The Forward Five – Monday, 1/13/20

10 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

Bill sponsor of legalizing medical marijuana optimistic
The sponsor of legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky says he’s optimistic of the bill’s chances this year. Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, says he thinks prospects in the House are good.  “We’ve talked about it in the Republican Caucus and a majority of the caucus supports it.” (Kentucky Today)

Massie breaks ranks on Iran war powers resolution vote
Kentucky’s members in the U.S. House of Representatives largely voted with their respective parties Thursday on a war powers resolution aimed at curbing President Donald Trump’s ability to wage battle against Iran. The House voted 224-194 to pass the war powers resolution Thursday evening, with 13 members not voting.

Congressional Democrats have sharply criticized the Trump administration for not consulting Congress on the Soleimani strike and have accused him of recklessness in his decision-making on Iran.

Three Republicans broke ranks and voted with the Democrats in backing the resolution. Rep. Thomas Massie (KY-04) was one of them. In explaining his vote in favor of the resolution, Massie said he supported Trump but was backing the legislation because “this vote is about exercising our constitutional authority, but more importantly, our moral obligation to decide when and where our troops are going to be asked to give their lives.” (Courier-Journal)

Related: Attorney in Covington Catholic case challenges Massie in GOP primary
Attorney Todd McMurtry is one of the lawyers representing Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann, who recently settled a defamation lawsuit against CNN involving a confrontation with an indigenous activist in Washington, D.C., last year. McMurtry told The Courier Journal on Friday shortly before he filed that he entered the race because President Donald Trump deserves more support than what he is getting out of Massie. (Courier-Journal)

Three reasons the Voter ID bill is bad — and what we should do instead
SB2, the Voter ID bill, is a bad bill. Dr. Neal Turpin gives three reasons it is bad, and lays out what we should be doing instead: expanding access to voting, instead of limiting it. (Forward Kentucky)

Former Jenean Hampton aide fired by Matt Bevin files to run for state Senate
Adrienne Southworth, the aide to former Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton who was fired by former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, filed to run for state Senate on Friday afternoon. The Lawrenceburg Republican is running for the 7th District seat held by Democratic Sen. Julian Carroll, who is retiring.

Southworth is one of five Republicans to file to run in the district. If successful, she would take on Joe Graviss, a current state representative who is the only Democrat to file to run in the district. (Courier-Journal)

Andy Beshear picks nursing home exec as watchdog of troubled nursing home industry
To watchdog Kentucky’s troubled nursing home industry, Gov. Andy Beshear has picked an executive from Signature HealthCare, a Louisville-based corporation that owns more than two dozen low-rated nursing homes around the state.

Adam Mather, who was Signature’s regional vice president of operations, started Dec. 30 as inspector general at the Kentucky Health and Family Services Cabinet. (Herald-Leader)

Two bonus commentaries
We don’t normally include commentaries (editorials) in the “five things you need to know today” portion of the Forward Five – but we thought these two were important and interesting enough to make the “above the fold” portion of the newsletter.

An open letter from a teacher to Kentucky legislators
In an open letter to all members of the General Assembly, the KY Teacher of the Year shares three things teachers need from their legislators. (Forward Kentucky)

What do spicy tuna rolls have to do with open records?
There is much to be learned from government records – as long as you can get to them. Including who is spending money on spicy tuna rolls. (Forward Kentucky)

Not all stories on Forward Kentucky make it to the top “Five Things” section of the Forward Five! Many stories only show up in the yellow section below, which is a running list of pretty much everything published. So, be sure to scan the lower section each day as well, so you don’t miss anything.

Did you miss any of these?
Featured Content on Forward Kentucky

([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)


🔥 [new] Sharp words exchanged between backers and critics of immigration bill in KY Senate – Amid criticism of an immigration bill that some say would separate families and increase racial profiling, supporters said it is needed for public safety. (read)

[new] Beshear releases Braidy documents – Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday released documents related to Kentucky’s investment in Braidy Industries, ending years of open-records court cases. (read)

‘They are scared.’ – Bill aimed at stopping intimidation, assaults on sport officials. – Sports officials are quitting the job because of intimidation and even assault. Now there’s a bill to protect them by making intimidation a crime. (read)

🔥 At Kentucky Capitol, you can open carry a gun … but don’t conceal those umbrellas – Photos of three men posing with guns in the Kentucky State Capitol have raised questions about security protocol in Frankfort. (read)

Election 2020: Taking back the U.S. Senate – While the presidential election dominates the news, taking control of the US Senate is almost, if not as, critical to Democratic hopes of passing significant legislation beyond 2020. (read)


🔥 [new] Immigration? Voter ID laws? Kentucky Senate’s priority bills are jokes – You’d think Repubs would have stopped playing political games by now and focused on real problems. Instead, they put forward two joke bills as “priorities.” (read)

🔥 Amy McGrath’s super PAC – Amy McGrath spent a lot of time trashing Citizens United when she was running for Congress two years ago. Now she’s got a super PAC raising money for her. (read)


[new video] ‘The MAGA Church’ — a video by the Lincoln Project – The Lincoln Project, a group of Republican Never-Trumpers, has just released this video about Donald Trump’s relationship to Evangelical Christians. (view)

🔥 [new podcast] Transportation, Booker-McGrath-Broihier, KYGA20 bills – This week, we talked about the state’s SHIFT plan and how it interacts with Metro Louisville’s “Move Louisville” plan. Also, Jazmin and Robert talked about Charles Booker’s decision to run for US Senate and about what the other Democratic candidates for US Senate have been up to recently. The General Assembly started on Tuesday, and Robert talked about the Senate’s priority bills. (listen)

🔥 [new photo gallery] Anti-war protests in Paducah and Morehead — ‘Trump is finally a uniter’ – Kentucky’s major cities weren’t the only places where everyday citizens took to the streets to protest possible war with Iran. Two Forward Kentucky contributors sent us their coverage of anti-war protests in Paducah and Morehead, along with photos of the events. (view)

Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days

(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)

The Forward 5 is published Monday to Friday by Forward Kentucky, an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky, and is re-posted with permission. You can sign up for the email version of the newsletter on their website.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Forward Kentucky is an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky. Our objectives are to provide journalism that is objective, policies that are effective, and commentary that is progressive. Our goal is to help Kentucky become all that it can be through government that works, for all. We are "the progressive voice for Kentucky politics."

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