Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Yarmuth Applauds Conway for Joining Brief Against Citizens United Decision

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., is commending Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway for backing the state of Montana in a case that revisits the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United ruling.

Two years ago, justices in a 5-to-4 majority rejected spending limits for corporations and labor unions within federal election law. However, the Montana Supreme Court made the opposite ruling earlier this year and upheld a century-old state law banning corporate campaign spending.

Attorneys are asking the justices to decide whether Citizens United case also applies to state and local elections.

“I applaud Attorney General Conway and his office for their efforts to limit the reach of the disastrous Citizens United decision and keep unlimited anonymous money from continuing to corrupt our political system,” Yarmuth said in a news release. “Special-interest groups that aren’t accountable to voters have already spent millions of dollars on federal elections this year, jamming the airwaves with attack ads. Without a change to the law, we can only expect more spending, more negativity, and less accountability.”

Frankfort Local News

Conway, Grimes Team Up to Prevent Voter Fraud

Kentucky officials are once again planning to crack down on voter fraud in the May 22 primary.

Attorney General Jack Conway and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced their partnership on the issue Tuesday, giving details of this year’s Election Integrity Task Force.

The task force investigates allegations of fraud. Some allegations come from state investigators, but many come from voters.

Conway’s office operates a voter fraud hotline for residents to report potential fraud on Election Day. Concerns before the polls open can be addressed to county clerks or to Grimes through the state Board of Elections.

Representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s office are also helping investigate fraud claims this year, since there are federal races on the ballot. There were six calls to Conway’s hotline on primary day last year. In 2008, 59 calls were fielded.



Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Conway Disappointed Over Prescription Drug Bill Failure

In a statement, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway expressed disappointment with state lawmakers for failing to pass legislation to combat prescription drug abuse.

The initial proposal required doctors to use KASPER, which is the state’s prescription monitoring system set up to crack down on “pill mill” operators. It also required that pain management clinics be owned by physicians licensed in Kentucky.

But Conway says the law that came out a House-Senate conference report has been “watered down” by lobbyists for the medical community and the original bill pushed by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, should be passed.

“For the many families devastated by this scourge, I hope that the General Assembly, and the Senate in particular, will act in good faith to represent the larger public interest and not let special interests write the prescription drug legislation,” he says. “In the Office of the Attorney General, we pledge to act in good faith to ensure that legislation passed by the General Assembly works fairly and effectively.”

Beshear has called for a special session to begin next Monday.

Frankfort Local News

Beshear Predicts Prescription Pill Bill Will Pass in Strong Form

Supporters of a bill that would put more restrictions on prescription pills say they believe the measure will pass soon, despite increased lobbying efforts by doctors to weaken the bill. The bill would move the KASPER prescription tracking system to the Attorney General’s office and strengthen restrictions on pain clinics.

Kentucky lawmakers were unable to pass a compromise version of House Bill 4 before leaving for a veto recess. When they return, they’ll have one day to pass the bill.

The Kentucky Medical Association has spent the past ten days lobbying against the bill, saying increased restrictions on pain clinics and drug prescribing would hurt legitimate doctors.

But supporters, including Governor Steve Beshear, are dismissing that argument.

Frankfort Local News

House Judiciary Committee Passes Two Bills That Would Overhaul Drug Enforcement

The Kentucky House Judiciary Committee has overwhelmingly passed two bills to overhaul the state’s fight against drugs.

One bill deals with synthetic drugs. It would ban the manufacture of any drug that simulates an illegal substance or that contains certain chemical compounds.

The second bill is an overhaul of the KASPER system, which monitors prescription drugs. The bill puts KASPER under the Attorney General’s office and requires the board of medical licensure to crack down on reports that prescriptions are being over prescribed.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Conway Explains Hospital Merger Recommendation

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has released a statement explaining his recommendation to Governor Steve Beshear against the controversial Louisville hospital merger.

From the attorney general’s office:

“My staff and I conducted a thorough and comprehensive review of the proposed hospital merger. This presented an unprecedented combination of entities and a myriad of legal and public policy issues. Some of those issues were addressed by the parties, but many of them were not resolved. Of particular concern was the loss of control of a valuable state asset and the services it provides to the public.

It is my opinion that the Governor should not at this time approve the proposed new affiliation agreement and new lease. I support the University of Louisville and its mission, but it is a public agency with an obligation to inform and work with state government regarding the control of a public asset such as University Hospital.

I appreciate Gov. Beshear’s careful analysis of this merger, and I believe he ultimately made the appropriate decision on behalf of the Commonwealth’s interests.

I am committed to working with all parties to ensure that our hospitals continue to fulfill their missions as leading trauma centers, teaching hospitals and nationally renowned research facilities.”

Read the merger report from Conway here.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Palin Backs P’Pool for Kentucky Attorney General (AUDIO)

Less than a week until Election Day, former Alaska Governor and vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has endorsed Republican Todd P’Pool for Kentucky attorney general.

The Hopkins County Attorney is challenging Democratic incumbent Jack Conway and has sought to nationalize the race by promising to challenge federal environmental regulations and President Obama’s health care overhaul.

P’Pool says Palin has a record of not “going along to get along,” and bucking the establishment, which he promises to emulate if elected.

“I am extremely honored to announce the endorsement and support of one of America’s great conservative voices and Constitutional conservatives, Gov. Sarah Palin. Her endorsement brings a level of energy and excitement to our race that is nearly impossible to match,” he says.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Conway Responds to P’Pool Attack Ad

Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway released an ad Wednesday responding to an attack from Republican challenge Todd P’Pool, which alleges the incumbent tried to cover up a drug investigation involving his brother.

The 30-second spot features Conway addressing voters about the allegation, which he has vehemently denied for over a year. The attorney general repeats the explanation, saying he told his brother, Matt Conway, to “take responsibility” for any actions and advised him to obtain legal counsel after learning he knew about the probe.

“But that hasn’t stopped my opponent from completely distorting the facts to try and fool you. Mr. P’Pool, say what you want about me, but my family shouldn’t be part of this campaign,” says Conway.

Check it out:

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

P’Pool Attacks Conway Over Brother’s Drug Investigation in New Ad

In two new television ads, Republican attorney general candidate Todd P’Pool is attacking Democratic incumbent Jack Conway over a one-year-old drug investigation that focused on the attorney general’s brother.

The spots claim Conway had a role in the probe and insinuates the attorney general was at the center of a cover-up, but neither go into much detail.

Check it out:

Earlier this year, Matt Conway resigned from the Jefferson County Commonwealth Attorney’s office months after he admitted lying to police about being tipped off about an investigation into whether he was selling drugs.

The attorney general has consistently denied any involvement in his brother’s investigation beyond advising him to get legal counsel.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Giuliani Campaigns for P’Pool, Rails Against Obama and Conway

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told supporters of Republican Todd P’Pool that Kentucky’s attorney general race has national implications for health care and energy policy.

Giuliani visited Louisville on Wednesday to back P’Pool, who is running against Democratic incumbent Jack Conway. The former Republican presidential candidate highlighted key parts of P’Pool’s platform, which nationalizes the race and seeks to tie Conway to President Barack Obama

Giuliani says if Kentucky joins a lawsuit against the president’s health care law, it will help save the economy from “socialized medicine”

“I’m here because this election is important to the country. It’s important to the country that you have an attorney general that joins the other attorneys general—Republican and Democrat—that want to overturn Obamacare. Your attorney general has Kentucky in a position by not opposing it, of supporting Obamacare,” he says.