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
11:14 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Councilman Dan Johnson Joins Roundtable Discussion on Louisville NBA Team

Credit NBA

Louisville Metro Councilman Dan Johnson is joining a panel discussion in downtown Friday on bringing an NBA team to the city.

The roundtable will feature Jefferson County Judge Executive Bryan Matthews and attorney J. Bruce Miller, who has been an advocate for bringing professional basketball to the city.

Mayor Greg Fischer has also been a vocal proponent of bringing the NBA to Louisville, but he's faced criticism from University of Louisville officials. Supporters are optimistic, but a study by a pair of media executives outlined how the cost of the NBA outweighs the benefits.

From WHAS-11:

A new study from Cambridge Economic Research showed a relatively unfavorable impact that an NBA team could have on Louisville.
 
It concluded that Louisville could not sustain a pro franchise.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Young Opens Offices to Toys for Tots Campaign

Indiana Ninth District Congressman Todd Young is opening his offices in Jeffersonville and Bloomington as drop off locations for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots campaign.

From Young's office:

"As someone who served in the Marine Corps, I'm excited to partner with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in their Toys for Tots Program," Young said in a news release. "Especially in tough economic times, this is a great way to ensure that children around the district have a memorable Christmas."

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Politics
1:49 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Jim King Likely to be Louisville Metro Council President for Third Consecutive Year

Louisville Metro Councilman Jim King
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Councilman Jim King, D-10, is favored to serve an unprecedented third consecutive one-year term as council president.

Since city and county governments merged, council presidents have traditionally held the seat for a year before stepping down. King informed his Democratic colleagues—who hold a 17-to-9 majority—and Republicans of his intentions this month, and no other candidates have emerged.

"I think I have earned the trust and I want to keep the trust of both sides of the body—Republicans and Democrats. And I do try to work in a manner that is fair to both sides, and moving forward the legislative agenda of the council," King said.

"I think that the council members see me as someone who can lead them, but I can’t lead them without their support and I certainly value that."

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Politics
11:04 am
Thu November 29, 2012

McConnell to Obama: Remember, You Lost Kentucky

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

Leading up to the fiscal cliff negotiations, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly reminded President Obama about his 24-point thumping in Kentucky in a private phone call.

The conversation typifies the icy relationship between McConnell and the president—the two have rarely met, spoken or been seen in public together.

As Politico reports, the GOP leader was warning Mr. Obama early to cool on the campaigning if he wants to make progress with lawmakers.

From Politico:

Don Stewart, McConnell’s chief spokesman, said McConnell’s comments to Obama “were in the context of trying to find a solution” to the budget crisis. The GOP leader told the president that continuing to engage in a public-relations blitz against Republicans “could have the opposite effect of what he was trying to accomplish,” the spokesman said.

Stewart added: "This, by the way, is sound advice."

The White House declined to comment.

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Politics
10:09 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Yarmuth: Congress Can Provide Middle-Class With Certainty Now

Speaking on the House floor Wednesday, Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth says lawmakers can provide certainty during the fiscal cliff negotiations by extending the Bush era tax cuts to middle-class Americans.

Yarmuth mentioned Republican Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma as an example of finding bipartisan cooperationg. Cole has been in the news this week for breaking with his party leaders and advocating the GOP should make a deal with Democrats to raise taxes on the wealthiest two percent.

Check Yarmuth's floor speech:

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Politics
8:00 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Rand Paul: GOP Could Become a 'Dinosaur'

Sen. Rand Paul, left, with Rep. John Yarmuth, a Democrat.
Credit Phillip Bailey / WFPL News

In an interview with CNN, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., warned that the Republican Party is in danger of becoming a "dinosaur" unless it adopts more libertarian policy positions.

Watch:

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Politics
6:39 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Coats Partners With Young to Help River Ridge Development

Joining Indiana Ninth District Congressman Todd Young, U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-In., has introduced a bill to help redevelopment at a former military installation in Jeffersonville.

Under Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) guidelines, the old Indiana Army Ammunition Plant now operates as the River Ridge Commerce Center. According to Coats's office, the southern portion of the plant is reserved for economic development by the state and county, but it is not guaranteed legal protections.

The measure would ensure that all property owners of land formerly used as a military installation at the commerce center are compensated by the defense department.

From Sen. Coats's office:

"River Ridge is a promising economic development opportunity that could help boost the local economy and create jobs in southern Indiana,” said Coats. “This bill will provide potential job creators at locations like River Ridge the same insurance protections granted to developers and businesses on all other closed military installations. I am pleased to join Rep. Young in this effort and will work with my colleagues to get the legislation approved in the Senate.”

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Politics
11:23 am
Wed November 28, 2012

McConnell Battles Against Filibuster Reform

Credit File photo

For the third straight day Republican Leader Mitch McConnell defended his parties use of the filibuster while criticizing Democrat's push for an overhaul in Senate rules.

The filibuster is held by many as a Senate tradition that allows the minority party to hold up legislation, but Democrats argue that the GOP has abused the tool. The reforms are rather simple, but McConnell and Majority Leader Harry Reid have been jousting over the issue this week while the Democratic caucus is threatening to use the "nuclear option" that would allow a simple 51-vote majority to change the Senate rules.

Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, McConnell says he is willing to negotiate rule changes with Reid to reach an agreement. But in an editorial, the GOP leaders ratchets up his criticism that Democrats are threatening a tool that has been a safeguard for the political minority.

From U.S. News & World Report:

The majority leader was once a staunch defender of the Senate's protection of minority rights. Yet now that he finds himself frustrated he's prepared to recklessly throw those rules away and his own solemn pledge to defend them.

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Politics
7:00 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Star-Studded Senate: What Other Celebrities Could Challenge Mitch McConnell?

Ned Beatty
Credit Creative Commons

So far, the speculation on who'll be the Democratic challenger to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell's 2014 re-election bid has practically been a casting call.

First, Ashley Judd got a mention from U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth. Now, George Clooney and Diane Sawyer have had their names dropped Tuesday by Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson during an interview with WHAS 11, though he later told WFPL that he was just joking.

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Politics
1:26 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid Joust Over Filibuster Reform

For the second day in a row, Democratic Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had a tense exchange on the Senate floor over filibuster reform.

Observers have decried gridlock in the Senate, especially since the 2010 election and many have pointed to the need to either end or change basic rules on how chamber uses the delay tactic.

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