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A recent story in the Courier-Journal implies that independent Jackie Green is, to some degree, the Ralph Nader of the Louisville mayor’s race.

Green is running on a strong environmental platform some have called radical, but he calls necessary. The bulk of the CJ story compares Green’s positions to those of Democrat Greg Fischer and Republican Hal Heiner. But before covering policy, the story looks at the politics of Green’s candidacy. Specifically, it points out how environmental groups have endorsed Fischer, because they don’t think Green can win.

The local Sierra Club’s chairwoman, Joan Lindop, said Green “is raising issues that need to be raised,” but the group’s members don’t believe he can win.

They’re backing Fischer because they like parts of his platform and they believe he has good managerial skills, Lindop said. She said they are also concerned that Heiner would, as mayor, tilt too much toward business.

“It is enthusiastic but I guess not passionate,” she said of the endorsement, adding that Green is “raising issues that need to be raised.”

That last quote is interesting. And Interfaith Power and Light director Tim Darst refutes it in the article, saying “If you vote for the lesser of two evils, you will just get an evil.” This type of endorsement isn’t anything new in politics…but it is politics. The Sierra Club is backing a candidate in part to block another candidate. That’s one way of approaching a set of goals.

Next, the article says Green could be a spoiler in the race. He could take enough votes from one candidate to give the other a victory. Presumably, Green would take liberal or progressive votes from Fischer.

For his part, Fischer said his campaign has “a very strong environmental message and a strong jobs message.

“We certainly would like Jackie’s supporters to keep that in mind.”

Green and Heiner both reject this.

With registered Democrats outnumbering Republicans in Louisville, “This was (Fischer’s campaign) to dance through,” Green said. “If he loses… it won’t be because of me.”

U of L professor Dewey Clayton (whom we’ve quoted extensively on WFPL) says it is possible that Green could tip the race either way. And that is true. Green is polling at 3%. Fischer is leading Heiner by about 6%, but the margin of error puts the race even closer, statistically. So Green could be taking enough votes to make the race closer. But the question here is: would Green’s supporters vote for another candidate? How likely is it that someone who supports Green’s bold environmental positions would vote for Fischer or Heiner as a compromise?

Most of Green’s supporters are likely enthusiastic for Green. They may be more like IPL’s Tim Darst and are unlikely to compromise. Green isn’t invited to every debate. He isn’t mentioned in every article about the mayor’s race. He doesn’t have the money to run television ads. His campaign strategy is to connect with voters personally. While it’s possible Green has wooed a few people who would otherwise vote for Fischer or Heiner, I’m not sure those voters make up most of his 3%.

On Tuesday, Democratic mayoral candidate Greg Fischer appeared on WFPL’s State of Affairs. Here is a link to the show audio.

Fischer is the third of the major candidates to appear on SoA. Here is audio of independent Jackie Green and Republican Hal Heiner.

Third District Republican candidate Todd Lally was on State of Affairs last week. Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth will be on this week. Here is Lally’s interview. We’ll post Yarmuth’s once it exists.

Two mayoral candidates have been on State of Affairs so far. Here is Independent Jackie Green and Republican Hal Heiner. Democratic candidate Greg Fischer will be on soon.

For more candidate interviews, you can watch CN2′s Ryan Alessi talk with Fischer and Heiner.

And, of course, the Courier-Journal editorial board’s candidate interview videos are online, too.

WFPL’s Rick Howlett moderated a mayoral forum on southwest Louisville issues. It was sponsored by the Southwest Dream Team and featured independent Jackie Green, Democrat Greg Fischer and Republican Hal Heiner.

The audio is online.

If yesterday’s dose of campaign ads wasn’t enough…

First, the NRSC has a new ad accusing Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway of waffling (flip-flopping, etc) on the Bush tax cuts (which Conway wants to extend). The spot swipes the Waffle House theme Conway’s supporters used at Fancy Farm to mock Republican candidate Rand Paul, who is no stranger to accusations of backtracking.

Next, incumbent Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth (who is running against Todd Lally) emphasizes jobs and GE in his latest ad.

And finally (for now), Democratic mayoral candidate Greg Fischer talks about education in his new ad. He says it’s time to fix the JCPS student assignment plan. Republican Hal Heiner and independent Jackie Green both favor scrapping the plan. Heiner says school diversity is still important, but he is calling for a new approach to education that would expand the magnet school program and offer incentives to teachers who work in under-performing schools. Green, however, says affordable housing should be more evenly distributed across the city. That, he says, would make neighborhoods and schools diverse.

Independent mayoral candidate Jackie Green is called out both major party candidates this morning in an e-mail blast.

Here’s what he has to say about Republican candidate Hal Heiner:

NOTE: This is not an endorsement of Hal Heiner.
- Hal is willing to let the next greenfield development still on the developer’s drawing board diminish private investment, public infrastructure & metro services for all existing neighborhoods.
- Hal thinks we have the money to build some unknown variation on the Ohio River Bridges Project (ORBP) and to build a world class transportation system.
- Hal will not challenge our local economy’s dependency on Kentucky Coal.

As The Ville Voice points out, Green directed even harsher criticism at Democratic candidate Greg Fischer:

Greg Fischer…..
talks about hiring local talent but hires a campaign manager from Rhode Island.
talks about supporting local business but had his website developed by a Washington D.C. firm.
thinks it is not the mayor’s place to comment on the school assignment plan.
thinks we support the local food economy while destroying local farms.
thinks straight talk is going negative.
thinks discussing controversial issues is divisive.
talks about “jobs, jobs, jobs” yet will not challenge our economy’s dependency on Kentucky Coal.
talks about building teams but has never been to a Metro Council meeting.
accuses Hal Heiner of being an ‘insider’.
is willing to let the next greenfield development still on the developer’s drawing board diminish private investment, public infrastructure & metro services for all existing neighborhoods.
thinks we have the money to build some unknown variation on the Ohio River Bridges Project (ORBP) and to build a world class transportation system.
didn’t think we needed to “burn mental calories” pondering the financing of the ORBP.


Republican mayoral candidate Hal Heiner was on State of Affairs Monday. You can listen to the show here. Heiner discusses education (and the JCPS student assignment plan), changes to the Ohio River Bridges Project and extending city insurance benefits to the same-sex partners of Metro employees.

Independent Jackie Green was on last month.

Democratic candidate Greg Fischer will be on the show later this month.

The Jefferson County Teachers Association has endorsed Democratic candidate Greg Fischer in the Louisville mayor’s race.

The mayor has no direct power over education, but all of the candidates have proposed various methods for improving schools. Most recently, Republican Hal Heiner proposed ending the student assignment plan and offering incentives to teachers who will work in under-performing schools.

Fischer’s plan centers on after-school programs, more nurses in schools and more parental involvement.

Independent Jackie Green has also proposed ending the student assignment plan, but he says affordable housing must be distributed evenly across the community to keep schools and neighborhoods diverse.

From the Fischer campaign:

Louisville’s teachers today endorsed Greg Fischer for Mayor, saying he has the vision, insight and experience to lead the city and help improve education.

“Teachers touch all our lives and are the foundation on which we build our community,” Fischer said. “I am honored that the teachers believe in me and my campaign.”

The Jefferson County Teachers Association represents 6,000 teachers, librarians, speech clinicians, physical therapists and occupational therapists.

Fischer has been discussing ways to improve education since his campaign began more than a year ago.

    From WFPL:

    The latest Bluegrass Poll in the Louisville mayor’s race shows Democratic candidate Greg Fischer with his widest lead yet.

    The survey of likely voters has Fischer with 48 percent and Republican Hal Heiner with 42 percent. The poll has a margin of error of just over four percent.

    The first Bluegrass Poll in the race showed the two candidates tied, each with 45 percent of the vote.

    The second poll gave Fischer a two-point lead, which was within the margin of error.

    Independent candidates Jackie Green, Nimbus Couzin (cousin) and Jerry T. Mills earned a total of four percent. Six percent of voters were undecided.

    The poll was conducted by SurveyUSA for the Courier-Journal and WHAS11.

    There was a mayoral debate on downtown issues Friday. You can listen to the full debate and subsequent analysis on State of Affairs (mp3) and read WFPL’s coverage.

    For more debate news and audio, check our archives (here is a list of mp3 links on various topics). To get you started, here is audio of a September 13th debate.

    You can also listen to independent candidate Jackie Green‘s State of Affairs appearance from earlier this week. Democrat Greg Fischer and Republican Hal Heiner will appear on SoA separately next month.

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