Philanthropist tests positive for the coronavirus after attending a Speed Art Museum fundraiser Monday, Mar 16 2020 

By Eli Hughes–

A Louisville philanthropist has tested positive for COVID-19 March 13 after attending a Speed Art Museum fundraiser, and possibly came into contact with several Kentucky politicians and the University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi.

The philanthropist, who has been identified as Christy Brown, started experiencing symptoms March 8, the day after she attended the Speed Ball.

The symptoms were not those typically associated with COVID-19, so she was not tested until March 12. She is currently reported to be in stable condition and in self-isolation. Brown is one of the 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky.

Besides Bendapudi, Gov. Andy Beshear, Mayor Greg Fischer, Metro Council President David James, Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. John Yarmuth were all in attendance at the fundraiser.

Beshear announced at a press conference on March 15 that he has tested negative for COVID-19. He went on to say that he would be continuing to work and manage this outbreak.

“I will still be here, each and every day, making sure that I do what I need to do to help get us through this,” Beshear said.

Bendapudi announced in a Facebook post March 15 that she is currently not experiencing any symptoms, but she is still self-isolating.

“It is always an honor to lead U of L and for now I will be doing so remotely,” Bendapudi said. “The health and safety of our cardinal community is my number one priority.”

Fischer and Yarmuth are reportedly waiting for their test results in self-isolation.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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U.S. Congressmen visit campus Wednesday, Mar 4 2020 

By Maggie Vancampen — 

Two Kentucky congressmen visited the Brandeis School of Law Feb. 20 to talk privately about life as a Kentucky representative in Washington. The Cardinal was allowed to attend the off-the-record event.

In an interview afterward, Congressman James Comer (R-KY) said his favorite memory of Congress so far is riding in Air Force One with President Donald Trump from the veterans rally Aug. 21, 2019.

“He invited me to ride in his private office on our way back,” Comer said. “Senator McConnell and I and Trump were alone for over an hour.”

Once they had landed at Andrews Air Force Base, Trump offered Comer a seat on the marine helicopter Trump planned to use to fly back to Washington D.C.

When asked about student debt, Comer thinks it is immoral, but taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for eliminating the debt.

“There are a lot of people that, in my generation, and people that I’m friends with that have put their kids through school that worked hard and did without and paid for their tuition,” Comer said. ” Its a terrible issue, it’s terrible what I see kids graduating from colleges with respect to student loan debt.”

Comer said if students are going to carry all this student debt, they need to be graduating with a valuable degree.

“A lot of people that are graduating from college with excessive amounts of student loan debt have worthless degrees,” Comer said.

“The easier it has become for students to get student loans, the more the universities have jacked tuition rates up,” Comer said. He said universities should be held accountable for the student loan debt issue.

Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY) said one of his favorite memories in Congress is playing golf with former President Barack Obama and winning three dollars. The dollars and score card are currently hanging in his office.

Yarmuth said he favors cutting the graduate student loan interest rate from 6.8 percent to three percent.

“The government shouldn’t be profiting off student loans,” Yarmuth said. “We can easily cut the interest rate to three, three and a half percent, and government would still make money. But it would be a big relief I think to student loan debt.”

Yarmuth said this is a difficult issue because of the question of equity and satisfying people who have already paid off their loans.

Photo credit by Tom Fougerousse//University of Louisville

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Rep. John Yarmuth Teaching Political Science At U of L This Semester Wednesday, Jan 8 2020 

Congressman John Yarmuth is returning to the University of Louisville again, this time as a weekly guest lecturer in the political science department.

This semester, Yarmuth will be co-teaching the 300-level American Congress class alongside department chair Jasmine Farrier. The first class was Monday.

Yarmuth’s spokesman, Christopher Schuler, said in an email that the Congressman “greatly enjoys it so far.” The position is unpaid.

U of L’s course catalog describes the class as an analysis of internal and external forces that “interact to determine the role of the Congress in the making of public policy.”

Yarmuth, a Democrat, represents Kentucky’s 3rd District. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2006. Prior to that, he worked in various industries, including as vice president of University Relations at U of L. In 2018, he pledged $10,000 to the school’s student newspaper.

A spokesman for the university, John Karman, said Farrier plans to schedule Republican guest lecturers during the class.

She told WFPL in an email that Yarmuth has previously addressed her class, as has Congressman Thomas Massie, a Republican who represents Kentucky’s 4th District. She also pointed out that students on campus hear from Sen. Mitch McConnell at open lectures each year. In 1991, McConnell founded a center for leadership at the university that bears his name.

“The politically diverse student group was absolutely delighted to have him in class yesterday. I introduced him with a full biography, including the fact that he was a registered Republican through the early 1980s,” Farrier said. “He explained to them that his role in the class is not to persuade, and I joked that we will hold him to that promise.”

She said the Congressional representatives and staffers who speak to her students bring class materials to life.

SGA holds third annual FancyVille event Tuesday, Sep 24 2019 

By Byron Hoskinson–

The University of Louisville’s Student Government Association drew more than 250 students to the Red Barn on Sept. 17 for a day of political debates and pulled pork at the third annual FancyVille event.

SGA Deputy Chief of Staff Ben Barberie said FancyVille is part of a larger initiative to get students engaged in politics both on and off campus. “[SGA’s] goal with FancyVille was to increase student political engagement, so many of the events were tailored around that,” Barberie said.

Such events included an open panel with local representatives, voter registration drives and tables set up for the College Democrats and College Republicans clubs Barberie said. The SGA-coordinated forum and lunch takes its name and structure from the renowned Fancy Farm political picnic, a yearly affair in southeastern Kentucky that attracts high-level politicians to its local venue to discuss current events and eat barbecue.

In true Fancy Farm fashion, SGA brought out big political names to discuss current events and controversies before opening up the floor for students to grab a plate of catered Mark’s Feed Store or Chipotle. The McConnell Center also contributed to the event, handing out pocket Constitutions alongside cupcakes in celebration of Constitution Day.

Congressman John Yarmuth, U.S. Rep. for Kentucky’s third congressional district, spoke for an hour with SGA Director of Government Relations Malcomb Haming about topics ranging from presidential indictments, to his family’s heritage to the necessity of good faith bipartisanship.

Following the break for lunch, the day turned back to politics with a panel led by state and municipal legislators discussing local issues. The panelists included Louisville Metro Council president David James, state senators Morgan McGarvey and Julie Raque Adams, and state Reps. Charles Booker and Jason Nemes.

Barberie said getting political representatives and other public servants on campus is in line with SGA’s goal of promoting student involvement in elections through access. “One of the best roles that SGA can play is increasing engagement with all different types of offices across campus, whether those be political offices or the police department,” he said.

“One of our goals is to remove barriers to communication and make it a lot easier to talk to the people who are making the decisions.”

Students can register to vote, check the status of their registration, and find their precinct locations at

Photo By Anna Claire / The Louisville Cardinal 

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