The Forward Five – Wednesday, 10/14/20

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— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! We’ve all heard about “dark money” – political donations to groups that don’t have to reveal their donors. And, most of us have sort of a vague sense that dark money affects our politics (who gets elected) and our laws (what they do when they get there).

But did you know dark money is also affecting our judicial system in the same way? Millions of dollars are being donated to these shadow groups to affect both who gets selected as judges, and how they rule when they get there.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island took his time in the Barrett-SCOTUS hearings not to question Barrett, but to do a presentation on the dark money controlling the process. He called the hearing room a “puppet theatre,” and proceeded to lay out who was pulling the strings.

I watched the entire thing yesterday on YouTube, and then posted it on our site. It’s the second story in the Five Things below.

I urge you to set aside 30 minutes and go watch it. You will be both fascinated and horrified at “the scheme” that Whitehouse lays out. And you will better understand yet another way our democracy is being taken from us by the wealthy and powerful.

Watch it. Then share it. People have to understand this. And they have to go vote in THIS election.

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


10/13 update — Case numbers may be stabilizing, but concerned about hospitalizations

Case numbers were lower this Tuesday than last, but hospitalizations are up. Also, Lt. Gov. Coleman scolded the 200 schools that have yet to report their results. (Forward Kentucky)


Dark money forces have spent $250 million to control our courts. Watch this to learn how and why.

Instead of spending his time today asking Barrett questions, Senator Whitehouse instead shone a light on the power in the shadows – the right-wing dark money behind the Republican takeover of the courts. (Forward Kentucky)


McConnell slates October revote on GOP COVID relief plan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he’s scheduling a procedural vote on a GOP COVID-19 relief bill next week, saying aid to hard-hit businesses shouldn’t be held up by gridlock involving other aid proposals.

The Kentucky Republican says the first item of Senate business when the chamber returns next Monday will be a procedural vote on a scaled-back aid bill. Democrats filibustered a GOP-drafted aid bill last month and recent talks on a larger deal between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) fell apart this past weekend, probably for good. (Richmond Register)


Find your polling location

This year, voting in Kentucky is easier than ever, with both absentee ballots and early in-person voting as well as the standard Election Day in-person voting.

BUT, you need to know your polling location if you plan on voting in-person, either early or on November 3rd. For some of you, it will be the same as always. For others, it will be different, because your county is using the “voting center” approach, where you can go vote at any of the centers in your county. (Forward Kentucky)


Whatever happened to the RECLAIM Act?  (Hint: Mitch McConnell killed it.)

Cong. Rogers introduced this bill to convert $1 billion of the Abandoned Mine Lands fund into economic development grants for Appalachia. It passed the House in July. And McConnell killed it. (Forward Kentucky)


Ditch Mitch Quilt Drawing Update


Money raised so far: $1,070
Number of donors: 60
Days left to enter: 5

Enter 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.

Thursday (10/15) – Planned Parenthood Phone Bank(info)
Thursday (10/15) – McGrath Drive-In Rally in La Grange (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] 170 transit system buses to be replaced – Gov. Beshear on Tuesday announced $8.5 million in transportation funding to replace about 170 transit system buses with cleaner emission ones, and to install charging stations across the state. (News)

[new] Polls are open, and we’ve got pix to prove it! – Early voting began today in Kentucky, and two of our Forward Kentucky contributors were among those voting. Paul Wesslund and Nick Lacy sent us these photos they shot as they went to vote. (News)

[new] *McGrath brings the heat, out-duels McConnell – If you ever pitched a baseball game, you know the feeling when you’ve got your stuff. You’re 10-feet-tall and unhittable. Amy McGrath looked like Sandy Koufax in tonight’s TV debate against Mitch McConnell. She had her stuff. (Commentary)

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.” (News)

*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)

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)

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)

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash


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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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