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. 

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Politics
12:30 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Senator Rand Paul Endorses Mark Sanford for Congress

U.S. Senator Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is endorsing fellow Republican Mark Sanford's bid for the South Carolina's First Congressional District seat.

The special election is next week and features Sanford, a former governor, in a tight contest against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, a political newcomer who is the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert.

Sanford gained national notoriety for having a extra-marital affair while in office, and it was recently reported he was accused of trespassing on his ex-wife's property.

Despite those controversies Paul says Congress needs strong and consistent voices that will support fiscal responsibility, adding Sanford has a history of sticking up for the taxpayer.

"What we absolutely cannot afford is someone like his opponent, who will be yet another vote for a return to the Pelosi speakership, for disastrous programs like Obamacare, and for more spending and debt," says Paul.

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Politics
7:01 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell Running for Re-Election

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell
Credit louisvilleky.gov

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell will seek a second term in office.

The 64-year-old O’Connell is a Democrat who was first appointed to the position by former Mayor Jerry Abramson in 2008. He was elected to serve a full term two years later after defeating Republican Michael Wilson.

The county attorney’s office is responsible for representing the legal interests of Metro government and prosecuting Jefferson County District Court cases. It also covers issues such as child support collection and DUI cases.

O'Connell says since merger it has taken on additional roles and a greater responsibility has come with the office.

"I think it’s a great, important office that does so much important work for the citizens of this community both on the criminal justice side and on the civil side for all the work we do for Metro government. And since the merger it’s just become an office that has so many facets to it," he says.

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Politics
10:30 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Noise and Notes: Is Kentucky Compatible With Gay Marriage?

Credit Shutterstock.com

When it comes to gay marriage, America is moving in a direction of growing acceptance while Kentucky remains steadfastly opposed.

National figures show a majority in the country back the idea, which has changed at a rapid pace in the past decade.

Rhode Island took a historic step and is set to become the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage. A new lobbying group founded by prominent conservative donor Paul Singer is pushing for gay marriage legislation as more Republicans join the cause to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.

Even two prominent Kentucky Democrats—Auditor Adam Edelen and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson—came out in favor or marriage equality.

But new poll numbers indicate Kentuckians are still overwhelmingly against same-sex couples getting hitched with 65 percent opposed. The opposition isn't based on political party either because the PPP survey shows 54 percent of Democratic voters are against the idea.

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Politics
7:54 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Louisville Metro Council Expands Sunday Liquor Sales for Restaurants

Credit File photo

In a bipartisan 16-7 vote, the Louisville Metro Council approved an ordinance expanding liquor sales on Sundays to 10 a.m. for local restaurants.

There are around 300 restaurants licensed to sell alcohol in the city on Sunday by the drink. Businesses are required to wait until 1 p.m. before serving customers, however. 

State law allows for local governments to amend those restrictions, and a sharp debate ensued on the council.

Councilman David Tandy, D-4, who represents parts of downtown where many sit-down restaurants are located, is the chief sponsor of the bill.

Some city lawmakers and many religious leaders expressed concerns about increased crime and incremental steps to allow Sunday liquor sales at other types businesses.

But Tandy says the legislation was aimed at helping restaurants that wanted to serve brunch ahead of the Kentucky Derby.

"With the passage of this legislation we have taken steps toward furthering economic growth in Louisville through our hospitality industry. This helps our economy keep dollars circulating in our community by allowing Louisville restaurants to compete with their Southern Indiana counterparts," he says.

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Politics
12:30 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

City Won't Pay Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin's Attorney for Ethics Appeal Work

Louisville Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin
Credit Louisville Metro Council

The lawyer representing embattled Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, will not be paid with taxpayer money during the appeal of her Ethics Commission case.

The panel ruled last month that Shanklin violated five sections of the city’s code of ethics and recommended her removal from office.

Attorney Aubrey Williams is appealing that decision in circuit court, but in a letter the Jefferson County Attorney’s office advises it will not pay for continued representation of the councilwoman.

Williams did not return WFPL's request for comment on Wednesday, but he told The Courier-Journal's Andrew Wolfson the city is trying to "squirm out of its obligations" and force him to drop Shanklin as a client.

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell says the decision was based on the Metro Council amending the ethics ordinance to forbid tax dollars going toward any appeal process.

"The amendment provides that counsel will be provided to council members during an appearance before the ethics commission only. Any appeals of that or any removal hearings counsel is not provided to the council member," he says.

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Politics
5:37 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Congressman Thomas Massie Proposes Bipartisan Bill to Ease Federal Sentencing Laws

Congressman Thomas Massie
Credit U.S. Congress

Joining a Democratic colleague, Republican Congressman Thomas Massie Kentucky is introducing a bipartisan bill to give federal judges more flexibility when issuing mandatory minimum sentences.

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Politics
3:11 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Kentucky Environmentalist Tom FitzGerald Mulling Bid Against Mitch McConnell

Environmental lawyer Tom FitzGerald
Credit http://valleywatch.net

Environmental activist and Louisville attorney Tom FitzGerald says he is being encouraged to run against Republican Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky 2014 U.S. Senate race.

The 58-year-old Democrat currently serves as executive director of the Kentucky Resources Council, an environmental group that lobbies state lawmakers on conservation issues.

In a telephone interview, FitzGerald told WFPL the decision is still in its early stages and leaving the non-profit world would be a significant change.

"For me to go into electoral politics and partisan politics is a very different way of approaching public service. I have a real fondness and appreciation for the amazing people of this Commonwealth and I've devoted my adult life to try to improve the quality of the community's health," he says.

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Politics
1:56 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Gabrielle Giffords's Super PAC Slams Mitch McConnell Over Gun Background Check Vote

Credit Executive Office of the President

A super PAC founded by former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is calling out Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell for voting against gun control measures in a new radio advertisement.

Americans Responsible for Solutions was formed by Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, and is launching the spots in the Louisville and Lexington areas. Giffords, who was shot in the head during a 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., has been an outspoken proponent for gun control measures since retiring from Congress.

The ad implores McConnell to listen to voters, and highlights 82 percent of Kentuckians favor background checks for gun purchases.

"McConnell opposed common sense checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals," the narrator says. "Written by a Republican and a Democrat. Supported by law enforcement officers. It was a common sense plan that protected Second Amendment Rights. But Senator McConnell ignored the will of the people."

Listen:


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Politics
12:32 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth's Campaign Downplays Sparse FEC Report

Congressman John Yarmuth

The campaign for Kentucky Third District Congressman John Yarmuth is downplaying low fundraising totals, saying it shouldn’t be viewed as a sign the Democratic representative isn’t running for re-election.

Federal Election Commission records show Yarmuth raised a mere $5,000 in the first three months of 2013, which is far behind his colleagues in the Kentucky congressional delegation.

According to campaign finance records, the second lowest fundraising total among House members was longtime Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, who raised approximately $59,000 in the first quarter.

The other delegates raised somewhere between $90 to $365,000 during the same period.

Democratic sources who work on political financing tell WFPL Yarmuth's bleak numbers are a "signature of retirement" and observers note that is alarming low given how expensive House races can be.

"It is unusual there is no doubt about it," says University of Louisville political science professor Dewey Clayton. "And so to see a candidate who is an incumbent who has all the advantages, which usually means high name recognition that leads to the ability to raise funds."

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Politics
12:09 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer Announces Re-Election Bid

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit File photo

In a message to supporters, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced he is running for re-election in 2014.

The mayor had avoided the question when asked about seeking a second term in recent weeks, and the timing of the announcement had changed from January to mid-summer.

At the time, there were rumors Fischer was considering a bid for Kentucky's U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Mitch McConnell, but the mayor later said he was leaning towards running for re-election.

Fischer acknowledged at a press conference Tuesday afternoon that the decision to run for a second term was based in part on continued rumors he was thinking about the U.S. Senate race in 2014 or the 2015 gubernatorial contest.

"I felt it was best to go ahead and make my intentions clear that I want to be mayor for a second term. There’s an awful lot of work that still needs to be done. We’ve got good momentum as a city. My family’s excited and has been fully behind me so I felt like now was a good time to make the statement," he says.

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