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
12:45 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Liberal Group Uses al-Qaeda Recruitment Video to Blast Mitch McConnell Over Gun Control

A liberal advocacy group is launching a controversial new ad targeting Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his opposition to gun control measure that uses an al-Qaeda recruitment video.

Americans United for Change is behind the 30-second spot, which features American-born al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn explaining how lax U.S. laws do not require background checks to obtain firearms.

In the recruitment video, Gadahn calls on Muslims living in the United State to carry out acts of terror and that guns can easily be obtained at local conventions.

The narrator goes on to explain McConnell is against background checks as part of a series of proposed gun control measures in the Senate. He asks: "who does agree with Mitch?"

Watch:

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Politics
10:15 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Metro Call Launches on Twitter

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday the city's information hotline is now on Twitter for citizens to better interact with Metro Government.

Metro Call can be followed at the Twitter handle @LouMetro311.

Residents can now tweet their questions or concerns via the social networking site rather than having to call 311 to verbally report issues.

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Politics
8:58 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Mitch McConnell Tape Fallout: FBI Digs In, How Progress Kentucky Helps the GOP, Was it Illegal?

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

With the news broken that Progress Kentucky was behind the secret recording of a strategy meeting between Senator Mitch McConnell and his campaign staff, there are a few questions that remain.

What happens to the people who made the tape?

Jacob Conway with the Jefferson County Democratic Party says Progress Kentucky founder Shawn Reilly and then-volunteer Curtis Morrison made the recording. 

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Politics
12:44 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Source: Progress Kentucky Behind Mitch McConnell Campaign Recording

Credit U.S. Senate

A secret recording of a campaign strategy session between U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and his advisors was taped by leaders of the Progress Kentucky super PAC, says a longtime local Democratic operative.

Mother Jones Magazine released the tape this week. The meeting itself took place on Feb. 2.

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Local News
2:08 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

TARC Conducting Passenger, Public Surveys

Credit WFPL File Photo

The Transit Authority of River City is conducting a series of random passenger surveys on buses over the next two months to gain information about travel patterns and rider needs.

Passengers on bus trips included in the scientific survey will be asked to complete a brief written questionnaire.

The poll will begin April 15 and additional passenger surveys will also be conducted in mid-May.

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Politics
8:15 am
Wed April 10, 2013

DC Vote to Wage Protest Against Senator Rand Paul Ahead of Howard University Speech

Rand Paul

A group seeking full voting representation for Washington, D.C. residents in Congress is holding a demonstration ahead of Republican Senator Rand Paul's speech at Howard University, calling the Tea Party favorite a hypocrite.

The address is being promoted as an attempt by Kentucky's junior senator—and presidential hopeful—to reach out to African-American voters. A handful of black leaders in Louisville have said that's a good sign given Paul's rising prominence in national politics.

But DC Vote is once again calling out Paul's libertarian and small-government message, comparing it to his obstruction of the D.C. Budget Autonomy Act last year.

In 2012, the mayor of D.C. and others urged lawmakers to approve the measure to give local residents the authority to spend tax dollars without Congressional oversight. Paul introduced several amendments to the bill, however, which sought to change the city’s gun, abortion and labor laws.

From DC Vote:

Think about that for a moment: Rand Paul, of all people, used a DC budget autonomy bill that would allow D.C. to spend money it raises from its own population so he can impose his causes on people that have no vote in Congress.

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Politics
3:47 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

McConnell Accuses Progress Kentucky of Bugging Campaign HQ, Spokesman Backpedals

Senator Mitch McConnell
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

Speaking to reporters in Washington, D.C., Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell blamed the liberal Super PAC Progress Kentucky of bugging his campaign offices.

On Tuesday, Mother Jones released a recording of a private meeting between McConnell and his campaign aides discussing attacks on potential challengers, including actress Ashley Judd's struggles with depression.

The McConnell campaign has said it contacted the FBI and U.S. Attorney to look into charges of eavesdropping. But McConnell went further during a press conference and alluded to Progress, which attacked the ethnicity of the GOP leader's wife in a series of Tweets earlier this year.

"As you know last month my wife’s ethnicity was attacked by a left-wing group in Kentucky and then apparently they also bugged my headquarters. So I think that pretty well sums up the way the political left is operating in Kentucky," McConnell said.

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Politics
9:47 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Mother Jones Obtains Secret Tape of McConnell Campaign Strategy Session

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Credit File photo

A secret audio recording of Senator Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign reveals the Kentucky Republican's aides intended to target actress Ashley Judd's mental health and religious beliefs among other issues.

The news magazine Mother Jones obtained audio of a private meeting between McConnell and aides where much of the conversation focused on potential Democratic opponents.

In a 2011 memoir, "All That is Bitter and Sweet"  Judd recounted she had checked into rehab for depression as an adult and once considered suicide as a child.

The leaked tapes reveal Judd's bouts with depression were considered fair game by the McConnell campaign.

"This sounds extreme, but she is emotionally unbalanced," an unknown McConnell aide says on the recording. "I mean it’s been documented. Jesse can go in chapter and verse from her autobiography about, you know, she’s suffered some suicidal tendencies. She was hospitalized for 42 days when she had a mental breakdown in the '90s."

Listen:

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Politics
10:51 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Mitch McConnell: Margaret Thatcher an Iconic Symbol of Conservatism

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Senate

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is praising the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as an icon of conservatism during the end of the Cold War period.

The 'Iron Lady' died at age 87 on Monday and is being remembered by many as a part of a triumvirate—along with former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II—who stood against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Thatcher's reign is considered a controversial and successful tenure, which also brought Anlgo-American relations closer.

As the Seante's GOP leader, McConnell says it was Thatcher's conservative ideas that helped Britain socially and economically.

From McConnell's office:

"Americans and all freedom-loving people around the world mourn the passing today of The Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher. A shopkeeper’s daughter from Lincolnshire, Margaret Thatcher rose through the force of her will and the power of her arguments to become the first and only female Prime Minister Great Britain has ever had.

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Politics
5:02 pm
Sun April 7, 2013

Noise and Notes: With Ashley Judd Out, Where Do Kentucky Democrats Go From Here?

Alison Lundergan Grimes, Mitch McConnell and Ashley Judd

Now that Ashley Judd is out, Kentucky Democrats are scrambling for a legitimate contender to take on Republican Senator Mitch McConnell next year.

The speculation is on Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, whose every word is being examined.

But what if Grimes also forgoes a 2014 Senate bid?

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