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
12:01 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Appropriations Chairman Seeks Ethics Opinion on Council Distributing Gifts

Councilman Robin Engel, R-22

The chairman of the Louisville Metro Council’s Appropriations Committee is asking the Ethics Commission to weigh-in on whether city lawmakers can pass out gifts to constituents.

Earlier this week, the appropriations committee discussed a pair of Neighborhood Development Fund requests made by council members Rick Blackwell, D-12, and Vicki Welch, D-13. The two were seeking to give Metro Parks $3,000 in return for 400 tickets to performances at the Iroquois Amphitheater, which Blackwell and Welch would give out to residents.

The county attorney warned that tickets can have a "monetary value and political value" and lawmakers should discuss the matter further. After a fierce debate, the committee voted down the proposal by a 3-to-3 vote.

Councilman Robin Engel, R-22, who chairs the appropriations panel, sent a letter to the commission Friday asking if it is a violation of the city's code of ethics for council members to control the distribution of tickets. He says there has been a fierce debate on passing out tickets, but lawmakers need non-partisan guidance.

"The question is the temptation and the possibility of impropriety of being able to distribute tickets as a council member. That is in play here and that’ the question of the day,” he says.

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Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Former Governor Displeased With Obama, Warns Democrats Acting Like Socialists

Former Democratic Governor  John Y. Brown Jr., is disappointed with President Barack Obama's job performance and is criticizing the national party for "acting like socialists" over free enterprise.

Brown served as Kentucky's governor from 1979 to 1983, and is successful businessman and a revered patriarch among state Democrats past and present.

In an interview with Pure Politics, Brown said Mr. Obama doesn't understand the economy and is more interested in "taking care of people instead of taking care of our Constitution" and getting people back to work.

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Politics
7:28 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Davis Passes REINS Act to Young

Retiring Congressman Geoff Davis, R-Ky. announced Wednesday that fellow GOP Congressman Todd Young, R-In., will take over lead sponsorship of the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act.

For three years Davis has championed the legislation as a way to spur economic growth and tackle burdensome regulation. The REINS Act would require that Congress take an up-or-down vote on any major rules that would have more than $100 million annual economic impact.

The bill passed the GOP-controlled House last winter, but it went nowhere in the Democratic Senate. Davis announced last December he was not seeking re-election but that Young will take the lead on the REINS Act in the future.

"Todd Young is one of the hardest-working and most diligent new members of Congress. He has enthusiastically championed the REINS Act at home and in Washington," Davis said in a news release. "Congress has excessively delegated its constitutional responsibility for making the law of the land to unelected bureaucrats for too long.  The REINS Act is one of the most important structural reforms to restore this accountability.  I am confident that Congressman Young will be a tireless champion for the REINS Act going forward."

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Politics
4:18 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

O’Connell Seeks to Lift Kentucky Juvenile Court Confidentiality

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell

After a controversial sexual assault case caught national attention, Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell announced Wednesday that he is crafting legislation to lift confidentiality in Kentucky Juvenile Courts.

Earlier this week, 17-year-old Savannah Dietrich faced a contempt charge for revealing the names of two boys who were found guilty of sexually assaulting her last year. Dietrich was upset with the plea bargain prosecutors made and revealed her attackers names via Twitter, which violated a court order to keep that information confidential.

She faced a maximum 180 days in jail and a $500 fine, but the attorneys for the boys dropped the contempt charges earlier this week.

O'Connell says the case demonstrates the strict state law is out of date and that juvenile court should be open to the public.

"Kentucky is in a long standing minority in connection with that and I think it's out of step and time to have an open and honest and vigorous debate on this subject," he says.

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Politics
2:49 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

McConnell Calls Democrats Bluff, Drops Filibuster on Bush Tax Cuts

File photo

In a surprise move, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., challenged Democrats to vote on a bill to end the Bush era tax cuts for wealthier Americans.

For the past week Senate Democrats have been pushing a bill similar to President Obama's plan to extend the tax relief for income only up to $250,000 annually. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised he had enough votes to pass the 50-vote threshold if not for McConnell blocking a procedural vote with a filibuster.

Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell says the tax hike will hurt job creators, but that he is lifting the filibuster so the American people can see where lawmakers stand.

"The only way to force people to take a stand is to make sure that today’s votes truly count. By setting these votes at a 50-vote threshold, nobody on the other side can hide behind a procedural vote while leaving their views on the actual bill itself a mystery to the people who sent them here," he says.

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Politics
11:18 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Donnelly Continues Depiction of Mourdock as Heckler

Indiana Democratic Senate candidate Joe Donnelly released a new television ad Wednesday that once again lampooned Republican Richard Mourdock as a heckler.

Last month, the Donnelly camp ran a spot with a Mourdock impersonator jeering the congressman from the bleachers. In the latest 30-second ad, Donnelly touts his small business background and advocates for cuts to government spending.

Donnelly also criticizes his GOP opponent for filing a lawsuit against the auto bailout and the commercial features a Mourdock impersonator driving by in a car yelling, "it's my way or the highway."

Check it out:

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Politics
3:12 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Kentucky Club for Growth Releases General Assembly Scorecard

The Kentucky Club for Growth has released its legislative report card for the last two sessions of the General Assembly.

The state chapter is part of the larger conservative political action committee, which advocates for lower taxes, cuts in spending and limited government. Its national scorecards often target Democratic legislators, but it also criticizes Republican lawmakers for being "Republican In Name Only" (RINO) who vote against the club's taxation agenda.

The report card rates only four lawmakers with its top distinction of "Defenders of Economic Freedom" with a score over 85 percent. It gives Republican state Representatives Jim DeCesare of Warren County its top rating overall.

Andy Hightower is the executive director of the Kentucky Club for Growth. He says most Kentucky lawmakers continue to talk about controlling spending, but their rhetoric does not match their votes.

“The people who make decisions are again trying to spend as much as they can despite whatever restraints the revenue levels put on them. I will say this year, the budget reflected these constraints more than in the recent past. The level of spending only increased about 2.7 percent,” he says.

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Politics
10:43 am
Mon July 23, 2012

New Pence Ad Focuses on Jobs

Indiana Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence launched his latest television ad Monday, which focused on bringing jobs to the state. 

The 30-second spot features Pence recounting to a crowd of supporters how he found himself out of work as a young man with a new family. It doesn't contain specific proposal to attract new businesses, but emphasizes that bringing new jobs to Indiana is a chief priority.

"I want Indiana to be known everywhere as the state that works, with better jobs, bigger paychecks and unlimited opportunities," he says in the ad.

Check it out:

 

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Politics
8:30 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Tea Party, MoveOn to Host Debate Over Coarsening Political Dialogue

The Louisville Tea Party and Kentucky MoveOn.org organizers are teaming up to discuss ways to find solutions on divisive political issues.

The two groups will host a debate Tuesday on issues including the national debt and campaign finance reform, with participants seeking to find common ground. It will feature former Republican congressional candidate Larry Hausman, who served on the local Tea Party board, and Kentucky MoveOn organizer Keith Rouda.

Louisville Tea Party President Sarah Durand says the two groups don’t agree on much, but the country’s political dialogue needs to improve.

"It doesn’t have to be all about screaming and getting angry, and you can disagree in a way that’s still very respectful to the other person. And you have a much better chance at coming up with some compromises and some solutions," she says.

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