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.


8:30 am
Mon June 11, 2012

James, Hamilton Launch Anti-Violence Campaign to Reduce Shootings

Louisville Metro Council members Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5, and David James, D-6, are partnering with anti-gang advocates in a new anti-violence initiative.

The "No Red Dots" campaign seeks to educate at-risk youth and adults about conflict resolution and train neighborhood leaders in mediation. It is named after the red dots Metro Police used to indicate shootings on crime maps. According to Metro Police statistics there have been  approximately 70 shootings and 20 homicides this year.

James says the high concentration of those crimes were committed in west Louisville and the escalation is alarming, adding there is no panacea to violent crime.

"This is designed so that we don’t have more red dots on our maps that show where people have been shot," James told WFPL. "There is not one single thing that we’re going to do that’s going change the violence levels, it’s going to be a holistic approach that’s going to have to be taken."

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10:52 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Jobs Program Gives Shanklin More Ethics Troubles, Questions

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, is embroiled in another controversy that could result in ethics charges.

The Courier-Journal has reported that Shanklin administered a jobs program meant for ex-offenders since 2007, which has apparently only served her and the councilwoman's relatives. The upholstery-training program was funded by the council for nearly $30,000, but was halted by Mayor Greg Fischer's administration after questions were raised about the lack of referrals.

The newspaper learned that few offenders participated, but Shanklin and her family members took advantage of the program's benefits despite the councilwoman's earlier denials.

From the Courier-Journal:

The program was bankrolled from the metro government’s general fund, with money routed through Metro Corrections. It was halted after corrections Director Mark Bolton expressed concern about the program to the city’s chief financial officer, Steve Rowland.

Bolton said in a Courier-Journal interview that his department was never asked to refer ex-offenders to the program, which he described as “goofy” in an email to a corrections staff member just before it was halted.

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10:14 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Noise and Notes: WDRB Returns and Council Members Talk City Budget, Wisconsin Recall

There was quite a shake up in Louisville media this past week, with cable subscribers seeing Time Warner Cable remove WDRB from the television lineup.

Before returning to the airwaves, the joust between the local Fox affiliate and cable company was the top story until WDRB announced hiring sports columnists Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich away from the Courier-Journal.

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6:42 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

McConnell Pounces Obama 'Doing Fine' Gaffe

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., released the following statement tearing into President Obama for claiming that the private sector is "doing fine" during a press conference to address economic concerns.

From McConnell's office:

“Whether the President wants to acknowledge it or not, we are now living in the Obama Economy, and no ‘post-it note’ proposal can reverse the damage done by his policies over the past three and a half years. It’s baffling that in the face of all evidence to the contrary, this President still believes that spending money we don’t have to inflate the government is the answer to America’s economic problems.

The economy would respond much more favorably to providing the tax certainty Americans deserve by extending all the tax rates and assuring employers they do not have to budget for the largest tax increase in American history next year. The Obama Economy is even slower now than when we extended the rates in 2010—raising taxes on job creators in this slow economy is simply not the elixir for his failed policies.”

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2:30 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Scott Disappointed With Fischer Over Violence Task Force

Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Woodson Scott, D-1, claims Mayor Greg Fischer ignored her office when putting together the violence prevention work group and is disappointed in the selection process.

The panel was first announced last month in response to a rash of shootings that took place in Scott’s district that left three dead and three injured. Among the 37 leaders Fischer named to the group are Circuit Judge Brian Edwards, Simmons College President Rev. Kevin Cosby, and council members David Tandy, D-4, and David James, D-6.

But a task force member representing the Parkland neighborhood raised concerns about Scott's absence and the councilwoman and mayor's office disagree on if she showed initial interest in serving..

Fischer spokesman Phil Miller says the administration did have a discussion with Scott about the panel and that she told them she did not want to be on the task force.

"The mayor felt that two council members was adequate. We also had talked with Attica Scott and she indicated that she was not particularly interested in serving but if asked would appoint or recommend citizens in that area,” he says.

In a telephone interview with WFPL, however, Scott says she was never asked to join and denies telling Fischer’s office she did not want to serve, but that she would have declined to make room for more residents.

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12:15 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Rand Paul Endorses Mitt Romney

U.S. Senate

Appearing on Fox News Channel's "Hannity" Thursday, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., endorsed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney despite his father Congressman Ron Paul's ongoing White House bid.

Romney has clinched the 1,144 delegates needed for the Republican nomination, and Paul's father has suspended his campaign but is still pursuing delegates through the state process.

"Well, you know, my first choice had always been my father," Paul told conservative commentator Sean Hannity. "He is still my first pick, but now that the nominating process is over, tonight, I am happy to announce I am supporting Governor Romney."

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5:59 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Wicker Pounces on Yarmuth Over Medical Device Tax

Republican congressional candidate Brooks Wicker called on Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth to vote against the medical device tax in the president’s healthcare law on Thursday. 

The Affordable Care Act includes a 2.3 percent tax on certain devices to pay for the legislation with an anticipated $29 billion over the next decade. Despite a veto threat from President Obama, the GOP-controlled House passed legislation to repeal the fee by a 241-to-173 vote.

Supporters of the repeal cite a study from the healthcare industry that warns about higher prices and the loss of  manufacturing jobs.

Speaking in front of Humana Inc., Wicker told a handful of supporters the tax makes pacemakers and knee replacements more expensive, and Yarmuth needs to explain his support of President Obama’s law.

"I’m calling on him to explain to the citizens of the Third District why he continues to support legislation– Obamacare—which the overwhelming number of people in this community do not support,” he says.

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1:25 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Mourdock Web Ad Links Donnelly to Reid, Obama

In an online video for the Indiana Senate race, Republican Richard Mourdock is going after Democrat Joe Donnelly by tying him to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nv., and President Obama.

The 48-second spots goes after the congressman's votes in support of the bailout, stimulus package and Obama's health care overhaul. It marks the first official attack from the Mourdock campaign and demonstrates the president's unpopularity in Indiana this year.

"It's been a disaster," the narrator says. "Now Reid has the liberal ATM machine working overtime for Donnelly. Reid wants another loyal lieutenant to help implement the Obama agenda."

Check it out:

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11:48 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Paul Okay With Wealthy Paying More—If Tax Code Simplified

Appearing on CNN Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., supported the idea of wealthier Americans paying higher taxes if the code is simplified and all loopholes are closed.

From Mediate:

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10:30 am
Wed June 6, 2012

McConnell, Yarmuth Mark D-Day Anniversary

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., are celebrating the 68th anniversary of the D-Day invasion by meeting with World War II veterans.

For historians, D-Day marks the turning point against Nazi Germany when Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy in France. Over 3,000 U.S. service members were killed on the day of the invasion.

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