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
2:00 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Yarmuth Tells GOP to Read Health Care Law

Speaking on the House floor Friday, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., suggested Republican lawmakers have not read the Affordable Care Act and accused them of misleading Americans about President Obama's health care overhaul.

Check it out (h/t FatLip):

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Politics
12:23 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Scott Applauds "Cut it Out" Program

A vacant property with overgrown grass. (photo provided by Metro Government)

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, is praising several local lawn service companies who voluntarily mowed grass at the worst abandoned properties in her district. But the outspoken lawmaker wants the city to do a better job addressing blight.

The “Cut it Out” program was launched by Scott’s office last month to address blight in west and southwest Louisville neighborhoods due to the rise of vacant properties. According to city records, one-third of the 155 worst properties with overgrown grass have been mowed by local businesses and their crews for free.

Scott says residents are fed up with the eyesores, but that community leaders and business owners have stepped up to tackle the problem.

"We were able to do because we had someone in the community who lives in District 1 who said, ‘you know what I’ve got some connections, I see you’re out here trying to do the work so let’s make this happen.’ And then every single week we started getting another lawn care company that said they wanted to get involved with this. We had a company all the way out in Prospect that said, 'I want to do something and this is what I can do,'" she says.

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Politics
10:58 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Kentucky Democrats Differ on Holder Contempt Vote

The Democratic lawmakers in Kentucky's congressional delegation handled the contempt vote of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in the House very differently Thursday.

The House of Representatives voted 255-to-67 to hold Holder in contempt for failing to turnover key documents tied to the controversial "Fast and Furious" gun-running operation. But the Obama administration has said the Justice Department has turned over 7,000 pages to Congress and called the vote a "witch hunt."

Over a dozen Democrats joined the Republican majority, including Sixth District Congressman Ben Chandler of Lexington. He said holding Holder in contempt was more about oversight than politics.

From Chandler's office:

“Throughout my time in Congress and as Attorney General of Kentucky, I have always supported the principle of public disclosure and been an advocate for open records regardless of which party is in power. I voted to hold Harriet Miers and Joshua Bolten in contempt while President Bush was in office, and even though some Republicans have turned this into a political circus, it is imperative that Congress is able to exercise its duties of oversight.”

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Politics
6:30 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Fischer Names Chief of Strategic Initiatives

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer named Mary Ellen Wiederwohl as chief of strategic initiatives on Thursday.

The position will focus on integrating policy, improving local, state and federal governments relations and communicating them into the city’s long-term plan. Wiederwohl, 38, will be paid $113,000 annually and will also serve as Fischer's deputy to chief of staff.

"Mary Ellen has a deep knowledge of both government and the private sector," Fischer said in a news release. "Her expertise in education, health care, government relations, public policy and communications will help our team accelerate our goals for the city."

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Politics
3:08 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Pence Compares Health Care Ruling to 9/11 Attacks

Indiana Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence compared the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Affordable Care Act to the terrorist attacks of September 11.

The comment was reportedly made during a a closed door GOP meeting, according to Politico.

The conservative congressman quickly apologized.

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Politics
2:44 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

UofL Scholars Blast Paul Over SCOTUS Remarks

U.S. Senate

Legal and political scholars are lambasting U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., for dismissing the role of the U.S. Supreme Court in reaction to the health care ruling on Thursday.

In a statement, Paul said the Affordable Care Act would destroy the country's health care system and belittled the role of judicial review.

"Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional," said Paul. "While the court may have erroneously come to the conclusion that the law is allowable, it certainly does nothing to make this mandate or government takeover of our health care right."

But several local and national observers have called Paul's comment out of bounds with the Constitution and the landmark Madison v. Marbury case (1803), which allows for the high court to review laws.

University of Louisville law professor Sam Marcosson says Paul's comments are irresponsible, adding the Supreme Court is the referee of the Constitution.

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Politics
12:29 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Paul Dimisses SCOTUS, Health Care Ruling

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., dismissed the role of the Supreme Court in disagreeing with the high court's ruling to uphold President Obama's health care law.

From Paul's office:

 “Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional. While the court may have erroneously come to the conclusion that the law is allowable, it certainly does nothing to make this mandate or government takeover of our health care right,” Sen. Paul said.

Politics
6:17 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Fischer Backs Local Sales Tax Option

File photo

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer supports a local option sales tax within the county limits to raise additional revenue for Metro Government.

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Politics
5:12 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Audit Finds Poor Documentation of Council Discretionary Funds

An internal audit has found half of the grant from the Louisville Metro Council lacked sufficient documentation to determine if the discretionary funds were spent as intended.

Last year, Council President Jim King, D-10, ordered the review in the wake of the ethics controversy involving former Councilwoman Judy Green, who was booted from office over misuse of Neighborhood Development Funds.

The audit looked at 117 grants over the past two fiscal years totaling more $1.9 million in taxpayer dollars and found no wrongdoing. However, it showed the majority of the council’s Neighborhood Development Funds had missing proof of payment, unallowable expenditures or poor documentation to account for the grants.

"The audit was difficult to conduct in that there was a lack of monitoring in place prior to the new administration being there," says Internal Auditor Ingram Quick, adding the lack of documentation of the grants is troubling.

Among the findings are approximately $238,000 of expenditures in which proof of payment was not provided to the city. It also found inconsistencies and a vague criteria for non-profit groups receiving city funds, including over $6,500 in funds that were spent out of compliance with Metro Government rules.

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Politics
12:19 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Former Mayoral Candidate, Conspiracy Theorist Arrested

Former mayoral candidate Connie Marshall was arrested by Louisville Metro Police after allegedly leading officers on a pursuit.

Marshall ran a bizarre campaign for mayor in 2010, but she is better known as a conspiracy theorist who has alleged local and federal officials are harassing her via electronic surveillance.

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