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
2:53 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Former Governor Displeased With Obama, Warns Democrats Acting Like Socialists

Former Democratic Governor  John Y. Brown Jr., is disappointed with President Barack Obama's job performance and is criticizing the national party for "acting like socialists" over free enterprise.

Brown served as Kentucky's governor from 1979 to 1983, and is successful businessman and a revered patriarch among state Democrats past and present.

In an interview with Pure Politics, Brown said Mr. Obama doesn't understand the economy and is more interested in "taking care of people instead of taking care of our Constitution" and getting people back to work.

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Politics
2:22 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Louisville Metro Jobless Rate Up Slightly

The unemployment rate in the Louisville metro area increased to 8.3 percent in the month of June, which is a slight uptick, according to the Kentucky Office Of Employment & Training.

The numbers released Thursday show the jobless rate was 8.1 percent in May, but that unemployment is down significantly when compared to the 9.9 percent rate last year. Statistics in the report cover the 13-county metropolitan statistical area that includes surrounding Kentucky counties and Southern Indiana. It shows approximately 53,700 people are unemployed. 

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Education
8:23 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

JCPS District 2 Board Candidate Drops Out

Louisville attorney David Kaplan is withdrawing his candidacy for the Jefferson County School Board to support former Humana chairman David Jones Jr. for the District 2 seat.

The 41-year-old Kaplan is the father of two young children who attend JCPS. He is a managing partner at Miller Wells law firm and is a former Kentucky assistant attorney general.

Kaplan says he filed to run to make positive changes in education policy, but after meeting with Jones he found the two generally agree.

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Politics
7:28 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Davis Passes REINS Act to Young

Retiring Congressman Geoff Davis, R-Ky. announced Wednesday that fellow GOP Congressman Todd Young, R-In., will take over lead sponsorship of the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act.

For three years Davis has championed the legislation as a way to spur economic growth and tackle burdensome regulation. The REINS Act would require that Congress take an up-or-down vote on any major rules that would have more than $100 million annual economic impact.

The bill passed the GOP-controlled House last winter, but it went nowhere in the Democratic Senate. Davis announced last December he was not seeking re-election but that Young will take the lead on the REINS Act in the future.

"Todd Young is one of the hardest-working and most diligent new members of Congress. He has enthusiastically championed the REINS Act at home and in Washington," Davis said in a news release. "Congress has excessively delegated its constitutional responsibility for making the law of the land to unelected bureaucrats for too long.  The REINS Act is one of the most important structural reforms to restore this accountability.  I am confident that Congressman Young will be a tireless champion for the REINS Act going forward."

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Politics
5:00 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

LMPD Launching Criminal Probe Into Shanklin

Louisville Metro Council

The Louisville Metro Police Department is launching a criminal investigation regarding Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, and the financial management of her office.

The Public Integrity Unit has been working closely with the internal auditor’s office to determine if a formal probe was necessary. The auditor is examining an upholstery program for ex-offenders that served several of Shanklin's relatives instead.

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Politics
4:18 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

O’Connell Seeks to Lift Kentucky Juvenile Court Confidentiality

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell

After a controversial sexual assault case caught national attention, Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell announced Wednesday that he is crafting legislation to lift confidentiality in Kentucky Juvenile Courts.

Earlier this week, 17-year-old Savannah Dietrich faced a contempt charge for revealing the names of two boys who were found guilty of sexually assaulting her last year. Dietrich was upset with the plea bargain prosecutors made and revealed her attackers names via Twitter, which violated a court order to keep that information confidential.

She faced a maximum 180 days in jail and a $500 fine, but the attorneys for the boys dropped the contempt charges earlier this week.

O'Connell says the case demonstrates the strict state law is out of date and that juvenile court should be open to the public.

"Kentucky is in a long standing minority in connection with that and I think it's out of step and time to have an open and honest and vigorous debate on this subject," he says.

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Politics
2:49 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

McConnell Calls Democrats Bluff, Drops Filibuster on Bush Tax Cuts

File photo

In a surprise move, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., challenged Democrats to vote on a bill to end the Bush era tax cuts for wealthier Americans.

For the past week Senate Democrats have been pushing a bill similar to President Obama's plan to extend the tax relief for income only up to $250,000 annually. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised he had enough votes to pass the 50-vote threshold if not for McConnell blocking a procedural vote with a filibuster.

Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell says the tax hike will hurt job creators, but that he is lifting the filibuster so the American people can see where lawmakers stand.

"The only way to force people to take a stand is to make sure that today’s votes truly count. By setting these votes at a 50-vote threshold, nobody on the other side can hide behind a procedural vote while leaving their views on the actual bill itself a mystery to the people who sent them here," he says.

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Politics
11:18 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Donnelly Continues Depiction of Mourdock as Heckler

Indiana Democratic Senate candidate Joe Donnelly released a new television ad Wednesday that once again lampooned Republican Richard Mourdock as a heckler.

Last month, the Donnelly camp ran a spot with a Mourdock impersonator jeering the congressman from the bleachers. In the latest 30-second ad, Donnelly touts his small business background and advocates for cuts to government spending.

Donnelly also criticizes his GOP opponent for filing a lawsuit against the auto bailout and the commercial features a Mourdock impersonator driving by in a car yelling, "it's my way or the highway."

Check it out:

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Politics
6:44 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Scott Wants to Make Vacant Properties Safer

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, is concerned about lead poisoning at the dozens of vacant properties in her district.

Those abandoned homes have lead dust from deteriorated paint, renovation and demolition that is toxic and has been linked to a number of health problems such as lower child I.Q. and attention span, and increased aggressive behavior.

Scott's office is partnering with the Network Center for Community Change and the group Lock Up Lead to detoxify the 50 worst vacant properties in the district. She says besides creating blight and economic hardships in many neighborhoods, abandoned homes also pose an environmental risk.

"I’m definitely concerned about the safety of some of these properties that are in District 1 that are deteriorating and literally leaning to the side and falling apart. And also the issue of lead, the toxic lead levels in some of these properties," she says.

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