The Chatter: Instant racing, U.S. Senate votes and Jack Conway's strategy

07/20/2010 03:42 PM

The highlights of Tuesday’s main political stories involving Kentucky:

  • The Kentucky Horse Authority on Tuesday approved “instant racing,” which are like slot machines but are tied to broadcasts of previously-run races. The Thoroughbred Times first reported the commission would take the issue up. The Herald-Leader and Courier-Journal have updated stories following the commission’s vote Tuesday afternoon.

  • A 60-40 vote in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday afternoon allowed the chamber to move forward on extending unemployment benefits — a bill that most Republicans had balked at approving without a corresponding way to pay for it. The Courier-Journal’s James Carroll quoted U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky’s senior senator, as saying before the vote that Republicans didn’t oppose the benefits, they just wanted a way to cover the more than $33 billion cost of the bill.

  • The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination to the Senate floor on Tuesday. So far, McConnell has remained mum on whether the Republicans will use all of their powers as the minority, such as the filibuster, to delay or complicate the confirmation vote, as NPR reported. This comes after a handful of protesters — including one in a chicken suit — picketed outside of McConnell’s Northern Kentucky office urging him to lead a filibuster to block Kagan’s confirmation, the Kentucky Enquirer’s Amanda Van Benschoten reported.

  • While Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway has kept a low public profile, his campaign manger, Jonathan Drobis, participated in an online Q and A session with supporters on Tuesday in which he hinted that Conway’s main message to voters about Republican candidate Rand Paul will be that Paul’s views are too “risky” for Kentucky. Responding to a question from a Northern Kentucky supporter, Drobis wrote that Conway, the attorney general, will “be campaigning in northern Kentucky and across the state highlighting his record of saving money for consumers and holding big oil and drug companies accountable. We’ll also be talking about Rand’s risky ideas like eliminating student aid and not supporting the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

– Ryan Alessi


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