Noise & Notes

On air Saturdays at 10pm.

On Noise & Notes, WFPL's Phillip M. Bailey doesn't just discuss the issues, he dissects them. From city government to national politics, Phillip has covered it all. 


2:12 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Donald Trump to Matt Bevin: 'You're Fired!'

Mitch McConnell and Matt Bevin
Credit File photos

The campaigns representing Kentucky Republicans Mitch McConnell and Matt Bevin have been trading barbs over Twitter in the wake of a McConnell attack ad questioning Bevin's ties to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"I wonder what McConnell has on his LinkedIn page. Oh, wait, he's never had a job in the private sector so why would he need one," Bevin's Twitter page jabbed in response.

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2:00 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Councilman Brent Ackerson Promises to Introduce 'Major Reforms' to Discretionary Spending

Councilman Brent Ackerson, D-26
Credit Louisville Metro Council

A Louisville Metro Council committee is set to review a series of so-called "sweeping changes" covering discretionary spending introduced by city Republicans, but one Democrat argues they don't go far enough.

The council GOP outlined a number of amendments to the neighborhood and capital accounts last week to funds that lawmakers receive annually.

Among the more drastic changes are putting a $15,000 cap on the $75,000 neighborhood funds that go towards non-profit groups.

Republicans argue those taxpayer funds would be better spent towards infrastructure needs, but Democrats say their poorer district rely on social service and other groups programming.

Other proposed changes would  tighten the definition of family members prohibited from benefiting from taxpayer-funded programs and bar the use of discretionary funds for constituent meals, cash incentives and employee bonuses.

But Democratic Councilman Brent Ackerson compared those reforms to "putting lipstick on a pig," in an effort to grab headlines in the wake of the Barbara Shanklin expulsion trial.

"Everyone’s talking about the need for sweeping reforms and if we’re going to do sweeping reforms then let’s do some real ones not just some little feel good, rah-rah put the (public) back at ease when we’re really not doing anything," he says. "If this were a car engine we’re talking about a complete tune-up and overhaul. And what I’ve heard from a number of other folks, I call it an oil change and a kick in the tires."

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12:30 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes Scolds Mitch McConnell Ad Targeting Matt Bevin

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Creative Commons

Highlighting an appearance at the Kentucky State Fair this week, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is scolding the latest attack ad by Republican Senator Mitch McConnell against his primary opponent Matt Bevin.

The Grimes campaign says instead of "mudslinging" she is working with Kentucky's military service members.

From a Grimes spokesperson:

"As Senator McConnell turns to mudslinging his Republican opponent yet again, Alison Lundergan Grimes honored our men and women in uniform at the State Fair's Military Monday.

Kentuckians are ready for a leader in the U.S. Senate—not a career politician who has wasted decades in Washington playing political games."

It's the first comment from Grimes's people regarding the GOP battle. It also seeks to promote the "Grannies for Grimes" arm of her campaign in an effort to get attract senior votes.

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10:28 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Mitch McConnell Campaign Ad: Matt Bevin 'Dishonest' About MIT Résumé

A copy of the certificate Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin received.

The campaign to re-elect Republican Senator Mitch McConnell launched a stinging attack ad against primary challenger Matt Bevin over his claims of educational ties to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In the 30-second spot, McConnell's campaign highlights reports from The Hill earlier this year about the Louisville businessman's LinkedIn page.

In March, Bevin had listed MIT under his education profile based his attendance at an entrepreneurial program on the MIT campus.

Critics argued Bevin was misleading people that he was either a MIT graduate or graduated from a MIT affiliated program.

Bevin later revised his social networking page after school officials told The Hill it was a three-week seminar with no formal link to the school.


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2:09 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Louisville Councilwoman Attica Scott Talks Vacant Properties With Senator Rand Paul

Democratic Louisville Councilwoman Attica Scott
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Saying neighborhood concerns come before partisan politics, Democratic Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott says she had a chance to discuss the problem of vacant and abandoned properties with Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul recently.

Paul and Scott met at the Louisville Forum last week, where the senator was the featured speaker and addressed a number of issues.

Among the topics Paul talked about were voting rights for minorities where he said there is no evidence that African-Americans are being barred from U.S. elections more than whites.

But Scott—who is vice chair of the council's vacant properties committee—says despite their  political differences Paul is committed to keeping the lines of communication open dilapidated housing.

"I am more concerned about finding solutions to some of our most pressing infrastructure and neighborhood needs than about partisan politics," she says. "Senator Paul and I have ideological differences on some issues, but we agree that we must be more aggressive in addressing abandoned and vacant properties which is a mutual area of concern."

A report shows swaths of empty homes are concentrated in parts of Scott's district, where up to 30 percent of properties are vacant. In a statement, Paul said he is interested in Scott's perspective on how to remove those abandoned properties in west Louisville.

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1:05 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Congressman Hal Rogers Among Handful of Lawmakers Without Campaign Website

Congressman Hal Rogers, R-Ky.,

Kentucky Fifth District Congressman Hal Rogers is among a handful of lawmakers without a re-election website ahead of next year's election.

The overwhelming majority of those in Congress have a campaign up and running online, but a report by Smart Politics shows nine House members—mostly Democrats—haven't bothered to do so.

Part of the reason is lawmakers such as House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi represent safe districts and have won by comfortable margins for years.

Last year, Rogers, who is a Republican, won re-election by 56 points. He's been in Congress since 1981.

From Smart Politics:

If these representatives have been a bit lackadaisical in creating the digital building blocks for their 2014 reelection campaigns so far this year, it may be for the simple reason that they face virtually no threat of losing.

These nine incumbents have logged in an average 11.4 terms in the House and enjoyed an average victory margin of 65.3 points in the 2012 cycle.

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10:02 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Tea Party Ads Pressure Mitch McConnell, GOP Senators to Defund Obamacare


A pair of Tea Party groups are increasing their pressure on Sen. Mitch McConnell and his Republican caucus to de-fund President Obama's health care at all costs.

Recently, McConnell questioned that strategy and said a government shutdown would not halt the Affordable Care Act's implementation.

The Washington Post's Aaron Blake reports Tea Party Patriots and For America are targeting McConnell's caucus in a series of online advertisements in the hopes of gaining traction.

For America has already put out an ad essentially calling McConnell a "chicken" for not being more supportive.


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7:59 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Louisville GOP Searching for New Party Chair

Louisville Republicans are eager to fill a vacancy at the top of the party ahead of next year's elections.

Shellie May resigned as Jefferson County Republican Party chair last week to take a job in City Hall as a legislative aide in Councilman Ken Fleming’s office.

The state GOP has made gains in the state House and expanded its majority in the state Senate, and Republicans control five of the six congressional seats along with the two of the more prominent senators in the country.

But locally Democrats control the mayor’s office and the Metro Council. And Democrat John Yarmuth won re-election to the Third Congressional District seat by a 30-point margin last year.

Republican strategist Joe Burgan says redistricting had more to do with the congressional defeat than poor local party leadership, but that a new chair is important for the GOP to be competitive in those local contests.

"There’s no doubt that they are key when it comes to candidate recruitment. And for these Metro Council races and for the mayor’s race it’s really a body you want out there meeting with folks, growing our bench as we move forward as a party," he says.

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4:00 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Mitch McConnell Receives Endorsement from Key Louisville Tea Partier

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
Credit File photo

Tea Party activist and Louisville Councilwoman Marilyn Parker is endorsing Republican Senator Mitch McConnell days after complimenting his primary opponent.

The nod gives McConnell a key tea party figure, but it comes as the senator faces growing criticism from his political right on Obamacare as a prominent conservative PAC is pledging to run ads against him.

When asked Wednesday whom she was supporting in the GOP contest between McConnell and businessman Matt Bevin, Parker told WFPL she was undecided but praised the latter for bringing up good questions by entering the race.

In a surprising reversal Friday morning, however, Parker says she wanted to make sure voters knew she is backing McConnell for re-election.

"I have always supported Senator McConnell for U.S. Senate," Parker said in a statement. "Today I am issuing a formal endorsement to clear up any doubt about my support for Senator McConnell's conservative record, his leadership role in Washington representing Kentucky and our national interests, and his institutional knowledge for getting the right policies implemented."

Bevin is being supported by the United Kentucky Tea Party, which represents over a dozen groups across the state.

But the endorsement from Parker—along with the former vice president of the Louisville Tea Party—is a crafty chess move that gives Team Mitch a bit of breathing room as more rank-and-file activists openly criticize his campaign.

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12:58 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Council Budget Committee Rejects Property Tax Increase in Contrast to JCPS Hike

In contrast to Jefferson County Public Schools, the Louisville Metro Council Budget Committee rejected any increase to local property taxes in a unanimous vote this week.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced last week that he planned to introduce an ordinance keeping real estate tax rates at the same level.

Under the ordinance, the property tax rate for home owners in the old city limits or Urban Services District will remain at 36.66 cents per $100 of assessed value. Those living in the unincorporated areas of Metro Louisville will remain at 12.55 cents per $100.

Council Democrats and Republicans praised the decision, and Council President Jim King, D-10, took the vote as an opportunity to contrast with the school board's decision to raise taxes.

"Our taxpayers deserve a break in light of the annual JCPS tax increases. We believe in letting economic activity and new jobs drive tax receipts—not higher rates," he says.

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