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.

 

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Government
4:53 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Opposition to Felon Voting Rights Thawing, Kentucky Lawmaker Says

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 2:31 pm

Saying Kentucky state senators have been the historical roadblock, Democrat Gerald Neal of Louisville has pre-filed a bill to restore voting rights to certain former felons.

Movement on the proposal comes weeks after U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., spoke out in favor of restoring felons' voting rights at the state and federal levels, which many observers argue is an indication the GOP may be changing its view on the issue.

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Politics
12:15 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Senate Conservatives Fund Endorses Matt Bevin

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 10:47 am

The Senate Conservatives Fund is endorsing Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin over incumbent Mitch McConnell in next year's Republican primary election.

The nod for the Tea Party backed challenger comes days after McConnell struck a deal with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid to reopen the government and avoid default.

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Government Shutdown 2013
6:48 am
Thu October 17, 2013

McConnell-Reid Deal Includes $3 Billion Earmark for Kentucky Project

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 8:45 pm

A proposal to end the government shutdown and avoid default orchestrated by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Harry Reid includes a nearly $3 billion earmark for a Kentucky project.

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Politics
11:06 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes Surpasses Mitch McConnell in Latest Fundraising Total

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 10:59 am

The campaign to elect Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Tuesday it raised over $2.5 million in the third quarter, topping Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell's fundraising totals for the same period.

Over the past three months Grimes received support from all 120 Kentucky counties and all 50 states with around 13,300 contributors, which is more than twice the number of McConnell's donors.

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Politics
1:47 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Senator Mitch McConnell Hauls in $2.3 Million for Re-Election

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 1:29 pm

In Kentucky's U.S. Senate race, the campaign to re-elect Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced Friday it raised $2.3 million in the past three months.

This represents McConnell's strongest quarter to date as the incumbent seeks a sixth term in office. 

Overall McConnell has garnered a total of $17.7 million towards next year's election and will report just under $10 million in cash on hand.

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Government
11:39 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Hot Mic Catches Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul Discussing Shutdown Talking Points

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 11:53 am

As a growing number of Americans disapprove of the federal government shutdown, a "hot mic" conversation Wednesday night caught Kentucky Republican Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul discussing how the GOP can avoid blame.

Speaking to McConnell in the midst of Capitol Hill interviews, Paul says if Republicans were to pivot from de-funding President Obama's health care law to seeking an overall "compromise" the GOP will "win this."

McConnell can be heard concurring with Paul that it is bad politics for Democrats to say they won't negotiate, but a recent CBS News survey shows most Americans are still blaming the GOP for the shutdown.

Watch:

It is certainly a raw politics moment for Kentucky's two U.S. senators, who have forged an alliance in recent years.

The campaign to elect U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is pouncing on the conversation, calling it a cynical approach in the face of the shutdown's real world impact.

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Politics
3:16 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Two Kentucky Lawmakers Highlight Government Shutdown's Effects on Kentucky Women

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 3:21 pm

Kentucky state Reps. Joni Jenkins and Mary Lou Marzian are highlighting the effects of the federal government shutdown on women.

The two Democrats were in Washington, D.C., this week meeting with lawmakers and hope Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell will keep those adverse impacts in mind as potential negotiations begin.

"Certainly the furloughing of employees—half of those or more are going to be single females who are heads of families—and I don't know how many of your listeners can go without paycheck for a day, a week or possibly longer," said Jenkins, whose district covers parts of western Jefferson County. "That money not coming into our communities is going to trickle down to all sorts of businesses."

Beyond federal workers there is growing concern about social services that could be impacted.

Almost 9 million new mothers and young children rely on programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children or WIC. But federal officials have warned funding for WIC could run out in the next week or so.

Observers expect the shutdown to last at least that long even as President Obama is inviting congressional leaders, including McConnell, to the White House Wednesday afternoon to possibly negotiate.

Marzian says the shutdown is a disaster for women on a number of fronts and low-income mothers in particular, adding the blame should be on Tea Party-backed Republicans in the House.

"It's going to really effect women being able to feed their families and pay their rent as these programs run out of money in the next weeks," she says. "But the Tea Party and these right-wing Republicans care nothing about women and children. They only care about themselves and pushing their agenda forward. However, they care about fetuses but once you’re here you’re on your own."

Last year, over 132,000 pregnant women and new mothers in Kentucky received nutrition assistance through WIC programs for their young children.

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Politics
11:44 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes Says Mitch McConnell is 'Missing in Action' on Shutdown Negotiations

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 2:44 pm

Calling the looming government shutdown a "reckless Republican" strategy, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is accusing incumbent U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., of watching from the sidelines.

The budget impasse in Washington is expected to continue when the Democratic-controlled Senate rejects a House measure this afternoon.

If a deal isn't reached the federal government will close on Tuesday at 12:01 a.m.

At issue is implementation of President Obama's health care law, which Republican want to delay for one year. But that is considered a non-starter in the Senate and for the Obama administration.

In the meantime, the Grimes campaign is going on the offensive against McConnell by highlighting how a shutdown would impact Kentucky.

The news release points out a shutdown would close centers for 16,000 children who attend Head Start, delay payments for U.S. military service members and furlough 25,000 federal employees in the state.

Grimes says McConnell needs to be more involved in the negotiations while reminding supporters about the GOP leadership's split with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

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Government
11:22 am
Fri September 27, 2013

In New York Times Op-Ed, Governor Steve Beshear Says Kentucky Needs Obamacare

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 2:37 pm

In a robust defense of Obamacare, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says the state's health care needs come before the divisive partisan politics to defund the law in Washington.

The op-ed in The New York Times on Friday continues Beshear's arguments in favor of the law, which is set to be implemented beginning Oct. 1.

In Kentucky, nearly one in six are uninsured and the state ranks at the bottom of nearly every major health measure.

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Politics
8:08 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Tea Party Nation Reconsidering Endorsement of McConnell Over Cruz's Anti-Obamacare Plan

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:16 pm

In the midst of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's lengthy floor speech against the president's health care law, a tea party group is having second thoughts about endorsing GOP Leader Mitch McConnell for re-election next year.

Earlier today, McConnell rejected Cruz's plan to filibuster the House spending bill which funds the government past Oct. 1 but does not pay for Obamacare.

"We'd all be hard pressed to explain how we're against a bill we're all in favor of," McConnell told reporters.

But as a number of high-profiled conservatives—such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus—have come out to support Cruz's floor speech, the Tea Party Nation that backed McConnell in July is publicly reconsidering that decision.

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