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
8:45 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Mayor’s Violence Task Force Holds First Meeting

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s Violence Prevention Workgroup is having its first meeting Monday.

The 37-member task force includes business, civic and religious leaders and was formed in response to a brazen shooting in the Parkland neighborhood last month. Among the group’s first goals will be to develop an inventory of youth services and long-term strategies to address escalating crime.

But the group has been criticized for being too large and its lack of women and young adults appointed by the mayor. Others have said the task force isn't moving quickly enough as more heinous shootings have occurred since the initial violence spurred its creation.

University of Louisville Arts & Sciences Dean J. Blaine Hudson is chairing the task force. He says concerns about the group are valid, but those criticisms should not distract from efforts to deter systemic violence.

“You’ll have people who legitimately feel the need to speak out. What they might be able to contribute to the larger process is a whole other question. Some people have a lot to say about immediate issues, less to say about long-term issues,” he says.

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Politics
4:00 pm
Sun June 17, 2012

Noise and Notes: The Mayor's Violence Prevention Task Force and Defining Fairness

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's task force on violence prevention is set to meet on Monday with supporters looking forward to the group getting started.

What the 37-member task force will accomplish has been an ongoing conversation since its was launched by the mayor. But as more heinous acts of violence continue, critics such as Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, have commented that the administration is talking while others are acting.

For the program, health department director Dr. LaQundra Nesbitt, neighborhood leader Neal Robertson—who both sit on the work group—and University of Louisville adjunct professor Stacy Brooks, discuss what the task force faces.

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Politics
4:21 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Yarmuth Lauds Obama for Ending Deportation of Young Immigrants

The decision by President Obama to stop the expulsion of immigrants who came to the U.S. as children is being praised by U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., as a solution Congress should adopt.

From Yarmuth's office:

"As a supporter of the DREAM Act, I applaud the president's decision and am glad to see renewed pressure on Congress to address critical immigration reforms that will benefit our country.

Politics
3:10 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

McConnell: Obama, Disclose Act Threaten First Amendment

File photo

In a fiercely worded speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accused President Obama of violating citizen's First Amendment rights and denounced legislation that would require Super PACs to disclose the names of contributors.

The conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute hosted McConnell on Friday, where he addressed First Amendment rights in light of the Supreme Court’s much argued Citizens United case. The decision rejects spending limits in federal elections for companies and unions.

McConnell has been supportive of the controversial 5-to-4 ruling  and has urged the justices to reaffirm the decision in the face of a pending legal challenge.

Democrats have pushed the Disclose Act in response to the ruling that would mandate third party groups reveal who donated to pay for election ads, but the measure has failed to move forward in Congress.

McConnell says the measure amounts to harassment and an attempt to intimidate conservative donors and organizations.

"What this bill calls for is government-compelled disclosure of contributions to all grassroots groups, which is far more dangerous than its proponents are willing to admit," he says. "Because if disclosure is forced upon some but not all, it’s not an act of good government, it’s a political weapon…This is nothing less than an effort by the government itself to exposes its critics to harassment and intimidation."

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Politics
12:49 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Coats Calls Out Obama's New Immigration Policy

U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-In., says President Obama is overstepping his authority by halting the deportation of young immigrants.

On Friday, the president ordered his administration to stop the expulsion of immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, which bypasses Congress and implements parts of the DREAM Act. The policy change takes effect immediately and gives younger immigrants immunity and the ability to apply for work permits as long as they have no criminal history and meet other criteria.

Coats says the decision grants amnesty to illegal immigrants and was made to benefit the president's re-election campaign.

From Sen. Coats' office:

"The Obama administration’s announcement today is an obvious political move five months before Americans decide if the president deserves a second term. This new immigration policy effectively grants amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants. The administration is overstepping its authority and bypassing Congress to implement the goals of the proposed DREAM Act. Unfortunately, this move – ignoring the Constitution and legislating through federal bureaucrats – has become standard operation under this president.

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Politics
12:32 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Coats Calls Out Obama's New Immigration Policy

U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-In., says President Obama is overstepping his authority by halting the deportation of young immigrants.

On Friday, the president ordered his administration to stop expulsion of immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, which bypasses Congress and implements parts of the DREAM Act. The policy change takes effect immediately and gives younger immigrants immunity and the ability to apply for work permits as long as they have no criminal history and meet other criteria.

Coats says the decision grants amnesty to illegal immigrants and was made to benefit the president's re-election campaign.

From Sen. Coats' office:

"The Obama administration’s announcement today is an obvious political move five months before Americans decide if the president deserves a second term. This new immigration policy effectively grants amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants. The administration is overstepping its authority and bypassing Congress to implement the goals of the proposed DREAM Act. Unfortunately, this move – ignoring the Constitution and legislating through federal bureaucrats – has become standard operation under this president.

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Politics
7:48 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Metro Police to Conduct Racial Profiling Study

Louisville Metro Police

The Louisville Metro Police Department will conduct a study to determine if officers are racially profiling residents when making traffic stops.

During the Metro Council budget hearings, Police Chief Steve Conrad testified that since being sworn-in he has been asked at several community meetings if officers pull over African-Americans more than whites.

Before city and county governments merged, the old city collected data on the race of individuals who were pulled over or detained, but quit analyzing the data after a few years.

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Politics
4:44 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Paul Rails Against Food Stamps

The Senate shot down an amendment proposed by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to drastically cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program on Wednesday despite an impassioned speech about fraud and misuse in the system.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Paul defended his amendment by arguing the federal government is giving assistance millionaires and brought up a case of a Chicago woman who lied about having triplets to receive more food stamps.

Check it out (h/t PageOne Kentucky):

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Politics
4:12 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Following American Crossroads Attack, DSCC Running Ads Backing Donnelly

National Democrats and Republicans are paying attention to the Indiana Senate race.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spent $250,000 on a television ad to back Congressman Joe Donnelly against Republican Richard Mourdock.

The 30-second spot goes after  Mourdock for saying the highlight of politics is to "inflict" his views on others, calling Social Security "unconstitutional" and alleges he wants to cut Medicare while giving "more tax breaks to Wall Street."

Check it out:

Conservative super PACs are also spending money in Indiana.

Donnelly is being attacked by a much larger $620,000 ad buy from American Crossroads GPS, which is backing GOP candidates across the country.

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Politics
5:44 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Police Chief Tells Council Crime Up Eight Percent

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad testified before the Budget Committee on Wednesday that crime has increased by eight percent in the last year.

In recent weeks, the escalation of violence has concerned residents and gained the attention of community and city leaders. In May, a shooting spree in the Parkland neighborhood left three dead and three others injured including the brazen murder of Makeba Lee, 24, who was shot by Cheetara Goldsmith, 24, in front of officers.

Earlier this week, 15-year-old Tysha Spearman, a junior at Shawnee High School, was shot and killed and a 4-year-old was shot in the arm nearby the Parkway Place housing projects.

Conrad says the department is planning to create a new mobile unit that will target high crime areas and repeat offenders.

"For the coming year we are focusing on reducing violent crime. That should go without saying. We have pulled together a summer crime reduction task force, which involves identifying and arresting the worst of the worst, putting police officers in the most challenged areas, which we are referring to as hot spots," he says.

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