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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Romney Coming to Louisville for Fundraiser

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be in Louisville on Thursday at a fundraiser hosted at the home of Papa John’s founder John Schnatter, several GOP volunteers and officials have confirmed.

Invitations asking for various donation levels were sent out earlier this week. This will be the former Massachusetts governor’s second visit to the commonwealth and first to the city.

Romney visited Kentucky in November for a fundraiser in Lexington.

“We are honored to again host Gov. Romney in Kentucky to raise funds to defeat President Obama in November. The event is picking up RSVP’s by the minute and Gov. Romney’s team in Kentucky is doing its part to build a winning campaign for a great candidate,” says Kelly Knight, who heads Romney’s Kentucky Finance committee. “Our nation can’t afford another four years of the failed Obama agenda, and Mitt Romney is offering a fresh direction to turn around our economy and restore opportunities for every American.”

In Kentucky, Romney, who is the presumptive GOP nominee for president, has raised over $412,000 thus far compared to $567,000 in contributions garnered by President Obama.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

McConnell: Buffett Rule Won’t Create Jobs or Lower Gas Prices

Speaking on the Senate floor Monday, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., once again criticized President Obama’s so-called Buffett Rule and accused the administration of ignoring larger economic problems

The White House has been pushing the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012 for the past week as the Senate considers the measure. Named after billionaire William Buffett, it would require individuals earning $1 million or more annually pay at least 30 percent in taxes.

Tax regulators say if the law passed it would also end preferential treatment for capital gains income.

McConnell says the Obama administration is more interested in “taking from some and giving to others” than job creation or lowering gas prices.

“This entire debate has been very illuminating for a lot of folks. It’s revealed a lot about this president. By wasting so much time on this political gimmick that even Democrats admit won’t solve our larger problems, it’s shown the president is more interested in misleading people than he is in leading,” he says.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Senator Paul’s Wife Comments on Working Moms Firestorm

The wife of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is weighing in on the controversial remarks made by a Democratic strategist that asserted Ann Romney “never worked a day in her life”, which has sparked a furious debate over the role of state-at-home mothers.

Appearing on CNN earlier this week, Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen criticized Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s ability to relate to women who work full time while raising children. Rosen said the GOP frontrunner shouldn’t use his wife as a barometer because she hasn’t faced tough economic choices due to their affluence.

In response, Ann Romney defended herself via Twitter and an uproar has ensued.

Kelley Paul says she understands being both a woman in the workforce and a mother, adding the Obama administration is engaging in a “war on the family.”

“I’ve seen both sides of the equation. I worked for a decade in marketing for the telecommunications industry and for more than a decade raising three sons. I stand with Ann Romney and millions of other moms who know that being a full time mom to young children is definitely hard work,” she says. “This administration’s attack dogs and their cynical attempts to rally their extreme base will backfire. They should call a cease fire to their war on the family.”

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

McConnell Bypasses Endorsing Romney But Implores GOP to Unite

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., isn’t endorsing Mitt Romney for president, but says the former Massachusetts governor is on his way to winning the nomination and that it’s time for the GOP to focus on the fall campaign.

Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” the Republican leader said Romney would be “an excellent candidate” but that voters don’t need him to weigh-in on the race because the Kentucky primary isn’t until May.

McConnell pivoted and implored the GOP to unite behind one candidate to unseat President Obama in November, indicating the other candidates should drop out.

“It’s absolutely apparent that it’s in the best interests of our party at this particular point to get behind the person who is obviously going to be our nominee and to begin to make the case against the president of the United States,” he said.

From CNN:

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Yarmuth: Ryan Budget Plan is ‘Slap in the Face’ to Middle-Class

Calling the spending cuts dramatic and wrongheaded, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., ripped the federal budget proposal submitted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wi., earlier this week.

“The Path to Prosperity” is a fiscal plan that cuts $5 trillion more in spending than President Obama’s budget proposal by making deep cuts to domestic spending and entitlement programs. Supporters highlight the provisions also reform the U.S. tax code, protects defense spending, repeals Mr. Obama’s health care law and and blocks a proposed tax increase on wealthier Americans.

Democratic lawmakers, however, have pounced on the plan for going after social safety net programs such as Medicare, which would be cut by $205 billion under Ryan’s plan. And several observers have pointed out the plan could backfire on GOP candidates in the fall election whether they side for or against certain provisions.

Yarmuth says the GOP proposal has American priorities backwards and provides more tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations while passing the cost to the middle-class and poor.

“It’s more than a political statement it is actually a very, very significant gift to the people who have done so well in the economy and a slap in the face for virtually everybody else,” he says.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Mitt Romney, Ron Paul Deal Could Include Rand Paul VP

The rumors that Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney may select U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., as his running mate were given more credibility by sources from within Congressman Ron Paul’s campaign who claim a deal is taking shape.

Reports about a so-called “non-aggression” pact between Romney and Paul’s father, GOP presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tx., have been circulating for weeks. During the debates, Congressman Paul frequently attacked former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and former Speaker Newt Gingrich, but often gave Romney a pass.

A new wrinkle is being added by insiders from the congressman’s campaign who claim the libertarian-minded lawmaker is thinking about the future of his movement—namely Rand as vice president—rather than winning the nomination.

From TIME:

Even as they tamp down rumors of a pact, Paul’s advisers concede that the friendship between Paul and Romney is the initial step toward a deal. And behind the scenes, discussions between the two campaigns — as well as initial discussions with the Santorum and Gingrich camps, according to one Paul adviser — are slowly taking shape.

(SNIP)

The Texas Representative might also be enticed, says campaign chairman Jesse Benton, by the prospect of serving as a presidential adviser, a Cabinet position for someone in his orbit or “perhaps a vice presidency.”

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Rand Paul VP Rumors Continue But Face Growing Skepticism

Despite the ongoing Republican presidential primary, rumors about who GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney might select to be his running mate continue to mention U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., as a potential vice presidential candidate.

Paul’s father, Congressman Ron Paul, R-Tx., who is also running for president, downplayed the rumors that his son is on Romney’s short list. But as WFPL reported last month, Sen. Paul is open the door on the idea and would be honored at the consideration.

And while many believe such a selection—if Romney wins the nomination—would boost the former Massachusetts governor’s support among Tea Party members, some political observers are skeptical that Kentucky’s controversial junior Senator would benefit him at all.

From The Nation:

The recent political chatter has centered on Rand Paul. On the surface it seems plausible. First, it would at least explain why Ron Paul has been so uncharacteristically tame toward Romney. Second, Rand Paul is a conservative Southerner, an identity that Romney does not connect well with.

However, Rand Paul’s brand of conservatism is far too extreme for the general voter. In Paul’s Senate campaign he argued that private businesses should still have the right to discriminate. It’s one thing to advocate for states’ rights in general terms, and another to try to argue against the long-settled constitutional and societal norm that discrimination is unacceptable. While this position did not harm his election, it may not play as well outside of his home state of Kentucky and the Deep South.

Thoughts?

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Here and Now Uncategorized

GOP Still Divided After Super Tuesday; Amazon Takes On Publishing World; Are Republicans Afraid Of Rush Limbaugh?: Today on Here and Now

1:06pm: Mitt Romney emerged with the most delegates after yesterday’s Super Tuesday races in 10 states. Eric Cantor, House majority leader, says Romney has a clear path of Tampa, where Republicans will gather for their nominating convention this summer. Rick Santorum‘s supporters tried to elbow Newt Gingrich out of the race in a bid to unite conservatives behind Santorum. Gingrich says he’s pressing on, as is Ron Paul. We’ll talk about what’s next for the GOP candidates.

1:12pm: Amazon is moving into the book publishing industry. The online behemoth has hired former Time Warner Publishing CEO Larry Kirshbaum to head its new venture, and Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Brad Stone says the publishing industry is running scared. “I think they’re terrified,” Stone says. “Amazon is their biggest customer… and they’ve been at Amazon’s mercy for quite some time.” Stone’s cover story on Amazon recounts the bad blood between Amazon and the big six publishers that goes back to the launch of the Kindle. He says this is part of a trend in the business world where companies are creating entire ecosystems to sell their products, spurred by Apple’s dominance of tablets and phones.

1:40pm: The defection of more than 30 advertisers from Rush Limbaugh‘s talk radio program isn’t stopping the conservative firebrand, who’s been under a hail of criticism for comments he made about Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke after she testified in favor of President Obama’s birth control policy. All of this has touched off the latest debate over how much power Limbaugh has in the GOP. We’ll talk about it. Is he, as President Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel once famously said, “Rush Limbaugh is the voice and intellectual force of the Republican Party,” or not? A piece in Politico today asks “Who’s Afraid of Rush?” and concludes that fewer Republicans are, because of the Fluke flap.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Romney Energy Policy Would Heavily Back Coal Industry

In an editorial published in the Columbus Dispatch on Monday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney outlined his energy policy that includes a resounding endorsement of the coal industry.

Last year, if you recall, the former Massachusetts governor first visited Kentucky for a fundraiser hosted by coal company owner Joe Craft, an influential political player who is known as the “face of coal” in the commonwealth. Romney also named Craft one of his campaign’s Kentucky State Finance Chairs.

Romney says he will modernize the federal government’s “outdated” environmental laws and stop what he calls Environmental Protection Agency’s practice of “imaginary benefits to justify onerous burdens.”

“In my administration, coal will not be a four-letter word. Instead, we will applaud the industry’s success in consistently expanding electricity output while reducing pollution,” he says. “And I will respect states’ proven ability to regulate fracking, rather than sending federal bureaucrats to take control.”

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Ron Paul Downplays Rand Paul VP Rumors

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul rejected a suggestion that GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney would ask his son, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to serve as his running mate.

There has been growing speculation that the Romney and Paul campaigns have been cooperating with a possible offer of the vice presidency to Kentucky’s junior Senator down the road. When WFPL asked Sen. Paul about the prospect, he said “it would be an honor to be considered” and didn’t shut the door the the rumors.

But Congressman Paul dismissed the speculation after GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum suggested Paul and Romney were colluding.

“I think the media has fed on that because they keep saying ‘Is there a deal, is there a deal?’” Paul told Politico. “Obviously not. He wouldn’t do it, I wouldn’t’ do it.”

In a recent interview, Romney has also downplayed the rumors.