The Chatter: U.S. Senate candidates on the move; Hemp communication; and Conley update

12/30/2013 04:50 PM

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes will make a return fundraising trip to Hollywood on Jan. 13, as the Hollywood Reporter first reported last week.

Movie mogul Jeffery Katzenberg will host the fundraiser for Grimes, who hauled in hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from actors and movie types during her first fundraiser in Hollywood in September.

The Kentucky Republican Party, which has been keeping close tabs on Grimes’ fundraising, again used the news to link Grimes to “Hollywood’s most liberal political activists and donors” in a statement to the media on Monday.

Also on Monday, Grimes picked up the backing of a super PAC called American Sunrise , whose team includes Northern Kentucky Democratic consultant Kathy Groob. The group made Grimes its first candidate it plans to support in 2014.

Meanwhile, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin continues to turn to tea party groups to drum up support in his bid to beat U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell for the GOP nomination in the May 20 primary. Bevin is scheduled to speak at the Lexington Tea Party meeting Thursday, Jan. 2, at 6 p.m. at the Lexington Main Library.

The National Journal , last week, pegged McConnell as the fifth most vulnerable U.S. senator in a Republican primary, citing his low approval ratings and the fact that he must fend off Bevin from the right and potentially Grimes from his left.

Hemp Commission likes the progress of talks

The Kentucky Hemp Commission on Monday praised dialogue on the federal and state level as advocates continue to make the case for legalizing the crop in Kentucky.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul reached out to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to make the case for legalizing it. Representatives told the commission the call was “positive” and Holder was “receptive,” according to the commission’s news release.

And Agriculture Commissioner James Comer asked Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway earlier this month to seek a quick response from the U.S. Justice Department to allow the state to regulate hemp production.

“The commission is pleased to hear that Commissioner Comer and Attorney General Conway have opened the lines of communication,” said Brian Furnish, chairman of the hemp commission. “It is the commission’s hope that Kentucky will remain a leader in this effort and that the federal government promptly and favorably clarifies the law so farmers, processors, and manufacturers can jump-start this exciting new industry.”

Morgan Co. judge-executive busted after wire tapping

A 60-day wire tap led to the corruption charges against Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley, the Lexington Herald-Leader’s Greg Kocher reported Monday.

Conley faces charges for allegedly fixing bids for a contractor in exchange for kickbacks. His co-defendants, Kenneth and Ruth Gambill, were in federal court Monday. Their attorney said the charges stemmed from a wire tap, Kocher reported.


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