Noise & Notes

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. 

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Politics
8:00 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Matt Bevin Fails to Receive Boone County GOP Nod

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin
Credit foxnews.com

Despite U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin's pleas for members to vote their "conscience" the Republican Party of Boone County, Ky. bypassed endorsing the political newcomer over incumbent Mitch McConnell in next year's primary.

Bevin supporters had been hopeful the Northern Kentucky group would give his campaign a needed boost in an area that is considered a Tea Party stronghold.

McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton also attended the meeting and warned members that weighing in would be a "poor mistake" as a county party.

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Politics
5:12 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Shutdown Hurting Mitch McConnell's Approval Rating as Matt Bevin Seeks Key Endorsement

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,
Credit File photo

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's popularity is taking a dive due to the government shutdown, according to a new Gallup survey released Thursday.

The new figures comes as McConnell's GOP primary challenger Matt Bevin is vying to gain the support of a key political organization in Northern Kentucky this week.

Overall, Gallup finds McConnell's net approvals are down by 12 percentage points since Congress failed pass a spending bill to keep federal services and programs running.

From Gallup:

The Republican congressional leaders, Boehner and McConnell, appear to have taken a slightly larger hit from the shutdown than the Democratic congressional leaders Reid and Pelosi, as well as President Obama, given slightly larger declines in the Republicans' net favorables.

(SNIP)

Republicans and Democrats don't agree on much, but both groups now view Republican leaders Boehner and McConnell significantly more negatively than before the shutdown. Their net favorable ratings have declined between 13 and 19 points among the party groups.

Save House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, all of the major leaders in Washington are suffering from poor approval ratings as the shutdown continues.

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Politics
2:50 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Addressing Claims of Racial Bias in Shanklin Verdict, Councilwoman Mary Woolridge Says 'Get Over It'

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, D-3,
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, D-3, is refusing to confirm or deny claims that she voted to retain fellow member Barbara Shanklin solely because she is an African-American woman.

But she says those who disagree with the outcome need to "get over it."

Speaking at the Louisville Forum this week, Councilman Kelly Downard, R-16, blew the whistle on the nearly three and a half hour deliberations.

Downard said Woolridge told lawmakers she would not vote again to remove a black female from office.   

"If I turned to you and I say ‘I will never vote to expel a white man from the Metro Council’ what thoughts did you just have? Anger? Revulsion? That happened in the deliberation room," Downard said. "One of the members of my Metro Council said I will never vote to remove an African-American woman from this council."

Downard later confirmed with WFPL that council member was Woolridge.

Some have pointed to a racial divide regarding the case both in in the community and on the council since the verdict.

It has been noted that all of the black council members voted to keep Shanklin in office despite some lawmakers such as Democrat David James denying race had anything to do with the decision.

Woolridge sidestepped questions about whether her vote was based on race and she refused to address the matter further.

"Dr. Shanklin was exonerated and the council needs to move ahead. Everybody ought to get over it including Kelly Downard and anybody else that has a problem with it," she says. "She got the amount of votes that she needed to remain on the council."

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Politics
8:00 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Mitch McConnell Renews Crusade Against Campaign Gift Limits in 'Citizens United II' Case

Credit File photo

Attorneys representing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will make oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court this week to scrap another set of limits on how much individuals can donate to political campaigns.

It is a case that could have serious ramifications on U.S. elections and possibly increase the amount of money spent on federal races in a way the controversial Citizens United decision did.

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Politics
3:04 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Kentucky Farmer Demands Congressman Andy Barr Back ‘Clean’ Bill to End Shutdown

Credit http://www.wlfarm.org

A Kentucky farmer is calling on Republican Congressman Andy Barr to support a "clean" spending bill to end the government shutdown.

The demand comes as agriculture issues such as the farm bill are being put on hold and farming advocates wonder how long federal resources and services will be pulled.

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Politics
12:39 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Congressman Ed Whitfield Bypassing Fundraiser Amid Government Shutdown

U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky.,

Kentucky First District Congressman is skipping a scheduled fundraiser this weekend, joining other lawmakers who are hurrying to cancel campaign events amid the government shutdown.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for the Republican lawmaker indicated to The Lexington Herald-Leader the congressman was attending a pricey event in Arizona despite furloughing staff.

From H-L:

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Politics
6:42 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Fischer Administration Official: 'Ban The Box' Would Complicate Metro Louisville's Hiring Process

Credit Shutterstock

Saying Louisville Metro has a policy not to ask about criminal records on job applications, Metro Human Resources Director Kellie Watson warned council members the so-called "ban the box" ordinance could complicate the city's hiring process.

But supporters believe the legislation is still needed in order to give convicted felons a fair chance when seeking employment.

The council's Labor and Economic Development Committee held its first hearing on the measure Thursday to gather more information about the proposal.

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Politics
10:57 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Senators Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul Say Kentucky Not Buying Obamacare

U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell (l) and Rand Paul (r)
Credit U.S. Senate

In a rebuttal to Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear's editorial praising the Affordable Care Act, Republican U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul argue Kentucky isn't buying into the president's health care law.

The health exchange dubbed Kynect launched on Tuesday allowing residents to shop for an insurance plan as part of the federal law, better known as Obamacare.

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Politics
6:14 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth Calls for 'Clean' Spending Bill Vote as GOP Support Grows

Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Congress

As President Obama meets with leaders in Washington, Kentucky Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth says there is enough support in the Republican-controlled House to pass a so-called "clean" spending bill to end the government shutdown.

But the remaining members of Kentucky's congressional delegation appear unwilling to accept such a plan even as more GOP members are supporting the idea.

"The solution to this crisis is simple: There is enough bipartisan support in the House right now to approve legislation to fund the government, send it to the president’s desk immediately and end this shutdown," Yarmuth told WFPL. "Every day they delay, House Republicans are hurting workers, small business owners, and millions of American families who depend on federal agencies, programs, and services."

House Democrats are pressuring Speaker John Boehner and GOP leaders to put forward a measure that doesn't attach any provisions to de-fund or delay President Obama's health care law.

A tally by The Washington Post shows there are now 21 GOP members who say they are either willing to and leaning towards voting for a "clean" continuing resolution.

That means a bill to fund the government would pass if the 200 Democrats went along.

In order for that vote to take place, however, Boehner would have to break the coveted "Hastert Rule" which forbids legislation that doesn't have the majority of the party in control's support.

A spokesman for Kentucky Republican Congressman Thomas Massie says the conservative lawmaker has already supported five "clean" bills that fund specific areas of the federal government.

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Politics
1:43 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Two Kentucky Lawmakers Highlight Government Shutdown's Effects on Kentucky Women

Mary Lou Marzian
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky state Reps. Joni Jenkins and Mary Lou Marzian are highlighting the effects of the federal government shutdown on women.

The two Democrats were in Washington, D.C., this week meeting with lawmakers and hope Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell will keep those adverse impacts in mind as potential negotiations begin.

"Certainly the furloughing of employees—half of those or more are going to be single females who are heads of families—and I don't know how many of your listeners can go without paycheck for a day, a week or possibly longer," said Jenkins, whose district covers parts of western Jefferson County. "That money not coming into our communities is going to trickle down to all sorts of businesses."

Beyond federal workers there is growing concern about social services that could be impacted.

Almost 9 million new mothers and young children rely on programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children or WIC. But federal officials have warned funding for WIC could run out in the next week or so.

Observers expect the shutdown to last at least that long even as President Obama is inviting congressional leaders, including McConnell, to the White House Wednesday afternoon to possibly negotiate.

Marzian says the shutdown is a disaster for women on a number of fronts and low-income mothers in particular, adding the blame should be on Tea Party-backed Republicans in the House.

"It's going to really effect women being able to feed their families and pay their rent as these programs run out of money in the next weeks," she says. "But the Tea Party and these right-wing Republicans care nothing about women and children. They only care about themselves and pushing their agenda forward. However, they care about fetuses but once you’re here you’re on your own."

Last year, over 132,000 pregnant women and new mothers in Kentucky received nutrition assistance through WIC programs for their young children.

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