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
12:15 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Outgoing GOP Metro Councilman Jon Ackerson Endorses Democrat

Louisville Metro Councilman Jon Ackerson is endorsing Democrat Teague Ridge over fellow Republican Marilyn Parker in the 18th District race.

Parker was backed by the Tea Party in the GOP primary and narrowly defeated Ackerson by 37 votes. The majority of council Republicans also supported Parker over Ackerson, citing that he sided with Democrats on key issues and could not be trusted.

Ackerson says he is not switching parties, but that Ridge will be more involved and that Parker’s views against council members' use of discretionary funds will hurt the district.

"She's not supporting using Neighborhood Development Funds in the district, and I think that's a huge mistake," he says. "With the Capitol Infrastructure Funds she's talking about allocating them in other districts other than District 18. And I think that's also a big mistake. I just don't think she's going to provide the quality representation that District 18 needs."

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Politics
10:24 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Romney Appears in Ad Supporting Mourdock

In a new television ad, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock will be the needed vote in the Senate to repeal President Obama's health care law.

The 30-second spot features Romney telling Hoosiers that Mourdock worked with outgoing Gov. Mitch Daniels to "balance the budget" and "make government more accountable" adding that his election will keep the Democratic agenda at bay. Romney has pledged that eliminating the Affordable Care Act will be one of his first acts if elected president, and the ad anticipates the Senate margin will be close.

"As Senator, Richard will be the 51st vote to repeal and replace government-run healthcare," says Romney.

Check it out:

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Politics
1:32 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Rand Paul's PAC Backs Todd Akin

U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is running ads in support of controversial Republican Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin in his bid to unseat Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.

For the past week, RandPAC has been targeting Senate Democrats for voting against Paul's proposal to cut foreign aid to Libya, Egypt and Pakistan. The blistering ads have been running in key Senate races in Ohio, West Virginia and Florida, but have been criticized by high-profiled Republicans such as Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina.

Watch:

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Politics
11:15 am
Tue October 16, 2012

New Ordinance Aims to Hold Banks Responsible for Vacant Properties

Foreclosed properties near the site of Tuesday's announcement of the new ordinance.
MetroMapper

City leaders plan to create a new registry to help the city better track vacant properties and ensure they're maintained.

The city has over 16,000 abandoned properties. In some neighborhoods, up to a third of the houses are vacant. A proposed ordinance would create a city registry to track foreclosed properties and levy fines on banks that are not following regulations. Whenever banks foreclose on a home, they'll be required to give the city notice and information on who is responsible for maintaining the property. 

“Generally, once the banks acknowledge that they are responsible for the properties they do a pretty good job of maintaining the properties. The ones where we have a lot of issues are when it’s in this no man’s land where we’re still fining and still citing a property owner who has already walked away from the property,” says Councilman Rick Blackwell, D-12, who is sponsoring the ordinance. 

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Politics
9:55 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Young Ad Targets Obamacare

In the race for Indiana's Ninth Congressional District race, Republican incumbent Todd Young has released a TV ad attacking President Obama's health care overhaul.

The 30-second spot criticizes the Affordable Care Act as "just one more way that Washington is trying to control" residents lives. It shows a series of doors in doctor's offices slamming in the viewers face to signify a barrier between physicians and their patients with Young opening the door for residents.

Check it:

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Politics
10:30 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

Noise and Notes: Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is the only Republican serving as a constitutional officer in state government, and is frequently mentioned as a future gubernatorial candidate.

Comer was elected to office with the highest number of votes among any candidate running in last year’s statewide election and he arrived at the agriculture department promising a new, bipartisan direction.

The former state representative immediately partnered with State Auditor Adam Edelen to address a growing scandal left by his predecessor—former University of Kentucky basketball star Richie Farmer—who is now reportedly being investigated by the FBI.

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Politics
5:32 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

MSNBC: Bolton Wrong About Lockup Contract Details

A producer with MSNBC's award-winning prison documentary series "Lockup" says Louisville Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton made inaccurate statements about the city’s contract with the cable news network.

The series began filming at the city jail earlier this year, and its season debut Saturday will feature footage from the corrections department. Bolton told WFPL in a telephone interview that Metro Corrections was given final edit approval and that his department had received $20,000 from the show for leadership development.

But MSNBC spokeswoman Wessie Vieria says Bolton’s claims are not true, and the cable network never gave Metro Corrections the rights to final editorial control of the show’s content.

"MSNBC does not ever give any editorial control to the people who appear in the stories and it was not different in this case. MSNBC and NBC News have final editorial control over every episode of Lockup and that is very, very clearly stated in our agreements with the jails and the prison," she says.

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Politics
4:14 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Green Party VP Candidate Visits Kentucky to Address Poverty, VP Debate

Cheri Honkala

Green Party vice presidential candidate Cheri Honkala has been touring Kentucky this week to draw attention to issues that are not being discussed in the campaign as well as speak out against the debate at Centre College.

Several demonstrations were held before the debate in Danville, Ky. on Thursday, including rallies to draw attention to access while others addressed issues of poverty and austerity measures. The Presidential Debate Commission barred Honkala and other third party candidates from participating alongside Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Congressman Paul Ryan.

The commissions rules dictate that in order for third party candidates to be included they must poll at least 15 percent among registered voters.

Honkala says the commission is the problem and should include more perspectives so that all Americans can have their views represented.

"I was outraged when I found out that myself and (running mate) Dr. Jill Stein have not been allowed into the debates, especially because we worked really hard to get on the ballot in about 38 states and 85 percent is eligible to vote for us," she says.

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Politics
1:45 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Despite Lack of Local Issues, Kentucky Officials Pleased With VP Debate

Congressman John Yarmuth and Senator Rand Paul
Phillip Bailey WFPL News

Even though the candidates for vice president met at Centre College in Danville for their debate Thursday night, Kentucky issues such as coal and the auto industry weren’t heavily addressed.

Kentucky is affected by many of the national issues that were discussed, but Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan had little to say on topics specific to the commonwealth, such as coal and the auto industry.

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Politics
3:01 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

MSNBC's Lockup Features Louisville Jail

Inmate Brian Voltz
MSNBC

MSNBC's award-winning prison documentary series "Lockup" is making its season premiere this Saturday with footage from the Louisville Metro Corrections Jail.

The series began filming at the city facility earlier this year, and features repeat offender Brian Voltz along with local inmates discussing their workout routines. The show is a ratings magnet for the cable news network that highlights sometimes violent footage of inmates in maximum security state prisons.

Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton says the show’s producers approached the department to see if they were interested, but that his staff urged him to participate.

"What I did is I engaged our entire staff and I put it out to a vote to them," he says. "And overwhelmingly they came back and said 'yeah, this might be an opportunity for us to showcase what we do and show the country a little bit about Louisville Metro and how we do things.'"

Check it out:

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