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
10:55 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Federal Election Commission Scolds Brooks Wicker for Late Finance Report

The Federal Election Commission has warned Republican congressional candidate Brooks Wicker about an overdue campaign finance report, which could result in civil penalties.

As first reported by LEO Weekly's Joe Sonka, the FEC wrote a letter warning the GOP challenger that he has failed to file his third quarter receipts and disbursements and has four days to comply. The report was due October 15.

The FEC goes on to say that any "failure to timely file this report may result in civil money penalties, an audit or other legal" action.

"All documents have been reported to the FEC," says Wicker campaign manager Michael Wray. "I spoke with (FEC analyst Chris) Ritchie today, and the matter will be resolved shortly."

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Politics
7:00 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Anti-Abortion Advocates Defend Mourdock, Pro-Life Views

Republican Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock has ignited a national firestorm for his abortion comments this week, but pro-life activists are coming to the GOP nominees defense and see the remarks as a chance to explain their views.

Democrats and Republicans have pounced on Mourdock after he said that pregnancies resulting from rape should not be an exception to an abortion ban because it is the will of God. At a press conference Wednesday, Mourdock stood by his position, but he explained that he abhors rape and apologized if anyone "came away with the wrong impression" from his statement.

Anti-abortion activist Rebecca Kiessling is a spokeswoman for Personhood USA. She says pro-life voters are are proud that Mourdock stood up for life against abortion even in cases of rape, and that critics are deliberately exaggerating his comments to score political points.

"Of course he was saying that the life of the child conceived in rape was created by God. And I believe that he’s in line with the overwhelming majority of Americans and Hoosiers who understand that God is the author of life," he says.

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Politics
3:08 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Yoder Jabs Young Over Ryan Budget Plan, Health Care Reform

In the race for Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District seat, Democratic challenger Shellie Yoder sparred with Republican incumbent Todd Young during their first debate at Franklin College on Wednesday.

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Politics
11:14 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Richard Mourdock: "I Wasn't Very Articulate In What I was Saying"

Update: 11:45 a.m.

Richard Mourdock, the Republican Indiana Senate nominee, on Wednesday said the comments he made during a debate Tuesday night regarding pregnancy and rape were not "very articulate," and added that he "abhors" rape.

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Politics
9:02 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Mourdock: Rape Pregnancies "Something God Intended"

During the final debate in the Indiana Senate race on Tuesday evening, Republican Richard Mourdock said that pregnancies resulting from rape should not be exempt from an abortion ban because they are the will of God.

During the hour-long debate against Democrat Joe Donnelly and Libertarian Andrew Horning, the GOP nominee appeared to fight back tears while answering a question about his stance on abortion and women's reproductive health issues.

"I know there are some who disagree, and I respect their point of view. But I believe that life begins at conception. The only exception I have, to have an abortion, is in that case of the life of the mother," said Mourdock. "I've struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

Watch the video:

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Politics
3:42 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Democrats Plan to Drop More Money Into Indiana Senate Race

Political parties and outside groups have already spent large sums in Indiana's Senate race, and voters can expect to see a surge in the last two weeks of the campaign.

Republican Richard Mourdock holds a huge lead over Democrat Joe Donnelly in fundraising, and conservative Super PACs have been running ads. But Democrats are planning to pump additional cash into the race as well.

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Politics
10:40 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Donnelly Holds 2-Point Lead in Indiana Senate Race

With two weeks until Election Day, Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly released an internal poll Tuesday showing a 2-point lead over Republican Richard Mourdock in the Indiana Senate race.

According to the survey of 603 likely voters, the race is a dead heat with Donnelly at 40 percent, Mourdock at 38 percent and Libertarian Andrew Horning with 8 percent. The memorandum underscores that Donnelly leads Mourdock among independent voters by 5 points in the face of a fundraising gap.

From Global Strategy Group:

"Despite spending millions—and outspending Joe Donnelly by nearly 2 million dollars—Richard Mourdock simply has not been able to convince Hoosiers that he is the right man for the job. Hoosier voters know that for Joe Donnelly, it’s about bringing people together to do what is best for the people of Indiana, not about divisive tactics that put politics ahead of what is best for Hoosiers."

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Politics
6:41 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Wicker Lashes Out at C-J Over Yarmuth Endorsement

In a message to supporters, Republican Brooks Wicker is attacking The Louisville Courier-Journal editorial board for endorsing Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth in Kentucky's Third Congressional District race.

The newspaper gave Yarmuth the nod for a fourth term Sunday, citing his defense of President Obama’s health care overhaul, knowledge of the issues and public criticisms of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. It goes on to argue that Wicker is a "Tea Party enthusiast" who has made generalities when talking about solutions to the country’s problems.

Wicker campaign manager Michael Wray says the editorial board made its decision without interviewing his candidate and overlooked the GOP challengers’ 5-point plan for economic recovery.

"We did not get one invitation—not one—from the editorial board," he says. "The editorial board just didn’t do its due diligence in informing the voters. They based it on assumptions. Their endorsement was not surprising, but the process that they went through to get to their conclusion was astounding."

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Politics
5:05 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Political Satirist Mo Rocca Screening New Documentary in Clarksville

Political satirist Mo Rocca is hosting a screening of his new documentary "Electoral Dysfunction" in southern Indiana this week.

The film takes an irreverent look at voting while poking fun at the Electoral College, and will be shown on Tuesday at the Bass Pro Shops, located on 951 E. Lewis and Clark Parkway in Clarksville. Rocca is a writer and comedian, who is a frequent panelist on NPR's "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" which airs Saturdays at 11 a.m. on WFPL-FM.

Watch the trailer:

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Politics
4:39 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Mourdock Calls for Senate Investigation Into Benghazi Attack

Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock

Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is calling for an investigation into the attack on a U.S. Consulate in Libya that resulted in the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. foreign service personnel.

The demand for a Senate investigation comes on the day of the final presidential debate, which will focus on foreign policy and is expected to center on the assault in Benghazi.

In a campaign statement, Mourdock also calls on his Democratic opponent Joe Donnelly to request that his party's leaders support the probe into the matter.

"Since the attack at Benghazi, we have heard conflicting reports coming out of the White House about what led up to the attack and whether or not proper security was provided to our personnel at the embassy," Mourdock said in a news release. "Therefore today, I call for a complete investigation into the attack by the Senate, and I call on Congressman Donnelly to demand the same from Harry Reid and other Democrat leaders on Capitol Hill. It is critical to our national interests and security to have this tragedy thoroughly investigated."

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