Noise & Notes

WFPL's Phillip Bailey on politics.

Pages

Politics
10:59 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Noise and Notes: Bennie J. Smith's Long Shot Quest to Retire Mitch McConnell

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Bennie J. Smith

When Louisville musician Bennie J. Smith announced he was seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Republican Senator Mitch McConnell even he compared it to a David versus Goliath proposition.

A jazz musician and Danville, Ky. native, Smith is equal parts music promoter and human rights activist.

Read more
Politics
10:25 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

Noise and Notes: John-Mark Hack's Fight Against Frankfort's Party System

Independent John-Mark Hack

Independent John-Mark Hack is running for the state House in an uphill battle against two well-funded opponents.

The special election for the 56th District seat in central Kentucky is a contest that could be a sign if Republicans overtake the Democratic majority in next years elections.

But for Hack, this race is about constituents rejecting the special interests of both political parties.

A former Democrat, Hack worked as an aide in former Gov. Paul Patton's administration and has passion for food issues. He's also a well-known anti-gaming activist, which is one of the reasons he left the party.

Hack says he isn't a spoiler for the Democrats as GOP candidate Lyen Crews has suggested, and is honestly seeking to change Frankfort's culture.

Read more
Politics
10:25 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Noise and Notes: Super Politics

Summer brings with it the big Hollywood blockbusters, which more and more are based on the characters and stories in comic books.

The genre of made up for 14 percent of box office sales last year with iconic and lesser known figures. Beneath the spandex of super heroes, however, are important themes.

Whether it's street crime, metal illness or racial discrimination, comics have put those topics at the forefront of their issues for decades.

Fiction has also often been used to highlight history real life politics, and comics are no different.

Read more
Politics
10:30 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

Noise and Notes: Kentucky Jobs With Justice Leader Bonifacio Aleman

Kentucky Jobs With Justice Executive Director Bonifacio Aleman
Credit Facebook.com

The U.S. job market is slowly picking up and stock prices are rising for Wall Street, but poor people and the middle-class haven't fully recovered from the economic gut punch of the recession.

For social justice advocates like Kentucky Jobs With Justice Executive Director Bonafacio 'Flaco' Aleman, raising wages and other protections for American workers is just as important as job creation.

"I think that historically poor people have always gotten the short end of the stick," he says.

Though the national unemployment rate is down to 7.6 percent and has dropped in most states, those once middle-class occupations are being replaced with low-wage jobs.

Read more
Politics
10:30 pm
Sat May 11, 2013

Noise and Notes: The 'Herculean' JCPS Audit, Teacher's Union Blasted and Charter Schools

Jefferson County Public Schools is set to be the subject of a what observers are calling a "Herculean" state audit to review Kentucky's largest school district.

It's unclear what the JCPS audit will turn up, but most agree a review of the city's $1 billion budget with over 100,000 students is long overdue. Some school board members object to the examination by saying JCPS has been probed enough, but critics argue paying $125,000 to learn more about the district's finances and administration is important.

The review will focus on contracts, travel expenses and ethics policies, and especially the financial and administrative operations of the central office.

"This is the result of properly focused policy makers organically having conversations about how important public education is," Audit Adam Edelen has said.

Read more
Politics
10:31 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Noise and Notes: The Decadent and Depraved Politics of Derby Weekend

By now we know who won the 139th Kentucky Derby, but there are still questions about other political horse races.

At this point Republican Mitch McConnell does have one official opponent—Owensboro Democrat Ed Marksberry—who is a little known contender in the 2014 U.S. Senate race.

Read more
Politics
10:30 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Noise and Notes: Is Kentucky Compatible With Gay Marriage?

Credit Shutterstock.com

When it comes to gay marriage, America is moving in a direction of growing acceptance while Kentucky remains steadfastly opposed.

National figures show a majority in the country back the idea, which has changed at a rapid pace in the past decade.

Rhode Island took a historic step and is set to become the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage. A new lobbying group founded by prominent conservative donor Paul Singer is pushing for gay marriage legislation as more Republicans join the cause to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.

Even two prominent Kentucky Democrats—Auditor Adam Edelen and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson—came out in favor or marriage equality.

But new poll numbers indicate Kentuckians are still overwhelmingly against same-sex couples getting hitched with 65 percent opposed. The opposition isn't based on political party either because the PPP survey shows 54 percent of Democratic voters are against the idea.

Read more
Politics
10:30 pm
Sat April 20, 2013

Noise and Notes: Anthony Smith's Vision for Safer Louisville Neighborhoods

Safe Neighborhoods Director Anthony Smith
Credit File photo

What makes a Louisville neighborhood safe?

Community activist Anthony Smith hopes to answer that in his new Metro government role aimed at crime prevention.

The city's director of Safe Neighborhoods was created as a result of the violence prevention task force, which submitted a report containing over six dozen recommendations in response to a brazen triple homicide last year.

Since that shooting spree onlookers have awaited to see if the work group's plan will be more than just another study.

Smith is a Louisville native who acknowledges residents are impatient when it comes to previous promises to help improve dangerous areas.

"There's always going to be this idea around are we doing enough as a city and are we moving fast enough," he says. "And I think we've got to understand this is a long-term situation—we didn't get here overnight so it's not something you can just put some programs in place and it's all gone."

Read more
Politics
5:02 pm
Sun April 7, 2013

Noise and Notes: With Ashley Judd Out, Where Do Kentucky Democrats Go From Here?

Alison Lundergan Grimes, Mitch McConnell and Ashley Judd

Now that Ashley Judd is out, Kentucky Democrats are scrambling for a legitimate contender to take on Republican Senator Mitch McConnell next year.

The speculation is on Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, whose every word is being examined.

But what if Grimes also forgoes a 2014 Senate bid?

Read more
Politics
10:50 pm
Sat March 30, 2013

Noise and Notes: Stop Ignoring West Louisville

Louisville Magazine's cover story on the West End
Credit louisville.com

Stop ignoring the West End!

At least that’s the message from a recent Louisville Magazine cover story about the nine neighborhoods encompassing west Louisville.

The 38-page exposé tells the community's history, and also outlined the current disparities in income, property values and education levels. Many know anecdotally about the so-called Ninth Street Divide, but the stark realities when compared to the East End is eye-opening.

Statistics show residents in east Louisville make three times more and seven times as many have a bachelor's degree or higher than their West End counterparts.

It's a bleak picture of the predominately African-American part of the city, which is increasingly isolated.

Read more

Pages