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
10:30 pm
Sat August 11, 2012

Noise and Notes: Sarah Durand's Tea Party and The Louisville Paper

Durand and Bailey
Gabe Bullard WFPL News

The Tea Party appears stronger than ever with Republican primary victories for Senate in Missouri, Texas and Indiana most recently.

It is a movement that has been successful in defeating establishment incumbents, pulling GOP leaders further to the right and gaining a seat at the table. This week it was announced that Tea Party favorite Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has a keynote speech at the Republican National Convention.

But Tea Party groups and activists have been criticized for their views and blamed for the current gridlock in Congress.

I spoke with Louisville Tea Party President Sarah Durand about compromise, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and what it’s like leading such a forceful—and controversial—group.

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Politics
7:26 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Council Overrides Fischer Landmarks Veto

In a historic vote, the Louisville Metro Council rejected Mayor Greg Fischer’s veto of the landmarks ordinance by an 18-to-7 vote.

The legislation was aimed at changing several provisions of the way the city designates historic sites and structures. Among the amendments was a change to allow a majority of council members to halt a decision made by the Landmarks Commission for further review.

The mayoral veto was the second in Fischer's administration, and was the first to be rejected by the council since city and county governments merged.

For months, council members held public forums and debated the measure until it passed last week. But Fischer vetoed the bill at the urging of preservationists, who argued the amendments favor developers and endanger the city's heritage. In a letter to city lawmakers, the mayor said council members were overstepping their bounds and politicizing the process.

Councilman Kelly Downard, R-16, voted for the ordinance and stood against the veto. He says the mayor admitted there were problems in the landmarks process and the council needed to step in due to a lack of oversight.

"We’re being told that the fabric of our heritage will be permanently diminished by providing oversight by this council. However, a review of the facts makes this seem a bit of a contradiction," he says. "Even the mayor in his veto message admits the Bauer site might have been a mistake. Oversight was needed, but it wasn’t there."

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Politics
3:54 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Donnelly Releases Poll Showing Lead Over Mourdock

Donnelly Campaign

In the Indiana Senate race, Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly has released a poll showing a statistical tie with Republican State Treasurer Richard Mourdock in the fall election.

The internal survey of 601 likely voters shows Donnelly leading by 1 percentage point with 44 percent over Mourdock at 40 percent and Libertarian Andrew Horning with 4 percent. Indiana is leaning Republican in the presidential race and will likely go to Mitt Romney in the presidential race, but the Senate contest is gaining national attention for its competitiveness.

Donnelly says the race will be competitive and close until November, but that his polling shows voters are exhausted with partisan bickering in Congress.

"You know it is about as close to a tie ballgame as you can get. And what that’s about is the people of Indiana just want solutions. They don’t want people fighting or being extremely partisan. We want more jobs and more opportunity, and people to work together," he says. "And that’s why I think we’ve been successful to this point because we’re talking about issues."

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Politics
10:34 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Colbert Lampoons Papa John's

Comparing Papa John's pizza to "the ass of a raccoon that drowned in your birdbath" political satirist Stephen Colbert mocked founder and CEO John Schnatter for his opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

Schnatter, who is a well-known Republican fundraiser, said President Obama's health care overhaul will increase the cost of pizza and hurt business. Since then, he has been criticized for being a cheapskate and mistreating employees, with threats of a boycott by Democratic activists.

Watch below:

The Colbert Report
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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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