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
10:31 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Congressman Todd Young's Campaign Ad Nominated for National Award

Congressman Todd Young

A television ad aired by Indiana Ninth District Congressman Todd Young's campaign last fall has been nominated for two national awards.

The Reed Awards recognize excellence in campaign management, political consulting and political design across dozens of categories.

Young's ad focusing on his effort to get the name of David "Larry" Deckard inscribed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall have been nominated for Best Republican Congressional Candidate Ad and Best Television Advertisement of 2012.

Watch (again):

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Politics
1:53 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

WHAS's Mandy Connell Apologizes for ‘Yellow Star’ Remark

WHAS radio host Mandy Connell

WHAS radio host Mandy Connell has apologized for controversial remarks that compared gun registration to the tagging of Jews in Nazi Germany.

Last week, Connell had a debate with Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth over firearm regulations in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre.

Second Amendment advocates have voice concern over new stricter laws, and Connell said legislation to register legal gun owners could be the first step to total citizen disarmament and was similar Jews being tagged with yellow stars during the Holocaust.

Speaking on her Tuesday morning broadcast, Connell said the comparison was inappropriate.

"It seemed to some that I was making light of the persecution of the Jews in Germany. That is not at all my intention—ever," she says. "I’m well aware of the horrors perpetuated on the Jewish people. And if my comments caused pain or unhappiness or discomfort to those in the Jewish community, I am truly, truly sorry."

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Politics
4:18 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Anti-Defamation League Criticizes WHAS's Mandy Connell 'Yellow Star' Remark

The Anti-Defamation League is criticizing WHAS radio host Mandy Connell for controversial comments comparing potential gun control measures to the Nazi regime tagging Jewish Germans.

Last week, WFPL reported that during a heated on-air interview with Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth, Connell said Second Amendment advocates should be concerned about further regulations.

The radio show host added citizens should be worried about an "overly intrusive government" similar to Nazi Germany.

"Things like (U.S. Sen.) Diane Feinstein requiring gun owners to register if they’re already a legal gun owner," Connell said. "Why don’t we make them wear yellow stars as well? Why don’t we tag everybody?"

In response, an ADL spokeswoman told LEO Weekly the comments trivialized the Holocaust.

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Politics
4:07 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

State Lawmaker Proposes Local Option Sales Tax Bill

State Sen. Kathy Stein and Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit Legislative Research Commission/Metro Louisville

State Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, has introduced a bill in the General Assembly that would give cities a local option sales tax.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has been a major proponent of the measure, which allows local voters to decide whether to fund special projects through a temporary sales tax increase. The mayor recently outlined the measure for Metro Council members, saying it gives Louisville more independence.

The bill was introduced Jan. 8 and will be in the State and Local Government Committee.

Stein says many lawmakers oppose any new taxes, but this gives local residents decision-making power.

"It is an option, unfortunately whenever some of us hear the word tax we jump 10 feet up in the air and say 'no, no, no.' But you need to pay attention. It gives the taxpayers the option of doing it. The people who vote have the options," she says.

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Politics
1:36 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

State Law Forces Metro Council to Leave Guns Out of ‘Deadly Weapons’ Ordinance; Nunchucks Included

Nunchucks
Credit Wikipedia Commons/Public domain

The Louisville Metro Council’s Public Safety Committee will discuss a proposed ordinance this week that would take out guns in the city’s definition of deadly weapons.

The ordinance seeks to change Metro Government's safety codes to include such things as knives, nightsticks, ninja star, nunchuck karate sticks and brass knuckles as violent weapons, but not firearms.

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Politics
10:27 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Senator Mitch McConnell Joins Congressional Delegation to Afghanistan and Israel

Credit Sen. Mitch McConnell's Office

Joined by a delegation of lawmakers, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Monday that he and four other senators recently completed a trip to Afghanistan and Israel.

From McConnell's office:

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Politics
10:32 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Noise and Notes: The Teachings and Legacy of Dr. J. Blaine Hudson

Dr. J. Blaine Hudson
Credit University of Louisville

The late Dr. J. Blaine Hudson spent his life dedicated to scholarship and community, and in the process became one of Louisville's most beloved natives.

Whether as a student activist, historian or University of Louisville dean, Hudson left a mark on everyone he encountered. The outpouring of grief and fond memories has been immense since his death last week at age 63.

Over the years Hudson stopped by WFPL on numerous occasions to show how the city's past informed its present and could potentially solve problems in the future.

He had a wealth of knowledge about theories on race, African-American history and Louisville's role in the Civil Rights Movement, and we have collected some of the best excerpts for one final class.

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Politics
1:30 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Congressman Thomas Massie Defends Vote Against Sandy Relief Funding

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

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., is responding to an attack by state Democratic Party Chair Dan Logsdon, who chastised freshman congressman for voting against federal relief for victims of Superstorm Sandy.

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Politics
10:01 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

City Highlights Progress on Demolitions, Foreclosures of Vacant Properties

Joined by Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, and other city officials, Mayor Greg Fischer says Louisville Metro Government is increasing its efforts to tackle vacant and abandoned properties.

The demolition of abandoned properties went up by 30 percent in 2012, and city officials are aiming to foreclose on another 100 homes by June 30. According to different housing reports, Louisville has an estimated 7,000 vacant homes and approximately 1,300 of those are abandoned.

Fischer is spending $125,000 in the current city budget to file those foreclosures, and says the goal is to reduce the number of abandoned properties by 40 percent in the next three years and 67 percent over the next five.

"This is one of those projects that is so big it's easy just to throw up your hands and say it's been going on for decades, and we can't do anything about it. Well, I want to say that if you live next to an vacant or abandoned properties and the weeds are six feet tall, I can tell you that it is not an acceptable answer to say there's nothing we can do about this," he says.

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Politics
6:35 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Metro Council President Jim King Announces Committee Leaders for 2013

Louisville Metro Council President Jim King
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Council President Jim King, D-10, announced Thursday the chairs and vice chairs of the council's committees for 2013.

Along with the standing committees and two ad hoc panels created last year, King says a new Intergovernmental Committee will be formed. 

Councilman David Yates, D-25, suggested the creation of the new panel, which will work to strengthen the council's relationship and ties with state lawmakers in Frankfort and federal leaders Washington D.C.

"This  will work to build a relationship with our Jefferson County legislative delegation and make recommendations for change to our state governance statutes under (state) law that created merged government," King said in a news release. "I anticipate this committee will also work with the mayor’s office to review other statutes that affect Metro Louisville, such as local option taxes and federal issues as well."

The committee leaders are as follows:

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