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
4:56 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

McConnell: The Nation Stands With Newtown

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

Speaking on the Senate floor Monday, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell expressed sympathies for the victims and survivors of the shooting massacre Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

McConnell says the murder of so many children shatters America’s heart, and that President Obama spoke for the nation when he talked about the importance of bond parents have with their children.

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Politics
2:03 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Mitch McConnell Praises Tim Scott Appointment to Senate

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. Tim Scott
Credit U.S. Congress

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is praising the appointment of Congressman Tim Scott, R-S.C., to the succeeded retiring Sen. Jim DeMint.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced her decision Monday, making Scott the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction.

The 47-year-old congressman was the favorite among conservatives to take DeMint's seat, and McConnell noted the history in Haley's decision.

From McConnell's office:

"I want to congratulate Congressman Scott on his appointment to the United States Senate. As a solid conservative who fights hard for the values and principles he believes in, Tim will help us find real, lasting solutions to the economic challenges facing our nation in the 113th Congress. This is truly an historic moment for the Palmetto State from a Governor who’s broken more than a few barriers in her own career."

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Politics
1:01 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Yarmuth Calls for Comprehensive Gun Control in Wake of Sandy Hook Shooting

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

Kentucky Third District Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., says lawmakers need to get behind comprehensive gun control in the aftermath of a elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Last Friday, a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School with an assault rifle and two semi-automatic pistols, killing 20 children and six adults. The shooting has sparked a national debate about the Second Amendment, and gun control groups have been pushing for stricter laws.

However, gun right's advocates such as Congressman Louie Gohmert, R-Tx., have suggested the school’s principal should have been armed as a way to protect the students and staff.

Yarmuth says arming more citizens is not the answer, and that groups like the National Rifle Association ought to be open to reasonable regulations.

"The National Rifle Association has spent untold millions of dollars instilling fear in our citizens and our politicians. That organization, which regularly fails to represent the responsible attitudes of its members, wants us to believe that the best protection against the irresponsible and lethal use of guns is for everyone to be armed," he says. "And while no specific gun regulation may have prevented the deaths of the 20 Sandy Hook Elementary children, 6 and 7-year-old children, the answer simply cannot be a gun in every elementary school lunchbox."

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Politics
9:17 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Audit Finds No Agreement Between City, Dismas Charities

An internal audit could not find a signed agreement between Louisville Metro Government and Dismas Charities Inc. regarding the use of inmates from the non-profit’s halfway house at city departments.

The report includes a number of other troubling findings, including that Dismas workers were not consistently signing in or out at their assignments, did have proper monitoring of their activity and that their work logs were incomplete.

(Read the audit report here.)

Dismas is a non-profit group that through the Kentucky Department of Corrections houses inmates at its various halfway houses. While residing at those facilities, inmates are required to participate in community service and many work at Metro agencies as they transition to life outside of prison.

Mayor Greg Fischer's office told WFPL they were surprised to learn the city had no written contract with Dismas, and are working to address the problems and develop a corrective action plan.

"It was new information to us that there wasn’t a signed agreement. Obviously, we’ll get one executed," says mayoral spokesman Chris Poynter. "This audit clearly points out that there are deficiencies and we have developed a corrective action plan to deal with those deficiencies."

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Politics
10:35 pm
Sat December 15, 2012

Noise and Notes: Can Anyone Beat Mitch McConnell?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

Respect him or not, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his leadership role in Washington cannot be ignored.

For weeks speculation has been growing about who will take on the powerful GOP leader two years from now. One Democrat—Owensboro home builder Ed Marksberry—has stepped forward, but with little excitement.

The national media has focused much of its attention on actress Ashley Judd, who would bring Hollywood star power to the race.

But prominent state Democratic leaders have voiced skepticism if not outright opposition to her celebrity candidacy in the commonwealth.

Others point to Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who many view as the most popular choice. And a recent survey showed Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is within striking distance.

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Politics
11:59 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Mayor Greg Fischer Mum on Re-Election

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer hasn’t made a decision on whether he’ll run for re-election in 2014.

Fischer is among the rumored Democrats to run for Kentucky's U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. A survey by the North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling showed Fischer trailing McConnell by 5 points in a head-to-head contest.

Earlier this month, a mayoral spokesman told WFPL Fischer would announce his decision on re-election in January.

But when asked if he intends to run for a second term, Fischer says he will make an official decision next summer.

"I love this job. I'm inclined to do that, but I haven't made a decision yet," he says. "I’ve got a great job here. There’s a lot of work to do, and I plan to do this and hopefully more in future. We get great feedback from people and we got a lot of work to do, and we got a great team too."

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Politics
8:02 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Mayor Greg Fischer: Local Sales Tax Option Would Give Louisville 'Independence'

Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit Louisville Metro Government

Addressing the Louisville Metro Council, Mayor Greg Fischer said the city needs additional revenue if it wants to remain competitive and that a local sales tax option would give the city more independence from state government.

The mayor has been pushing lawmakers in Frankfort to allow the city to put temporary sales tax increases up for a public vote. He outlined his plan—dubbed Local Investments For Transformation, or LIFT — for council members Thursday.

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Politics
1:10 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Barr Lands Key Committee Assignments

Congressman-elect Andy Barr
Credit Barr Campaign

Kentucky Sixth District Congressman-elect Andy Barr announced his committee assignments Thursday.

Barr will be a member of the House Committee on Financial Services, which is led by fellow Republican Spencer Baucus. The financial services panel is considered a "top-tier," committee that dealt directly with the bank bailouts and crafted the controversial Dodd-Frank Act.

In a news release, Barr says he is honored to receive the appointment, and wants to work on solving  helping the state's community banks.

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Politics
6:43 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Democrat Ed Marksberry Announces 2014 Senate Bid

Democrat Ed Marksberry
Credit Hillbillyreport.org

Owensboro Democrat Ed Marksberry is running in the 2014 Kentucky race for U.S. Senate.

Marksberry is a building contractor and former congressional candidate, who ran unsuccessfully against Republican Congressman Brett Guthrie two years ago. He lost that race by 35 points.

On his campaign website, Marksberry says he shares the experience of middle-class Kentuckians and knows first-hand their struggles in this difficult economy.

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Politics
5:31 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Fischer to Outline Local Sales Tax Option Plan for Council Members

Credit File photo

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will discuss his strategy to create a local sales tax option with members of the Metro Council this week.

Fischer has been lobbying state lawmakers and other leaders across Kentucky since July, saying the city needs the tool in the face of budget shortfalls.

The option would give Louisville voters the ability to vote for or against a sales tax increase to fund specific projects. Before that could happen, however, the measure needs a two-thirds vote in both chambers of the state legislature and a statewide referendum to amend the state constitution.

Democratic Caucus spokesman Tony Hyatt says his members are eager to hear the mayor outline his plan, adding they have serious questions about the sales tax options before showing support.

"What are you going to do with the money if it is passed and how long would such a local option tax be in place? Are you going to use it for infrastructure projects or to supplement the budget? The caucus would like to hear directly from the mayor what he plans to do with the money if the effort is successful," he says.

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