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
10:40 am
Wed September 12, 2012

McConnell Condemns Killing of U.S. Diplomats in Libya

Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., condemned the attacks against the U.S. Consulate in Libya that resulted in the murder of four American diplomats, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The consulate in Benghazi was bombarded by a group of protestors who were furious over an amateur film released via YouTube that mocked Muhammad, Islam's founding prophet. According to reports, Stevens was leaving the building for a safer location when gunmen launched an attack.

From McConnell's office:

"These attacks remind us of the sacrifices made on a daily basis by foreign service officers, diplomatic security personnel, and our Marine Security Guards.

I join my colleagues in strongly condemning the murder of these innocent Americans. And I support employing every available tool at our disposal to ensure the safety of Americans overseas and to hunt down those responsible for these attacks.

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Local News
2:42 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Las Vegas Investor Buys Muhammad Ali's Boyhood Home

Muhammad Ali in 1967.
Ira Rosenberg Wikimedia Commons

The childhood home of boxing legend Muhammad Ali has been purchased by a Las Vegas real estate investor.

Last month, the single-story home in west Louisville’s Parkland neighborhood where Ali grew up was put up for sale. State lawmakers and Metro Council members had recently held a ceremony placing a historical marker in front of the house.

Jared Weiss is president and CEO of Motion Properties, and bought the home earlier this week for $70,000.

In a telephone interview with WFPL News, Weiss says he is a lifelong fan of Ali and wants to restore the home to honor the former heavyweight-boxing champion.

"Right now my options are open. I’d probably speak with the city and see what they think I could do with the property possibly. I’d like to refurbish it maybe back to the original look it had in the 1950s when he was growing up in it," he says. "Possibly a museum, but right now the options are open. But it’s definitely going to be part of the legacy for Muhammad Ali."

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Politics
12:25 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Area Leaders Mark Low-Key Anniversary of September 11

Several area leaders are marking the eleventh anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, but overall the commemorations are taking a less political tone than in year's past.

In Washington, D.C., congressional Democrats and Republicans plan to stand outside the Capitol for a moment of silence in an act of bipartisanship. At ground zero in New York City, the family members of the victims are reading their loved ones names, but no elected officials were included in the ceremony.

In a statement, Congressman John Yarmuth says Americans should seek to learn that facing the country's problems requires a transcendence of politics.

From Yarmuth's office:

"Eleven years ago, terrorists attacked our nation and killed thousands of our fellow Americans. Today, we remember their lives. We grieve with their families and loved ones. And we reflect on the national unity that arose from the ruin of that calamitous day, reminded of our shared purpose: to keep our country safe and to preserve the values that shape our national character.

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Politics
8:08 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Coburn Campaigns With Mourdock Against Health Care Reform

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Ok., campaigned on behalf of fellow Republican and Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock at an Indianapolis hospital on Monday to outline alternatives to the Affordable Care Act.

The Mourdock campaign outline its health care plan that would include making all health care expenses tax deductible, allow insurance companies to compete across state lines and enact additional medical malpractice insurance and liability reforms.

Mourdock has been running against President Obama's health care overhaul since the GOP primary, and has called the legislation a disaster.

From the Mourdock campaign:

The Senator and Mr. Mourdock huddled with physicians and administrators at the Indiana Orthopedic Hospital (IOH) to discuss the legislation’s impact on their practices and patients.

"This disastrous legislation is killing jobs, pushing folks off their insurance plans and actually raising the cost of health care. It’s also killing providers and damaging our hospitals,” said Mourdock. “We need to repeal it. But, just as important, we need to replace it with market-oriented, patient-and-doctor driven reforms that actually reduce health care costs,” he continued.

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Politics
2:57 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Paul Challenges Krugman to Debate Over Government Employment Figures

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is calling out New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman following a brief debate over public sector employment on Sunday.

The two appeared on ABC's This Week and had a disagreement over the size of government with Paul arguing that the size of government employment has ballooned since President Obama took office. Krugman pointed out that public sector jobs have actually declined since January 2009, but Paul says he was talking about federal workers only.

Paul says Krugman is being dishonest and "playing games with numbers", adding a challenge to a public debate to the mix.

From Sen. Paul's office:

"Professor Krugman argues statistics in his usual fashion: making them up or adding in irrelevant information to prove his predetermined point. On Sunday’s “This Week,” he and I were debating the size of government workforce under President Obama. The only logical number we could have been discussing was the number of federal workers. Since the last time I checked, Barack Obama was the President, not a mayor or governor.

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Politics
1:51 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Petraeus Discusses Iraq Surge, Leadership Style at U of L Address

CIA Director David Petraeus

Central Intelligence Agency Director and retired four-star General David Petraeus says strategic counter-insurgency won out over brute force in the Iraq war.

Petraeus spoke at the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center on Monday, where he discussed different leadership styles. He was invited to speakby Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who praised Petraeus as one of the country's best leaders.

The address bypassed partisan politics and noticeablly avoided security issues on the eve of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Instead, Petraeus offered insights into the U.S. military’s surge in Iraq that many credit with quelling much of the violence in 2007.

Petraeus says the amount of force that was used was less important than the larger idea behind the new strategy to win the conflict.

"Indeed with violence threatening to tear apart the very fabric of Iraqi society no surge of forces—no matter how large­—would have succeeded if we had not also changed our overarching approach," he says.

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Politics
9:00 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Council to Honor U of L Economist

Economist Paul Coomes
The University of Louisville

The Metro Council will honor retired University of Louisville economist Paul Coomes at its meeting this Thursday.

Last week, the council’s Budget Committee passed a resolution to thank Coomes for his service over the years, which included several economic development studies and advising the council on economic forecasts to help draft city budgets since merger.

Councilman Kelly Downard, R-16, is vice chairman of the budget committee. He says Coomes was an invaluable consultant who helped the city face the national recession.

"He was a reliable source. One that we trusted. And in government trust is very, very important. We trusted his input and he never let us down. He was very, very good," he says.

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Politics
6:30 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Scott Welcomes ‘Talk to Greg’ Forum to District 1

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Woodson Scott, D-1, is welcoming Mayor Greg Fischer to her district for his ‘Talk to Greg’ forum on Monday.

The meeting will give residents a chance to talk directly with Fischer and other city officials about services such as public works, police and parks.

Scott says constituents have a number of issues they want to discuss with the mayor, such as violent crime, and vacant and abandoned properties, which are plaguing District 1.

"The lack of economic development and growth in the district with little to no retail or sit-down restaurants throughout both the west and southwest parts of the district," she says. "People are going to be very concerned about domestic violence and gun violence, and what’s really being down by the administration to address that. So a wealth of issues are going to be brought up."

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Politics
3:43 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

Paul Jousts with Krugman Over Economy, Public Sector Jobs

Warning that business is afraid of President Obama's policies, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., joined ABC's This Week for a roundtable discussion on Sunday to discuss the sluggish economic recovery and the presidential race.

The latest figures show the economy added a meager 96,000 jobs in August and that unemployment fell to 8.1 percent because 368,000 people quit looking for work. The panelist on This Week centered on Mr. Obama's record and the lack of specifics offered by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to fix the economy.

A noticeable disagreement was between Paul and New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman on whether public sector jobs have increased or not since Mr. Obama took office.

Check it out:

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Politics
10:30 pm
Sat September 8, 2012

Noise and Notes: Tavis Smiley on Poverty, Newsroom Diversity and President Obama

Public radio and television talk-show host Tavis Smiley will be in Kentucky this month as the keynote speaker at a forum on poverty and the shrinking middle-class.

Smiley is known to most as a journalist and political commentator, but most recently he’s taken on the title of advocate for the poor.

In “The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto”, a new book co-authored with Cornel West, he argues that poverty is the new American norm and that neither political party is paying much attention. The statistics are daunting, as a radio documentary conducted by NPR earlier this year showed just that.

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