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
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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Politics
12:34 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Kentucky Leads Nation in Legalize Marijuana Google Searches

Kentucky leads the country in Google searches for the legalization of marijuana, according to a list of political issues put out by the technology company.

Google went through a year of online searches to find out which states look at what topics more than others. For instance, Montana led searches in gun control while Florida looked up Social Security more than any other state.

From The Fix:

The biggest surprise for us? Kentucky is the state where searches for legalization of marijuana are highest. Yes, Kentucky. One possible explanation: There is an effort to pass a law legalizing medicinal marijuana in the state, which could generate some search interest.

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Politics
2:00 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Yarmuth and Wicker Joust Over Health Care, Obama in WFPL Debate

In Kentucky's Third Congressional District race, Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth and Republican challenger Brooks Wicker met for an in-depth debate on WFPL.

The two candidates are scheduled to make a number of appearances this week for voters to contrast their differing views, but this was the first publicly broadcasted forum where they discussed the Affordable Care Act, economy and looming fiscal cliff.

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Politics
10:21 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Former U.S. Ambassador Mulls 2015 Gubernatorial Bid

Former U.S. Ambassador to Latvia Cathy Bailey is considering a run for Kentucky governor.

Bailey has been a chief fundraiser for Kentucky Republicans since leaving her post.

She told Pure Politics' Ryan Alessi in an interview that she is flattered that her name is among the rumored candidates, but she wants to get past the presidential race and Sen. Mitch McConnell's re-election first.

Check it out:

Politics
11:58 am
Mon October 8, 2012

WaPo Questions Yarmuth Votes and Family Ties

U.S. Congress

An analysis by The Washington Post shows U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., has supported a number of bills that benefit the home health care industry, which the three-term Congressman has a $5 million investment in through his brother's business.

The article looks at several members of Congress who have either sponsored or co-sponsored legislation that could personally benefit themselves or a family members's businesses. It goes through financial disclosure forms and other public records, and questions whether more reforms are needed.

Yarmuth’s brother owns Almost Family, a home health care business that provides nursing, rehabilitation and other personal care services. The newspaper reports that Yarmuth, who is a shareholder, did seek an opinion from the ethics committee on whether he could vote on bills relating to the industry when he took office in 2007.

But a trade group representing home health care businesses has lobbied on five bills Yarmuth has co-sponsored.

From The Washington Post:

In office, Yarmuth joined the congressional Home Health Caucus, a group of two dozen lawmakers that promotes the value of in-home health care.

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Politics
10:30 pm
Sat October 6, 2012

Noise and Notes: Presidential Debate Afterthoughts and Norris Shelton's Pitch for Frankfort

Louisville Public Media

The first presidential debate is behind us, and observers are still digesting how President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney performed.

It was a much anticipated discussion that about 67 million Americans watched, but surprisingly both Mr. Obama's critics and supporters agreed that the president gave a lackluster performance.

Romney was more aggressive and forceful, and this could be the turning point his campaign needs less than five weeks until Election Day. For many, this puts added pressure on Vice President Joe Biden in his debate against Congressman Paul Ryan on Thursday in Danville, Ky.

But the president's supporters point out that while Romney may have won the style of the debate his facts do not add up on a number of his assertions.

I talked to political commentator Stacy Brooks and Louisville Young Republicans Chairman James Young about the debate, Mr. Obama's performance and where the election is headed.

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Politics
1:40 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Wicker Questions Jobs Report

Wicker
Wicker campaign

Republican congressional candidate Brooks Wicker joined a chorus of conservatives who are claiming the September jobs report was manipulated by President Obama for political purposes.

The report compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistic was released Friday and shows the jobless rate fell to 7.8 percent, which is the lowest since January 2009. According to the report, the U.S. economy added 114,000 jobs last month while other figures were revised from July and August to add another 86,000 jobs.

But former GE CEO Jack Welch and Florida Congressman Allen West quickly denounced the report and accused Mr. Obama of massaging the figures.

In a message to supporters, Wicker said he is "sick of political games" being played by the president and his opponent, Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth.

"The math is simple and the jobs numbers just don’t add up. We deserve better than politicians  "revising" numbers, solely concerned about their own re-election. We need to fix the problem of Washington politicians. I will not compromise my integrity to win an election. We need to govern for future generations, and fix this mess Yarmuth helped create," he says.

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Politics
3:24 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Williams Interested in Judicial Appointment

Kentucky Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, would consider a judicial appointment if Governor Steve Beshear offered the position, a spokesperson confirmed.

Rumors have been swirling in Frankfort that Beshear is planning to offer his bitter rival Williams, who is a trial lawyer, the open circuit court seat in his southern Kentucky district. The seat was left vacant due to the death of Judge Eddie Lovelace last month.

"If there is an appointment offer, Sen. Williams will consider it," says Senate GOP spokeswoman Lourdes Báez-Schrader.

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Politics
1:15 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Holsclaw Defends Clerk’s Office Against State Audit

Holsclaw

Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw is criticizing Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen over a critical report and alleging the findings are motivated by his political ambitions.

Edelen’s audit of the clerk was released Wednesday and found Holsclaw’s office paid employees illegal Christmas bonuses and failed to fully document funds collected for local charities.

Among the audit’s findings was a check written by Holsclaw’s office to the Crusade for Children last year that was approximately $1,300 less than the amount collected. Besides poor documentation of the charitable fundings the audit showed that checks from the Crusade account went to breakfasts and lunches, fundraising awards and retirement party expenses.

It also found that around $99,000 in Christmas bonuses had been paid to employees last December, but the Kentucky Constitution prohibits that practice.

Holsclaw says previous state audits have not shown any accounting issues or wrongdoing, and she questions whether Edelen’s report is politically motivated.

"I can’t speak for this auditor. I don’t even know the man. I do know this; he has a reputation of being very ambitious," she says. "I will certainly say that I admire people who are ambitious. But I will not sit by and allow that to happen at the expense of the reputation of this office."

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