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. 


1:03 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

McConnell: President Wants Tax Hike for Small Businesses

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., quickly came out against President Obama's push for Congress to end the Bush-era tax cuts for those who making over $250,000 annually.

The president spoke from the White House on Monday, arguing that he has cut taxes for the middle-class Americans and that 97 percent of all businesses would not see their taxes increase. It renews a previous fight between Mr. Obama and Republican lawmakers, but the proposal also puts the administration at odds with congressional Democrats who have called for extending the the cuts for everyone except people earning more than $1 million a year.

McConnell says the proposal is a tax hike that will hurt job creators.

From McConnell's office:

"It’s not an accident that the President didn’t explain how his plan to raise taxes on small businesses will create jobs—he can’t say that with a straight face, it simply isn’t true. In fact, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, nearly a million small businesses would feel this tax hike right away, and up to a quarter of the entire American workforce depends on these employers for a paycheck.

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10:47 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Donnelly Raises $900,000 in Second Quarter

In the Indiana Senate race, the campaign for Democrat Joe Donnelly announced it has raised $900,000 in the second quarter.

The total is an improvement for the Indiana congressman, who faces Republican Richard Mourdock in the general election this fall. Donnelly had been reporting lackluster fundraising totals for a Senate candidate during the primary, which worried state Democrats.

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10:30 pm
Sat July 7, 2012

Noise and Notes: The Politics of Pot and Remembering Rev. Louis Coleman

Probably more than most states, Kentucky is associated with marijuana.

Six months before the General Assembly reconvenes, state Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, unveiled a bill that would legalize medical marijuana dubbed the "Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act."

The legislation has gotten national attention, but also drawn sharp criticism from state police and political opponents despite medical marijuana being legal in 17 other states.

I sat down with Clark in a candid conversation about the political risk involved with introducing such a bill and why he believes Kentucky should be leading the legalization movement.

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6:32 pm
Sat July 7, 2012

NY Times Editorial Goes After McConnell Over Disclose Act

File photo

In a stinging editorial, the New York Times chastises Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for opposing legislation that would require Super PACs to disclose their donor lists to the public.

Last month, McConnell delivered a pointed speech against the Disclose Act where he argued it was an attempt by the Obama administration to intimidate conservative donors and organizations. The GOP leader went as far as to accuse the president of engaging in Nixonian harassment to undermine the First Amendment.

But those in support of the bill—including Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky.—argue the measure is necessary to know who is behind political ads in the Citizens United world.

From the New York Times:

The vast majority of the secret money going into “social welfare” organizations like Crossroads GPS, founded by Karl Rove, is being spent on behalf of Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates, and the Disclose Act is coming up for another vote in a few weeks. So Mr. McConnell needs a new excuse for filibustering it again. But his suggestion that President Obama and Democrats want disclosure in order to compile a list of “enemies” is repugnant.

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3:35 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Ackerson Wants Government Accountability Panel to Investigate Shanklin

Councilman Brent Ackerson, D-26.
Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Councilman Brent Ackerson, D-26, is calling on the government accountability committee to investigate Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, who has been embroiled in a series of scandals.

Since May, Shanklin has faced mounting questions about the use of citys grants from her office, particularly for an upholstery training program for ex-convicts that served no former inmates but that she and her relatives participated in.

The city's internal audit is conducting a review of the jobs program and a report is pending.

It has also been reported that $3,000 in taxpayer money went to Shanklin's family members through funding of the Petersburg-Newburg Neighborhood Association, which she is a board member. Until last year, Shanklin has personally signed checks to the group  since 2005.

An audit of council discretionary spending found a lack monitoring in the majority of those grants, but the report called out Shanklin specifically for having a conflict of interest in funding the neighborhood group while being a board member.

Ackerson says he is concerned about the oversight of taxpayer dollars as well as media reports, adding he wants to know the full story behind Shanklin's controversies.

"Controversy such as this do not bode will for government period. There's a lot of questions that are raised about discretionary funds. Negative stories out there that don't talk about everything and don't give government a chance to address those, all they do is create improper conclusions. And I'm a firm believer in discretionary funds and what they can do for an area," he says.

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2:43 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Gregg Maintains Attacks on Pence Over Health Care, 9/11 Comparison

In the Indiana governor's race, Democrat John Gregg is continuing to bash Republican Mike Pence over controversial remarks comparing the Supreme Court's health care ruling to the terror attacks of September 11.

The Gregg campaign is touting an interview Pence did with a local television station in Indianapolis, which asked him to clarify his original comment. But the congressman refuses to tell reporters what the initial remarks were.

Check it out:

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2:07 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Wicker Questions Boehner’s Leadership

Republican congressional candidate Brooks Wicker won’t commit to keeping current House Speaker John Boehner in the position if he defeats Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth this fall.

Since taking control of Congress, the GOP caucus has had some internal infighting and conservative activists have been critical of Speaker John Boehner, who has clashed with Tea Party lawmakers over the debt ceiling and other negotiations.

Some national conservative groups have publicly called for Boehner's ouster as House leader.

Wicker says he won’t commit to voting for Boehner or not, and hopes other lawmakers will be vying for the position.

"I have questions about some of the issues and positions that have been taken. I would prefer to have an open election for the seat," he told 84 WHAS radio show host Mandy Connell. "Hopefully there will be other people who will contest him for that leadership position and we’ll be able to have a true election for the leader."

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3:11 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Yarmuth Defends Health Care Law on Fox News

Appearing on Fox & Friends, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., defended the Affordable Care Act on Monday.

The liberal congressman has accused Republicans—particularly Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—of misleading the public about President Obama's health care law, but Yarmuth had a civil exchange on the Fox News Channel.

Check it out (h/t The 'Ville Voice):

1:31 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

D.C. Mayor, Groups Call Paul Hypocrite

DC Vote accuses Paul of abandoning his libertarian principles.

U.S. Senator Rand Paul is being criticized for adding provisions to a bill that would give the District of Columbia more control over its budget.

The D.C. Budget Autonomy Act allows the mayor and city council to pass a spending plan without waiting for approval from Congress. Both Republican and Democratic Senators backed the proposal when it was introduced in April, arguing it would avoid a city government shutdown due to congressional delay.

But Paul introduced several amendments to the bill that would change the city’s gun, abortion and labor laws, and observers argue the legislation will remain in limbo for the rest of the year.

James Jones is a spokesman for D.C. Vote, which seeks full voting representation for residents of the nation's capitol in Congress. He says Paul is overstepping his bounds and betraying his libertarian values.

"Residents of the District are deeply offended by Mr. Paul’s hypocrisy. What seems to be right for the whole rest of the country, which is moving decisions closer to the locality where people seem to know best in the mind of Mr. Paul out on the stump. When it comes to the District of Columbia, he feels he knows best and is using the federal power to come down on us," he says.

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7:00 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Scott Launches "Clean It Up" Program

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, is partnering with Metro Corrections and Solid Waste Management to launch a new program aimed at clearing out trash in alleyways.

The "Clean it up" initiative begins Tuesday and will use inmates in a work release crew from the city jail to clean up blight in District 1 neighborhoods. The first area that the program will target will be the Parkland neighborhood where a shooting spree broke out on May 17.

Scott says the program is a chance for inmates to earn back the community’s trust and volunteer in their former neighborhoods.

"To my knowledge what the inmates get is giving back to the community. This is their community service. This is there way of helping to take care of  the neighborhoods where some of them come from,"she says.

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