Mitch McConnell

Ryan Van Velzer

Democratic Presidential hopeful and Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan held a rally in Louisville Thursday evening to demand Mitch McConnell take action on gun reform.

Congressman John Yarmuth, state lawmakers and local advocates spoke to the crowd at an outdoor amphitheater beside the Muhammad Ali Center.

With only 24 hours notice, 300-400 people packed into the rows of the outdoor amphitheater and spilled out onto the concrete to express their advocacy for gun reform legislation.

Rhonda J. Miller

A Bowling Green group that advocates reforming U.S. gun laws is holding a vigil on Saturday, Aug. 10. It's some of the local response to the fatal shooting of 31 innocent people in two states during the previous weekend. 

The massacre at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas that left 22 people dead and a shooting less than 24 hours later in an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio that killed nine people has set in motion a call for laws to help end gun violence.

Haley Rinehart is the Bowling Green coordinator for 'Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.' She said the group supports background checks on gun sales, as well as red flags laws that temporarily allow guns to be taken away from someone who poses a threat themselves or others. 


Twitter

The Republican Party, the Trump campaign and other GOP organizations say they are freezing their spending on Twitter to protest the platform's treatment of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Twitter temporarily locked McConnell's campaign account Wednesday after it shared a video in which some protesters spoke of violence outside his Kentucky home, where he's recovering from a shoulder fracture.

The social media platform said in a statement that users were locked out due to a tweet "that violated our violent threats policy, specifically threats involving physical safety."

McConnell, GOP Senate Unlikely To Act Swiftly On Guns

Aug 8, 2019
Becca Schimmel

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is resisting pressure to bring senators back from recess to address gun violence, despite wrenching calls to “do something” in the aftermath of back-to-back mass shootings.

Instead, the Republican leader is taking a more measured approach, as GOP senators are talking frequently among themselves, and with the White House, in the face of mounting criticism that Congress is failing to act.

President Donald Trump is privately calling up senators — and publicly pushing for an expansion of background checks for firearms purchases — but McConnell knows those ideas have little Republican support.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentuckians dislike their governor and one of their senators more than the residents of any of the other 49 states. Yet, Kentuckians could re-elect Matt Bevin as governor this November.

The non-partisan D.C.-based Cook Political Report ranks Bevin’s race against Democrat Andy Behear as a toss-up right now. The state is, according to Cook, also “likely” to send Mitch McConnell back to the Senate for a seventh term next fall, even though Democrat and former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath raised more than $2.5 million last month in her first day as candidate.

Ryland Barton

Protesters gathered outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office in Louisville Tuesday evening to urge him to take up legislation to combat gun violence.

The rally came in the wake of deadly shootings in El Paso and Dayton last weekend.

Hollan Holm is a survivor of the deadly 1997 Heath High School shooting in Paducah, when a 14 year-old open fire on a group of praying students, killing three.

 


Ryland Barton

It was 90 degrees in the shade at Fancy Farm, but Christina Trosper was still sporting her Russian-style “Say Nyet To Moscow Mitch” fur hat.

“My hat is an ode to Mitch McConnell and his apparent love for all things Russia, his hate of Kentucky,” Trosper said.

Trosper is a teacher from Knox County, a five hour drive from Fancy Farm. She called McConnell “un-American,” saying he’s ground Congress to a halt and encouraged division.


Kentucky Democrats: 'Just Say Nyet to Moscow Mitch'

Jul 31, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin

Democrats in Mitch McConnell's home state are pitching "Moscow Mitch" merchandise to try and capitalize on a bitter dispute involving the Kentucky senator over election security legislation.

The Kentucky Democratic Party said Wednesday it's launching the "Moscow Mitch" webstore in a dig at the Senate majority leader.

The party is selling red T-shirts for $25. They depict a picture of McConnell wearing a Cossack hat with the "hammer and sickle" symbol. The shirt declares "Just say Nyet to Moscow Mitch" in yellow, Soviet-style letters.

Michelle Hanks

Throughout his career, Mitch McConnell has relished insults like “Grim Reaper,” “Darth Vader” and “Cocaine Mitch,” neutralizing the nicknames by embracing them.

But after he blocked two bills that sought to prevent foreign interference in U.S. elections last week and the moniker “Moscow Mitch” started floating around the internet, McConnell took to the Senate floor to denounce the insult in a lengthy speech.

 


Amy McGrath's Twitter page

Retired fighter pilot Amy McGrath had a bumpy launch to her campaign to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier this month. But in a recent interview, McGrath said she can still unite Democrats and Republicans against Kentucky’s six-term senior senator.

McGrath told the Courier Journal and Insider Louisville earlier this month that she would have voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. That comment raised eyebrows with her supporters, and within hours she retracted the statement via Twitter.

 


Office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

A Barren County native is on her way to becoming the next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. 

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday advanced the nomination of Kelly Knight Craft. Craft’s nomination now goes to the full Senate where she is expected to win confirmation. 

The Glasgow native was tapped by President Donald Trump at the urging of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.  Craft has spent the past two years serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Canada.  In a comments before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, McConnell credited her tenure with helping build the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement among other things.


Adelina Lancianese

Democratic members of Congress introduced legislation Tuesday to provide additional funding for coal miners suffering from black lung. The bills came as a contingent of Appalachian miners afflicted with the disease lobbied lawmakers for more support. 

“It doesn’t only take your health. It takes your identity,” Barry Johnson said of the disease. Johnson is a fourth-generation coal miner from Letcher County, Kentucky, who made the trip to Washington with his oxygen tank in tow. 

A bill introduced in the House by Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia and Rep. Alma Adams of North Carolina would restore a tax on coal that supports the federal Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, which provides benefits for some 25,000 disabled miners and their families.

Sydney Boles

Dozens of Appalachian coal miners plan to visit Capitol Hill Tuesday to ask lawmakers to bolster funding for the black lung disability trust fund, which miners depend upon when no responsible company can be identified to pay for needed health care.

The fund is already billions of dollars in debt, and that will likely grow as more miners develop the disease and coal companies pay less into the fund. Coal companies pay a tax to support the trust fund, which pays monthly income and health benefits for miners who were disabled by the preventable and deadly occupational disease.


Michelle Hanks

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell defended President Trump on Tuesday, days after the president tweeted that a group of Democratic congresswomen should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

McConnell declined to directly address Trump’s statement, instead saying that political rhetoric has gotten “way overheated all across the political spectrum,” focusing on statements made by Democrats.

 


J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

This week in Kentucky politics, retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath announced she'll  challenge Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in next year’s race for U.S. Senate. But the launch had a rocky start.

Also, Gov. Matt Bevin might be a little closer to calling a special legislative session on pensions this summer.

Jean West from member station WFPL talked to Ryland Barton for this week’s edition of Kentucky Politics Distilled.


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