- Associated Press - Friday, January 17, 2014
Grimes defends coal, touts jobs plan for Kentucky

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes vowed to press President Barack Obama to “do the right thing” and give coal its rightful place in a national energy policy, as the U.S. Senate candidate took her campaign to the eastern Kentucky coalfields Thursday night.

Grimes said she would work to “rein in” federal regulations aimed at mines and coal-fired power plants, and would strive to secure a “meaningful, long-term place for coal” in the nation’s energy mix.

“As your next United States senator, I will work with anyone who sides with Kentucky, and I will oppose anyone who tries to undercut our needs, our resources and our very values,” she said.

Republicans have repeatedly tried to tie Grimes to Obama, a fellow Democrat who has never been popular in Kentucky. Grimes said Thursday night she would press the case for coal to the White House.

“I will call on the president to do the right thing and to develop an energy plan that does not threaten the livelihood of Kentuckians and that gives America the benefit of our coal,” she said.

Grimes was joined by a number of prominent Kentucky Democrats, including state lawmakers and former governors, as she delivered her speech in Prestonsburg.

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Felons’ voting rights proposal clears House

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A bill seeking to amend Kentucky’s Constitution to restore voting rights for some felons sailed through the state House on Thursday. Unlike past years, the proposed ballot issue is showing signs of life in the Senate.

Soon after the measure cleared the Democratic-led House on 82-12 vote, a top Senate leader said majority Republicans in that chamber are keeping “an open mind” about the bill.

“This may just be an issue whose time has come, with a few minor changes, if people are willing to compromise,” Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer told reporters.

Thayer, R-Georgetown, said he doesn’t support the proposal in its current form. But he raised the possibility of amending it to insert a waiting period before some felons would regain voting rights.

“That gives them time to re-immerse themselves in society and prove that they’re not going to return to committing more felonies and give them an opportunity to prove they can be good citizens,” Thayer said.

In past years, similar measures passed the House but died in the Senate.

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