The Forward Five – Tuesday, 10/13/20

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Five Things to Know Today


— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! As much as I dislike listening to Mitch McConnell, I made myself tune in to the McGrath-McConnell debate last night. And I have to say, I think McGrath came out ahead in both style and substance.

If you are thinking “Of course you would say that,” I understand. But I’m not the only person who came to that conclusion; numerous reporters, columnists, and pundits said that McGrath helped herself, and possibly damaged McConnell as well.


Joe Gerth: McConnell has spent a fairly good portion of this debate looking like he wanted to be anywhere else in the world than on the other side of the room from Amy McGrath. She’s not going to win the election but she won this debate.

Matt Jones: I  know I have been a tough critic, but I must say, this is the best Amy McGrath has done in the campaign.

Phillip Bailey: Amy McGrath waited until the last three weeks of the 2020 campaign to have the best debate of her political career after months of missteps and an unexpectedly grueling primary while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell couldn’t get out of there fast enough.


Here’s the thing – Kentucky is still a deeply red state overall, and debates rarely move the needle. McConnell’s base is McConnell’s base, and most of them are going to vote for him.

But McGrath’s performance last night undoubtedly helped her with moderates, independents, and Republicans looking for a reason to vote for her. And even more important, I think she helped herself with progressives and Democrats overall. If she kicked up turnout from those groups, then this debate can actually make a difference.

Talk to your friends, Make phone calls. Help get out the vote. And vote like your lives depend on it.

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Today’s Five Things to Know


McConnell: I help KY ‘punch above its weight.’ McGrath: ‘We’ve been sucker punched.’

The debate between U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and his Democratic challenger Amy McGrath was an unusual sight in the 2020 campaign season. It remained civil.

The day before polls open in Kentucky, both McGrath and McConnell calmly argued over the reason their opponent shouldn’t win — with McGrath painting the picture of an ineffective Senator who’s been in Washington too long and McConnell painting the picture of someone who would go to Washington and hand over control to the national Democratic Party.

The debate, which will likely be the only one of the campaign, was largely an exchange of talking points — much of what both candidates said has been repeated over and over on the campaign trail this year — but McConnell was on the defensive through much of the night as McGrath criticized a lack of legislation to address the pressing issues of the day from a divided Congress. (Herald-Leader)


10/12 update — Most Monday cases yet; Beshear says virus will be defeated by ‘personal responsibility’

“At the end of the day, we can’t enforce our way into the practices we need to defeat COVID-19. Team Kentucky needs to come together to do that. It’s got to be self enforcement, personal responsibility.” (Forward Kentucky)


Early voting in Kentucky starts today

Voting advocates have asked for early voting in Kentucky for years, but it took a pandemic to make it happen.

Today marks the beginning of early voting across the state. Each county will have at least one location open for voters to cast their ballot in person. The early voting locations are open weekdays during business hours, and Saturday mornings.


Trump hosts first rally since COVID-19 treatment

In spite of his diagnosis less than two weeks ago, President Donald Trump on Monday turned his first campaign rally since contracting COVID-19 into a defense of his handling of the pandemic, joking that he was healthy enough to plunge into the crowd and give voters a big fat kiss.” There was no social distancing and mask-wearing was spotty among the thousands who came to see Trump’s return to Florida. He held forth for an hour, campaigning with just weeks left before Election Day. (West Kentucky Star)


California officials tell state GOP to stop distributing ballot drop boxes

Unauthorized election ballot drop boxes have been found across California — in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties as well as in Fresno. On Monday, California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Attorney General Xavier Becerra sent out cease-and-desist letters to the state Republican Party, which appears to own at least some of these collection boxes. (NPR)


Ditch Mitch Quilt Drawing Update

Money raised so far: $950
Number of donors: 52
Days left to enter: 6

Enter here!

Remember, YOU can be the lucky winner of the Ditch Mitch Quilt! Read more about the quilt here, and donate here.


Upcoming Events from the ForwardKY Calendar

We post about upcoming events by campaigns and organizations if we know about them in time. Post your events here. View the full calendar here.

  • Today (10/13) – Planned Parenthood Texting Tuesdays (info)
  • Today (10/13) – BGAA Hosts Josh Hicks and Alexandra Owensby (info)
  • Today (10/13) – Together Frankfort Hosts Forum of 6th District Candidates (info)
  • Thursday (10/15) – Planned Parenthood Phone Bank (info)

Recent Content on Forward Kentucky

[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
🔥 indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both


[new] 🔥 McGrath can serve us on the world stage – Senator McConnell has forfeited his right to serve Kentucky, and our country. By contrast, retired Lieutenant Colonel Amy McGrath clearly understands the world and the issues facing our country in the 21st century. (Commentary)

[new] Do you know what’s on the ballot this fall? – Have you taken a look at your ballot yet? In addition to all the candidates, you will be voting on a number of items that may not be obvious. Jen Sorensen lists them out for us. (Editorial Cartoon)

[new] Leaders fight absentee voting confusion – Our Governor, Secretary of State, and board of elections are working together. They are trying to keep us safe, informed, and make sure our voice — our vote — counts. How refreshing! (Commentary)

State receipts continue to show growth in first quarter – The first quarter of the state’s fiscal year, which started July 1, continues to show growth in both General Fund and Road Fund revenue, though lower than past years due to the pandemic. (News)

🔥 McGrath campaign sends letter to WKYT requesting McConnell get COVID test – Amy McGrath’s campaign sent a letter to WKYT requesting that everyone present for the Oct. 12 debate be tested for COVID-19 and provide the results to the station in advance of the debate. (Press Release)

10/10 Trump rally in Frankfort – a photo gallery – There was a pro-Trump rally in Frankfort on Saturday, October 10, and Nick Lacy was there to snap some pix for us, as well as include some commentary along the way. (Photo Gallery)

🔥 Reproductive Rights for Kentucky endorses 14 candidates – Reproductive Rights for Kentucky PAC has endorsed these 14 candidates in the upcoming election. Names and contact info included for each candidate. (News)

KY Young Dems hold virtual convention, hear from multiple elected officials – The pandemic has forced campaigns and political organizations to go largely virtual, but amid an extremely important election cycle, the Kentucky Young Democrats are charging full speed ahead. (News)

🔥 Forget McCarthyism — now there’s McConnellism – Kentucky’s senior senator has been our version of Joe McCarthy since he unseated Dee Huddleston in 1984. Now he’s lying about Marine jet pilot Amy McGrath, his current Democratic opponent. (Commentary)

🔥 They’re not “militias.” Call them what they are: “domestic terrorists” – The 2nd Amendment gives everyone the right to own a gun. It does not give anyone the right to form groups to overthrow the government, kidnap elected officials, intimidate lawmakers, or commit violence and terrorism. (Commentary)

McConnell’s failures vs McGrath’s vision – A neighbor asked me what Democrats, including Amy McGrath, could do in Washington that would have any impact on Kentuckians. I promised I would return with the information they requested. Here it is. (Commentary)


Maples Media LLC, 2108 Westridge Rd, Louisville KY 40242


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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