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    • "The once grand downtown of this city on the Ohio River is shabby, as the nation's old downtowns tend to be. Magnificent tall cast-iron-fronted buildings sit empty. So do historic brick tobacco warehouses, surrounded in razor wire, tagged with graffiti.

      But the downtown of Kentucky's largest city also has a spectacular redeveloped waterfront featuring bike paths and open vistas, the spanking-new KFC Yum Center sports arena, and a medical complex of several hospitals that employ nearly 20,000 people, treat tens of thousands and conduct cutting-edge research.

      This resurgence is a result of civic vision, pride, tenacity - and the impressive earmark performance of Louisville's Slugger: Mitch McConnell (R), Kentucky's longest-serving senator and the powerful Senate minority leader.

      He has driven $62.4 million in federal funding to this city in the past three years, the largest chunk by locale of the $458 million that he earmarked from 2008 through 2010, according to data tallied by the Center for Responsive Politics." [Washington Post via LEO Weekly]

    Photo: Courtesy Mitch McConnell

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    About Zach Everson

    Freelance writer: WSJ, enRoute, Eater, USA Today, Condé Nast Traveler, BlackBook, Curbed, Gridskipper. Aol Travel/MapQuest alum. Boston born. Kentucky Colonel. Previously, I was director of content and editorial strategy for Louisville.com.

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