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Third Congressional District Democratic Primary

Third Congressional District Democratic Primary

Renee Shaw talks with qualifying Democratic primary candidates in Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District. Guests: State Senator Morgan McGarvey, 3rd District Democratic Congressional candidate and State Representative Attica Scott, 3rd District Democratic Congressional candidate.
Season 28 Episode 79 Length 56:33 Premiere: 5/9/22

Candidates Attica Scott and Morgan McGarvey Discuss the Economy, Abortion Rights, and Other Issues

Two state lawmakers are vying for the Democratic nomination to succeed Congressman John Yarmuth, who is retiring after 15 years representing Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional district.

Rep. Attica Scott is a native of Louisville and a graduate of Knoxville College and the University of Tennessee. She has worked as a community organizer and anti-racism trainer, served on Louisville’s Metro Council, and was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2016.

“This is about we the people, it’s about us coming together saying that we want to send someone from Kentucky to Washington who is different from what people have seen,” says Scott. “We deserve to have members of Congress who are representing us with a foundation of equity, fairness, and justice at our core, and I’m that person.”

Sen. Morgan McGarvey is a lifelong Louisvillian who graduated from the University of Missouri and the University of Kentucky College of Law. He was a staff member for former Congressman Ben Chandler. McGarvey was elected to the Kentucky State Senate in 2012 and became Minority Floor Leader in late 2018.

“I’ve been in the super-minority every single day that I’ve been in office but I passed 18 bills into law and I’ve influenced many others,” says McGarvey. “I am going to go Washington, I’m going to stand up… defend our values in Washington, and I am going to do it while working to build coalitions to get big things done.”

Work, Wages, and Poverty

Both candidates support national legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Scott says she also supports requiring full benefits for workers, higher wages for essential workers, and the removal of questions about criminal convictions from employment applications.

Scott also calls for a universal basic income, saying it will “support people who want to work but can’t find a job, or people who are paid poverty wages because we haven’t raised the minimum wage. It will support them to be able to take care of themselves, to take care of their families, and to reinvest that money into the community.”

McGarvey says he would tie the minimum wage to inflation so pay can increase as costs go up. He opposes a universal basic income, saying it would result in lower payments to senior citizens who are on Social Security and Medicare. Instead, he calls for a child tax credit, which he says will put more money into people’s pockets than will universal basic income payments,

“We have to have an economy that is working for every family in this country,” says McGarvey, “not just reflective of the Donald Trump-style economy which gives tax breaks to the wealthiest corporations and the wealthiest Americans.”

Both Democrats also support making community and technical college educations free and erasing student loan debts. Scott would cancel all student debt, while McGarvey says he prefers a more targeted strategy that would avoid taxpayer dollars going to investment bankers who need to pay off their Ivy League educations.

McGarvey says lawmakers should also revitalize the federal Pell Grant program and address escalating tuition costs at public colleges and universities. Scott says Kentucky’s Berea College, which charges no tuition, can provide a good role model for making higher education more affordable.

Police and Public Safety

Scott, who was arrested along with her daughter in 2020 during protests over Breonna Taylor’s death at the hands of Louisville Metro Police officers, says policing as it currently exists in America does not work for many people.

“We need to imagine community safety in a different way,” says Scott. “We need to make sure that we are allocating resources to meet the needs of our people.”

She says she would give priority to things like social services and mental health care before funding community safety.

McGarvey says allocations for public safety should include money for more social workers and mental health professionals as well as better recruitment, training, and retention of law enforcement officers. He also wants citizen review panels to have subpoena powers during investigations of alleged misconduct by police.

“I don’t think that safety and accountability need to be pitted against each other,” he says. “I think they should go together as one.”

Both candidates say they would vote for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would ban no-knock warrants in federal drug cases, ban the use of chokeholds, prohibit racial profiling, require data collection on police encounters, and end qualified legal immunity for law enforcement.

Marijuana

Both candidates support the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana. Scott says a majority of Americans favor legalization, so people in Congress must “get off their high horse” and act on the issue.

McGarvey says it’s not right to make chemotherapy patients who need marijuana for nausea into criminals. He says legalization should include expungement of criminal records for people convicted of possession, and that legal marijuana can be a source of tax revenue.

Abortion

Scott and McGarvey decry the news that the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to end abortion rights, as a recently leaked draft opinion indicated.

“There are folks I’m talking to who are terrified about the possibility of Roe v. Wade, even parts of it, being overturned by the Supreme Court,” says Scott. “It’s not a politician’s business at all. We should not be in business of deciding what someone does with their body.”

Scott, who says her mother had an abortion, declines to say how late into a pregnancy that abortion should be allowed, arguing that’s a decision for the woman and their health care provider. She contends that limiting access to the procedure takes away women’s humanity and their agency. She says she would vote for the federal Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify Roe v. Wade into law.

McGarvey says he and his wife faced a situation where their doctors recommended a “selective reduction” procedure to save the life of one of their unborn twins. But he says even if they had elected to do that, they would have been forced to go to another state where it is allowed.

“Too often we trivialize these incredibly personal decisions,” says McGarvey. “I think overturning Roe v. Wade is a terrible and horrifying decision that will have awful consequences for women in this country.”

McGarvey also wants to codify Roe v. Wade, and says he would vote to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal dollars from paying for abortion services except when the life of the woman is in danger or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. He also cautions that Republicans may attack access to birth control next.

Environment and Energy

McGarvey says climate change is an immediate threat. He advocates for a focus on renewable energy, including incentives to help rural electric cooperatives move away from coal-fired power and encourage investor-owned utilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Scott says she has worked to hold utilities accountable for over-charging customers and for unnecessarily increasing rates. In addition to energy issues, she says more should be done to protect air quality in West Louisville and ensure eastern Kentuckians have safe, reliable drinking water.

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Season 28 Episodes

Third Congressional District Democratic Primary

S28 E79 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 5/9/22

Candidates in the 2022 Primary Election: Part Two

S28 E78 Length 58:33 Premiere Date 5/2/22

Candidates in the 2022 Primary Election: Part One

S28 E77 Length 58:40 Premiere Date 4/25/22

Lawmakers Review the 2022 General Assembly

S28 E76 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 4/18/22

Recap of the 2022 Legislative Session

S28 E75 Length 56:35 Premiere Date 4/11/22

Public Assistance and Jobless Benefits

S28 E50 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 3/28/22

Abortion Legislation in the 2022 General Assembly

S28 E49 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 3/21/22

State Budget, Taxes, and Other 2022 General Assembly Topics

S28 E48 Length 57:42 Premiere Date 3/14/22

Critical Race Theory and Approaches to Teaching History

S28 E47 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 2/28/22

2022 Legislative Session at the Midpoint

S28 E46 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 2/21/22

Name, Image and Likeness Compensation

S28 E45 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 2/14/22

Child Abuse and Neglect

S28 E43 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 2/7/22

Debating School Choice in Kentucky

S28 E42 Length 56:35 Premiere Date 2/1/22

Debating Provisions in the Proposed State Budget

S28 E41 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 1/24/22

Redistricting, State Budget, and Other Legislative Issues

S28 E40 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 1/10/22

Discussing Legislative Goals for the 2022 General Assembly

S28 E39 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 1/3/22

City and County Issues

S28 E38 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 12/13/21

Previewing the 2022 Kentucky General Assembly

S28 E37 Length 56:35 Premiere Date 12/6/21

Compensating College Athletes: Name, Image and Likeness

S28 E36 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 11/22/21

Trends in State and National Politics

S28 E35 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 11/15/21

Abortion Rights and Restrictions

S28 E34 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 11/8/21

Kentucky's Social Services System

S28 E33 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 11/1/21

School Choice in the Commonwealth

S28 E32 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 10/25/21

Historical Horse Racing: A Growing Pastime in Kentucky

S28 E31 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 10/11/21

New Developments and the Unknowns of COVID-19

S28 E30 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 10/4/21

COVID and the Classroom

S28 E29 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 9/27/21

Remembering 9/11, 20 Years Later

S28 E28 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 9/13/21

Kentucky's Response to COVID-19

S28 E27 Length 56:35 Premiere Date 8/30/21

Discussing the Surge of COVID-19 Cases in Kentucky

S28 E26 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 8/23/21

Fancy Farm Preview and State Politics

S28 E25 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 8/2/21

Back-To-School Issues in Kentucky

S28 E24 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 7/26/21

Childcare Challenges

S28 E23 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 7/19/21

The Urban-Rural Divide in Kentucky

S28 E22 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 7/12/21

Work Shifts: Kentucky's Labor Shortage and Hiring Challenges

S28 E21 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 6/28/21

Public Infrastructure: What Kentucky Needs

S28 E19 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 6/21/21

Debating Critical Race Theory

S28 E18 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 6/14/21

Kentucky's Rebound From COVID-19

S28 E17 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 6/7/21

Jobs and the Economy

S28 E16 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 5/17/21

The Future of Policing in America

S28 E15 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 5/10/21

President Biden's First 100 Days

S28 E14 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 5/3/21

Mass Shootings and Gun Laws

S28 E13 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 4/26/21

Voting Rights and Election Laws

S28 E12 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 4/20/21

The 2021 General Assembly: Debating Major Legislation

S28 E11 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 4/12/21

Wrapping Up the 2021 General Assembly

S28 E10 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 3/29/21

School Choice in Kentucky

S28 E9 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 3/22/21

No-Knock Warrants

S28 E8 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 3/15/21

Proposed Legislation to Modify Kentucky Teachers' Pensions

S28 E6 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 2/22/21

Debating Historical Horse Racing Legislation

S28 E5 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 2/8/21

New Lawmakers in the 2021 Kentucky General Assembly

S28 E4 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 2/1/21

A Nation Divided

S28 E3 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 1/18/21

Recapping the Start of the 2021 General Assembly

S28 E2 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 1/11/21

Previewing the 2021 General Assembly

S28 E1 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 1/4/21

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Kentucky Tonight, hosted by Renee Shaw, is a public affairs discussion program broadcasted live on Monday nights at 8/7c on KET and KET.org/live.

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