.”

“It is now up to the General Assembly to take action when they next meet to correct this injustice and ensure more Kentuckians who work can meet their basic needs,” Bailey said.

The Democratic-led state House of Representatives passed a minimum wage hike during the last two legislative sessions, but the bill has been a non-starter in the Republican-led Senate.

The bill would have increased the minimum wage Kentucky businesses could pay employees from $7.25 to $10.10 over the course of three years.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Sam Wright said he saw no conflict between the ordinance and existing minimum wage laws.

“The language establishing a minimum wage does not, as the majority asserts, amount to something expressly permitted by the statute being prohibited by the ordinance,” Wright wrote.

“The statute requires an employer to pay a wage of “not less than” the amount set by statute. This statute was passed to protect workers from being paid a lesser wage. The majority’s view is that the statute expressly permitted the employer to pay the minimum. This reading of the statute requires a view that it was passed to protect the employer. The majority’s conclusion is inconsistent with the purpose of the statute and its history. There is simply no conflict between the two laws.”

The Lexington City Council also voted to raise its minimum wage last year to $10.10 an hour by July 2018.

Trump’s Attempt To Refocus Campaign Gets Obscured By One Blinding Final Debate Moment Thursday, Oct 20 2016 

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had one job in his third and final debate with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton: break out.

He needed to break out from the narrative that is fast enveloping his campaign — the way evening overtakes the late afternoon.

He needed a breakout performance showing himself to be disciplined and knowledgeable enough to be president.

And he needed to break through the lid that has settled atop his sizable base of strong supporters, containing that bloc at or below 40 percent in virtually all scientific polls done since the last debate on Oct. 9.

The great majority of Trump’s supporters have been steadfast through a series of campaign shocks that would have scuttled more conventional candidacies. That includes his videotaped talk about his sexual forays and the accusations of multiple women who say it was not all just talk.

But even as the Trump rank and file has held the line, by and large, its numbers in recent months have not grown. And the election is now less than 20 days away.

So on Wednesday night, Trump needed to speak to voters who are not yet with him. He needed to entice college-educated white men and women, in particular, who are traditionally Republican but not with Trump.

He needed to bring back more of the Republican officeholders and candidates and opinion leaders who have felt it necessary to distance themselves — often keeping his worst moments in heavy rotation in the media as they do so.

So did Trump have the kind of debate he needed? It would be easier to make the case that he pushed the prevailing narrative about this contest farther down its previous path.

Watching the debate in real time, and watching it in replay, the salient moments and the overall behavior of both candidates reinforced the dynamic of the first two debates. And that is exactly what Trump needed to reverse.

A shocking refusal

Inevitably, the coverage has been dominated by Trump’s stunning refusal to say he would honor the election results. Although he had said at an earlier debate that he would accept the voters’ decision, on Wednesday night he reversed himself: “I’ll look at it at the time.”

When a somewhat incredulous Chris Wallace of Fox News gave him a chance to alter his answer, Trump said: “I’ll keep you in suspense.”

That one remark may serve as an epitaph for his campaign. It thrilled many of his supporters, who have been embracing the idea that dirty tricks, fraudulent voting and biased media reporting have “rigged” the election against their man. His defenders quickly produced examples from the past of such skulduggery.

But Trump’s embrace of these attitudes was promptly disavowed by many Republican officials, including National Chairman Reince Priebus. Even Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, has committed to accept the results. So have members of Trump’s inner circle and family.

The “keep you in suspense” line was also denounced by an array of conservative voices. Longtime Fox contributor Charles Krauthammer called it “political suicide.”

Overstatement or not, that notion became a convenient linchpin for casual observers and professionals as well — whether they hung on every word all night or tuned in late for the highlights. Amplified after the fact by media attention, it is destined to overshadow much that was worthy in this debate.

Trump surely had his moments in the earlier going. He came on strong regarding Clinton’s handling of email security, the chaos in Iraq and Syria, the rise of Iran, the sluggish pace of economic growth and the ills of illegal immigration. He got across his essential message of change versus more of the same, often tagging Clinton with every failing of Washington in “the 30 years she’s been there.”

Post-debate polls showed him rated at least even with Clinton on handling the economy and immigration, two of the most important issues. But the same polls rated Clinton the “winner.”

How is that possible?

It might be in part because the campaign roles of the principals have begun to harden into permanent impression. And it could be because Trump himself once again stepped on his own substantive message with much of his behavior.

“Not a puppet”

The relative restraint that seemed to have been instilled for the second debate wore thin not long after this debate began. Defending herself against his attacks on U.S. foreign policy, Clinton said she preferred her position to being “a puppet for Putin,” a reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump interrupted with “not a puppet, not a puppet, you’re the puppet,” and an outing that had begun on an even keel quickly lost its ballast.

Thereafter, Trump reverted to the rougher demeanor he showed in the first debate. Whether it was his exposure on the Russia connection or his annoyance at the personal dig, Trump was back to mugging for the camera and bickering with the moderator.

He often interrupted like an argumentative adolescent, made contradicting comments into his microphone (“Wrong!”) and generally treated Clinton like an unloved in-law who had overstayed her welcome. When she made a crack about his avoiding taxes he exclaimed: “Such a nasty woman.”

Clinton certainly fired as many taunts back as Trump landed blows. At one point she upbraided him for insulting the appearance of the women who accused him of unwanted groping and kissing. He interrupted to deny doing it, even though it was part of his televised speeches to huge rallies.

Clinton brought up his projects hiring undocumented construction workers and buying Chinese steel. He fired back: “Make me stop; pass laws to make me stop.”

And when Clinton bore in on Trump’s arguments about his other professional and political losses being “rigged,” she ended with his bitter Twitter complaint about The Apprentice being denied an Emmy. “I should’ve won that,” he shot back.

Shout out to Chris Wallace

Wallace became the first Fox News personality to moderate a presidential debate, and the latest newsperson to confront the difficulty of controlling these two candidates. Wallace’s task was even more challenging as he was performing solo. Dual moderators and panels have been more successful at containing the interruptions and cutting off the cross talk.

Wallace kicked off with the ultra-serious issue of the U.S. Supreme Court, its current vacancy and the prospect of two or three more in the next four years. Both candidates had prepared answers, Clinton backing current nominee Merrick Garland (whom the Senate has ignored) and Trump touting his list of 21 prospective appointees.

Wallace had even tried to get them to engage on the question of “original intent.” Clinton instead wanted to discuss abortion rights and the legalizing of same-sex marriage and the campaign finance decision in Citizens United. Trump came back with a vivid denunciation of late-term abortions implying they were often done in the ninth month.

The candidates may not have assayed the thornier questions he raised, but Wallace did as well as any solo moderator and held up a higher standard for discourse.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Trump Won’t Commit To Accepting Election Results In Final Debate Wednesday, Oct 19 2016 

The final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was overall more cordial and more policy-focused than their nasty second face-off. But the stunning moment that will stand out is the GOP nominee’s statement that he won’t necessarily accept the results of the election on November 8th.

“I will tell you at the time. I will keep you in suspense,” Trump said, a shocking statement that threatens to contradict the foundation of American democracy.

His hardline stance came after a week in which he’s ramped up talk that the election is “rigged” for Clinton, even as national polls and surveys in battleground states show the Democratic nominee opening up a consistent lead. But both his daughter Ivanka and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, had said recently that Trump would accept the election results.

Overall though, the Las Vegas debate, moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News, was markedly more policy-focused than the two previous events. He opened with asking the candidates about the Supreme Court, their positions on gun control and abortion, and also delved into their plans for immigration and the economy.

But the two had bitter exchanges over the allegations from multiple women who say Trump groped them or kissed them unwanted in the past. And the GOP nominee pressed Clinton again on her deleted emails from her private server at the State Department. He frequently interrupted her, and even at the end interjected that she was a “nasty woman.”

Here are some of the top moments of the debate below:

Will Trump accept the results of the election? ‘I will keep you in suspense’

A huge cloud that hung over the past week were Trump’s repeated claims that the election is “rigged.” While his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, has said that the campaign will accept the results on November 8th, Trump struck a very different and shocking tone on Wednesday night.

“I will look at it at the time,” Trump said. When pressed by Wallace, the reality TV star responded, “What I’m saying now is I will tell you at the time. I will keep you in suspense, okay?”

“That’s horrifying,” Clinton responded.

“You know, every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is is rigged against him,” she continued. “The FBI conducted a year-long investigation into my e-mails. They concluded there was no case. He said that the FBI was rigged. He lost the Iowa caucus; he lost the Wisconsin primary. He said the Republican primary was rigged against him. Then Trump University gets sued for fraud and racketeering. He claims the court system and the federal judge is rigged against him. There was even a time when he didn’t get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged.”

“Should have gotten it,” Trump interjected, still apparently holding a grudge for the snub of “The Apprentice.”

Trump says Clinton is behind women’s allegations against him

On the story that’s consumed the last week of the campaign — the multiple women who have come forward to charge that Trump once groped or kissed them without permission — Trump said their claims had been “largely debunked” and that he didn’t know any of the women.

“I have a feeling how they came. I believe it was her campaign that did it,” Trump said, also charging that his opponent was also behind a Chicago rally he held earlier this year that was disrupted by violence. Trump claimed the women “want either fame or her campaign did it and I think it’s her campaign.”

“Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger. He goes after their dignity, their self-worth, and I don’t think there is a woman anywhere doesn’t know what that feels like,” Clinton said in one of her strongest moments of the debate. “So we now know what Donald thinks and what he says and how he acts toward women. That’s who Donald is. I think it’s really up to all of us to demonstrate who we are and who our country is, and to stand up and be very clear about what we expect from our next president, how we want to bring our country together, where we don’t want to have the kind of pitting of people one against the other where instead we celebrate our diversity, we lift people up, and we make our country even greater. America is great because America is good. And it really is up to all of us to make that true now and in the future and particularly for our children and our grandchildren.”

“Nobody has more respect for women that I do, nobody,” Trump said, a frequent refrain he’s said throughout the campaign. “Nobody has more.”

The audience began to laugh at that statement, and moderator Chris Wallace had to quiet them.

The Supreme Court and the Second Amendment

The debate kicked off with a discussion between the candidates on what kind of justices they would appoint to the Supreme Court, showcasing a wide divide between the candidates on two of the most hot-button issues — gun control and abortion. Clinton said she would appoint justices who would “stand up on behalf of women’s rights [and] on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community” and would overturn the Citizens United decision, which allowed for “dark, unaccountable money” in politics. Trump said that “the Supreme Court is what it’s all about” and that he would nominate justices who are “pro-life, have a conservative bent, will protect the Second Amendment and interpret the constitution the way the founders wanted it.”

Clinton said that her position on gun control had been misconstrued. “”There’s no doubt that I respect the second amendment. That I also believe there’s an individual right to bear arms. That is not in conflict with sensible, common-sense regulation,” she said. Clinton explained that she was upset over the District of Columbia v. Heller decision because the nation’s capital was trying to protect toddlers who might injure themselves or others from guns. “I see no conflict between saving people’s lives and defending the Second Amendment,” the Democratic nominee said.

On abortion, Clinton reaffirmed her support for a “woman’s right to choose” and explained why she supported late-term abortions, arguing that such “cases that fall at the end of pregnancy are often the most heartbreaking, painful decisions for families to make” and that the government shouldn’t be regulating “those most personal decisions.” Trump called it a terrible thing “to think you can rip the baby out of the womb of the mother, just prior to the birth.”

While Trump said he was “pro-life” and that the justices he has listed that he would nominate are all pro-life and that if they are appointed, he wasn’t exactly clear as to whether he wants Roe v. Wade to be overturned, but said that the justices he would appoint would overturn it and the decision would be sent back to the states.

Immigration Reform and ‘Bad Hombres’

Trump’s promise to deport illegal immigrants and build a massive wall along the Mexican border has been one of his signature issues of this campaign. “They are coming in illegally. Drugs are pouring in through the border. We have no country if we have no border. Hillary wants to give amnesty, she wants to have open borders,” the GOP nominee argued.

And he also argued that the border problem was contributing to the drug and opioid crisis in the country by allowing them to pore over the border.

“We’re going to get them out, we’re going to secure the border, and once the border is secured, at a later date, we’ll make a determination as to the rest, but we have some bad hombres here, and we’re going to get them out,” Trump said.

Clinton said she didn’t want to “rip families apart. I don’t want to be sending parents away from children. I don’t want to see the deportation force that Donald has talked about in action in our country.” She pointed she voted for increased border security and that any violent person should be deported.

“I think we are both a nation of immigrants and we are a nation of laws, and that we can act accordingly and that’s why I am introducing comprehensive immigration reform within the first hundred days with a path to citizenship,” Clinton promised.

Russia, Vladimir Putin and WikiLeaks hack

The relatively cordial discussion on immigration reform quickly devolved into talk of the email hack into Clinton’s campaign chairman that U.S. intelligence have said came from Russian entities.

“They have hacked American websites, American accounts of private people, of institutions, then they have given that information to WikiLeaks for the purpose of putting it on the Internet. This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government clearly from Putin himself,” Clinton said.

Trump, who has praised Putin repeatedly throughout the campaign, said “I don’t know Putin. He said nice things about me. If we got along well that would be good. If Russia and the United States got along well and went after ISIS, that would be good. He has no respect for her. He has no respect for our president. And I’ll tell you what, we’re in very serious trouble.”

“Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet for president than the United States and it’s pretty clear,” Clinton said.

“No puppet. You’re the puppet,” Trump interrupted.

And as to U.S. intelligence reports that the hacking came from Russia, Trump said Clinton has “no idea whether it’s Russia, China or anybody else.”

“Do you doubt seventeen military and civilian agencies, as well?” Clinton asked incredulously. “He’d rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military and civilian intelligence professionals who are sworn to protect us. I find that just absolutely striking.”

“She doesn’t like Putin because Putin has outsmarted at every step of the way, excuse me. Putin has outsmarted her in Syria, he has outsmarted her every step of the way,” Trump said, but did later say that he would “of course” condemn Russia is they were behind the hacks.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

NPR Live Fact-Checks The Third Presidential Debate Wednesday, Oct 19 2016 

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton face off in the final presidential debate Wednesday night at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

NPR’s politics team, with help from reporters and editors who cover national security, immigration, business, foreign policy and more, is live annotating the debate. Portions of the debate with added analysis are highlighted, followed by context and fact check from NPR reporters and editors.

Note: This page will update automatically as the debate proceeds. We will work to correct the transcript as it comes in, but due to the live nature of the event, there may be some discrepancies.


Metro Councilman Apologizes For Offensive Behavior During Chamber Of Commerce Trip Wednesday, Oct 19 2016 

The president of the Louisville Metro Council said there is little he can do to discipline councilman Dan Johnson for making offensive comments while attending an event in Austin, Texas sponsored by the city’s chamber of commerce.

Johnson, a District 21 Democrat, attended the Greater Louisville Inc. sponsored trip early last month along with a handful of other council members, city officials and dozens of local business and community leaders.

During the trip, he allegedly made inappropriate comments to a GLI staff member and as a result is now banned from attending future events sponsored by the entity that’s focused on local economic growth and job creation.

It’s unclear what exactly Johnson said or did. A spokeswoman for GLI did not provide any details about Johnson’s comments other than to say “unprofessional behavior and comments are never welcome at GLI events.”

David Yates, the Metro Council president, also attended the trip to Austin. He said while Johnson did not offend him personally, “I can see how someone could be offended by his words.”

Yates also declined to offer details about what exactly Johnson did or said to be banned from future GLI sponsored events, citing requests from GLI that the “individual did not want their name nor the issue made public.”

He did admit Johnson is “very apologetic” for his behavior.

But Yates said because there’s been no allegation of criminal wrongdoing and no allegation of Johnson misusing his official capacity, there is not much argument for bringing disciplinary action to the councilman.

In a statement, Johnson said he “was not aware that my words were offensive to anyone” at the time he said them, whatever they were.

“I do apologize if I came across that way,” he said in the statement.

Johnson also said he’d honor the request to forgo attending future events sponsored by Greater Louisville Inc.

WFPL News reached out to more than a dozen people who attended the trip to Austin along with Johnson. Few could recall interacting with the councilman during the three-day event.

Tom Stephens, executive director of the Center for Neighborhoods, said he spoke with Johnson “several times” during the trip. He said the discussions were “business-oriented” and focused on ongoing projects in various neighborhoods.

“Straightforward conversations,” he said.

Johnson announced in September 2015 he wouldn’t seek re-election in 2018. He is among the longest-serving elected officials in Louisville and was part of the initial slate of Metro Council members elected in 2002 after city-county merger. Before that, he’d served on the Louisville Board of Alderman since 1992. He was re-elected to his current seat in 2014.

During an interview last year about his plan to end his run as councilman, Johnson did not rule out a future run for mayor.

Bevin Asks Judge To Reconsider U of L Board Ruling Wednesday, Oct 19 2016 

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin is asking a state judge to reverse himself.

Attorneys for Bevin asked Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd on Wednesday to reverse his ruling last month banning the governor from abolishing and replacing the University of Louisville board of trustees.

Bevin attorney Stephen Pitt said Shepherd incorrectly summarized Bevin’s arguments and used inaccurate interpretations of prior court rulings to form his opinion.

Lawyers for Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear said Shepherd’s decision is correct and does not need to be changed.

Shepherd said he would consider the arguments and issue a ruling soon. When he does, it will give both sides an extra 30 days to file an appeal, which would delay a final ruling in the case.

4 Things To Watch In The Last Presidential Debate Wednesday, Oct 19 2016 

The final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. It’s the last chance either candidate will have to make a closing argument before tens of millions of voters.

It follows yet another unprecedented week in the campaign, in which Trump has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of the election, predicting that it will be stolen from him through media bias and massive voter fraud.

Clinton has a lead in the polls nationally and her battleground map of opportunities appears to be growing. The Clinton campaign is even talking about making an aggressive play for Arizona.

Here are four things to watch for as the two candidates meet in Las Vegas.

1. What is Trump’s strategy?

That hasn’t been clear in the past couple of weeks. When you type “Is Trump trying” into the Google search bar, the first thing that comes up is “to lose.”

This question has been Googled millions of times, probably because it’s so hard to understand Trump’s strategy. Lashing out at women who have accused him of sexual assault, railing against disloyal Republicans and the “Corrupt Clinton Machine” and warning about vote rigging are all designed to energize his base, not expand his vote.

But polls show Trump’s floor and his ceiling are converging. He’s stuck in the high 30s or low 40s and can’t seem to move beyond his hardcore supporters. In Las Vegas, will Trump continue his scorched earth campaign or will he return to his economic arguments about jobs and trade and immigration — an anti-establishment message without the conspiracy theories?

2. Will Trump commit to accepting the results of the election?

He’s certain to be asked about this by the moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace. His claim — before all the votes are cast — that the election results will not be legitimate because the system is rigged against him has alarmed Republicans and Democrats.

A peaceful transfer of power and faith in the integrity of our voting system make up a foundational principle of democracy. Trump seems to be trying to undermine both. Republican secretaries of state and House Speaker Paul Ryan have pushed back, saying they are confident the votes will be counted fairly.

It’s not clear whether Trump is trying to lay out an explanation in case he loses (that the rigged system never gave him a chance) or if he plans to contest the results. This line could backfire on Trump, discouraging his own voters from going to the polls if they think the fix is in and Trump doesn’t stand a chance.

Trump has told his voters they should volunteer to be poll watchers in minority communities on Election Day in order to report fraud, but he hasn’t told them what he wants them to do after Nov. 8 if he loses. Maybe he will at the debate.

3. How will Clinton handle questions about WikiLeaks?

The U.S. government has concluded that the hack of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails was authorized by Russian security agencies, who handed them over to WikiLeaks for release. Coverage of the hacked emails has been overshadowed by the easier-to-grasp Trump sex scandals, but the emails are sure to come up in the Las Vegas debate.

Most of the content is embarrassing rather than damaging to Clinton, but the release has only exacerbated her reputation for dishonesty and opaqueness. Even as her poll numbers against Trump continue to improve, her ratings on trustworthiness remain terrible.

The Las Vegas debate will give her a chance to explain why she was so chummy with Wall Street bankers when they were paying her hundreds of thousands of dollars to speak to them, but has been much tougher on them while she’s campaigning. She’ll also have a chance to answer questions about her private email server and the Clinton Foundation. In the past, her answers have been lawyerly and sometimes evasive. Tonight will be her last best chance before Election Day to put those concerns to rest — if she can.

4. Will Clinton make an affirmative case?

Clinton is a cautious politician and the temptation to sit on her lead is strong. That was her strategy in the second debate. She now has a choice in Las Vegas: She can continue her successful strategy of disqualifying Trump, or she can do what many Democrats are calling on her to do in the final weeks of the campaign and make an affirmative case for herself.

There hasn’t been much uplift in the 2016 campaign. Wednesday’s debate gives Clinton a chance to offer a positive vision and explain why she wants to be president. If voters don’t understand what to expect if they elect her, she won’t have much of a mandate to govern. That’s even more important since if she wins she’ll be taking office with the highest disapproval rating of any new president in U.S. history.

“Stronger Together” is mostly a contrast to Trump’s divisive rhetoric. It’s not a message about what she wants to accomplish. This is something Clinton has struggled with throughout her campaign. She has dozens of programs, but no simple unifying theme.

President Obama had this problem, too. “Hope and Change” inspired a lot of people but it didn’t help him get a mandate for health care reform. One of the leaked emails summed up Clinton’s challenge. Her top strategist, Joel Benenson, wrote to other campaign strategists, “Do we have any sense from her what she believes or wants her core message to be?”

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Yarmuth Calls On Bevin To Withdraw Medicaid Waiver Request Tuesday, Oct 18 2016 

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth is calling on Gov. Matt Bevin to withdraw his request for a Medicaid waiver, saying that the federal government will never approve it.

Bevin has applied for the waiver to allow Kentucky to charge monthly premiums to Medicaid recipients earning more than $11,880 a year and remove vision and dental coverage, among other changes.

The proposal also includes a ‘rewards’ account that would allow people to earn vision or dental benefits by doing things like volunteering, applying for jobs or earning a GED.

Yarmuth says he’s communicated with officials at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services and they told him the waiver would not be approved as-is.

“The bottom line is under Medicaid rules, the only way a Medicaid waiver can be granted is if it expands coverage and improves access and care,” Yarmuth said. “This does neither.”

Under the Medicaid expansion, Kentucky has added about 440,000 people to its Medicaid rolls, helping reduce the state’s uninsured population from more than 20 percent in 2013 to 7.5 percent at the end of 2015.

But next year, Kentucky will begin paying a portion of the Medicaid costs that the federal government was previously covering — about $1.2 billion over the next four years, according to the Bevin administration.

Bevin’s waiver proposal estimates the state would save about $300 million between the 2017 and 2021 fiscal years, if approved. Over the same period, the administration estimates the changes would lead to 17,833 fewer people on Medicaid in 2017 and 85,917 fewer in 2021.

“We want the governor to reconsider and at least to negotiate with CMS the terms of the waiver provision, so that many of the onerous provisions that are in the waiver would go away,” Yarmuth said.

Yarmuth and others have pointed out that the federal government has denied similar proposals in Ohio, Arkansas and Arizona.

Amanda Stamper, Bevin’s press secretary, said that Yarmuth was playing politics in the run-up to the November election.

“Gov. Bevin and his team have spent several months developing a transformative and financially sustainable Medicaid plan that will actually improve health outcomes for Kentuckians and encourage self-sufficiency,” Stamper said in a statement. “U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has full authority to approve everything in [the waiver].”

Stamper said Bevin remains committed to working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services “as long as it takes to transform Kentucky’s Medicaid program to achieve these vital goals.”

Bevin submitted the final proposal for a Medicaid waiver in late August and a comment period on the proposal ended last week.

The Department of Health and Human Services is now reviewing public comments on the waiver and will begin negotiating with the Bevin administration, a process that takes about seven months.

5 Reasons (And Then Some) Not To Worry About A ‘Rigged’ Election Tuesday, Oct 18 2016 

Donald Trump is warning that the election will be rigged. He has precisely zero evidence to back up that claim. But he has a remarkably receptive audience.

Around 30 percent of Americans have “little or no confidence” that votes will be counted accurately — and Trump’s voters are far less confident about that than Clinton’s.

That means that potentially millions of Americans will turn out to vote on Nov. 8, despite apparently believing their votes may not count at all. But to believe the election will be “rigged” is to believe that any number of improbable things will have happened.

Here’s a handful of reasons not to worry about any “rigging”:

1. The election is decentralized

Yes, election-rigging worked on Scandal, when a super-secret cabal of five people (including the first lady AND the White House chief of staff) flipped the election by fiddling with a single voting machine in Ohio.

But then, Campaign 2016 is not a Shonda Rhimes production. Which is to say: Rigging the election would be much, much harder than this. For one, there are a few options of where to try doing that voting-machine fiddling. Where would you begin? Ohio? Florida? Iowa? Arizona?

“Conceivably one could focus on the few states that factor into the Electoral College,” Walter Mebane, a political scientist who focuses on voter fraud at the University of Michigan, told NPR in August. “And maybe that turns into a few hundred or a few thousand precincts.”

And that would be difficult to do because — let’s repeat this again — elections are not federally run. States run them themselves. Trying to twist the results in a bunch of different precincts run by different authorities would be monstrously difficult. And even if one could somehow pull it off, then there’s the problem of people’s big mouths.

“So, say, 400 precincts in a big conspiracy, and no one will know?” Mebane added. “That’s not gonna happen.”

2. State officials are on guard

Secretaries of state are charged with administering elections in each state. And on Monday, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, insisted that rigging won’t happen.

“First of all, I can reassure Donald Trump: I am in charge of elections in Ohio, and they’re not going to be rigged. I’ll make sure of that,” he told CNN. “Our institutions, like our election system, is one of the bedrocks of American democracy. We should not question it or the legitimacy of it. It works very well. In places like Ohio, we make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.”

And he’s no enemy of Trump — Husted, by the way, said later Monday that he will vote for the Republican nominee.

Multiple other secretaries of state have likewise asserted that the elections in their states will not be rigged.

In addition, considering that the cries of election rigging are overwhelmingly coming from the right, there’s another reason to be skeptical, as the AP’s Nick Riccardi pointed out: Many of the closest states — Ohio, Iowa, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Alaska, Georgia — have Republican governors. That means the rigging would have to take place under Republican administrations — people who would, theoretically, have more reason to want Trump rather than Clinton to win.

3. Clinton is already leading by a lot

With a really close race, there could potentially be more of an argument that “rigging” the election would be possible (with irregularities in particular counties or precincts, which would be challenged and subject to recounts and oversight and courts weighing in).

But the way things look right now, that doesn’t seem likely to happen.

“If the polls in November look like they do now, then I don’t see much of an issue,” Vanderbilt University political science professor Marc Hetherington told NPR in August. “No one will find credible charges of election fraud if it looks like a blowout in advance.”

At the time, Clinton was far ahead of Trump — she had an 83 percent chance of winning to his 17, according to FiveThirtyEight. Now, it’s looking slightly better for Clinton — 88 percent chance to his 12.

It’s true that some states will be close. But if Clinton is far enough ahead in enough states — which is looking increasingly likely — then it wouldn’t be necessary to rig the election. (Or you’d have to believe that many polls in many states are rigged, which isn’t happening.)

4. Election fraud is rare (and it’s not quite “rigging,” either)

Multiple analyses have found the problem of voter fraud to be sparse.

According to Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt’s comprehensive analysis, there were only 31 incidents of the type of voter fraud that could have been prevented by voter ID laws — that is, voter impersonation — from 2000 through 2014. Another analysis from News21 looked into 2,068 allegations of election fraud and found only 10 cases of impersonation.

And after analyzing multiple studies, the Government Accountability Office said it found “few instances of in-person voter fraud” (though it also acknowledged that in-person voter fraud is difficult to count accurately). So it appears that in-person voter fraud on the scale that it currently happens would have very little chance of swaying the election.

Still, Trump and Pence have told their supporters to head to the polls to make sure people are voting fairly on Election Day. But even then, they could easily miss some cases of fraud, because fraud via absentee ballots is “unfortunately quite real,” as Levitt told The Washington Post in 2014.

Furthermore, as election lawyer Chris Ashby pointed out on CNN Monday afternoon (after an epic tweetstorm over the weekend), individual instances of voter fraud aren’t exactly “rigging” anyway. This isn’t just semantics — yes, voter fraud is a bad thing. However, calling an election “rigged” implies a systematic, coordinated effort to cause one candidate to win.

One more point here is that voter ID laws are the weapon of choice, particularly for politicians on the right, for fighting voter fraud. However, there’s evidence that voter ID laws — which are put in place to fight voter fraud — end up swinging elections themselves.

5 (and 6 and 7 and 8 …). Read Chris Ashby’s latest post

We’d be entirely remiss if we didn’t point to Ashby’s excellent Medium post spelling out a few more reasons to be skeptical of “rigging” allegations. For example:

— elections are held in public places and staffed by private citizens;

— party officials and lawyers are at the ready to challenge if needed;

— voting machines have systems in place to prevent fraud — for example, they are “equipped with multiple interconnected counters that make it impossible to add or remove votes secretly” (sorry, Olivia Pope); and …

— representatives of both candidates and parties observe vote-counting.

And on.

So if someone tells you the election is rigged, it’s just not true.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Top Louisville GOP Official Defends Trump’s ‘Rigged’ Claims Tuesday, Oct 18 2016 

The head of the Jefferson County Republican Party is defending Donald Trump’s claim that the media is “rigging” the election against the GOP nominee.

Trump maintains the media is in cahoots with Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign, suggesting a conspiracy that could distort the outcome of November’s presidential election.

“The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary,” Trump tweeted Sunday.

He’s offered no evidence to back up his claim, and the suggestion of a rigged election is drawing a sharp response from experts on electoral process.

Some prominent members of the Republican party are distancing themselves from Trump’s claims. In a statement, House Speaker Paul Ryan said “our democracy relies on confidence in election results.”

And Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul — who had no shortage of conflict with Trump during the Republican primary — said he had no evidence of rigged elections, according to a report from The Courier-Journal.

Meanwhile, Jim Stansbury, who chairs the Jefferson County Republican Party, said his views align with Trump’s. In an interview, he said the idea of a “rigged” election “has to do with a number of things,” among them media coverage of the Trump campaign.

That has been a common theme among Trump and his top surrogates, including his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Trump’s most recent claims are in response to various media reports of women claiming he sexually assaulted them.

Stansbury also suggested moderators at the first two presidential debates were aligned with Clinton. They included NBC News anchor Lester Holt at the first debate and CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz of ABC News at the second.

“It’s not fair for (Trump) to have to debate not only Hillary, but also the moderators. Why should he have to debate them, as well,” he said. “That, to me, feels a bit like rigging.”

The debate moderators are chosen by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.

89.3 WFPL also requested comment from Metro Councilman Kevin Kramer, who heads the GOP caucus. He did not respond Monday.

Sticking With Trump

Stansbury, who endorsed the controversial Republican, said he’s still “all in for Trump” despite controversial video footage released earlier this month in which Trump brags about sexually assaulting women.

“I know guys, and I know the kind of talk people do,” he said.

Stansbury dismissed the recent allegations made by more than a dozen women claiming they were sexually assaulted by Trump.

“It appears to me it’s a tactic as opposed to something that’s real,” he said. “That’s why I ignore it and pay more attention to the policy.”

Trump’s policy proposals would, he said, tamp down illegal immigration and boost economic development. A Trump presidency would also likely lead to a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court, Stansbury said.

While he said it’s doubtful there will be a “rigging of the election, itself, of the voting process,” the notion of small-scale voter fraud is an element of concern for Stansbury, especially when votes are cast on paper ballots or recorded electronically.

“Punch cards are a problem,” he said. “I worry about hacking.”

Reports of voter fraud have been few and far between in the U.S., and never on a scale large enough to throw a presidential election.

Local Election Officials Confident

In a statement, Nore Ghibaudy, a spokesman for the Jefferson County Clerk’s office, said the staff is “actively monitoring for attempts by hackers to disrupt or influence local elections.”

“The Jefferson County Clerk’s Office election system software, and the servers on which the software runs, are not connected to the internet in any way and are never exposed to the internet,” the Ghibaudy said.

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Grimes issued a statement on Twitter Monday evening denouncing Trump’s claim of a rigged election.

In it, she said “such claims discount the good work thousands of Kentucky citizens and hundreds of thousands of Americans do to ensure everyone has the chance to exercise their right to vote.”

“Claims that our elections are rigged strike at the very heart of democracy,” Grimes said.

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