Politics

Politics
2:00 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Noise & Notes to Make Radio Debut

For over a year, WFPL Political Editor Phillip M. Bailey has edited the Noise & Notes news blog on WFPL.org. Now he has something for your ears.

The Noise & Notes radio show is a relaxed conversation on issues of importance to Louisville, from the news of the day to broader discussions on policy, politics and politicians.

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Politics
10:59 am
Tue June 19, 2012

McConnell Being Scolded for Opposing Disclose Act

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is being scolded for flip-flopping on campaign disclosures after his denunciation of legislation requiring that Super PAC donors provide their names.

Speaking before the American Enterprise Institute last week, McConnell argued that contributors to third party organization have a right to remain secret and that the Disclose Act is threatening their free speech. But local and national critics point out that wasn't McConnell's position a few years ago when he was at the forefront of opposing campaign finance reform.

"Money is essential in politics, and not something that we should feel squeamish about, provided the donations are limited and disclosed, everyone knows who's supporting everyone else," McConnell told NPR's Talk of the Nation in 2003.

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Politics
5:06 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

City Pledges Support to Reopen Old Kentucky Kingdom

File photo

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is pledging his support for Kentucky Kingdom days after Bluegrass Boardwalk Inc. announced it was pulling out of the project to re-open the old amusement park.

Last Friday, the Koch walked away from its deal with the state fair board despite approval of hefty tax incentives. Bluegrass Boardwwalk CEO Natalie Koch told WFPL that the board voted against the deal because the group’s business model wouldn’t fit well with state regulations and oversight.

Councilman David Tandy, D-4, is chairman of the labor and economic development committee. He says council members were surprised to learn the project had failed, but city and state leaders need to move forward.

"There are a number of different amusement park operators out there that I’m sure are wanting to take a look at this opportunity now that it has re-presented itself," he says. "And we’ll go forward from there."

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Politics
1:50 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Tea Party Joins Fight Between State and Christian Health-Sharing Group

A decades-long court fight between a Christian health organization and the Kentucky state government is drawing the ire of some Tea Party activists.

Christian Care MediShare allows people to sign up for accounts and pay into a shared fund, then draw money to pay medical expenses. The state Supreme Court has ruled that MediShare is an insurance company and is not allowed religious exemptions to state law. Despite that, the organization has not changed its operations in the commonwealth.  

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Politics
12:57 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Wicker Decries GOP Lethargy in Third District Race

Republican congressional candidate Brooks Wicker is frustrated by the lack of interest from the Louisville GOP to unseat Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth in the fall election.

The Louisville Young Republicans recently organized an event where Wicker criticized the "defeatist attitude" among fellow Republicans. He also decried the party’s executive committee for failing to support his bid and not having enough bumper stickers on their cars.

Wicker says those comments were taken out of context, but that local GOP activists and rank-and-file members are looking past the race.

"It’s a segment of the party that I’m talking about," he says. "I’m not talking about the leadership of the executive committee and I’m not talking about anybody that’s in a leadership position at this point. I’m talking about the other people when I’m reaching out to activists and to past participants in the Republican process."

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Politics
9:15 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Healthcare Group Creates Directory to Help Patients Find Support

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has released a new online directory of community groups that could provide support for patients and their families.

The foundation lists more than 140 organizations in the directory. Combined, they reach all of Kentucky's 120 counties. The groups aren't healthcare providers, but they can give guidance, referrals and emotional support.

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Politics
8:45 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Mayor’s Violence Task Force Holds First Meeting

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s Violence Prevention Workgroup is having its first meeting Monday.

The 37-member task force includes business, civic and religious leaders and was formed in response to a brazen shooting in the Parkland neighborhood last month. Among the group’s first goals will be to develop an inventory of youth services and long-term strategies to address escalating crime.

But the group has been criticized for being too large and its lack of women and young adults appointed by the mayor. Others have said the task force isn't moving quickly enough as more heinous shootings have occurred since the initial violence spurred its creation.

University of Louisville Arts & Sciences Dean J. Blaine Hudson is chairing the task force. He says concerns about the group are valid, but those criticisms should not distract from efforts to deter systemic violence.

“You’ll have people who legitimately feel the need to speak out. What they might be able to contribute to the larger process is a whole other question. Some people have a lot to say about immediate issues, less to say about long-term issues,” he says.

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Politics
8:30 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Medicaid Regulations No Match for Rural Roads

The dispute between an Eastern Kentucky hospital chain and private Medicaid operators has lawyers arguing distance versus drive time.

Under state regulations, a private Medicaid operator cannot sign up a patient unless it has a doctor or hospital within 60 miles of that patient's home. But that distance is measured as the crow flies and the state doesn't take into account narrow and winding Appalachian roads. For many patients, it may be faster to visit a doctor that's 70 miles away than it is to visit one that's 50 miles away.

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Politics
4:00 pm
Sun June 17, 2012

Noise and Notes: The Mayor's Violence Prevention Task Force and Defining Fairness

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's task force on violence prevention is set to meet on Monday with supporters looking forward to the group getting started.

What the 37-member task force will accomplish has been an ongoing conversation since its was launched by the mayor. But as more heinous acts of violence continue, critics such as Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, have commented that the administration is talking while others are acting.

For the program, health department director Dr. LaQundra Nesbitt, neighborhood leader Neal Robertson—who both sit on the work group—and University of Louisville adjunct professor Stacy Brooks, discuss what the task force faces.

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Politics
4:21 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Yarmuth Lauds Obama for Ending Deportation of Young Immigrants

The decision by President Obama to stop the expulsion of immigrants who came to the U.S. as children is being praised by U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., as a solution Congress should adopt.

From Yarmuth's office:

"As a supporter of the DREAM Act, I applaud the president's decision and am glad to see renewed pressure on Congress to address critical immigration reforms that will benefit our country.

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