Phillip M. Bailey

Political Editor

Phillip M. Bailey became WFPL's political editor in 2011, covering city, state and regional campaigns and elected officials. He also covers Metro Government, including the mayor's office and Metro Council. Before coming to WFPL, Phillip worked for three years as a staff writer at LEO Weekly and was a fellow at the Academy of Alternative Journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.


12:45 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Kentucky Election Finance Leader Retiring

Sarah M. Jackson
Credit Kentucky Registry of Election Finance

The longtime head of Kentucky’s agency overseeing state campaign finance law is stepping down later this year.

Sarah Jackson announced this week she is retiring as executive director of the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance effective Nov. 1 after serving in the position since 1999.

“Sarah has been a tremendous asset to the agency and a true professional as executive director. The agency is stronger for it,” said KREF board chairman Craig C. Dilger in a released statement.

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7:00 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Kentucky Senators Split on Islamic State Plan as Obama Praises Congress’ Approval

Credit U.S. Senate

The U.S. Senate gave overwhelming approval Thursday to a measure aimed at training and arming Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State.

By a 78-22 margin, senators backed a plan to combat the terrorist group, a plan that was pushed by President Obama and tucked in a larger spending bill. The House approved the same measure a day earlier by a similarly comfortable margin.

Kentucky’s Republican senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, stood on opposite sides of the debate as lawmakers cast their last votes before the mid-term elections.

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2:43 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Alison Lundergan Grimes Voices Opposition to Islamic State Plan

Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes said Thursday she would vote against arming and training Syrian forces combating the Islamic State.

The Senate is scheduled to take up a vote on the measure this afternoon, which passed through the House on Wednesday by a 273-156 tally.

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8:24 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Kentucky Congressional Delegation Divided on Islamic State Vote

Credit Architect of the Capitol's office

After a six-hour debate, the U.S. House approved a bipartisan measure to train and arm Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State on Wednesday.

Congress adopted an amendment to the spending bill allowing the Obama administration to provide aid against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is also referred to as ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

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3:01 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Pro-Coal Senate Democrat Joe Manchin Affirms Alison Lundergan Grimes' Position

Joe Manchin
Credit U.S. Senate

Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes received a boost from the most prominent pro-coal Democrat in Washington in her slugfest with Republican Leader Mitch McConnell this fall.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., waded into the contest Wednesday and said Grimes would be an ally to the coal industry and miners if elected.

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1:22 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

National AFL-CIO President Says Kentucky's Senate Race Is a Top Labor Priority

Richard Trumka
Credit Phillip M. Bailey

 The leader of a national labor union said Wednesday Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race is a top priority for organized labor that could define the country’s direction over the next two decades.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is visiting the state this week to rally working-class voters at a critical time for Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes’ bid to defeat Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell, who has widened a slight lead in the polls.

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11:04 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Kramer, Hujo Offer Contrasts In Louisville Council District 11 Debate

Larry Hugo and Kevin Kramer
Credit Phillip M. Bailey/WFPL News

Louisville Metro Councilman Kevin Kramer sparred with Democratic challenger Larry Hujo at a debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters on Wednesday evening.

The debate touched on a range of topics, including District 11's infrastructure needs, ethics reform, and a recent bill filed to raise the minimum wage in Louisville.

And while Kramer and Hujo agreed on opposing the mayor’s LG&E fee hike and creating new bike lanes, the two provided many contrasts for voters in attendance.


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8:00 am
Sat September 13, 2014

ACLU of Kentucky Wants More Inclusive KET Senate Debate

David Patterson

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky is calling on Kentucky Educational Television to hold a more inclusive U.S. Senate debate next month.

KET is set to hold a debate featuring Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes on Oct. 13.

Libertarians have taken KET to task, however, for creating new debate criteria that party leaders argue was aimed at excluding their candidate, David Patterson, from participating.

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2:01 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Ray Rice Incident Underscores Importance of Violence Against Women Act, John Yarmuth Says

John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Congressman John Yarmuth said the high-profile domestic violence case involving NFL player Ray Rice demonstrates the need for legislation empowering abused women.

The Rice incident "in very graphic ways highlighted a problem that’s been around for a very long time,” Yarmuth, a Democrat who represents Louisville, told WFPL Friday. “And that is, unfortunately, too many men try to exert their physical power over women to control them. Society needs to be very much aware of the problem and to deal with it decisively.”

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5:17 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Business Leaders, Employers Urge Louisville Council to ‘Abandon’ Wage Bill

Credit Creative Commons

A coalition of Kentucky business associations and employers urged the Louisville Metro Council on Thursday to forgo efforts to raise the minimum wage for the city's workers to $10.10 over a three-year period.

Those businesses are also questioning the legality of a proposed ordinance to raise the city’s minimum wage.

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