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.

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Politics
7:16 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

McConnell-Reid Deal Includes $3 Billion Earmark for Kentucky Project

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,
Credit File photo

A proposal to end the government shutdown and avoid default orchestrated by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Harry Reid includes a nearly $3 billion earmark for a Kentucky project.

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Politics
3:50 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Kentucky Congressmen Reticent on McConnell-Reid Deal as Moderates Take Lead on Shutdown, Default

Senators Mitch McConnell (l) and Harry Reid (r)

Kentucky Congressmen John Yarmuth and Hal Rogers support Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling, but the rest of Kentucky's federal delegation are withholding judgment until huddling with GOP House leaders.

The deal struck with Democratic Leader Harry Reid appears to have bipartisan support in the Senate, but could face an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled House.

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Politics
4:14 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Congressman John Lewis Reflects on Civil Rights Past and Future in New Graphic Novel

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-GA,

Democrat John Lewis is more than an ordinary member of Congress in the view of many Americans.

The child of southern sharecroppers, Lewis became a pillar of the Civil Rights Movement as a student activist and is a legend in U.S. history for his direct protests against racial segregation.

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Politics
11:05 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes Surpasses Mitch McConnell in Latest Fundraising Total

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes

The campaign to elect Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Tuesday it raised over $2.5 million in the third quarter, topping Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell's fundraising totals for the same period.

Over the past three months Grimes received support from all 120 Kentucky counties and all 50 states with around 13,300 contributors, which is more than twice the number of McConnell's donors.

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Politics
5:43 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth Admonishes Senator Rand Paul for Debt Ceiling Comments

Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., (l) and Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., (r)
Credit Phillip Bailey / WFPL News

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth is scolding fellow Kentuckian and Republican Senator Rand Paul for downplaying the significance of default if the U.S. government doesn't raise the debt ceiling.

The borrowing limit is currently set at $16.7 trillion for things such as publicly traded bonds and Social Security payments.

Most experts on the matter say the U.S. won't be able to pay off those loans after the Oct. 17 deadline and could run out of money by the end of the month unless Congress raises the ceiling.

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Politics
2:29 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Senator Mitch McConnell Hauls in $2.3 Million for Re-Election

In Kentucky's U.S. Senate race, the campaign to re-elect Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced Friday it raised $2.3 million in the past three months.

This represents McConnell's strongest quarter to date as the incumbent seeks a sixth term in office. 

Overall McConnell has garnered a total of $17.7 million towards next year's election and will report just under $10 million in cash on hand.

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Politics
8:00 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Matt Bevin Fails to Receive Boone County GOP Nod

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin
Credit foxnews.com

Despite U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin's pleas for members to vote their "conscience" the Republican Party of Boone County, Ky. bypassed endorsing the political newcomer over incumbent Mitch McConnell in next year's primary.

Bevin supporters had been hopeful the Northern Kentucky group would give his campaign a needed boost in an area that is considered a Tea Party stronghold.

McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton also attended the meeting and warned members that weighing in would be a "poor mistake" as a county party.

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Politics
5:12 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Shutdown Hurting Mitch McConnell's Approval Rating as Matt Bevin Seeks Key Endorsement

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,
Credit File photo

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's popularity is taking a dive due to the government shutdown, according to a new Gallup survey released Thursday.

The new figures comes as McConnell's GOP primary challenger Matt Bevin is vying to gain the support of a key political organization in Northern Kentucky this week.

Overall, Gallup finds McConnell's net approvals are down by 12 percentage points since Congress failed pass a spending bill to keep federal services and programs running.

From Gallup:

The Republican congressional leaders, Boehner and McConnell, appear to have taken a slightly larger hit from the shutdown than the Democratic congressional leaders Reid and Pelosi, as well as President Obama, given slightly larger declines in the Republicans' net favorables.

(SNIP)

Republicans and Democrats don't agree on much, but both groups now view Republican leaders Boehner and McConnell significantly more negatively than before the shutdown. Their net favorable ratings have declined between 13 and 19 points among the party groups.

Save House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, all of the major leaders in Washington are suffering from poor approval ratings as the shutdown continues.

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Politics
2:50 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Addressing Claims of Racial Bias in Shanklin Verdict, Councilwoman Mary Woolridge Says 'Get Over It'

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, D-3,
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, D-3, is refusing to confirm or deny claims that she voted to retain fellow member Barbara Shanklin solely because she is an African-American woman.

But she says those who disagree with the outcome need to "get over it."

Speaking at the Louisville Forum this week, Councilman Kelly Downard, R-16, blew the whistle on the nearly three and a half hour deliberations.

Downard said Woolridge told lawmakers she would not vote again to remove a black female from office.   

"If I turned to you and I say ‘I will never vote to expel a white man from the Metro Council’ what thoughts did you just have? Anger? Revulsion? That happened in the deliberation room," Downard said. "One of the members of my Metro Council said I will never vote to remove an African-American woman from this council."

Downard later confirmed with WFPL that council member was Woolridge.

Some have pointed to a racial divide regarding the case both in in the community and on the council since the verdict.

It has been noted that all of the black council members voted to keep Shanklin in office despite some lawmakers such as Democrat David James denying race had anything to do with the decision.

Woolridge sidestepped questions about whether her vote was based on race and she refused to address the matter further.

"Dr. Shanklin was exonerated and the council needs to move ahead. Everybody ought to get over it including Kelly Downard and anybody else that has a problem with it," she says. "She got the amount of votes that she needed to remain on the council."

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Politics
8:00 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Mitch McConnell Renews Crusade Against Campaign Gift Limits in 'Citizens United II' Case

Credit File photo

Attorneys representing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will make oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court this week to scrap another set of limits on how much individuals can donate to political campaigns.

It is a case that could have serious ramifications on U.S. elections and possibly increase the amount of money spent on federal races in a way the controversial Citizens United decision did.

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