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
5:18 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

John McCain Frustrated by Rand Paul's Use of Filibuster on Defense Bill

Sens. Rand Paul and John McCain
Credit U.S. Senate

Speaking on the Senate floor Monday, U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Az., warned that Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., delaying a vote on the defense bill could be used as an example of the need for filibuster reform.

Paul has been pushing to force an amendment vote on the controversial National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens who are judged to be involved in terrorism. He says it's important to protect those individuals constitutional rights and has jousted with fellow Republican over the rights of "crazy bastards" on the floor.

But McCain—who was using support for the measure as a sign of bipartisan cooperation in the Senate—has had enough with Paul's tactics.

From Roll Call:

On the floor, McCain said that the “Senator from Kentucky” gave notice that he would object to any unanimous consent requests or votes, a stance that would prevent the Senate from adopting the manager’s package and any other miscellaneous amendments. McCain later confirmed to CQ Roll Call that he was referring to Paul when he spoke.

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Politics
4:17 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

City Lawmakers Skeptical of Violence Task Force Position

Credit Creative Commons

Louisville Metro Council members of both parties are questioning Mayor Greg Fischer for creating a new director for violence prevention in the wake of a West End shooting spree.

A 37-member task force group was formed after three people were fatally shot  in the Parkland neighborhood in May. Among the group’s dozens of recommendations was hiring a full-time coordinator to work on violence prevention and implement efforts in city government.

But Democratic and Republican lawmakers are unsure about the cost and argue the position is redundant because Metro Government already has a chief of police and director of public safety.

Councilman Kelly Downard, R-16, says Fischer was right to respond to the rash of homicides, but that his office hasn’t communicated what the new director is expected to do or what experience they should have.

"Is this the answer? Just to hire somebody? I mean throwing money to someone who has knowledge of the community and can mediate—I mean my gosh," he says. "The whole job description sounds like it was written by somebody who just wanted to use adjectives, but not any concrete experience."

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Politics
11:46 am
Mon December 3, 2012

State Lawmaker Defends John Yarmuth from Mitch McConnell Biographer

Newly elected state Senator Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, lashes out a Senate Republican Mitch McConnell in a Courier-Journal editorial, saying the GOP leader is only interested in attaining more power.

McGarvey was defending Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth from McConnell biographer John David Dyche, who penned a stinging article comparing to a "yapping toy poodle" among other things. The Dyche article was in response to Yarmuth's cheerleading for a challenge to McConnell in 2014.

What's interesting about McGarvey's piece is that it acknowledges the origins of the Yarmuth-McConnell divide. Both men were once moderate Republican staffers who worked for former U.S. Senator Marlow Cook at the same time.

McGarvey says since then Yarmuth has become more liberal but taken principled stands while McConnell is only interested in accumulating more power.

From The C-J:

Unlike Yarmuth, and their former boss, McConnell’s career has not been forged in ideological fidelity, civil discourse or bipartisan cooperation.

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Politics
8:00 am
Mon December 3, 2012

King Disagrees With Fischer's Higher Tax Suggestion for Housing Trust Fund

Metro Councilman Jim King
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Council President Jim King says it isn’t practical to raise taxes for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, despite Mayor Greg Fischer’s suggestion.

The council set up the trust fund to give grants and loans for affordable housing activities, such as new construction, home rehabilitation, payment assistance and emergency repair. But the fund has struggled to find an adequate revenue stream since it was first formed in 2008.

After months of saying that residents had no appetite for higher taxes, Fischer told The Courier-Journal his administration supports a one percent increase of the insurance premium tax to pay for the trust fund if council members agreed.

But King says raising taxes of any kind would be a burdensome to residents and small businesses in a tough economy.

"I would have to say that I didn’t expect (Fischer's) comment because I wasn’t aware he was interested in adding anything to that tax. But I don’t think that the council as a whole is in a position to support that right now," he says.

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Politics
10:44 pm
Sat December 1, 2012

Noise and Notes: Betty Bayé (Still) Speaks!

Journalist Betty Baye

For over 30 years, Betty Winston Bayé wrote an op-ed column in the Louisville Courier-Journal until a round of layoffs last year ended her stint.

"I think what really hurt was I never really got a chance to say goodbye to my readers," she says.

But Bayé is still writing, and putting her views on the table—whether people agree or disagree—in radio and television.

Besides becoming a motivational speaker, she was recently inducted into the National Association of Black Journalist’s Hall of Fame and has plenty to share about African-Americans in media.

Bayé stopped by to talk about leaving C-J, the state of journalism and why it's important to teach the Civil Rights era as living American history.

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Politics
3:53 pm
Sat December 1, 2012

Daniel Mongiardo Mulling 2015 Gubernatorial Bid

Former Kentucky Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo
Credit wikipedia

Former Kentucky Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo is considering a run for governor in 2015.

Mongiardo is among several Democrats—including current Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, Attorney Jack Conway and former State Auditor Crit Luallen—who are rumored to be running in three years.

The Hazard, Ky. physician exited public life two years after two failed bids for the U.S. Senate and being dropped by Governor Steve Beshear as his running mate for re-election.

But as the Lexington Herald-Leader's Jack Brammer reports, Mongiardo is searching for a entry point back into Frankfort politics.

From The Herald-Leader:

Mongiardo said Friday he is enjoying his life as an ear, nose and throat surgeon in Hazard with his wife and two children. "Stepping out of politics for a while has given me the perspective of what many people not in politics see," he said. "People are frustrated with the lack of progress and compromise in government."

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Politics
11:14 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Councilman Dan Johnson Joins Roundtable Discussion on Louisville NBA Team

Credit NBA

Louisville Metro Councilman Dan Johnson is joining a panel discussion in downtown Friday on bringing an NBA team to the city.

The roundtable will feature Jefferson County Judge Executive Bryan Matthews and attorney J. Bruce Miller, who has been an advocate for bringing professional basketball to the city.

Mayor Greg Fischer has also been a vocal proponent of bringing the NBA to Louisville, but he's faced criticism from University of Louisville officials. Supporters are optimistic, but a study by a pair of media executives outlined how the cost of the NBA outweighs the benefits.

From WHAS-11:

A new study from Cambridge Economic Research showed a relatively unfavorable impact that an NBA team could have on Louisville.
 
It concluded that Louisville could not sustain a pro franchise.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Young Opens Offices to Toys for Tots Campaign

Indiana Ninth District Congressman Todd Young is opening his offices in Jeffersonville and Bloomington as drop off locations for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots campaign.

From Young's office:

"As someone who served in the Marine Corps, I'm excited to partner with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in their Toys for Tots Program," Young said in a news release. "Especially in tough economic times, this is a great way to ensure that children around the district have a memorable Christmas."

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Politics
1:49 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Jim King Likely to be Louisville Metro Council President for Third Consecutive Year

Louisville Metro Councilman Jim King
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Councilman Jim King, D-10, is favored to serve an unprecedented third consecutive one-year term as council president.

Since city and county governments merged, council presidents have traditionally held the seat for a year before stepping down. King informed his Democratic colleagues—who hold a 17-to-9 majority—and Republicans of his intentions this month, and no other candidates have emerged.

"I think I have earned the trust and I want to keep the trust of both sides of the body—Republicans and Democrats. And I do try to work in a manner that is fair to both sides, and moving forward the legislative agenda of the council," King said.

"I think that the council members see me as someone who can lead them, but I can’t lead them without their support and I certainly value that."

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Politics
11:04 am
Thu November 29, 2012

McConnell to Obama: Remember, You Lost Kentucky

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

Leading up to the fiscal cliff negotiations, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly reminded President Obama about his 24-point thumping in Kentucky in a private phone call.

The conversation typifies the icy relationship between McConnell and the president—the two have rarely met, spoken or been seen in public together.

As Politico reports, the GOP leader was warning Mr. Obama early to cool on the campaigning if he wants to make progress with lawmakers.

From Politico:

Don Stewart, McConnell’s chief spokesman, said McConnell’s comments to Obama “were in the context of trying to find a solution” to the budget crisis. The GOP leader told the president that continuing to engage in a public-relations blitz against Republicans “could have the opposite effect of what he was trying to accomplish,” the spokesman said.

Stewart added: "This, by the way, is sound advice."

The White House declined to comment.

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