Phillip M. Bailey

Phillip M. Bailey became WFPL's political editor in 2011, covering city, state and regional campaigns and elected officials. He also covers Metro Government, including the mayor's office and Metro Council. Before coming to WFPL, Phillip worked for three years as a staff writer at LEO Weekly and was a fellow at the Academy of Alternative Journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

 

Pages

Politics
3:37 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Kentucky GOP Launches ‘Ask Alison’ to Press Grimes on Campaign Trail

The Republican Party of Kentucky launches 'Ask Alison'

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 7:37 am

Kentucky Republicans are launching a new initiative to force Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes to be more forthright on the campaign trail.

"Ask Alison" will feature a series of questions by the state GOP delivered weekly in an effort to get the first-term secretary of state to clarify her positions on the president's health care law and environmental regulations, among other issues.

Read more
Politics
1:38 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

FEC Says Facebook PAC Gave Mitch McConnell Too Much Money

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 1:09 pm

The political action committee tied to Facebook has apparently given Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign an excessive amount in contributions.

This is the second letter from the Federal Election Commission this week questioning if the McConnell campaign received more than the legal limit in donations from various individuals and groups.

Read more
Politics
4:38 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Senator Mitch McConnell: Democrats Will Regret Detonating 'Nuclear Option' in 2014

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 2:20 pm

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his top aides are warning the detonation of the so-called "nuclear option" will backfire on Senate Democrats after the results of next year's election.

The vote gives the 2014 mid-term elections even higher stakes and puts more attention on Kentucky's Senate race, which could pit McConnell up against Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes next fall.

After months of debating the use of the 60-vote cloture maneuver to block President Obama's judicial nominees and other measures, Democratic Leader Harry Reid moved forward with changing the Senate rules.

By a 52-48 vote, it now takes just a simple majority vote to end debate and move ahead with presidential nominations other than Supreme Court justices.

"If you want to play games and set yet another precedent that you'll no doubt come to regret. I say to my friends on the other side of the aisle you'll regret this," said McConnell. "And you may regret it a lot sooner than you think."

Others in McConnell's camp, such as former chief of staff Josh Holmes, who is working on the senator's re-election bid, also derided the nuclear option. But he put the vote in even starker terms if the GOP captures the majority next fall.

Read more
Politics
12:20 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Andy Beshear Announces Bid for Kentucky Attorney General

Andrew Beshear

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:55 am

Louisville attorney Andy Beshear, the son of Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, announced he is running for attorney general in 2015.

The younger Beshear has been a rumored candidate for much of this year to succeed incumbent Jack Conway, who is term-limited. 

Andy Beshear launched his campaign website on Thursday, and filed paperwork to run as a Democrat. He is the first candidate to declare his intentions two years ahead of the election.

Read more
Politics
2:24 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Mitch McConnell Wants Kentucky Senate Race to Focus on Obamacare Woes

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 12:59 pm

Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell reiterated his call to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act and predicted Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes will run away from the law.

The GOP leader made the remarks at a press conference at his campaign headquarters on Tuesday, where McConnell made it clear that he wants Kentucky's 2014 Senate race to focus on the president's health care law.

For the past six weeks the Obamacare rollout has been plagued by a malfunctioning enrollment website and reports of canceled insurance plans.

Reports have found about 280,000 Kentuckians will lose their current coverage due to the law.

State officials say those people won't be dropped altogether, but rather will receive offers for alternative plans where their insurance costs could go down or increase depending on the individual case.

Its those sort of troubles that have put Democrats from more conservative states on their heels as GOP lawmakers are becoming re-energized thanks to its rocky implementation.

McConnell predicted Grimes will follow the line of Democratic incumbents in red states such as Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and run away from the president's law.

"The panic has set in and the troops are restless," he says. "And on a daily basis you will see some Democrat in some red state distance themselves from Obamacare. So I would say that my opponent is keep(ing) an eye on Mary Landrieu. And whatever Mary Landrieu does, you can expect my opponent to likely do either that day or the next day."

The senator also outlined what he called a more "scalpel" approach compared to the president's "meat ax," favoring reforms that would allow for more competition across state borders.

Asked about the over 7,000 individuals who have already signed up for new health care plans through the state's exchange program, McConnell said plainly lawmakers need to start over.

Read more
Politics
4:58 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Kentucky Shootout: Alison Lundergan Grimes and Mitch McConnell Show Off Their Guns

McConnell campaign t-shirts at gun rights rally

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 11:07 pm

Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes are vying for top gun in Kentucky's U.S. Senate race.

The McConnell campaign launched its "Sportsmen for Team Mitch" coalition on Friday to coincide with deer hunting season and to flaunt his support of the Second Amendment.

Praised by hunting groups and gun rights advocates,  McConnell was also presented with a "Defender of Freedom" award by the National Rifle Association at the event.

Read more
Politics
2:36 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Washington Times Ends Senator Rand Paul's Op-Ed Column Amid Plagiarism Reports

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 5:55 am

After slamming reports of plagiarism as the work of "hacks" and "haters," U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., admitted on Tuesday that his office has been "sloppy" in his speeches and writings.

But the acknowledgment came too late for a Washington newspaper that has published hundreds of Paul's op-ed columns—and won't anymore.

The story began last Monday when MSNBC's Rachel Maddow found parts of Paul's speech at Liberty University referring to the science fiction film Gattaca were lifted from the movie's Wikipedia page.

Read more
Politics
3:25 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Tea Party 'RINO Refund' Site Targets Kentucky GOP Congressmen

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell isn't the only Kentucky Republican facing Tea Party criticism for the plan ending the shutdown.

Tea Party Leadership Fund launched RINORefund.com this week targeting nearly 100 House Republicans for their Oct. 16 vote to re-open the federal government.

The site encourages donors to withdraw their support and asks for their contributions to be returned, including from Republicans Ed Whitfield, Brett Guthrie and Hal Rogers of Kentucky.

Read more
Politics
10:20 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Saying GOP Challenger Could Face Jail Time, Mitch McConnell Going for Knockout Against Matt Bevin

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and GOP challenger Matt Bevin

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 7:31 pm

It is safe to call the Kentucky primary race between Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and challenger Matt Bevin a nasty contest.

The latest offensive from McConnell says his Tea Party-backed opponent isn't just misleading the public about his past, but argues Bevin may have committed a criminal act in the process that could be grounds for imprisonment.

From the outset McConnell's ruthless campaign told voters Bevin, a Louisville businessman and investor, was an "East Coast con man" whom they couldn't trust.

Even as TV attack ads against Bevin's business record were dubbed mostly false by fact-checkers, the pummeling has escalated and expanded.

As first reported by Buzzfeed last week, Bevin's Connecticut-based bell-making company (Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Co.) sought a $100,000 state grant after it burned down from a fire four years ago.

The online news site found Bevin's company applied for the grant saying it didn't owe any local, state or federal back taxes while failing to disclose a $74,000 IRS lien.

Another Connecticut document obtained by WFPL is dated June 16, 2012. It shows Bevin signed some of the paperwork personally, which stated there were "no federal tax claims or liens" against his company.

McConnell's campaign didn't leave this to just their political operatives, who eagerly attacked Bevin's trustworthiness. Team Mitch also found a Connecticut lawyer who said Bevin could face a $2,000 fine or a year in jail.

"Mr. Bevin apparently admitted that his company paid the tax lien off on September 11, 2012 and the lien was released on Nov. 7, 2012. So, at the time Mr. Bevin signed the certificate under oath, a tax lien in fact was filed against his company contrary to the representations made in the certificate," attorney Peter J. Martin, a Connecticut attorney, said during a McConnell campaign conference call. "Now, I am not a prosecutor, I am not a judge and I am not a jury, but if I was Mr. Bevin’s attorney I would be very concerned."

Read more
Politics
9:10 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Senator Rand Paul Proposes Constitutional Amendment

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 8:05 pm

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky introduced a constitutional amendment that would forbid Congress from passing laws that don't apply equally to lawmakers, Executive Branch and U.S. Supreme Court.

According to Paul himself, the proposal is aimed at Chief Justice John Roberts over his swing vote last year upholding the constitutionality of the president's health care law.

Read more

Pages