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
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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Politics
4:38 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

WHAS's Mandy Connell on Gun Registration: 'Why Don’t We Make Them Wear Yellow Stars'

WHAS radio host Mandy Connell

In a tense exchange over gun control, WHAS radio host Mandy Connell told Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., some regulations could be the first step in total citizen disarmament.

Yarmuth has co-sponsored a bill that would ban high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and is a proponent of other regulations in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre.

In an on-air interview with Yarmuth on Thursday, Connell said responsible gun owners should also be concerned about further regulations, and compared attempts to register legal gun owners to the Nazi regime tagging Jewish Germans.

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Politics
4:11 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth Backs Bill to Ban High-Capacity Ammo Magazines

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Third District Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., is co-sponsoring legislation that would ban high-capacity ammunition magazines.

A pair of Democratic lawmakers introduced the same bill last summer in the wake of a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater. But there is newfound pressure for gun control measures due to the massacre of students and faculty at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

The measure would ban the sale or transfer of firearms that hold more than 10 rounds. Supporters point out that some gun magazines have 100 or more rounds.

Yarmuth says this measure is one of the least controversial attempts at gun control to prevent future massacres.

"These magazines serve no legitimate sporting purpose or even self-defense purpose. They are only there for mass killing," he says.

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Politics
2:30 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Kentucky Democratic Chairman: Andy Barr, Thomas Massie Embarrassed State With Sandy Relief Vote

Superstorm Sandy damage in Oakwood, N.Y.
Credit Paul Soulellis/Creative Commons

Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Dan Logsdon is ridiculing freshman Republican Congressmen Andy Barr and Thomas Massie for voting against aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy.

Last Friday, Congress approved a $9.7 billion package to help homeowners, renters and businesses pay for flood insurance claims caused by the hurricane. The Republican-controlled House passed the measure with overwhelming bipartisan support in a 354-to-67 vote.

In a telephone interview, Logsdon tells WFPL that Barr and Massie's actions have embarrassed Kentucky, adding natural disasters shouldn't be used to make a point about federal spending.

"It shouldn't be politicized. When our neighbors need help we should give them help. When a natural disaster occurs the rest of us should want to help that affected region," he says.

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Politics
1:00 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Conservative Group Targets Senator Mitch McConnell in Online Ads

For America is attacking McConnell in a new online ad.
Credit foramerica.org

A conservative group is attacking Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell over the fiscal cliff deal in a series of online advertisements in Kentucky that questions his loyalty to the GOP.

The ads were purchased by the Virginia-based group For America and began running Wednesday on the The Daily Caller, Drudge Report and Fox News websites, as well as on Facebook. It accuses McConnell of capitulating to President Obama and calls for conservatives to stand up to the party leader.

Brent Bozell is founder and chairman of For America. He says McConnell was the architect of a bad deal and that is playing "President Obama’s bag man."

"There comes a point where as a conservative you just say you’ve had it. This was a quintessential tax and spend piece of legislation," he says. "Conservatives have for decades labeled Democrats the party of tax and spend. How can you not label Republicans the same thing when they go along with it?"

McConnell fashioned the agreement with Vice President Joe Biden, which permanently extended the Bush-era tax rates for individuals making less than $400,000 and was praised by many conservative thinkers.

However, the deal delayed government spending cuts for another two months.

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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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