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
Mon April 1, 2013

Ashley Judd Adviser Says Kentucky Democrats Helped Push Her Out

Actress Ashley Judd
Credit Salon

Former Kentucky treasurer Jonathan Miller is blaming fellow state Democrats for helping push actress Ashley Judd out of the upcoming U.S. Senate race.

Judd announced last week she is declining to run against Republican Mitch McConnell in 2014, citing a need to focus on family. The speculation on other reasons why Judd isn't making a bid are plentiful, but supporters are speaking up.

In an editorial, Miller says a "dizzying blur of false testimony" promoted by a handful of Democratic consultants and strategists in national stories was part of the reason Judd declined.

From The Daily Beast:

While many may legitimately believe that (Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan) Grimes is the better candidate, many of those who have been quoted impugning Judd, or have done so on background, also have personal motives: some stand to profit from a Grimes campaign, some may have been trying to redress perceived “disses” by the actress, and some may be aiming to keep Grimes out of the 2015 gubernatorial race, where she could undermine their preferred candidates.

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Local News
8:45 am
Mon April 1, 2013

U of L Center to Host 'Awful Truth About Hazing' Forum

The University of Louisville’s Center on Race and Inequality is holding a public forum on hazing injuries and deaths among student organizations.

In 2011, hazing gained national headlines after Florida A&M University came under sharp scrutiny for the death of marching band member Robert Champion, who was beaten after a football game. The school has suspended its world-famous marching band and prosecutors have pressed misdemeanor charges against more than a dozen students.

UofL Pan-African Studies Professor Ricky L. Jones is director of the center. He says Louisville has also seen  violent hazing incidents on its college campuses, which occur more often than people realize.

"We’ve had a number of suspensions over the last decade and a half. We had one student almost die, who suffered from kidney failure in 1997. We’ve had extended suspensions going from seven to ten years of Greek-lettered organizations here," he says. "So it’s not an issue that’s just relegated to Florida A&M and people need to understand that."

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Politics
10:50 pm
Sat March 30, 2013

Noise and Notes: Stop Ignoring West Louisville

Louisville Magazine's cover story on the West End
Credit louisville.com

Stop ignoring the West End!

At least that’s the message from a recent Louisville Magazine cover story about the nine neighborhoods encompassing west Louisville.

The 38-page exposé tells the community's history, and also outlined the current disparities in income, property values and education levels. Many know anecdotally about the so-called Ninth Street Divide, but the stark realities when compared to the East End is eye-opening.

Statistics show residents in east Louisville make three times more and seven times as many have a bachelor's degree or higher than their West End counterparts.

It's a bleak picture of the predominately African-American part of the city, which is increasingly isolated.

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Politics
1:00 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes, Screaming and a Goat

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes

Now that actress Ashley Judd is officially not running for U.S. Senate against Republican Mitch McConnell, critics have wasted no time to lampoon the next presumptive Democratic nominee—Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Grimes is being encouraged to fill the apparent void in 2014, and supporters argue she has a number of assets: no record for McConnell to attack, the daughter of a former Kentucky Democratic Party chairman and a tight relationship with former President Bill Clinton.

It appears the best jabs circulating about Grimes for now are the secretary of state's speeches—where she often refers to herself in the third-person and shouts repteadly.

A new video featuring Grimes is making the rounds, and it pokes fun at her and other screamers, including former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a goat and Judd (in Normal Life).

Watch:

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Politics
11:20 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Democrats Run 'Sweet 16' Style Radio Ad Against Mitch McConnell

Credit DSCC.org

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is launching a basketball-themed radio ad targeting U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., ahead of his beloved Louisville Cardinal's Sweet 16 game.

The spot begins airing Thursday and uses a faux play-by-play commentary describing how  McConnell  "scores for Washington special interests and himself" while blocking economic policies that would help Kentucky.

Listen:

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Politics
10:00 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Mitch McConnell Campaign Radio Ad Features 'Fiery' CPAC Speech

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

The campaign to re-elect Republican Senator Mitch McConnell launched a new statewide radio ad this week featuring the GOP leader's fiery remarks at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference.

During the speech, McConnell pledge to conservative activists the fight against the Affordable Care Act will will continue despite the Supreme Court upholding the legislation and President Obama's re-election last fall.

In the one-minute radio spot, McConnell assails the president's overall agenda while urging conservatives to remain true to their principles.

"If you believe in your heart that the direction Barack Obama wants to take this country is wrong, its time to stand up together and punch back," McConnell says in the ad.

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Politics
6:46 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin Faces Removal Trial

Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Five members of the Louisville Metro Council are seeking to remove Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, from office over ethics violations.

Earlier this month, the Metro Ethics Commission ruled that Shanklin violated five provisions of the city's ethics code and recommended her ouster.

The Charging Committee is made up of Democrats Tina Ward-Pugh, Vicki Aubrey Welch and Madonna Flood; and Republicans Jerry Miller and James Peden.

Attorney David Tachau will represent the committee and prosecute the case.

He says because the Council Court will have subpoena powers the removal trial will reveal a number of facts and testimonies the ethics hearings could not uncover.

"I do know that Councilwoman Shanklin essentially did not testify and obviously this committee is interested in letting her have her say and address the issues that have been raised by the Ethics Commission and that are in the charging complaint. There are other family members this committee may choose to request a subpoena for," he says.

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Politics
5:22 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Ashley Judd Says on Twitter That She's Not Running for U.S. Senate

Ashley Judd
Credit U.S. Navy

Actress Ashley Judd is not running for U.S. Senate in Kentucky next year

The actress writes via Twitter:

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Breaking
2:54 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Louisville Metro Council Members to Call for Removal of Barbara Shanklin

Barbara Shanklin
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Council members are forming a charging committee to hold a removal trial against Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, sources confirmed to WFPL.

Earlier this month, the Metro Ethics Commission recommended Shanklin's ouster after finding her to have violated provisions of the city's ethics law.

An announcement is expected later Wednesday afternoon. 

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Politics
2:47 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul Praise General Assembly for Approving Hemp Legislation

Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

Republican U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul are lauding the Kentucky General Assembly for passing legislation to allow a regulatory framework for industrial hemp.

The so-called hemp bill was approved by state lawmakers on the last day of the legislative session, and allows licensing of future hemp farmers to the Industrial Hemp Commission should the federal government legalize the crop.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer led the initiative, and told Kentucky Public Radio's Kenny Colston state officials are working with the federal delegation to get a federal waiver.

McConnell and Paul both said Wednesday they will work to get the crop legalized for Kentucky farmers to grow.

From McConnell's office:

I applaud Commissioner James Comer for his leadership on the issue and the Kentucky General Assembly for passing the legislation which has the potential to provide an economic boost to Kentucky, create jobs and allow Kentucky farmers to harness the economic potential that industrial hemp can provide. 

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