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
5:42 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

D'oh: Mourdock Accidentally Releases Reaction to Every SCOTUS Health Care Law Ruling

The campaign for Republican Senate Richard Mourdock accidently released the Indiana state treasurer's various reactions to the Supreme Court's possible rulings on President Obama's health care law.

The videos were briefly posted to YouTube before the Mourdock campaign yanked them, but not before media outlets were able to repost his different versions to the high court upholding or striking down the Affordable Care Act.

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Politics
3:55 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Grimes's Grandmother Dies at 92

The paternal grandmother of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes who appeared in TV ads during her granddaughter's successful campaign last year has died.

Thelma Lundergan McHugh died at her home in Jessamine County, surrounded by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and loved ones. She was 92.

"My grandmother instilled in me the confidence that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to and taught me by example the importance of being involved in my community," Grimes said in a news release.

Last fall, McHugh filmed a 30-second spot for Grimes during the 2011 general election along with the secretary of state's other maternal grandmother, Elsie Case. Political observers credited the commercial's creativity and positive pitch during an overall negative campaign season.

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Politics
7:58 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Budget Committee Approves City Spending Plan for Upcoming Fiscal Year

The Louisville Metro Council's Budget Committee passed a spending plan for the upcoming 2012-13 fiscal year by a unanimous vote.

Mayor Greg Fischer submitted his budget proposal to the council earlier this month, which had been criticized for its lack of funding to external agencies and hammered for cuts to indigent care at University Hospital.

Similar to last year, the council reallocated nearly $3 million in funds and added over $400,000 to non-profit groups for their programing.

City lawmakers were able to come up with those additional funds in part through an agreement with the Parking Authority of River City to make a payment of $300,000 in cash this year with additional payments of $150,000 over the next five fiscal years.

These additional funds were requested by council members who raised questions about a late transfer and payment for the two county parking garages that the city never received. 

The budget also includes money to focus on dealing with the problem of abandoned and vacant properties with close to $40,000 in funds being spent to mow grass at vacant lots throughout the city.

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Politics
5:27 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Waiting on Romney, McConnell Balks at Obama's Immigration Decision

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is waiting on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to take the lead on President Obama's decision to stop deporting the children of illegal immigrants.

McConnell is one of the president's strongest and quickest critics, but the GOP leader is being unusually quiet until Romney makes his position clear. He says members of his caucus are "withholding judgment" until the former Massachusetts governor takes the lead.

From The Washington Post:

“I think we’re going to wait and see what governor Romney has to say, and we’re going to be discussing his views on this,” McConnell told reporters at the Capitol Tuesday. “I think many of us may have similar views. Others may not.”

McConnell said he was deferring to Romney because the former Massachusetts governor is “the leader of our party from now until November — and, we hope, beyond.”

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Politics
4:01 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Yarmuth: McConnell is Endorsing Dishonest Campaigns

In a House floor speech Tuesday, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for opposing legislation that would require Super PACs to disclose the names of their contributors.

Last Friday, McConnell told a conservative think tank that keeping donors names a secret is a First Amendment right, but Yarmuth says anonymity allows individuals to distort the truth without being held accountable by the voters.

Check it out:

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Politics
3:58 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Mazzoli's Wife Dead at 78

The wife of former Congressman Ron Mazzoli has died, according to family friend and former aide.

Helen Mazzoli was 78 years old. According to WHAS-11, she reportedly suffered a stroke in the Mazzoli's home Monday.

Ron Mazzoli was a Democratic congressman who represented Kentucky's Third Congressional District from 1971 to 1995. The two were married in 1959, and have two children and four grandchildren.

Politics
3:33 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Paul Addresses Criticism, Death Threats Over Romney Endorsement

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., has received harsh criticism from his base over his recent endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the fall election.

Earlier this month, Paul announced his support for Romney despite the fact that his father—Congressman Ron Paul—is still pursuing delegates. Since the endorsement, vocal Tea Party activists have accused Sen. Paul of betraying the so-called liberty movement that brought him to office.

He has also received death threats but dismissed what he calls a small group of “Internet extremists” who are preaching violence against his family.

"The people that are over the top and even making death threats on the Internet, I hope they are not serious, but they are a small number of people making a disproportionate number of the comments," Paul told The Washington Times. "A lot of those people may not even vote or may not have voted for my father. They don’t represent the majority of the people that support what we’re fighting for."

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Politics
10:59 am
Tue June 19, 2012

McConnell Being Scolded for Opposing Disclose Act

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is being scolded for flip-flopping on campaign disclosures after his denunciation of legislation requiring that Super PAC donors provide their names.

Speaking before the American Enterprise Institute last week, McConnell argued that contributors to third party organization have a right to remain secret and that the Disclose Act is threatening their free speech. But local and national critics point out that wasn't McConnell's position a few years ago when he was at the forefront of opposing campaign finance reform.

"Money is essential in politics, and not something that we should feel squeamish about, provided the donations are limited and disclosed, everyone knows who's supporting everyone else," McConnell told NPR's Talk of the Nation in 2003.

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Politics
5:06 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

City Pledges Support to Reopen Old Kentucky Kingdom

File photo

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is pledging his support for Kentucky Kingdom days after Bluegrass Boardwalk Inc. announced it was pulling out of the project to re-open the old amusement park.

Last Friday, the Koch walked away from its deal with the state fair board despite approval of hefty tax incentives. Bluegrass Boardwwalk CEO Natalie Koch told WFPL that the board voted against the deal because the group’s business model wouldn’t fit well with state regulations and oversight.

Councilman David Tandy, D-4, is chairman of the labor and economic development committee. He says council members were surprised to learn the project had failed, but city and state leaders need to move forward.

"There are a number of different amusement park operators out there that I’m sure are wanting to take a look at this opportunity now that it has re-presented itself," he says. "And we’ll go forward from there."

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Politics
12:57 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Wicker Decries GOP Lethargy in Third District Race

Republican congressional candidate Brooks Wicker is frustrated by the lack of interest from the Louisville GOP to unseat Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth in the fall election.

The Louisville Young Republicans recently organized an event where Wicker criticized the "defeatist attitude" among fellow Republicans. He also decried the party’s executive committee for failing to support his bid and not having enough bumper stickers on their cars.

Wicker says those comments were taken out of context, but that local GOP activists and rank-and-file members are looking past the race.

"It’s a segment of the party that I’m talking about," he says. "I’m not talking about the leadership of the executive committee and I’m not talking about anybody that’s in a leadership position at this point. I’m talking about the other people when I’m reaching out to activists and to past participants in the Republican process."

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