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.

Pages

Politics
3:18 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

MoveOn, United Kentucky Tea Party Dismiss McConnell Campaign's Infiltration Charge

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

Liberal and Tea Party groups are denying claims by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign that they are working together to defeat the GOP leader in 2014.

In a campaign fundraising e-mail Monday, McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton told supporters that liberal organizers were "attempting to infiltrate conservative" groups across the state.

A previous message accused MoveOn.org of backing a "phony Tea Party" in an attempt to hurt McConnell in a primary race.

But MoveOn spokesman Nick Berning says they are not working with any Tea Party groups in Kentucky, and that they will seek to defeat McConnell in a general election.

"It's understandable that Mitch McConnell is frightened to face voters in 2014, and his focus on MoveOn members' electoral might is well founded, but his fantasy that we have teamed up with the Tea Party to elect someone even more out of touch than him is ridiculous," he says. "MoveOn's nearly 70,000 members in Kentucky are tired of McConnell carrying water for Wall Street and leading the 'Party of No' at the expense of poor and middle class families, and he should expect we will hold him accountable for it—in the general election."

Read more
Politics
11:16 am
Wed January 30, 2013

City Reminds Residents to Sign-up for Code Red Emergency Alert System

Mayor Greg Fischer says the severe weather that struck Louisville this week should serve as a reminder for citizens to sign up for the city's emergency alert system.

The Code Red alerts use text messages, e-mails and phone calls to warn residents about potentially life-threatening events, including severe weather.

Code Red was established two years ago in the aftermath of a chemical explosion in the Rubbertown neighborhood. Over 239,000 individuals are already registered, but the mayor hopes more citizens will sign up.

"The Code Red system is easy to use and gets information to people quickly so they can protect themselves and their families," Fischer said in a news release. "During last night’s storms, if you were asleep or weren’t listening to television or radio, you would have received a phone call or text message from Code Red with the latest warnings."

Read more
Politics
2:37 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Team Mitch Blasts Bluegrass Poll as 'Malarkey'

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell at a Tea Party rally in Frankfort, Ky. last year
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

The re-election campaign for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is dismissing a poll conducted by The Louisville Courier-Journal, which shows the GOP leader with just 17 percent support.

According to the survey, voters opposed to McConnell’s re-election outnumber supporters 2-to-1. It also found that only one-third of Republican voters support him in the 2014 election, adding further fuel to Tea Party criticism and outright defiance of McConnell's leadership in Kentucky.

McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton responded by saying no incumbent could fare well given the surveys line of questioning.

"The question itself minimizes the level of support for an incumbent by requiring a poll respondent to pledge their allegiance despite the prospect of an unnamed utopian candidate looming in the wings," said Benton.  "To make the bias even more pronounced than a generic 'someone else,' which is difficult enough, this question hardens that by asserting you must support him 'no matter who runs against him.'  So your neighbor, best friend, husband/wife, priest, pastor, reverend or rabbi wouldn’t get your vote if they were on the ballot.

Read more
Politics
2:05 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Council GOP Lobbying State Lawmakers on Pension Reform

Jerry Miller
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Republican leaders in the Louisville Metro Council are headed to Frankfort this week to lobby state lawmakers on pension reform.

The city’s pension cost has more than doubled in the past decade to make up approximately 15 percent of the budget.  In his State of the City address, Mayor Greg Fischer urged residents to call for their legislators to take action in this year’s session to change the system.

Republican Caucus Chairman Ken Fleming, R-7, and Vice-Chairman Jerry Miller, R-19, are scheduled to meet with Republican state Sen. Damon Thayer of Georgetown, who co-chaired a legislative task force on the state pension system.

Miller says rising pension costs are at critical stage and are extremely important for Louisville residents because of the potential impact on city services.

"If you’re in government you have to deal with pension cost because of it’s dramatic increase, which is really crowding out a lot of other things we’d like to do—social services and a variety of other things," he says.

Read more
Politics
6:29 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

City Departments Hope Gun Owners Will Use Common Sense

Credit Creative Commons

Louisville Metro Government departments are urging gun owners to use common sense now that firearms are allowed in city-owned buildings.

The General Assembly passed a state law forbidding cities from enacting stricter gun laws than the state in 2012, and the Metro Council changed its definition of deadly weapons last week as a result.

Under the new provisions taking effect this month, residents are allowed to openly carry a firearm in Metro facilities such as the mayor’s office and City Hall, as well as libraries, parks and the Louisville Zoo.

Read more
Politics
1:11 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Poll Shows Mitch McConnell Struggling for Support

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

A new poll shows Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is struggling to retain support among voters.

The Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll shows that twice as many voters are against McConnell as there are supporting him. It also finds that only one-third of Republicans support him in the 2014 election.

In recent weeks, Kentucky's senior senator has been besieged by liberal and Tea Party groups alike.

From The C-J:

According to the poll of 609 registered voters, 34 percent said they plan to vote against McConnell while just 17 percent say they will vote to give him another six years. The poll found that 44 percent said they will have to wait and see who is running against him and 6 percent said they are not sure.

Read more
Politics
9:50 am
Sun January 27, 2013

Noise and Notes: Thoughts & Opinions with The Courier-Journal's Debby Yetter

Courier-Journal editorial writer Debby Yetter

Louisville journalist Debby Yetter’s fingertips have bled ink as a reporter and now editorial columnist at The Courier-Journal for over three decades.

Yetter is a veteran reporter who has the federal courts, social services and a ferocious focus on state government. Even the newspaper's sharpest critics praised the company's decision when the Yetter's role shifted, and award-winning journalist was picked to help lead the C-J's editorial department.

She’s spent her life collecting thoughts and opinions, and has been eager to share her own in the opinion pages.

Read more
Politics
2:44 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

McConnell Campaign Taunts Liberals Over Filibuster Reform

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

In a message to supporters, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign is bragging after modest filibuster reforms were enacted in the U.S. Senate.

Several progressive groups along with liberal Democrats in the Senate had been pushing Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nv., to go with the "nuclear option" to overhaul the chamber's rules.

But Reid went for much weaker reforms, and the deal negotiated with McConnell speeds up the parliamentary process for new business, motion and debates.

The McConnell camp says that the GOP leader "beat the liberals" who were pushing for more drastic changes.

From Team Mitch:

A group of the Senate's most liberal Senators, fueled by left-wing groups like Move On, have been pushing a dangerous scheme to change the rules of the United States Senate and fundamentally alter the checks and balances of our system.

Read more
Politics
2:07 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

City Purchases Land to Attract Jobs, Development in West Louisville

Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday that Metro Government has purchased a 30-acre piece of land in west Louisville that it plans to market to companies wishing to expand or relocate to the city.

The property is the former headquarters of National Tobacco located at 30th and Muhammad Ali Blvd. It will cost the city $1.2 million to buy from state government, with $750,000 coming from a settlement with the state over an unrelated right-of-way dispute.

The other $500,000 was allocated by the mayor last year in the city budget to buy brown space in the West End.

"This property is ideal and ready for development," Fischer said in a news release. "The site is clear with no significant environmental issues. It’s on a rail line, abuts the interstate and is surrounded by a ready workforce."

Read more
Local News
7:00 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Fischer Backs President Obama's Gun Control Measures, but State Law Hampers City Efforts

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit Gabe Bullard/WFPL

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says President Obama's proposal for gun control laws are rational and that he'd like to see new legislation passed.

But those comments are in stark contrast to a state law that is forcing changes to the city's definition of deadly weapons and now allow firearms to be carried in city-owned buildings.

Read more

Pages