- Associated Press - Thursday, August 14, 2014
McConnell says wife won’t resign from board

GREENVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell said his wife will not resign from a board that has given $50 million to a campaign dedicated to closing coal-fired power plants.

WDRB-TV in Louisville reports that McConnell defended his wife during a campaign stop in Muhlenberg County in western Kentucky.

Yahoo News reported last week that Elaine Chao, McConnell’s wife and the former labor secretary under President George W. Bush, joined the Bloomberg Philanthropies board in 2012. In 2011, the board committed to give the Sierra Club $50 million for its “Beyond Coal” program.

Monday, seven eastern Kentucky Democrats - including House Speaker Greg Stumbo - sent a letter to Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett demanding that the group denounce Chao’s board membership and call on her to resign.

“We call on you personally and on the Kentucky Coal Association directors to denounce the Bloomberg board’s disgraceful action and call on the McConnells to return the money they have pocketed from this and any other anti-Kentucky coal organizations,” the letter read.

But Wednesday, McConnell said attacks on his wife are “nothing new.”

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Churchill Downs announcer leaving for New York

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Larry Collmus’ tenure as track announcer at Churchill Downs barely got past the starting gate.

Collmus, who took over in the spring as race caller at the home of the Kentucky Derby, on Wednesday accepted the job as track announcer for the New York Racing Association, starting in the spring of 2015. He will stay on at Churchill for the upcoming September and fall meets.

“I’m trading one dream job for another,” Collmus said.

Collmus, 47, will start calling races on the New York circuit in April, the final month of the Aqueduct Racetrack spring meet, the NYRA said in its announcement. He will announce the Belmont Park spring and fall meets and the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course.

Collmus has three nearly decades of experience calling races, and his crisp cadence is familiar to horse racing fans nationwide.

Collmus will continue his role announcing Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup races for NBC Sports, the NYRA said. He’ll also continue his winter role calling races at Gulfstream Park in Florida.

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