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.


4:25 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Papa John Blames Media for 'Obamacare' Controversy

Louisville-based Papa John's founder and CEO John Schnatter is backpedaling on criticism of President Obama's health care law, and says his company has no plans to cut jobs as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

Last week, Schnatter told the Naples Daily News that President Obama's health care law would force him to reduce employees' hours. The comments ignited a backlash and support, with the conservative Super PAC Freedomworks urging people to take part in "National Papa John's Appreciation Day" last Friday.

But now Schnatter says those remarks were taken out of context by reporters.

From The Huffington Post:

Many in the media reported that I said Papa John's is going to close stores and cut jobs because of Obamacare. I never said that. The fact is we are going to open over hundreds of stores this year and next and increase employment by over 5,000 jobs worldwide. And, we have no plans to cut team hours as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

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3:54 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Columnist Rips Yarmuth Over McConnell Comments

Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

In a stinging editorial, Louisville Courier-Journal columnist John David Dyche rips Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth for his recent attacks on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Yarmuth made a recent television appearance on MSNBC, saying McConnell will do what's in his best interest in the face of the looming fiscal cliff. Dyche is a Louisville attorney and McConnell biographer, who is considered by man to be the Senator's unofficial spokesman in the city.

From The C-J:

It must also gall Yarmuth that McConnell ignores him. Yarmuth is to McConnell as a yapping toy poodle is to an oblivious Great Dane.

So why doesn’t Yarmuth put his practically infinite money where his practically incessant mouth is and channel his jealousy of McConnell into his own race against him? He might then get the debate with McConnell for which he mewls. Meanwhile, McConnell negotiates directly with the president, not insignificant congressmen.


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3:39 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Report: 92,000 Louisvillians Can't Afford Housing; $450,000 Raised for Trust to Help Them

Credit Wikipedia Commons

Leaders with the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund have secured about $500,000, but the fund's advocates are urging Mayor Greg Fischer to do more to secure annual funding.

The trust fund is meant to give grants and loans for affordable housing activities, such as new construction, home rehabilitation, payment assistance and emergency repair.

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1:03 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Local Activists React to Israel-Gaza Conflict

The escalating violence in the Middle East and has sparked a series of pro-Palestinian protests in Louisville.

Last week, the Israeli government launched airstrikes that killed top Hamas military leaders in response to rocket launches that killed three civilians, and the conflict has approached full-scale war.

Several local peace groups, such as Students for Justice in Palestine and Louisville Committee for Peace in the Middle East, have pointed out that over 90 Palestinian civilians have been killed thus far and that densely populated areas are being targeted by the Israeli military.

At least two protests have been held in Louisville, including one Monday at the University of Louisville.

Pro-Palestinian activist Ibrahim Imam has helped organize the local demonstrations. He says residents should be aware that the U.S. gives Israel $3 billion in foreign aid, and are therefore complicit in the country's military actions.

"I want people to realize that the crimes that are being committed are being committed against Palestinians," he says. "The Palestinians are the victims in this, and I want people to look deeply into this and not buy the cliche that are being fed to them. And Israel should not be rewarded for its aggression at the tune of $15 million a day."

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10:30 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Noise and Notes: Robin D. G. Kelley on the 'War on Youth' & Art of Thelonious Monk

Professor Robin D.G. Kelley
Credit UCLA

Noise and Notes

UCLA Professor Robin D. G. Kelley is a historian and social justice advocate, and a bit of a jazz scholar.

The award-winning author was in Louisville this week for the annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture Series to discuss what he believes is a war on youth through punitive economic and education policies.

Kelley is also an outspoken critic of those who worship the free-market in American politics, and he says neo-liberal ideology—which rose to prominence in the 1990s—poses a threat to all progressive movements.

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5:19 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

McConnell Congratulates Obama on Re-Election, But Advises President Move to Center

Credit File photo

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, has extended congratulations to President Obama on his re-election, but argues the White House needs to moderate and that voters have not given the president a mandate.

Mr. Obama defeated Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday in the popular vote and soundly in the Electoral College, winning most of the battleground states. It was two years ago when McConnell said that his main objective was to ensure that Mr. Obama would be a one-term president.

But now McConnell says Republicans are eager to hear from the president on how to resolve problems such as the looming fiscal cliff, but he

warns Mr. Obama should propose a way for both parties to work together.

"Now it’s time for the president to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a closely-divided Senate, step up to the plate on the challenges of the moment, and deliver in a way that he did not in his first four years in office," he says.

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8:00 am
Wed November 7, 2012

John Yarmuth, Now Sole Democrat in State Delegation, Takes Aim at Mitch McConnell

Congressman John Yarmuth standing with Senator Rand Paul
Credit Phillip Bailey / WFPL News

With Rep. Ben Chandler's loss last night to Republican challenger Andy Barr, John Yarmuth of Louisville is now the only Democrat in Kentucky's federal delegation.

But he's now working on plans to bring more of his colleagues from the commonwealth to Washington after the 2014 election.

“I welcome the opportunity to be the spokesperson for a national policy that espouses a support for the middle class in the country," Yarmuth said in an interview with WFPL News.

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11:49 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Donnelly Defeats Mourdock for Indiana Senate Seat

Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly is touting his victory over Republican state Treasurer Richard Mourdock in the Indiana Senate race as a score for moderation.

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11:38 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

John Yarmuth Cruises to Victory

U.S. Congress

Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth has won re-election by 30 percentage points over Republican challenger Brooks Wicker in the Third Congressional District race.

Wicker had struggled throughout the race to raise money for the campaign and didn’t run any TV ads. The race was never considered close, and observers argue the wide margin this year makes Yarmuth tougher to beat in future elections.

Yarmuth says he hopes the message of the race is that he listens to constituents but is able to explain how policies in Washington affect their lives.

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4:08 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Ackerson, Provancher Trade Sharp Attack Ads in District 26

Creative Commons

In the race for the Louisville Metro Council District 26 seat, Democratic incumbent Brent Ackerson and Republican challenger Sarah Provancher are trading jabs in the final days of the campaign.

The two candidates released a series of mailers this weekend, including attack ads that questioned each other’s qualifications.

Ackerson’s mailer asks voters: "Would you elect somone who doesn't even vote?" It alleges that Provancher has only voted in 20 percent of elections since 2006, and missed last year's gubernatorial contest altogether.

Provancher said that like most Americans she does not have a perfect voting record on each election, but she is running to improve neighborhoods and city services.

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