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
6:41 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Wicker Lashes Out at C-J Over Yarmuth Endorsement

In a message to supporters, Republican Brooks Wicker is attacking The Louisville Courier-Journal editorial board for endorsing Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth in Kentucky's Third Congressional District race.

The newspaper gave Yarmuth the nod for a fourth term Sunday, citing his defense of President Obama’s health care overhaul, knowledge of the issues and public criticisms of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. It goes on to argue that Wicker is a "Tea Party enthusiast" who has made generalities when talking about solutions to the country’s problems.

Wicker campaign manager Michael Wray says the editorial board made its decision without interviewing his candidate and overlooked the GOP challengers’ 5-point plan for economic recovery.

"We did not get one invitation—not one—from the editorial board," he says. "The editorial board just didn’t do its due diligence in informing the voters. They based it on assumptions. Their endorsement was not surprising, but the process that they went through to get to their conclusion was astounding."

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Politics
5:05 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Political Satirist Mo Rocca Screening New Documentary in Clarksville

Political satirist Mo Rocca is hosting a screening of his new documentary "Electoral Dysfunction" in southern Indiana this week.

The film takes an irreverent look at voting while poking fun at the Electoral College, and will be shown on Tuesday at the Bass Pro Shops, located on 951 E. Lewis and Clark Parkway in Clarksville. Rocca is a writer and comedian, who is a frequent panelist on NPR's "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" which airs Saturdays at 11 a.m. on WFPL-FM.

Watch the trailer:

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Politics
4:39 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Mourdock Calls for Senate Investigation Into Benghazi Attack

Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock

Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is calling for an investigation into the attack on a U.S. Consulate in Libya that resulted in the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. foreign service personnel.

The demand for a Senate investigation comes on the day of the final presidential debate, which will focus on foreign policy and is expected to center on the assault in Benghazi.

In a campaign statement, Mourdock also calls on his Democratic opponent Joe Donnelly to request that his party's leaders support the probe into the matter.

"Since the attack at Benghazi, we have heard conflicting reports coming out of the White House about what led up to the attack and whether or not proper security was provided to our personnel at the embassy," Mourdock said in a news release. "Therefore today, I call for a complete investigation into the attack by the Senate, and I call on Congressman Donnelly to demand the same from Harry Reid and other Democrat leaders on Capitol Hill. It is critical to our national interests and security to have this tragedy thoroughly investigated."

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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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