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
2:37 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Team Mitch Blasts Bluegrass Poll as 'Malarkey'

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell at a Tea Party rally in Frankfort, Ky. last year
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

The re-election campaign for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is dismissing a poll conducted by The Louisville Courier-Journal, which shows the GOP leader with just 17 percent support.

According to the survey, voters opposed to McConnell’s re-election outnumber supporters 2-to-1. It also found that only one-third of Republican voters support him in the 2014 election, adding further fuel to Tea Party criticism and outright defiance of McConnell's leadership in Kentucky.

McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton responded by saying no incumbent could fare well given the surveys line of questioning.

"The question itself minimizes the level of support for an incumbent by requiring a poll respondent to pledge their allegiance despite the prospect of an unnamed utopian candidate looming in the wings," said Benton.  "To make the bias even more pronounced than a generic 'someone else,' which is difficult enough, this question hardens that by asserting you must support him 'no matter who runs against him.'  So your neighbor, best friend, husband/wife, priest, pastor, reverend or rabbi wouldn’t get your vote if they were on the ballot.

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Politics
2:05 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Council GOP Lobbying State Lawmakers on Pension Reform

Jerry Miller
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Republican leaders in the Louisville Metro Council are headed to Frankfort this week to lobby state lawmakers on pension reform.

The city’s pension cost has more than doubled in the past decade to make up approximately 15 percent of the budget.  In his State of the City address, Mayor Greg Fischer urged residents to call for their legislators to take action in this year’s session to change the system.

Republican Caucus Chairman Ken Fleming, R-7, and Vice-Chairman Jerry Miller, R-19, are scheduled to meet with Republican state Sen. Damon Thayer of Georgetown, who co-chaired a legislative task force on the state pension system.

Miller says rising pension costs are at critical stage and are extremely important for Louisville residents because of the potential impact on city services.

"If you’re in government you have to deal with pension cost because of it’s dramatic increase, which is really crowding out a lot of other things we’d like to do—social services and a variety of other things," he says.

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Politics
6:29 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

City Departments Hope Gun Owners Will Use Common Sense

Credit Creative Commons

Louisville Metro Government departments are urging gun owners to use common sense now that firearms are allowed in city-owned buildings.

The General Assembly passed a state law forbidding cities from enacting stricter gun laws than the state in 2012, and the Metro Council changed its definition of deadly weapons last week as a result.

Under the new provisions taking effect this month, residents are allowed to openly carry a firearm in Metro facilities such as the mayor’s office and City Hall, as well as libraries, parks and the Louisville Zoo.

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Politics
1:11 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Poll Shows Mitch McConnell Struggling for Support

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

A new poll shows Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is struggling to retain support among voters.

The Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll shows that twice as many voters are against McConnell as there are supporting him. It also finds that only one-third of Republicans support him in the 2014 election.

In recent weeks, Kentucky's senior senator has been besieged by liberal and Tea Party groups alike.

From The C-J:

According to the poll of 609 registered voters, 34 percent said they plan to vote against McConnell while just 17 percent say they will vote to give him another six years. The poll found that 44 percent said they will have to wait and see who is running against him and 6 percent said they are not sure.

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Politics
9:50 am
Sun January 27, 2013

Noise and Notes: Thoughts & Opinions with The Courier-Journal's Debby Yetter

Courier-Journal editorial writer Debby Yetter

Louisville journalist Debby Yetter’s fingertips have bled ink as a reporter and now editorial columnist at The Courier-Journal for over three decades.

Yetter is a veteran reporter who has the federal courts, social services and a ferocious focus on state government. Even the newspaper's sharpest critics praised the company's decision when the Yetter's role shifted, and award-winning journalist was picked to help lead the C-J's editorial department.

She’s spent her life collecting thoughts and opinions, and has been eager to share her own in the opinion pages.

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Politics
2:44 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

McConnell Campaign Taunts Liberals Over Filibuster Reform

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

In a message to supporters, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign is bragging after modest filibuster reforms were enacted in the U.S. Senate.

Several progressive groups along with liberal Democrats in the Senate had been pushing Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nv., to go with the "nuclear option" to overhaul the chamber's rules.

But Reid went for much weaker reforms, and the deal negotiated with McConnell speeds up the parliamentary process for new business, motion and debates.

The McConnell camp says that the GOP leader "beat the liberals" who were pushing for more drastic changes.

From Team Mitch:

A group of the Senate's most liberal Senators, fueled by left-wing groups like Move On, have been pushing a dangerous scheme to change the rules of the United States Senate and fundamentally alter the checks and balances of our system.

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Politics
2:07 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

City Purchases Land to Attract Jobs, Development in West Louisville

Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday that Metro Government has purchased a 30-acre piece of land in west Louisville that it plans to market to companies wishing to expand or relocate to the city.

The property is the former headquarters of National Tobacco located at 30th and Muhammad Ali Blvd. It will cost the city $1.2 million to buy from state government, with $750,000 coming from a settlement with the state over an unrelated right-of-way dispute.

The other $500,000 was allocated by the mayor last year in the city budget to buy brown space in the West End.

"This property is ideal and ready for development," Fischer said in a news release. "The site is clear with no significant environmental issues. It’s on a rail line, abuts the interstate and is surrounded by a ready workforce."

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Local News
7:00 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Fischer Backs President Obama's Gun Control Measures, but State Law Hampers City Efforts

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit Gabe Bullard/WFPL

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says President Obama's proposal for gun control laws are rational and that he'd like to see new legislation passed.

But those comments are in stark contrast to a state law that is forcing changes to the city's definition of deadly weapons and now allow firearms to be carried in city-owned buildings.

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Politics
6:05 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Fischer Lobbies for Local Option Sales Tax, Pension Reform in State of City Address

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit File photo

Mayor Greg Fischer says Louisville’s economy is rebounding from the national recession, but the city still faces a large budget shortfall due to rising pension costs.

Fischer made the comments at his annual State of the City address before the Rotary Club at the Kentucky Center for African-American Heritage. This year's speech was slightly more upbeat than previous ones, with the mayor arguing that Louisville is becoming more entrepreneurial.

The Metro area has added 22,000 jobs and unemployment has dropped by almost four percent in the last two years. But challenges remain, namely Metro Government's hefty budget deficits.

"Last year’s $25 million gap is now down to about $13-14 million out of a $500 million general fund. That’s still a lot of money. But we didn’t get into this problem in two years and we can’t solve it in two years," says Fischer.

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Politics
11:58 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul Says He Would Have Fired Secretary Hillary Clinton Over Benghazi Attack

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

At his first meeting as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton he would have fired her over the attacks at a U.S. consulate in Libya.

The hearing was the first time Clinton was able to testify about the Benghazi attacks and it was marked by tense exchanges with Republican committee members. Clinton defended her actions, and called out Congress for not adequately funding security requests.

In his opening statement, Paul rebuked Clinton's leadership at the State Department.

Kentucky's junior senator added that Clinton leaving the Obama administration was an acceptance of her culpability in what Paul called "the worst tragedy since 9/11."

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