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.

Pages

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O'Connell says the case demonstrates the strict state law is out of date and that juvenile court should be open to the public.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

Read more
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.

Read more
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:

Read more
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.

Read more
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:

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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:

 

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages