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Attorney General Jack Conway is the latest Kentucky official to ask Florida Governor Rick Scott not to cut a not-yet-implemented prescription pill tracking system.

The program is similar to the KASPER system in Kentucky, which Conway and others say has helped stop pill mills from distributing prescription drugs in the commonwealth. It’s believed that many of the prescriptions abused in Kentucky come from Florida. Governor Steve Beshear, Lieutenant Governor Dan Mongiardo, Congressman Hal Rogers and U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske have all encouraged Scott to reconsider cutting the program. In his latest monthly column, Conway joined the call:

The bottom line is that we need to stop illicit prescription pills at their source; states like Florida and Georgia that do not have prescription drug monitoring programs in place. Programs like Kentucky’s KASPER system are needed, warranted and must be implemented in all 50 states. Until that happens, prescription drug abuse will continue to ravage our families and our kids.

One month after a General Assembly committee began reviewing for-profit colleges, Attorney General Jack Conway has announced another investigation.

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza has two items of note for Kentucky. First, three Democratic party operatives have put together a new group to raise money against Republican congressional candidates.

Its three founding members are former Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee executive director Jim Jordan, Monica Dixon, a former aide to Al Gore and Sen. Mark Warner, and veteran party operative Jeff Forbes.

“We’re game but, frankly, we’ll go as far as the Democratic and progressive donor community wants to take us,” Jordan told the Fix. “With our majorities in both houses in play — and with them President Obama’s agenda — and talk of a hundred million dollars plus being raised by Republican independent groups, we’re optimistic that our funding base will rally.”

This news comes after we learned a new 527 was planning to run ads against Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul.

Second, Cillizza has comments from Bob Menendez, the chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The chairman- said Democrats’ position in the 2010 campaign has improved thanks to GOP primary voters choosing more ideologically extreme candidates – specifically referencing former Nevada state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle and ophthalmologist Rand Paul. “I think we will do much better than people expect us to heading into November,” Menendez said.

What are your thoughts on how the DSCC and other groups may affect the Senate race? Are these groups taking the wrong approach? Paul has painted himself as the target of party machines and the media, do you think he will use this as evidence that outside interests are ganging up on him, or will the groups turn voters away from Paul/energize the opposition?

The last Rasmussen poll for the U.S. Senate race put Republican Rand Paul 25 points ahead of Democrat Jack Conway. The latest Rasmussen survey shows a 17-point drop for Paul, giving him 49% to Conway’s 41%.

Rasmussen gives the likely cause for the drop, with some interesting numbers about who is following the national stories about Rand Paul:

Almost all candidates receive a bounce following a big victory and Paul clearly lost his post-primary bounce. But he added to the decline by quickly stumbling out of the gate in an interview on MSNBC. During the interview, he discussed reasons for opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and was immediately hit with charges of racism. Seventy-three percent (73%) of Kentucky voters say they have followed news reports about his comments on MSNBC, including 39% who have followed Very Closely.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Kentucky voters now have a favorable opinion of Paul, down from 69% percent in the previous survey. Thirty-eight percent (38%) view him unfavorably, and five percent (5%) have no opinion.

Conway is viewed favorably by 47% and unfavorably by 43%, marking virtually no change from two weeks ago. Eleven percent (11%) have no opinion of the Democrat.

Forty-five percent (45%) say the comments on MSNBC are at least somewhat important to how they will vote in November, with 25% who say they are Very Important. But slightly more voters (47%) say the comments are not very or not at all important in determining how they will vote.

The latest Courier-Journal/WHAS11 Bluegrass Poll puts Republican Rand Paul 6 points ahead (51 to 45) of Democrat Jack Conway in the U.S. Senate race.

The paper also reports…

A greater majority of Kentuckians believe businesses should be legally required to provide access to the disabled than to serve customers of all ethnic backgrounds…

That conclusion comes after Paul’s recent statements that he opposes (or would not have supported, had he been in the Senate) portions of the Civil Rights Act and Americans With Disabilities Act.

Bluegrass Politics links to this chart of polls from before and after (mostly before) the primary pitting Rand Paul against Jack Conway. The average puts Paul ahead of Conway by 4.8 points.

If you only look at the polls conducted after the primary, the results are quite different. In one survey Paul leads by 25 points and in another from a different outlet, he leads by 3.

The latest poll from Research 2000 and the Daily Kos shows Republican Rand Paul with a 3 percent lead over Democrat Jack Conway in the U.S. Senate race. That’s a much different result than a Rasmussen poll released last week. The Rasmussen survey gave Paul a 25 point lead. The Research 2000 poll was conducted this week.

Politics Daily has more on the poll:

Paul gets 86 percent support from fellow Republicans while Conway gets 75 percent for Democrats. Paul leads among independents by a 42 percent to 31 percent margin with 27 percent undecided.

Both candidates are viewed favorably by voters, though Paul somewhat more so. Fifty-three percent have a positive view of Paul while 33 percent do not, with 14 percent undecided. Conway is seen favorably by 48 percent and unfavorably by 43 percent with 9 percent undecided.

Rasmussen Reports is sometimes criticized for skewing toward the right with their polls, but this is the first Senate general election poll I’ve seen.

Rand Paul – 59%

Jack Conway – 34%

Other – 4%

Undecided – 3%

Rand Paul is in the center of a growing frenzy over his comments about the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He’s now released a statement clarifying his position.

As Joe Gerth says,

Paul had said he opposed the portion of the law that prohibits businesses from discriminating on the grounds of race, saying that in a free society people and businesses should be allowed to do things that many in society oppose.

And on that, issue, Paul has not changed his position.

That’s in line with his previous statements, and Paul’s stance is drawing heavy criticism. One critic is 3rd District Congressman John Yarmuth, who released a statement that began with the following sentence:

The comments by Senate candidate Rand Paul opposing the Civil Rights Act are simply appalling, and make it abundantly clear that he has no place holding public office in Kentucky in the 21st century.

Paul’s rival, Jack Conway has released a statement about the whole situation, but a few folks–especially on Twitter–seem to think Conway isn’t hitting Paul hard enough.

Republicans are preparing to fight the negative attention. South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, who supported Paul in the primary, says he will talk to the candidate, and Paul’s primary rival Trey Grayson will attend Saturday’s GOP unity rally with Paul and Senator Mitch McConnell.

Both sides have different takes on Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul‘s latest statements. Detractors say Paul has already stumbled during his primary victory lap by saying on YouTube, NPR and MSNBC that he does not favor certain aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Joe Gerth at the Courier-Journal says this:

…[Paul] repeatedly refused to answer direct questons and on several occasions equated the racism African Americans faced in the 1960s to business owners refusing to allow patrons to care guns in their businesses.

Former Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough, who has a morning show on MSNBC, said this morning that Paul must recant his position before the end of the day or his goose is cooked.

This isn’t the end of this story.

Paul’s supporters say the discussion is a distraction, and observers should pay attention to the path instead of the stumble. Ben Smith at Politico has this:

“I’ve never eally favored any change in the Civil Rights Act,” he said. “They seem to have unleashed some of the loony left on me.”

Paul called the Civil Rights Act “settled” but suggested he does view federal regulation of private business on matters of racial discrimination as fundamentally unconstitutional.

A sympathetic Ingraham questioned his political judgement in appearing on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, where he was pressed on the question yesterday.

“Why the heck would you go on the Rachel Maddow Show?” she askd. “What do you think you’re going to get when you go on Rachel Maddow’s show?”

“The prob with Rachel and most people from the left is they want to make this an issue about you supporting abhorrent practices which i don’t support,” he said, again pronouncing himself a foe of “institutional racism.”

Your thoughts?

Other outlets have noted that Paul’s primary campaign was more traditionally conservative than libertarian. Democratic nominee Jack Conway was on Hardball recently discussing Paul’s libertarian-leaning ideas, and it seems that the most political hay can be made in the race by highlighting the areas where Paul contrasts with mainstream Republicans. Whether voters will respond or let fiscal conservatism trump all has yet to be seen. Trey Grayson‘s efforts to depict Paul as out of sync never caught on in the primary, but there are more people (in other parties, in Kentucky and nationally) who are interested now.

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