Noise & Notes

WFPL's Phillip Bailey on politics.

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Politics
10:30 pm
Sat March 16, 2013

Noise and Notes: Recaps and Leftovers from the 2013 Kentucky General Assembly

Credit Louisville Public Media

The 2013 Kentucky General Assembly is nearing its end, but there are plenty of important issues still haven't been addressed.

At the beginning of the legislative session much was said about the improved personal relationships between Gov. Steve Beshear and state lawmakers—particularly the GOP-controlled Senate. But if Frankfort is more collegial it hasn't improved productivity.

With two days left for veto days, thorny matters such as pension reform and redistricting haven’t been resolved. No deals are in sight, and there is talk of a special session to sort those priorities out.

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Politics
1:10 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

Noise and Notes: Gerald Blaine on 'The Kennedy Detail'

Former Secret Service Agent Gerald Blaine
Credit Joe Durso

Former U.S. Secret Service Agent Gerald Blaine has spent his life thinking about security.

In his book "The Kennedy Detail" co-authored with journalist Lisa McCubbin, Blaine chronicles his time protecting former President John F. Kennedy up until the assassination in Dallas.

It also looks at how the shooting was traumatic for Blaine's fellow agents and how each dealt with the president's death differently.

The book has been the subject of 2011 documentary and is set to be a feature film to be filmed in New Orleans.

Producers talked about why the project is in many ways—like the book—a rebuttal to Oliver Stone's infamous 'JFK'.

Watch:

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Politics
10:42 pm
Sat March 2, 2013

Noise and Notes: Not-So-Super PAC Progress Kentucky, Yum Center Woes, 'Cannabis Majority'

Credit Louisville Public Media

The Louisville-based super PAC Progress Kentucky made national news this week when WFPL broke the story of them attacking Senator Mitch McConnell’s wife based on her Asian heritage.

Leaders with the group have apologized—twice, but just about every Democrat has denounced them or kept their distance, and McConnell has pounced on the comments since returning home.

Even the senator's harshest critics have cried foul.

From The Courier-Journal:

This is no way to defeat McConnell. If anything, it does what McConnell cannot do for himself. It remarkably casts him in a sympathetic light.

But some observers have pointed out Progress received sparse coverage from the local media to being with while getting plenty from national outlets.

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Politics
10:28 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Noise and Notes: Congressman John Yarmuth

Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Congressman John Yarmuth is the lone Democrat in Kentucky’s federal delegation.

That makes Yarmuth the only liberal voice arguably in the region, and the lawmaker that the Obama administration confers with over potential federal appointments in the state.

Now in his fifth term in Congress, Yarmuth is the co-sponsor of a number of progressive bills, including campaign finance reforms and gun control measures.

But since 2010, he has been in the minority railing against the Republican-controlled House.

In terms of politics, Yarmuth has been the chief cheerleader for Ashley Judd, who is the rumored top-contender to run against Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell.

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Politics
10:40 pm
Sat February 16, 2013

Noise and Notes: The Man Behind Team Mitch

Credit TeamMitch.com

For Tea Party strategist Jesse Benton, politics and family are one in the same.

The grandson of former Congressman Ron Paul and nephew of Senator Rand Paul, Benton was hired to run the re-election of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell last fall.

Three years ago, Benton worked on his uncle's successful Senate bid that included a primary victory over a McConnell-backed GOP candidate.

It was a shrewd move on Team Mitch's part to blunt vocal criticism from the Tea Party.

Like his boss, Benton acknowledges the campaign still has Tea Party critics, however, he doesn't expect a credible primary challenger will arise.

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Politics
10:30 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Noise and Notes: Kentucky State President Mary Evans Sias on Historically Black Colleges' Challenges

Dr. Mary Evans Sias

Kentucky State University President Mary Evans Sias is warning the 127-year-old institution faces serious challenges, and will have to change to survive.

Located in the bosom of the commonwealth’s capital, K-State is a historically black college with a proud tradition that counts the late Urban League President Whitney Young among its alumni.

As of late K-State has seen a significant drop in enrollment as it has weathered state budget cuts and the national recession.

As Sias writes:

As we expected, in May of 2012, our graduation rate hit a low of 14 percent, down substantially from 2003. That enrollment decline resulted in a $4.8 million loss of revenue for the year.

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Politics
11:30 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Noise and Notes: Council Leaders David James and Ken Fleming on Taxes, City Budget and Guns

Louisville Democrat David James and Republican Ken Fleming don’t always agree as leaders of their respective caucuses, but the two Metro Council members hope city lawmakers tackle a number of issues this year.

Among them is the new spending plan for the city. Mayor Greg Fischer says the local economy is bouncing back from the recession, but Metro Government still faces a $13 million budget shortfall.

Both parties hope the budget process is transparent, and James and Fleming agree that public dollars for city services are running thin and need to be spent wisely.

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Politics
9:50 am
Sun January 27, 2013

Noise and Notes: Thoughts & Opinions with The Courier-Journal's Debby Yetter

Courier-Journal editorial writer Debby Yetter

Louisville journalist Debby Yetter’s fingertips have bled ink as a reporter and now editorial columnist at The Courier-Journal for over three decades.

Yetter is a veteran reporter who has the federal courts, social services and a ferocious focus on state government. Even the newspaper's sharpest critics praised the company's decision when the Yetter's role shifted, and award-winning journalist was picked to help lead the C-J's editorial department.

She’s spent her life collecting thoughts and opinions, and has been eager to share her own in the opinion pages.

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Politics
11:11 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

Noise and Notes: Louisville NAACP Raoul Cunningham on The State of Civil Rights

Credit NAACP

NAACP President Raoul Cunningham has been involved with civil rights since he was a 14-year-old activist protesting against Jim Crow in downtown Louisville.

Still, Cunningham says that in 2013 there are still many pertinent issues and some will be before the Supreme Court this year, such as cases dealing with affirmative action and gay marriage.

The most important question the justices will face deals with a key provision of the Voting Rights Act that could unravel the historic legislation. For Cunningham, this will be a defining moment for the Roberts Court on matters of civil rights.

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Politics
10:32 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Noise and Notes: The Teachings and Legacy of Dr. J. Blaine Hudson

Dr. J. Blaine Hudson
Credit University of Louisville

The late Dr. J. Blaine Hudson spent his life dedicated to scholarship and community, and in the process became one of Louisville's most beloved natives.

Whether as a student activist, historian or University of Louisville dean, Hudson left a mark on everyone he encountered. The outpouring of grief and fond memories has been immense since his death last week at age 63.

Over the years Hudson stopped by WFPL on numerous occasions to show how the city's past informed its present and could potentially solve problems in the future.

He had a wealth of knowledge about theories on race, African-American history and Louisville's role in the Civil Rights Movement, and we have collected some of the best excerpts for one final class.

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