See the Seer and Learn About Wendell Berry’s Life Tuesday, Jul 26 2016 

I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve not ever read a book by one of Kentucky’s most beloved and prolific writers. But I did have the opportunity to see the evidence of Wendell Berry’s life onscreen, thanks to a wonderful documentary that opened the Flyover Film Festival Sunday night.

The good news for you — there will be six screenings of the film Wednesday through Sunday at the Speed Museum.

Berry, now 81, lives on a farm in Henry County. His Wikipedia listing says he’s a poet, farmer, writer, activist and academic. He’s been a prolific writer of novels, poetry and non-fiction, and an outspoken critic of mountaintop mining, modern farming techniques and coal.

Moderator C.D. Kaplan with Laura Dunn, Mary Berry, Nick Offerman and Owsley Brown III

Moderator C.D. Kaplan with Laura Dunn, Mary Berry, Nick Offerman and Owsley Brown III

The film is at once beautiful for its imagery and natural sounds, taking the viewer on walks along parts of Berry’s land in Henry County, often including Berry’s poetry to narrate images of landscapes, animals and farmers. But it also illustrates the struggles faced by farmers. Interviews with young farmers focus on the economics that require farmers to become bigger or give up.

Much of the film focuses on the 1970s intellectual battles between Berry and then-Agriculture Commissioner Earl Butz, who advocated the growth in size and production of farms.

Images of tobacco farming in Henry County, from the days when it was cut by hand and hung in barns by laborers and college students, show the physical hardship in stark detail.

The film, directed by Laura Dunn, is not so much about Berry as about a time and place that is fading in America.

During a Q&A after the film, Dunn was joined on stage by Mary Berry (daughter), and backers of the film Nick Offerman (the actor from Parks and Recreation) and Owsley Brown III.

The Flyover Film Festival, sponsored by the Louisville Film Society, continues Thursday at Copper & Kings with a 35th anniversary screening of the movie “Stripes” and concludes Friday on the Belvedere Lawn with a presentation of images and film from Louisville entitled “Sound in Motion: Louisville on Stage and Screen.”

 

 

 

 

 

The post See the Seer and Learn About Wendell Berry’s Life appeared first on Louisville KY.

Sanders Supporters Stir At Democratic Convention’s First Day Monday, Jul 25 2016 

The Democratic National Convention has begun in Philadelphia amid turmoil as DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to step down from her position and Bernie Sanders supporters protested what they called unfair treatment for their candidate.

Schultz’ resignation came in the wake of leaked emails that allegedly showed party staffers conspiring to undermine Sanders’ campaign.

Rep. John Yarmuth, a Democrat from Louisville and Hillary Clinton supporter, said Sanders supporters are venting frustrations and will eventually support the presumptive nominee.

“They’re going to prosecute the case that they think [Sanders] has a legitimate claim on the nomination, but ultimately they understand that Hillary Clinton is much preferable to Donald Trump,” Yarmuth said.

One of the leaked emails showed DNC Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall urging “someone” to question Sanders’ Jewish faith during Kentucky and West Virginia primaries. In the leaked document, Marshall suggested that Sanders is an atheist and that Southern Baptist people would vote against him for that reason. He later apologized.

Republican Party of Kentucky spokesman Tres Watson said in a statement that “Marshall was somehow able to simultaneously mock and insult Southern Baptists, Jews and Atheists” in one email.

Clinton beat Sanders by fewer than 2,000 votes in Kentucky’s Democratic Primary in May. Sanders challenged the results by requesting a recanvass, but the new total yielded only 13 more votes for his campaign.

Clinton secured enough delegates during the primary election season to make her the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party. Yet still, reports showed Sanders supporters booing at the mention of Clinton’s name during the first day of the convention.

According to party rules, Sanders won’t be able to secure the nomination. At the convention, each state’s delegation is required to have delegates vote according to the state’s primary election. For example, Clinton was awarded 28 delegates from Kentucky’s primary election and Sanders got 27.

Yarmuth said even without the nomination, Sanders won in some ways.

“He’s moved the party in some very impressive ways,” he said. “I think that combined with Debbie Wasserman Shulz’ resignation as DNC chair is about all that I think any Bernie Sanders supporter could ask for.”

Sanders’ bid pushed Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party’s platform to the left on some issues like setting the minimum wage at $15 per hour, free college education for most Americans and pursuing universal healthcare.

Delegates are scheduled to cast their votes for the presidential nomination Tuesday night.

Judge To Decide If ‘Historical Racing’ Games Can Use Cartoons Monday, Jul 25 2016 

On Monday, a judge heard arguments over the legality of a type of slot machine that bases outcomes on previously recorded horse races.

Specifically, the court is deciding whether the machines can use cartoon representations of the races, a design used in machines produced by Encore Gaming.

Stan Cave, an attorney with the Kentucky Family Foundation, argued that the machines are illegal.

“We believe that, absent there being a video replay, it cannot fall within the exception to the prohibition of gambling under the Kentucky penal code,” Cave said.

State law prohibits gambling in Kentucky except on horse races that use “pari-mutuel” wagering — where individuals bet against one another and split winnings from a “pot.”

“The only pari-mutuel wagering that’s allowed in Kentucky is that on horse races,” Cave said. “A cartoon is not a horse race.”

The Kentucky Supreme Court previously ruled that it’s legal to bet on a “video replay” of a horse race, opening the door for historical racing machines, in which individuals bet on anonymous, previously run horse races that use the odds from the original event.

The Kentucky Family Foundation has argued that the machines are illegal since they were first approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in 2010.

Bill Hoskins, an attorney representing several race tracks that offer historical racing machines, argued that it doesn’t matter how machines represent the races as long as outcomes are based on results from competitions.

“The medium through which a horse race is viewed or recorded for future viewing has no effect on the race’s legitimacy,” Hoskins said.

The Kentucky Supreme Court heard the case in 2014 but sent it back down to the Franklin Circuit Court to determine if the machines are in fact pari-mutuel under state law.

The Family Foundation has split the case into two separate lawsuits: one dealing with the machines that use cartoon representations and another dealing with machines that use video recordings of races.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate said he’ll have a ruling on the cartoon-portion of the case soon.

Trump Picks Up Fundraising Momentum In Kentucky Monday, Jul 25 2016 

For the first time this election season, Kentuckians gave more in a single month to Republican nominee for president Donald Trump than to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

The GOP candidate raised $75,387 in June from individual Kentucky donors, according to new data from the Federal Election Commission. The former U.S. secretary of state raised $73,153 during the same time period.

The June haul represents a major shift for Trump, whose meager Kentucky fundraising had trailed behind all other major Republican candidates, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. In each of the first four months of the year, Trump never raised more than $9,000.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

But in June Trump more than doubled his total pull from the commonwealth. He has raised a total of $130,049 since March 2015 in the state, while Clinton has garnered $783,046.

University of Kentucky political science professor Donald Gross said people can expect the trend of bigger donations for Trump to continue. The uptick could be attributed to the bump candidates typically see after a convention, but Gross said it could also mean Republican donors are feeling more confident and unified behind their nominee.

“If you think he has a chance to win, you start freeing up your money,” Gross said. “Some of those big money people, they’re looking for, you know, sort of the cues to start opening their wallets.”

Clinton in June raked in more than six times as many individual donations as Trump. But the New York businessman’s donors gave much more per donation.

Clinton’s campaign received a total of 1,440 donations averaging $51 each from Kentuckians in June. She received eight donations of $1,000 or more. Trump’s campaign received 226 donations averaging about $334 each, and got 30 donations of $1,000 or more.

Democrat Bernie Sanders and independent Gary Johnson were the only candidates other than Clinton and Trump to raise money in Kentucky last month. The senator from Vermont raised $21,334 from 775 individual donations, averaging $28 each. June was Sanders’ lowest fundraising month in the state since December.

Sanders never officially dropped out of the race, but said in late June that he would vote for Clinton, and officially endorsed her July 12.

Johnson received two donations totaling $1,500. Overall, Kentuckians have donated more than $2.75 million to presidential candidates since March 2015 — $1.4 million to Democrats and $1.35 to Republicans.


Alexandra Kanik contributed to this report. Will Wright, KyCIR’s summer fellow, can be reached at wwright@kycir.org and (724) 344.6945. 

5 Things To Watch In Philadelphia This Week Monday, Jul 25 2016 

Hillary Clinton will break the penultimate glass ceiling this week — becoming the first female nominee of a major American political party.

It’s a historic milestone that’s been obscured by Donald Trump’s chaotic convention and, now, on the eve of the Democratic convention, the resignation of the DNC chairman following the leak of 20,000 emails showing that the DNC had its thumb on the scale for Clinton. The Clinton campaign blames the leak on the Russians, who they say are trying to put their thumb on the scales for Trump.

Whew!

Here are 5 things to watch in Philadelphia this week:

How unified will the Democrats be?

The Wikileaks email dump threatened to upend the careful truce worked out between the Sanders camp and Clinton campaign. But it has led to a huge victory for Sanders. He got Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s head on a platter. Sanders has had a terrible relationship with Schultz. He even endorsed her primary opponent. Did Schultz’s resignation satisfy the Sanders forces? Or will they have a demonstration or a walkout on the floor of the convention, presenting an image of a party almost as divided as the GOP? The answer may come Monday night when Sanders addresses the convention. Will he wholeheartedly and enthusiastically back Clinton? If he does, that will go a long way to unifying the party.

Will Democrats succeed in making the contrast with the GOP?

Donald Trump’s divided and divisive convention set up a big fat target for the Clinton campaign. In addition to showcasing their (relative) unity, the Democrats are also planning a program that is optimistic, uplifting and inclusive. If Donald Trump is selling strength, Hillary Clinton will be selling steadiness in uncertain times.

But there’s one part of the contrast that will be tricky to make. Watch how Democrats handle change versus the status quo. Hillary Clinton is an insider running in a outsider year.

She is the status quo candidate at a time when a lot of voters want change — even unpredictable change. Watch how she and President Obama make the case for continuity — for what is essentially “Chapter Two” of the Clinton/Obama agenda.

Can Clinton make voters see her as more honest? More likable?

Hillary Clinton is the most unpopular candidate to ever run for president — other than Donald Trump. To change that, the Democrats will have to provide a contrast to the GOP hatefest and Clinton will have to present a positive case for herself and her agenda. This is Clinton’s big challenge.

She comes into the convention with a majority of voters saying she is not honest or trustworthy or likable. Her approval ratings have been on a steady decline ever since she left the State Dept. and became a politician again — and she’s really been hurt by the FBI director’s stinging assessment of her “extreme carelessness” handling classified information.

She might not be able to reverse voters views of her honesty but she might be able to make herself more relatable with testimonials from President Obama and Bill Clinton and a speech of her own that shows she’s warm and approachable — the way so many people say she is in small groups or one-on-one.

Can they put on a better show than the GOP?

Donald Trump promised a convention full of showbiz. But he didn’t deliver. Sure there was his WWF entrance with the smoke machine and backlit silhouette but there just weren’t that many sports heroes or celebrities in Cleveland. The Democrats are determined to do better than Turmp in the entertainment department. They’ve got Snoop Dogg, Katy Perry, Keisha, Lady Gaga, The Roots and Fergie. Then there are the political stars — President Obama, Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren and Bill Clinton.

Donald Trump is a one man band, with few personal validators beyond his family, his employees, and Chris Christie. Hillary Clinton has a whole chorus of democratic luminaries singing her praises.

Will Clinton get a bounce?

The average convention poll bounce for Democrats since 1964 is 6.8 percent; for Republicans, it has been 5.3 percent, according to Gallup. Sometimes a candidate gets no bounce at all. Romney didn’t in 2012. But sometimes they get a big bounce. Bill Clinton did in 1992 — a whopping 16 point bump after his convention in 1992. In a year when both candidates are so intensely disliked, that seems unlikely — but even a little improvement in her image would help a lot.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Court To Hear Arguments Over Historical Racing Machines Sunday, Jul 24 2016 

On Monday, a court will hear arguments over the legality of some electronic betting machines that base outcomes on horse races that have already taken place. Specifically, the arguments will deal with machines that use cartoon representations of the historical horse races (machines that use video of horse races are being dealt with in a separate lawsuit).

The Family Foundation of Kentucky has for years argued that both types of machines are illegal and technically just slot machines.

Kent Ostrander, executive director of the Kentucky Family Foundation, says that the cartoon machines — made by Encore Gaming — are required by state policy to use a video of the races.

“Not a video representation, not a cartoon, not a simulation, but an actual video of a horse race,” Ostrander said. “Since it doesn’t meet that standard, then it should be tossed out and they need to modify their game if they can.”

The machines — both cartoon and video — were approved by the Kentucky Racing Commission in 2010 but have been subject of an ongoing lawsuit brought on by the Family Foundation.

The Kentucky Supreme Court heard the case in 2014 but sent it back down to the Franklin Circuit Court to determine if the machines are in fact “parimutuel”— betting in which people can bet on the same “horse,” or outcome, and split the winnings.

The defendants in the case include several race tracks across the state and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

In a court filing, the KHRC said that the Family Foundation’s argument isn’t valid because the state Supreme Court only required the lower court to determine whether the machines are parimutuel, not evaluate whether the cartoon races count as a video of a horse race.

“Despite the Foundation’s assertions to the contrary, the issue before this court is not whether the computer generated graphical representation of a horse race approved for use on Encore terminals meets the definition of ‘video replay,’” the filing states.

“Instead, the issue, as clearly set forth in the conclusion of the Supreme Court’s opinion, is whether the licensed operation of wagering on historical horse racing constitutes a parimutuel form of wagering.”

The commission also argues that the phrase “video replay” isn’t limited to “actual film of a horse race.”

“The term is not so limited, nor should the Commission be bound to a single, stark definition of that term,” the filing states.

The racing organizations defending the case include Appalachian Racing, Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Keeneland, Kentucky Downs, Lexington Trots Breeders Association, Bluegrass Downs and Turfway Park.

Hillary Clinton Picks Tim Kaine As Her Vice Presidential Running Mate Friday, Jul 22 2016 

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is Hillary Clinton’s choice for her vice president, giving her a running mate with experience at all levels of government to round out the Democratic ticket.

Clinton told supporters the news in a text message and a tweet on Friday evening just after 8 p.m. ET. According to a Clinton campaign official, the former secretary of state called Kaine this evening to make the formal offer.

In recent days, Kaine had emerged as the favorite — albeit safe — pick for Clinton, over other finalists such as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Labor Secretary Tom Perez and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

According to the Clinton campaign official, their vetting process first began back in April with more than two dozen potential running mates. Kaine and Clinton campaigned last week in Northern Virginia as a tryout of sorts, and Clinton walked away impressed and comfortable with him as a partner. The two met with aides and then one-on-one for a total of about 90 minutes that night.

Last Saturday, the Kaine and Clinton met together with their families for lunch at the Clintons’ home in Chappaqua, N.Y. She remained comfortable with Kaine as someone who could do the job, and the alliance was made.

Kaine’s addition to the ticket gives her a loyal ally who can help reach out to the Hispanic community and possibly woo disaffected independents or even some moderate Republicans turned off by Republican nominee Donald Trump.

He is a low-risk pick, comes from a swing state that has become increasingly crucial in presidential elections, has a reputation as a moderate who works across the aisle, and doesn’t overshadow the top of the ticket. In fact, in an interview last month on NBC’s Meet the Press, Kaine even admitted, “I am boring.”

Kaine was a finalist eight years ago in President Obama’s vice presidential search, and he had endorsed the then-Illinois senator early on. This time, he joined the “Ready for Hillary” bandwagon before she even announced.

The 58-year-old is a former housing lawyer who took off time from law school to work with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras, during which he became fluent in Spanish. Kaine got his start in politics on the Richmond City Council and later became the mayor of the Virginia capital. In 2001, he was elected the commonwealth’s lieutenant governor.

In 2005, he won a hard-fought race against then-Republican Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, helped by strong margins in the Northern Virginia suburbs and exurbs. His father-in-law is also a former Virginia governor.

Kaine’s tenure as governor (Virginia is the last state that still limits its governors to a single four-year term) was marked by the deadly shooting at Virginia Tech in April 2007. He was praised for his response to the shootings, gathering a panel to investigate the school’s response and push for more mental health reforms.

He struggled as governor, though, as the recession hit in 2008, and he unsuccessfully tried to push through a tax hike to fund his budget proposals. He was an early supporter of President Obama in the 2008 primary over Clinton.

After Obama won, he tapped Kaine to lead the Democratic National Committee, and Kaine served as both chairman and governor for a year — something that drew some criticism within the state. He was chairman of the DNC during the disastrous 2010 midterm elections for Democrats that saw them lose the House. And his time atop the party committee may have chipped away at some his moderate credentials.

He left the DNC in 2011 but jumped back into politics in 2012 to run for the Senate. He easily defeated former Republican governor and Sen. George Allen. In the Senate, he has been praised for building relationships on both sides of the aisle, and he could help Clinton with her legislative priorities in Congress.

Kaine sits on the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committee and has been less hawkish than Clinton in some instances. He has said the Obama administration needed to get authorization from Congress to use force against ISIS, and he has been critical of Congress for not granting an Authorization for Use of Military Force.

Some of his more centrist positions have upset some past supporters of Clinton’s former rival Bernie Sanders, many of whom wanted her to make a more progressive pick. Kaine is a supporter of free trade deals, and as his vice presidential stock began to rise, many progressive groups voiced their displeasure. But, as other observers have noted, the Minnesota native, who was raised in Kansas City, Mo., could help Clinton appeal to one of her weakest demographic areas — white, working-class men in the Rust Belt, a group where Trump has an advantage.

NPR’s Tamara Keith contributed.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Union Of Trump And GOP Cemented On Final Night Of Convention Friday, Jul 22 2016 

It has been said that “to cleave” is the only verb in English that connotes one specific action and its direct opposite. To cleave sometimes means to hold together, and it can also mean to split apart.

That’s why Cleveland was the perfect city to host the 2016 Republican National Convention. Because this week, in this town, the GOP demonstrated both its persistent divisions and its instinct for overcoming them.

The bottom-line result of four nights in the Quicken Loans Arena was the consummation of the party’s union with Donald J. Trump, its new master and presidential champion. The coming together was never going to be easy or smooth. It was a match made not in heaven, but in the hot flames of the party’s debates, primaries and caucuses.

Trump emerged from that crucible with 14 million votes, a fact with which he began his acceptance speech on Thursday night. It was more than any Republican contender in history, a fact that Trump also happened to mention.

Trump then reviewed the greatest hits from his campaign rally speeches, but in an LP format. He took the stage a little after 10:15 p.m. and spoke until about 11:30. C-SPAN clocked it at 73 minutes and said it was the longest since at least 1972.

And although most of his delegates and other fans in the arena kept standing and cheering on cue, a growing minority sat and clapped sporadically. For many, it had been a long week.

On Monday, the night to “Make America Safe Again,” the delegates heard from many speakers about the horrors of crime and terrorism and illegal immigration. A speech by the candidate’s wife was a welcome departure from the doom and gloom, but it was marred by the realization that a portion of her remarks had been lifted from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech.

On Tuesday, the night to “Make America Work Again” was one in which Hillary Clinton was taken to task for all that has gone wrong in the world of late and for using a private server for her emails.

On Wednesday, the night to “Make America First Again,” all the programming was upstaged by former rival Ted Cruz’s speech and non-endorsement of the convention’s hero and nominee. The crowd erupted in jeers and booing, and the party was plunged into convulsions of disagreement and dismay. Cruz’s fate is now the liveliest topic of debate on the right: Did he hurt himself or position himself to pick up the pieces in a post-Trump GOP?

On Thursday night, the skies seemed to clear and admit more light on the proceedings. A series of speakers highlighted the diversity within the party, especially regarding social issues. Peter Thiel, an entrepreneur who co-founded PayPal, exhorted the party to accept gays and lesbians. Trump himself later pledged to protect the LGBTQ community from terrorists and sharia, and when the delegates cheered he thanked them for cheering that stance.

Perhaps the most effective introduction of the entire week was provided on the last night by Ivanka Trump. The candidate’s oldest daughter, and perhaps most perfect advocate, paid tribute to her parent, of course. But she also spoke up for equal pay for women and other causes that might have found a home on next week’s Democratic convention program. She also held out the prospect that women, social liberals and young people in general might still warm up to her father.

It was as though Team Trump, after several nights of wrestling with the rough beast that is a national convention, simplified the game plan to family members, close friends and, of course, The Donald himself.

They ran the play that had brought them to the Super Bowl. They handed the ball to the big guy and let him run with it. And run with it.

Trump’s speech was passionate and filled with promises. It was delivered with the intensity and energy and often-shouting delivery that has been Trump’s trademark.

It was studded with statistics on crime and other forms of social pathology that had fact-checkers for media organizations working feverishly into the wee hours — often finding the Trump numbers distorted or downright specious. But it did not seem to matter in the arena on Thursday night, especially when Trump was on a roll and his crowd was mostly rocking along with him.

Much of the speech might be said to have been inspired by Richard Nixon’s acceptance speech in 1968. Nixon, at the time, cataloged the current ills of the nation — Vietnam, riots in the urban core, crime, disrespect for authority — and laid them all at the feet of Lyndon Johnson, who had been president since 1963.

Here in Cleveland, Trump repeated a similar litany that re-created Nixon’s dark canvass. Then he blamed it all on Clinton, adding that he was sure President Obama was deeply sorry he had appointed her secretary of state.

It probably does not matter that the president will say very much the opposite about her next week when Clinton is nominated by the Democrats in Philadelphia. In the world depicted in a Trump speech, fantastic assertions are far from an aberration.

For example, Trump repeatedly promised to solve the nation’s and the world’s thorniest problems quickly — perhaps even immediately. When inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2017, Americans would feel safe again. Right away.

ISIS would be defeated, “and very, very quickly.” Trade deals would be ripped up and renegotiated, and billions would flow into America to create jobs, rebuild bridges and roads and create the railroads of tomorrow. Coal mining and steelmaking would return as vibrant industries to employ all their old workers and more. And, of course, an immense wall would be built across the entire border with Mexico — a feature of the Trump campaign from its outset.

Refusing to back down from his controversial remarks to The New York Times about NATO, Trump said he wanted the alliance to reorient itself toward terrorism. He said he would not defend any of its 28 members unless they spent 2 percent of their own national budgets on defense. He did not say anything about his earlier threats not to honor the 67-year-old commitment the U.S. has to defend any NATO country against an attack from Russia or another aggressor.

All this was received in the Q arena with loud approval and enthusiasm, but not necessarily from every delegate or delegation. Reaction to Trump in some states and groups of Republicans remains guarded.

In fact, since becoming the presumptive nominee in May, Trump has struggled to wear the mantle. His shifting cast of campaign staffers and advisers have wrestled with ways to adapt him to his new role, and to condition the party to its new leader.

They have ventured belatedly into fundraising and conducted an almost diffident search for a running mate. They have labored to line up endorsements, and they have fought to restrain the impulses of the candidate himself.

This week in Cleveland, Team Trump was deserted by many of the party’s big names, including both its living ex-presidents and its presidential nominees from six of the past seven conventions. Only the aging Bob Dole, the losing nominee in 1996, showed up; and he was not hale enough to address the convention.

In their place, Team Trump brought in various C-list celebrities, sitcom and soap opera actors and the head of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

In an effort to overcome the lack of diversity among the delegates, several high-profile and outspoken African-Americans were brought to the podium, including fiery preacher Mark Burns of South Carolina and hard-liner David Clarke, the sheriff of Milwaukee County in Wisconsin.

And so it went, a nightly contest between the needs of the party and the drives and desires of Team Trump. Ultimately, after three nights of near-miss and near-debacle, everyone seemed to get together on the final night.

In this basketball arena, with the logo of the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers looming overhead, it was worth remembering that the fourth-quarter score is the only one that matters.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Louisville’s ‘Young Professionals For Trump’ Reacts To Acceptance Speech Friday, Jul 22 2016 

Donald Trump is now officially the Republican nominee for president. He delivered an expansive, sometimes dark, acceptance speech Thursday night, reiterating promises to build a wall on the southern border of the United States, bar immigrants from terror-linked states and overhaul international trade deals.

Of course, central to Trump’s nomination speech was his assurance that he would “make America great again.”

Jeffrey Klusmeier, chairman of Louisville’s Young Professionals for Trump, hosted a Republican National Convention viewing party.

“A lot of people think those are just words and platitudes, but he really means them,” Klusmeier said. “Trump is an accomplished man, he’s done a lot for our country and I think he’s going to be a great president.”

The central theme of Trump’s speech was “law and order,” saying the country was hampered by crime and illegal immigration. The New York businessman frequently associated illegal immigration with violence in his speech, citing stories in which citizens had been harmed or killed by people who entered the country unlawfully.

“The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end,” Trump said. “Beginning on Jan. 20, 2017, safety will be restored.”

Trump highlighted the shooting at a gay club in Orlando Florida as an egregious example of recent violence in the country. Trump said he would do everything in his power to “protect LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.”

The line drew loud applause from the crowd of Republicans in Cleveland. Trump called attention to the moment.

“And I have to say as a Republican, it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said,” Trump said. “Thank you.”

Klusmeier in Louisville said he was proud that Trump talked about the LGBTQ community.

“I was proud that he actually said it,” Klusmeier said. “Somebody’s got to say it. It doesn’t matter what your sexual preference is or your religion, everybody deserves to be safe.”

As for the general election, Klusmeier predicted that it would be “like a reality TV show” that would wind up engaging more people in the political process.

“There’s going to be so many people excited just to see the debate just because the unpredictability of it,” Klusmeier said.

“It’s going to be a fun election.”

Judge Questions Bevin’s U of L Board Overhaul Thursday, Jul 21 2016 

A judge on Thursday grilled the attorney defending Gov. Matt Bevin’s executive order that abolished and then reorganized the University of Louisville board.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd didn’t rule on whether to temporarily block the overhaul, as requested by Attorney General Andy Beshear, but said a decision would be forthcoming.

Beshear’s office says that Bevin had no authority to disband the school’s governing board and that state law protects university trustees — who serve for six-year-long staggered terms — from termination without cause and due process.

“[Bevin] gave them no process whatsoever in this case,” said Mitchel Denham, assistant deputy attorney general, after the hearing.

Bevin abolished the 17-member U of L board last month in a surprise announcement, citing “dysfunction” and “enmity” between factions on the board.

Over recent years, divisions had emerged on the board between supporters and detractors of university president James Ramsey.

During the announcement, Bevin also informed reporters that Ramsey would be stepping down from his position, which he has held since 2002.

The governor then issued an executive order creating a new governing board with three appointees. He later created a board of 10 appointees, which he chose from a pool of 30 nominees put forward by the state’s Council on Postsecondary Education.

Though Bevin didn’t mention it at the time of his announcement, the governor’s office has since argued that the overhaul was necessary to bring the board in alignment with state law that requires the board to reflect the racial and political makeup in the state. The board had too many Democrats and too few racial minorities before the revamp.

During Thursday’s court proceedings, Bevin’s general counsel Steve Pitt said that if the court decides to reconstitute the now-abolished board, its makeup would be a “far cry” from what state law requires.

“We would be putting back in, in essence, an illegal board,” Pitt said.

Pitt also argued that the board was in fact not technically an “abolition,” but rather a “proposal” that the state legislature will have the opportunity to approve or reject during the next legislative session.

“The governor can’t abolish the University of Louisville board,” Pitt said. “He can only propose it, his proposal goes into effect temporarily, [and then] the legislature abolishes.”

Judge Shepherd seemed to side with the attorney general’s office during an extended back-and-forth with Pitt, suggesting that the governor didn’t have the power to issue an “indictment” of the board.

“These are findings of the kind you would normally have after some due process and a hearing and there would be evidence presented and a neutral decision-maker would make findings,” Shepherd said. “But here you’ve got findings, essentially, in this executive order that are made unilaterally.”

The two parties also argued over whether the school’s accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools was at risk due to the overhaul.

The attorney general’s office argued that the university’s accreditation could be hurt because of “undue political influence,” which SACS looks negatively on.

Connie Shumake, assistant provost at the University of Louisville, testified that there was no immediate danger of the school losing its accreditation.

“I don’t think we’re talking about anything that’s going to happen tomorrow or next month,” she said. “These things take time.”

The attorney general’s office has requested that the governor’s order reorganizing the U of L board be temporarily blocked. If that happens, the old version of the U of L board would be reconstituted.

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