Phillip M. Bailey (KPR)

Kentucky Public Radio Correspondent

Philip Bailey is a reporter and political correspondent for Kentucky Public Radio based out of WFPL  in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Politics
12:13 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Poll: Hillary Clinton Leads Rand Paul in Kentucky

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 11:47 am

In a new survey released Wednesday, Public Policy Polling found that in a hypothetical 2016 presidential race Democratic Hillary Clinton leads Republican Sen. Rand Paul in Kentucky.

Clinton is the outgoing U.S. Secretary of State who many Democrats want to run in four years, while Paul is a rising GOP star and Tea Party favorite. Both are rumored presidential candidates at this point, but the PPP survey shows Clinton ahead of Paul by a 5-point margin in the commonwealth at 47-to-42 percent.

A large reason for Clinton's lead is that she is far more popular in Kentucky than President Obama, who has struggled amongst state Democrats.

From PPP:

Clinton has a 48/42 favorability rating with Kentucky voters. By comparison Barack Obama's approval rating is 38/59.

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Politics
4:07 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Williams Interested in Judicial Appointment

Republican gubernatorial nominee David Williams

A spokesman for Kentucky Senate President David Williams says Williams would consider a judicial appointment if Governor Steve Beshear offered the position. Williams and Beshear are bitter rivals. And rumors have been swirling in Frankfort that Beshear is planning to offer Williams an open circuit court seat in his southern Kentucky district. Williams is a trial lawyer by trade. And earlier this week, Kentucky Public Radio reported that Senate Republicans have already picked a successor should Williams leave.

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Politics
2:43 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Williams Interested in Judicial Appointment

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 3:16 pm

Kentucky Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, would consider a judicial appointment if Governor Steve Beshear offered the position, a spokesperson confirmed.

Rumors have been swirling in Frankfort that Beshear is planning to offer his bitter rival Williams, who is a trial lawyer, the open circuit court seat in his southern Kentucky district. The seat was left vacant due to the death of Judge Eddie Lovelace last month.

"If there is an appointment offer, Sen. Williams will consider it," says Senate GOP spokeswoman Lourdes Báez-Schrader.

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Politics
9:23 am
Thu September 13, 2012

McConnell Recruits Tea Party Campaign Manager for Re-Election Bid

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 8:47 am

Seeking a sixth term, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has hired a Tea Party strategist who led campaigns for fellow Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

McConnell announced he hired Jesse Benton as his campaign manager for re-election on Thursday despite having no primary or general election opponent. Benton led Congressman Ron Paul's presidential primary race and worked for Rand Paul's Senate bid as well.

"We’re committed to running a presidential-level campaign in Kentucky, and that starts with a presidential campaign manager," McConnell told The Washington Post. "Jesse is literally the best in the business at building and organizing conservative grassroots movements, and I’m thrilled he’s chosen to return to Kentucky to lead my campaign."

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Politics
2:07 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Watchdog Group Names Congressman Rogers Among Most Corrupt Lawmakers

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 1:30 pm

A national watchdog group has named Congressman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., among the most corrupt lawmakers in the country.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a non-partisan group, released its annual Most Corrupt Members of Congress report Wednesday, which lists 12 members it alleges have engaged in misconduct.

The report calls out Rogers for directing millions of dollars in earmarks to a Kentucky-based company that has contributed to his campaign. Phoenix Products Co. located in Maceo, Ky., has been paid $6.5 million by the U.S. Army for hundreds of leak-proof drip pans for military helicopters.

Earlier this year, The New York Times reported that Phoenix Products was paid $17,000 per drip pan, but that competitor businesses said similar products cost only $2,500.

Melanie Sloan is executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. She says Rogers is a frequent offender, and constituents concerned about fiscal responsibility should be alarmed.

"While these may be made in Kentucky this is hurting America. We have a huge deficit. We can’t afford all of our bills. And here it is we’re paying over $14,500 extra for each drip pan. And that’s taxpayer money. So we should all be concerned,” she says.

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Politics
3:26 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Paul Concerned About Romney’s Electoral Map

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 2:16 pm

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is worried that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will not have enough Electoral College votes to beat President Obama this fall.

National polls show the race is a statistical tie in a popular vote with a slim margin of undecided voters, but the winner of the White House is the candidate who captures 270 electoral votes. A review of most interactive maps show Mr. Obama edging out Romney in November by winning key swing states.

Paul says there are a handful of states that are evenly divided and Romney will have to win most of them, adding the GOP will have to examine its electoral map strategy in future races.

"It’s tougher and tougher for Republicans because we don’t compete very well in the west coast (and) we don’t compete very well New England. Once you give up all those votes then you got to win pretty much the rest of the country," he says. "And that’s one of the messages I’ve had to the national Republican Party. You know what? Those areas where you’re not competing maybe a libertarian Republican would do better in California or New York state."

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Politics
2:22 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Abramson Joins Fancy Farm Haters

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 1:06 pm

Kentucky Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson is taking a hit for calling the annual Fancy Farm picnic outdated, but he isn't the first elected official to share his distaste for the raucous event.

As Frankfort Bureau Chief Kenny Colston reported, Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer scolded Abramson for his comments and skipping the event. He also scored some political points by highlighting that the lieutenant governor is the former mayor of Louisville.

On his Facebook page, Comer wrote: "The border of (Kentucky) extends far beyond the city limits of Louisville, something the Lt. Gov. will hopefully realize before the end of his term!"

But two years ago, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, who is from Bowling Green, criticized Fancy Farm when he told Fox New's Sean Hannity that he worried the onlookers would shower him with beer. And his northern Kentucky predecessor—former Sen. Jim Bunning—threatened to boycott Fancy Farm after complaining about how elected leaders were treated.

Listen:

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Politics
1:57 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

McConnell Confronted With Tea Party Criticism

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is defending his leadership role against conservative critics.

Later this month, McConnell will join fellow Kentucky Senator Rand Paul at a Tea Party rally in the state Capitol. The two are expected to discuss President Obama’s health care law, which has been a punching bag for GOP leaders since its passage.

But observers have noted that McConnell has been at odds with the Tea Party movement since its launch three years ago.

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Politics
4:16 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

McConnell Elated With Fall of Newspapers

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 10:42 am

In a BuzzFeed profile piece, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., celebrates the rise of social media and is praising the fall of traditional newspaper outlets.

Like most conservatives, McConnell views traditional media outlets as bias against GOP views and he appears somewhat elated about the dwindling print media that once held a stranglehold on political coverage.

McConnell says social media allows for ideas to be heard in a more competitive landscape and commented on The Courier-Journal hiring a marketing and sales VP as its publisher earlier this year.

From BuzzFeed:

McConnell, 70, spoke to BuzzFeed in his office overlooking the National Mall; he had tweeted of his plans for the interview earlier in the day from his iPad.

“To the extent that there isn’t media domination like there was in the days NBC, ABC, CBS the New York Times, the Washington Post, particularly since most people on my side of the aisle feel they had a pretty obvious bias … those days are over,” he said. “I kind of like this new environment. I think its much more competitive, much more balanced."

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Politics
2:27 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Former Governor Displeased With Obama, Warns Democrats Acting Like Socialists

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 1:53 pm

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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