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A judge has struck down changes made to Kentucky’s pension systems earlier this year, ruling that lawmakers violated the state constitution by rushing the bill to passage in a matter of hours.

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

For the first time since the Civil War, a majority of Kentucky voters don’t identify as Democrats as Republicans continue to make gains in voter registrations in the state.

sherrod brown
John Beagle / Flickr Creative Commons

Does the Ohio Republican Party have reason to be worried about November's statewide election?

Yes. Yes, they do. They can read the tea leaves and they are no fools.

  Kentucky Democrats are positioning themselves for the November election cycle hoping to make gains in the Republican Controlled state legislature. House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes are leading the charge at political events including the recent Purchase Area Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is joining the chorus of voices opposing a Trump immigration policy separating immigrant families at the United States border. Speaking on MSNBC Monday, Kasich blasted the practice.

“Think about this. Think about the fact that in our country, children, young children are being separated from their mothers and fathers. Could you imagine the terrifying effect on these kids?” he said.

BAISHAMPAYAN GHOSE / CREATIVE COMMONS

A bipartisan group of Kentucky lawmakers is writing a bill to legalize and regulate sports betting in the state.

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about how polling and some fundraising numbers have Ohio Democrats feeling good about their chances of winning some state offices that have been under Republican control for many years. There are no guarantees, but the Democrats are cautiously optimistic. 

john mccain
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Here's another story that ought to convince you that John McCain is not your typical politician.

  Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said he will back legislation that requires commercial truck drivers to undergo training to help spot and report sex trafficking.

A new statewide poll shows the Ohio governor’s race is a tie right now. 

gabby giffords aftab pureval
Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Democratic congressional candidate Aftab Pureval, joined by former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, stood before about 125 supporters – mostly women – in a North Avondale front yard Wednesday to launch a "Women for Aftab" organization.

Ohio U.S. Sen. Rob Portman says he’s concerned about the escalating trade dispute with Canada. And the Republican says he disagrees with the Trump administration’s reasoning for higher tariffs on Canadian goods. 

Portman, who served as U.S. trade representative in the Bush administration, says he’s concerned that the Trump tariffs on Canadian steel and other products will boomerang, ultimately hurting U.S. workers and getting in the way of a better North American Free Trade Agreement. He also rejects the administration’s rationale for imposing the tariffs.

Courtesy Jill Schiller

Democrat Jill Schiller is out campaigning hard in Ohio's Second Congressional District, harder than anyone else has since incumbent Republican Brad Wenstrup first won the seat in 2012.

ohio voter purge
AFGE / Flickr Creative Commons

In Hamilton County – and in large urban counties all over Ohio – Republicans and Democrats have been arguing about the practice of purging voter rolls ever since Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted became Ohio's chief election officer in 2011.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

On Monday, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) will present awards to four first responders who've been impactful in helping their communities deal with the opiate epidemic.

WVXU-FM

Saturday, WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson was at the Hamilton County Democratic Party central committee where the party made history by electing its first team of women as leaders - co-chairs Connie Pillich and Gwen McFarlin. McFarlin and Pillich are replacing Tim Burke, who retired about nearly a quarter of a century as party chair. Wilkinson talked with New Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about what changes may be coming to the party. 

connie pillich gwen mcfarlin
Connie Pillich, Gwen McFarlin / Provided

In the end, it was no contest. The team of former state representative Connie Pillich and Springfield Township trustee Gwen McFarlin have been elected as the new co-chairs of the Hamilton County Democratic Party.

Ryland Barton / WFPL

During a hearing on Thursday, the judge presiding over the lawsuit against Kentucky’s new pension law questioned why state lawmakers were able to pass the measure out of the legislature in just one day.

Tax cuts and immigration – two issues that promise to define Ohio’s U.S. Senate race -- moved to center stage this week. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze talked with the Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown about the issues.

george voinovich
United States Congress

I do miss George Voinovich.

The former Cleveland mayor, two-term governor and U.S. Senator died June 12, 2016 at the age of 79, just about a month before he was to be a delegate at the Republican National Convention held in his beloved hometown of Cleveland.

Ohio’s Sen. Rob Portman, who was the U.S. trade representative for the George W. Bush administration, is expressing concern over the steel and aluminum tariffs President Trump plans to impose on Canada

Master Sgt. Bob Barko Jr. / Youngstown Air Force

Many general election contests start out with TV ads that make you feel warm and fuzzy. Bluebirds chirping in the trees. The candidate, rolling around the front yard, playing with the family dog, the grandkids or both.

But not this Ohio Senate race between Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown and Republican challenger Jim Renacci.

mlk rfk
U.S. Federal Government

On June 5, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy won the California Democratic presidential primary. Minutes after giving a victory speech at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, he was shot multiple times. The 42-year-old senator from New York and former U.S. Attorney General died the next day.

tim burke
Manley Burke LPA / Provided

Saturday, the Hamilton County Democratic Central Committee will meet at a union hall in Evendale to choose a successor (or successors) to Tim Burke, who is retiring after 24 years as county party chair. WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about Burke's departure and what the future of the party may look like. 

Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio says the Republican Party he knew is gone.  

plane
Pixabay

Many of my younger colleagues in journalism – which amounts to almost all my colleagues in journalism these days – have no memory of a time before smartphones, emails, Facebook, Storify, Twitter, Reddit or even the Internet.

In what could be a close gubernatorial race this year, Republican nominee Mike DeWine picked up a labor union endorsement today. A nod for a Republican is not unusual for the International Union of Operating Engineers.

political junkie ken rudin
Pete Rightmire / WVXU

A top North Korean official travels to the United States to help negotiate the on-again, off-again June 12 summit between North Korea's Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump. The president and his critics continue to trade accusations about immigration policies that divide families and separate children from their parents. Missouri's Republican governor resigns over multiple scandals. And as the investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia moves forward, President Trump increases his allegations that the FBI infiltrated his campaign, what he calls "Spygate."

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Ahead of the July 1 start date for changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program, Gov. Matt Bevin has announced a partnership with the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky to help educate enrollees on new requirements and assist some in making mandated payments to keep Medicaid insurance.

fc cincinnati mls
Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Raise your hand if you ever, for a second, believed that FC Cincinnati really wanted to put a soccer stadium in the cramped quarters of Oakley.

OK, now raise your hand if you believed in the fairytale of sticking a Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium in the middle of Newport. FC Kentucky, anyone?

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