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
12:51 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

State Audit Finds Poor Documentation, Troubling Practices in Jefferson County Clerk’s Office

An audit of Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw's office shows poor record keeping of charitable funds and others questionable administrative practices regarding a non-profit and employee bonuses.

The report was conducted by State Auditor Adam Edelen, and it scolds the clerk for failing to properly account for funds that her office raised for charities such as the Crusade for Children and USA Cares Inc.

Among its findings were that Holsclaw paid $99,200 in Christmas bonuses to employees last year. According to the clerk's office the $400 per employee bonus was an incentive for good work, but Edelen's office points out that the practice is prohibited by the Kentucky Constitution and should be stopped.

Auditor spokeswoman Stephanie Steitzer says the report is not alleging any criminal activity, but does contain  several recommendations to help save the taxpayer’s money.

"We are pointing out that there are some areas of concern where she can make—we make recommendations for improvement—again, to limit the risk to taxpayers and to herself," she says.

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Politics
6:30 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Bellarmine to Host Metro Council District 8 Debate

Bellarmine University will host a debate for voters in the Metro Council 8th District featuring Republican challenger Kirt Jacobs and Democratic incumbent Tom Owen.

Owen is a three-term councilman and his seat is being challenged by Jacobs in the upcoming election. Jacobs is a local businessman who hosts "Leadership Landscape" a weekly one-on-one interview program.

Earlier this year, observers speculated that the 72-year-old Owen might retire and not seek re-election, but the longtime city lawmakers says he is committed to serving a full term and though he has won previous races by wide margins, he is taking this year’s election seriously.

"You would know by my current jitters that I am neither complacent about my request for the voters to send me for an additional term nor am I in anyway blasé or arrogant just presuming victory," he says.

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Politics
3:52 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Huckabee to Headline Louisville Fundraiser for House GOP Candidates

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee

Former Republican presidential candidate and Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee will be in Louisville this week to headline a fundraiser for state House GOP candidates.

In Kentucky’s history, the GOP has held the majority in the state House for only four years and just briefly in the 1920s. This November, Republicans need to win 10 seats to gain control of the House from the Democrats, who hold a 59-to-41 majority.

Last month, House GOP leaders unveiled their platform, which includes reforming the state tax code, cutting Medicaid spending and requiring each bill be read before a vote.

Republican Caucus spokesman Joe Burgan says Huckabee’s appearance demonstrates how serious the GOP is about winning this fall.

"It really speaks to the opportunity that Republicans have this fall," he says. "The governor is coming to town because he realizes for the first time in 91 years we have the chance to take the state House and set a new course for Kentucky."

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Politics
1:58 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

High Anticipation for First Presidential Debate

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are preparing for their first debate this week, and observers are eager to see if it will impact the race.

Both campaigns have been complimentary of each other and are trying to lower expectations before the televised debate in Denver, Colorado on Wednesday in order to gain an advantage going in. But experts agree that stakes are higher for Romney, who trails the president according to most polls in battleground states.

Tiffany Dillard-Knox is acting director of the University of Louisville debate team. She says people are excited to watch the first presidential debate, but that the forums are becoming more of a liability.

"I think the debates more likely can make you lose a candidacy more so than win one. You can say the wrong things. I don’t think people are really listening for the right things anymore. But I think people are taking into consideration when the candidates are saying the wrong things," she says.

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Politics
12:10 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Brown Voices Disgust With McConnell's Leadership

During a televised debate with Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Ma., voiced his displeasure with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and said he's undecided on voting for him to lead the GOP caucus.

President Obama is leading in Massachusetts by at least 30 points, and Brown is stressing his role as a moderate Republican with a bipartisan record. Asked if he'd support McConnell next year, Brown said he was undecided and voiced disgust with Congress.

Watch (h/t LEO Weekly):

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Politics
10:30 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Democratic Super PACs Launch $1 Million Ad Campaign Against Mourdock

Big money is being spent this week by the political parties and outside groups in the Indiana Senate contest between Democrat Joe Donnelly and Republican Richard Mourdock.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has reportedly bought another $439,000 in advertisements for this week and the National Republican Senatorial Committee is following suit. 

For the past week, the conservative super PAC American Crossroads bas been running a nearly $1 million ad buy against Donnelly for his votes in support of President Obama's agenda. But a gang of liberal organizations led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's Majority PAC, announced Tuesday that they are launching a $1 million campaign against Mourdock this week to highlight his opposition to the auto bailout.

Check it out:

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Politics
12:26 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

New Kentucky Lobbying Record Could Be Set

Kentucky businesses and other groups could set a new spending record for lobbying state lawmakers this year.

A report released by the Legislative Ethics Commission shows that $13.2 million has already been spent on lobbying during the first eight months of 2012. The biggest spenders include several tobacco companies, as well as Churchill Downs, Humana and the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation.

During the 2012 General Assembly, lobbyists and their employers spent $8.8 million, which is more than in any legislative session in state history. And this year’s lobbying expenditures are projected to surpass the record of $16.9 million dollars set in 2008.

"And the total spent has really grown quite a bit from about $6.5 million in 1994 up to what appears to be in excess of $17 million for 2012," says Legislative Ethics Commission John Schaaf.

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Politics
10:34 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Mourdock Targets Donnelly Votes in New TV Ad

With five weeks left in the Indiana Senate race, Republican Richard Mourdock is criticizing Congressman Joe Donnelly for supporting the agenda of congressional Democrats and President Obama in a new statewide ad.

The 30-second spot continues the road motif of the campaign, and highlights that Donnelly voted for the stimulus package, bank bailout and Affordable Care Act. For most of the general election Donnelly has trumpeted himself as a moderate, but the GOP and Mourdock are trying to undercut that by showing the congressman's ties to Democratic policies nationally.

Check it out:

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Politics
7:30 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Highview Residents Oppose Apartment Project

After months of petitioning Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, several residents and homeowners groups are opposing an apartment project in the Highview neighborhood.

Frontgate Apartments is a 212-unit apartment complex being proposed by LDG Development in an area near Outer Loop. It has the support of the mayor’s office as an affordable housing project, but residents have complained it will lower property values.

Jon Bingham is a board member of the Apple Valley Property Owners. He says residents are willing to negotiate with developer, but that the current complex being planned is too big for the area.

"So they can come back to the table and talk to us about a reasonable, smaller size that would be a blessing to those residents as well as a blessing to the community and we can get to the negotiating table. But if they are going to shove all or nothing, we will go for nothing," he says.

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Politics
3:05 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Poll Shows Indiana Senate Race Dead Heat

Less than six weeks before Election Day, Democrat Joe Donnelly and Republican Richard Mourdock are in a statistical dead heat for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat.

The Howey-DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll puts Donnelly ahead with 40 percent compared to Republican Richard Mourdock’s 38 percent, which is within the 3.5 percent margin of error. The survey of 800 likely voters follows many other polls that have depicted the contest as a neck-and-neck race to replace outgoing Sen. Dick Lugar.

Close to $10 million has been spent in the race thus far, and outside groups, such as the conservative  Super PAC Crossroads GPS, has spent close to $1 million this week opposing Donnelly's candidacy.

But Donnelly campaign spokeswoman Elizabeth Shappell says her candidate’s two-point edge shows Hoosier voters are rejecting Mourdock’s approach and the heavy amounts being spent to defeat him.

"This is the same man who said that the highlight of politics to him inflict his opinion on others, who has questioned the constitutionality of Social Security and Medicare," she says. "Joe Donnelly is the true bipartisan, common sense candidate in this race and he has the record to prove it."

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