In Other News… Cardinal escort allegations, EKU campus threat, Bevin/Conway, FINAL final ‘Hunger Games’ trailer Friday, Oct 9 2015 

Coach P.Recruitment Package: A new book, entitled “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” claims a University of Louisville staffer used prostitutes and strippers to entice prospective basketball recruits, says the Indianapolis Business Journal, Author Katrina Powell claims former University … Continue reading

Candidates for governor debate on Kentucky Sports Radio, as new Bluegrass Poll shows Jack Conway with small lead Wednesday, Sep 30 2015 

capitolHours before the new Bluegrass Poll showed Democrat Jack Conway leading Republican Matt Bevin by 5 percent in Kentucky’s race for governor, the candidates — including independent Drew Curtis — participated in a spirited debate on Kentucky Sports Radio, which … Continue reading

Conway Still Has Edge In Close Governor’s Race, Bluegrass Poll Shows Wednesday, Sep 30 2015 

Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway still holds a narrow lead in a three-way governor’s race between Republican Matt Bevin and Independent candidate Drew Curtis.

Conway holds a five point lead a month before the election,  according to the Bluegrass Poll released Wednesday..

The political landscape of the race remains largely unchanged since Kentucky voters were surveyed for July’s poll.

The most recent poll has Conway with 42 percent support from voters. Bevin – who narrowly won the Republican primary this year – garnered 37 percent support. Independent Drew Curtis polled at 7 percent.

The race remains very close, but Republicans aren’t gaining much ground, the poll shows. Nationally, there were expectations that Kentucky would join a handful of other states switching from longtime Democratic hold to a Republican governorship. Louisiana and Mississippi voters will also choose a governor this November and Republicans were hoping for a sweep.

Before President Obama took office, 29 states were led by Democratic governors. That number is down to 18. Kentucky Republicans had hoped to be part of a sweeping national trend of electing both a Republican Governor and switching the state’s House of Representatives to Republican control.

However, the governorship remains a tough fight, according to the latest numbers.

Kentucky’s race was close enough about two months ago that any candidate could have edged out a decent lead at this point, but the state’s governor’s race hasn’t budged.

“I think voter turnout is likely to be at a historic low for a governor’s race because there really is just not that much excitement for either candidate and not much prospect that there will be excitement,” veteran political commentator Al Cross said earlier this month.

Voter turnout for the gubernatorial primaries in May was a mere 12.5 percent statewide.

There were signs earlier this week that Bevin’s campaign was struggling to gain ground. The Republican Governors Association’s announced it was going to stop airing ads for Bevin. That announcement came just two days before the release of this most recent poll.

However, there is still a month left before the Nov. 3 election and the margin still thin. And Conway’s campaign isn’t breathing easy just yet.

“We’re not taking anything for granted,” said Daniel Kemp, a spokesperson for the campaign. “Jack Conway and Sannie Overly will continue working hard over the next month, meeting with voters in every corner of the Commonwealth and sharing their plan to move Kentucky forward.”

The Bluegrass survey was commissioned by a group of media companies – including The Courier-Journal, the Lexington Herald-Leader, WHAS and WKYT. About 700 people were surveyed.

Attorney General Still Reviewing Political Makeup of Democrat-Heavy University Boards Wednesday, Sep 30 2015 

Gov. Steve Beshear’s recent appointments to the University of Louisville Board of Trustees violated state law regarding minority representation and board diversity, according to an opinion issued Tuesday by Attorney General Jack Conway.

The opinion notes that the board is not reflective of the minority racial composition of Kentucky and thus out of compliance.

Party Affiliation ChartLouisville Public Media’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting in July reported that Beshear had passed over three black candidates for the board, which lacks a black appointee for the first time in 45 years. Kentucky law requires that the board have a proportional representation of minorities.

Tuesday’s opinion, while noteworthy on several fronts, may also tip Conway’s hand in a similar case that’s under his review.

Conway’s office has been examining the makeup of top university boards in regards to political affiliations.

A KyCIR investigation in August found that the governing boards of the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville and the Kentucky Community & Technical College System had too many Democrats and too few Republicans, contrary to state law.

Despite settling a lawsuit years ago against the Ernie Fletcher administration in 2008 to cure Republican-heavy boards, Beshear went too far in the other direction. Today they are stacked with Democrats, most of whom helped bankroll Beshear’s campaigns. (Read “Democrat-Heavy College Boards Run Counter to Kentucky Law)

A spokeswoman for Conway — the Democratic candidate for governor — said at the time that the attorney general’s office would “independently review” the matter. “If the boards are not in compliance, we will communicate that to Gov. Beshear,” Allison Martin said.

Martin had nothing to add to that Wednesday, saying only that the issue is still under review.

You can search this database of university trustees and spouses who have donated to gubernatorial campaigns.

Of the 31 U of L trustees and spouses who contributed to the Beshear campaign in 2011, 22 gave the state maximum of $2,000.

This story was reported by Louisville Public Media’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.

Disclosure: In October 2014, the University of Louisville, which for years has donated to Louisville Public Media, earmarked $10,000 to KyCIR as part of a larger LPM donation. Trustee Stephen Campbell has donated to KyCIR.

Matt Bevin Says He Wouldn’t Vote For Rand Paul Wednesday, Sep 30 2015 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin said Wednesday he wouldn’t vote for Kentucky’s U.S. Senator Rand Paul in next year’s Republican presidential primary, and would instead cast a ballot for Detroit neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

“I like Ben Carson, he’s not taking shots at people. He’s intelligent, he’s articulate, he’s respected. There’s a lot about him that I think America would do well to have at the helm,” Bevin said during a gubernatorial debate on Kentucky Sports Radio.

Bevin has previously supported Paul’s White House bid. And his comments could prove awkward this weekend. Paul is scheduled to stump for Bevin at a rally Saturday in Frankfort.

Bevin said he thinks “the world of Rand” but at this point he’s “looking at people who I think would have the best chance of uniting all the pieces.”

“In terms of who I would select right now for the next president he would not be the first choice that I would make,” Bevin said.

Support for Paul’s presidential campaign has been flagging in recent months, with only a little more than 2 percent of likely Republican voters saying they’d vote for him, according to a recent Wall Street Journal/ NBC Poll.

In the gubernatorial debate Wednesday morning, Bevin’s Democratic opponent Jack Conway pounced on his opponent’s comments.

“Wow that’s going to make for a testy campaign event this weekend, Matt,” Conway said.

After the debate, Bevin turned to Twitter to say he’s not endorsing any presidential candidates.

“To be clear..I like Ben Carson, but am not endorsing him or anyone for POTUS..Have never endorsed in my life..If I did would #StandWithRand,” Bevin tweeted.

Conway refused to say who he would vote for in the presidential race, except that he would vote for the Democratic nominee.

Independent candidate Drew Curtis said he would vote for Republican candidate Donald Trump.

In the hour-long debate, candidates discussed abortion, coal and tax returns.

In response to a question about whether defunding the state’s share for Planned Parenthood, Conway said he doesn’t support any public money going for abortion services. But he didn’t say he would pull the state funding for Planned Parenthood.

“I would prefer to see all family planning be done in the private context,” Conway said.

Bevin, who supports defunding the program, called Conway’s response a “cop out.”

Drew Curtis said that the first thing he would do as governor would be to “drop a big fat audit” on the Kentucky’s pension systems, which have denied open records requests of their financial details.

“I find that problematic, I would like to see what’s going on over there,” Curtis said.

Bevin also faced questions about his ongoing refusal to release his tax returns, saying “it’s not the business of people to go into what I’ve done or not done with my money.”

The most recent public opinion poll showed Bevin and Conway in a statistical tie, with Drew Curtis taking 8 percent of the vote. A new poll will be released later today.

Steve Wilson resigns from U of L Board of Trustees, asks governor to fill position with African-American appointee Tuesday, Sep 29 2015 

Steve WilsonMoments after state Attorney General Jack Conway issued an opinion stating that Gov. Steve Beshear violated state law by failing to place a single African-American on the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees, current board member Steve Wilson sent his letter … Continue reading

Kentucky has given $830 million in economic development tax incentives to companies since 2012 Tuesday, Sep 1 2015 

money-in-hand1-e1349459259920The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission’s latest newsletter indicates that in the first eight months of the year, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) has approved $124.4 million worth of tax incentives for businesses locating or expanding in the state … Continue reading

Candidates for governor, attorney general discuss gun laws, discrimination and death penalty at Ham Breakfast Friday, Aug 28 2015 

Kentucky Attorney General and Democratic nominee for governor Jack ConwayWhile the high-bidding auction of the Kentucky State Fair’s prize-winning ham is the main feature of the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s annual Ham Breakfast, another tradition is the red carpet of sorts that political candidates and officials walk to enter the … Continue reading

Quadriplegic man says Matt Bevin indicated support for whole plant medical marijuana, though his campaign declines to confirm Thursday, Aug 6 2015 

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 2.33.09 PMAt last weekend’s Fancy Farm Picnic, husband and wife Eric and Michelle Crawford drove six hours from Maysville, Ky., in an attempt to persuade this year’s gubernatorial candidates to support a policy that would change their lives dramatically. Eric is … Continue reading

Zingers and barbecue, but no beef: Kentucky endures another frivolous Fancy Farm Tuesday, Aug 4 2015 

KSR host Matt Jones flips the coin for Jack Conway and Matt Bevin at Fancy FarmIn the middle of another weekend full of juvenile heckling, roasting and character assassination – just as much of a perennial menu item as barbecue at the Fancy Farm Picnic – Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin walked to the podium … Continue reading

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