State of Kentucky Archives: on Principles & Values


Alison Grimes: AdWatch: Grimes' opponent offered deal to drop out

The Senate campaign of Alison Lundergan Grimes denied allegations made by a former Democratic rival who said he was offered money by the Grimes campaign to drop out of the race. Ed Marksberry, a former Democratic Senate candidate, sent a 15-page letter to the blog PageOneKentucky.com alleging that an unnamed representative from the Grimes campaign offered to pay off his campaign debt and hire his campaign manager if he would drop out of the race. "That did not happen," a Grimes spokeswoman said. "We appreciate Ed's support and wish him the best."

In his letter, Marksberry said an unnamed person close to Jerry Lundergan, the candidate's father and a former Kentucky Democratic Party chairman, approached him about dropping out of the race. "They said that Jerry really liked me, and that Jerry takes care of his friends," Marksberry wrote. "And if Alison wins, there could be a favor owed to me." Marksberry wrote of his desire to see Grimes beat Mitch McConnell, so he proposed a deal, which fell through

Source: Lexington Herald Leader AdWatch on 2014 Kentucky Senate race Jan 7, 2014

Steve Beshear: Focus on helping people instead of on keeping power

In the last few years, the tone of discourse in this country has grown louder, uglier and more hateful. In Washington, you find leaders focused on keeping power, not helping people. They point fingers instead of reaching across the aisle. They tear down instead of building up. And they preach intolerance instead of inclusion. That's why we have government shutdowns, filibusters, continuation budgets and a myriad other examples of counter-productive gamesmanship.

And out here in the rest of the country, too often office holders and voters have let themselves get caught up in this "take no prisoners" approach to politics. We're losing the ability to listen; we're losing the ability to treat each other's opinions with respect and to overcome differences. We must resolve not to let that happen here in Kentucky. We must remember that we are Kentuckians first and Democrats and Republicans second.

Source: 2014 Kentucky State of the State speech Jan 7, 2014

Alison Grimes: Fight "Senator Gridlock": Kentucky pays for GOP dysfunction

Alison Grimes' campaign has waged a news-release campaign against McConnell since the partial government shutdown began, accusing him daily of being responsible for the shutdown and labeling him "Senator Gridlock."

McConnell said that his high-profile part in the deal that ended the shutdown and extended the debt ceiling had taken the air out of Grimes' message. "It steps on the whole narrative of her campaign," McConnell said.

The Grimes campaign fired back with a release that McConnell was still "Senator Gridlock," noting a number of past remarks McConnell has made proudly proclaiming himself a "guardian of gridlock." A Grimes spokesperson said, "It is an embarrassment that McConnell waited until the 11th hour to stop the manufactured crisis that he and members of Congress created. It is not heroic for McConnell to do his job and reopen the government. Kentuckians now have to pay for McConnell's Washington dysfunction."

Source: Lexington Herald Leader on 2014 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 17, 2013

Jack Conway: TV ad: Rand Paul made fun of Christianity and Christ

Q: Here's the controversial ad about Conway's opponent:
Q: The woman in question said the ad is accurate, but "over the top." [To Conway]: Do you believe he's a Christian?

CONWAY: I'm not questioning his faith. I'm questioning his actions. Baylor University banned this group because they were "making fun of Christianity and Christ." And we're asking, is it appropriate, whether you're 22 years old or 42 years old, to ever tie up a woman and ask her to kneel before a false idol?

Source: CNN "360 Degrees" coverage: 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 19, 2010

Jack Conway: FactCheck: "Aqua Buddha" TV ad is accurate but over the top

Q: [On your TV ad claiming that Paul kidnapped a fellow student]: This was nearly 30 years ago, and this was some sort of satirical group that clearly were collegiate level humor. But are you implying that he's kidnapping people? Are you implying that it's somehow criminal?

CONWAY: No, I'm not implying criminal. And the woman came out again today, and she said our ad was correct.

Q: Well, she said your ad was over the top.

CONWAY: And FactCheck.org said our ad was correct.

Q: Accurate, but over the top. But does an incident that may or may not have occurred 27 years ago, does it really matter to voters today, given all the things that people are facing, all the things, the problems that people are having in their own lives?

Q: Doesn't everybody do stupid stuff in college or when they're in late teens, early 20s?

CONWAY: Sure, sure, everyone does stupid stuff. But Rand Paul is denying that this happened.

Source: CNN "360 Degrees" coverage: 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 19, 2010

Jack Conway: TV ad: Accuser is anonymous, but a Mr. Green says it's true

Q: [With regard to Conway's "Aqua Buddha" TV ads, which claim that Rand Paul kidnapped a fellow college student]: What's the name of the woman who made these allegations?

CONWAY: Well, the woman who has made the allegations has remained anonymous.

Q: So, you don't know, really, who she is, other than one or two reporters who have talked to her?

CONWAY: Other than the reporters for "The Washington Post" and "GQ" and the other reporters. One gentleman named Mr. Green has gone on record who was a compatriot of Rand Paul's in this secret society and said, yes, they aspired to sacrilege and Rand Paul reveled in it.

Q: But does it concern you to be basing so much of your campaign on a nameless person who won't come forward? You're an attorney. You couldn't put this person on a stand. You couldn't put these statements in court.

CONWAY: Look, she has called it sadistic and she has called it weird. And she's talked about it on multiple occasions. The president of Baylor banned the group.

Source: CNN "360 Degrees" coverage: 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 19, 2010

Jack Conway: Claims Rand Paul worships "Aqua Buddha" & mocks Holy Bible

"Why was Rand Paul a member of a secret society that called the Holy Bible 'a hoax,' that was banned for mocking Christianity and Christ?" Conway's campaign asks in a new statewide ad. "Why did Rand Paul once tie a woman up, tell her to bow down before a false idol and say his god was Aqua Buddha?"

The latter claim refers to a charge made in a GQ article by an unnamed college swim teammate, who said Paul and another student also tried to force her to smoke marijuana. The episode reportedly occurred in 1983. Paul has called the claim "ridiculous" and said he was "never involved with kidnapping."

During the debate, Conway repeated the allegation--triggering Paul's response: "Jack, you know how we tell when you're lying? It's when your lips are moving, Paul sputtered. "You're going to stand over there and accuse me of a crime for 30 years ago from some anonymous source?"

Paul describes himself as a "pro-life Christian" and says his faith is "something very personal to me, my wife, my kids."

Source: National Post coverage of 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 18, 2010

Rand Paul: Accused of belonging to secret society NoZe Brotherhood

Paul is threatening to withdraw from a final meeting with Jack Conway unless he pulls an incendiary TV ad, which claims Paul once tied up a woman and forced her to worship before a false idol. "I'm not sure I'll appear in public with someone who is going to question my religion," Paul said.

Paul's threat to cancel the Oct. 25 debate with Conway follows the re-emergence of embarrassing allegations about Paul while he was a student at Baylor University in the 1980s. According to an article published last summer in GQ magazine, Paul belonged to the NoZe Brotherhood, a secret society that had been banned on the Texas university's campus because it mocked Christianity and the Baptist faith. Baylor is a Baptist school.

"Why was Rand Paul a member of a secret society that called the Holy Bible 'a hoax,' that was banned for mocking Christianity and Christ?" Conway's campaign asks in a new statewide ad.

Source: National Post coverage of 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 18, 2010

Rand Paul: I'm "a pro-life Christian"; denies worshiping "Aqua Buddha"

Conway's campaign asks in a new statewide ad, "Why did Rand Paul once tie a woman up, tell her to bow down before a false idol & say his god was Aqua Buddha?" The latter claim refers to a charge made in the GQ article by an unnamed college swim teammate, who said Paul and another student also tried to force her to smoke marijuana. The episode reportedly occurred in 1983.

Paul has called the claim "ridiculous" and said he was "never involved with kidnapping." During a Saturday debate, Conway repeated the allegation against Paul--triggering one of the angriest exchanges of the 2010 campaign season. "You know, Jack, you know how we tell when you're lying? It's when your lips are moving. OK?" Paul sputtered. "You're going to stand over there and accuse me of a crime for 30 years ago from some anonymous source?" He added: "Jack, have you no decency? Have you no shame?"

Paul describes himself as a "pro-life Christian" and says his faith is "something very personal to me, my wife, my kids."

Source: National Post coverage of 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 18, 2010

Jack Conway: An honor to run for Wendell Ford's senate seat

Conway, the Democrat, said it was "a tremendous honor to be running for Wendell Ford's senate seat."

Paul replied, "I didn't know it was Wendell Ford's seat. I thought it was the people of Kentucky's seat."

The response mirrored an exchange that occurred in Massachusetts earlier this year, when a debate moderator made a reference to the late Ted Kennedy's senate seat and Scott Brown, the insurgent Republican, shot back: "It's not the Kennedy's seat. It's not the Democrat's seat. It's the people's seat."

"The people's seat" became the rallying cry for Brown, who won the race.

Wendell Ford, a Democrat, holds a Kennedy-like place in the Kentucky political firmament. He represented Kentucky for 24 years in the Senate, also served as the state's governor and was the unofficial head of the state party for three decades until he retired in 1999. Time will tell whether Mr. Conway's reference is perceived as a slip-up.

Source: NY Times coverage of 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 3, 2010

Rand Paul: This election really is about the president's agenda

I think this election really is about the president's agenda. Do you support the president's agenda or do you not support it? I think his agenda's wrong for America. I will stand up against Pres. Obama's agenda. And I think that's what people in Kentucky want.

Q: You say very little about Attorney General Conway on the campaign trail. Now's your chance.

PAUL: He needs to either defend his president or run away. So far he's running away from Pres. Obama and the agenda. He supports Obamacare. He supported repealing the tax cuts before he was against it. Cap and trade, he's been on both sides of the issue.

Source: Fox News Sunday, 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 3, 2010

Rand Paul: This is not Wendell Ford's seat; it's the people's seat

There was a revealing exchange reminiscent of a pivotal moment in the Massachusetts senate race earlier this year. Conway, the Democrat, said it was "a tremendous honor to be running for Wendell Ford's senate seat."

Paul replied, "I didn't know it was Wendell Ford's seat. I thought it was the people of Kentucky's seat."

The response mirrored an exchange that occurred in MA earlier this year, when a debate moderator made a reference to the late Ted Kennedy's senate seat and Scott Brown, the insurgent Republican, shot back: "It's not the Kennedy's seat. It's not the Democrat's seat. It's the people's seat."

"The people's seat" became the rallying cry for Brown, who won the race. The phrase neatly captured the zeitgeist of a year in which insurgent grass-roots candidates across the country have been a forceful presence.

Wendell Ford, a Democrat, holds a Kennedy-like place in the Kentucky political firmament. He represented Kentucky for 24 years in the Senate, & served as the state's governor.

Source: NY Times coverage of 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 3, 2010

Bruce Lunsford: McConnell enables Bush & squandered 24 years in Senate

Lunsford offered the most biting criticism at the end of the forum, when he used his closing remarks to speak directly to McConnell. He told him that he has used his power to block progress rather than help his constituents. “The last 24 years, you’ve ha an opportunity to do great things and great things for the country. and I think you’ve failed,” he said.

He also said McConnell has been an enabler for Pres. Bush, whom he called the worst president since Herbert Hoover. “I think in many ways the syste has been better to you than you have been to the system,“ he said.

McConnell had no chance to respond to those remarks during the program. But he said afterward that Bush’s 8-year tenure has produced both good and bad results, declining to specify the latter. He dismissed Lunsford’s assertion that he, McConnell, had failed. ”That’s hardly a credible argument to be made against one of the two leaders in the US Senate,“ he said. ”I think that’s an argument that people will just simply laugh at.“

Source: 2008 Kentucky Senate debate reported in Courier-Journal Aug 21, 2008

Mitch McConnell: After 24 years, one of the two leaders in the US Senate

Lunsford offered the most biting criticism at the end of the forum, when he used his closing remarks to speak directly to McConnell. He told him that he has used his power to block progress rather than help his constituents. “The last 24 years, you’ve ha an opportunity to do great things and great things for the country. and I think you’ve failed,” he said.

He also said McConnell has been an enabler for Pres. Bush, whom he called the worst president since Herbert Hoover. “I think in many ways the syste has been better to you than you have been to the system,“ he said.

McConnell had no chance to respond to those remarks during the program. But he said afterward that Bush’s 8-year tenure has produced both good and bad results, declining to specify the latter. He dismissed Lunsford’s assertion that he, McConnell, had failed. ”That’s hardly a credible argument to be made against one of the two leaders in the US Senate,“ he said. ”I think that’s an argument that people will just simply laugh at.“

Source: 2008 Kentucky Senate debate reported in Courier-Journal Aug 21, 2008

Mitch McConnell: Leadership has value; freshmen have little impact

McConnell [repeatedly] brought his remarks back to his central campaign theme of touting the value of his leadership position. That, he said, will be lost “if you were to trade in the Republican leader in the Senate for a freshman member of the other party. He won’t be there long enough to have any impact no matter how sharp he thinks he is.”
Source: 2008 Kentucky Senate debate reported in Herald-Leader Aug 21, 2008

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Page last updated: Mar 29, 2014