Thursday, October 30, 2008

We Got Ourselves A Rant Goin' On Here...

I was raised in Shively, then migrated south to Valley Station in 1996 with my wife. I have seen what life is like without representation on a Metro Council and I have seen what life is like with “official” representation. I can tell you that the difference is negligible. This is why the people that live in this area have historically been against a city/county merger. It is not some irrational fear of change. The people in the Southwestern part of Louisville have always been misunderstood, and unfairly characterized as intolerant bigots or trashy rednecks.

People that I speak with want to see tangible results of representation. Things like beautification projects, “Welcome to Southwestern Louisville”, “Valley Station” or "Pleasure Ridge" signs, murals, public gardens, fountains or other specific areas that designate boundaries, welcome visitors or residents and stimulate some type of pride in this community. Other officials have worked with Brightside. One official worked to establish a “Welcome to Okolona” area, created in a formerly trash-strewn median on the Outer Loop. People want an end to porno book shops, check-cashing stores and bingo parlors. We want and need things like sidewalks that connect, legitimate small businesses, public transportation and JOBS. Attraction of decent shopping and dining establishments to the area is a concern. Eliminate or, at least stop the growth of the flea markets and “Peddler’s Malls”.

Look at the benefits:

  • Increases community pride and identification.
  • Creates a landmark that people throughout the city will recognize.
  • Provides vibrancy to public spaces.
  • Enriches neighborhoods by presenting images of local culture and heritage.
  • Brings people from the area together, especially if there is public participation in the project.

These are ideas and projects that Bob Henderson has ignored, instead focusing on the ham-handed technique of using IPL Inspectors to penalize residents with RV’s in their driveways. These are ideas and projects that Doug Hawkins has ignored, instead content on crying wolf on the issues and working on stupid ideas like renaming Jefferson Memorial Forest after Ronald Reagan. Residents need good representation here, and part of being a successful representative is to help instill a sense of satisfaction in your constituents. NONE of the candidates in the race in the 14th District have shown that desire, and we can only hope for a real leader to step forward in the 25th District with ambition.

Soon I will share with you some photos that I have taken around the Southwest part of Louisville. It is high time we get together...and get what we want.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Karma Is A Bitch; Ad Bites McConnell's A$$

Mitch McConnell is getting blasted by a revision of his own ad. The following is the spot Sen. Chicken Lips ran to beat Dee Huddleston....

Here's Bruce Lunsford's new spot:


Rick Blackwell (D-12)

Metro Councilman Rick Blackwell (D-12) isn't really the kind of guy people get riled up about, unless you are some type of headline-chasing alarmist. The majority of people in his district seem to be comfortable with him, since Blackwell is one of the original members of the Metro Council when it was formed in 2003. He was re-elected in 2004. He was the first chairman of the Appropriations Committee, vice chairman and chairman of the Majority Caucus and council President in 2007. Is he doing something right? Ask his constituents.

Ed over at Louisville News and Politics has a post that lumps Blackwell in with other "rubber-stamps" on the Metro Council, and it is a sentiment that I do not totally disagree with. Check it HERE. Is Blackwell a loyalist and advocate for Mayor Abramson? I think he is a little bit, and I'm not crazy about it, either. But I like Rick. And the candidates that run against him are going to have to run on ideas, not fringe-issues. What benefit will come to citizens from a representative that continually stomps on the toes of all of his colleagues and the most powerful mayor in the history of Louisville? I think the district would be punished, just as the people in the 25th district are punished for having a blowhard as councilman.

Here is what I am saying: "If you want his job, tell us what you would do, in explicit detail and why you are the best choice." Stop all of the posturing and phony-ass claims of high moral character. Or at least 'Google' yourself before you decide to claim the moral high road.

Blackwell's entire voting record on every issue that has ever been before the Metro Council can be viewed HERE. Take a look, then vote accordingly.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Update on KY-29 - Candidate James Sexton (D)

It would be careless of me not to mention Rep. Kevin Bratcher's (R-29) opponent in this year's State House race, recently-turned Democrat James Sexton. I reached him by phone this evening and gave him the opportunity to answer the same questions I asked Rep. Bratcher. Again, we started off with specific legislation.

On House Bill 70, the bill that would restore the voting rights of convicted felons after one's debt to society had been paid, Sexton echoed the sentiments of his opponent in that he would allow the process in place to continue, but left himself an out: "If, on the other hand, the people I represented wanted it, I'd vote for it."

When asked about "right to work" laws and other anti-labor nonsense, the Democrat said he strongly opposes any legislation that would remove a workers protection or a workers right to form or join a union. He touted his endorsement by the UAW as proof of his pro-labor policies. More on this in a minute.

On legalized gambling in Kentucky, again a little cagey. Sexton said the "legislators did the voters a disservice by not allowing a vote on the issue." But did say "If the people want it, fine." but it remained the responsibility of the voters to choose.

For the MSD proposal to pipe in waste from the east end of Louisville to be treated at the waste water plant in Southwest Louisville, Sexton declared the move a "cheap" way to go, and instead backed a plan that would put the water treatment facilities in the areas where they are needed. Sexton blamed the current plan on the fact that the Valley Station area has less political clout than Jeffersontown. Understatement of the freakin' year.

In all, he seemed to give few specifics, and promised to "check with constituents" before he makes votes on legislation affecting the communities in the district. The problem is, that is why voters elect State Legislators, so the citizens don't have to make all the calls. Right before hanging up, he uttered the words, "pro-life, pro-gun and pro-development and supports unions." An uncommon mixture of politics, indeed. Also, I was unable to find a picture of him anywhere, which I found to be odd for a man asking for your vote.

A quick check on the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance (KREF) shows James Sexton raising only $2200, including $1000 from himself. He received $1000 from the UAW, his only labor contributor, and had $200. He has $306.72 left as of October 20, 2008. It's not exactly the kind of cash you'd expect from someone claiming to be endorsed by labor. Unlike his opponent, Sexton did answer the questions asked by Project Vote Smart. You can see his results HERE.

In 2004, James Sexton ran against Kevin Bratcher in the primary as a Republican for the same seat. He lost 75% to 25%.

After our conversation and subsequent investigation, I am sticking with my original endorsement.

Dwight Witten (R), the Family Man of Pleasure Ridge

First Time Here? Visit the Main Page

Former radio DJ Dwight Witten is the Republican candidate for Metro Council District 12 in Pleasure Ridge Park. He is running against the "Mayor's Boy", incumbent Rick Blackwell. A former morning personality on 93.1 The Fox, Witten promises to "Represent You" on his website. It's listed as his number three priority behind more cops, and his promise to stop spending money.

Witten is running because, as he says, “For years my beloved South End has been treated like a punchline of a bad joke..."

But what he doesn't tell you is that he is the author of most of the jokes. Witten and his former co-host Tony Vanetti wrote some pretty risque stuff during their stint as morning show hosts on The Fox, after the station dropped the Howard Stern Show. The South End was on the receving end of most of the bits, most of which are too sick to be repeated here. I hated even running his picture.

The reformed Witten (now listed as a Clear Channel Executive) is in full Doug Hawkins mode, breathlessly exaggerating every issue in the hopes of scaring the residents of the district into voting for him. He's jumped on the bomb storage bandwagon with Hawkins, and now Mr. "Thong of the Day" and "Tramp Stamp of the Day" describes himself as "always pro-gun, pro-family, pro-life and pro-God."

P.S., That's not his wife in the picture above.

In today's Courier-Journal, Rick Blackwell says: "And he's your family-values guy. I'll put my values up against his."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Block Watch *Now Forming* For Golden Meadows Subdivision

The residents of the Golden Meadows subdivision in Valley Station are forming a block watch. If you live in the area, which includes Grafton Hall Road, Constance Drive and the surrounding area, please contact me via email with your information so you may be added to the list of concerned citizens. Once the list of everyone that wants to be involved is formally set, you will receive notification of when and where the first meeting will be held. A representative of Louisville Police's 3rd Division will be on hand to answer your questions.

With the economy in the toilet and Christmas around the corner, our neighborhoods must be increasingly vigilant and report all suspicious activity. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Would You Let This Man Give Candy To Your Children?

Most people know that Councilman Doug Hawkins (R-25) is heavily supported and financed by Dr. Frank Simon, the infamous anti-gay rights activist and right-wing nutjob that founded the American Family Association of Kentucky. However, most do not remember one of the most brutal and disgusting political mailers of all time was devised by Dr. Simon four years ago. The mailing raised the hackles of most of the recipients and some council members.

In December 2004, people all over Jefferson County received mailings from Simon's organization with the words, "Warning: Very Vulgar, Not for Children" on the envelope. The letter said gays take part in "unhealthy and unnatural acts" that he calls "too vulgar to mention." It then goes on to mention them. The mailer included a page copied from a medical journal that describes the acts in detail. It also included a vicious slur against the Catholic Church. Then-Council President Kelly Downard, who is Roman Catholic, said he was offended by several portions of the letter, especially one part that he called "anti-Catholic."

Councilman Ron Weston was equally upset. "How does this happen?" he asked. "That this type of information is sent through the mail?" Complaint calls were flooding Metro Council offices. Not only because what happens behind closed doors is now described in black and white in thousands of homes, but because the letter also targets the Catholic Church, citing the priest sex abuse scandal. Weston said, "As a Catholic, when I read it, the first thing that hit me was, that they are trying to take an unfortunate situation in this one religious body to promote their agenda."

Which brings us to this evening, to the Deering Road campus of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, where a shameless Doug Hawkins attempts to turn a trick-or-treat function for young Catholic grade school students into a campaign stop. I spoke with parents of some of the children regarding how they felt about a candidate trolling for votes at a Halloween function for their kids. "Very Tacky", was one response. "Insulting", from a mother participating in the candy giveaway. When I told them Hawkins is not a Catholic, they just got more upset.

I guess he thinks it's okay to bash the Catholics to score donations from Frank Simon, but when you need votes for your Senate race, head on over to the local Catholic church. I'm sure they won't remember what a hopeless partisan hack you really are. Unless they read The Valley Report.

Double-Talking Doug is again being endorsed by, and taking money from these wackos, just as he was in the past, without remorse.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this issue.

Huge Dem GOTV Rally In Iroquois Park November 1st With ASHLEY JUDD

The following is an email I received from the Kentucky Democratic
Party about a big rally in Iroquois Park on November 1st. If anyone has any information about any "get-out-the-vote" rallies in the South End for Republicans, please let me know.

Please join the Kentucky Democratic Party, Governor Steve Beshear, and special guest Ashley Judd, for a Get out the Vote Rally, November 1, at Iroquois Park Amphitheater, 1080 Amphitheater Road, Louisville. Click HERE for map.

Doors open at 3 p.m., program begins at 4:30 p.m.

Other guests include:

Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo

Congressman John Yarmuth

Mayor Jerry Abramson

United States Senate Candidate Bruce Lunsford

Auditor Crit Luallen

Attorney General Jack Conway

Treasurer Todd Hollenbach

Local Elected Officials and Candidates

Because the rally is in his backyard, State Senator Perry Clark is our honorary host and asks that you join us for the biggest GOTV rally of the year. We have the opportunity this year to turn out Democrats in record numbers to the polls, and continue to turn the Bluegrass blue.

We hope to see you on November 1st. And, remember to vote straight Democratic on November 4th.


Jennifer A. Moore
Chair, Kentucky Democratic Party