Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Raque Adams Files for State Senate

Former Louisville Metro Councilwoman and current state Rep. Julie Raque, R-Louisville, has filed to run for the state Senate in a newly-drawn district.

The seat is currently held by retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Shaughnessy, D-Louisville, but the controversial redistricting map approved by the General Assembly would have moved him out of the area by year’s end.

Adams says there are issues the Senate deals with that the House does not, and she is anxious to switch chambers and take on tax reform.

“We have to have tax modernization and we have to be aggressive with any economic development opportunities. We got to get jobs in this state. I say selfishly, I really want my kids to be able to live, work and be happy here in Kentucky and I want to participate in making this state more aggressive economically,” she says.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Anti-Toll Advocate Running for State Senate

Louisville Democrat Shawn Reilly has announced his intention to run for the Kentucky state Senate next year to fill the vacancy left by retiring state Sen. Tim Shaughnessy.

The 29-year-old liberal Democrat is a financial adviser who has been involved in several local political groups and campaigns such as the anti-Iraq War movement. But Reilly is most well-known as the co-founder of Say No to Tolls, which opposes and has protested against any levy on the city’s current infrastructure to pay for the $2.9 billion Ohio River Bridges Project.

Reilly says now is the time to influence policy from the inside and that his advocacy against tolling will help him in the race.

“My work on the Ohio River Bridges Project will be a benefit to my bid for the state Senate,” he says. “So many times Louisville gets the short end of the stick in terms of funding and money that comes back from Frankfort. And if Louisville got its fair share of transportation dollars this issue of tolling wouldn’t be on the table. And Frankfort seems more than willing to put an additional tax on something they’re willing to pay for around the state.”

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Shaughnessy Forgoes Re-Election Bid to State Senate

After more than two decades in Frankfort, state Sen. Tim Shaughnessy, D-Louisville, announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election to the Kentucky Senate in 2012.

Shaughnessy did not indicate why he was retiring, but thanked constituents for allowing him to be a public servant since 1988.

“I am grateful to the voters of my community for the honor and privilege of serving in the state Senate,” he said in a statement.

Shaughnessy says he will play an active role in the upcoming General Assembly in January, championing efforts to improve college graduation rates and heighten accountability within state Medicaid managed-care programs.

Last year, Shaughnessy called for the shakeup of the Passport Health Plan board after a state audit found lavish spending.

He also pushed for the commonwealth to use eminent domain after a homeless shelter purchased a hotel in downtown Louisville that lawmakers wanted to use for Jefferson Community and Technical College.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Senate Democrats Mulling Over Clark Comparing Obama to Hitler

Democratic leaders in the state Senate have discussed the controversial remarks made by Kentucky lawmaker who compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler on a conspiracy theorist website, but caucus leaders won’t say if any action will be taken.

Last week, state Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, called for the president to step down or face impeachment over what he calls the “unconstitutional” debt ceiling legislation. Clark says the bill is a “direct echo” of legislation that handed over power to the Nazi dictator in 1933.

Asked about possible censure, Democratic caucus leaders said they have discussed the remarks amongst themselves, but won’t disclose what disciplinary action—if any—will be taken against the state lawmaker.

“I think that would be a personal caucus matter. But it’s something that we continue to discuss,” says state Senate Minority Leader R.J. Palmer. “Again, it’s the opinion of Senator Clark and not the Senate Democratic caucus. I think people understand that there are 15 Democratic Senators and no one individual speaks for everyone.”