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
3:24 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Two Politically Different Women Join Metro Council

Parker and Fowler
Credit The Parker Campaign/Metro Council

The Louisville Metro Council has the most female members since 2007 with the addition of two new members: Democrat Cindi Fowler and Republican Marilyn Parker.

The freshman lawmakers were sworn-in this week and both hope to add new perspectives for their districts and respective political caucuses.

Fowler and Parker come into council with very different backgrounds.

Fowler is a former legislative aide and replaces her old boss, Bob Henderson, who retired. She is a graduate of Emerge Kentucky, which helps train Democratic women to run for office and won a seat that the GOP had hoped to pick up last fall.

Asked about the biggest difference between her and Henderson, Fowler says her predecessor served his constituents well, but didn't always have an open ear.

"I would say probably I would listen a lot more," she says.

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Politics
1:12 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Ashley Judd Still Considering Senate Bid, Says Mother Naomi Judd

Ashley Judd
Credit Former Sen. Richard Lugar's office.

In an interview with Larry King, country music singer Naomi Judd says her activist-actress daughter Ashley is still weighing whether to run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in 2014.

The elder Judd told King that her daughter "doesn't know" if she's going to jump in the race, but that Ashley is "very interested in changing the world." As King pointed out, however, the choice will have to come sooner than later given that Judd doesn't live in Kentucky.

Watch:

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Politics
11:02 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

King Re-Elected Council President

Louisville Metro Council President Jim King
Credit Louisville Metro Council

In a unanimous vote, Louisville Metro Councilman Jim King has been re-elected to a third consecutive term as council president.

The council held its organizational meeting Monday, and elected King to the one-year term. He has been council president since 2011, and also served in the position in 2008.

No other member has been council president as long or as often

Among the accomplishments that King's supporters point to is his leadership in helping the council close a $20 million budget shortfall and overriding a mayoral veto for the first time in council history.

King says the body faces a number of challenges in 2013, and lawmakers need to be united in order to accomplish their goals and remain relevant in city government.

"And don’t we want our council to be respected and seen as relevant? I know one thing. We can’t be relevant if we are divided or if we are seen as parochial. I happen to know that we are much more relevant when we function in a unified way," he says.

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Politics
10:30 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Mayor Fischer Moves State of the City Address to West Louisville

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit File photo

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Monday he will deliver this year’s State of the City address at the Kentucky Center for African-American Heritage in the Russell neighborhood.

The speech is scheduled for January 24 and is traditionally delivered before the Rotary Club in downtown. According to the mayor's office, Fischer wants to move the address to different parts of the city each year and the Rotary accepted the suggestion to move it to west Louisville.

"The annual speech is about the state of the entire city, so it’s only natural that it’s delivered in different areas of our great city," Fischer said in a news release.

The mayor also asked the group to open the event up to the public.

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Politics
8:30 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Senator Joe Donnelly Wants Consensus on Filibuster Reform

Joe Donnelly
Credit U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., says even though the filibuster has been abused in recent years, his party should seek a consensus with Republicans before changing the chamber's rules.

Critics have complained that the filibuster is too often used to block important votes. Since 2007, the GOP has used the parliamentary tactic to block legislation and nominees an unprecedented 386 times.

In the last weeks of 2012, Democratic Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell jousted over whether to restrict filibusters.

Donnelly says the negotiations to address the dysfunction should continue, and that Reid should find a general agreement with the GOP.

"He will be talking with our Republican friends over the next week or two to try to see if there is a consensus that can form, and I am hopeful that can happen," he says.

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Politics
1:04 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

Noise and Notes: Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Previewing The 2013 General Assembly

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit File photo

Mayor Greg Fischer is halfway through his first term in office, and he is marking the mid-term by highlighting job creation and making Louisville a more compassionate city.

Despite his optimism and business acumen, much of Fischer’s tenure has been gobbled up dealing with "cleaning house" at different departments, auditing city services and steep budget deficits.

Then there is the surge in homicides, which increased by 28 percent in 2012.

The mayor's task force issued a report that says there’s a need for violence prevention director and other serious intervention from Metro Government on a number of fronts. But some Metro Council members have question if that's the best use of city resources and many residents are taking a "wait and see" approach.

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Politics
6:00 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell Goes for Hat Trick With Sunday Political Talk Shows

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

In the wake of helping to avert the fiscal cliff, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is making the rounds on three of the top Sunday political talk shows this weekend.

The GOP leader will be on ABC’s "This Week with George Stephanopolous," CBS’s “Face the Nation,” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He is expected to discuss the agreement he made with Vice President Joe Biden, which passed both chambers of Congress earlier this week.

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Politics
4:56 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Congressman Thomas Massie Files Bill to Repeal Gun Free Zones in Schools

Congressman Thomas Massie, R-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Congress

Kentucky Fourth District Congressman Thomas Massie introduced his first bill in Congress on Friday that would repeal the federal ban on guns in school zones. 

The measure is dubbed the Citizens Protection Act of 2013, which was initially proposed by former Congressman Ron Paul six years ago. It would repeal the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990 and comes in the midst of the gun control debate sparked by the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in Connecticut.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Senator Dan Coats Receives Committee Assignments for 113th Congress

Calling for lawmakers to rise above partisan politics, U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., announced Thursday he has been selected to serve on a number of key Senate committees in the 113th Congress.

Now the Hoosier state's senior senator, Coats will serve on the Appropriations, Select Intelligence, Commerce, Science, and Transportation panels, as well as the Joint Economic Committee.

"These important committee assignments will allow me the opportunity to continue the fight to rein in out-of-control government spending and strengthen our economic and national security," Coats said in a news release. "At a time when the greatest challenge facing our nation is excessive spending, I look forward to working on efforts to restore our fiscal health through my new role as the ranking Republican member of the Joint Economic Committee."

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Politics
3:59 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Democrat Joe Donnelly Hopes to Forge 'New Middle' in Senate

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-In.,

Incoming U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-In., is hoping to launch a new coalition of moderate lawmakers in the 113th Congress.

Donnelly is among a number of new senators sworn-in Thursday, and he steps into the seat previously held by longtime Sen. Dick Lugar.

During the 2012 campaign, the former congressman ran as a centrist and on bringing "Hoosier common sense" to an unpopular Congress.

Donnelly says he wants to work with lawmakers from both parties to find solutions because of Indiana's history of bipartisan cooperation.

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