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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Local News
1:22 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

TARC Leader Responds to Bus Shooting

WFPL File Photo

The Transit Authority of River City is reacting to a brazen homicide that was committed on a bus this week.

According to the Jefferson County Coroner's office, 17-year-old Rico Robinson Jr., died Monday afternoon from a single gunshot to the head while riding a TARC bus.

TARC Executive Director Barry Barker released the following statement:

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Politics
8:00 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Beshear Unsure Tighter Gun Laws Could Prevent Massacre

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear won't commit to additional gun control laws in light of the shooting spree at a Colorado theater last week.

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Politics
3:12 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Kentucky Club for Growth Releases General Assembly Scorecard

The Kentucky Club for Growth has released its legislative report card for the last two sessions of the General Assembly.

The state chapter is part of the larger conservative political action committee, which advocates for lower taxes, cuts in spending and limited government. Its national scorecards often target Democratic legislators, but it also criticizes Republican lawmakers for being "Republican In Name Only" (RINO) who vote against the club's taxation agenda.

The report card rates only four lawmakers with its top distinction of "Defenders of Economic Freedom" with a score over 85 percent. It gives Republican state Representatives Jim DeCesare of Warren County its top rating overall.

Andy Hightower is the executive director of the Kentucky Club for Growth. He says most Kentucky lawmakers continue to talk about controlling spending, but their rhetoric does not match their votes.

“The people who make decisions are again trying to spend as much as they can despite whatever restraints the revenue levels put on them. I will say this year, the budget reflected these constraints more than in the recent past. The level of spending only increased about 2.7 percent,” he says.

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Politics
10:43 am
Mon July 23, 2012

New Pence Ad Focuses on Jobs

Indiana Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence launched his latest television ad Monday, which focused on bringing jobs to the state. 

The 30-second spot features Pence recounting to a crowd of supporters how he found himself out of work as a young man with a new family. It doesn't contain specific proposal to attract new businesses, but emphasizes that bringing new jobs to Indiana is a chief priority.

"I want Indiana to be known everywhere as the state that works, with better jobs, bigger paychecks and unlimited opportunities," he says in the ad.

Check it out:

 

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Politics
8:30 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Tea Party, MoveOn to Host Debate Over Coarsening Political Dialogue

The Louisville Tea Party and Kentucky MoveOn.org organizers are teaming up to discuss ways to find solutions on divisive political issues.

The two groups will host a debate Tuesday on issues including the national debt and campaign finance reform, with participants seeking to find common ground. It will feature former Republican congressional candidate Larry Hausman, who served on the local Tea Party board, and Kentucky MoveOn organizer Keith Rouda.

Louisville Tea Party President Sarah Durand says the two groups don’t agree on much, but the country’s political dialogue needs to improve.

"It doesn’t have to be all about screaming and getting angry, and you can disagree in a way that’s still very respectful to the other person. And you have a much better chance at coming up with some compromises and some solutions," she says.

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Politics
9:36 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

Noise and Notes: The Racial Achievement Gap in JCPS and The Contentious Landmarks Ordinance

Louisville Public Media

A report by the Bluegrass Institute showed the achievement gaps in Jefferson County Public Schools along lines of race are actually wider in the East End of Louisville.

The conservative think tank unveiled some troubling numbers last month and organizations supportive of charter schools, such as the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), argue the report underscores the student-assignment plan has failed African-American students.

JCPS officials have said they are aware of the problem and are committed to changing the numbers, but impatience is growing as three seats open on the school board this year.

I spoke with WFPL’s education reporter Devin Katayama and former Louisville Metro Councilman Dr. Deonte Hollowell, who is a BAEO member, about the report’s ramifications on the education debate.

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Politics
8:45 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Adkins Demands Massie Disavow Super PAC Over Director's DUI Arrest

In Kentucky's Fourth District congressional race, Democratic candidate Bill Adkins is demanding Republican Thomas Massie renounce a super PAC over its executive director pleading guilty to driving under the influence.

Earlier this week, The Courier-Journal reported that Liberty For All leader Preston Bates faced DUI charges from an incident in July 2011. The police report said Bates crashed his car into a fence, told officers he was an "anarchist" and had a blood alcohol level of 0.121 percent, which is above the .08 percent legal limit.

Bates's attorney entered a guilty plea for the 23-year-old on Wednesday. He will pay a fine and have his driver's license suspended for 30 days.

In the crowded GOP primary, Bates led the Texas-based super PAC, which put in over $500,000 to support Massie over his opponents.

In a statement, Adkins says Massie needs to tell the group to get out of Kentucky and argues their positions are "un-American" due to Bates' comments.

"I call upon Tom Massie to disavow the Ron Paul/Texas Liberty For All SuperPAC Tell them to leave Kentucky and stay out of this race for Congress," he says. "Liberty for All and its leaders are far out of touch with the values of Kentuckians in the Fourth District. Their executive director is a confirmed anarchist. Anarchists do not believe in any authority, anarchists have no respect for government and anarchists often use violent means to achieve their goals. Their positions are un-American."

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Politics
5:27 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Beshear Creates Task Force to Address State Alcoholic Beverage Laws

Citing concerns with outdated and contradictory regulations, Governor Steve Beshear announced Wednesday the creation of a task force to study of Kentucky's alcoholic beverage control laws.

"Many groups, including licensees, state regulators, law enforcement and private citizen shave called for statutory reform of our alcoholic beverage laws. They agree that Kentucky’s current laws do not adequately account for a 21st Century economy and standard of law," Beshear said in a news release. "A task force that includes members from a broad spectrum of backgrounds and professions is best suited to identify the problems, debate policy and make recommendations for improvements."

The state has over 13,000 licenses issued to manufacturers, distributors, and retailers for alcoholic beverages, with more than 70 different license types to regulate those operations.

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Politics
1:08 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Mourdock TV Ad Targets Donnelly Health Care Votes

In the Indiana Senate race, Republican Richard Mourdock launched his first television ad of the general election on Wednesday, attacking Democrat Joe Donnelly for supporting health care reform.

The 30-second spot features Mourdock looking directly at the camera and promising to vote for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The state treasurer goes on to say that President Obama's  overhaul will hurt small businesses, raise taxes and cuts Medicare by $500 billion.

Check it out:

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Politics
9:16 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Begala, Kristol Talk Presidential Politics at Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Event

Bill Kristol, left, and Paul Begala, right, discuss the 2012 presidential race.

Democratic strategist Paul Begala and Republican commentator Bill Kristol were in Louisville on Tuesday evening to discuss the ongoing presidential campaign at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s annual business summit.

Polling numbers shows President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney are locked in a tight race this fall with a small margin of undecided voters. The negative attacks are beginning to escalate with both campaigns accusing the other of misleading voters. 

Political observers note that Mr. Obama has run harsh ads against his GOP challenger on television, which is unusual for an incumbent president seeking re-election.

Begala a CNN analyst and  an adviser for Priorities USA, a super PAC supporting the president. He says Mr. Obama needs to run as a challenger who will outline what the next four years will hold if he is re-elected.

"When times are tough and the president tells you, ‘I’ve done a great job’ people get resentful. They say ‘really, cause I’m still hurting out here.’ What I would do instead is lay out my agenda for a second-term and run as if he were a challenger," he says. "I’m all for attacking Romney and I’m doing it full-time. But he’s also got to say what I can’t do, which is here’s what I will do if you give me this job for the next four years."

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