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
3:46 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Howard Dean's PAC Gets Behind Yoder’s Uphill Battle

Democrat Shelli Yoder

A political action committee founded by former Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Governor Howard Dean is backing Shelli Yoder in Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District race.

Democracy for America unveiled six key races for Congress on Wednesday that the organization will focus on in the 2012 election. The PAC is aimed at building a dozen "progressive powerhouse" in the House and this is the first crop attempting to give Democratic challengers a booster in their general election bids.

Yoder is challenging Republican incumbent Todd Young, but has struggled to keep face with the GOP freshman's fundraising totals.

She says it is an honor to receive Dean’s support and she hopes it will give her campaign a boost.

"We are continuing to work hard and we’re doing everything we can to win back this seat. I think that the 9th District, folks weren’t really paying attention to the race. But in the last few weeks we’ve certainly have work as hard as we can making sure that voters feel like they will have a voice and an opportunity to gain back that voice come November 6," he says.

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Politics
11:40 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Fundraising Letter Underscores Mourdock Trouble With Moderate Voters

Republican Richard Mourdock

In the Indiana Senate race, polling has shown Republican Richard Mourdock is having trouble gaining traction with moderate voters in his battle with Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly and a fundraising letter may indicate why.

It was Mourdock's ties to the Tea Party that helped him upset longtime Sen. Dick Lugar in the GOP primary, but days after his victory a message to voters continued to attack Lugar as a traitor to the conservative movement.

From Howey Politics Indiana:

"Conservatives scored a tremendous victory in Indiana just a few weeks ago," the Mourdock letter read. "Against all odds and with the establishment working day and night to defeat me, we retired a 36-year entrenched incumbent senator, who routinely betrayed conservative voters to push through some of the most radical aspects of President Obama's agenda."

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Politics
10:29 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Conway "Might" Run for Governor

In an interview with Pure Politics, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway says he "might" run for governor in 2015.

Political rumors are swirling and the speculation is that Conway will be a top contender to succeed Gov. Steve Beshear in three years, but the attorney general remains coy—at least on the record—for now.

Watch below:

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Politics
9:10 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Massie Pounding Adkins in Fundraising

In Kentucky's Fourth Congressional District race, Republican Thomas Massie raised ten times more than Democrat Bill Adkins during the second quarter.

According to Federal Election Commission report, Massie, who is the Lewis County Judge-Executive, garnered $247,493 compared to $21,783 by the Adkins campaign. Massie also has some notable contributors, including the infamous Koch brothers.

From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

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Politics
2:00 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

McConnell Confronted With Tea Party Criticism

File photo

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is defending his leadership role against conservative critics.

Later this month, McConnell will join fellow Kentucky Senator Rand Paul at a Tea Party rally in the state Capitol. The two are expected to discuss President Obama’s health care law, which has been a punching bag for GOP leaders since its passage.

But observers have noted that McConnell has been at odds with the Tea Party movement since its launch three years ago.

Speaking with WHAS radio host Mandy Connell on Tuesday, McConnell said he has addressed Tea Party groups before and their support is important to have.

"My view is the Tea Party is an important part of the conservative base. If you look at my record leading the opposition to the president over the last three and a half years, I’ve got a lot of support among Tea Party members and I don’t view this as a potentially hostile experience," he says.

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Politics
1:11 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Papa John's CEO: Health Care Law Will Raise Pizza Prices

In a conference call, Papa John's CEO and founder John Schnatter spoke out against President Obama's health care law, arguing the Affordable Care Act will increase the cost of pizza.

From Politico:

"Our best estimate is that the Obamacare will cost 11 to 14 cents per pizza, or 15 to 20 cents per order from a corporate basis," Schnatter said.

"We're not supportive of Obamacare, like most businesses in our industry. But our business model and unit economics are about as ideal as you can get for a food company to absorb Obamacare," he said.

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Politics
12:57 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Beshear Orders Flags Half-Staff to Honor Sikh Temple Shooting Victims

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is ordering that flags at all state government buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of the victims who were killed during a shooting rampage at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin.

The massacre claimed six victims and the alleged gunman has been identified as Wade Michael Page, who has ties with the white supremacist movement. It is has been reported that Page had a criminal record and a "checkered career" in the U.S. military, but was still able to obtain a firearm legally.

Beshear condemned the shooting and said the commonwealth stands with the victims and their families.

"Sunday’s attack at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin was an appalling and unnecessary act of violence," he said in a news release.  "Kentucky stands to honor the victims of this assault and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and all others who were affected by this tragedy."

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Politics
10:30 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Rand Paul Will Speak at Republican Convention

Given a position over his father, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is listed as one of the speakers at the Republican National Convention that will officially make former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney the party's nominee.

From CBS News:

In an effort to reach out the libertarian and Tea Party-minded members of the Republican Party, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, the son of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, will also have a speaking role.

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Politics
5:31 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Council Mulling Fischer Landmarks Veto

The Louisville Metro Council could override Mayor Greg Fischer's veto of contentious changes to the landmarks ordinance this week, but one member says the administration is twisting lawmakers' arms.

The legislation amended several provisions of the four-decade-old law that governs historic site declarations, but Fischer agreed with preservationists that the changes politicized the process and violated the separation of powers between the council and mayor's office.

Since city and county governments merged in 2003, there have been four mayoral vetoes of council measures and lawmakers have never mustered the necessary two-thirds vote to override.

Councilman Kelly Downard, R-16, who voted for the landmarks bill, says lawmakers have bipartisan agreement this time and should overturn the mayor's decision in part because Fischer is overstepping his bounds.

"The vote Thursday is not going to be about the ordinance again, it's going to be about overriding a veto. So there are other issues that come into play beyond the merits of the ordinance itself," he says. "And I'm hoping we end up with the 18 votes that we need. I just think (Fischer's) attempting to usurp some power of the council and I'm not exactly sure why. This is not a major issue for him to pull out the veto power."

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Politics
12:45 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Libertarian Vice Presidential Candidate Visits Kentucky

Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate Jim Gray made a few stops in Kentucky on Monday to tout his party's small government message

Gray is a former California judge who is running on the libertarian presidential ticket with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Gray was in Mt. Washington earlier today visiting a small business and also made an appearance on 84 WHAS radio.

He told talk show host Mandy Connell that his party is fighting to be included in the nationally televised debates, but that is it an uphill battle.

"By the end of September if we’re polling well enough to be in the debates then we will be. There are three for the president, one for the vice president and honestly I cannot wait to debate against Joe Biden," he says.

National surveys have shown the Libertarian ticket carrying six percent of the vote against President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, which is quietly raising concern among GOP officials that the Johnson-Gray ticket could be a spoiler for Romney.

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