Thursday, September 25, 2014

Grimes opposes gun-show exemption, calls for discussion on legalizing pot, won't answer '94 query

A rolling roundup as we head into the weekend . . .
  • "A week after running a dramatic TV ad in which Alison Lundergan Grimes said she disagreed with President Barack Obama on guns, the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate told a radio interviewer Thursday she would work to close a loophole that allows private gun owners to sell guns at gun shows without a background check," writes Adam Beam of The Associated Press. "I believe it is worth having the discussion to actually work to close the gun show loophole that we see," Grimes told Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio. She said she opposes two gun measures Obama supports: "a ban on assault weapons and a proposal to make it more difficult for people to inherit guns from their parents and grandparents," Beam reports.
  • In the same interview, Grimes said elected officials should discuss legalizing marijuana: "I would want to have the discussion, and I think it's worthwhile to bring the experts together and talk about the reclassification, especially for medical purposes." Sam Youngman of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports, "Grimes criticized Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell for not realizing the 'economic benefits' the state of Colorado has enjoyed after legalizing recreational use of marijuana, adding that she's 'in favor of having the discussion, especially to reclassify the use of marijuana.' . . . McConnell's Senate office said in a statement later Thursday that 'Senator McConnell is strongly opposed to legalization of marijuana'."
  • "The interview was among the most substantive she has given during the election, often limiting reporters to just a question or two here and there, during which she doesn't stray from what often sound like scripted answers," writes Joe Gerth of The Courier-Journal.
  • "Grimes refused to say Friday how she would have voted on an omnibus crime bill in 1994 that would have pitted her support for the Violence Against Women Act against her opposition to a provision that banned the sale of military-style assault rifles," Gerth writes. "Grimes' campaign has criticized Sen. Mitch McConnell for his vote against the crime bill, characterizing it as a vote against women. McConnell has said he opposed that legislation because it included the assault weapons ban and other provisions that were added in the House and not because of the domestic violence language."
  • On WVLK in Lexington Friday morning, McConnell told talk-show host Lee Cruse, “I’m against legalizing marijuana. Certainly it’s not in the same category as heroin, but I think to begin … to sort of send the message that we’re giving up, you know, that this is just the way it’s going to be, then one thing leads to another and pretty soon … you completely transform your society in a way that I think certainly most Kentuckians would not agree with.” For a story from Roll Call, click here.
  • Grimes has been airing 60-second radio ads blaming McConnell for "the high abuse rates of heroin, meth and prescription drugs in Kentucky. It’s a fresh line of attack that could enter the TV war," Politico reports. In the ad a narrator, says of McConnell, "He refused to support a bill to crack down on heroin trafficking, saying that he doesn’t take positions on state legislation. Really? He thinks the only solutions come from Washington?" Grimes endorsed the 2014 heroin legislation, which "would have increased penalties for people who sell heroin while increasing treatment options for users." The Paducah Sun said in an editorial that Grimes's attack was a stretch, because "When McConnell was asked about it by a radio station, he replied, 'I don't generally take positions on issues in Frankfort. I work in Washington.'" Politico reports, "The ad ends with the narrator saying Grimes will fight the drug epidemic in the Senate 'by working to create jobs, increase funding for treatment and securing our borders'."
  • The Credit Union National Association has joined the ranks of lobbying interests running television commercials for McConnell; the ads hail him as a friend of small business.

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