The Forward Five – Tuesday, 10/20/20

12 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

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— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning!

We’ve had the email address pretty much since the beginning, hoping people would send us, you know, TIPS. With no full-time staff other than me, and no reporter based in Frankfort, we depend on other people to point us toward stories that need telling.

We’re about to push harder on that front (more in the next newsletter), but there’s a story on the site this morning that came about because of tips from readers. And not only did they send a tip about the story, they sent visual evidence as well.

It’s not a huge story, and not a big investigative breakthrough. But it IS an example of what can happen when citizen journalism and engaged readers meet.

Not every tip results in a story, though. Some are outside our niche, some are not newsworthy, and some we cannot verify well enough to write about. “Objective news” is the first phrase in our tagline, after all.

But I can guarantee you, I take a look at every tip or story idea I get. And a goodly number of them have wound up on the site.

So, if you know something that we should know, click that Tips link under my signature. Who knows – your info could lead to a story that was big, important, or both.

Bruce Maples, publisher
(Send feedback  ●  Send tips  ●  Submit your events)

Ditch Mitch Quilt contest raises $1,820 for McGrath Campaign

The contest to win the one-of-a-kind Ditch Mitch Quilt concluded on Sunday, and we held a drawing on Monday to determine the winner.

The contest raised $1,820 that all went to the McGrath campaign – far below what we had hoped, but still not chump change. We suspect the contest would have been different if we had been able to do it in the spring as we had planned. (Thank the coronavirus.)

We had over 100 entries, both through donations and essays, including more than one limerick about getting rid of McConnell. The winner of the quilt was Steve Factor of Los Angeles, California. We’ll be shipping the quilt to him this week. Steve’s nephew lives in Louisville, and Steve indicated he may send the quilt to him as “an important milestone in the history of his home state.”

To all who entered, thank you! And big thanks to Sara Reed, who made the quilt squares, and to Laura Jansen, who took the signed squares and turned them into the quilt. Maybe we’ll do it again some time!

Today’s Five Things to Know

10/19 update — Highest Monday cases; positivity rate nears 5%, hospitalizations are up; Beshear says we know how to fix it

Beshear said, “We are not currently looking at new restrictions, but we have got to get these numbers down.” If that doesn’t happen, he said, “I fully anticipate that the White House will ask us again to limit bars and restaurants.” (Forward Kentucky)

Senate to work through weekend to push Barrett onto court

Wasting no time, the Senate is on track to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court by next Monday, charging toward a rare weekend session as Republicans push past procedural steps to install President Donald Trump’s pick before Election Day. (Kentucky Today)

Goforth sends personal notes from his wife to voters, but breaks campaign laws in the process

State Representative Robert Goforth makes the news again – and not in a good way. Here are pictures of the notes sent to voters that violate campaign finance laws. (Forward Kentucky)

Kentucky Secretary of State reports over 600,000 voters have cast their ballots

More than 600,000 voters have cast their ballots in Kentucky after five days of early voting. Secretary of State Michael Adams announced Monday, more than 335,000 absentee ballots were returned after Saturday. More than 260,000 people have taken advantage of early in-person voting. (Lane Report)

Why is a pro-McGrath PAC sending mailers supporting the Libertarian candidate?

One of the political action committees supporting Democratic nominee Amy McGrath in November’s election for U.S. Senate threw at least $77,325 behind one of her opponents last week — Libertarian Brad Barron.

The Fire Mitch, Save America PAC has spent more than $1 million this cycle supporting McGrath and opposing McConnell. The PAC, run by Gov. Beshear’s former campaign manager Eric Hyers, purchased direct mail supporting Barron on October 16, according to the Federal Elections Commission.

Barron only spent $16,601 on his own campaign through July. He has not yet filed his October report. It appears the mailers were targeted to Republicans. (Herald-Leader)

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 (10/20) – Planned Parenthood Texting Tuesdays (info)
Today (10/20) – Virtual Forum with House 36 Candidate Lamar Allen (info)
Thursday (10/22) – Indivisible KY Phonebank (info)
Thursday (10/22) – Planned Parenthood Phonebank (info)
Saturday (10/25) – Maria Sorolis Socially Distanced Lit Drop (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] *Fact sheet: Unlawful militias in Kentucky – The Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) put together this fact sheet explaining the laws barring unauthorized private militia groups, and what to do if such groups are near a polling place. (Backgrounder)

[new] Donald Trump: A mistake to be corrected – I want to apologize. I misjudged both Republicans and Democrats in 2015. I thought both parties would reject Trumpism AND deal with its underlying cause. It’s time that both parties fix that mistake. (Commentary)

*Will Dems flip any KY House or Senate seats? Robert Kahne analyzes the chances. – Robert Kahne, the co-host of My Old Kentucky Podcast, takes a look at a number of races for the state Senate and House, and gives his predictions on possible pickups and losses for both parties. (Analysis)

10/17-18 updates — Case numbers continue to climb – Cases of the coronavirus continue to increase, along with hospitalizations. “Things are not moving in the right direction; they continue to escalate,” Beshear said. “This virus is our enemy, not each other.” (News)

*Sixth Circuit reinstates abortion law that could close clinics in Kentucky – The ruling overturns a 2018 injunction that had blocked the law. Now clinics will either have to arrange transfer agreements, or get a waiver every 90 days. If the waiver isn’t granted, they would have to close. (News)

A lawyer looks at the constitutional amendments on the ballot – Have you been wondering how to vote on the two constitutional amendments on the ballot? Jazmin Smith, a lawyer and co-host of “My Old Kentucky Podcast,” digs into both and offers her take on them. (Analysis)

*Cloth masks do protect the wearer – breathing in less coronavirus means you get less sick – No mask is perfect, and wearing one might not prevent you from getting infected. But it might be the difference between a case of COVID-19 that sends you to the hospital and a case so mild you don’t even realize you’re infected. (News Backgrounder)

McConnell’s nihilism is destroying our country – Ni • hi • list  – A person who believes in nothing, has no loyalties, and has no purpose other than to destroy (Commentary)

*Rural KY counties are becoming COVID hot spots – When you lookk at Daily Yonder’s map of rural coronavirus infection rates, it’s obvious that the rural counties of Kentucky are becoming the hot spots in our state. (News Analysis)

Fact check: Sen. Rand Paul misleadingly suggested that many have immunity to the coronavirus due to previous exposure to similar viruses – Sen. Rand Paul misleadingly suggested that much of the population has immunity due to previous exposure to similar viruses. But scientists say any possible protection is theoretical and can’t be relied upon. (Fact Check)

KY06 — Hicks raises over $1 million in third quarter – Josh Hicks, Democrat for Congress in KY-6, raised over $1 million in the quarter ending September 30, while not accepting any donations from corporate PACs. (Press Release)

*WaPo: “Mitch McConnell is laughing at all of us” – An editorial at the Washington Post slams Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for laughing at our nation’s suffering. (Commentary)

Plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor grew from the militia movement’s toxic mix of constitutional falsehoods and half-truths – The militia movement has long been steeped in a peculiar – and unquestionably mistaken – interpretation of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and civil liberties. They are devoted to a toxic mix of constitutional falsehoods and half-truths. (Backgrounder)

*Mitch’s voicemail – COVID relief – If you call Senator Mitch McConnell’s office and ask him to do something about COVID relief, what message do you get? Aaron Smith has the answer. (Cartoon)

*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. (News)

*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. (Commentary)

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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