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Guthrie: Obama Violated Constitution With Recess Appointments

Joining Republican presidential candidates and other GOP lawmakers, U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., blasted President Barack Obama for bypassing Congress and invoking recess appointments earlier this week.

The president sidestepped the Senate by naming three new members to the National Labor Relations Board and installing former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The White House claims Senate Republicans were dawdling the nominees for key oversight panels, but critics have ripped the unilateral decision as dubious because the Senate is in “pro forma session” and technically not in recess.

Guthrie says the appointments are unconstitutional and has solicited feedback from constituents via Facebook and Twitter.

“I believe President Obama violated the Constitution with “recess” appointments made when the Senate was not in recess. His unprecedented attempt to ignore the Constitution and usurp authority from the legislative branch has even been questioned by his own justice department,” he says.

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Paul Bridges Amendment Fails on Senate Floor

by Dan Conti, Kentucky Public Radio

Senator Rand Paul’s bid to take money from highway beautification projects and use it to repair bridges and other transportation infrastructure has failed on the senate floor. The Kentucky Republican proposed eliminating money for landscaping projects like walking and bike paths and re-directing the funds for bridge work.

“This amendment simply takes funds from beautification and puts them into bridges,” he said. “As legislators, we need to prioritize and spend money on what is most important to us. Some on the other side may like the beautification projects. We like them also. But we are running a $1.5 trillion deficit.”

Paul urged senators to support the amendment, telling his colleagues it should appeal to Democrats and Republicans alike.

“I’ve stood with the president in the shadows of our crumbling bridges,” Paul said. “I told the president personally I would help to rebuild the bridges. This amendment should be non-controversial. This amendment spends no new money and raises no new taxes.”

Despite his entreaty, the amendment had no Democratic support. Thirty-eight Republicans supported the measure, while seven did not.

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UPDATE: Donnelly Expected to Announce U.S. Senate Bid

The race for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by veteran Republican incumbent Richard Lugar is getting more interesting with the rumored entrance of U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., who will reportedly announce his candidacy Monday.

From the Associated Press:

Two Democrats with firsthand knowledge of Donnelly’s plans told The Associated Press that the congressman is entering the race because he believes that Lugar will lose a Republican primary offering him a path to the Senate. Lugar is facing a strong challenge from his right, State Treasurer Richard Mourdock.

(SNIP)

By entering the race, Donnelly – who also weighed a run for governor – gives national Democrats a recruiting victory. No other Democrats have entered the race. Donnelly’s supporters believe he can clear the Democratic primary field.

Facing his first primary challenge since 1976, Lugar has been hammered by Indiana Tea Party groups for his so-called moderate GOP record and being a mentor to President Barack Obama while he was in the Senate.

UPDATE: It’s official.

In an announcement video, Donnelly focuses on jobs and the economy, saying that he will advocate for hardworking Hoosiers in Washington.

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Paul Defeats Conway In Senate Race

Republican Rand Paul has ridden Tea Party support and strong criticism of President
Barack Obama to victory in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race.

Paul defeated Democrat Jack Conway in Tuesday’s election.

Paul, a Bowling Green eye doctor and son of Libertarian Congressman Ron Paul, went on the attack during the campaign against the federal health care overhaul, stimulus plans and the budget deficit, repeating his call for smaller government during his victory speech.

“Thomas Jefferson wrote that ‘government is best that governs least; likewise freedom is best when enjoyed by the most'” he said.

A disappointed Conway told reporters he’ll get right back to work at the Capitol this week.

“I have the opportunity to run for re-election as attorney general. I’ll be back in the office, doing some of the stuff i love in the office of attorney general,” Conway said after his concession speech.

Conway said he doesn’t regret airing a controversial ad late in the campaign that drew criticism from both ends of the political spectrum.

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Clinton To Stump For Conway In Louisville

Former President Bill Clinton is returning to Kentucky Monday evening to rally support for Democratic U-S Senate candidate Jack Conway.

Clinton is expected to be in Louisville on election eve, and Conway welcomes his return.

“I think the voters of Kentucky will remember they voted for him twice and that when he left office, he didn’t leave deficits. He left surpluses. He left an economy that had created 22-million jobs and he was a very good fiscal steward. And I think it would be great to remind the voters of Kentucky of that on the day before this most important election.”

Two weeks ago, Clinton helped draw a large crowd to a Conway rally on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington. Conway goes head-to-head with Republican U-S Senate nominee Rand Paul in Tuesday’s election. In recent days, Paul has increased his lead over Conway in several polls. The men are vying for the seat currently held by Republican U-S Sen. Jim Bunning.

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Paul Campaign Calls Scuffle “Incredibly Unfortunate”

Thanks to Lisa Autry, Kentucky Public Radio

The Rand Paul for U.S. Senate campaign says it’s relieved that a woman who was roughed up by some Paul supporters outside Kentucky Educational Television last night was not seriously injured.

The woman, Lauren Valle of the group MoveOn.org, was wrestled to the ground after she tried to approach Paul to present him with a fake award.    TV footage shot by WDRB showed a Paul supporter stepping on her head.    

The supporter has been identified as Tim Profitt, a volunteer with Paul’s campaign in Bourbon County.   He’s been ordered to appear before a Fayette County judge to determine if charges are warranted.   The Paul campaign has also dismissed him as the county campaign coordinator and barred him from campaign events.    Profitt also apologized today.

A Paul campaign spokesman told the AP that the incident was “incredibly unfortunate.”   It occurred outside the Kentucky Educational Television studios in Lexington, where Paul and his opponent, Jack Conway, held their fifth and final debate.

Paul spoke about it during an appearance on Fox News.

“I will tell you that when we arrived, there was enormous passion on both sides, it really was somthing where you walk into a daze of lights flashing, people yelling and screaming, bumping up.   It was a bit of a crowd control problem.   I don’t want anybody, though to be involved in things that aren’t civil.  I think this should always be about the issues,” he said.

(Photo from WDRB video)

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Conway, Paul Meet In KET Debate

The two candidates for U.S. Senate in Kentucky met for their fifth and final debate before Election Day, this one broadcast on Kentucky Educational Television.

Republican Rand Paul and Democrat Jack Conway avoided most of the rancor of their previous debate at the University of Louisville and discussed issues such as Wall Street regulations, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and health care.

Paul defended his proposal for a higher deductible for some Medicare recipients.

“What I did say on many occasions was a higher deductible would help fix the problem but would be politically unpalatalble, would not be feasible. But there would be ways that maybe in the future, younger people might have to pay higher deductibles and you may have to do means testing,” Paul said.

Conway said he supports the new health care overhaul law, but believes it can be improved.

“There’s going to have to be some things tweaked in this bill. I don’t want to penalize employers, but we’re going to have 45,000 small businesses in Kentucky that get assistance with premiums. And my opponent’s on record as saying that we need to go back to the health care system we had in this country pre-World War Two,” Conway said.

The candidates are vying for the Senate seat that will be vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Jim Bunning.

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Paul And Conway Spar In Northern Kentucky

By Cheri Lawson, Kentucky Public Radio

The candidates for Kentucky’s open U.S. Senate seat met in their second debate of five Monday night.

Jack Conway and Rand Paul debated before an audience on the campus of Northern Kentucky University and TV viewers in the Northern Kentucky area and Louisville.

The candidates responded to questions from reporters and viewers, including one about the importance of either retiring the federal debt or keeping taxes low. Paul said he’d like to do both.

“We as Republicans didn’t do a good enough job. The Democrats are doing worse but we as Republicans didn’t do a good enough job to cut spending,” he said.

Conway said he would like to see a return to the policies of the Clinton Administration that created jobs and left the federal budget with a surplus.

Other during the hour-long debate included crime and drugs in Kentucky, funding for education, national health care policy and the war in Afghanistan. The candidates will debate again Sunday at the University of Louisville.

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Clinton Stumps For Conway In Lexington

By Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio

Former President Bill Clinton is making the rounds for Democrats running for office this fall and made a stop Monday in Kentucky.     

Mr. Clinton stumped for Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Jack Conway before a group of about five-thousand people gathered at the University of Kentucky. Conway is running against eye surgeon Rand Paul, who has the support of the Tea Party. In his 30 minute speech, Mr. Clinton told the crowd that Paul has radical ideas, and no record to support them.

“One guy running for Senate gives you a specific plan to say 400 billion dollars; the other guy says we’re just basically going to abolish the federal government except for Medicare and defense and tax cuts,” he said.

Jack Conway trails Rand Paul in the polls, but his campaign hopes Mr. Clinton’s history of success in Kentucky will translate into a late surge.    Paul has received campaign support from some well-known Republicans, including former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

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Paul Calls For Term Limits For Some Federal Agency Chiefs

Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul wants term limits for the heads of federal regulatory agencies. Paul made the comment during a meeting with leaders of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Monday.

Paul says federal agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency, have too much power. He says the EPA is an “out of control bureaucracy that needs to be restrained.” “The bureaucracies have grown so large that they are controlling and running government. In fact, I’ve been thinking recently, I’m for term limits for politicians. Maybe we should have term limits for the heads of regulatory agencies as well,” he said.

Also during the question and answer session to be posted on the Internet, Paul spoke out against tariffs on foreign goods, but says the U.S. should quit sending foreign aid to countries that subsidize industry. Paul says the electricity grid that crosses Kentucky makes it an ideal state for nuclear power plants.

Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Jack Conway has been invited to make a similar appearance before the chamber, but as yet has not accepted.