Saturday, October 25, 2008

Update: Kevin Bratcher Answers Your Questions

As promised, State Representative Kevin Bratcher (R-29) made good on his promise to speak with me this afternoon and answered some questions regarding happenings in his district. We also talked about specific legislation.

I asked him about Kentucky House Bill 70, a perennial piece of legislation that would restore voting rights to convicted felons upon completing their "service to the state". Kevin replied: "There is already a method by which convicted felons can get their voting rights restored. I voted against House Bill 70".

When asked about "right to work" laws and elimination of the prevailing wage provision in government contracts, Rep. Bratcher again expressed his opposition to these measures. He also noted that he traditionally receives support from labor organizations, and pointed to his pro-labor voting record in Frankfort, which is something I appreciate greatly.

Kevin Bratcher is against casino-style gambling in Kentucky, but may allow a vote by citizens on the matter should it ever come to it.

As far as the MSD proposal to pipe in waste from the east end of Louisville to be treated at the wastewater plant in Southwest Louisville, Rep. Bratcher said he would have to study the matter more before he commented, but cited his past battles with MSD and admitted that it looked bad for the city to be proposing such a measure in a part of town that receives so little attention.

Although we disagree on some issues, it was, over all, a nice conversation with a knowledgeable representative who should be sent back to Frankfort. He repeated his promise to speak with "anyone, anytime" that had questions about the district. Take him up on it, and you'll find a qualified public servant that is receptive to his constituents requests for information. Click HERE for his website.

ALERT- MSD Going Ahead With Plan to Pump East-End Sewage to Southwest Louisville

First Time Here? Go To The MAIN PAGE

I know a lot of residents out here feel as though they are being "shit on" by Metro Government, but this is ridiculous. Ed Springston over at Louisville News and Politics has commented on this subject before, and he brought up the possibility of MSD pumping raw sewage from Jeffersontown and other East End neighborhoods to the facility in Southwestern Jefferson County. It seems as though his concerns have been validated by THIS Courier-Journal article.

Although it would be cheaper to build a facility around the area that needs it instead of setting up a 40 mile-long pipeline, MSD doesn't want to upset the East Enders by expanding the existing wastewater treatment plant in J-Town, so the Metropolitan Sewer District has opened a comment period on its $843 million construction plan that includes piping J-Town crap to Valley Station, and you are invited to "air" your concerns and/or opposition to the plan.

Written comments must be received by 5 p.m. Dec. 5 and should be mailed to: MSD Executive Director Bud Schardein at the utility’s headquarters at 700 W. Liberty St., Louisville, KY 40203. People also can express their displeasure at a hearing at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 at MSD headquarters. Here's a MAP.

Agency staff will informally discuss and answer questions about the plan at three other meetings: Nov. 10, Southwest Government Center, 7219 Dixie Highway; Nov. 12, Jeffersontown Fire Department, 10540 Watterson Trail; and Nov. 20, East Government Center, 200 Juneau Road. All are at 6 p.m.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Whippin' 'Em Into a Frenzy...

Louisville's LEO Weekly has a good piece on the 37th District Senate race. Read it HERE.

Any Questions for Kevin Bratcher (R-29)?

I received an email from Kentucky State Representative Kevin Bratcher this evening offering to answer any questions I or anyone else may have, since I pointed out his lack of a campaign presence in the South End. In fairness, he said he walked door-to-door in the Leemont Acres subdivision last Saturday. He said people are never home when he does campaign walks. But he does make the promise to speak with anyone at anytime, and has made himself accessible through his website. He gave me his cell number and told me to call him for a discussion.

So..what do you think I should ask him? Don't be shy. Take advantage of this opportunity. Politicians are practically breaking their necks to talk to you at this time of year.

Further Resarch on Hawkins Campaign Contributors

After careful examination of the records filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, Doug Hawkins' campaign for State Senate is largely being financed by a list of Louisville's premier knuckle-dragging crowd that believe people rode around on dinosaurs 4000 years ago. "Dr." Frank Simon, Christopher Smrt, Dana Seum-Stevenson, Renay Davis and a few members of the Zoeller family are among the donors, and the State Republicans finally came up with $20,000 for Doug.

Further research on Doug's opponent, incumbent Senator Perry Clark (D-37) reveals a different story. Notable heavyweights such as AFSCME, Asbestos Workers, Sherriff John Aubrey, Boilermakers Union, candidate David Boswell, Plumbers & Pipefitters Union, Teamsters, PVA Tony Lindauer, United Mine Workers, the Women's Network, UPS, UFCW, John Yarmuth, the Kentucky State Democratic Executive Committee and more have all donated money to Sen. Clark's campaign.

In all, it looks as though Hawkins' appeal is limited to the outer fringes of the party; those that hold views slightly to the right of Benito Mussolini, whereas Senator Clark has broad support from prominent members of the labor community and the Democratic party at large. This will translate in to a victory for Clark, and a win for the district.

Believe It or Not, There's a State House Race in the 29th District

I know about it, but I would bet few residents in Valley Station realize there is a race this year for the State House of Representatives in the 29th District. You can't blame them. There has been no campaigning in my neck of the woods at all, and we are only 11 days out. Incumbent Kevin Bratcher (R) is running for reelection against Democrat James Sexton. The folks over at have some info on Sexton and you can read his survey responses HERE. Rep. Bratcher did not answer the survey, but has a website. Click HERE to see it. You can contact him via the website.

James Sexton has ran unsuccessfully three other times. He ran for State Senate in the 36th District in 2006, the same seat in the State House of Representatives in District 29 in 2004 and was again a candidate for State Senate, District 20 in 1998. Maybe when this guy finds the right neighborhood to live in, he'll win a race.

It seems the districts boundaries vary so wildly that our area does not really belong in it at all. Take a look at the map. Does Valley Station really belong in a legislative district that spans all the way to far Eastern Jefferson County? What do these areas have in common? I wonder how many factory workers and Ironworkers live in the far East?

It's not the fault of the candidates, but it appears as though we are an afterthought in this election.

Yarmuth's Campaign Ads to Remain "Positive" For Rest of Race

I was pleased to see my former Ford co-worker and close friend Kirk Gillenwaters starring in this commercial for John Yarmuth. I was told by his people that, barring some inconceivable circumstance, all of John's spots will be "positive" from here on out. Nice to see some honest campaigning here in Louisville.

Hawkins Goes For Broke...Misspells "Hospital"

As I stated previously, Doug Hawkins' campaign has a money problem. That is to say....he ain't got much of it. Here's his last-ditch effort in the form of a commercial. It touts his "battle" against the bomb storage facility. Yeah, the battle he lost miserably because of his inability to form partnerships in local government.

And the "seat at the table" for labor that is mentioned is his phony vote for the Project Labor Agreement for the downtown arena. Hawkins was against the arena. His vote FOR the PLA was intended to wreck the legislation all together. Some "fighter"...

Are These Pain Pills Wearing Off?

Three weeks ago I suffered a broken leg while trying to help a family member with some left over storm debris. My wife took me to the emergency room at Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital. I was feeling some pretty strong pain. As my wife signed me in and I sat wincing in a broken wheelchair, I looked around the ER lobby. It was full. It was, after all, a Saturday evening, and what better place to spend your weekend than in a crowed room with your fellow man? The emotionless receptionist sat stoic, waiting patiently for my insurance card. As I listened to the crowd coughing and sneezing in the ER, some things became apparent to me that I think most people don't think about very much.

- I was the only person in the ER that had a broken bone.
- I was the only person that had an actual "emergency".
- If these people had access to insurance, THEY WOULD NOT BE IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM.

Just think...if they had insurance, I would be the only one in the ER and I would be seeing a doctor almost immediately. What a concept...

So we have got to get a system that covers everyone. Not for my sake, but for theirs.

"Loser Leave Town" Match: Yarmuth Surges, Anne Gets Thrown Out of VA Hospital

With just days to go in the race for the 3rd Congressional District, John Yarmuth is hitting his stride. All that is left in his wake of his campaign's wildly successful positive ads is a bitter and increasingly caustic Anne Northup. And today, the C-J has an excellent report on her run-in with the Security department at the VA Hospital, where her campaign was attempting to hold an event. You can read it HERE.

Anne, you are ruining what was left of your "legacy".

Metro District 14 Race

This race is a mess. What else can I say? No one deserves to win, but the money is on incumbent Bob Henderson. I've heard people say "the devil you know is better than the one you don't know." Yes. But I have also heard people say "Bob Henderson sucks." Bob reminds me of a guy that should be on the council in Shively. Not a city like Louisville.

Where are all the good Democrats in the 14th?

We need someone to come forward to win this district next time. Ed Springston tried in the primary, but the race in May was clogged with too many people. Surely there is someone in the area that can run and win, and represent the constituents concerns instead of the Mayor's wants. Give me a ring, whomever you may be. You need to start prepping NOW.

Courier-Journal Endorses Clark

On Wednesday, the C-J endorsed Sen. Perry Clark. Here's the text:

Voters in the 37th Senate District have a clear and easy choice, between Democratic incumbent Perry Clark and GOP challenger Doug Hawkins, who most recently has served on Metro Council.

Mr. Hawkins can be counted on to take the most regressive position on almost any issue, from smoking bans to explosives storage. Voters should turn, instead, to Mr. Clark, who served almost 12 years in the House before winning a special Senate election.

Mr. Clark is certainly conservative enough for the 37th District, but he also understands the need for respect and civility. So we enthusiastically endorse Perry Clark.

Sen. Clark Has Mammoth Campaign Fund Edge

According to the Kentucky Register of Election Finance (, Senator Perry Clark (D-37) has a spectacular edge on competitor Doug Hawkins when it comes to funds in his war chest, having over $85,000 to spend, while Hawkins has less than $15,000. I just wonder when Sen. Clark will start to spend some of his many green dollars to defeat the do-nothing, headline chasing Councilman.

Doug Hawkins - A Reactionary In Heat

Metro Councilman Doug Hawkins is not only a short guy...he's also short on ideas. A closer look reveals no original proposals or legislative priorities, nor any accomplishments during his time in office. Well, unless you count being a reactionary goofball, a camera hog and constantly being on the wrong side of issues to be accomplishments. Hawkins prides himself in being the only "No" vote in a number of instances. This, along with his combative, "go it alone" attitude only shows his inability to make friends, negotiate, and advance his priorities in Metro Hall.

Doug has an agenda. And it probably doesn't include you, unless your name is Jesus. And he wants us to send him to the Kentucky State Senate? I think there are enough egomaniacs there, already. What say ye?

Let's Get It On.

Ok. I've been wanting to do this for a while, so here it goes. The Valley Report will be a voice in this community for those who feel they have been forgotten by their elected officials. This section of the Metro has been neglected long enough. No more. Are you ready? Let's get it on.....