- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Democratic ads off the air in Kentucky Senate race

FLORENCE, Ky. (AP) - The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has stopped running TV ads in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race, a severe blow to Alison Lundergan Grimes in her challenge to Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

In a statement issued three weeks before the Nov. 4 election and a day after the candidates’ sole debate, the committee said Tuesday that it had spent more than $2 million in Kentucky and continued to fund get-out-the-vote operations. However, the committee made no commitment to go back on the air in support of Grimes, who has been pummeled by tens of millions of dollars in attack ads by McConnell and his allies.

The committee’s decision in Kentucky was in strong contrast to its activities in other states with pivotal Senate races. Democrats continued to spend freely in Iowa, Georgia, North Carolina and several other states as they tried to blunt a Republican drive to gain a Senate majority in midterm elections.

Grimes’ campaign continued to air ads, including one that accuses McConnell of supporting amnesty for 3 million immigrants living in the country illegally. MoveOn.org, a liberal political action committee, on Tuesday called on Grimes to pull the ad because it refers to immigrants as “illegal aliens.”

Grimes was heavily recruited by Democrats to challenge McConnell, but her support eroded in recent polls under the weight of attacks by McConnell and his allies. While McConnell has been plagued by low approval ratings, he has sought to turn the election into a referendum on President Barack Obama, who is even more unpopular in the state.

In recent days, the issue of Obama moved to the top of the daily campaign back-and-forth, with Grimes refusing to say if she voted for Obama in 2008 or 2012, even though she was a delegate for the president at the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

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Judge blocks law banning campaigning near polls

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky law banning election-day campaigning near polling places was struck down Tuesday by a federal judge, who ruled the 300-foot buffer impedes free speech by reaching private homes and yards.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman came three weeks before voters head to the polls to decide a long ballot of local, state and federal races. Those races include the hard-fought U.S. Senate campaign pitting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The ruling means that a broad range of electioneering activities would be allowed near the polls, said Christopher Wiest, one of the attorneys for the northern Kentucky man who challenged the state law.

“What this means is there is now complete freedom of speech in and around polling places on Election Day,” Wiest said by phone. “People can hand out fliers, talk to voters. They can wear (campaign) T-shirts, they can hold signs. All that is now fair game.”

Grimes, who is Kentucky’s secretary of state, was reviewing the ruling, said her office’s spokeswoman, Lynn Zellen. The matter is also under review by Attorney General Jack Conway’s office, said his spokeswoman, Allison Martin. Grimes and Conway were among several state and local officials named as defendants in the lawsuit challenging the law.

The suit was brought in June 2014 by John Russell, a Campbell County businessman who had campaign signs pulled from the yard of his auto body shop on Election Day in 2012 and 2014. The signs were removed by sheriff’s deputies because they were within 300 feet of a polling place at a church in Cold Spring, Kentucky.

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Kentucky tracks still jostling over race dates

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Jockeying over racing dates between Churchill Downs and Kentucky Downs stretched closer toward a Nov. 1 deadline, and horse racing regulators warned Tuesday they’ll step in to settle the dispute if necessary.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s executive director, John T. Ward, met privately with the top executives of both tracks seeking an agreement on racing dates for September 2015.

The participants emerged without a deal, preventing a racing commission panel from making recommendations Tuesday. Ward reported “movement” in the talks but wouldn’t handicap chances for a deal.

“There was a consensus in the room that they needed more time to talk about it, about the dates issue and how not to hurt each other’s business and come to some kind of a resolution,” Ward told reporters.

The full racing commission must award 2015 racing dates by Nov. 1 under state law.

Commission Chairman Bob Beck urged a compromise. If the tracks remain at odds, he said, the full commission would settle the matter.

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Louisville jail inmate dies

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - An inmate at Louisville Metro Corrections has died after being taken to a hospital for seizure-related symptoms.

WDRB-TV (https://bit.ly/1wCdJeWhttps://bit.ly/1wCdJeW ) said 31-year-old William Carnes was taken to Louisville from Hopkins County last Thursday on several charges in Jefferson County.

He was taken to University Hospital on Friday. Corrections officials said he was having seizure-related symptoms that afternoon. A news release said he died Monday at the hospital.

An autopsy will be performed. The Louisville police Public Integrity Unit and Metro Corrections are investigating. The jail contract health care services provider will also investigate.

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Information from: WDRB-TV, https://www.fox41.comhttps://www.fox41.com

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